Posts Tagged ‘Halston Sage’


Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies,  “Logan,” the latest (and greatest) Wolverine flick, the time travel teen angst movie “Before I Fall,” the animated “Ballerina,” the quirky “Table 19” with Anna Kendrick and the controversial Christian movie “The Shack.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, “Logan,” the latest (and greatest) Wolverine flick, the time travel teen angst movie “Before I Fall” and the controversial Christian movie “The Shack.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BEFORE I FALL: 2 ½ STARS. “needs more edge to be truly cutting.”

“Before I Fall,” a new supernatural thriller based on the young adult novel of same name by Lauren Oliver, is essentially an anti-bullying “It gets better” advertisement stretched to feature length.

Zoey Deutch is Sam, high school senior and along with Lindsay (Halston Sage), Allison (Cynthy Wu) and Elody (Medalion Rahimi), one of a quartet of mean girls. “Till death do us part,” they chant in a clumsy bit of foreshadowing. Best friends, Lindsay says, they’ve “kissed the hottest boys, gone to the sickest parties” and, since grade five made the lives of those they deemed less cool miserable. One such classmate is Juliet (Elena Kampouris), an outsider they nicknamed Mellow Yellow after a long ago camp bed wetting.

On Valentine’s Day the four attend a wild house party but things don’t go exactly as planned. On what was supposed to be Sam’s big night with her boyfriend Rob (Kian Lawley), he gets drunk and flirts with other girls. Worse, Juliet shows up to confront her tormentors. When the situation gets out of control the foursome storm out, piling into Lindsay’s SUV. Minutes later the vehicle veers off the road and spins through the air. All are killed.

Or are they?

The next morning Sam wakes up in her bed with a bad case of Déjà vu. It’s once again Valentine’s Day morning and she seems to be reliving the day all over again. “I feel I’m still dreaming,” she says, perplexed. “Or was yesterday a dream?” Is she destined to relive the worst day of her life over and over? Or can she change her fate? The opportunity to revisit the day brings with it some perspective on the way she has lived her life. Out go the eye rolls, in comes a wave of empathy. “Maybe everything done could be undone,” she says. “Maybe things could change and I could change them. If I had to live the same day over and over I would make it a worthy day… but not just for me.”

Like the time travelling child of “Groundhog Day” and “Mean Girls” (but without Bill Marie or Rachel McAdams), “Before I Fall” is a study of teen angst magnified by a glitch in time. For its young adult audience it will likely raise questions about tolerance, bullying and behaviour. Those for whom high school is a long distant memory may have a harder time finding a great deal of depth in Sam’s revelations.

As portrayed in the film Sam has some edge—she’s not very nice to her sister and ignores her parents—but her journey from sinner to saint might have had more oomph if we had seen more of her terrible behaviour. As it is Lindsay is the true mean girl and yet we’re never really sure what happens to her. “Before I Fall” is a redemption story about a teen who doesn’t seem as much mean as she does moody. Hollywood doesn’t like to make movies where the lead is unlikable but in this case it would have added to Sam’s story of salvation.

Deutch is a likable (perhaps too likable) presence and the story has good and timely messages about bullying, teen suicide and the cause and effect of high school life, but “Before I Fall” needs more edge to be truly cutting. Also, since this isn’t an episode of “Star Trek” I’ll forgive the disregard for the space-time continuum rules.


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.25.14 PMRichard’s alter ego Zomald Trump reviews the teenage Halloween freak-out “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” and some more adult fare in the ghostly form of “Our Brand is Crisis,” “Truth” and “Suffragette.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 11.24.05 AMRichard’s alter ego Zomald Trump reviews the teenage Halloween freak-out “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” and some more adult fare in the ghostly form of “Our Brand is Crisis,” “Truth” and “Suffragette.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Modern zombie movies owe big debt to “Night of the Living Dead”

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 8.33.48 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Movies like World War Z, Zombie Women of Satan and this weekend’s comedy-horror Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse — the story of three Scouts who must bond to save their town from a zombie outbreak — owe a debt of gratitude to Night of the Living Dead. In 1968, the story of story of people trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse trying to survive an attack by reanimated ghouls dragged a bloody new horror genre into the marketplace.

