Posts Tagged ‘Dane Cook’


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 3.38.24 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse shares his reviews for ‘Sex Tape’, ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue’ and ‘Boyhood.’

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 3.40.19 PM‘Canada AM’ film critic Richard Crouse shares his reviews for ‘Sex Tape’, ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue’ and ‘Boyhood.’

Watch the whole thing HERE!

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE: 2 STARS. “aerial adventure that aims to fly high.”

001pfrspistonpeakphLook! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, its Dane Cook in “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” an animated aerial adventure that aims to fly high, but instead crashes and burns.

This sequel to 2013’s “Planes” begins where the last one left off, with Dusty Crophopper (Cook) flush with success from his round the world race. He’s a champion but a mechanical malfunction is about to put an end to his racing career. His gearbox is shot and no replacement can be found. Looking to change careers, (and help save his local firehouse from being shut down), Dusty takes a crash course in wildfire air attack. “They fly in when other fly out.” Training under rugged fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) Dusty’s new skills are tested when a wildfire burns out of control.

It’s easy to see why kids love the “Planes” movies. They’re fast paced, the characters are cute-and-cuddly bigger-than-life talking machines, like Transformers for the preteen set and there are a surprising number of flatulence jokes. What’s harder to understand is what anyone over the age of 5 sees in them.

For every thing that works, like Julie Bowen’s sassy voice work as the flirty Lil’ Dipper, or bad puns that raise a smile (“Did you just fall out of a B-17? Cuz you’re the bomb…” “Oh, those pick-up trucks.”) there are many things that irk. Take for instance the monotone vocalizations of star Dane Cook who sounds even more bored by the story than I was or the musical montages that pad out the scant 75 minute running time.

Despite the action scenes, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” doesn’t feel like a big screen must see. The conquering adversity messaging is worthy enough, but the direct-to-DVD story never takes flight.


good_luck_chuck02Romantic comedies are the most reliably predictable form of movie entertainment. The template for many 21st century rom coms goes something like this: Boy meets girl. Boy loses Girl. Boy realizes the error of his ways and runs through a busy airport to win back the heart of his soul mate who is about to start a new life elsewhere. We’ve seen it a thousand times and usually know how the movie will end before it even starts, so the challenge for filmmakers is to keep the journey interesting. How the lovers wind up together is as important as why.

Good Luck Chuck follows the formula to a tee—everything except the interesting journey part.

Internet comedy sensation Dane Cook plays Chuck, who as a youngster refused to kiss a Siouxsie Sioux wannabe during a hot-and-heavy game of spin the bottle. Hurt and embarrassed she placed a hex on him. To paraphrase—for a ten-year-old she has a pretty good sense of the dramatic—she says that every woman he sleeps with will dump him and marry the next man they meet. Twenty years later the curse seems to have taken hold. He’s a rich, successful, but single dentist who exists on a diet of casual sex with women who ditch him and immediately fall into the arms of Mr. Right. When he meets Cam Wexler (Jessica Alba) a beautiful but clumsy penguin trainer (I’m not kidding) he realizes how empty his life of one-night-stands has been. He loves her, but is convinced that if he consummates the relationship he’ll lose her to another man.

Unlike Knocked Up from earlier this year Good Luck Chuck doesn’t have one moment in it that rings true. Everything in this movie is contrived, from the premise to the silly attitude of the film that women are so desperate to find a man that they would debase themselves with Chuck on the off-chance that a tryst with him could lead to nuptial bliss to the dull leading actors.

None of it connects and at the base of it there is no humanity here. Cook and Alba lack on-screen chemistry and are blander than plain oatmeal. Because no sparks fly between them it’s hard to buy into the love story and with no believable romantic moments it’s not quite a romance and with no laughs—you know you’re in trouble when the characters on screen are laughing more than the audience—it’s not really a comedy.

So what is it then? At best it is a chance for teenage boys to ogle some gratuitously topless women. At worst it is an unfunny sex farce that cries out for the deft touch of The 40 Year Old Virgin director Judd Apatow who seems to understand how to make a raunchy comedy with real heart.


Planes-Going-TheatricalLook! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Actually, it’s a lot of planes in a high-flying animated action adventure from Disney.

Like an airborne “Cars,” “Planes” sees anthropomorphized aircrafts competing in the Wings Around the World Rally. With the help of retired Navy Corsair Skippy (voice of Stacy Keach), Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a single-propeller crop duster with a fear of heights, narrowly qualifies for the race. “He can dust crops,” says an announcer, “but can he dust the competition?”

He’s an underdog, but reigning champ Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith)—“When he’s speeding, he’s leading!”—feels threatened by the new plane and will do anything to dash his high hopes.

Turbulence ensues, but Dusty, with the help of his friends and some good old-fashioned hard work and discipline, he can soar with the best of them.

Passengers! Fasten your seatbelts! Not for safety reasons, but to prevent you from falling out of your chair from boredom.

“Planes” has a definite direct-to-DVD feel about it. The aerial scenes are quite good and there are good messages about the benefits of honesty and hard work, but it doesn’t seem likely to capture young imaginations in the same way that its spiritual cousin “Cars” did a few years ago.

A dull, simple story that spends too much time on Skipper’s flying lessons and not enough on the character’s relationships characters prevents “Planes” from flying high.

Let’s hope this ends the trend of talking vehicle movies. The unholy trinity of anthropomorphized vehicles—planes, trains and automobiles—should be grounded, permanently.