Posts Tagged ‘Danny Trejo’


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family adventure of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and the Casey Affleck drama :Light of My Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the live action “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” the mildly scary “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family drama “Luce” and the mob tale “The Kitchen” with CFRA morning show guest host Matt Harris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks two kid-friendly flicks, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and the intense family drama “Luce.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD: 3 ½ STARS. “old-school family adventure film.”

For most parents reading this Dora the Explorer needs no introduction. The animated Latina superstar has a level of preschooler fame that has inspired a cottage industry that includes three dozen foreign language adaptations, books, play kitchens, cosmetics, hygiene products and anything else on which you can slap Dora’s adorable image. Nineteen years after her TV debut Dora makes the leap to the big screen in the live-action family-adventure “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.”

“Instant Family’s” Isabela Moner plays the explorer, an intrepid youngster who grew up in the jungles of South America with her archaeology professor parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria).

As her parents are on the cusp of their greatest discovery, the lost Incan city of Parapata, said to contain more gold than the rest of the world combined, the homeschooled adventurer is sent off to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and high school in Los Angeles. “I think it would be good for you to be out in the world, around kids your own age,” her mother says.

She’s rather be trekking through the jungles of Peru with her folks and sassy little monkey Boots (voice of Danny Trejo), but a much different adventure, involving mean-spirited teenagers who nickname her Dorka and metal detectors, awaits her in California. “I never felt lonely when I was alone in the jungle,” she says, “but now surrounded by kids I feel alone.”

When her parents disappear Dora, Diego and two schoolmates are kidnapped by some terrible people who want the kids to trek through the jungle, (“You have nothing to be scared of. The trouble is perfectly safe. Just don’t touch anything or agree it’s too deep.”) track down the parents and the location of the riches of Parapata.

A great deal of humour comes from Dora’s naïve approach to school life. “I hope this is a wild goose chase,” her class’s mean girl Sammy (Madeleine Madden). “I hope it is,” Dora replies. “I love chasing wild geese until I catch one. They are nasty.” It’s good situational humour that sets up Dora’s intelligence—the fourth wall lessons from the television show are also firmly in place. “Can you say neurotoxicity?”—her social ineptness and the character’s guilelessness.

The fast-paced film is part message movie featuring life lessons about how anything is possible if you believe in yourself how to do a poo hole in the jungle (“I tell you this to make you wiser,” Dora sings, “and because it’s natural fertilizer.”), part “Scooby-Doo style adventure. There’s even a trippy hallucination scene that pays direct homage to the movie’s cartoon roots.

Like the main character “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is relentlessly upbeat, brought to live-action with fun, performances that, while broad, still have heart. It’s both an updating of thr popular character and a throwback to old-school family adventure films.


screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-30-19-pmRichard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the star-studded “The Magnificent Seven,” the inspirational “Queen of Katwe,” and “Storks,” an animated film for kids.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-29-04-pmRichard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the star-studded “The Magnificent Seven,” the inspirational “Queen of Katwe,” and “Storks,” an animated film for kids.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

STORKS: 2 STARS. “has promise but never really delivers the goods.”

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-5-49-47-pmBeing an only child has its benefits. You don’t have to share clothes or wait in line for the bathroom, but Nate Gardner (voice of Anton Starkman) is lonely and one day announces to his busy parents, “I’ve decided I want a baby brother.”

To speed the process along the youngster writes a letter to the folks at Stork Mountain. “Dear Stork Delivery Service,” he writes, “Our son really deserves a baby brother. P.S. He has to have ninja skills. Signed adult parents Perry and Sarah Gardner… adults, not Nate.”

What Nate doesn’t know is that Stork Mountain head honcho Hunter (voice of Kelsey Grammer), a white stork and the executive CEO of, dropped babies years ago in favour of picking up packages. Why did they stop? Because there are other ways to get babies.

