Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Williams’

NEWSTALK 1010: THE RICHARD CROUSE SHOW WITH JAY BARUCHEL & MIKE SCOTT!

On the Richard Crouse Show for August 9, 2020 we meet Jay Baruchel. He’s been acting since the age of twelve and has appeared in everything from “Knocked Up” and “Tropic Thunder” to “The Trotsky” and “She’s Out of My League” to the action-fantasy “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “This Is the End.” He’s probably best known as the voice of Hiccup in the wildly successful “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise but he says, despite all the success in front of the camera, what he really wants to do is direct.

Two years ago he wrote and directed the sports comedy “Goon: Last of the Enforcers.” Now he appears both in front of and behind the camera in “Random Acts of Violence,” a genre film that asks serious questions about how we relate to violence in art.

Based on a 2008 Image Comic, “Random Acts of Violence” begins with comic book writer Todd (Jesse Williams) suffering a case of writer’s block. His series, a grisly and successful adaptation of a real-life serial killer dubbed Slasherman, is coming to an end and he doesn’t know how to wind it down.

On a press tour from Toronto to New York to promote the final issue, Jesse and friends, visit the scene of the Slasherman’s crimes. As the group fall victim to a series of heinous copycat crimes the film asks, “What are the real consequences when life (and death) begin to imitate art?”

I talk about that with Jay in this interview but we started by reminiscing about the “beforetime” when we could go to the movies. I asked him what movie memories stand out for him when he thinks back to the theatre experience.

Then,  we meet Mike Scott, the founding member, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of The Waterboys. He is a restless creative spirit, known for radical changes in music style throughout what he refers to as his “allegedly unorthodox” career. The music on his solo albums and with The Waterboys explores a number of different styles, including folk, Celtic and rock and roll, fusing them together to create a sound that is not only catchy but unique.

The press release for his newest record “Good Luck, Seeker,” says the songs are populated by unrepentant freaks, soul legends, outlaw film stars and 20th Century mystics, drawing inspiration from the Stones, Kate Bush, Sly and Kendrick as well as Mike Scott’s very own musical past.

It’s a genre busting effort with epic songs like the dramatic, spoken word tune “My Wanderings In The Weary Land” to the earworm of the extremely catchy single “The Soul Singer.”

In this interview we talk about the construct of time, the power of the Clash and why he liked a record by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich enough to spend 8 and sixpence, or about 50 cents on it…

I began the interview by asking Mike Scott why he’s never made the same record twice.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!:

Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed!

CTV NEWS AT 11:30: MORE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS TO STREAM THIS WEEKEND!

Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend including the musical  drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence” and the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 18:50)

IN ISOLATION WITH..: ‘RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE” DIRECTOR JAY BARUCHEL!

Check out episode twenty-six of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office) we meet Jay Baruchel. He’s been acting since the age of twelve and has appeared in everything from “Knocked Up” and “Tropic Thunder” to “The Trotsky” and “She’s Out of My League” to the action-fantasy “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “This Is the End.” He’s probably best known as the voice of Hiccup in the wildly successful “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise but he says, despite all the success in front of the camera, what he really wants to do is direct.

“I was really lucky in that my parents would give me a kind of film or music 101,” he says in the interview. “Whenever they would tell me something they would explain why it matters. Why they care about it. What the landscape that it came out in was like and then, of course ,then they would get into sort of inside jokes. They also showed me “Monty Python the Holy Grail” and pause after every punch line and be like, ‘Do you understand why that’s funny?’ This is called dry humor. Literally. Verbatim. This is called dry humour. Then dad bought me “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on VHS for my ninth birthday. And that started my collection that I’m still crippled by because I still buy physical media. But I’ve never stopped. Somewhere in there I realized that as much as I adore writing stories, I realized that movies were the thing.”

Two years ago he wrote and directed the sports comedy “Goon: Last of the Enforcers.” Now he appears both in front of and behind the camera in “Random Acts of Violence,” a genre film that asks serious questions about how we relate to violence in art.

Based on a 2008 Image Comic, “Random Acts of Violence” begins with comic book writer Todd (Jesse Williams) suffering a case of writer’s block. His series, a grisly and successful adaptation of a real-life serial killer dubbed Slasherman, is coming to an end and he doesn’t know how to wind it down.

On a press tour from Toronto to New York to promote the final issue, Jesse and friends, visit the scene of the Slasherman’s crimes. As the group fall victim to a series of heinous copycat crimes the film asks, “What are the real consequences when life (and death) begin to imitate art?”

I talk about that with Jay in this interview but we started by reminiscing about the “beforetime” when we could go to the movies. I asked him what movie memories stand out for him when he thinks back to the theatre experience…

NOTE: The language in this interview is NOT suitable for all age. NSFW!

Watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube or HERE on ctvnews.ca!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR JULY 31!

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 drive-ins including the musical  drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the soulful drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE: 3 ½ STARS. “asks why we view cruelty as entertainment.”

