Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including the dramatic coming of age story “Beans,” now playing in theatres and the sex, drugs and Alan McGee rock ‘n roll biopic “Creation Stories” on VOD.
Richard joins Jay Michaels and guest host Deb Hutton of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the pirate who invented the Pina Colada and some movies, “Old” and the rock and roll biopic “Creation Stories,” to enjoy while sipping one of the creamy drinks.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Old” (in theatres), the action flick “Jolt” (Amazon Prime), the rock ‘n roll biopic “Creation Stories” (VOD), the dramatic coming of age story of “Beans” (in theatres), and the throwback skateboarding movie “North Hollywood” (VOD) with Vince Vaughn.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s 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 the rock ‘n roll biopic “Creation Stories,” the dramatic coming of age story of “Beans” and the throwback skateboarding movie “North Hollywood” with Vince Vaughn.
Near the end of “Creation Stories,” the story of record industry giant Alan McGee now on VOD, a young writer promises one day to write a story that matches his ego. “That’s a very noble ambition,” he snaps back. I’m not sure if she ever wrote the story, but director Nick Moran and screenwriters Dean Cavanagh and Irvine Welsh certainly have. “Modesty gets you nowhere,” McGee says.
Ewen Bremner, best known as Spud from “Trainspotting”, plays McGee, a wannabe punk musician who put down his guitar and picked up bands like Jesus and the Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis for his UK indie label Creation Records. Told in the tried-and-true biopic form of a celebrity interview, the movie is a series of flashback vignettes of McGee that illustrate his answers. The format is old hat but allows Moran to zip through the story at a break neck speed.
The pace captures the spirit and drug fuelled joie d vivre of the times, but feels disjointed. It’s a scattershot movie that packs twenty pounds of story into a ten-pound bag. According to the movie, like a Scottish Zelig, McGee is here, there and everywhere but always in the right place at the right time. He’s front and centre in every scene, it’s his life story after all, but as we careen through McGee’s chaotic life, the side characters get lost. Particularly the musicians who made Creation so successful.
It often feels like a story, as the young writer played by Suki Waterhouse promised, that plays up to McGee’s ego courtesy of a constant stream of platitudes.
Luckily at the centre of it all is Bremner. His charismatic performance is the glue that prevents the disparate parts of the story from blowing a part. His likability holds our interest even as the story goes the way of so many other celebrity biographies—the dreaded time in rehab and/or involvement with politics. The rip-roaring stride of the film’s first half slows as “Creation Stories” searches for some elusive depth. Even then, Bremner is compelling, even if the skin-deep portrait of the music executive becomes less so as the movie nears the end credits.
“Creation Stories” is chirpily nostalgic for the heady days when Creation Records struck gold with records that resonated with millions of people. What it isn’t sentimental for is the actual music, McGee’s true legacy.
A special Richard Crouse Show Podcast with Scottish-born Alan McGee, one of the most famous British record label bosses of all time. He co-founded Creation Records in 1983, and released classic albums by Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub and his most famous discovery, Oasis. “Creation Stories,” a new biopic starring “Trainspotting’s” Ewan Bremner, and now on VOD, is the complete story of sex, drugs and Alan McGee.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the live action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the drug addled “T2 Trainspotting” and the no-holds-barred “Goon: Last of the Enforcers.”
Twenty-one years on from the full on frontal assault that was “Trainspotting,” the old gang is back together but the only things that truly binds them is a shared past. “You’re a tourist in your own youth,” says Sick Boy/Simon (Jonny Lee Miller).
At the center of it all is Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor). The last time we saw him he was a wastrel and double-crosser who cheated his friends out of £16,000 in a drug deal. After hightailing it to Amsterdam he’s now a fitness freak who spends more time running in a treadmill than running from the law.
His former friends, now all in their forties, are in various states of personal disrepair. “The wave of gentrification has yet to wash over us,” Simon quips.
Sick Boy/Simon is still a dodgy dude with a King Kong size Coke problem, who makes ends meet by blackmailing the wealthy customers of his prostitute business partner Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova).
Spud/Daniel (Ewen Bremner), still an impressive mash-up of ears, teeth and gangly limbs, is now a pathetic creature that chooses heroin addiction over a life with his wife Shirley Henderson) and child.
The fourth member of the group, Begbie (Robert Carlyle), he of the bad attitude and broken pint glasses to the face, is indisposed, locked up but with a way out and a gut full of hate for Renton.
Loosely based on author Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting” follow-up novel “Porno,” the new film from Danny Boyle, asks if it is ever possible to go home again—in this case Edinburgh—especially if home involves a dangerous psychopath with a grudge and an ex-BFF who wants revenge.
“T2 Trainspotting” does something quite remarkable. It places nostalgia in the rear view mirror while, at the same time, celebrating bygone days. To see Mark confront his past complete with the emotional attachments and entanglements that come along with it feels like a universal reckoning, a reminder that the world changes even if we don’t.
That’s the beating heart of the film, the rest is window dressing, It’s fun to hang out with these almost lovable villains for a couple more hours, to catch up on old times, immerse ourselves in their down-and-dirty lives and even get a new Choose Life riff but a heavy air of regret hangs over the proceedings. It reinforces the idea that we can’t relive the glory days no matter how hard we try. It’s a middle-age truism brought to vivid life by Boyle and cast.
In revisiting the past the director does, however, put an intimate spin on the story with clever visual integration of past memories—present day characters mournfully share the screen with their younger counterparts—and a melancholy sense that no matter how hard we try to move forward ultimately our lives are simply a continuation of everything that came before. As Renton says, “choose history repeating itself.” It’s not a thunderbolt revelation but revisiting these characters—particularly the tragicomic Spud—puts a face to those anchored in the nostalgia.
For fans of the original film “T2 Trainspotting” will be an enjoyable ride. It is as good a sequel to a classic film as you could hope for. It’s a shame the returning female characters played by Kelly MacDonald and Shirley Henderson are relegated to cameos and the original’s sense of infectious anarchy has been dulled somewhat but the film’s mix of redemption and regret are ample replacements.