Posts Tagged ‘David McCallum’


Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 9.50.02 AMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Man from UNCLE,” and “I Am Chris Farley” with Nneka Elliot.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.16.18 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Man from UNCLE,” and “I Am Chris Farley.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 9.39.16 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” interview with “Man from UNCLE” stars Henry Cavill and Army Hammer. They discuss their characters, accents and starting with a “blank canvas.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro Canada: Say U.N.C.L.E. – Being charismatic with fake accents

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.22.10 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Claridge’s Hotel in London is the kind of place you might expect a secret agent to call home. An unassuming entranceway leads into an opulent lobby with lots of quiet corners perfect for clandestine meetings. It’s the kind of place where Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin could do highly classified business over a martini, shaken or stirred. So, it’s appropriate I’m meeting Henry Cavill and Army Hammer here. They’re the stars of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboot and the latest actors, after Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, to play super spies Solo and Kuriatkin.

The TV show, which was equal parts camp and classic action, ran from 1964 to 68, made stars of its leads and established high-flying spy cool for a generation of television watchers. Cavill, who plays the suave Solo, however, says he has never seen the show.

“I prefer to operate as a blank canvas,” says Cavill, who will next be seen as the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “If you’re trying to make something your own you’re concentrating on the wrong thing. You should be concentrating on the story and evolving the story with your fellow actors and or director. That’s what we did.”

His co-star Hammer referred to the show to partially to craft his portrayal of the hothead KGB spy Kuryakin and partially “out of motivation of fear.”

“If I do this movie and someone asked me about the show I wanted to have an answer to give them,” he says. “I basically spent the weekend binge watching the whole show.”

He says the new movie incorporates elements of the original show, “so people who grew up with that will love and appreciate it but it is also a completely fresh take on it. That’s what we were going for, to make everybody happy.”

Like many spies (and actors who have played spies) before them, both utilized accents and costumes to disguise themselves and disappear into their roles.

Cavill, notes that the bespoke Saville Road suits he wore were the “final pieces of the puzzle” in creating the character. “The accent informs the way you physically interact with everybody and the suit the contains that.”

Hammer learned his accent listening to “old recordings of native Russian speakers trying to speak English, or barely speaking English and picking up little bits of both. At a certain point with the accent, I’d say after a week or two, it feels natural. You’re not spending your time making sure your words sound laboured. It starts to flow out as an accent.”

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: 3 STARS. “James Bond with jokes.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.30.38 PMHow to describe “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” to someone who wasn’t alive during the TV show’s mid-sixties heyday? How about James Bond with jokes? Or a less funny “Get Smart”? Perhaps as a Bizarro World CIA show that once saw the heroes prevent a stink bomb attack on Hollywood?

It was all those things and had two of the coolest character names in television history, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.

The new Guy Ritchie film, his first in four years, aims to grab the freewheeling spirit of the original show without dropping a stink bomb in theatres.

Set in 1963, it’s the origin story of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, the super secret spy organization who recruit CIA agent Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). They’re an odd couple, enemies from the opposite sides of the justice system. Solo is suave and unflappable, Kuryakin is a hothead with a sensitive side who lets his fists do the talking.

“Don’t kill your partner on your first day,” they’re warned by their superiors.

Their mission is to infiltrate and dismantle a cartel of baddies who plan on selling nuclear weapons and technology to the highest bidder. The key to cracking the case is Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), the estranged daughter of Hitler’s favourite rocket scientist. The trio set off on an assignment that will take them to exotic locations, confront glamorous villains and see the establishment of the fashionable crime fighting organization United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

The “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” reboot is ripe with double-entendres, spy lingo, Solo’s off the cuff attitude—“Damn, I left my jacket in there,” he says when a room bursts into flames killing its occupant—and cool 1960s clothes. Ritchie and cast get all that stuff right. Cavill and Vikander look as though they have stepped out of a time machine from the Cold War especially to take on these roles, but what is missing, by and large, is the wild action we expect from our spy movies.

“U.N.C.L.E.” opens with a chase scene, complete with stunts and gunfire but it doesn’t have the spark we associate with Ritchie’s work. His frenetic whiplash editing is missing in favour of a much more subdued feel. Even Kuryakin mostly beats up people off screen. Perhaps it’s a new kind of anti-action cinema that tries to put the focus on the characters instead of the fireworks.

There is an inspired sequence that puts the action in the background while Solo enjoys wine and a sandwich and watches the carnage from the safety of a stolen truck. It’s stylish, funny and hints at the tone Ritchie was trying to achieve in the rest of the movie.

On the upside, it captures 60s cool with perfectly curated clothes and set decoration. Cavill glides through this, more Roger Moore than Sean Connery, nailing the arch delivery of a 60s super spy. Hammer lays it on thick with the Russian accent but pulls off the less showy role. If Ritchie was to have Frankensteined an actress for the role of Gaby in the mould of 1960s starlets, he could not have topped Vikander as a picture perfect representation of mid-century cool. She looks like she was born to wear the oversized sunglasses and Mary Quaint frocks but she isn’t simply the romantic interest. (SPOILER ALERT) With an ending that sets up a sequel don’t be surprised if there is a “Girl from U.N.C.L.E.” in theatres soon.

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is a treat for the eyes—it looks fantastic—but will not keep you on the edge of your seat. To paraphrase head of U.N.C.L.E., Mr. Waverly (Hugh Grant), “for a special agent [movie] you aren’t having a very special day are you?”

Canada AM: Richard’s interviews with “Man from UNCLE” stars!

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.17.02 PMRichard interviews “Man from UNCLE” stars Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki on 60s fashion and playing strong characters in a male dominated genre.

Watch the whole thing HERE!




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