For better (see Re-Animator) and for worse (see Zombie Nightmare) the movie Rex Reed called “a classic” has spawned almost five decades of brain eating and head explosions, but according to the film’s co-author John Russo, the origin of the idea was anything but sinister.

“Sometime in the winter of 1966 George Romero and I were having lunch with Richard Ricci,” says Russo, then a co-partner with Romero and Russell Streiner (who has the film’s most famous line, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”) in The Latent Image, a commercial television production house.

“George and I were complaining about the fickleness of our commercial clients. Richard said, ‘So why don’t you do something about it?’ I thought about it and said, ‘We oughtta be able to make something better than the crap we see on Chiller Theater.’

“George right away got excited, slammed the table with his big hand, sending bottles and glasses flying, and yelled, ‘We’re gonna make a movie!’”

The two batted around several ideas. One, titled Monster Flick, was a horror comedy about teenage aliens, while another focused on flesh eating aliens.

“But we quickly discovered that we could not afford all the necessary special effects,” he says, so the writing continued.

“We’d go to work late at night in separate offices, at separate typewriters,” says Russo. “I said right away that our story should start in a cemetery because folks found cemeteries spooky. I was working on a script that started in a cemetery and involved aliens coming to earth in search of human flesh. But George took a break at Christmas time and came back with half of a story that started in a cemetery, and was in essence what became the first half of Night of the Living Dead. There were all the proper twists and turns and a lot of excitement, but George never said who the attackers were or why they were attacking.

“I said, ‘I like this, George, but who are these attackers? You never say.’ And he said he didn’t know. So I said, ‘It seems to me they could be dead people. But why are they attacking? What are they after?’ Again, he said he didn’t know. So I said, ‘Why don’t we use my flesh-eating idea?’ And he agreed. “So that’s how the modern flesh-eating zombies were born!”

These days it doesn’t take a lot of braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains to see the legacy of Night of the Living Dead. The ghoulish story is considered a classic, has spawned comedies like the box office hit Zombieland and hit television shows like The Walking Dead.

“We were absolutely dedicated toward making a movie that was true to its premise and the motivations of its characters, from start to finish,” says Russo, adding, “[the movie] struck a primal chord in everybody, perhaps because of the atavistic memory of our species as easy prey for wild beasts, which we were for most of human history. We all carry the deep-seated fear of being devoured.”


Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 8.31.10 AM“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is rated R for zombie violence and gore, sexual material, graphic nudity, and language throughout. That means no one under 17 years of age will be admitted. I think the film might better serve its audience by not admitting anyone over the age of 17 because I’m not sure anyone much past Grade 11 will enjoy the movie’s mix of burps, blood and bursting bras.

When the zombie apocalypse hit their small California town Scouts and best friends Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller) and Augie (Joey Morgan) were in the woods on a camping trip. Untouched by the biological hazard that turns almost everyone in town into bloodthirsty brain eaters, they must mobilize, and use their Scout training—knowledge of knots, decision-making and other scoutcraft skills—to locate and rescue Kendall (Halston Sage), Carter’s sister and the girl of Ben’s dreams. Aided by a gun-toting cocktail waitress (Sarah Dumont) the boys follow the letter of the Scout Law—“to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”—to battle the zombies.

OK, they’re not always morally straight, but that’s the kind of movie this is. These boys don’t miss the chance to ogle a naked zombie or sneak into a strip club.

Imagine a “The Walking Dead” with post puberty boys and pre puberty jokes (the movie’s best gag comes in the form of a zombie wearing a YOLO t-shirt.). It’s a mash-up of high-school comedies and horror that doesn’t spare the fake plasma.

It works not because it’s the best zombie comedy ever—I’d nominate “Zombieland” or “Shaun of the Dead”—or that it has the grossest kills but because it has likeable characters. The guys are typical teens placed in an extraordinary situation. They rise to the challenge of vanquishing the undead and do so while learning about acceptance and responsibility. I’m not going to say it’s a message movie—it most definitely isn’t, but under the gallons of gore is an undeniable sweetness you usually don’t find in movies that feature disembowelments and exploding heads.

I’m not sure that Lord Baden-Powell would approve of “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” but for the right audience it should be a good Halloween matinee.


Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 2.05.20 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Southpaw,” “Pixels” and “Paper Towns.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.50.42 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Southpaw,” “Pixels” and “Paper Towns.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!