Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” the Disney+ education program “Weird But True,” “Let Him Go,” the Kevin Costner movie, now playing in theatres, the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer.”
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 the Kevin Costner family drama “Let Him Go” (in theatres), the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer” (streaming), the noir-ish “The Kid Detective” (Theatrical) and the minor-key “Major Arcana” (VOD).
The last time we saw Kevin Costner and Diane Lane paired up on screen they were Jonathan and Martha Kent, adoptive parents of Clark “Superman” Kent. Once again, they are parents who suffer a loss, but their kryptonite, the thing that makes them weak, isn’t a Krypton crystal but a grandson named Jimmy.
In the early moments of “Let Him Go,” now playing in theatres, Margaret and George Blackledge (Lane and Costner) suffer an unimaginable loss when their son is killed while riding horseback on their Montana ranch. Left behind are grandson Jimmy (played by Bram Hornung and Otto Hornung) and daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter).
Life goes on and several years later Lorna remarries, tying the knot with Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), a terse, violent man who doesn’t invite any family to the wedding. Days later Margaret’s suspicions are raised when she sees Donnie bullying Jimmy and hitting Lorna in public. The next day, stopping by to do a wellness check—with a freshly baked Bundt cake in hand—she discovers that Donnie, without saying a word, relocates Lorna and Jimmy to North Dakota.
Determined to find out where they are and why they left, Margaret packs up the car, and after some discussion, convinces George, a retired sheriff, to come along.
Their investigation reveals the Weboy clan to be a badlands crime family, run by powerful matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). It was Blanche who ordered Donnie to come home and now that the family is reunited, including Lorna and Jimmy, the Blackledges discover she will use any means necessary to keep the fam together.
“Let Him Go” is a love story disguised as a crime drama. Margaret and George’s relationship has a comfortable, lived-in vibe but their love for Jimmy is the engine that drives the story. We don’t get to know the youngster but without him and a grandparent’s love, and to a lesser degree, Blanche’s twisted love for her family, there is no story.
Director Thomas Bezucha, who also wrote the script based on Larry Watson’s novel of the same name, takes his time laying the groundwork leading up to the explosive climax. The slow pace echoes the speed of life in mid-1950s Montana but, in the movie’s first half, tests the limits of the audience’s patience. The malevolent menace projected by Blanche brings the movie to a simmer but it takes too long to come to a full boil.
Costner and Lane bring an authenticity to their performances that make them completely believable as a couple of 40 years and later, when things heat up, a partnership who can get the job done. Costner has aged out of being an action star but he does something different here. He’s older and more physically vulnerable, but his years of experience as a lawman give George gravitas when he needs it.
“Let Him Go” has interesting elements, beautiful landscape photography and some well-rounded characters you can get behind—and others you may enjoy hating—but the story tangents and leisurely pacing blunt the effectiveness of the storytelling.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Matthew McConaughey neo-strangeness “Serenity,” the Arthurian adventure for children “The Kid Who Would Be King” and the Oscar nominated “Cold War.”
Richard has a look at looks at the mind-bending Matthew McConaughey film “Serenity,” the Arthurian adventure for children “The Kid Who Would Be King” and the Oscar nominated “Cold War” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the Matthew McConaughey head-scratcher “Serenity,” the Arthurian adventure for children “The Kid Who Would Be King” and the Oscar nominated “Cold War.”
People who complain trailers give away too much or that movies have become predictable may find something to keep them guessing in “Serenity,” the strange new Matthew McConaughey thriller. Or is it a metaphysical drama? Or should I call it a new age noir? I honestly don’t know what to file this under. However you classify it, this weird film will keep you guessing for better and for worse. Strange days indeed.
McConaughey is Baker Dill, the broke, headstrong owner of a boat for hire in the crystal clear waters surrounding the remote Plymouth Island. “In Plymouth everyone knows everything,” says Reid Miller (Jeremy Strong). “Except what’s going on,” drawls Dill.
He’s a Captain Ahab type, minus the prosthetic leg made out of whalebone, and obsessed with hooking and reeling in a giant tuna he calls Justice. Everyone on the tiny island knows of his obsession. Even the local radio announcer broadcasts, “It’s a perfect day to go out and catch that damn fish,“ during his weather update.
He’s a haunted man, troubled by the carnage he witnessed in Iraq and the family, wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) and son Patrick (Rafael Sayegh), he lost to divorce. When Karen reappears with a job offer it sends him into a tailspin. “I’m here to tell you that you were right and I was wrong about Frank,” she says about her new husband, a wealthy but abusive man played by Jason Clarke. Her deal is simple. “Take him out on your boat, let him get drunk and dump him in the ocean. Do it and I’ll give you $10 million.” Divorce is not an option she adds. “He’ll find a hole for me in one of his construction sites.“ Dill is conflicted until he hears that Frank has been violent with Patrick. Now all bets are off.
There’s more but you won’t read it here because this is about the time in “Serenity” where the story takes a left turn that would make M. Night” Shyamalan green with envy. Does it work? Not really but you have to give credit to writer-director Steven Knight for swinging for the fences. That it’s a foul ball is unfortunate because the gears shift from neo-noir to existential treatise on the fundamentals of life is the kind of risky move that we don’t see much of these days.
You don’t just see a movie like “Serenity,” you witness it.
It is one of the most baffling movies to come along in years. McConaughey is in full-blown “are-we-all-just-pawns-in-a-great-big-game?” mode while Hathaway convincing channels femme-fatale Veronica Lake. Both give heightened performances but the tone of the piece is so off kilter I can’t decide whether they are sleepwalking through this toward a paycheque or doing some edgy work.
If nothing else “Serenity” takes chances, not the kind of chances that are likely to please an audience but at least you can’t guess how it will end. Intrigued?
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the Matthew McConaughey neo-noir “Serenity,” the King Arthur adventure for children “The Kid Who Would Be King” and the Oscar nominated “Cold War.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Justice League,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Stegman is Dead.”