Posts Tagged ‘Horrible Bosses’


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 4.56.39 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.27.23 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CAKE: 3 STARS. “a great showcase for the new, dramatic Aniston.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 12.22.59 PMCareer gearshifts are tough. For every McConaissance there is a Gerard Butler or Katherine Heigl who can’t seem to make the change from rom coms to more serous roles.

For a while it looked like Jennifer Aniston was stuck in the same rut. Forgettable movies like “Love Happens” and “The Bounty Hunter” seemed to pigeonhole her as an American Sweetheart type in a movie market filled to bursting with dramatic darlings.

Lately though she’s been doing some career busting, appearing in raunchy comedies like “Horrible Bosses” and “We Are the Millers” and now “Cake,” a low budget drama about putting the broken pieces of a shattered life back together that should put Rachel on the shelf forever in favor of the more daring work she used to do in movies like “The Good Girl” and “Friends with Money.”

She plays Claire, a churlish woman suffering with chronic pain brought on by a car accident that crushed her leg and took the life of her son. The near death experience blew apart her marriage to Jason (Chris Messina), leaving her alone with her tough-but-tender housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barazza) and the members of her support group. When Nina (Anna Kendrick), a member of the group, commits suicide Claire becomes obsessed with Nina’s life and death. Her search for answers leads her to Nina’s husband’s (Sam Worthington) door and to a new way at looking at life.

“Cake” has many nicely played dramatic scenes. Putting Aniston’s crusty Claire next to Barazza’s warmhearted Silvana is inspired. Their scenes are by far and away the best things in the movie. When they aren’t sparking off one another the movie loses much of its sizzle.

Not that Worthington fails, he doesn’t, but as part of the Nina/Claire-redemption story arc he’s the engine that drives the most predictable and least interesting part of the story.

Aniston, however, is terrific. The pain that wracks her body and tortures her psyche is evident in every movement, in every word that tumbles from her lips. That doesn’t mean she can’t still deliver a funny line. Ten seasons of sit com work honed that skill to a fine edge so when she asks if Nina’s husband where he got the granite for her gravestone because, “I’m thinking of putting a kitchen rail in my backyard,” it’s prickly but hilarious.

“Cake” is a great showcase for the new, dramatic Aniston but it isn’t a great film. In it’s final moments the movie grasps for a feel good ending which is just slightly out of reach.


horrible-bossesEveryone has fantasizes about if not killing, then at least doing grievous bodily harm on an employer. The guys in “Horrible Bosses,” a new comedy starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, actually do something about it.

Chances are you’ve never had a boss as mean, manipulating or just plain odd as the bosses in this movie. These people make Genghis Khan look like an equal opportunity employer. Bateman works for Kevin Spacey, a corporate shark not above exploiting his workers and then taking a promotion and pay raise for himself. The cast’s other Jason, Sedaris, is saddled with Colin Farrell an unscrupulous coke head with a bad attitude and an even worse comb over. Finally Day works for Jennifer Aniston, a dentist who uses laughing gas as a sex toy.

All are stuck in their jobs and fed up with the daily humiliation offered in their workplaces decide to do the only thing a reasonable person would do—kill their bosses.

OK, I was joking about the reasonable person part. Of course no reasonable person would try to hire a hit man on the Internet or break into their bosses homes looking for ways to kill them, but this is a comedy so we’ll accept that. Or will we? The movie stars off strong, funny and well paced but it’s central premise—let’s kill our bosses!—seems forced and it sucks some of the funny from the middle part of the movie.

There are laughs for sure, but the bungling of the crucial set up scene left me feeling like I was watching a funny enough movie marred with a silly premise.

The cast holds up well. The Jasons bring their usual brand of well practiced funny, and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Charlie Day is a funny find but thesis rises here are Farrell and Aniston. We’ve seen Spacey do this kind of thing before, the manic boss with no scruples (ie: “Swimming with Sharks”) but his cast mates are breaking some new ground. Farrell throws vanity out the window to play a drug addled loser with a penchant for cocaine and masseuses. He’s funny and edgy and does work here unlike we’ve seen before from him.

Aniston leaves her America’s Sweetheart persona behind to play a foul mouthed predator with a bad habit of using gas as foreplay. If this doesn’t wipe away any traces of Rachel left over from her TV work, I don’t know what will.

