Richard joins Ryan Doyle and guest host Tamara Cherry of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show to talk about Squirt soda and the origin of the tequila-based cocktail the Paloma, and some movies to watch on the weekend, including “Black Widow” and “No Sudden Move.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
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 “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Marvel family drama “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
If you were to make a Venn diagram of “Black Widow,” now on Disney+ with premium access, and the recent animated film “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” you’d be surprised by the overlap. Both movies are about estranged families coming together and siblings finding a path forward after years of bitter feelings. One is much louder than the other, but underneath it all they are both all about family. “I chose to go west and become an Avenger,” Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) says. “They treated me like family.”
The story begins with a flashback.
It’s 1995 and sisters Natasha (played as a child by Ever Anderson) and Yelena (Violet McGraw) are separated from their Soviet sleeper cell family in Ohio. Removed from their undercover agent parents, scientist mother Melina (Rachel Weisz) and super-soldier father Alexei (David Harbour), they are placed under the supervision of evil Soviet General Dreykov (Ray Winston) in a training camp called the Red Room where they are brainwashed and taught the deadly ways of the Widows.
Jump forward twenty-one years to the gap between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and “Infinity War.” Natasha (Johansson) is cut loose from her Avengers pals after breaking the Sokovia Accords. The superhero clan have gotten “divorced,” and Natasha is hiding out in Norway. When she is attacked by Dreykov’s bodyguard, the mysterious Taskmaster, she reunites with her estranged “family” to take on the Russian general.
“Black Widow,” the first Marvel Cinematic Universe solo outing for Johansson’s character, has spent a year bouncing around the pandemic release schedule and brings with it high expectations from fans.
Directed by Cate Shortland, Romanoff’s convoluted backstory is handled in a fairly straightforward way, part Marvel, part “The Americans.” The movie does offer up a fair amount of fan service but still provides eye-scorching action and basic, relatable themes of the importance of family and responsibility for the casual viewer.
Despite the wild CGI action and Jason Bourne style one-on-one combat, the film feels more grounded than most other Marvel movies. Perhaps it’s because Natasha and Yelena (Florence Pugh) don’t have super powers (although they are VERY resilient) or perhaps it’s because the story details the dysfunctional, tragic past that put Natasha on the road to becoming an assassin or maybe it’s because the villain Dreykov barely makes an impression, but the usual stakes—saving the world—take a backseat to more personal concerns.
“Black Widow” is a swansong for Natasha. The character jumped off a cliff in “Avengers: Endgame,” sacrificing herself so her superhero buddies could acquire the Soul Stone and help defeat genocidal warlord Thanos. Johansson sends her off with a suitably steely yet vulnerable performance, and when she isn’t running, jumping, punching or shooting, she brings some real humanity to the quieter scenes.
Pugh and Harbour bring some much-welcomed levity, the former as the eye-rolling sarcastic younger sister, the latter as the insecure wannabe super soldier who is just a bit too concerned about his legacy. Their bickering and subtle character touches help add life to the family vibe so important to the story the movie is trying to tell.
Like so many of the Marvel films, near the end “Black Widow” succumbs to overkill, noise and frenetic CGI action scenes. The family is united, à la “The Boss Baby” but the onscreen fireworks overwhelm the compelling family story that lies at the heart of Natasha’s journey.
“No Sudden Move,” a new Steven Soderbergh film starring Don Cheadle and Benicio del Toro and now playing on Crave, is a film noir that gets lost in its knotty plot, but is kept on track by a top-notch cast.
Set in 1954 Detroit, the action begins with Jones, a shady character played by Brendan Fraser, recruiting three low level criminals, Curt (Cheadle), Ronald (del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin), for a job that pays too much to be as easy as he says it will be. They all agree, just so long as someone named Frank (Ray Liotta) won’t be involved.
Their job is to invade General Motors accountant Matt Wertz’s (David Harbour) home, keep his family quiet for an hour while he retrieves a document from his boss’s safe.
Sounds simple, but this is Detroit in 1954. Industrial espionage between the Big Three car companies is a dangerous game, and, of course, Frank is involved. “Everybody has a problem with Frank these days.”
As things spin out of control, greed kicks in and the fast cash the small-time criminals hoped to make causes big time problems.
Soderbergh immerses his characters and the viewer in a world that where secrets propel the action. No one is who they seem and motives are even murkier. It makes for a twisty-turny story that is part crime story, part social history of the spark that ignited the slow decline of Detroit.
To add to the disorientation, Soderbergh shoots the action through a fish eye lens that blurs the edges of the screen, mimicking the script’s moral fog.
“No Sudden Move” almost bites off more than it can chew. It’s occasionally clunky, with too many double-crosses and characters vying for screen time, but the star-studded cast cuts through the script’s noise with ease. The result is a caper that flier by, buoyed by surprises (including a big-name uncredited cameo), snappy dialogue and a great debt to Elmore Leonard.
Richard sat down with “Hellboy” star David Harbour to talk about how he prepared to play Big Red.
“Because the [Hellboy] outfit is so extraordinary, the latex mask and the body is so big, I needed something to rehearse in. They can’t apply it [for rehearsal] because it requires however many thousand dollars a day to apply that makeup. So I went to Paragon Sports in New York and made myself this homemade Hellboy outfit. I bought a wetsuit and all this hockey padding. I sewed together two big catcher shin guard things and put a hockey glove on the end of it. Then I got a wig, put some coffee cup holders for my horns, and put little weights on my face so that I could feel the tension that. It was a whole sports rig.”