Watch Richard Crouse review three movies in less time than it takes to pet a dog! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard joins host Jim Richards of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the newfangled werewolf tale “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum. Then, instead of ordering in a pizza, why not try a pizza beer?
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the newfangled werewolf tale “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
In his first film in five years Channing Tatum trades in the g-strings and dance moves of “Magic Mike” for a dog leash and self-awareness. “Dog,” now playing in theatres, is a pet project of a sort for Tatum, who not only stars but also makes his directorial debut in a movie about the power of the dog to change a life.
Tatum plays Jackson Briggs, a former U.S. Army Ranger sidelined by a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Cut adrift of the military, in civilian life he is lost, separated from the only world he truly feels part of. He wants back in, but his medical status won’t allow a return to service.
When his best Ranger friend dies in Arizona, Briggs is offered a way back into the military. “You want to get back in the game?” asks Ranger Jones (Luke Forbes). “Prove it. Sergeant Rodriguez was a legend. Family funeral is Sunday outside of Nogales. They want his dog at the funeral. You do this, and you’re back in the game.”
The dog is Lulu, a Belgian Malinois military working dog, who vicious nature worked well in the field, less so back on base. “One minute she’s good,” says Briggs, “the next minute she’s sending three guys to the ER.”
Despite Lulu’s temper, Briggs agrees to drive her down the Pacific Coast from Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Washington to the funeral in Arizona. The unlikely pair head out on an eventful road trip, one that may lead to redemption for both.
“Dog” is a low-key man and his dog movie that quietly examines the after effects of trauma and the healing power of companionship and respect. As the miles tick by, Briggs comes to understand the shared bond between man and dog. Both are figuring out life outside the war zones that were their homes for many years, and both are forever marked by the experience. As their relationship deepens, it’s clear the key to their recovery is mutual TLC.
The movie takes some strange detours along the way—like a long sequence where Briggs pretends to be blind to get a fancy hotel suite or an odd encounter with a cannabis farmer who believes Briggs is an assassin—but the beating heart of the movie is the relationship between man and dog.
Tatum brings his likeable self to a character who isn’t always likeable. The film places Briggs is comedic and dramatic situations, which gives the movie an uneven tone—there are some “ruff” spots—but Tatum levels the field, providing continuity between the film’s goofy and gallant moments. Most importantly, he shares great chemistry with Lulu, who is actually played by three different canine actors. Tatum and co-director Reid Carolin make sure to include lots of close-ups of the Lulu’s soulful eyes, and in those scenes Tatum’s warmth shines through.
“Dog” is not a movie that teaches a lot of new tricks to the dog or to the audience but it does end on an emotional note with a welcome, if well-worn message, of the healing power of companionship.
Like Crossing Over from a few weeks ago Fanboys is another film that’s been gathering dust in the Weinstein vault for the last couple of years. Originally timed to be released on the 30th anniversary of Star Wars the movie has been the subject of chatter on the internet regarding editorial interference from the Weinstein Company—they wanted an entire storyline removed—and whether or not the film would ever be released at all.
This week marks its unveiling in Canada (it has already been seen in the US) and after seeing it I have to wonder what all the fuss was about. Fanboys is a perfectly cordial little movie that probably should have gone straight to DVD but, I imagine, finally earned its big screen release because of the involvement of several of its stars who have gone from unknowns to hot properties since the film was shot.
The story is simple. Set in 1999 four childhood friends who bonded over Star Wars concoct a plan to drive from Ohio to Marin County, California to storm George Lucas’s ranch and get an advance look at Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Their plan isn’t just a lark, however. This will likely be Eric’s (Sam Huntington) last hurrah before he leaves nerddom behind to take over his father’s used car empire and Linus (Chris Marquette) has been diagnosed with cancer and may not live to see the film‘s official opening. For the other members of this group—Hutch and Windows (Dan Fogler and Jay Baruchel)—the trip is a coming of age. At the beginning of the journey they are still immature guys who meet girls in Jedi chat rooms, but by the end you just have the feeling their lives will have been transformed. Joining them is Zoe (Kristen Bell), a girl-geek who not only looks great in Princess Leia’s metal bikini but also provides some much needed grounding for the boys.
Fanboys has its moments. A battle between the Lucas hounds and their mortal enemies, Star Trek fans—the boys call them Kirk loving Spock suckers—is laugh out loud funny. It’s also lots of fun to see Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Ethan Suplee, Kristen Bell and Jay Baruchel before they were famous and even cooler to play spot the cameos—look for geek gods Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Kevin Smith—but the film is more uneven than Yoda’s crazy mixed up syntax. It plays more like a series of sketches than a full length movie.
If you enjoy the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons then you’ll likely find a warm spot in your heart for Fanboy’s characters, but as geekily likeable as they may be they are little more than stereotypes. Windows, of course, is “female kryptonite” and Hutch is an over-the-top Rush fan and that’s about the extent of the character development. Maybe it’s just as well because when the movie tries to stretch and introduce some poignancy into the mix it really falls flat. A clumsy metaphor comparing Eric’s car dealer dad and Darth Vader is undeveloped and unnecessary and Linus’s cancer is treated more like a plot device than a real threat to his life.
Fanboys is an occasionally funny coming-of-age story that might be best left until the DVD release.