“Horrible Bosses” is a darkly funny employee revenge film that mostly works, I just wish the motivation felt more authentic.

Kevin Spacey drinks up playing a horrible boss RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA Published: July 05, 2011

2011-HORRIBLE-BOSSES-007In the first decade of his career, Kevin Spacey made 20-plus movies and appeared in dozens of TV shows. In the process he took home two Academy Awards — Best Actor for American Beauty, Best Supporting for The Usual Suspects — and became one of the best known actors in Hollywood. But these days he’s not as ubiquitous a presence on screen as he once was, and that’s by design.

“I made a choice that I was going to focus on theatre for 10 years,” he says on the line from his home in London, “because I had focused on film for nearly 12.

“I got to a point where I thought, ‘That went better than I could possibly have ever hoped. Now what? Am I going to spend the next 10 years chasing the same dream?’ I thought, A: I don’t need to top myself and B: I’d like to take all the incredible personal good fortune and attention that came to me and put it toward something that isn’t about me. That is about putting myself back into something that has always been my first love.”

To that end he took over one of England’s oldest theatres, the Old Vic, as artistic director in 2003, creating a company of actors and educational programs. It’s work that keeps him busy.

“Let me tell you the honest truth. I don’t have time to make movies that often, so I’m not offered that many movies. Sometimes I get the feeling from journalists that they think you sit around and decide which movies you’re going to do. I’ll let Tom Hanks do that one and George Clooney can do that one but I’m going to do this one. That’s not the way it works. There are only two reasons I do movies. One, because they offer it to me and two, am I available to do it. There’s no great design. Trust me, I’m not sitting around with a magic wand picking my parts like I have a deli in front of me of choice. That’s a myth. It’s a nice myth, but it isn’t true.”

He took a break from the stage long enough to play one of the evil employers in Horrible Bosses, a new comedy co-starring Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston.

“I love all these actors,” he says, adding, “It’s great fun to pretend to be a horrible person for a couple of weeks.”

‘Horrible Bosses’ more proof that three is the new two RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA Published: June 30, 2011

horrible-bosses-jason-sudeikisAlthough Jason Sudeikis stars in the new comedy Horrible Bosses, he says in real life he’s never worked for a horrible boss.

A short retail career—“It was not my forte,” he says—saw a manager harp on him about “hanger integrity” which he explains is “the act of making sure all your hangers in a closet or on a clothing rack face the exact same way.” But he doesn’t remember her as horrible. “Passive aggressive, yes, and very detail oriented. But horrible, no.”

His current boss, Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels gets more effusive praise. “I picture him laughing a lot,” he says. “I think that is what keeps him so spry.”

In Horrible Bosses, the handsome actor—he’s good-looking enough to have dated January Jones!—plays Kurt, who, along with Jason Bateman and Charlie Day, plot to kill their evil employers. “I just think Jason and Charlie are so great,” he says. “I watched and thought, ‘Golly, they’re so frickin’ funny. I hope people are alright with me.’”

The plot sounds sinister, and Sudeikis admits “you could do a Fox Searchlight movie of this” but his movie isn’t serious in any way. “I don’t know if any of our characters go through an emotional arc,” he laughs. “It never gets too dark. There’s not going to be any copycat situations. It’s not going to start things up around the country, or the world for that matter.”

It’s a buddy comedy expanded to three, just like another big hit this summer, The Hangover Part 2. “People, if they want to be crappy about it will say, ‘Oh, they want to be The Hangover,’ but it is totally different.”

I mention a tweet someone sent after seeing Horrible Bosses. “Three is the new two,” it read.

“I’ve been working on my own theory that four is the new rule of comedy in this new generation,” he says. “One establishes the premise, two hits it, third is the punch line, then the fourth one is a comment on what the first three were.”

Horrible Bosses is being released amidst the crash, boom, bang of the summer blockbusters. I ask him if he’s concerned about competing with the likes of Transformers.

“Out of the movies that are being released around it, it’s the one I would go see,” he says. “I just happen to be in it, which is nice.”

