Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD and the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to kill time over the weekend including a new cooking show on Crave called “Selena + Chef,” the aspiring artists of Apple TV+’s “Little Voice,” the cocaine opera “Scarface” on Starz and the Disney+ talking animal movie for kids, “The One and Only Ivan.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
“The One and Only Ivan,” the new talking animal movie debuting on Disney+, is based on the bestselling children’s novel of the same name written by K. A. Applegate, which was inspired by the life of Ivan, a real-life silver-back gorilla who lived, as an attraction, at shopping center in Tacoma, Washington, for 27 years.
Set in 1973, the movie begins with Ivan (voice of Sam Rockwell) as the star attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, run by Mack (Bryan Cranston), who does double duty as the big top ringleader. When Ivan isn’t locked away in a cage he’s performing to increasingly sparse crowds alongside an aging elephant named Stella (Angelina Jolie) or hanging out with his closest pal, a wisecracking stray dog named Bob (Danny DeVito). Most of the animals have no recollection of how they got there; this is the only life they have ever known.
When an abused baby elephant named Ruby (Brooklynn Prince) joins the circus, Stella looks after her and makes Ivan to take care of Ruby if she cannot. With the help of Ruby and Julia (Ariana Greenblatt), the daughter of the mall custodian, Ivan begins to look past his cage to rediscover his past and move Ruby and his other animal friends to the safety of a zoo.
“The One and Only Ivan” features solid CGI—the fur and feathers, so often a problem in films like this, look real—and good voicework from the star-studded cast— Helen Mirren, Ramón Rodriguez, “The Walking Dead’s” Eleanor Matsuura, Chaka Khan, “Hamilton” star Phillipa Soo and “Enlightened” creator Mike White—but it is the film’s messages that earn it a recommend.
The gently paced drama contains life lessons about leadership, treating all living creatures with kinship, love and respect and the value of promises. Best of all, it preaches and practices empathy for humans and animals. These are potent messages that all add up to the story’s main theme, that we can all make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
“The Only and Only Ivan” softens the character of Mack, dialing down the wrong doing he displays in the book. It leaves the film with a villain-sized hole but Cranston is, nonetheless, an engaging performer, even if it would have been fun to see a little more Walter White in his portrayal of Mack.
The movie may not be appropriate for all ages. The animals in captivity and other realities of life at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade are probably best suited for children in the middle grades and up.
On the August 16, 2020 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet Kiesza, a singer, songwriter and pop star with a fascinating story of resilience. From the reserves of the Royal Canadian Navy to writing songs for people like Rihanna to her single “Hideaway” debuting at number one on the UK Singles Chart to collaborating with everyone from Duran Duran to Pitbull and Diplo she is a bona fide pop princess. Then, in 2017 she suffered life altering injuries when a taxi t-boned the car she was riding in. Her recovery from a traumatic brain injury was slow and involved staying in a darkened room for six months but she is back with a new album, a new self-run record label and a new outlook.
Then… In a career that spans five decades Chaka Khan has sold an estimated 70 million records, collaborated with everyone from Ry Cooder and Robert Palmer to Ray Charles and Quincy Jones, from Chicago to De la Soul and Mary J. Blige. She’s a musician, singer and songwriter with a shelfful of Grammys. I first saw her, with the band Rufus, on Soul Train singing their mega hit Tell Me Something Good. I became an instant fan and have remained so all these years later.
I had the chance to speak with the music legend via Zoom to talk about her role as the voice of Henrietta the Chicken in the new Disney+ film The One and Only Ivan.
And finally…I speak to Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke, the stars of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.” For more than twenty years Kenny and Fagerbakke have voiced two of pop culture’s favorite animated characters, SpongeBob SquarePants and his pal Patrick Star. In the new film, playing in theatres in Canada, SpongeBob and Patrick go on a rescue mission to save SpongeBob’s pet snail Gary, who has been “snailnapped” by King Poseidon. In this interview e talk about the new movie, the popularity of SpongeBob memes and why these characters have endured for more than two decades.
What to watch when you’ve already watched everything Part Thirteen! Binge worthy, not cringe worthy recommendations from Isolation Studios in the eerily quiet downtown Toronto. Three movies to stream, rent or buy from the comfort of home isolation. Today, a financial crisis, a blacklisted writer and a troubled trumpeter. #TheBigShort#Trumbo#BornToBeBlue
Remake happy Hollywood goes intercontinental, casting its eyes to France for the new Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart film. “The Upside’s” based-on-a-true-story” odd couple story of a wealthy quadriplegic and his ex-con caretaker is lifted from “The Intouchables,” a movie so popular it was voted France’s cultural event of 2011.
Cranston plays Phillip Lacosse, an author, who, through clever investments is “richer than Jay-Z.” A hand-gliding accident has left him paralyzes, a prisoner in his fancy Park Avenue apartment. When parolee Dell Scott (Hart) shows up on his doorstep looking for a job Phillip hires him, even though he has no qualifications whatsoever. As an ex-con Dell will, Phillip figures, enforce his Do Not Resuscitate order. “Is that why you asked me instead of those other guys?” Dell asks. “‘Cuz you thought I would DNR your ass?”
Also in the mix are Dell’s ex wife Latrice (Aja Naomi King) their son Anthony (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) and Phillip’s devoted assistant Yvonne (Nicole Kidman).
Despite the fatalistic Phillip’s disinterest in life he gradually comes to life, spewing a series of dad jokes and doling out practical advice. The two men bond, learning from one another. Dell learns an appreciation of his boss’s open mind—both in curiosity and acceptance—while Phillip is exposed to Aretha Franklin, weed (for medical purposes) and New York City hot dog stands. Each is enriched as Phil rediscovers his lust for life and Dell becomes a better father and husband.
What “The Upside” lacks in originality—every plot point is telegraphed to point where anyone, even if they had never seen a movie before, will see where this is going—it almost makes up in committed performances from its leads.
Hart is unusually restrained, heaping on the earnestness and the occasional bit of slapstick. He earns a few laughs although a “funny” catheter scene isn’t going to bolster Hart’s bruised rep in the LGBTQ community.
Cranston does wonders with a performance that comes completely from the shoulders up. His expressive face conveys a range of emotions from utter joy to frustration to unbridled rage it’s a performance that subtly brings us into Phillips thought processes.
Only Kidman is wasted in a role that asks very little of her except to nod, do a little dance and add some heft to the marquee.
Despite strong performances “The Upside” is a slight feel good movie that values melodramatic and manipulation over real emotion.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Nicole Kidman times two – in the gritty cop drama “Destroyer” and the dramedy “The Upside,” where she co-stars with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart – Carey Mulligan in “Wildlife” and the psychological thriller “Escape Room.”