Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including some new movies on VOD including darkly comedic revenge story “Judy and Punch,” the home invasion “thriller” “Survive the Night” and the eco doc “2040.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the darkly comedic revenge story “Judy and Punch,” the Hitchschlockian thrills of “Last Moment of Clarity,” a pair of home invasion movies, “Survive the Night” and “Becky” and the eco doc “2040.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the darkly comedic revenge story “Judy and Punch,” the Hitchschlockian thrills of “Last Moment of Clarity,” a pair of home invasion movies, “Survive the Night” and “Becky” and the eco doc “2040.”
The idea of stalling for time in a bad situation makes perfect sense in real life. In “Survive the Night,” a new home invasion film now on VOD, a disgraced doctor tries to buy time to protect his family as some very bad men hold them hostage. Trouble is, it’s a movie, and his stalling techniques bring the action in this plodding thriller to a dead stop.
“One Tree Hill” star Chad Michael Murray is Rich, a doctor whose once-promising career was cut short by a malpractice suit. “I cut when I should have stitched or stitched when I should have cut,” he says. “I don’t even know!” Disgraced, he now lives on a remote farm with his parents, (Bruce Willis and Jessica Abrams), his wife (Lydia Hull) and their teenage daughter (Riley Wolfe Rach) and works at a small clinic, patching up injured farmers.
It’s there that Jamie (Shea Buckner), a low-level crook with impulse control, first sees the doc and hatches the plan to invade Rich’s home and get some much-needed medical treatment for his brother Mathias (Tyler Jon Olson). If Rich doesn’t operate, Jamie promises to fill the family with lead. Rich fears that if he operates and Matthias dies, chaos will ensue.
Cue the stall tactics.
The suspense free plot of “Survive the Night”—which should really have been titled “Survive the Night and Most of the Next Morning”—relies on characters doing unrealistic and just plain stupid things in almost every scene. If you took a drink every time Rich did something that only made his situation worse, you’d be hammered by the second act. Or, if you’re not a drinker, take a sip every time Bruce Willis looks like he’s happy to be part of this movie. You’ll be stone cold sober as the end credits run.
“Survive the Night” is the rare “thriller” where you don’t root for anyone, the heroes or villains. Even a car chase goes nowhere… literally and figuratively. It’s like a thriller made by people who have never actually seen a thriller and who based this one on stuff their friends told them about “Panic Room” and “Funny Games.”
“Left Behind” stars Nicolas Cage and sets much of the action on board a plane, but make no mistake, this isn’t “Con Air.” Instead of raising hell, Cage is playing it pious in a remake of a Kirk Cameron movie about the rapture.
Cage is Rayford Steele, husband, father, pilot and sinner. The day his daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) comes to visit he leaves on a cross-country flight to be with his mistress, flight attendant Hattie (Nicky Whelan). On board are investigative reporter Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) and a group of passengers who get the shock of their lives when some of their seatmates seemingly disappear, leaving behind only their clothes. The phenomenon has caused turmoil on ground level as well. Millions of people have vaporized; cars crash randomly, their drivers suddenly gone and chaos reigns. “If this is a weapon, it’s not from this planet!” Chloe struggles to comprehend what has happened, find her brother and mother (Lea Thompson) and try and help her father land his plane. Meanwhile in air Steele tries to calm his hysterical passengers and Buck tries to figure what the hell is going on. Or maybe that should be what in God’s name is going on.
Based on a popular book series about the rapture by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, “Left Behind” is a mainstream reboot of a successful string of Christian movies. Directed by Vic Armstrong, the legendary stunt man best known for the “Indiana Jones” movies, the new “Left Behind” has a distinct b-movie feel, with flimsy sets and bad dialogue (“Either I’m going crazy or the whole world is insane!”) but it does feature something rather remarkable—a subdued performance from Cage. Lately he’s been a practitioner of something he calls Nouveau Shamanic school of acting but here he has dialed it way down perhaps out of respect to the religious nature of the material, or perhaps he’s saving the wild stuff for “Con Air 2: This Time it’s Biblical.”