Posts Tagged ‘Brian d’Arcy James’


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family adventure of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and the Casey Affleck drama :Light of My Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the live action “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” the mildly scary “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family drama “Luce” and the mob tale “The Kitchen” with CFRA morning show guest host Matt Harris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” and the family drama “Luce.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE KITCHEN: 1 ½ STARS. “not an effective mob movie or feminist thriller.”

Set in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen, New York and based on the DCVertigo comic book title of the same name, “The Kitchen” stars Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy as mobster wives who take care of business when their husbands are sent to jail.

McCarthy, Haddish and Moss are Kathy Brennan, Ruby O’Carroll and Claire Walsh, wives of mid-level Irish mobsters. When their husbands are scooped up by the FBI the local mafia boss guarantees they’ll be looked after—“We’re going to take care of you,” Little Jackie (Myk Watford) says. “You girls are going to be just fine.”—but when it comes time to help he gets stingy. “I can’t even make the rent with what they gave me last night,” complains Claire.

With no source of income, the three decide to take matters into their own hands. “They’re just a bunch of guys who don’t even remember what family means,” says Kathy. “So, we remind them.”

Kathy is reluctant to enter the family business, but with two kids to look after she doesn’t have many options. Ruby feels like an outsider in the tightly knit Irish community and needs to provide for herself while Claire takes naturally to the wild ways of the streets. “I’m good at the messy stuff,” she says.

Before you can say, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” the three have taken over Little Jackie’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood with an eye to expanding their empire to the rest of the city, all before their husbands get out of jail.

The powerhouse trio at the center of “The Kitchen” can’t sell the film as an effective mob movie or feminist thriller. The characters are quick change artists, morphing from stay-at-home mob wives to stone cold killer criminals seemingly overnight. It’s jarring as are many of the film’s myriad plot twists and turns. Nothing quite adds up, character or story wise, and what might have been an interesting and timely look at dismantling of patriarchal structures it instead finds its female empowerment within violence.


Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “All the Money in the World” and “Molly’s Game.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Beverly Thomson to have a look at “All the Money in the World” and “Molly’s Game.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

MOLLY’S GAME: 2 ½ STARS. “a pair of deuces when it should have been a full house.”

If “Molly’s Game” wasn’t a true story it would be unbelievable.

Jessica Chastain plays Molly Bloom, a one-time Olympic class skier sidelined by injury. Leaving the slopes behind she found her way into the world of high stakes poker but not as a player, as a purveyor. In Los Angeles and then again in New York she cultivated a guest list of rich and powerful men of movie stars, Russian mobsters and Wall Street hedge funders. They bet, lost (and sometimes won) millions of dollars, catered to by drink slinging models and Bloom’s huge line of credit. With the game come wealth, drug addiction and ultimately, an FBI arrest for a variety of charges. Money seized, drug addiction kicked, all the Poker Queen has left is her integrity and a supportive criminal defense lawyer in the form of Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba).

Written by ninety-words-a-minute screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (who also directed), coats the unlikely tale of a dedicated athlete who uses the dedication an skill she developed in her sport to create a new life for herself with an elegant sheen. The dialogue is top notch, the performances very good but it’s all surface. The psychology—her father (Kevin Costner) is a pontificating psychologist—doesn’t provide the kind of depth we need to truly care about Molly, before or after her downfall. She’s all ambition and little else. Chastain breathes life into her, rattling off Sorkin’s impressive dialogue, ripe with pop culture references, mythology and bon mots, but it’s the performance that illuminates the character for the audience, not the script.

Sorkin doesn’t exactly deal “Molly’s Game” a bad hand but he does bog down the story with clever asides and details instead of moving the plot forward. Aside from Bloom, his characters are all sharp-tongued creations whose personalities are become increasingly interchangeable as the same Sorkin-esque style of witty dialogue spills from all their lips.

In many ways “Molly’s Game” overplays its hand. It’s neither a searing indictment of high-stakes illegal gambling nor a psychological study of its main character. Instead it’s a pair of deuces when it should have been a full house.

Metro In Focus: Molly’s Game actor Jessica Chastain on recent roles.

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Director Guillermo del Toro sings the praises of Jessica Chastain, saying she brings authenticity to everything she does and is “interested in being chameleonic.”

Indeed. Earlier this year the two-time Oscar nominated actor played World War II Warsaw human rights activist Antonina Zabinski in The Zookeeper’s Wife. Soon we’ll see her as 1890s era portrait painter Catherine Weldon, as screen legend Ingrid Bergman and as a mysterious alien with shape-shifting abilities in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

This weekend in Molly’s Game, she is Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who also ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game.

She is the very definition of versatile, a performer who is hard to pin down.

“I feel like the bigger risks I take, the more I learn,” she says. “I know I learn more from my failures than successes.”

From big films like Interstellar and The Martian, to small ones like A Most Violent Year and Miss Julie she is always distinctive and always interesting.

For instance contrast her work in two recent films, Miss Sloan and Crimson Peak.

In Miss Sloane she plays Elizabeth Sloane, a sleep-deprived D.C. lobbyist “at the forefront of a business with a terrible reputation.”

She’ll represent anyone, it seems, except the gun lobby, who offer her a lucrative contract, only to be laughed at and rejected. Soon after she leaves her firm—one of the biggest in the country—to join a small, scrappy group who aim to whip up support for a bill that will demand background checks for all gun owners.

Zippy dialogue flies off the screen probably easier than it would actually fly off the tongue, giving voice to colourful characters who say mostly interesting things.

“When this town guts you like a trout and chokes you with the entrails don’t come snivelling to me,” snarls Sloane.

It’s a catchy line and Chastain spits it out with conviction and often transcends the rat-a-tat dialogue by bringing some actual humanity to a character largely made up of bon mots and a bad attitude. It’s a struggle for Chastain to grow Elizabeth Sloane as a character but in her rare quiet moments, when she isn’t mouthing Jonathan Perera’s carefully crafted words, she finds warmth and vulnerability in a person described as the “personification of an ice cube.”

In Crimson Peak she is Lucille Sharpe who, along with her brother Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), is British gentry in America to raise money to perfect and build a machine to mine the rich red clay that lies under Crimson Peak, their family estate.

The movie is love letter to both V.C. Andrews and Edgar Allen Poe. Madness and murder are front and center, coupled with Chastain’s arch performance that embodies the Hammer Horror style of wild-eye-acting. To play Lucille she worked with a dialect coach to perfect her English accent, learned to play piano and, most unsettlingly, never blinks. “Lucille not blinking is her trying to say, ‘Look at me, I’m normal. Everything is fine.’ And there’s effort in that,” she said.

As the scoundrel of the piece the versatile actress is a commanding presence, one who drips with evil.

“My God, she creates one of the truly scary villains I have seen, so dark,” says Guillermo del Toro. “Jessica took this to 11. She went full Spinal Tap here.”


A new feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Blade Runner 2049,” the survival flick “The Mountain Between Us” and the J.D. Salinger biopic “Rebel in the Rye.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!