Richard joins the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.” Then we take a sip of the Japanese favourite cocktail the Ginza Mary,.
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 frenetic Beyhem (look it up) of “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.”
Bright-blue extraterrestrial hedgehog Sonic comes bounding back into theatres with the imaginatively titled “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” a Sega sequel to the highest-grossing video game movie of all-time.
At the beginning of the flick Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz), a hedgehog whose lightning-fast reflexes and ability to run faster than the speed of sound, have helped him save the world on numerous occasions, is living with his adopted “parents,” Montana police officer Tom (James Marsden) and his veterinarian wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter).
When Tom and Maddie go on a Hawaiian vacation, Sonic is left to his own devices. That opens the door for the hedgehog’s nemesis, baddie Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to return with anteater sidekick Knuckles (voice of Idris Elba). Robotnik is still sore from his exile on a remote planet, but has returned with a thirst to exact revenge on the spiny blue mammal who put him there and a plan to take over the world.
“Since I’ve been gone,” he says, “I’ve discovered the source of ultimate power.”
That power stems from a mystical emerald with the power to destroy civilizations. To save the world Sonic teams with Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey), a yellow fox with two tails who appears through a magic portal.
Sonic’s plan to make sure Robotnik doesn’t destroy the world? “Step one, light taunting,” he says. “Step two? I have no idea.”
Plan or no plan, Sonic’s tenacity could save the day.
Story wise “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is about as imaginative as its title. A standard save-the-world video game story with an unusual amount of CGI, it doesn’t pave any new paths forward, but fun performances—both live and CGI—keep things buoyant for most of the slightly too long two-hour running time.
Sonic is the star, the heart and soul of the franchise, but it is Jim Carrey who steals the show with a performance that goes over-the-top in search of a new top. It’s big cartoony work that brings an organic touch to an overload of computer-generated animation.
More understated, but just by a hair, is Natasha Rothwell as Maddie’s sister Rachel. She brings the funny and brings some respite to the non-stop blur of action.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a family film for video game fans, comprised of a series of big, loud set pieces banged together to entertain the eye while sprouting messages of the importance of family and teamwork.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Bain about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at Chris Pine’s Amazon Prime action movie “The Tomorrow War” and the animated “The Boss Baby: Family Business”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including the Alec Baldwin animated movie for kids “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” the Chris Pratt sci fi action flick “The Tomorrow War,” the crime drama “Zola,” the concert documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) and the young adult horror flick “Let Us In.”
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 Alec Baldwin animated movie for kids “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” the Chris Pratt sci fi action flick “The Tomorrow War,” the crime drama “Zola,” the concert documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) and the young adult horror flick “Let Us In.”
They grow up so fast, don’t they? It was just four years ago that the Templetons welcomed a new child into the family. Ted was an odd baby who wore a suit onesie, carried a briefcase and spoke the language of the boardroom. “I may look like a baby but I was born all grown up,” he said in “The Boss Baby.”
Cut to “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” now playing in theatres. Older brother Tim (voiced by James Marsden) is now an adult and estranged from his “boss” baby brother Ted (Alec Baldwin). Their lives have taken different paths. Tim is now married to Carol (Eva Longoria) and a suburban dad to 7-year-old daughter Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and infant Tina (Amy Sedaris). Ted, unsurprisingly, is a hedge fund manager and workaholic.
Tabitha seems to be following in her uncle’s footsteps, attending the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood. She’s at the top of her class but what she doesn’t know is that Tina, the baby, is a spy for BabyCorp. “I’m in the family business,” she says. “And now you work for me Boomers!” Her mission? Find out exactly what’s up at Tabitha’s school and if its founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum) is really planning a baby revolution. “We can make parents do whatever we want,” he yells.
The investigation brings the brothers, who drink a formula that turns them back into toddlers, together and reveals deep bonds. “Just because you grow up,” says Tina, “doesn’t mean you have to grow apart.”
Like all sequels “Boss Baby: Family Business” is bigger, louder and more frenetic than the original. In a blur of color and action, it uses kid-friendly humour and inventive animation to re-enforce a standard lesson about the importance of family.
The messaging may be generic, but the solid voice work from Marsden, Baldwin, Sedaris and Goldblum (who seems to be having a blast) inject vibrant life into it. This is essentially a one joke premise dragged kicking and screaming into feature length but director Tom McGrath expands the world of the first film (which he also directed) staging scenes with baby ninjas and inside Tim’s head. There are no big surprises really, but he does keep much of the mischievousness that made the first film so enjoyable.
“The Boss Baby: Family Business” moves at a rapid speed that may exhaust parents, but should keep young minds, who may have followed the adventures of the Boss Baby series on Netflix for the last four years, entertained.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including strange and beautiful period drama, “The Favourite,” the critic’s favourite “Roma,” the zombie musical “Anna and the Apocalypse,” the animated “Henchmen” and the documentary “Almost Almost Famous.”
Every now and again when I’m at the movies a deep-rooted feeling of ennui sneals up me. That, “What the heck am I doing wasting my time watching ‘insert title here?’ It has only swept over me a handful of times usually in what I call Seatbelt Movies, films so uninspired I need a seatbelt to keep me from fleeing the theatre.
That familiar creeping feeling came over me during a recent screening of “Henchmen,” a new superhero animated film starring the voices of James Marsden, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Jane Krakowski and Rob Riggle. I stayed, trapped by professional duty to make it to the end credits, but it tested my patience in ways few other movies have.
“Silicon Valley’s” Thomas Middleditch is Lester a self described comic book nerd and orphan. On his sixteenth birthday he auditions at the Union of Evil—“The best of the worst!”—only to be assigned Henchman Third Class. A janitor. His dream of one day making his super villain persona, The Orphan,” a reality will have to wait. He’s assigned to Hank (Marsden), a disgraced former First Class henchman (he was too nice a guy to be bad), now pushing a mop. On a visit to the Vault of Villainy Lester accidentally winds up wearing an old super villain suit. Taking advantage of Lester’s newfound powers Hank sees a way to change his life. Using Lester’s ray gun hands he tries to free a chip of What-ifium—a substance that can change the past—from a giant crystal block. Before he can go back in time mega-baddie Baron Blackout (Alfred Molina), who put me in the mind of Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions impersonation, asserts his intention to take over Super Villain City. Will the What-ifium save the world and make all their dreams come true?
There’s more—a team of superheroes called the Friendly Force Five, and a goopy gangster called Gluttonator who wants to use radioactive cheese to bring his foes to their knees and shouts “What the feta??!!” when his plan goes south—but why prolong this any more than I have to?
Set to a soundtrack of sound-alike classic rock songs “Henchmen” is about as imaginative as you can expect from a movie where all the criminals live in a place called Super Villain City. From the uninspired voice work to animation that looks like next wave cheapo Hanna-Barbera style animation without any of the organic charm, “Henchmen” is little more than a collection of cartoon clichés. Very small children might find distraction in the colourful design or the bullet proof underpants or the ‘Bad guys always lose’ moral but all others beware.
I took no joy in writing this review but then again I could find no joy in “Henchmen” either.