Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Pauline Chan about television and movies to watch this weekend including “Industry,” a look at the world of high finance on Crave, the World War II drama “The Liberators” on Netflix and Disney+’s “LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at david Fincher’s Hollywood biopic “Mank,” now in theatres, the Disney+ Christmas movie “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special,” “Sound of Metal,” the new film from “Rogue One’s” Riz Ahmed and the family drama “Rustic Oracle,” now on VOD.
When I recently spoke with Anthony Daniels, the “Star Wars” legend who has played C-3PO for almost fifty years, I let two bad words escape my mouth. “You said the two horror words in the English language: ‘holiday special,’” he said with a laugh. “It remains one of the most shocking, undignified pieces of non-entertainment. Something so abusive of the basic premise of ‘Star Wars.’”
To be clear, he was talking about “The Star Wars Holiday Special,” not the new “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special,” a new animated movie now playing on Disney+, but his reaction speaks to the legend of the 1978 Christmas show. It’s been called “the worst two hours of television ever.” It’s so cringy Nathan Rabin wrote, “I’m not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine.”
Against that intergalactically awful backdrop comes a new special that shares nothing with the original save for the “Star Wars” DNA and the celebration of Life Day.
Chronologically placed after the events of “Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker,” as the film begins ‘twas the night before Life Day, in a galaxy far, far away. Jedi Rey and roly-poly robot BB-8 are on a journey to Kashyyyk, the tropical, forested Wookiee home world in a quest for a deeper understanding of the Force.
Back at the Millennium Falcon preparations are underway for the Wookiee festival of Life Day celebrations as Rey is diverted, thrown off course by a key that unlocks the galaxy’s past. Travelling across space and time, she goes on an intergalactic adventure that puts her in contact with many of “Star Wars’” most beloved and villainous characters.
Question is, will she make it home to celebrate the most important day on the Wookiee calendar with her pals?
If you are going to riff off one of the silliest shows of all time, you should be at least sorta silly. The bland humour of “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” doesn’t compare in any way to the inventive, anarchic spirit or the frenetic storytelling of the big-screen LEGO movies. Those movies break the rules, whereas “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” feels tame, afraid to take chances in the melding of two beloved franchises. It often seems like an excuse to take threadbare holiday themes of the importance of family and finding the true spirit of the season and moulding them around familiar characters.
The good news is “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” is a step up from “The Star Wars Holiday Special.” But, then again, almost everything is. See the above comment from Anthony Daniels. Other than some silly Dark Side moments, it feels like a franchise unwilling to really let go and have some fun. It needs a touch more “What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?)” and touch less of playing it safe.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Christopher Nolan head scratcher “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Christopher Nolan mind bender “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe” the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Christopher Nolan mind bender “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the wrestling doc “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
For the uninitiated “Phineas and Ferb,” the animated Disney Channel show which ran from 2007 to 2015, was a kind of kid-friendly version of “The Simpsons” that saw suburban stepbrothers have fun on their summer vacation. After over one hundred television adventures and a 2011 movie trip to the second dimension what is left to do with these two cartoon kids in “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” now on Disney+?
As on the TV show, older sister Candace (voice of Ashley Tisdale) is feeling put upon and underappreciated by her brothers. Even her complaints to her parents fall on deaf ears. “Every day you call me to tell me that Phineas and Ferb have built some unbelievable thing,” says mom (Caroline Rhea), “and every day I come home to find nothing there. Doesn’t it exhaust you? It exhausts me.” When she is abducted by aliens and taken to another planet the enterprising brothers (voices of Vincent Martella and David Errigo Jr. respectively) jet off into space to rescue her.
Trouble is, she doesn’t need rescuing. The aliens treat her better than her family did—they call her The Chosen One—and she’s having fun… until she learns the truth of her new alien friends. “I used to think the universe was against me,” Candace says, “but now I realize it’s me against the universe.”
“Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe” reunites the original creative team– creators/executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh—and most of the television cast. New comers include comedian Ali Wong as Super Super Big Doctor, improv king Wayne Brady as Stapler Fist and actor Diedrich Bader. The result is a movie that feels like a continuation rather than a reboot of the series, complete with new, fun songs by guest songwriters like Karey Kirkpatrick of the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.
The movie is definitely aimed at kids, from the broad humour to the bright colours, the wild action and good messages—“You may not be the Chosen One,” Phineas and Ferb tell her, “but we choose you as a sister every time.”—but it doesn’t talk down to its audience. It’s smart, funny and there’s even stuff in there the parents will enjoy.