Posts Tagged ‘Jason Alexander’


I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. I’ll tell you about the historical epic “Napoleon,” the surreal Nicolas Cage flick “Dream Scenario,” and the fun family friendly Adam Sandler movie “Leo.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 36:20)


I sit in with NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about he epic historical drama “Napoleon,” the surreal “Dream Scenario” and the family friendly flick “Leo.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the epic historical drama “Napoleon,” the surreal “Dream Scenario” and the family friendly flick “Leo.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the epic “Napoleon,” the surreal “Dream Scenario” and two family friendly films, “Leo” and Disney’s “Wish.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the epic “Napoleon,” the surreal “Dream Scenario” and two family friendly films, “Leo” and Disney’s “Wish.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to tip your hat! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the epic “Napoleon,” the surreal “Drean Scenario” and the family friendly “Leo.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

LEO: 4 STARS. “a kinder, gentler Sandler than the one who fought Bob Barker.”

You don’t expect a healthy dose of existentialism from a family friendly musical, but the new Netflix animated film “Leo” is not your normal family friendly musical.

Adam Sandler voices Leo, a 74-year-old lizard facing his own mortality. He has lived most of his life in a Central Florida fifth-grade classroom terrarium with his best pal, curmudgeonly turtle Squirtle (Bill Burr). It’s a pretty cushy existence. They are fed and looked after as they spend school year after school year observing the student’s behavior.

The action begins at the beginning of a school term. “Another year,” says Squirtle, “another batch of fifth grade head cases.”

The new year brings with it a new substitute teacher, the hard-nosed Miss Malkin (Cecily Strong). She calls the laptops the kids use “toys,” bans them from the classroom and is not averse to whipping a Ninja star at a misbehaving student. “In a classroom,” she says, “sometimes the old ways are the best ways.”

She also implements a new school project. “I hope everyone has met our class pets, Leonardo and Squirtle,” she says. “This year, every student has to take home a class pet.” In an exercise to learn responsibility, the kids must feed and care for Leo and Squirtle, and return them the next day healthy and happy.

When Leo learns the life expectancy for lizards is 75 years, he feels like the clock is ticking. He decides to make the most of the time he has left, break his lifelong rule, and let the children hear him speak. When the kids take him home, he becomes a service reptile and teaches them life lessons. “It’s about sharing my 74 years of wisdom to help these kids with their issues,” he says, “like breaking up with a drone or having hand me down pants.”

He helps the kids and in return, they give him purpose.

“Leo” is a simple, sweet natured film that plays like a mash-up of “Billy Madison” and “Charlotte’s Web.” It is asinine and sublime in equal measure, an entertaining mix of Sandler’s trademark low-brow humor and poignant life lessons for kids and parents.

The songs are spirited, and often quite funny—Sandler does Sondheim lite with “Don’t cry/it’s really annoying”—and while they may not stick in your head after the closing credits roll, the tunes support the film’s themes of listening and learning. The best of the bunch being “Extra Time,” a funny song that convinces a rich, entitled girl that she is not all that.

The voice work is fun. Sandler does Sandler, both silly and sensitive, and finds a good comedic foil in Burr, while the rest of the cast, including Strong, Jason Alexander, Jo Koy, Kevin James and two Sandler family members, daughters Sunny and Sadie, hand in lively performances.

“Leo” presents a kinder, gentler Sandler than the one who got into an on-screen fight with beloved game show host Bob Barker in “Happy Gilmore.” It could sit on the shelf next to the comedian’s last film, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” in that it’s a movie that understands young people and how they think. Tackling everything from helicopter parents (or, in this updated version, Drone Parents), insecurity, bullying and coping with divorce, it’s an after-school-special style story that encourages kids to talk about their feelings, and teachers and parents to hear them. It could’ve been preachy, but the messages are delivered with a smile on the face, and a song on the lips.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman travel through time to the big screen.

mr__peabody__sherman_2014-wideBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Jay Ward may not a household name, but many of the characters he created are.

As the Grand Poobah at Jay Ward Productions he produced the animated television shows that gave us Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman and George of the Jungle among others.

His cartoons weren’t just for kids. The Los Angeles Times wrote, “The good ones, which Ward was a master at creating, worked at two levels: one direct and another wonderfully satiric.”

This weekend his characters take over the big screen in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, an animated film starring the voices of Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann.

Based on Peabody’s Improbable History segment from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, the movie sees the duo use the WABAC machine to ping pong through time, interacting with everyone from Marie Antoinette to King Tut to Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman isn’t the first film based on Ward’s characters.

In a 199 television movie (originally shot in 1988 for theatrical release) SCTV alum Dave Thomas played Boris Badenov, “world’s greatest no-goodnik.” With his partner-in-crime Natasha Fatale (Sally Kellerman) he leaves Pottsylvania for the United States to retrieve a micro-chip. TV Guide said, “as a 90-minute feature film, it’s at least 80 minutes too long,” but it’s worth a gander to see one of the rare live action performances of June Foray, the original voice of Rocky.

Brendan Fraser brought two of Ward’s characters to life, George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right.

George of the Jungle is a riff on Tarzan. He’s boy raised in the jungle by an ape (John Cleese) but who never mastered the art of swinging from tree to tree. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 56% Fresh Rating, but the film remains most memorable for the catchy “George, George / George of the Jungle / Strong as he can be / Watch out for that tree,” theme song by the Presidents of the United States of America.

Two years later Fraser was back in another Ward inspired movie about a bumbling Canadian Mountie called Dudley Do-Right who “always gets his man.”

Co-starring with Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfred Molina, the story saw Dudley track his nemesis, the depraved Snidely Whiplash. Bad reviews—USA Today’s called it a “Dead-carcass spinoff of Jay Ward’s animated TV favorite.”—doomed the movie, but the character lives on as part of an amusement park ride called Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at the Islands of Adventure theme park.

Finally, despite an big name cast—Jason Alexander, Rene Russo and John Goodman—The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle bombed at the box office despite Robert De Niro doing a take on his famous “You talkin’ to me?” speech from Taxi Driver.