True crime stories, retold as police procedurals, are television and podcast staples. Millions of people make a date every Friday with “Dateline” for a breathless retelling of the crime de jour and more folks kill time with crime podcasts than almost every other genre. Perhaps it’s because we like the rush of trying to figure out whodunnit or perhaps it’s because those shows give us an opportunity to feel relief that we’re not the victim.

Whatever the reason, we like it, but a new movie, “Random Acts of Violence,” now on VOD, may get us think about true crime in a different way. The film, co-written and directed by Jay Baruchel, details the consequences of turning a real serial killer into a pop culture phenomenon.

Based on a 2008 Image Comic by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, “Random Acts of Violence” begins with comic book writer Todd (Jesse Williams) suffering a case of writer’s block. His series, a grisly and successful adaptation of a real-life serial killer dubbed Slasherman, is coming to an end and he doesn’t know how to wind it down.

On a press tour from Toronto to New York to promote the final issue, Jesse and wife Kathy (Jordana Brewster), assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) and BFF, Hard Calibre Comics owner Ezra (Baruchel), visit the scene of the Slasherman’s crimes. As the group fall victim to a series of heinous copycat crimes the film asks, “What are the real consequences when life (and death) begin to imitate art?”

“One of our friends is dead,” Kathy yells, glaring at Todd, “because of what came out of your f***ed up head.”

First know that while “Random Acts of Violence” is a condemnation of elevating killers to iconic status, it is also a blood-fest complete with entrails on the wrong side of the stomach muscles and sound effects that will haunt your dreams. It’s the bloodiest morality tale since the Old Testament.

It rides a thin line between commenting on pop culture’s obsession with brutality while displaying much of the behavior it condemns. “You legitimize violence,” Kathy tells Todd. “You fetishize evil.”

What sets it apart is self-awareness. Baruchel confronts the audience with the kind of graphic murders that might even make Rob Zombie uncomfortable, just as the story confronts its own use of violence.

Meta, right?

Is it perfect in its exploration of the morality of glorifying violence? No. The social commentary is blunted by the carefully and stylishly staged violence that seems to play against the point Baruchel is trying to make. But the feeling of discomfort that comes with every stab of a knife asks us to examine why we view cruelty—particularly against women—as entertainment. “Random Acts of Violence” is confrontational, voyeuristic and difficult, and, if nothing else, a conversation starter.

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the Netflix animated movie “The Willoughbys,” the Netflix doc “Circus of Books,” the high school crime drama “Selah and the Spades” and a pair of big screen movies coming to VOD, “Bad Boys for Life” and “Run This Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

SELAH AND THE SPADES: 3 ½ STARS. “stunning visuals & charismatic performances.”

Part high school hierarchy drama, part crime tale, “Selah and the Spades,” now playing on Amazon Prime, is a study of power and teenage clique system at Haldwell, an elite Pennsylvania boarding school ruled by five “factions.” “The factions are realistic in the need for the student body to engage in their vices,” we’re told by the narrator (Jessie Cannizzaro), “and are pragmatic in facilitating them.”

The Seas “will help you cheat your way through anything for the right price,” while the Skins deal in anything students can gamble on. The Bobby’s are responsible for every illegal party thrown in a dorm basement after lights out and the Prefects keep the administration blissfully unaware of on campus shenanigans.

The dominant faction, The Spades, deal in the classic vices, booze, pills, powders and fun, under the iron fisted rule of Selah (Lovie Simone).

Like a teenage Costra Nostra the factions live by an Omertà, an inflexible code. Don’t be a rat ns the only consequences to be concerned with are the ones they impose themselves.

As an A student who will soon graduate, Selah has her mind of succession. Who will take her place to ensure the Spades stay the most powerful clique in school? With her first lieutenat Maxxie (“When They See Us’s” Jharrel Jerome) distracted by a new boyfriend, Selah sets her eye on Paloma (Celeste O’Connor) the new girl in school as her protégée.

Meanwhile, when the headmaster (Jesse Williams) cancels the prom over the misconduct of a handful of students, tensions erupt between the factions as they search for a rat in the ranks.

“Selah and the Spades” is a promising feature debut from director Tayarisha Poe. Visually stunning and filled with charismatic performances, it is a mix-and-match of high school movie tropes and film noir crime drama. Imagine if John Hughes, the great American portrayer of high school life, had ever tried his hand at gangster movies and you get the idea. It’s a study of how precarious life is at the top of the social hierarchy that saturates its story with elements of “Scarface” and female empowerment. “They never take girls seriously,” Selah says. “It’s a mistake the whole world makes.”

The story sputters near the end but is kept alive by the atmosphere of tension Poe infuses into every scene and the lead performance. Simone is equal parts power and insecurity, never letting her guard down except in a phone call to her mother. When her mom asks what happed to the other seven points on test where Selah scored 93, we immediately understand the weight this young woman carries around and her need to control her surroundings in the face of an uncertain future. It gives the character a much needed does of humanity that elevates her from extreme-mean girl to compelling character.

“Selah and the Spades” is an excellent debut for Poe, fierce and fascinating.