With huge profits rolling in the CEO offers the company’s top job to Junior (Andy Samberg). With over 1 million deliveries under his beak, he’s their best stork, but the new job it comes with a caveat. Junior must fire the company’s lone human employee, Orphan Tulip (Katie Crown), but the brash-but-kindhearted bird can’t bring himself to let her go. Instead he assigns her to the least used department in the company, the Letter Sorting Department.

Tulip intercepts Nate’s letter and accidentally feeds it into the Rube Goldberg-esque Baby Making Machine—literally a machine that makes babies, and not… well, you know what you were thinking—and through the science of baby making transforms the note from pen and ink to an adorable baby girl

Trouble is, Junior has never delivered a baby and doesn’t know what to do with the unauthorized child. He knows he must do something before Hunter gets wind of the kid. With a wounded wing Junior has no choice but to take Tulip along as they begin a wild adventure to unite the child with Nate and his parents. “If I can deliver this by Monday I can still be made boss,” says Junior.

“Storks” never quite takes flight. A manic mix of action-adventure and kid’s humour, it often feels padded by cut-a-ways and musical numbers and never met a gag it can’t run into the ground with repetition. There are several stand-out moments, like a silent battle between storks and penguins, kept quiet so as not to wake the baby and the ever-morphing Wolf Pack, who can change Transformers style into anything from bridges to submarines, but everything else is over-amped and loud with a side of sentimentality thrown in.

Samberg is perfectly cast as the brash but not-so-bright lead character and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele provide funny and interesting voices to the Wolf Pack leaders but most of the voices are as undistinguished as the story.

“Storks” has promise but never really delivers the goods.

MACHETE KILLS: 2 STARS “pays tribute to el cheapo grindhouse flicks.”

680x478In “Machete Kills,” the further adventures of Robert Rodriguez’s titular vengeance seeking ex-Mexican federale, the director comes up with new ways to cut a person in half. For the first time (in my memory anyway) a human being is bisected down the middle from cranium to crotch.

Unfortunately it’s the only new idea in a movie that slavishly pays tribute to el cheapo grindhouse flicks.

Danny Trejo is back and badder-than-ever as Machete. The man with the deadly machete is on the biggest caper of his career. Recruited by the President of the United States (Carlos Estevez)—with the lure of a green card—his mission is to find Marcos “the Madman” Mendes (Demian Bichir), a mentally unstable man turned terrorist who lives in an Aztec ruin along with a private army and a rocket aimed at Washington. “You know Mexico,” POTUS says to our hero. “Hell, you are Mexico!”

The trail to Mendes is littered with colourful characters, including a “man eating” madame (Sofía Vergara), a mysterious bounty hunter called El Cameleón (no spoilers here!) and billionaire arms dealer Luther Voz (Mel Gibson).

“Machete Kills” echoes the arch performances, over-the-top violence and cheeseball dialogue off the grainy old grindhouse movies that inspired Rodriguez in the first place. He nails the look and feel of those not-so-classic films—although he relies a bit too heavily on computer-generated gore over good old-fashioned special effects—but this time out he misses the spirit that made them great. I guess it’s harder to make a good bad movie than I thought.

It starts strong with a wild action sequence jammed with spraying splatter and gory gags. Stretch that out to a tight eighty-five minutes and “Machete Kills” would have been a fun guilty pleasure Saturday afternoon matinee. At one-hour-and-forty-five minutes, however, it feels drawn out, filled with scenes that seem to exist only to wedge another celebrity cameo into the story.

Trejo oozes grindhouse cool, but the movie itself commits an exploitation film sin—it’s dull. Scenes lumber along, blandly bereft of wit. Worse, the kitsch value that made “Grindhouse” and the first “Machete” movie so much fun is almost completely absent.

The movie begins with a grainy fake trailer for “Machete Kills Again… In Space,” the proposed third part of the saga. It’s a campy throwback to a simpler time and it’s a bit of fun. But at 2 minutes it also hammers home the point that a little Machete goes a long way.