Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about the Death in the Afternoon, a drink that sprung from Ernest Hemingway’s legendary liver, the Death in the Afternoon, the new “Velvet Underground” documentary, the latest from Michael Myers “Halloween Kills” and the reason Andrew Lloyd Weber bought a comfort dog.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats” and the ripped from the headlines drama “Bombshell,” starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Todd van der Heyden to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the end of the road for the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats” and “Bombshell,” featuring Charlize Theron as Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Cats,” the weirdest movie of the year, the lightsaber action of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Bombshell,” the inside story of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes.
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 conclusion of everybody’s favourite space opera, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Cats,” starring a collection of half human-half cat rejects from The Island of Dr. Moreau and “Bombshell,” the inside story of sexual harassment at Fox News.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats.”
“Cats,” the mega-musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” has had nine lives.
Opening in London’s West End in 1981, it ran for 21 years and 8,949 performances, while the Broadway production ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances. It has played in over 30 countries in 15 languages and has been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide. The showstopping hit song “Memory” has been recorded by everyone from Liberace to Barbra Streisand. It is truly a show that always lands on its feet.
Oscar-winner director Tom Hooper puts out the litter box one more time in an all-star film that tells the tale of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles. The all-star cast, including James Corden, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson, hidden under layers of CGI fur and whiskers, spend one-night singing and dancing as Old Deuteronomy (Dench) makes the Jellicle Choice to decide which cat will be sent to the Heaviside and reborn into a new life. The film version, with dialogue that links many of the tunes, does a better job of expressing the story but perhaps it’s best to remember that Lloyd Webber said to Hal Prince when he asked the composer if “Cats” was a political metaphor. “Are those cats Queen Victoria, Gladstone and Disraeli?’ the Broadway legend wondered. “Hal,” the composer replied, “this is just about cats.”
Let’s not pussyfoot around. “Cats” will go down in history as the weirdest studio movie of 2019. With actors who appear to have been put through the full-body Snapchat cat filter, a Ziegfeld Follies style chorus line of dancing cockroaches and felines with human hands and feet like rejects from “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” you’ll wonder if the theatre popcorn is laced with cat nip.
It’s an example of spectacle over substance. The songs are catchy, the cats swing and sway in a manner that would make Cirque du Soleil envious, but the story, such that it is, is still simply a collection of show tunes bound by theme but unconcerned with the niceties of plotting. In other words, instead of a story “Cats” is essentially a cluster of songs of introduction based on a weird, plotless collection of Eliot’s poems.
Where director Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables” worked to downplay the musical’s theatricality, “Cats” embraces it, allowing the felines to slink about the set, part ballet, part pantomime, part cat in heart. It’s big and silly, but unfortunately the high-tech veneer of the CGI costumes and sets erases much of the charm present in the more modest stage versions. One of the movie’s highlights is one stripped of (almost) all artifice. Dame Judy stares down the camera to deliver a playful “The Ad-dressing of Cats,” which has the kind of simple, absurd fun the rest of the film lacks.
There are other not-so-bad moments. Laurie Davidson’s “The Magical Mr. Mistoffelees” has a touch of, well, magic and Taylor Swift sashays convincingly through Bombalurina’s number but while the cast works hard to sell the material but the film is so unrestrained, so in search of meaning in a story that offers up religious resurrection metaphors but not much else, that I suspect audiences will make the Jellicle Choice and go see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” instead.
In the new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis Golden Globe nominee Oscar Isaac works opposite an all-star cast. From Justin Timberlake to Carey Mulligan and John Goodman there’s no shortage of star power on the marquee.
There was one co-star, however, he wasn’t looking forward to working with. In fact, he described working with a red Mackerel cat named Ulysses as “daunting.”
“I’m not afraid of cats,” he says, “but a cat put me in the hospital once. It bit me. Ninety percent of cat bites are highly infectious. The next morning I woke up with a red line going up my arm. It had gotten into my lymphatic system. I had to go to the hospital and I was there for two days. That was six years ago.
“Then you cut to the Coens and they’re like, ‘We’ve got five cats and we’re going to attach them to you and you’re going to run as fast as you can.’ It was daunting.”
In his first leading role the thirty-three year old actor, who previously had smaller parts in Sucker Punch, Drive and W.E., plays a broody folk singer in 1961 Greenwich Village. To pull off the role he had to perform many songs live on film, an experience he describes as “so incredibly joyful I have no way of communicating it.”
“I knew I could play Llewyn. I knew what was required, which was playing these amazing, beautiful old folk songs that have been passed down. So the songs are great. I’m working with [executive music producer] T-Bone [Burnett} and he’s going to tell me if I am sounding false and is building my confidence throughout and Joel and Ethan [Coen] are filming it so in a way you’d have to try really hard to f**k that up.”
Inside Llewyn Davis is garnering attention for the young actor. Recently he was on the Today show when his name was announced as a Best Actor Golden Globe nominee.
“After the segment was over I went downstairs,” he says. “Then my name came out and I was immediately escorted up the steps to get back on, in front of the cameras to get reaction before I even had a moment to possibly formulate what I would say about it. It’s such a huge thing. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I was even cast in this movie.”