Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Avengers: Endgame,” the message-movie “The Public,” written, directed, produced and starring Emilio Estevez and the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace.”
Richard convinces Bill to take his kids to see “Avengers: Endgame” this weekend and then talks about two smaller but worthy films, “The Public,” starring Emilio Estevez and the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Avengers: Endgame,” a movie that could become the biggest of all time and two more modest but worthy films, “The Public,” starring Emilio Estevez and the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the all -powerful “Avengers: Endgame,” the message-movie “The Public,” written, directed, produced and starring Emilio Estevez and the Sretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace.”
Emilio Estevez became a Brat Pack star hanging around in a library in 1985’s “The Breakfast Club.” Years later he returns, this time as a grown up with grown up concerns. As writer-director-producer-star of “The Public” Estevez presents the socially aware story of what happens when people stand up for themselves and speak truth to power.
“The Public” sees Estevez play Stuart Goodson, head librarian and de facto social worker at the Cincinnati Public Library. Inside the library is an oasis of warmth for the city’s homeless community who use it as a drop in centre during the cold winter months. Outside, when the frigid weather claims one of the library regulars, the patrons, led by Jackson (Michael K. Williams), turn the building into an emergency homeless shelter. “There’s some situation at the central library,” says Detective Bill Ramstead (Alec Baldwin). “Probably somebody had a melt down over an overdue book.”
Behind the scenes the stand-off escalates as the sensationalist media, in the form of a TV news reporter played by Gabrielle Union, misrepresents the act of civil disobedience as a possible hostage situation or active shooter. A self-righteous mayoral candidate (Christian Slater) stokes the fire while library administrator Anderson (Jeffrey Wright) tries to keep the situation from boiling over. “Wat’s the downside to having them stay there for the evening,” he asks.
“The Public” takes a long hard look at pressing social concerns. Estevez based part of this story on a Chip Ward essay about public libraries as asylums for the homeless and drives home the point with all the subtlety of one of Cincinnati’s icy winters. Lack of shelter space for the homeless population coupled with governmental cutbacks to social programs are urgent needs brought to life here in a colorful if somewhat cliched way.
The idea that, as Anderson says, public libraries are the last bastion of democracy, truly a place for everyone and anyone, is an important one but delivered with a heavy hand. By the time Goodson reads a long excerpt from “The Grapes of Wrath” to a reporter the noble efforts of the screenplay give way to the stagier aspects of Estevez’s vision.
“The Public” features good performances from Slater, Baldwin, Estevez and Taylor Schilling as a flirtatious building manager but is weighted down by the burden of its good intentions.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Avengers: Endgame,” a movie that could become the biggest of all time and two more modest but worthy films, “The Public,” starring Emilio Estevez and the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace.”
Bobby is an ambitious attempt to reenact the day Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. Director Emilio Estevez has assembled a extensive ensemble cast, featuring vets like William H. Macy, Harry Belefonte and Anthony Hopkins to Brat Packers like Christian Slater and Demi Moore to hot young stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood to up and comers like Shia LaBeouf and Joshua Jackson who play people who were in the hotel the night Kennedy was killed.
Estevez, who wrote and directed Bobby, was only six years old when Kennedy was assassinated so it might be his lack of personal experience with the era that gives Bobby it almost hopelessly earnest tone. The late 60s were a politically charged time, fuelled by protests, assassinations and civil unrest, but Estevez’s account of the time is simplistic, with stock characters—the racist kitchen manager, the wise old doorman—spouting dialogue that sounds as though it was written for a history textbook and not a feature film.
When Lohan’s character says, “If marrying you tonight keeps you from going to Vietnam, then it’s worth it,” before she walks down the aisle with a recently drafted Elijah Wood, it’s difficult not to imagine even a Harlequin romance writer cringing at the clichéd line.
With 22 characters Bobby is too populated by half. Many of the stories are superfluous and don’t add anything to the film except star power and running time. It’s a snapshot of the time that needs some serious cropping.
Despite the needlessly sprawling story, it’s hard to really dislike a movie this earnest, a film that wears its heart on its sleeve. While cinematic greatness might not be evident, Bobby’s message of peace and justice shines through.