Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the animated heist flick “The Bad Guys.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” the animated heist flick “The Bad Guys” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
Watch Richard review three movies in less time than it takes to sign your name! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the violent and visceral Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage movie “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
There is perfect casting and then there is Nicolas Cage, playing a heightened version of himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a meta new action comedy now playing in theatres.
Off screen Cage is a larger-than-life character, an Oscar winner known for his penchant for purchasing dinosaur skulls, tax troubles and wildly uneven cinematic output. He brings the weight of that public persona to this movie, making myth out of his own legend of self-indulgence.
Cage plays Cage as a faded Hollywood prince. Once a box office draw, he’s down on his luck, going broke and in need of a big money gig. He has become the White Claw of serious actors. He’s good, but no one with taste is taking him seriously.
Producers, scared off by his wild-at-heart reputation, give him the Hollywood kiss off. We love you, but are going in a different direction.
Depressed, he decides to leave Hollywood. “I’m done,” he says. “I’m quitting acting. Tell the trades it was a tremendous honour to be part of storytelling and myth-making.”
Before he leaves the life, he gets an offer he can’t refuse. Olive magnate Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) will pay Cage a million dollars to attend his birthday bash in Mallorca. The actor reluctantly agrees, and soon finds himself drinking and cliff-diving at Javi’s beautiful estate.
Javi is a huge fan, with a collection of cage collectibles. “Is this supposed to be me?” cage asks, gesturing at a statue of himself. “It’s grotesque. I’ll give you twenty thousand for it.”
Turns out the starstruck Javi isn’t what he appears. “Do you know who you’re spending time with?” CIA agent Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) asks Cage. “He’s one of the most ruthless men on the face of the earth.” They think Javi kidnapped the daughter of the president of Catalonia to influence an upcoming election.
Vivian and Agent Martin (Ike Barinholtz) recruit Cage to work undercover on Javi’s estate to get to the bottom of the case. “That little girl doesn’t have anyone,” says Vivian, “and if you leave, I don’t know what will happen to her.”
It’s a chance to do some good, but for Cage, it is also the role of a lifetime.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is an entertaining, oddball movie. Essentially a one joke premise—i.e.: Cage as Cage—it plays with the tropes of many of Cage’s films, but doesn’t play as strictly homage or satire. It’s something else. What, exactly, I’m not quite sure.
It’s almost as if this is Nic Cage’s screw you to the folks who deride him for being a working actor who pumps out two or three movies a year. “I’ve always seen this as a job, as work,” he says, as though he feels bogged down by the weight of the critical appraisal of his artistic choices.
But this isn’t a movie about score settling. It’s a silly action comedy, unabashedly interested in entertaining the audience. It occasionally errs, mistaking familiar references from Cage’s filmography for jokes. It’s that “meme-ification”—the pinpointing of Cage call-backs—of the film’s humour that prevents it from becoming a knee slapper all the way through. There are laugh out loud moments, but there are more moments that feel more Instagram ready than cinematic.
Still, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a good time, worth the price of admission to see young Cage advising older Cage and commit the most surreal example of actorly self-love ever seen on film.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the kid’s action movie “My Spy,” the divorce drama “Hope Gap” and the political polarization of “The Hunt.”
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.”
Last summer, just before the original release date for “The Hunt,” a political satire starring “GLOW’s” Betty Gilpin, President Trump Tweeted, sight unseen, that it was “made in order … to inflame and cause chaos.” Being labelled “very, very bad for our Country!” by the most powerful man in the world the film got the political satire pulled from distribution. The President and the rest of us will finally get a chance to see what all the fuss was about when the movie hits screens this weekend.
Breathing the same bloody air as dystopian movies like “The Purge,” “The Hunt” is a violent b-movie that examines America’s current political divide in very broad strokes. Gilpin plays Crystal, one of a group of strangers—i.e. “deplorables”—kidnapped by Athena (Hilary Swank), the ringleader of a group of “liberal ‘cucks’ who run the deep state.”
“Every year these liberal elites kidnap a bunch of normal folks like us,” reveals Gary (Ethan Suplee), “and hunt us for sport.” The game becomes less lopsided when Crystal fights back, eliminating the “competition” one by one.
Horror films have long used guts and gore as allegories for modern societal woes. “Frankenstein” is a God complex story. “Night of the Living Dead” is a metaphor for the past coming back to wreak havoc on the future. Those, and others like social-politically themes “The Host” and “Videodrome,” or “Invasion of the Body Snatchers’s” look at conformity, among others, provide important and entertaining ways of looking at ourselves through a different lens. “The Hunt,” while entertaining in a b-movie kind of way, doesn’t really rise to the designation of important. Like so many things these days, the outrage that preceded its release was blown out of proportion.
There’s no allegory here. “The Hunt” is a literal representation of political polarization in a “Hunger Games”-style of haves and have-nots. It’s the 1% vs the 99% until a plot twist suggests that this may be an even emptier exercise in us vs them than originally thought. Most of what passes for social commentary—and it hits most every social situation from racism, class division, crisis acting, immigration, fake news, corruption, gender identification and cultural appropriation—is punctuated with a gun shot or a joke. One “deplorable” calls another a “snowflake” when he refuses to shoot her after she’s been injured. The punchline? A gunshot.
“The Hunt” is a gutsy (sometimes literally) grindhouse movie that only goes as deep as to poke fun at people who use “their” instead of “there.” But while it may not have the power, as the Pres sez, to inflame and cause chaos, it is an effectively gritty little thriller more interested in the fist-in-your-face action (delivered with the subtlety of an Alex Jones monologue) than getting in your face with its message.
Richard has a look at the 2018 reboot of “Halloween,” the ecology documentary from director Rob Stewart, “Sharkwater Extinction,” the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun” and the political comedy “The Oath” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.