Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
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 the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
If “All My Life,” a new tearjerker starring Jessica Rothe and now playing in theatres, wasn’t based on the real life story of a Toronto couple, it would be the kind of story Nicholas Sparks would write.
Jennifer (Rothe) and Solomon (Harry Shum Jr.) are a cute couple who meet-cute in a bar and seem destined to live a cute happily ever after. They like the same kind of cheesy 80s rock, they laugh and giggle while jumping into water fountains and say things like, “I didn’t know how much I could actually love before I met you,” to one another.
But keep in mind, this isn’t a rom com. It’s a romantic drama in à la Sparks, so I’ll stop using the word cute now.
There’s nothing cute (whoops) about Sol’s diagnoses of terminal liver cancer. Their plans for a December wedding on hold, their friends raise money and give them the day of their dreams as Sol’s health worsens.
“All My Life” is a three or four hanky movie where everything you think will happen, happens. But what it lacks in innovation, it makes up for with a certain kind of comfortable predictability. You’ve heard the dialogue before—”You make me feel Like I can do anything. Like we can do anything.”—and the group of BFFs are the usual kind of misfits who could have wandered in from any number of other teen dramas but when the movie focusses on the leads, Rothe and Shum Jr., it becomes less about cliches and more about the heart of the story.
The pair share a number of scenes that drive home the direness of the situation. Strongest is a heartfelt discussion about their future plans that closes with, “I am not your widow, I am your bride,” a message of true love that makes up for the manipulation of the earlier scenes.
“All My Life” is sugary enough to give you a cavity, but in its better moments it is a reminder to embrace life and roll with the punches, no matter what happens.
“Pitch Perfect 2” is perfect for two groups, Anna Kendrick fans and people who have already worn out their “Glee” DVDs and need another fix of footstompin’ vocal pop songs. The follow-up to the popular 2012 film is sillier than the original but should keep toes tapping and audience’s laughing.
The acapella bellas of the first movie begin the story as the reigning national champions of unaccompanied singing. They are, as an acapella commentator (John Michael Higgins) says, “An inspiration to girls all over the country too ugly to be cheerleaders.” Their career takes a nosedive as they perform at the Kennedy Centre in celebration of President Obama’s birthday. In an extreme wardrobe malfunction the Australian member, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), gives POTUS “a gift from down under” when she accidentally goes commando on stage.
Barred from competing in national singing contests and events—“Whose going to sing at the Puppy Bowl?” they wonder—the group, led by Beca (Kendrick), decide to go international for their final performance before graduation. Signing up for the world championships in Copenhagen they understand they are taking several risks. First, “No American team has ever won because they hate us,” they’re told, “The whole world hates us.” Secondly, they’re up against some stiff competition in the form of the German Das Sound Machine, a Teutonic terror of choir singers who vow to destroy the Bardem Belles.
“Pitch Perfect 2” is about underdogs, female bonding, coming of age and overcoming fear.
What am I saying? It’s actually only about as deep as a lunch tray, with only the barest of story to hold the characters together. The stars (Ester Dean, Shelley Regner, Kelley Jakle, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Chrissie Fit and Hailee Steinfeld) sing, dance, do slapstick and tell mildly raunchy jokes. It’s a summer movie that is relatively unconcerned with coherency and more concerned with spending time with likeable actors as they warble their way through the script.
Director Elizabeth Banks (yes, that Elizabeth Banks, who also appears as a sarcastic acapella podcaster) keeps “Pitch Perfect 2” nimble on it’s feet, adding laughs with funny cameos from Snoop Dogg and Keegan-Michael Key and keeping the pace in two-four time. Picking on the movie’s odd construction—the villains, Das Sound Machine, disappear for half-an-hour and a subplot involving a Beca’s career choice is wrapped up a bit too quickly—seems harsh when the film has this much of a feel good vibe.