Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Ghostbusters,” the new Kristen Stewart sci fi flick “Equals,” “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen and the new Canadian horror film “The Dark Stranger.”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Consider the muse.
Alfred Hitchcock made three of his greatest films with Grace Kelly and tried to lure her back to the big screen long after she retired. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have a seemingly unbreakable cinematic bond and the world of movies would be far less interesting if Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski had never met. John Ford and John Wayne inspired one another to do their best work and Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s shared eccentricities gave us unforgettable nights at the multiplex.
Muses inspire their directors to aspire to new heights, to push the limits of their creativity.
Add another to the list: Melissa McCarthy.
Over the course of four films — including this weekend’s Ghostbusters — she has upped director Paul Feig’s game and in turn he gave her the roles that broke her out of the TV sidekick treadmill and turned her into a big screen star. “It’s not even like we go, ‘We’ve got to do the next movie together,’” Feig says.
“It’s just that suddenly the next movie will pop up and I’m like, ‘You know who would be great for this?’ So it’s funny that people think we have an agenda to keep doing this.”
Agenda or not, their creative chemistry is undeniable.
Feig describes McCarthy’s audition for the first film they made together, Bridesmaids, as a “religious moment.” She was less sure.
“The whole ride home from the audition,” she says, “I was thinking, ‘I got too weird. Should I turn the car around and do that cheesy actor thing of I can do it better! Give me another shot!’”
The director cast her in the scene-stealing role of Megan — imagine a feral, female Guy Fieri — and it was her flashpoint.
Her wonderfully weird performance, complete with sexual hijinks and an explosive bout of diarrhea —“It’s coming out of me like lava!” — stole the show out from under other, better-known stars like Kristen Wiig — and earned her an Oscar nomination.
Next up for the dynamic duo was The Heat, an odd couple, buddy cop movie set in Boston co-starring Sandra Bullock.
McCarthy plays a tough-talking street cop who forms an unlikely alliance with the uptight Sandra Bullock to bring down a murderous drug dealer.
The role riffed on McCarthy’s signature character, the aggressive but damaged comedic persona. “I’ve played a lot of characters who are very vocal, very aggressive,” she told me in 2014.
“For the women I’ve played there is a reason why they are so ballsy and it is nice when you see the crack in the veneer and you realize, ‘It’s part of their insecurity. They stay loud so nobody yells at them.’”
Feig knows when to let McCarthy off the leash — there are some wild slapstick scenes here — but he also knows when to pull her back and let the script do the work.
This week McCarthy headlines Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot alongside Bridesmaids co-star Kristen Wiig.
Will that be their final collaboration? Don’t count on it.
Feig is reportedly writing a Spy sequel as we speak.
“She’s so good,” he says, “and we just really have the same sense of humour.”
Director Paul Fieg and Company are not the Ruiners of Your Childhood. Your youthful “Ghostbusters” memories are alive and well, in your head, in your DVD drawer or digital download file folder. Ghostbros, upset their 1984 favourite is being rebooted with an all female cast, flooded the internet with low-to-no star reviews. As it turns out, the time they spent trying to torpedo a movie they had not yet seen, might have been better spent making room on their basement shelves for the new “Ghostbusters” figurines. Feig hasn’t desecrated a classic, he has added a new chapter, creating a light and fluffy concoction that moves the franchise into the future while paying homage to the past.
When we first meet Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) she’s a professor at Columbia trying to hide her past as a paranormal investigator. When a ghost-hunting book she co-wrote with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) comes to light she is let go. Like Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler before her, she leaves academia and becomes a professional New York City ghostbuster alongside Abby, proton pack engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and former subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones).
After making a name for themselves they uncover a major plot hatched by hotel janitor Rowan North (Neil Casey). Upset his genius has been ignored by the world, he plans on unleashing an army of undead to come back and “pester the world” in an event he calls the Fourth Cataclysm. He has created a vortex that will allow whatever it is on that plane to come crashing down on this plane and flood New York City with ghosts. By the climax the movie dissolves into regular summertime C.G.I. tomfoolery as the Ghostbusters battle spirits in Times Square.
There is a sense of déjà vu hanging heavy over “Ghostbusters.” The new film doesn’t continue the original story, it reboots it, taking us back to the origins of the group. In other words, it’s a lot like the 1984 movie. From class four semi-anchored entities and proton streams to cameos from Slimer, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie “Ghostbusters, whaddaya want?” Potts plus a glimpse of a Harold Ramis statue, the movie feels familiar but has been freshened up.
The cast doesn’t try to imitate Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson. The new characters are just that, new creations plunked down into an existing world.
McCarthy and Wiig, reteamed for the first time since “Bridesmaids,” are solid and Jones is a formidable presence but most interesting is McKinnon as engineering nerd Holtzmann. She is unapologetically weird, as strange as her unruly asymmetrical haircut and a glorious addition to the “Ghostbusters” family.
Also welcome is Chris Hemsworth as the dippy receptionist who doesn’t have glass in his eyeglasses and says things like, “An aquarium is a submarine for fish.” He’s a walking non sequitur and very funny.
