Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the raunchy revenge flick “Ravage” and the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector,” the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” the Shakespeare update of “Measure for Measure” and the violent revenge film “Ravage.”
The spirit of hillbilly grindhouse horror lives in the violent revenge flick “Ravage,” now on VOD.
Annabelle Dexter-Jones is Harper Sykes, a “GI Jane with a camera.” On a photographic assignment in the remote Virginia woods she witnesses and documents a group of men person to a pack of hungry dogs. Terrible things happen and she wakes up in a hospital bed, bandaged from head-to-toe, and being questioned by Detective Slayton (Michael Weaver). Convinced she is a “mountain tweaker who burned herself up in a meth lab,” he tries to coerce a story out of her.
In flashbacks the movie details, and I mean details with a capital D, the brutal story of Harper’s capture by the redneck ravagers, led by Ravener (Robert Longstreet), her revenge and what lies bandages.
If a movie with a title like “Ravage” appeals to you, then you likely know what’s in store. It’s a savage, uncompromising look at the cruelty humans are capable of. By definition the word means, “to devastate, waste, sack, pillage, despoil, to lay waste by plundering or destroying,” and that’s just the beginning in terms of how literally screenwriter and director Teddy Grennan takes the word’s meaning. It’s an unpleasant movie that doesn’t exactly celebrate the violence, there are no huge set pieces here, it more or less documents terrible things without lingering on the intricacies of the torture and killing, so I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.
In a short cameo from Bruce Dern is suitably creepy, mouthing dialogue about how, “torture is the barometer of a nation’s creativity.” It’s the kind of role he could do in his sleep, but his presence adds a sense of gravitas which is blown in the film’s final moments.
You will not see the final twist coming, and I will not tell you what it is, but know this, if you thought “Ravage” would be a (SPOILER ALERT) an ode to female empowerment, you will be taken aback and disappointed. Harper’s resilience, despite some boneheaded moves along the way, display a resourcefulness that suggests she will emerge bloodied but unbowed. The film’s sick ‘n twisted final few moments lay waste to that assumption in no uncertain terms.
“Ravage” is a no-frills thriller of the hunter and the hunted that attempts to address moral questions about violence and revenge but instead gets caught glorifying the them.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the financial crisis drama “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks.”
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 pole dancing bandits of “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks” then has a look at the highlights from day one of the Toronto International Film Festival!
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks” then has a look at the highlights from day one of the Toronto International Film Festival!
“Freaks,” a new sci-fi horror film starring seven-year-old Lexy Kolker and eighty-three-year-old Bruce Dern, is a multi-layered head-scratcher that wonders what it might be like to be a helicopter parent to one of the X-Men.
Seven-year-old Chloe (Kolker) is kept a prisoner in the rundown suburban home she shares with her father Henry Lewis (Emile Hirsch). But this is not “Room” or any other confinement drama. This is the story of a father whose daughter is gifted in a way that will make her a target if she is discovered. Henry has tried to shield her from all this. “I never wanted the world to turn her into a freak,” he says. “She’s just a girl.” Father and daughter are blessed (or cursed depending on your point of view) with the ability to read minds, make themselves invisible and generate protective, clear bubbles.
Chloe doesn’t know or understand the extent of her powers and as long as she is kept separate from the world, may never know. Her only connections to outside world are ghostly visions (or are they real?) of her late mother Mary (Amanda Crew) and the ice cream man, Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern) who seems to know a lot about her.
She has been trained to lie about her identity but soon she begins to wonder what lies beyond the walls of their home. What follows is an extreme case of stranger danger.
“Freaks” takes its time. It allows the viewer to reach their own conclusions, and then, more often than not, shatters them. The only thing that is for sure is that Chloe longs for her mother, a feeling expertly demonstrated by Kolker in a performance that gives the movie the heart it needs to make us care for the characters and the situations. The low fi effects don’t distract in the way a larger budget might have afforded but the humanity on display makes up for the lack of eye candy.
Good sci fiction is rarely exactly about what we see on screen. In that sense “Freaks” isn’t about Chloe’s powers, it’s about being different from those around you, about persecution, about feeling unwanted. There are feelings that many can relate to and making them universal, accessible and by times even exciting, is the film’s greatest strength.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the bing-bam-boom of “Angel Has Fallen,” the culty thrills of “Ready or Not,” the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and the documentary “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles.”