Posts Tagged ‘Don DeLillo’


I speak to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 19:42)


Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to unload the dishwasher! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join 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 Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about the Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Adam Driver drama “White Noise,” the poignant and powerful “The Inspection” and the cannibal road movie “Bones and All.”

Listen tio the whole thing HERE!

WHITE NOISE: 3 STARS. “a mix of Robert Altman and ‘Family Ties.'”

Director Noah Baumbach has made idiosyncratic movies in the past like “The Squid and the Whale,” “Margot at the Wedding” and “While We’re Young.” But his new film, “White Noise,” an adaptation of the 1985 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, now playing in theatres before moving to Netflix in December, may be his quirkiest to date.

Adam Driver is Professor Jack Gladney, a middle-aged college lecturer whose life’s work is the study of Adolph Hitler’s rise to power. He is a superstar in the world of academia, and a loving father to the blended family he shares with elaborately coiffed wife Babette (Greta Gerwig). In his quiet moments, however, he is obsessed with mortality, afraid that he will outlive his wife, and be left alone.

Babette, or “Babo” as the family calls her, also has a secret. She’s been taking an experimental drug, one that makes her forgetful and furtive.

In the second of the film’s three act structure, the family’s day-to-day lives are turned upside down when a nearby railway accident unleashes a toxic cloud over their town. Forced to evacuate and take shelter from the “Airborne Toxic Event,” they hit the road, and, in new circumstances, cracks in the family structure are revealed.

The final sequence manages to both tie up loose ends while taking the story in a completely new and unexpected direction toward murder, mortality and moral turpitude.

There is much to enjoy in “White Noise.” Gerwig and Driver seem born to recite Baumbach’s dialogue, bringing dry humor to the ever-escalating situations the Gladneys find themselves in. Lines that wouldn’t necessarily read as amusing on the page are brought to life by the delivery of these two perfectly cast actors. A third act back-and-firth between them, a cleaning of the air scene, is masterfully played, poignant and peculiar at the same time.

Baumbach also nails the 1980s time period, in both style and attitude, sharpening the satire with a vintage look that could have been borrowed from any number of contemporaneous sitcoms or big screen comedies. Also, this may be the one and only movie that can cite “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Barry Lydon” as stylaistic inspirations.

The look elevates the hectic family scenes, with everyone speaking over one another, wandering in and out of frame, like a mix of Robert Altman and “Family Ties.”

But, and I wish there wasn’t a but, a lack of cohesion between the film’s three sections gives it a disjointed feel, almost as if you’re watching a trio of short films with the same cast and characters. The clear-eyed lucidity of the opening act drifts as the running time sneaks toward the end credits. Once the movie leans toward the spectacle of the “Airborne Toxic Event” it loses its way, valuing the unwieldy, bewildering consequences of Jack and Bobo’s existentialism over clarity.

There are funny, satiric, enjoyable moments and performances in “White Noise,” but the initial suburban satire loses its way, succumbing to the busy script’s white noise.

Metro: David Cronenberg continues dark meditations in Maps to the Stars

David_CronenbergBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Hollywood loves pointing the camera on itself but not since The Player has the selfie provided such a wonderfully sadistic portrait of Tinsel Town. At the centre of David Cronenberg’s film is a Hollywood family — played by John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Evan Bird. Orbiting them are a former big name actress (Julianne Moore) and a burn victim (Mia Wasikowska), whose presence threatens to expose closely guarded secrets. The terrific performances and decidedly un-Hollywood feel of this, the most Hollywood of Cronenberg’s films, make Maps a compelling psychological thriller.

Hollywood — self-obsessed child that it is — enjoys turning the camera on itself, but with Maps to the Stars, director David Cronenberg uses the city as a palette to paint a picture of the stupid, venal and stratospherically self-involved behaviour that goes on behind the scenes in Beverly Hills’s gated communities and back lots.

At the centre of the film are the Weisses, a Hollywood family (John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Evan Bird) with more secrets than TMZ’s too-hot-to-handle file, Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), a former big name actress who is now as messed up as she is washed up and Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), a burn victim with schizophrenia whose presence threatens to expose closely guarded secrets.

This may be the most sun-dappled film Cronenberg has ever made, but don’t let the light fool you; it’s also one of his darkest. I say one of his darkest because the 71-year-old director has frequently visited what Victor Hugo called “night within us,” provoking Village Voice to call him, “the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world.”

Spider, a trip into the mind of a severely mentally disturbed man starring Ralph Fiennes, is a case in point. Called “Cronenberg’s most depressingly bleak film,” by critic Ken Hanke, the 2002 film sees Fiennes deliver a virtually dialogue-free performance as the title character. But it is Miranda Richardson as several characters — all the women in Spider’s life — who really steals the show. It’s a spooky, cerebral thriller.

The Brood is probably Cronenberg’s most traditional horror film. Featuring murderous psychoplasmic kids, experimental psychotherapist Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar as a fetus-licking mother, it is the very stuff that nightmares are made of. It’s lesser seen than The Fly or Dead Zone and way more down-and-dirty, but for sheer scares it’s hard to beat.

A Dangerous Mind, the tautly told story of two psychoanalysts you’ve heard of, Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), plus one you’ve probably never heard of, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), sees Cronenberg combine a love story and birth of modern analysis.

The almost total lack of physical action means the focus is on the words. Some will see a film rich with dialogue, others will see it as verbose. But that’s the kind of duality the movie explores.

Finally, in Cosmopolis, Cronenberg takes us along for an existential road trip through the breakdown of modern society. Based on a novel by Don DeLillo and starring Robert Pattinson as a controlling and self-destructive billionaire money manager, the movie covers the gamut of human experience, from haircuts, money and infidelity to asymmetrical prostates and mortality.