Posts Tagged ‘FASTER’


On this week’s Richard Crouse Show Podcast we get to know Hilary Brown, author of the new book War Tourist, available now on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. In a career that spanned almost four decades, she was ABC’s first female foreign correspondent, and reported from every continent except Antarctica. TVO’s “The Agenda” called her “Canada’s best-ever female foreign correspondent.”

She was one of the last journalists to be lifted by helicopter from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975, during the Communist takeover of South Vietnam. One of her ABC reports later appeared in the motion picture “The Deer Hunter” in what Brown calls her “fifteen seconds of fame.”

She has interviewed everyone from President Hamid Karzai, Condoleeza Rice and the Shah of Iran to Sidney Poitier, Lawrence Oliver and John le Carre.

She retired from what she calls “the best job in the world” in 2009, and has now documented her life in her fascinating new memoir, “War Tourist.”

Then Samantha Fish, a guitarist, songwriter and singer, voted by as oner of the 10 best blues guitarists in the world today joins us.  Calling her a blues guitarist is a little misleading because in a career spanning over 10 years, the Kansas City, Missouri musician music features multiple genres, including blues but also rock, country, funk, bluegrass and ballads.

Her latest album, “Faster,” available now wherever you buy fine records, adds a new twist or two… On the new record she explores new ground adding in elements of pop, contemporary R & B and hip-hop into the music.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!

Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

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Metro In Focus: Charlize Theron kicks butt and takes names in Atomic Blonde

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

“I got offered a lot of stuff in action movies that was either the girl behind the computer or the wife,” says Charlize Theron.

That was then, this is now. After dipping her toe in the action genre with Aeon Flux and Mad Max: Fury Road, the South African actress is kicking butt and taking names in Atomic Blonde, a wild spy thriller Variety calls “a mash-up of The Bourne Identity and Alias.”

Based on Antony Johnston’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, it’s a Cold War thriller about an undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of a fellow agent. “I didn’t just want to play a girly spy who depends on her flirty ways,” she says.

To prepare for the gruelling shoot Theron worked with eight personal trainers who taught her the stunt work.

“‘We’re going to pretend to do that, right?’” she asked director David Leitch during the preparation. “David was like, ‘No you’re actually going to throw big dudes.’ Alright, let’s throw some big dudes.”

Throwing big dudes around like rag dolls may look great on film but was a physical challenge for Theron. The Oscar winner twisted her knee, bruised her ribs and clenched her teeth so hard while shooting one of the over-the-top fight scenes she cracked two teeth, requiring dental surgery.

Theron joins a list of dangerous distaff action stars like Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, The Avengers), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Jenette Goldstein (Aliens), Angelina Jolie (Wanted, Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Parts 1 & 2) who give Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson a run for their money.

All of those women owe a debt to two female action stars. Pam Grier and Tura Satana were larger-than-life pioneers, opening cans of whoop-ass on screen at a time when that was primarily the purview of the boys.

Quentin Tarantino directed Grier in Jackie Brown and says she may be cinema’s first female action star. Her films, like Foxy Brown and Sheba, Baby suggest he’s right. Grier could deliver a line and a punch, attributes that allowed her to cut a swathe in the male-dominated action movie market of the 1970s.

Perhaps the wildest female action movie of all time is 1965’s “ode to female violence,” Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! starring Tura Satana as the thrill-seeking go-go dancer Varla.

Experienced in martial arts, Satana did her own stunts and brought her unique style — black leather gloves, Germaine Monteil eyeliner and layers of Max Factor makeup — to the film.

She also supplied some of the movie’s most memorable lines.

When a gas station attendant ogles her cleavage while extolling the virtues of being on the open road and seeing America, Satana ad libbed, “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!”

Time critic Richard Corliss called Satana’s performance “the most honest, maybe the one honest portrayal in the (director Russ) Meyer canon and certainly the scariest.”

“I took a lot of my anger that had been stored inside of me for many years and let it loose,” Satana said of her most famous role. “I helped to create the character Varla and helped to make her someone that many women would love to be like.”


imagesThe dialogue, the car chases, even the music in “Faster,” the violent new revenge flick starring Dwayne Johnson, is as pumped up as the former wrestler’s bicep and tricep muscles. It’s just too bad he doesn’t get to flex his acting muscles as much as his aforementioned arm muscles.

Johnson plays an ex-con bent on getting revenge on the people who set-up and murdered his brother following a daring bank robbery. On his tail, as he one-by-one dispatches his enemies, are two very determined cops (Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino) and an eccentric assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).

I’ve deliberately kept the synopsis of “Faster” brief and to-the-point because it doesn’t really hold up to a great deal of scrutiny. That’s OK, revenge movie fans aren’t going to see this movie for the plot, they’re going to see the chases, the kills and the action, and while all those elements are in place there is something not very satisfying about the movie.

The first thing that doesn’t seem right is that Johnson’s character could walk around, out in the open, blowing people away. He’s six-foot-a-hundred, heavily tattooed, looks a lot like a wrestler named The Rock and yet seems to be invisible to the police as he careens around Southern California gun in hand. I know it’s a movie, but things still have to make some sort of sense.

He’s no ninja, that’s for sure but he is an imposing presence. After trying comedy and kids movies Johnson has settled back in comfortably where he belongs, in action roles. Here he plays a stoic loner—he has so few lines he makes Marcel Marceau look like a chatterbox—who doesn’t have much to do except growl, grunt and glare, although in one scene he sheds a tear. It’s a basic performance that doesn’t require him to do anything he hasn’t done in the ring. Perhaps this is what people expect of him but it’s disappointing because after seeing his good work in other movies there seems to be a distinct lack of nuance here.

There’s also not a lot of nuance in the way he kills his victims. Revenge movies are all about the set-up and the satisfying release of seeing the bad guys get what they’ve got coming, but like Johnson’s performance, the kills are basic. In “Kill Bill” Tarantino made each and every assassination unique. Here director George Tillman Jr. usually just has Johnson point and pull the trigger. Like I said. Basic.

“Faster” is stylish and atmospheric, and even has a tense climax, but I’d take a little less muscle flexing and a bit more acting flexing.