Like the old Abbott and Costello horror comedies, “Ghostbusters” doesn’t have any real scares but it will make you laugh. The script, co-written by Feig and “Parks and Recreation” writer Katie Dippold, is funny, if not exactly in a slap the knee kind of way, then in a slow boil constant giggle respect. Is it an out-of-this-world hit like Feig’s “Bridesmaids” or “Spy”? No. It occasionally suffers from a weird rhythm where scenes end suddenly and at least one of the cameos feels wedged in, but the overall effect is one of a respectful resurrection of a beloved franchise.
Best of all, it is self-aware. Reading on-line comments Erin comes across one that reads, “Ain’t no bitches going to hunt no ghosts.” Later Abby says, “Don’t read what crazy people write in the middle of the night online.” Are you listening Ghostbros?
SYNOPSIS: Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life is in tatters. Her business is a victim of a downturned economy and her boyfriend (Jon Hamm) calls her his “number three.” When BFF Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks Annie to be her maid of honour she should be thrilled but is overwhelmed by the job and her pushy fellow bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) or as Lillian calls them, the “stone cold pack of weirdoes.”
Richard Crouse: Mark, the big mistake people will make about Bridesmaids is thinking that it is a chick flick or a female version of The Hangover. In fact, I think it takes the best elements of those two and cleverly mixes them into one very funny but still very heartfelt movie that should have been called Bridesmaid on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Do you agree with me that this is the funniest female comedy that Tina Fey didn’t write?
Mark Breslin: I’ve been raving for years that Kristin Wiig is the Carol Burnett of our times: the greatest female sketch comic working today. Now, with this movie, she surpasses even that. I was worried that the movie would just substitute girl gross-outs for boy gross-outs, but there’s a depth here that the trailer doesn’t hint at. The humour is based on some pretty dark topics: fear of failure, loneliness, body image issues, so bravo to Wiig and her cast for going there. But most importantly, Wiig has wrested the wedding comedy from the hands of Kate Hudson.
RC: Hallelujah! Wiig is the best thing to happen to SNL in years but her big screen output has been somewhat underwhelming. Her movies like MacGruber always felt to me like she was acting in a long form sketch. She’s always funny, but I never felt like there was a real depth of character there until now. Her work as the neurotic but mostly well meaning Annie is a breakthrough, proving that being funny and having feelings are not mutually exclusive.
MB: Well put, Richard. But before we turn off any potential moviegoer thinking they’re about to watch a Sundance comedy, let’s remember that there are two hysterical, verrrrry broad set pieces in the middle of the movie that will satisfy anyone – male or female looking for belly laughs. The only thing in the movie that didn’t work for me were the British roommates, which felt forced, unlike her romance with the patrolman, which felt real and blithe. He’s a standout in a large cast. Anybody in it catch your eye?
RC: Absolutely. Chris O’Dowd as the lovelorn cop brings a huge amount of charm to the movie and Rose Byrne, who I’m used to seeing in dramas, is very funny.
MB: Let’s not forget Melissa McCarthy who gets huge laughs, even if some of them are on the cheap side. And Jill Clayburgh in her last role. R.I.P.
The big mistake people will make about “Bridesmaids,” a new comedy starring an ensemble of female comedians headed by Kristen Wiig, is that it is a chick flick or a female version of “The Hangover.” It has elements of both, but is closer in spirit to “Knocked Up” or “The Forty Year Old Virgin;” heartfelt comedies that place the characters first and the laughs second.
When we first meet Annie (Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the script), her life is in tatters. Her business is a victim of a downturned economy and her boyfriend (Jon Hamm) calls her his “number three.” When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks Annie to be her maid of honor she should be thrilled but is overwhelmed by the job and her fellow bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) or as Lillian calls them, the “stone cold pack of weirdoes.”
Kristen Wiig was the best thing to happen to “Saturday Night Live” in years but her big screen output has been somewhat underwhelming. In movies like “MacGruber” and “Paul” it always felt to me like she was simply acting in a long form sketch. She’s always funny, but I never felt like there was a real depth of character there. Until “Bridesmaids” that is. Her work as the neurotic but mostly well meaning Annie is a breakthrough, proving that being funny and having feelings are not mutually exclusive.
The rest of the cast impresses as well. Like Wiig, Rudolph has both the comedic and dramatic chops to make us laugh and care about the characters, and Rose Byrne steps outside of the dramas we’re used to seeing her in to deliver a subdued but very funny performance. Irish actor Chris O’Dowd, virtually the only male actor to utter a line apart from Jon Hamm in a raunchy cameo, brings an enormous amount of charm to the role of Rhodes, the lovelorn cop. There’s good chemistry all round, a key element that prevents the story from veering into rom com territory.
So far I’ve talked about “feelings” and used words like “heartfelt” to describe “Bridesmaids,” but don’t get me wrong, this is still a wild comedy. It doesn’t out-raunch the “Hangover” guys, but there are bodily function jokes a plenty, one very funny sex scene and language that would make a teamster blush. The girls can throw it down with the guys, but somehow it’s not as gross. Much of it is still gross, just not as gross.
“Bridesmaids” is the funniest movie so far this year and should appeal to everyone, not just women.