Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Netflix zombie flick “Army of the Dead,” the predictable “thriller” “Trigger Point” and the LGBTQ+ cabin-in-the-woods flick “The Retreat.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the over-the-top Netflix zombie flick “Army of the Dead,” the predictable “thriller” “Trigger Point” and the LGBTQ+ cabin-in-the-woods flick “The Retreat.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the over-the-top Netflix zombie flick “Army of the Dead,” the predictable “thriller” “Trigger Point” and the LGBTQ+ cabin-in-the-woods flick “The Retreat.”
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 over-the-top Netflix zombie flick “Army of the Dead,” the predictable “thriller” “Trigger Point” and the LGBTQ+ cabin-in-the-woods flick “The Retreat.”
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 blood soaked Netflix zombie flick “Army of the Dead,” the predictable “thriller” “Trigger Point” and the LGBTQ+ cabin-in-the-woods flick “The Retreat.”
“Trigger Point,” a new action movie starring Barry Pepper and now on VOD, is stylish looking and features good actors but suffers from a bad case of been there, done that.
Pepper is Lewis, a retiree leading a quiet life in a quiet upstate New York town. His days are spent at the local diner, flirting with waitress Janice (Nazneen Contractor) and sipping tea at the quaint local book store.
His home life, however, isn’t so quaint. His cabin-in-the-woods is a veritable fortress, complete with high tech surveillance gear and drone security.
Turns out Lewis is actually Nicolas Shaw, a former superspy for a shady operation called The Agency. In hiding after his actions resulted in the assassinations of his entire team, he’s brought back into the dangerous world of international intrigue by his former handler Elias Kane (Colm Feore).
Kane’s daughter Monica (Eve Harlow) has been kidnapped by the shadowy figure who may have been responsible for the methodical murder of Shaw’s team.
So, just when he thought he was out, Shaw is dragged back to the underworld to rescue Monica and search down the man responsible for his professional and personal undoing.
“Trigger Point” director Brad Turner has a long and varied list of television credits, including episodes of “MacGyver,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Hawaii Five-O.” He knows how to shoot action and where to put the camera so the movie looks good when the bullets are flying.
He’s also good at casting interesting looking, solemn-faced actors like Pepper, Feore and Carlo Rota, all of whom have tread this territory before.
It’s in the storytelling that things go south. Weighed down by tough guy banalities, there is very little in “Trigger Point” that we haven’t seen before and done better. The actors breathe whatever life they can into this collection of clichés but no amount of grim determination can elevate this above the level of a forgettable direct to video time waster.
“Parallel Minds,” now on VOD, is a mystical murder mystery with a high-tech twist.
Set in the near future, the action begins during an important presentation for Red Eye, a new device capable of accessing memories. “A contact lens,” announces inventor Conrad Stallman (Neil Napier) at the product launch, “that records not what the eye can see but hat the mind can remember.
“We are made up of our experiences and the memories of those experiences. Now, your memories are no longer a thing of the past. Be where you remember being. See old friends, family.”
Stallman’s sales pitch is compelling but backstage there are problems. “It’s not ready,” says Red Eye’s head programmer Elise Perrott (Michelle Thrush) as she scurries away, returning to her lab. There she gives her best friend, Metis researcher Margo Elson (Tommie-Amber Pirie), the secret password for her work computer. “Consider yourself my back up plan,” she says ominously.
The next morning, after a tormented sleep, Margo awakens to the news that Elise has been found dead in her lad of an apparent suicide.
Investigating the case is Thomas Elliot (Greg Bryk), a troubled police officer who, when asked if he is the detective on the case, snarls, “Till someone tells me otherwise.” He’s a tough guy (who drinks expired milk) with a habit doing things like inexplicably kicking open the already open door to Elise’s apartment. “You know you could have just asked me for the key to the door,” says Margot, arriving a second later. Or perhaps he could have just used the doorknob, but either way, he’s a walking cliché. The two agree to work together, he’ll do the police work, she’ll help him navigate the high-tech aspects of Elise’s work.
Secrets abound and there’s suspicion and skullduggery around every corner. The brand-new technology has a serious glitch, a shady multi-national security company is hiding something and Thomas has more baggage than the cargo hold of a 747. But there’s more. A hacker named Jade Drayton (Madison Walsh) hints at something huge. “You’ve wandered into a war no one knows is being waged. A war of conscience and knowledge.”
A return to Margo’s childhood home, the scene of trauma, forces her to confront old memories that may hold the key to solving the mystery of Elise’s death.
Benjamin Ross Hayden, the Métis director, writer, producer and actor from Calgary, weaves together a story that embraces new and old. Margo is a scientist but it is her connection to and belief in Indigenous traditions that gives her the inner strength to get to the bottom of the mystery of “Parallel Minds.”
Cliched and melodramatic dialogue mars the film, which is a shame because the female characters have great promise. Margo, Jade and Elise are interesting people and the engines that keep “Parallel Minds” moving forward.
“Parallel Minds” shows promise. There are many cool ideas here but they are hampered by a modest budget unable to realize the set pieces Hayden offers up. There’s stylish photography and some good location work but the film’s ambition outstrips its execution.