Richard and CP24 anchor Courtney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the English antics of “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space” and Guy Ritchie’s return to form in “The Gentlemen.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Guy Ritchie’s return to the street in “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the return of “Snatch” style Guy Ritchie in “The Gentlemen,” the war drama “The Last Good Measure” and the first weird Nicolas Cage movie of 2020 “Color Out of Space.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the wham-bam-thank-you-maam theatrics of “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
Anyone who thinks the Guy Ritchie of old has disappeared, crushed under the weight of the huge box office grosses of the family-friendly “Aladdin,” need look no further than the blood splattered pint mug of “The Gentlemen’s” opening scene for proof to the contrary.
Highly stylized crime comedies like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch” made Ritchie the king of fast-paced, politically-incorrect stories of life on the streets. The big budget movies, his Sherlock Holmes series and “Aladdin,” among others, made more money but lacked the visceral thrills of his early work. His new film, “The Gentlemen,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant, feels like a hybrid of the two phases of his career. A spiritual cousin to “Lock, Stock” and ”Snatch,” it brings Ritchie back to London’s underworld, a place populated by Saville Row suit-wearing tough guys, ruthless tabloid editors and henchmen who speak like down-on-their-heels Oxford drop outs.
Matthew McConaughey is Mickey Pearson, an American who built a weed empire in his adopted home country of England. Intelligent and ruthless—qualities matched only by his wife Rosalind (Dockery)—he’s now middle-aged and looking to cash out. His offers to sell the business to billionaire drug lord Matthew Berger (a very mannered Jeremy Strong) for $400 million attracts unwanted attention from Dry Eye (Golding), the ruthless youngest nephew of an aging crime lord.
There’s more, but this is a pretzel of a story, twisted and tied in knots.
“The Gentlemen” is not a sequel or a reboot but it feels like one. The hyper-masculine story telling style, inventive use of swear words and spider-web plotting, while audacious, will be very familiar to Ritchie-philes. It’s “Snatch 2.0” with the same kind of big name cast who seem to be having fun mouthing Ritchie’s profanity laden dialogue but no amount of fast cutting and fast talking can replace real energy. As rock ‘n rolling as the filmmaking is, the story acts as an anchor, bogging things down as it gets more and more convoluted.
It’s too bad because Ritchie takes pains to create the very specific world his characters inhabit, and it is a colourful place but it seems that he never met a plot twist he didn’t love. As the plot thickens, and it does thicken almost to the point of impenetrability, the movie begins to feel overstuffed. To help the audience along Ritchie binds everything together with a silly framing device involving Fletcher (Grant), a private eye/blackmailer who unfurls the complicated story to Pearson’s right-hand-man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam). It’s time consuming and adds little to the picture except for Hugh Grant’s exaggerated accent as he delivers flowery lines like, “Our antagonist explodes on the scene, like a millennial firework.”
“The Gentlemen” feels like an exercise in nostalgia, back to era of Ritchie’s frenetic jump cuts and outdated attitudes about race disguised as quippy dialogue.
Based on a 1927 science fiction/horror story by H. P. Lovecraft, “Color Out of Space” is a strange film starring everyone’s favorite purveyor of strange performances, Nicolas “Dad’s been acting weird” Cage.
Cage is Nathan Gardner, a former artist living on his late father’s remote farm near the fictional town of Arkham, one of Lovecraft’s favorite settings. His family, Wiccan practitioner Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), weed aficionado Benny and youngster Jack (Brendan Meyer and Julian Hilliard) and mother Theresa (Joely Richardson), leads a quiet if unconventional life until late one night when a meteorite crash lands on their front lawn. Unsure of what it is, Nathan calls the police. “I’m sorry about the smell,” he says. “Can you smell it? It’s like somebody lit a dog on fire.”
The smell will turn out to be the least of his problems.
The meteorite disappears over time but the effects of the crash landing linger. The Gardeners and their animals—they raise alpacas—begin acting strangely. Mom cuts her own fingers off as psychedelic hallucinations shroud the family’s thoughts. Hydrologist Ward (Elliot Knight), in the area surveying for a future dam project, thinks the water is poisoned but the real answer is a little more out there, as in outer space alien brain, out there.
Directed by Richard Stanley, who hasn’t made a feature since infamously being fired from 1996’s “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” “Color Out of Space” is a trippy, darkly humorous descent into madness. Lovecraft has proven tricky to adapt to the screen but Stanley does a good job here, building a sense of unease with a clever mix of CGI and practical special effects that build upon the natural disorienting nature of the story. Add to that body horror and cosmic terror, each heightened by the committed—read unhinged—performances from the leads and you have a movie that keeps the viewer as off-kilter as the characters they are watching.
“Color Out of Space” is a little uneven, cramming too many ideas into the mix, but the mix of two gonzo artists like Cage and Stanley offers up a movie that amps up the cinematic anxiety in unpredictable ways.