I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at he need for speed in “The Flash” and the genre satire “The Blackening.”
I sit in for NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the need for speed in “The Flash,” the genre satire “The Blackening” and the new Pixar movie “Elemental.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to tie your sneakers! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the need for speed in “The Flash,” the genre satire “The Blackening” and the new Pixar movie “Elemental.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the need for speed in “The Flash,” the genre satire “The Blackening” and the new Pixar movie “Elemental.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the need for speed in “The Flash,” the new Pixar movie “Elemental” and the high tech Netflix drama “Black Mirror.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the need for speed in “The Flash,” the genre satire “The Blackening” and the new Pixar movie “Elemental.”
“The Flash,” the long-awaited DC origin story of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) a.k.a. The Flash, echoes all the all the stuff we expect from a big superhero tentpole movie. There are multiple universes, multiple superheroes and, once again, the world is in danger but it is the title character’s emotional life that sets this movie apart from the pack.
Loosely based on the “Flashpoint” comics, the movie sees Barry still grieving the death of his mother (Maribel Verdú) and his father’s (Ron Livingston) wrongful incarceration for her murder. Fueled by pain and rage, he finds a way to potentially ease his anguish when he discovers his superspeed gives him the ability to create a “chronobowl” and travel back to the day his mother was killed.
“I could save people,” he says. “I could save my mom.”
Before setting off to right the wrongs of the past, he consults with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) who warns him against messing with the fabric of time. “You could destroy everything.”
Ignoring Batman’s advice, Barry travels to the past and soon pays the price for his impulsive actions. Caught in an alternate universe where a younger version of himself doesn’t yet have superpowers—“This is my face,” his doppelganger says. “You stole my face.”—Barry soon realizes he is in uncharted territory. “This can’t be happening,” he says. “I completely broke the universe.”
Things go from bad to worse when Kryptonian supervillain General Zod (Michael Shannon) makes the scene, loaded with ill will for all of humanity. “This world must die,” he says.
Having changed the past and potentially the future, Barry teams with alternate universe Batman (Michael Keaton) and Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl (Sasha Calle) to restore order. “If I can’t undo what I did, if I can’t get back” he says, “there may not be a future.”
“The Flash” finds a balance between fan service and a story for general audiences. Origin stories can be nightmares, filled with endless exposition and scene setting, but, for the most part, director Andy Muschietti keeps things moving along. Perhaps not with his star’s superspeed, but at a good clip. You don’t need a roadmap to follow the multiverse aspect, so ever-present in superhero movies nowadays, and Barry’s personal story is both entertaining and emotional.
Part of that is the casting. Miller is wonderfully cast as the title character. He brings both a well-defined silliness and deep inner life to his dual portrayal of Barry as both an adult and a teenager. I can’t tell whether a crack he delivers early on to a victim of a large scale disaster—”You should seek the help of a mental professional,” he says. “The Justice League is not very good at that… trust me.”—is meta, given Miller’s recent, very public issues, or if it is wildly inappropriate. Either way, it is the film’s only reference to Miller’s well-reported off-screen behavior, and a rare misstep in the film’s carefully crafted first half.
It’s when the movie becomes larger and louder that it loses some of its charm. The appearance of Zod, complete with some dodgy CGI, raises the stakes but shifts focus from the film’s heart and soul, which is Barry’s quest to save his mother. The big showdown is a staple in superhero movies, but “The Flash” works best when it is character driven. In this case, bigger is not always better.
Oversized or not, “The Flash” is entertaining with nice little details, like how Barry has to eat high calorie food to fuel his superspeed and a wild baby shower. Literally, a shower of babies falling from the sky. As a buddy movie—Barry and Barry are an odd couple of a sort—it gets dark without surrendering to the ennui that has cast its shade over so many of the other DC movies.
The result is a film that provides action, warmth and nostalgia—It’s worth the price of admission to hear Keaton say, “Yup. I’m Batman.”—and a few genuine surprises (NO SPOILERS HERE!).