Bosses delivers the goods Reel Guys by Richard Crouse and Mark Breslin METRO CANADA Published: July 08, 2011

horrible-bosses3The bosses in this movie make Genghis Khan look like an equal opportunity employer. Jason Bateman works for corporate shark Kevin Spacey. Jason Sudeikis has coke-head Colin Farrell and his comb-over. Charlie Day works for Jennifer Aniston, a dentist who uses laughing gas as a sex toy. All are stuck in their jobs and fed up with the daily humiliation offered in their workplaces and decide to terminate their bosses — literally.

Star Ratings:
Richard: ***
Phil: ***

Movie writer Phil Brown is sitting in for Mark Breslin this week.

Richard Crouse: Phil, of course no reasonable person would break into their bosses home looking for ways to kill them, but this is a comedy so we’ll accept that. Or will we? I thought the movie started off strong, funny and well paced, but its central premise — let’s kill our bosses! — seems forced and it sucks some of the funny from the middle part of the movie. What did you think?

Phil Brown: Richard, I’ve got to go the other way. The premise of having a terrible boss that makes your life hell is sadly all too relatable for many, but the opening bad boss gags felt tired even with the R-rated facelift. It didn’t click for me until the murder element turned the movie into a live action cartoon with a sick sense of humour.

RC: Interesting, I felt as though I was watching a funny enough movie marred by a silly premise. It’s one thing to have some drinks and joke about killing your boss, it’s quite another to act on it. I don’t want to beleaguer this point, but the crucial set-up scene to me felt forced, like a weak lead in to a funny punch line. Having said that, Charlie Day made me laugh. A lot.

PB: The whole premise is old and they even name-dropped two movies that did it better (Strangers On A Train and Throw Mamma From The Train). I think we can both agree that things really got rolling in the second half when it deviated from that form. Charlie Day definitely induces pants-wetting laughter consistently and I think the cast made this movie work through an improvisation festival. The only problem is that comedy style kills narrative momentum and there was no real tension in the thriller aspect of the story. Though I suppose the laughs are more important.

RC: And there are plenty of laughs. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer here. The movie is funny. It was cool to see Kevin Spacey revive his character Buddy from Swimming with Sharks, and if this doesn’t wipe away any traces of Rachel left over from Jennifer Aniston’s TV work I don’t know what will. Now, I guess, she’s America’s Foul Mouthed Over Sexed Sweetheart.

PB: In my mind, she always will be. Despite the inconsistencies, Horrible Bosses delivers the goods and will always be the only movie featuring Colin Farrell doing a coked-up Michael Keaton impression with a comb-over.

There’s nothing new about a horrible boss In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: July 06, 2011

office-space-06_full1Nobody likes the boss.

Bob Dylan sang “I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.” But Johnny Paycheck said it best for all people with evil employers when he snarled, “Take this job and shove it.”

This weekend, a new movie takes hatred for bad bosses to a new level. The guys in Horrible Bosses, a new comedy starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, hate their supervisors, and try to solve their employment problems…permanently.

Not all movie bosses are in such danger. Often movie characters find more creative ways to get even with their bosses.

Remember Office Space’s Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston)? He hated his nitpicking boss, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole), so much he created a computer virus to steal money from the company. Too bad he got the decimal point wrong.

Gibbons didn’t go to prison for his revenge scheme but another agitated employee did. In Wall Street, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) allows his boss, Mr. Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko, to lead him down a moral and professional rabbit hole.

His revenge was simple: He recorded Gekko’s admission of guilt. Trouble was, to do so he had to implicate himself.

Going to jail was too good for Guy’s (Frank Whaley) boss in Swimming with Sharks. The up and coming writer thought he had it made when he got a job as the assistant to hot shot producer Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey) but soon found out that being low on the food chain in Hollywood means putting up with a constant stream of abuse and humiliation.

Instead of quitting he does what any slightly psychotic Tinsel Town wannabe would do: he breaks into Buddy’s house, kidnaps him and tortures him. In a twist, the extreme behaviour earns Buddy’s respect and Guy gets a promotion.

Usually in the movies, it’s men who are the bad bosses but there are two glaring examples of distaff evil employers. In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep was Miranda, a boss who redefines the word demanding.

She’s bad, but the worst female boss ever is Working Girl’s Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver). Miranda was belittling and arrogant, but at least she was upfront about it. Parker, on the other hand, is two faced, passing off her trusted secretary Tess McGill’s (Melanie Griffith) ideas as her own. In the end, Tess teaches her a lesson about honesty…and gets her fired.