Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Spirit Untamed,” the twenty-years-in-the-making sequel to “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” the Netflix pandemic series “Sweet Tooth” and the biographical film “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr, Ulric Cross,” available at the Cineplex Store.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the inspirational horse movie “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It,” the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm” and the biopic “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the inspirational horse movie “Spirit Untamed,” the latest from The Conjuring Universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It,” the rock doc “Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm” and the biopic “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross.”
At the beginning of “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross,” a bio-doc on the life of Ulric Cross and now available on premium VOD in the Cineplex Store, the film’s subject says, “When I was appointed High Commissioner in London the Foreign Office asked, ‘How did I wish to be addressed?’ Judge? Which I had been. Professor. Which I had been. Squadron leader? Which I had been.”
Ultimately, the Caribbean high court judge, pan-African diplomat, decorated RAF war hero and BBC producer-presenter keeps it simple.
How shall we address him? “As Ulric,” he says with a laugh.
Using a mix of archival footage and reenactments, director Frances-Anne Solomon takes a methodical approach to laying out Cross’s eventful life. Step-by-step Solomon, with the aid of slick editing from Charles Ross and effective performances from a talented cast—Nickolai Salcedo as Cross, Joseph Marcell, Pippa Nixon, Peter Williams and Ghanaian superstars, John Dumelo, Adjetey Anang and Prince David Oseia—tells multiple stories with Cross as the focus.
Using Cross as the film’s focus, the film illuminates his role in the broader stories of British colonialism in the Caribbean and Africa, the moves toward peaceful liberation in Ghana, Congo, Cameroon and Tanzania and the efforts to establish the United States of Africa. “He was part of something much bigger,” says daughter Nicola.
There’s a lot happening in “Hero.” The stories of Cross’s idealism and work to change the world sit alongside some MI6 intrigue and interviews with his wife Ann. Jessica B. Hill plays Nicola, the daughter who provides a link between the archival aspects of the story and her father’s final days. “My father gave me choice,” she says. “Not once when I was growing up, did I ever feel like anything was out of reach. That was not true for him. I have that to thank him for that.”
With so much going on in “Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross” falls prey to some episodic storytelling and occasionally feels rushed in its attempt to cover the width and breadth of Cross’s life. Still, the documentary works as an issue driven look at the life of a remarkable man.
Film critic and pop culture historian Richard Crouse shares a toast with celebrity guests and entertainment pundits every week on CTV News Channel’s talk show POP LIFE.
Featuring in-depth discussion and debate on pop culture and modern life, POP LIFE features sit-down interviews with celebrities from across the entertainment world, including rock superstar Sting, musician Josh Groban, comedian Ken Jeong, writer Fran Lebowitz, superstar jazz musician Diana Krall, legendary rock star Meatloaf, stand-up comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell, actor Jay Baruchel, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Nigella Lawson, and many more.