Posts Tagged ‘Evan Peters’


Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the raunchy revenge flick “Ravage” and the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 23:47)



Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector” and the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector,” the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” the Shakespeare update of “Measure for Measure” and the violent revenge film “Ravage.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

I AM WOMAN: 3 ½ STARS. “entertaining, if conventional biography.”

Early on in “I Am Woman,” the Helen Reddy biopic now on digital and on demand, the Australian singer, played by Tilda Cobham-Hervey, passes a subway advertisement that sets the tone for the test of the movie. A housewife holds a bottle of ketchup and with a look of surprise says, “Even I can open it!” as Reddy makes her way to a meeting with a dismissive record industry twit.

Melbourne-born Reddy’s plainspoken anthems for a generation of women kicked open doors in a sexist industry and while she never says, “Even I can open it,” about a bottle of ketchup or anything else in the film, it’s clear from the start she has no doubt that she can.

Based on Reddy’s memoir “The Woman I Am,” the movie begins in 1966 when the Beatles ruled the charts and record labels were not interested in “girl singers.” Single-mom Reddy and her young daughter land in New York on the mistaken belief that a record deal was awaiting. It wasn’t but Reddy was, well, ready for success. A polished singer and performer, she just needed a break. That came in the form of Jeff Wald (Evan Peters), an ambitious music biz insider who becomes her manager and husband. When he puts down the coke spoon long enough to focus on Reddy’s career, he manages to land her a record contract. The resulting album, 1971’s “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and it’s number one hit “I Am Woman” established Reddy not only as a creative force but also as a figurehead of the era’s feminist movement.

“I Am Woman” follows the standard 1970s “Behind the Music” biopic formula. From struggling artist to chart topper, with all the sexism, drugs and rock n’ roll—OK, make that easy listening rock—you expect from a showbiz tale writ large. Add to that some on-the-nose soundtrack decisions—”You and Me Against the World” warbles in the background as Reddy and her music journalist pal Lillian Roxon (Danielle Macdonald) are trying to make a dent in the music business and, the even heavier-handed “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” adorns a scene of marital discord—and you have the makings of corny musical melodrama.

What sets it apart from the pack is a charismatic performance from Cobham-Hervey and some nicely rendered musical numbers.

In a breakout performance Cobham-Hervey captures the spirit of Reddy, a talented everywoman who fought against workplace harassment and discrimination to achieve success. She’s charismatic but brings a certain kind of effortlessness to role, a hard to define quality on display in her first in-studio scene. She’s having a hard time performing to a room of disinterested hard rock producers until Wald suggests she pretend she’s on stage. As the nerves settle Cobham-Hervey brings Reddy to life, allowing the strong, invincible singer to emerge. (Chelsea Cullen provides Reddy’s singing voice.)

Equally effective is the montage that introduces the title song. Intercutting Reddy’s performance with news footage of Equal Rights Amendment rallies and women’s liberation protests, director Unjoo Moon creates a picture perfect portrait of the time, showing us, not telling us why the song was then, and remains, such a powerful statement.

“I Am Woman” is an entertaining, if conventional biography of a woman who was anything but conventional.


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “The Secret Life of Pets 2,”  “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” the indie drama “Mouthpiece” and the rockumentary “Echo in the Canyon.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “The Secret Life of Pets 2,”  “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and the indie drama “Mouthpiece.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the housebroken sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” the cosmic bonfire of CGI flames “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and the nostalgic 60s doc “Echoes in the Canyon” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

DARK PHOENIX: 2 STARS. “nuance is consumed by a cosmic bonfire of CGI flames.”

The X-Men have a rich and textured history but almost none is more complicated than Jean Grey, the mutant played by “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner in this weekend’s “Dark Phoenix.”

A human with the superpower of telepathy, she’s an empath and, for good and for evil, is also the physical manifestation of the cosmic Phoenix Force, “the spark that gave life to the Universe, the flame that will ultimately consume it.” Over the years she has been included on Top 100 Comic Book Heroes and Comic Book Villains lists and been killed off several times.

The action in “Dark Phoenix” begins with the X-Men team heralded as heroes by the public who once feared them. Professor X (James McAvoy) is a celebrity, featured on magazines, getting medals from the president. He sees their do-good work as a way to keep them safe. “It’s a means to an,” he says, “We are just one bad day away from them starting to see us as the enemy again.”

When a group of astronauts find themselves in trouble Prof X sends Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Grey and others to space on a daring rescue mission. During the operation Grey is hit by “pure and unimaginably powerful cosmic waves” that will eventually transmute her into the Dark Phoenix, a malevolent force with the potential to tear the world apart. The core of good inside Grey battles for supremacy until repressed pain and anger push her to the dark side. “You’re special, Jean,” says shapeshifting energy sponge Smith (Jessica Chastain), “and if you stop fighting that force inside you, if you embrace it, you will possess the very power of a god.”

The X-Men crew have been always been concerned with the greater good, doing what is best for the masses, but what happens when one of their own turns bad and needs to be stopped? That’s the question at the heart of “Dark Phoenix.” “When I lose control,” Grey says, “bad things happen to the people I love.”

At their best the “X-Men” movies are an ode to outsiders. Ripe with metaphor and nuance, they look at how society treats marginalized people. They also find the humanity in their outsider characters. Whether they have blue fur or can bend metal with their mind, their greatest superpowers are always qualities like forgiveness and loyalty.

Progressive ideas about acceptance are still at the heart of “Dark Phoenix” but all the nuance is consumed in a cosmic bonfire of CGI flames and the messaging is delivered with a mallet. “They can never understand you! What they can’t understand they fear and what they fear they seek to destroy!”

The film’s biggest (and only intentional laugh) comes with a good and timely line courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence. “The women are always saving the men around here,” says a huffy Mystique to Professor X. “You might want to think about changing the name to X-Women.”

Despite the pyro on display “Dark Phoenix” doesn’t catch fire. The tone is flat, passionless even as a hectic CGI-A-Thon of eye blistering action eats up much of the last reel. (MILD SPOILER AHEAD) Long-time fans may get a lump in their throats as one classic character makes their farewell but as Grey says, “emotions don’t make you weak, they make you strong.” Whether you’ll feel stronger or not after the end credits roll will depend on how much attached you are to the X-Men characters. If you’re not already a fan this lackluster movie is unlikely to convert you.