Posts Tagged ‘Idina Menzel’


Richard joins Ryan Doyle of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about the world’s most expensive cocktails–listen in if you’re thirsty with a bulging wallet–and reviews “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” with Camila Cabello.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!




Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Simu Liu as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” with Camila Cabello and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


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 Simu Liu as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” with Camila Cabello and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about to talk about Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CINDERELLA: 3 STARS. “presented with sincerity and no small amount of humour.”

The new “Cinderella,” starring pop singer Camila Cabello and now streaming on Amazon Prime, begins with a sweeping crane shot of the title character’s rustic village that could have been lifted from any one of the dozens of adaptations of the famous story. But by the time the villagers begin dancing to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation,” tossing pitchforks of hay in the air and doing the Robot in time with the music, you realize this isn’t your fairy godmother’s version of the oft told tale.

The story’s bones are roughly the same as the Brothers Grimm folk tale. Orphan Ella, nicknamed Cinderella (Cabello) by her jealous stepsisters (Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer) because her skin is often besmirched by cinders, dreams of one day travelling the world as a famous designer. For now, though, she lives in the dingy basement of her cruel and imperious step-mother Vivian’s (Idina Menzel) home, where she waits on them hand and foot, only to be called “worthless” and dismissed by a wave of Vivian’s hand.

The Royal Ball is imminent, and Prince Robert’s (Nicholas Galitzine) father King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) thinks it is the perfect chance for his son to find a wife and settle down. When the prince catches an eyeful of Cinderella he is smitten before she disappears into the crowd. “I’ll play your silly game,” he tells the King, “but only if every girl in the kingdom is invited to the ball regardless of wealth or stature.” The king reluctantly agrees, and everyone is invited, even Cinderella. Except that she’s not interested. “The whole thing is weird and antiquated,” she says. “Not my thing.”

She changes her mind when the Prince, in disguise, convinces her that there will be interesting people there, and she might even drum up some business as a designer. But she doesn’t believe anything romantic will come out of it. “I’m dirty,” she says. “I smell like a basement and my best friends are mice.”

She whips up a frilly pink dress for the big night, but Vivian puts her foot down, and throws ink on the outfit, ruining it and Cinderella’s chances for going to the ball. She is despondent until Fab G (Billy Porter), her Fairy Godparent, enters her life in the most red-carpet-ready way possible.

“Hush, it’s magic time,” Fab G says as a sequined dress, glass slippers and a fancy carriage materialize. There are rules. No one, except the Prince, will be able to recognize her while she’s in the gown and the magic will wear off at midnight, so she must run home as the clock strikes.

Sparks fly between the Prince and Cinderella. He professes his love for her and says he intends on making her his princess. She’ll be royalty. “Royalty?” she says, channeling her inner Meghan, “What about my work?” As she is announced as the future Queen, the clock strikes and she flees, leaving behind one glass slipper.

“Cinderella” is a big Broadway style jukebox musical of the familiar tale given a thoroughly modern makeover. Written and directed by former “30 Rock” writer Kay Cannon, who also created the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, updates the story to emphasize female empowerment, the autonomy of fathers and sons, the freedom to choose one’s life and she evens softens up the traditionally evil step family. It is still a classic love story, but here Cinderella is no Disney Princess. She’s Girlboss Cinderella, in charge of her life, love and future.

The modifications are presented with sincerity and no small amount of humour—there’s even a pretty funny reference to Brosnan’s legendarily terrible singing voice, first noticed by, well, everyone in “Mama Mia”—but the changes also make it fairly simple to predict what’s going to happen, even if Cannon tries to distract you with big production numbers.

Gone are the old school Disney songs like “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” They’ve been replaced with reinterpreted pop and rock songs like “Material Girl” and “Somebody to Love.” Think “A Knight’s Tale,” the 2001 fantasy that mixed-and-matched modern music and dancing with a medieval setting.

“Cinderella” is a frothy, enjoyable confection that often resembles a music video. Cabello’s take on the character breathes the same air as Moana, “Brave’s” feisty Merida, and Elsa and Anna from “Frozen.” Purists may miss the old songs or traditional blue dress, but stories about women as active participants in their lives should become the new tradition.


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the “Little Women,” the war epic “1917,” the courtroom drama “Just Mercy,” the animated spy flick “Spies in Disguise” and Adam Sandler’s surprising work in “Uncut Gems.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the latest remake of “Little Women,” the war epic “1917,” the courtroom drama “Just Mercy” and Adam Sandler’s surprising work in “Uncut Gems.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

UNCUT GEMS: 4 ½ STARS. “draws you into its dirty little world.”

It has been a long time, possible forever, since anyone has written that one of the year’s very best movies stars Adam Sandler. Nope, it’s not a rerelease of “Billy Madison” or the director’s cut of “Happy Gilmore,” it’s a crime thriller from acclaimed indie filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie called “Uncut Gems.”

Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a walking, talking raw nerve. A New York City jeweler, his life is a mess. His business is failing, he owes everyone in town money and yet cannot stop gambling. He’s planning on leaving his wife Dinah (Idina Menzel) for new girlfriend Julia (Julia Fox)—who also works in his store—and the damn security door in his shop is on the fritz.

Like all hustlers he’s always looking for the big score and thinks he may have found it in, of all places, the History Channel. After watching a documentary about mining in Africa he hatches a plan to get his hands on a rare Ethiopian black opal he figures is worth upwards of one million dollars. He has a buyer in NBA superstar Kevin Garnett (playing himself), who thinks the gem has mystical powers that will help his game, but Howard needs more cash upfront than the basketball player is willing to pay.

He’s trying for a win, the kind of windfall that involves great risk, but will the risk be worth it in the end?

Watching “Uncut Gems” is an exhausting experience. Howard’s jittery personality is brought to vibrant life by Sandler. For two hours he’s like a NYC traffic jam come to life, complete with the shouting and jostling. He’s the architect of his own misfortune, constantly in motion, bringing chaos to all situations. With handheld cameras the Safdies capture Howard’s gloriously scuzzy behavior, luxuriating in the character’s foibles.

Sandler has breathed this air before—most notably in “Punch Drunk Love”—but he’s rarely been this compelling. He brings his natural likability to the role but layers it with Howard’s neurosis, frustration, conniving and even joy. It’s a remarkable performance, powered by jet fuel, that, by the time he is locked in the trunk of his own car, naked, will draw you into “Uncut Gems’” dirty little world.

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: RICHARD AND the ‘Frozen 2’ cast On the highly anticipated sequel.

In separate interviews for the CTV NewsChannel Richard sits down with the cast of “Frozen 2,” Josh Gad who plays the snowman, and Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, as sisters Princess Anna of Arendelle and Queen Elsa of Arendelle. They talk about keeping the plot secret during the three year production and why the original film resonated with audiences.

Watch the whole thing HERE!