Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Netflix biopic “tick, tick… BOOM!,” the documentary “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” and the Tilda Swinton movie “The Souvenir Part II” in theatres.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Ron Perlman in “This Game’s Called Murder,” the Netflix musical biopic “Tick, Tick… Boom,” the documentary “Brian Wilson, Long Promised Road” and the arthouse sequel “The Souvenir Part II.”
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Angie Seth to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the wild Ron Perlman flick “This Game’s Called Murder,” the Netflix musical biopic “Tick, Tick… Boom,” the documentary “Brian Wilson, Long Promised Road” and the arthouse sequel “The Souvenir Part II.”
It’s rare to see a “Part II” on an arthouse flick title, but here we are. “The Souvenir Part II,” starring the mother and daughter duo of Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne, and now playing in theatres, picks up where 2019’s “The Souvenir’s” coming of age story left off.
In that movie, film student Julie (Byrne) falls into a life-changing relationship with an older, arrogant man named Anthony. His death from a heroin overdose sends her reeling.
The new film sees Julie attempt to process Anthony’s death by making a graduation movie as a “memorial” for her late partner. As the project moves forward, it’s apparent Julie, who didn’t know Anthony was a heroin addict, is struggling to make sense of his loss. From the beginning her idea is met with bewilderment by her professors who don’t like the script and her producing partner (Jaygann Ayeh) who grows frustrated with her choice in actors.
“The Souvenir Part II” is a quiet, meticulous film about how artists mine personal experience to create art, to find a voice. Swinton Byrne’s Julie develop into a filmmaker, an artist and person who creates her own path. It is a lovely, delicate-but-steely, natural performance that digs deep into Julie’s maturity, personal and professional. It’s a pleasure to see Swinton and Swinton Byrne interact as mother and daughter in the film. There’s an authenticity to those scenes that feels like a warm hug.
“The Souvenir Part II” is based, in part, on director Joanna Hogg’s experience, and drips with complex ideas and emotions. As Julie heals herself, the film hauntingly has one eye on her past while the other looks to her future.
The filmmaking is more about mood than straightforward storytelling. It’s as if Hogg had a question from Julie’s film school classmate Patrick (Richard Ayoade) ringing in her head as she made the film. “Did you avoid the temptation to be obvious?” he asks. She did, and the movie is better and more challenging for it.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Christopher Nolan head scratcher “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
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 Christopher Nolan mind bender “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the wrestling doc “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
I will give “The New Mutants” director Josh Boone a couple of points for attempting to push the limits of what an X-Men movie can be. The spin-off of the Marvel comics, now playing in theatres, isn’t about saving the planet or battling little green beings from outer space.
Boone mixes and matches the superheroes with psychological horror, placing people with extraordinary powers battling their own, earthbound demons. It’s a genre film, but not a memorable one. In this case, you can’t spell “generic” without “genre.”
The story centers around Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt), an indigenous teen whose entire reservation was wiped off the face of the earth by… something. For some reason she survives, only to find herself chained to a hospital bed in a mysterious facility. Enter Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), a kindly (or is she?) physician who unchains Dani and explains the situation to her. “You’re in a safe place,” the good (once again, is she?) doctor says. “Nothing can hurt you here.”
Soon she is introduced to the other inmates… er… patients. There’s Russian meanie Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), a mutant who can teleport and slice people to bits with an arm that morphs into a sword. Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams) is part human, part werewolf and can smell trouble from a mile away, while hunky Roberto da Costa (Henry Zaga) is so hot he will occasionally burst into flames. Completing the line-up is Sam Guthrie (Charlie Heaton), a southerner whose slowed down drawl hides the fact that he’s gifted with thermo-chemical energy propulsion that would make Usain Bolt look like a slow poke.
As young adults they are new to their powers, attending therapy sessions with Dr. Reyes to learn how to control their abilities.
How does Dani fit in? What are her powers? That’s what Reyes wants to find out. What will she do with that information? “This isn’t a hospital,” warns Illyana. “It’s a cage and you’re trapped in here forever.”
“The New Mutants” then becomes a guessing game as strange things start happening. Bad dreams terrorize Dani’s fellow mutants, each reliving a terrible, formative moment in their development. “We’re trapped in here with demons!” Roberto shrieks.
Boone conjures up some eerie imagery. Illyana’s slender-man wannabe ghouls are unsettling, but the idea of the manifestation of the character’s fears has been done before and done better in movies like “It.”
Eventually “The New Mutants” biodegrades into a computer-generated slog as the movie approaches the end of its 90-minute running time. Whatever character work the cast, who are actually quite good, have done to involve the viewer is undone by a series of loud episodes that favor empty spectacle over humanity.