Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Spiral,” the next chapter of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams Netflix thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window” and the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison.
“And Justice for All,” the last four words of the American Pledge of Allegiance, sum up the dynamic of “Spiral: From the Book of ‘Saw,’” the ninth instalment of the “Saw” franchise, now playing in theatres.
On one hand you have a murderer dispensing their own brand of justice; inventively slaughtering people who have broken a twisted moral code known only to the killer. For instance, a detective who has lied on the stand many times, is given the choice, provide justice by tearing out his own lying tongue, or be killed. “Live or die. Make your choice.”
Then, there are the police who must use more traditional means to enforce their brand of justice.
It might not be exactly what Congress had in mind, but in the “Saw” universe there is more than one definition of the word justice.
Chris Rock is Zeke Banks, an idealistic-but-disillusioned big city detective trying to get out from under the shadow of his father Marcus (Samuel L. Jackson), a decorated, hero cop and retired police chief. When Zeke and his partner, an eager rookie named William Shenk (Max Minghella), catch an unusual, grisly case, the game is afoot.
A new serial killer, playing from the same gamebook as the notorious villain Jigsaw, who put his victims through deadly scenarios he referred to as “games” or “tests,” is terrorizing the city’s dirty cops, looking to avenge wrongs perpetrated by the South Metro Police and “reform” the department. “A Jigsaw copycat,” says Marcus. “That could be difficult.”
As the bodies pile up Zeke suspects the killer isn’t just playing around, that he has another motive. Something personal.
After eight instalments of the “Saw” franchise, countless deadly traps and one iconic baddie, “Spiral” finds a newish way in to tell an old story. Billy the Puppet and Jigsaw are gone, as is much of the gore that splattered the screen in earlier incarnations of the series. They’ve been replaced with a timely but underdeveloped subtext regarding police corruption and the addition of humor, an element often sorely lacking from previous instalments.
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed the second, third and fourth “Saw” movies, “Spiral” is as character based as it is consequence based. Bousman, and “Jigsaw” screenwriters Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, have dialed back the grim stuff. There are still enough traps and gore to keep “Saw” purists happy—there’s a finger ripping machine and some nasty hot wax—but an increased emphasis on character raises the stakes so the gory stuff has more impact. It’s still a horror film, but Bousman structures it like a thriller, even if his reliance on flashbacks and exposition mutes some of the thrills.
There’s also loads of uninspired hard-boiled dialogue and lots of yelling but also just enough of the nasty stuff and deadly game playing to keep fans satisfied.
The spiral logo that gives the movie its name is supposed to be emblematic of change and progress, but the movie doesn’t quite live up to the symbol’s meaning. It shakes some of the dust off the old franchise without reinventing it or doing justice to it.
Richard joins CJAD morning host Andrew Carter to talk about the big entertainment stories of the day. Today Chris Rock defies the ‘No Smollett Jokes’ Rule at NAACP Image Awards, Jim Carrey’s twitter feud, “Dumbo’s” worldwide box office and The Kids in the Hall at the Canadian Screen Awards!
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Get Out,” the most original horror film to come down the road in some time, the melodramatic romance “A United Kingdom,” the zombie flick “The Girl with All the Gifts,” and the documentaries “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Dying Laughing. They also do some Oscar predictions!
You may not actually die laughing from watching the new talking head documentary “Dying Laughing” but you will get a closer look into the psyche of the people who stand on stages to make us laugh.
The premise is simple. Directors Paul Toogood and Lloyd Stanton have assembled a who’s who of comedians—Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Billy Connelly and Garry Shandling to name just a fraction of the faces represented here—to discuss what it is like to be a comic. One after the other, in front of a white screen, they tell the kind of stories about being on the road, about bombing and how to deal with hecklers that you imagine comics only share with one another in seedy hotel rooms and backstage at gigs.
Occasionally revealing—being a comedian is “too painful and difficult if it isn’t a calling,” says Shandling while Seinfeld clarifies that it isn’t audience approval he wants but audience sublimation—occasionally funny, it is more often than not occasionally repetitive. In story after story the details change—Connelly was once punched in the face in the middle of a set!—but the gist remains the same. “You’ve got to die to get good.” “The more pain you go through the better you’ll be.” Sometimes the language is quite colourful—“Bombing feels like being slapped by your dad at a BBQ.”—but it does go on longer than it should.
Judging by the off camera laughter during the interview segments this was a fun film to make. Too bad it isn’t quite as much fun to watch. A judicious editor, perhaps one a little less in love with the material probably could have cut this down to the bone, mining the interviews for new insight.