A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York” and the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York,” the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick” and Penelope Cruz in “The Queen of Spain.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the big weekend movies including “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York,” the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick” and Penelope Cruz in “The Queen of Spain.”
Patti Cake$, a story of big dreams and hip hop glory, introduces two major new talents, writer, director Geremy Jasper and star Danielle Macdonald. Together they present a gritty, sweet and quite unforgettable movie.
The Australian born Macdonald is Patricia Dombroski, a New Jersey wannabe rapper who, depending on her mood goes by Patti Cake$ or Killer P. She’s a walking, talking attitude in plus size clothes; a woman with a way with words and a dream of bettering her circumstances through hip hop. “Just to make myself clear,” she raps, “Get me the BLEEP outta here.”
“She wants to do what she loves to do,” says Macdonald, “but she kind of gets put in a box by society, by the people around her, by her mom even.”
Bringing the film to the screen was a three-year journey. Jasper wrote the script in just nineteen days to submit it to the Sundance Writer’s Lab in January 2014. After that, says Macdonald, there were many incarnations of the story.
“Sid [Siddharth Dhananjay] who plays Jheri and Bridget [Everett] who plays my mom and me all came on board at the Sundance Labs. After that Geremy said, ‘I want to use all these people. That’s what I picture.’ I think knowing we were in those roles and had already acted them probably helped him and influenced his writing.
“He would send me a script and if I would see a part I loved I’d say, ‘I love this, you better not change it.’ He didn’t. The first time he wrote the end scene the way it is, which is a rewrite from when we did the Labs, I was obsessed with it. I cried and I had read the script so many times.”
Perhaps it’s because Patti Cake$ is, in part, based on the director’s life that Patti’s attempts to claw herself out of her Dickensian existence feel so authentic. What begins as one rapper’s run-of-the-mill journey to get out from under the weight of her dreams snakes around to become a high-energy, fist-pumping story of overcoming odds with dignity and on your own terms.
Part of the film’s appeal are the raps that seem to effortlessly flow from Patti’s lips. They’re fresh, raw and most of all sound extemporaneous. “That’s good,” laughs Macdonald when I compliment her. “They were not. It took time and a lot of practice.”
“I learned the raps with the Jersey accent,” she says. “At that point I only knew how to rap them with a Jersey accent. That helped. If I had learned them another way and then had to change, it would have been way harder. When I got the raps I had to slow them down and put in the accent and then speed it all up because they’re tongue twisters basically. The accent is a whole different placement in your mouth and then learning how to rap is a whole new thing I was trying to figure out.”
Three years after first taking on the role Macdonald is done with the character. Almost.
“We shot the music video just last week so I wouldn’t say I have necessarily shed her skin,” she says. “I think that was actually the last time I’ll be Patti.”
“Patti Cake$,” a story of big dreams and hip hop glory, introduces two major new talents, writer, director (and former front man for indie rock band The Fever) Geremy Jasper and star Danielle Macdonald. Together they present a movie that is gritty, sweet and quite unforgettable.
Macdonald is Patricia Dombroski, a New Jersey wannabe rapper who, depending on her mood goes by Patti Cake$ or Killer P. She’s a walking, talking attitude in plus size clothes, a woman with a way with words and a dream of bettering her circumstances through hip hop. “Just to make myself clear,” she raps, “Get me the BLEEP outta here.”
Her mother Barb (Bridget Everett), once an up-and-coming singer, is now a drunk who spends her days caring for the wheelchair-bound Nana (Cathy Moriarty) in their ramshackle house.
With musical partner Hareesh (Siddharth Dhananjay) and an off-the-grid punk rocker who goes by Antichrist (Mamoudou Athie) she performs as PBNJ, a band with a demo but no street cred or prospects. When a “showcase” at a strip club goes sideways Patti leaves the group, trading hopes of MTV stardom for a catering job. Music is never far away, however, and still might be the remedy for Killer P’s heartache and crushed dreams.
It’s hard to classify “Patti Cake$” as a feel good movie but underneath the story’s grit and grime is an aspirational tale that won’t leave the taste of saccharine in your mouth. It’s a raw, emotional coming-of-age story of the type we’ve seen before, with styles we’ve seen before— fantasy cutaways and impossibly grim circumstances to overcome—but director Jasper and Australian born star Macdonald keep it compelling.
Perhaps it’s because “Patti Cake$” is, in part, based on the director’s life that Patti’s attempts to claw herself out of her Dickensian existence feel so authentic. Patti is a resilient underdog, a sympathetic lead brought to vivid and appealing life by Macdonald. What begins as one rapper’s a run-of-the-mill journey to get out from under the weight of her dreams snakes around to become a high-energy, fist-pumping story of overcoming odds with dignity and on your own terms.
There’s an old saying that goes, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” True enough, but as Hollywood has taught us, you can add neighbors to the “cannot choose” list.
This weekend in Neighbors Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as parents of a new baby whose quiet suburban life is uprooted when unruly frat boys led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco move in next door. “Make sure that if we’re too noisy, call me,” says Zac. “Don’t call the cops.”
When a house party spirals out of control the couple has to call the cops, thereby violating “the circle of trust” and triggering a Hatfield and McCoy’s style feud between the households.
Terrible neighbors are nothing new in Hollywood films.
In his final role John Belushi starred as earl Keese in the 1981 movie Neighbors. He plays a cranky man whose regimented residential life is turned upside down by toxic neighbors, played by his Blues Brothers cohort Dan Aykroyd and Cathy Moriarty. “We don’t want any bad blood,” says Aykroyd, “especially since we’ll be living next door to you for a long, long time.”
The situation spirals out of control, but what begins as domestic warfare between the tow households soon takes a turn when Earl realizes his new neighbors are way more fun than the button–down life he led before.
The dark comedy didn’t satisfy critics or fans of Blues Brothers era Belushi and Aykroyd, but Roger Ebert liked it, calling it, “an offbeat experiment in hallucinatory black humor,” and giving it four out of five stars
Roman Polanski’s study of nasty neighbors, Rosemary’s Baby was a much bigger hit. After moving into the beautifully gothic Bramford apartment building (exterior shots were taken at John Lennon’s old home, the Dakota Building on New York City’s Upper West Side) Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and husband Guy (John Cassavettes) soon discover that the folks next door Minnie and Roman Castevet (Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer) have a satanic interest in their unborn child.
“Awful things happen in every apartment house,” says Rosemary.
The ‘Burbs may have the ultimate nosy neighbors. The action in the 1989 Tom Hanks movie really begins when one of the locals finds as femur bone in the backyard. “Our neighbors are murdering people,” he says. “They’re chopping them up. They’re burying them in their backyard.”
Rumours of a suburban cannibalistic cult spread through town, putting everyone on edge.
“Green sky at morning,” say Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman), “neighbor take warning.”