Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including Shia LeBeouf’s semi-autobiographical story “Honey Boy,” the eco-doc “Spaceship Earth,” the period dramedy “Emma,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “The Assistant,” the family drama “Ordinary Love,” the horror comedy “Extra ordinary,” the ugly divorce proceedings of “Hope Gap” and the neo-realist look at the gig economy “Sorry We Missed You.”
Humour and horror may elicit different reactions, a giggle or a gasp, but in many ways they are the flip sides of the same coin. Both genres rely on timing and tension to make their point and both act as stream valves for emotions. A case in point? The supernatural shenanigans of “Extra Ordinary,” a new film now on VOD, starring Will Forte as a Satanist, that finds a very pleasing mix of silly and scary.
Set in rural Ireland, “Extra Ordinary” is the story of Rose (Maeve Higgins), a driving instructor with a gift for communicating to the dead courtesy of her late celebrity ghost buster father (Risteárd Cooper). People leave her messages asking her to use her supernatural skills for all sorts of things including, “finding my charger” and “looking into whether I’m pregnant.” She has left the paranormal behind, haunted by the unfortunate childhood accident that claimed her father’s life during the exorcism of a dog. “I don’t use my gifts anymore,” she says. “It’s too dangerous.”
In another part of town recent widower, the double-named Martin Martin (Barry Ward), is having some problems with his late wife who won’t stay dead—she stills runs the house and leaves messages like “You Must Pay… the Car Tax written in the steam on the bathroom mirror—and his teenage daughter Sarah (Emma Martin) has had enough. “We can’t go on like this,” says Sarah. “If you are too scared, I’m going to call someone.” “Who you gonna call,” Martin replies, in one of the film’s many references to other spooky movies.
Of course, the only person in town to call is Rose. She resists but gives in when one-hit-wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) enters the picture. He’s a Satanist who needs to sacrifice a virgin so his next album will be a hit and he has his eye on Sarah. “They say the devil is in the details,” Christian says, “and on this album all the details are just right.”
“Extra Ordinary” works so well not because of the gross outs—which are low fi but fun—and not simply because of the jokes but because of the characters. Higgins, as the lonely and lovable Rose shares great chemistry with Ward, who displays laser sharp comic timing as he, possessed by the ghost of his late wife, jumps from personality to personality. Forte ups the ante, bringing his “in for a penny, in for a pound” style of extreme characterization to Christian, teetering on the edge of overkill with his blend of buffoonery and mysticism but never topples over.
Directors and co-writers Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern find just the right mix of laughs and lunacy to underscore “Extra Ordinary’s” story of lost souls looking to move on with their lives after loss, even if the passed on still cast a long shadow. “You are not killing my dead wife,” Martin says in a line that sums up the movie’s absurdity and humanity in just seven words.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s biggest releases including “My Spy,” the odd couple flick for kids, the controversial “The Hunt,” the adult drama “Hope Gap” and the wild supernatural comedy “Extra Ordinary.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.
It’s no secret that Nicolas Cage’s taste in movie roles has changed from the days when he starred in A-list films like Raising Arizona, Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas. The 54-year-old actor appears to flip a coin when deciding what to make these days. Sometimes he gets lucky — The Croods has a sequel on the way and Joe made some box office bank — while other times he ends up in films like Outcast, a period piece whose outlandish story careens through Europe and Asia like a drunken soldier on shore leave.
It’s trendy to write Cage off as an actor throwing his talent away, more concerned with cash than art. YouTube brims with videos like Crazy Cage Moments and Cage Rage. Between them they’ve racked up millions of views, which is certainly more people — give or take several zeroes — that saw his recent bizarro-world revenge film Mandy or direct-to-oblivion domestic thriller Inconceivable. And yet, no matter how low rent some of his recent output is, he’s usually compelling.
The vids are an eye-opening compendium of Cage’s trademarked brand of extreme acting — a method of over-emoting perfected in the more than 80 movies he’s made since his debut (under his real name Nicolas Coppola) in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Citing The Incredible Hulk star Bill Bixby as a major influence, he has always been, for better and for worse, one of our most completely fearless actors.
This weekend’s Mom and Dad promises an extra helping of full-throttle Cage. He calls it his favourite movie in a decade, while Glen Kenny, writing in the New York Times said, “In this morbid satire about parents trying to kill their kids, Mr. Cage has plenty of opportunity to go full him.” Cage, who forever will be best known for hits like Adaptation, National Treasure and Leaving Las Vegas, has made many other movies that are worth a second look.
One writer called Cage’s work in 1989’s Vampire’s Kiss “a grand stab at all-out, no-holds-barred comic acting or one of the worst dramatic performances in a film this year,” but decades later the movie has earned cult status because of Cage’s edgy work. The story of a man who may — or may not — be turning into a vampire is best remembered as the film in which Cage ate a live cockroach, but also features one of his most unhinged performances.
A few years later, somewhere between Honeymoon in Vegas and Guarding Tess, came Red Rock West, a genre-busting movie — Ebert said it “exists sneakily between a western and a thriller, between a film noir and a black comedy” — that unfairly barely made it to theatres. Cage hands in some of his best work as a broke but honest drifter, but only took the role after Kris Kristofferson turned it down.
Existing at the intersection of Vampire’s Kiss and Red Rock West is Wild at Heart, a film that perfectly showcases Cage’s manic energy. As Sailor, a lover boy on the run from hit men hired by his girlfriend’s mother, he’s a one-of-a-kind, an Elvis wannabe with a snakeskin jacket and an attitude. It’s a bravura performance. Like the jacket, which he says “represents a symbol of my individuality,” Wild at Heart is a symbol of his artistic individuality.
It is a safe bet that you’ve never seen a movie quite like “Mom and Dad.” Starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair as parents trying to murder their children it is dark yet goofy. It’s trashy with no redeeming qualities and that’s what makes it great… or at least a fun night out at the movies.
Cage and Blair are Brent and Kendall Ryan, the slightly bored suburban parents of Carly (Anne Winters) and Josh (Zackary Arthur). He longs for his wild years, she is a devoted mom, but concerned about aging. When a mysterious plague—or is it mass hysteria?—hits town, turning parents against their kids, Brent and Kendall spend twenty-four-hours trying to trap and kill their kids. Finally they can act on all the resentments they’ve been harbouring against their kids for forcing them to grow up and leave their youth behind.
“Mom and Dad” is the very definition of a midnight movie. Cage, a master at playing heightened reality, has rarely been, well, Cagier and the sight of Blair sizing up tools to kill her daughter—should she use a meat hammer or long kitchen knife—is delightful in the most disturbing of ways.
Director Brian Taylor brings the same wild anarchic spirit he brought to movies like “Crank” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” In a quick 85 minutes he provides set-up, quick character studies and enough twisted action to keep eyeballs dancing and then, as though he ran out of film and couldn’t finish the film, it ends. Cuts to black just as it feels like the story is going to head into even wilder territory. I doubt it’s a cliffhanger to trigger a sequel (the story doesn’t have very far to go) so the suddenness of it comes as a shock—almost as much of a shock as parents trying to gas their own offspring.
I suppose “Mom and Dad” may have a secret agenda, a hidden subtext about filicide and the toxic relationships that push people to do the unthinkable, but if it is there, it is hidden under layers of raucously un-PC humour.