Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Miller’


Richard joins CP24 anchor Jee-Yun Lee to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the pure pop art blast of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the icy story of survival “Arctic.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia McMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the sensory overload of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the silly fun of “What Men Want” and the revenge flick “Cold Pursuit.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at “Cold Pursuit” and the Liam Neeson controversy, the outer space Lego adventure “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy and the supernatural comedy “What Men Want” with Taraji P. Henson with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE LEGO MOVIE: THE SECOND PART: 2 ½ STARS. “A pure pop art blast.”

My desire to see 2014’s “The Lego Movie” was on par with my wish to step on a Lego brick in my bare feet. How could a movie starring plastic, singing mini figs possibly appeal to anyone who graduated Saturday morning cartoons decades ago? But I’m a professional so I put my bias of toy story movies aside and went to the screening.

Later, as I left the theatre humming “Everything is Awesome” I was own over. Directors and co-writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had pulled off something great, they made a movie with wide appeal using the Legos as a muse to do what the bricks have always done, light imaginations on fire.

Question is, five years later will everything be awesome in the sequel “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”?

The last movie ended with the revelation that the movie’s Lego Land frenetic action had actually taken place in 8-year-old Finn’s (Jadon Sand) imagination. The new one focuses on Finn’s sister Bianca (“The Florida Project’s” Brooklyn Prince) disrupting her brother’s carefully built world of fancy with her Duplo-Block creations.

In the make-believe world Duplo aliens, led by shape-shifting villain Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) declare war on Bricksburg. Fast-forward five years. Optimistic construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Master Builder Lucy’s (Elizabeth Banks) home is now a smoking ruin called Apocalypseburg where if you show any weakness you will be destroyed. Dave is now called Chainsaw Dave and Sewer Babies live under the streets.

When Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day) and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) are kidnapped and transported to the Systar System by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) Emmet and intergalactic archaeologist / Snake Plissken look-a-like Rex Dangervest (Pratt again) set off to rescue them. “Don’t worry Lucy,” says Emmett, “everything will still be awesome.”

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is a pure pop art blast as though designed by kids. A mix of non-sequiturs, silly jokes, attention deficit editing, CPDs (Convenient Plot Devices) and music it zips along but isn’t as awesome as the original. The first film was a powerhouse of imagination and adventure. “The Second Part” has its moments—like the “Catchy Song” sequence—but feels like a dim bulb that doesn’t burn as brightly as it once did.

Like the first film the mayhem of Lego Land is tempered with real life lessons. In this case it takes an existential turn in the last third, expanding the mini fig story to shine a light on the fraught relationship between Finn and Bianca and their struggle to find a way to play together. When they learn to be kind and tolerant of one another their lives improve, as do those of their plastic figures.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’s” convoluted third reel paints the screen with too much frenetic CGI action but maintains the lesson of the first film, that NOT putting away childish things, like Lego blocks, is the key to making everything awesome, no matter what age. That the message doesn’t feel like a commercial for the brightly coloured blocks is a pleasant plus even if the movie feels like diminished returns.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the pure pop art blast of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the Liam Neeson controversy.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S “CANADA AM” REVIEWS FOR Feb. 07, 2014 W/ Marci Ien.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 4.13.31 PMCanada AM’s film critic Richard Crouse shares his reviews for ‘The Monument Men’ and ‘The Lego Movie.’

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE LEGO MOVIE: 4 ½ STARS. “way weirder than H.R. Pufnstuf!”

lego_a“The Lego Movie” is possibly the weirdest, most psychedelic kid’s entertainment since “H.R. Pufnstuf.”

Released by a big corporation—Warner Bros—and based on one of the world’s most popular toys, it manages to feel as though a kid who threw away his Lego kit’s instructions and snapped the blocks together in random, fun ways made it.

When we arrive at the Lego universe it is ruled by the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), a tyrant obsessed with perfection and conformity. In his world the radio pumps out perfect pop sings like “Everything is Awesome,” and a group of robotic  “micro-managers” ensures that everything is just so.

To guarantee the world he has created from interlocking bricks stays just the way he wants it, he has a plan to spray the entire thing—Lego people and all—with Kraggle, a super glue that will permanently paste everything it touches into Lord Business’s idea of excellence.

When Emmet (Chris Pratt), a Lego figure who was invisible in life, stumbles across the “piece of resistance” he becomes The Special, the greatest Master Builder in the universe, jopining a group that includes Batman (Will Arnett), a pirate named Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte), Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) and Green Lantern (Jonah Hill).

With the help of the Master Builders, a loopy wizard named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) a tough young woman with a sensitive side, Emmet must break free of the chains of conformity and defeat Lord Business.

The first thing you notice about “The Lego Movie” is the look. It’s computer-animated but looks like stop-motion. The film’s handmade composition isn’t slick, but it is playful, which is a perfect compliment to its Lego origins. (It should be noted, however, that the movie in no way plays like a commercial for the toys.) From the crude Lego flames to the awkward way the characters move, the movie is completely consistent in its vision of a Lego world.

The second thing you’ll notice is how off the wall the story is. It’s not just off-the-wall, it’s off-the-planet. Directors and co-writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have taken the movie’s credo of battling against conformity to heart and made a big budget studio movie that bends all the rules. At its heart it’s a simple hero journey, a primal story about good against evil, but frenetic storytelling and inventive twists in almost every scene add a richness that belies its humble toy story origins.

It may be a bit too hectic at times—blame video game influence for that—and a titch too long for little ones with short attention spans, but the overriding message of dancing to your own beat combined with an unexpected and touching live-action section make “The Lego Movie” far more than an exercise in nostalgia for parents who grew up creating worlds from little plastic blocks or a way to sell more toys to a new audience. Instead it’s a wildly entertaining movie that uses the toys as a muse, and does what the toys have always done, light imaginations on fire.