Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Benedict Cumberbatch Cold War triller “The Courier” (in theatres and PVOD), the exorcism buddy movie “The Seventh Day” (VOD) and the star-crossed lovers story “The Violent Heart” (VOD).
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Benedict Cumberbatch Cold War triller “The Courier” (in theatres and PVOD), the exorcism buddy movie “The Seventh Day” (VOD) and the star-crossed lovers story “The Violent Heart” (VOD).
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 Benedict Cumberbatch Cold War triller “The Courier” (in theatres and PVOD), the exorcism buddy movie “The Seventh Day” (VOD) and the star-crossed lovers story “The Violent Heart” (VOD).
It’s difficult to know how to classify “The Violent Heart,” a new movie on VOD starring Emmy nominee Jovan Adepo and Grace Van Patten. It’s part “Romeo & Juliet,” part thriller and mostly melodrama. Director Kerem Sanga juggles the movie’s tonal shifts to create a movie about the aftershocks of trauma.
Set in the American heartland, the story centers around twenty-four-year-old Daniel (Jovan Adepo), a small-town mechanic struggling to move forward with his life after the murder of his sister, which he witnessed, and a stint in jail for accidentally blinding a schoolmate. When 18-year-old high school student Cassie (Grace Van Patten) drops off her dad’s (Lukas Haas) car to the autobody shop, sparks fly and romance blossoms.
Despite her parent’s disapproval the young couple bring out the best in one another, sharing secrets as Cassie encourages Daniel to follow his dream of joining the Marines. Both are looking to the future but soon learn tragic lessons on how the past has a nasty way of sneaking up from behind.
“The Violent Heart” never really gets the pulse racing, but is made compelling by the chemistry between the two charismatic leads, Adepo and Van Patten.
Adepo exposes Daniel’s deep wounds, psychological trauma that manifests itself in angry outbursts. “You start to not even notice it,” he says of his deeply rooted ire. “You just kind of become an angry person.” Still, he’s a work in progress, with his eyes locked on a better future. It’s an impressive, internal performance.
Van Patten is more external, a naïve young woman whose confidence is shaken by secrets and echoes from the past.
Together they are compelling, overcoming obstacles as a couple. But when “The Violent Heart” makes a hard U-Turn from star-crossed lovers into a detective story it loses itself in the plot’s twists and turns.
The supporting cast, including Mary J. Blige as Daniel’s mother and Haas as Cassie’s dad, do what they can with underwritten roles, but they’re mostly there to provide the puzzle pieces that complete the backstory of the leads.
In the end “The Violent Heart” succumbs to melodrama, but before the climax sucks the life out of the story, it is an interesting look at legacy and how the weight of the past can slowly crush a person’s spirit.
Fans of Adam Sandler’s patented man-child character will be pleased to note he revives it for his newest film “The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected).” But those not enraptured with his childlike alter ego shouldn’t write this movie off. For the most part Sandler’s new one leaves the lowest-common denominator jokes behind in favour of highbrow (ish) humour. In other words, this is more “Punch Drink Love,” less “Billy Madison.”
Dustin Hoffman is Harold Meyerowitz, embittered sculptor, former art professor and walking, talking embodiment of New York neurosis. He’s also father to Danny (Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). Harold is a crusty old man, self-centered and very aware of his lack of legacy. Newly divorced Danny has moved into the Greenwich Village home Harold shares with his fourth wife, Maureen (Emma Thompson).
The film studies the strained relationships between Harold and his kids but spends much of the movie detailing the half brothers Danny and Matthew. Danny stayed home to raise his daughter, has never had a job and now feels like a failure compared to the younger Matt, a Los Angeles hot shot with his own financial management company.
When Harold takes ill his children have to reassess their feelings for their difficult dad and each other.
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)” doesn’t have the guffaws that Sandler at his best can deliver. Instead it is dusted laughs derived from the situations and characters. At its heart it’s a story of family dysfunction populated by people who never dip into self-pity. Marvel makes the best of her few moments but it is Sandler and Stiller who deliver the goods. Both hit career highs playing toned down versions of their carefully crafted comedic characters. Adding real humanity to Danny and Matthew elevates them from caricature. By not going for the broad strokes they are able to create tender and stinging moments that are some of the best in both their careers.
Hoffman is a hoot, perfectly complimented by Thompson who has some of the film’s best lines. Of the supporting cast Grace Van Patten, Danny’s loving daughter, is a standout.
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)” could have been maudlin but when filtered through director Noah Baumbach’s sensibility is a smart and heartwarming.