Posts Tagged ‘Chris Pratt’

CTV NEWS AT 11:30: MORE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS TO STREAM THIS WEEKEND!

Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Bain about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at Chris Pine’s Amazon Prime action movie “The Tomorrow War” and the animated “The Boss Baby: Family Business”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL REVIEWS FOR JULY 2 WITH ANGIE SETH.

Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including the Alec Baldwin animated movie for kids “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” the Chris Pratt sci fi action flick “The Tomorrow War,” the crime drama “Zola,” the concert documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) and the young adult horror flick “Let Us In.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Alec Baldwin animated movie for kids “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” the Chris Pratt sci fi action flick “The Tomorrow War,” the crime drama “Zola,” the concert documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) and the young adult horror flick “Let Us In.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE TOMORROW WAR: 3 STARS. “all peaks with very few valleys.”

“The Tomorrow War,” the new Chris Pratt sci fi action film now streaming on Amazon Prime, is a unicorn. It’s a big-budget blockbuster not inspired by a comic book or video game. The story resonates with echoes of “The Terminator,” “Alien” and any number of father-daughter dramas, but while it may feel familiar, it’s a rarity, an original movie that doesn’t set itself up for a sequel.

Set in December 2022, Chris Pratt is Dan, biology teacher, Iraq War vet, husband to Emmy (Betty Gilpin) and father to young daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). One night, they’re gathered around the television watching a game when the match is interrupted by visitors from the 2052 with a “cry for help across time.”

“We are from thirty years from the future,” says the spokesperson. “We are at war and our enemy is not human. We are losing. In eleven months, all will be lost unless you help us. You are our last hope.”

The planet goes into a panic. A worldwide draft is instituted and soon Dan is enlisted to jump thirty years forward to fight an alien species, named White Spikes, he knows nothing about. The tour of duty is only seven days, but few survive. “You are not fighting for your country,” he’s told. “You’re fighting for the world.”

Dropped into the future in the middle of an alien hotspot, Dan’s military training kicks in. With the help of Col. Forester (Yvonne Strahovski), he survives but when they put their heads together, they realize the key to beating the aliens isn’t warfare, it’s science! The real solution is a poison serum that neuters the beasts. But, the question with time twisted logic is, can they make enough of it in time to stop the war before it even happens?  “We are food,” Forester says, “and they are hungry.”

I have written around a MAJOR spoiler. Time travel stories have the benefit of playing around with their character’s  timelines but you’ll hear nothing about that here. Suffice to say, Dan makes a life-changing discovery while stationed in the future and it affects everything he does from that moment onward, and I suppose, in the time that has already happened. (Time travel movies can get complicated.)

Moving on to the broad strokes.

There is a lot going on in “The Tomorrow War.” It has Marvel-style large action scenes mixed with horror—the White Spikes, and their weird gooey puke yellow blood, are plentiful and relentless—family drama—”I’m no hero,” Dan says, “I just want to save my daughter.”— and even a child genius who provides a key piece of information in the war against the aliens. Director Chris McKay and screenwriter Zach Dean jam pack every scene with something, whether it’s Pratt’s zippy one-liners or a city crumbling during an airstrike or doing battle in a cave with an angry White Spike.

It feels like all peaks with very few valleys.

To lure us in and make us care about the characters, there have to be moments where things aren’t blowing up. McKay provides some of those but Dean doesn’t give us much in the way of character arcs in those quieter moments. Things happen to the characters, constantly, but rarely is anything of consequence revealed about them. “Glow’s” Betty Gilpin, for instance, is present, and has a name, Emmy, but is given very little to do except be Dan’s wife. More character work may have given us a reason to care when bad things happen.

Having said that, there are some fun moments of over-the-top alien action. A showdown between Dan, his father (J.K. Simmons) and a seemingly indestructible White Spike is a wild ride but generic characters and the predictability of the story blunts much of the film’s excitement.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MARCH 06, 2020.

Richard and CP24 anchor Cortney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Run This Town,” Pixar’s “Onward,” the social criticism of “Sorry We Missed You” and the sports drama “The Way Back.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR MAR. 06!

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the newsy “Run This Town,” Pixar’s “Onward,” the social criticism of “Sorry We Missed You” and the sports drama “The Way Back.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Pixar’s quest flick “Onward,” the sporty you-can-never-go-home-again story “The Way Back,” the social commentary of “Sorry We Missed You” and the ripped-from-the-headlines “Run This Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW ON “ONWARD” “THE WAY BACK” AND MORE!

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 Pixar’s newest, “Onward,” the new sports drama from Ben Affleck , “The Way Back” and the new social message movie “Sorry We Missed You.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

ONWARD: 3 ½ STARS. “A mix of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and ‘Tree of Life.’”

In its first non-sequel since 2017’s “Coco” Pixar takes us to a whimsical world where strange winged creatures like The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) run theme restaurants to tell a story with a human heart.

“Spider-Man’s” Tom Holland provides the voice of Ian Lightfoot, a flannel-shirt-wearing elf who, with his blue skin, bushy hair and Converse High Tops, looks like a cross between Krist Novoselic and a Troll. His boisterous older brother Barley (Chris Pratt in a role that once would have been played by Jack Black) is more Judas Priest than Nirvana, and spends his days absorbed in a fantasy role-playing game.

They lost their father to illness years ago when the boys were young. Barley has vague memories of him but Ian doesn’t remember him at all. Dear old dad left behind a present for the guys to be opened when they were both over sixteen. “No way!” says Barley. “It’s a wizard staff. Dad was a wizard!” “No,” corrects mom (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus), “Your dad was an accountant!”

Whether Dad was an accountant or wizard doesn’t matter, the staff does have magic powers. When mixed and matched with a Visitation Spell, the right Phoenix gem and a hint of mojo, Dad will appear for one whole day. Eager to meet the man they never knew Ian and Barley start the spell, but, as Dad starts to materialize, something goes wrong and the magic gem dissolves. “Aah!” Barley says. “He’s just legs! There’s no top part. I definitely remember having a top part!”

Hoping for a do-over they set off to find another Phoenix gem. “We’ve only got twenty-four hours to bring back the rest of dad,” says Barley.

A mix of the role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” and Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” “Onward” mixes the journey genre with an absent-father story. The search for the gem is the McGuffin that keeps the action moving forward but ultimately, it’s not that important. It provides an excuse for director Dan Scanlon to stage large scale scenes involving winged fairies, giant gelatinous cubes and dragons but thematically this is more about a journey of self-discovery than search for a magic stone.

As such, “Onward” is at its best when it focusses on the relationships. Ian and Barley’s occasionally rocky but always loving bond lies at the heart of the film, but Pixar also remembers how to ratchet up the emotional content in other ways. The film’s most effective scenes are its simplest. Ian, listening to an audio tape of his late father and improvising a conversation he never got to have with the old man has the sprinkling of Pixar magic we expect from the folks that brought us stone cold classics like “Up” and “WALL-E.”

“Onward” doesn’t rank up with the very best of Pixar but few films, animated or otherwise, do. But what it lacks in storytelling innovation it makes up for in heart. The movie’s strength is in the way it handles the somber subject matter—the loss of Ian and Barley’s father—in the context of an exciting adventure filled with optimism.