Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the exciting Apple TV+ war drama “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, the Netflix superhero franchise starter “The Old Guard” and the British feel good rom com “Fisherman’s Friends.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend, including the Tom Hanks war drama “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, the Netflix superhero franchise starter “The Old Guard” and the British feel good rom com “Fisherman’s Friends.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the exciting Apple TV+ war drama “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, the Netflix superhero franchise starter “The Old Guard” and the British feel good rom com “Fisherman’s Friends.”
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 exciting Apple TV+ war drama “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, the Netflix superhero franchise starter “The Old Guard” and the British feel good rom com “Fisherman’s Friends.”
Another entry in the Real-Life-Underdog-Brits-Overcoming-Adversity genre of movies—think “The Full Monty,” “Calendar Girls” and more recently “Military Wives”—“Fisherman’s Friends,” now on VOD, is a good-natured crowd pleaser with some deep laughs but no major surprises.
Daniel Mays is Danny, a “proper bigshot” London music biz executive, on a quick weekend get-a-way with some mates in Port Isaac in Cornwall. They are fish out of water in the village. The locals poke fun at their city-slicker ways, treating them like outsiders. “We have our ways down here,” Jim (James Purefoy) warns Danny, “and once you cross the River Tamar you’re not in England anymore. We’re a land apart. You get my drift, son?”
After hearing a local group of fishermen, led by Jim, Jago (David Hayman) and Leadville (Dave Johns), singing a cappella sea shanties Danny’s pals jokingly convince him that he should sign the band to a record contract. He’s skeptical at first, but there’s something about the music that speaks to his soul. But first, he has to persuade the fishermen who are suspicious of his motives. “We have no need to sell our souls for fifteen minutes of fame,” Jim tells him.
His friends can’t believe he fell for the joke. “Do you really think we’d sign a boy band with the combined age of 643?”
But, convinced the public will want to see real people with real talent communicating 500 years of naval history, Danny perseveres. “In a world saturated with manufactured pop bands,” he says, “the fishermen are a real catch.” Plus, he’s fallen for life in the village and Jim’s daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton).
The story of the band’s success is almost stranger than fiction. In real life The Fisherman’s Friends “buoy band” signed a contract with Island Records and their debut went on to become the biggest selling traditional folk album of all time. “Fisherman’s Friends” keeps the bones of the real story but amps up the big emotional moments. The highs soar and the lows have a heartfelt sentimentality. None of it quite feels like reality but by the time the end credits roll it’s clear that Port Isaac in Cornwall is a nice place to visit for 115 minutes.
“Fisherman’s Friends” is formulaic, clearly manipulative, and any sense of subtlety was clearly cut adrift around the second draft of the script but the story’s feel-good underdog story mixed with innate messages of decency and loyalty make it as refreshing as a gust of sea air in our cynical times. “We stick together down here,” Says Jago. “One and all. That’s the difference between sinking or swimming in a place like this.” A good message, even when delivered with a heavy hand.
“The Limehouse Golem” is a slice of Victorian Grand-Guignol gaslight horror that owes a debt to Jack the Ripper and to the great Hammer films of he 1960s.
London’s fog-drenched Limehouse district is in the spell of a serial killer who leaves behind mutilated bodies and cryptic messages written in his victim’s blood. The ritualistic killings are so savage, so inhuman the press presume they could only be the work of an ancient evil, the Golem.
Stumped, Scotland Yard assigns Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) to the case. Brilliant but troubled, the veteran policeman immediately starts putting clues together even though he knows his superiors think the case is unsolvable. His first break comes with the discovery of a diary of the Golem’s crimes, written in his own hand, kept in the reading room of a library. On the day of the last entry, September 24, only four men where in the reading room, music hall comedian Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), German philosopher Karl Marx, novelist George Gissing and playwright John Cree (Sam Reid).
They each become suspects but high on his list is Cree, a pompous failed playwright poisoned by his wife Elizabeth (Olivia Cooke) on the night of the last Golem murder. The Inspector is convinced she knew he was the killer and poisoned him to stop the carnage. Now he must go full Sherlock to prove that, solve the case and save Elizabeth from the gallows.
“The Limehouse Golem” is a lurid piece of work. Handsomely decked out with fine period details and sumptuous production design, it lures you in with “Masterpiece Theatre” style only to make a sharp U-turn into Hammer Horror territory. Victims are sawn into pieces, beheaded and generally ripped to pieces in ways that would make Jack the Ripper envious. It’s gory and gruesome but what it isn’t is a thriller. Despite a labyrinthine story structure—there’s more flashbacks than you can throw a dismembered head at—the good Inspector seems to be the only one who doesn’t know who the killer is.
On the plus side “The Limehouse Golem” has great performances—does Nighy ever disappoint?—and paints a vivid picture of Victorian music hall, onstage and off. The bawdy nature of the shows nicely compliments the theatrical nature of the killings, helping to create an otherworldly, weird atmosphere.
“The Limehouse Golem” isn’t much of a penny dreadful thriller—there’s too many red-herrings for that—but it does spill enough of the red stuff to satisfy fans of Victorian horror.