Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the family friendly “The War with Grandpa,” the hilarious “The Forty Year Old Version” on Netflix and “Percy,” the farming drama starring Christopher Walken.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
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 a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
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 kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
“Percy,” a new based-on-real-life drama from director Clark Johnson now playing in select theatres, is a David and Goliath story with a universal message of standing up for what you believe in. Christopher Walken plays septuagenarian Percy Schmeiser, a small-town farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, who refuses to be bullied by a giant agrochemical corporation.
Schmeiser and his family have been canola farmers for generations. His cash crop is planted the old-fashioned way, with “the most virile seeds” saved from previous harvests. That’s why it is a shock to be accused by agrochemical Goliath Monsanto Canada of illegally growing their patented canola seed without a license.
“There’s got to be a mistake,” Schmeiser says. “I got my own seeds.”
Determined to prove his innocence, Schmeiser hires a lawyer he can’t afford, Jackson Weaver (Zach Braff), and vows to fight back. When Monsanto legally outguns Weaver, threatening to bury the lawyer under piles of motions, along comes agricultural activist Rebecca Salcau (Christina Ricci) with a way forward. “what you are doing is heroic,” she tells him. “You should be recognized.”
“Percy” is the story of not bowing down to corporate greed. A restrained Walken leaves behind his trademarked vocal tics to bring the principled Percy to life, and Johnson keeps the focus on him. There are courtroom scenes and some legalese but this isn’t “A Few Good Men on a Farm.” It’s about a man struggling to maintain his family farm in the face of an agricultural revolution, a very real and hot button topic across North America and the world. As Percy reluctantly becomes a spokesman for the cause screenwriters Garfield Lindsay Miller and Hilary Pryor find authentic and humanistic ways to illustrate the plight of farmers like the title character. “Farmers know the land. They know their plants,” Percy says. “Monsanto knows winning and losing and profits.”
It is a classic underdog story, one designed to make your blood boil at the disregard corporations have for the little guy.
“Percy” isn’t a flashy movie, although the landscape shots of Saskatchewan’s open skies and fields are often breathtaking. Instead it’s a low-key story of the fight to maintain the integrity of the food we put in our mouths.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth discuss the family drama of “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the social commentary of “Blood Quantum” and the culinary adventure “Nose to Tail.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid” and the zombie braaiiiins of “Blood Quantum.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the guts and glory of “Blood Quantum” and the restaurant drama “Nose to Tail.”
At the bar Tammy (Felicity Huffman) is what’s known as a character. “I’m not a good person,” she says. “I’m a good time.” She’s always the life of the party, with a drink in her hand and a quip on her lips. When she’s too broke to afford booze she’s making her daughter Kathy’s (Anastasia Phillips) life miserable. Every month, when the money from her welfare cheque has run dry, Tammy goes through the same charade of marching down to the local bridge with the intention of ending it all. Kathy inevitably comes to the rescue and life goes on, repeating the cycle day in and out.
Kathy’s only respite from her mother’s lifestyle is a game of make believe she plays with her boss and old family friend, Doug (Clark Johnson). The two get dolled up, head to a fancy city bar and role play, pretending to be other, happier people. Their friendly bartender Jamie (Kristian Bruun) is in on the joke, and always goes along for the ride.
Just when it seems that Kathy is able to step away from the shadow of her mother’s influence, Tammy is diagnosed with terminal cancer. As a caregiver she’s drawn back into Tammy’s chaotic orbit but salvation may be around the corner. Television host Gordon Baker (Ali Hassan), a mix-and-match of Jerry Springer and Dr. Phil, is interested in the trashy aspects of Kathy’s story, and if she tells it well enough—with tears and all—he’s willing to make it worth her while.
“Tammy’s Always Dying” is a compelling character study anchored by remarkable performances. Huffman, almost unrecognizable as the narcissistic title character, makes sure that Tammy isn’t just a drunken spectacle, staggering through the film with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. She brings humanity to a character who could have been a foul-mouthed Foster Brooks style caricature. As Kathy, Phillips finds the balance between heartfelt love for her mother and hatred for the way she has been treated. It’s a tricky balance but Phillips finds it in a carefully calibrated performance that generates much sympathy as Kathy carves a future for herself despite dire circumstances.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Bruun and Johnson provide a respite from the misery, giving the film two characters who try and improve Kathy’s life without controlling her.
In the hands of actor-turned-director Amy Jo Johnson (working from a script by Joanne Sarazen) “Tammy’s Always Dying” transcends poverty porn by presenting characters whose struggles feel real and fully realized. It’s a tough talking movie—“Killing herself would be the least selfish thing she’s ever done!”—that, underneath its bluster, has a tender beating heart.