Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Oscar nominated “The Father” (in theatres), the kid friendly “Yes Day” (Netflix), the true life crime drama “Above Suspicion” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray) and the Danish feel-good flick “Food Club” (VOD/Digital).
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Anthomny Hopkins tour-de-force “The Father” (in theatres), the kid friendly “Yes Day” (Netflix), the true life crime drama “Above Suspicion” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Oscar nominated “The Father” (in theatres), the kid friendly “Yes Day” (Netflix), the true life crime drama “Above Suspicion” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray) and the Danish feel-good flick “Food Club” (VOD/Digital).
Based on a true story, “Above Suspicion,” starring “Game of Thrones’” Emilia Clarke, now on VOD, is set in small Kentucky where there are only two ways to make money since the mine closed, “one is the drug business and the other is the funeral business.”
Clarke is Susan Smith, living hand-to-mouth in her Kentucky home town. She wants a better life but drug addiction and her abusive ex-husband’s (Johnny Knoxville) welfare scam has her tied down.
When the married, ambitious FBI agent Mark Putnam (Jack Huston) comes to town there appears to be opportunity for both. He sees her as a conduit of information, a snitch, she thinks he might be her way out. When their work relationship turns romantic, the dynamic changes but when he realizes the error of his ways, Susan becomes obsessed and vengeful.
There’s more but I won’t spoil it for you. The movie kind of does though in its opening minutes. (MILD SPOILER COURTESY OF THE MOVIE) “You know what’s the worst part about being dead?” Susan asks in the opening narration. “You get too much time to think.” It’s a film noir device that works well in “Sunset Boulevard,” but in this case sucks some of the life, literally, out of the storytelling.
A mish mash of drug busts, drawls, deception and clearly telegraphed Southern Gothic plot points, “Above Suspicion” settles on a true crime format instead of digging a little deeper to expose the often-troubled relationship between impoverished people and the folks who are meant to protect them. Instead, it feels like a greatest hits collection of opioid movie tropes tied together with outsized Kentucky accents.
Clarke and Knoxville dirty up real nice but the film’s investment in hard knock poverty porn over substance plays more like an episode of “Dateline” than a cinematic experience.
A quick title IMDB search reveals the name “Above Suspicion” has been used at least twelve times, dating back to 1943. This most recent addition to the ever-growing list of “Above Suspicion” titled movies is about as generic as the common name would imply.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of avarice and privilege, the mind-bending Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird” and the documentary “The Way I See It.”
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 the twisty-turny Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of greed, the documentary “The Way I See It” and Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird.”
“Antebellum,” starring singer and actor Janelle Monáe in a dual role, is a horror film about the intergenerational impact of slavery.
At the film’s beginning Monáe is Eden, enslaved on a plantation at the onset of the Civil War. The plantation boss, Confederate Captain Jasper (Jack Huston), is a cruel drunk with a strict set of rules. He demands no talking and obedience “with a smile.” The cost of speaking out of turn or not working hard enough is misery. Forced to endure sexual exploitation, physical trauma and mental anguish, one night Eden shuts her eyes and goes to sleep.
When she awakens it’s 2020 and she is Veronica Henley, a famous writer on American race relations with a busy schedule that includes television appearance and live speaking engagements. Her latest work, “Shedding the Coping Persona,” a roadmap to revolution for historically marginalized people, examining the intersectionality of race, class and gender, is a hot button book that touches on some of the same concerns that plagued Eden’s life.
“Black women are expected to be seen and not heard,” she says at a conference. “To the patriarchy we’ve been practically invisible but their arrogance is their greatest vulnerability and our greatest opportunity.” She closes her speech with a quote from Assata Shakur, “The only thing that we have to lose are our chains.”
Although successful, wealthy and well-known, she is treated with condescension from everyone from a white television host to a hotel concierge, from a ghostly little girl in an elevator to a corporate headhunter (Jena Malone) who gives her kudos on her lipstick choice. “It compliments your skin tone,” she says. “I don’t think I could… pull it off.”
Eden and Veronica have a connection, brought forth in a ferocious climax, but there will be no spoilers here.
In a “Twilight Zone” finale “Antebellum” asks if Eden was a figment of Veronica’s imagination or vice versa. It’s hard to describe without giving anything away but the writing-directing duo of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz have done some of the work for me, foreshadow the ending throughout. For instance, at one point Veronica tells her friend Sarah (Lily Cowles), “Our ancestors haunt our dreams to see themselves more.”
“Antebellum” is a horror film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Instead, with a tip of the hat to Rod Serling, it blends social commentary on the legacy of American slavery with the supernatural to form a provocative essay on how the unresolved past can create turmoil in the present.
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the redonkulous new “Fast & Furious” entry from Vin Diesel and Company, “The Fate of the Furious,” the family drama “Gifted,” the romantic biopic “Maudie” starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke and the bizzaro “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea”!
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the latest bombastic entry from Vin Diesel and Company, “The Fate of the Furious,” the family drama “Gifted” and the romantic biopic “Maudie” starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.