Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to watch over the weekend including the nature documentary series “Tiny World” on Apple TV+, the Aaron Sorkin written and directed drama “The Trail of the Chicago 7,” and Rihanna’s music and fashion hybrid “Savage “X” Fenty Show Vol. 2″ on Amazon Prime Video.
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 timely period piece “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “On the Rocks,” the re-teaming of Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola, the cerebral sci fi of “Possessor Uncut” and the unusual Gloria Steinem biopic “The Glorias.”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” now playing in theatres, sees Aaron Sorkin return to the courtroom twenty-eight years after he put the words “You can’t handle the truth,” into Jack Nicholson’s mouth. This time around he’s re-enacting one of the most famous trials of the 1960s, using transcripts from the actual proceedings as a basis for the script. There is no one moment as powerful of Nicholson’s “truth” declaration but there is no denying the timeliness of the film’s fifty-two-year-old story.
Here’s the basic story for anyone too young to know the difference between Yippies and Yuppies.
The trial, which was originally the Chicago Eight until Black Panther leader Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) had his case severed from the others, saw 60s counterculture icons Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) of the Youth International Party (the aforementioned Yippies), and assorted radicals David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty), and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot stemming from their actions at the anti-Vietnam War protests in Chicago, Illinois, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Behind the prosecution desk is the young and meticulous Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) acting as assistant to the truculent chief prosecutor Tom Foran (J. C. MacKenzie). On the defense is lawyer William Kunstler (Mark Rylance), a boldfaced name in civil rights litigation. On the bench is Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella), a conservative judge who once presided over an obscenity case against Lenny Bruce.
Those are the players and to a person they deliver solid performances, making the most of Sorkin’s snappy, rapid-fire dialogue. Of the ensemble cast Baron Cohen stands out, handing in a straight dramatic role; there’s no Mankini in sight. He’s too old by half to play the character who once famously urged kids to, “Never trust anyone over thirty,” but maintains the edge that make his comedic characters so memorable.
Sorkin, who also directs, has made a period piece that reverberates for today. A bridge that spans the five decades from the actual events, it’s a bit of history that comments on contemporary hot button topics like protest, civil rights and police brutality. The sight of Seale, the lone African American defendant, bound and gagged at the judge’s order, is a potent reminder of racial injustice in the penal system. Re-enactments of police brutality during the riots and the consequent discussion of who is to blame for the violence, the protestors or the bill club swinging cops could be ripped from today’s headlines.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” isn’t perfect. Gordon-Levitt’s character is a cypher, a prosecutor who breaks with his colleagues at a crucial moment and Hoffman is played as a pantomime villain, but as a reminder of how history is repeated, it is a compelling watch.
Richard and CP24 anchor Courtney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the English antics of “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space” and Guy Ritchie’s return to form in “The Gentlemen.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Guy Ritchie’s return to the street in “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
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 return of “Snatch” style Guy Ritchie in “The Gentlemen,” the war drama “The Last Good Measure” and the first weird Nicolas Cage movie of 2020 “Color Out of Space.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the wham-bam-thank-you-maam theatrics of “The Gentlemen,” the heartfelt heroics of “The Last Good Measure” and the spacey drama of “Color Out of Space.”
Anyone who thinks the Guy Ritchie of old has disappeared, crushed under the weight of the huge box office grosses of the family-friendly “Aladdin,” need look no further than the blood splattered pint mug of “The Gentlemen’s” opening scene for proof to the contrary.
Highly stylized crime comedies like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch” made Ritchie the king of fast-paced, politically-incorrect stories of life on the streets. The big budget movies, his Sherlock Holmes series and “Aladdin,” among others, made more money but lacked the visceral thrills of his early work. His new film, “The Gentlemen,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant, feels like a hybrid of the two phases of his career. A spiritual cousin to “Lock, Stock” and ”Snatch,” it brings Ritchie back to London’s underworld, a place populated by Saville Row suit-wearing tough guys, ruthless tabloid editors and henchmen who speak like down-on-their-heels Oxford drop outs.
Matthew McConaughey is Mickey Pearson, an American who built a weed empire in his adopted home country of England. Intelligent and ruthless—qualities matched only by his wife Rosalind (Dockery)—he’s now middle-aged and looking to cash out. His offers to sell the business to billionaire drug lord Matthew Berger (a very mannered Jeremy Strong) for $400 million attracts unwanted attention from Dry Eye (Golding), the ruthless youngest nephew of an aging crime lord.
There’s more, but this is a pretzel of a story, twisted and tied in knots.
“The Gentlemen” is not a sequel or a reboot but it feels like one. The hyper-masculine story telling style, inventive use of swear words and spider-web plotting, while audacious, will be very familiar to Ritchie-philes. It’s “Snatch 2.0” with the same kind of big name cast who seem to be having fun mouthing Ritchie’s profanity laden dialogue but no amount of fast cutting and fast talking can replace real energy. As rock ‘n rolling as the filmmaking is, the story acts as an anchor, bogging things down as it gets more and more convoluted.
It’s too bad because Ritchie takes pains to create the very specific world his characters inhabit, and it is a colourful place but it seems that he never met a plot twist he didn’t love. As the plot thickens, and it does thicken almost to the point of impenetrability, the movie begins to feel overstuffed. To help the audience along Ritchie binds everything together with a silly framing device involving Fletcher (Grant), a private eye/blackmailer who unfurls the complicated story to Pearson’s right-hand-man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam). It’s time consuming and adds little to the picture except for Hugh Grant’s exaggerated accent as he delivers flowery lines like, “Our antagonist explodes on the scene, like a millennial firework.”
“The Gentlemen” feels like an exercise in nostalgia, back to era of Ritchie’s frenetic jump cuts and outdated attitudes about race disguised as quippy dialogue.