Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Zuraidah Alman about movies in theatres and on VOD to watch this weekend including the Gillian Jacobs college comedy “I Used to Go Here,” the Mick Jagger thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the satire “An American Pickle” and the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the satire “An American Pickle” and the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”
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 college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the psychological thriller “She Dies Tomorrow,” the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the kid’s fantasy “The Secret Garden” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”
“I Used to Go Here,” a new film on VOD starring Gillian Jacobs, challenges the wisdom of the famous Thomas Wolfe title, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”
With her upcoming book promo tour cancelled due to poor sales and still feeling the sting of a recent break up, Kate Conklin (Jacobs) is at a low ebb in her life. Her spirits are lifted when her favorite creative writing professor David (Jemaine Clement) reaches out with an invite to do a reading at her alma mater. She hasn’t been to Carbondale, Illinois in fifteen years but she hopes a trip down memory lane might be the tonic she needs.
In town memories come flooding back. The only change at her old frat house, nicknamed the Writer’s Retreat, are the faces on the students. It is otherwise frozen in time. Even the glow-in-the-dark stars she glued to her bedroom ceiling are still in place. David, her one-time mentor, is still an encouraging voice and an old friend with the unlikely name of Bradley Cooper (Jorma Taccone) still works at the campus bookstore.
But it’s not all déjà vu. Hanging out with some of the new students Kate has a rebirth. Given the time to reflect on the recent downturns in her life she is transported back to her school years, a time when risks were taken and the future seemed ripe with possibilities.
“I Used to Go Here” avoids the clichés of many other college comedies. A professor-student subplot isn’t played for its salacious value but as a comment on #MeToo’s power structure, and there is a bittersweet quality to much of the humour.
Jacobs is the above-the-title star here. She’s very good, providing the movie’s heart while painting Kate as someone who has lost her way on the path to recovery, but this is an ensemble piece filled with nice supporting performances.
Clement brings a rumpled charm as a professor who chose the security of academia over the real world of writing for a living. As Kate’s student guide Elliot, Rammel Chan is a welcome comedic presence and the group of college kids Kate befriends, played by Forrest Goodluck, Brandon Daley and Khloe Janel, are affable, compassionate and real. Of the younger actors it’s Josh Wiggins as Hugo, the empathetic wannabe writer who makes the biggest impression. His observation that, “Just because a connection with a person doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it’s not real,” could have sounded ripped from the pages of a Nicholas Sparks novel but is delivered with a sincerity that transforms it into an insightful comment on the weight that is keeping Kate down.
Writer/director Kris Rey clearly relishes spending time with “I Used to Go Here’s” characters and gives each of them a clear-cut role in moving the story, and Kate’s life, forward. It makes for an engaging set piece, specific to its setting but universal in its outlook.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth discuss the family drama of “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the social commentary of “Blood Quantum” and the culinary adventure “Nose to Tail.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid” and the zombie braaiiiins of “Blood Quantum.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the guts and glory of “Blood Quantum” and the restaurant drama “Nose to Tail.”
The very best zombie movies are never simply about the dead coming back to life. Sure, the good ones smear the screen with buckets of blood but just as important as the gore are the brains, and not just the kind the undead use as entrees. The memorable ones use the flesh-hungry creatures as metaphors for societal ills. George A. Romero knew this and infused his movies with allegories to social justice and consumerism, among other issues. Director Jeff Barnaby knows this as well. His exciting new zombie film, “Blood Quantum,” new to VOD this week, contains a powerful central premise: Indigenous people put in danger by allowing white folks on their land.
The film begins with an ancient settler’s proverb. “Take heed to thyself, make no treaty with the inhabitants of the land you are entering.” It’s a portentous warning that foreshadows “Blood Quantum” action. Set on an isolated Mi’gmaq reserve called Red Crow, it takes place before, during and after a plague that has turned most of the world into bloodthirsty zombies. The Red Crow, however, are immune, placing tribal sheriff Traylor (“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Michael Greyeyes) in the position of having to protect the reserve, including ex-wife Joss (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), sons Lysol (Kiowa Gordon) and Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), Joseph’s pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Olivia Scriven) and father Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman), from hordes of undead outsiders.
“Blood Quantum” offers up the blood and guts you expects from a movie like this but director Barnaby also infuses every frame with a vivid sense of indigenous heritage. From the title—which refers to a much-despised colonial blood measurement system used to establish a person’s Indigenous status—to using a zombie apocalypse as metaphor for the fight against annihilation by colonial settlers, it drips with social awareness and gore.
A new take on the zombie apocalypse tale, it brings a fresh perspective to a much-examined genre. The characters are well defined and have emotional arcs amid the madness and skull crushing. The use of occasional animation sections adds visual interest to an already cool looking film—Barnaby has a deadly eye for composition—and will even make you laugh from time to time. A broken narrative timeline doesn’t work as well it should but Barnaby and Co. deliver on entertainment and intellectual levels.
Come for the entrail eating, stay for the cultural observations… and more entrail eating.