Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
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 oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
Stanley (Richard Jenkins) has worked the graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish in Albion, Michigan for thirty-eight years. In 1971 he made $3.10 an hour. Now, almost four decades later, after never missing a day, he’s making a whopping $13.50. “This wasn’t my dream job when I started,” he says, “but it turned out pretty well for me.”
His time at Oscar’s is coming to a close. He’s given notice at the flophouse where he lives, quit the job and has plans to move to Florida to look after his ailing mother.
Before he hits the road he has to train his replacement, a Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie), a bright young man on parole after being arrested for defacing a monument.
The two spend a few nights together, with Jevon learning the ropes from Stanley.
“There’s an art to the third shift,” says Stanley. “Once I had to make my own pickles. Once we had a birthday party and we ran out of ketchup. It wasn’t pretty but I did what I had to do.”
The two have little in common, except that they both need this job. For Stanley it has been his whole life. His greatest achievement the creation of “The Stanwich” and he takes pride in the work. Jevon doesn’t care about the rules and regulations but will be sent back to County Jail if he doesn’t keep the job.
“The Last Shift” is a low-key drama that that threatens to break out into a feel-good movie where Stanley and Jevon learn from one another, each propping the other up. It is to director Andrew Cohn’s credit that the saccharine stuff is kept in Oscar’s condiment section and never allowed to bleed into the story.
Jenkins is the embodiment of a man whose life has passed him by. He believed that hard work was enough to build a good life. Trouble is, he’s been exploited by an owner who pays him less than he could make if he quit and went to work at any other fast food chain and now, thirty-eight years later, he has nothing to show for all those nights of working midnight to six. He is stuck in his ways, and his knees and back ache as much as his spirit.
Jevon, who used to write about politics for his school newspaper before being arrested on trumped up charges, is realistic about the situation he and Stanley find themselves in. His awareness irks Stanley, forcing him to confront the failure that has characterized his life.
“The Last Shift” is a wonderfully performed, if somewhat downbeat, portrait of the underbelly of the American Dream. It examines issues of white privilege—“That’s just baloney!” Stanley bellows. “No one ever gave me nothing.”—racial bias and how, despite the best of intentions, sometimes things just don’t work out. A timely treatise on the lives of overlooked people, “The Last Shift” is a tragedy with equal parts soul and heartbreak.
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 Michael B. Jordan boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”
Given the movie’s subtext “Ralph Breaks the Internet” could have been called “Ralph Wants You to Think About the Ramifications of Internet Usage.” Not as catchy, I’ll admit, but amid the fun and games the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph” is a strong message about the dangers of Internet culture.
It’s been six years since we met Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly), a disgruntled video game character who demanded respect. This time around the action begins when the steering wheel controller on the Sugar Rush game console breaks. “It might be time to sell Sugar Rush for parts,” says Stan Litwak (Ed O’Neill), owner of Litwak’s Family Fun Center & Arcade.
Before Litwak unplugs the machine Ralph and the game’s racer Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) rescue Sugar Rush’s characters by moving them to other games.
To get the game up and running Ralph and Vanellope hit the Internet, using the Arcade’s wifi to explore the net in search of a replacement steering wheel. They find the wheel at eBay, trouble is, they don’t have any money. “I left my wallet at home,” Ralph tells the eBay cashier. “In the wallet room and the door is locked!”
When they befriend Shank (Gal Gadot), a racer in Slaughter Race, their problems seem to be over. The violent racing game overs a source of money but as Shank’s influence on Vanellope grows Ralph worries that his friend is drifting away.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is at its best when it’s subversive. The colourful animation, coupled with an imaginative take on what it would be like to be inside the internet—eBay is an actual auction house, and “likes” are sucked up by a vacuum cleaner—will make eyeballs dance but it’s the messaging that is memorable. Woven into the story are clever lessons on toxic friendship, how insecurity can infect a relationship like a virus on the computer and the dangers of obsessing about getting likes on social media posts.
Even better is a scene where Vanellope, while visiting OhMyDisney.com, stumbles into the Disney Princess break room. Here the film makes fun of Disney’s bread-and-butter, the stereotype of the princess. “Do people assume all your problems get solved because a strong man came along?” Fans of the first film know that Vanellope is a reluctant princess, preferring the title president. Her, among her spiritual sisters, she helps them shed some of their stuffy weays and they help her along the way to figuring out her path in life. “I stare at the important water and all of a sudden I start singing about my problems? I don’t think so,” Vanellope says, bursting one of Disney’s most familiar princess tropes.
The princess scene is a highlight in a film that has laughs but isn’t exactly a comedy. It’s more a heartfelt examination of friendship—“It’s not right to hold a friend back from her dreams.”—with some wild cartoon action and satire.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a very specific story about two animated characters that illuminates universal themes from the real world.
From marilyn.ca: “If you love going to the movies, but you’re never sure what to see, Richard Crouse has the answer! Check out these sure-to-be blockbusters to keep you entertained all summer!” They argue about “Finding Dory” and preview “The BFG,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Jason Bourne,” “Suicide Squad” and “Ghostbusters.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, including “Finding Dory,” the buddy comedy “Central Intelligence” with Duane Johnson and Kevin Hart, and a duo of documentaries, “De Palma,” an unflinching look at the films of Brian De Palma and the self explanatory “Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.”