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 darkly comedic revenge story “Judy and Punch,” the Hitchschlockian thrills of “Last Moment of Clarity,” a pair of home invasion movies, “Survive the Night” and “Becky” and the eco doc “2040.”
“Becky,” a new thriller featuring former sitcom star Kevin James as the King of Criminals, and now on VOD, is a mix of home invasion movies like “The Strangers” and plucky-kid-fights-back flicks like “Home Alone.”
Lulu Wilson is the title character, a fourteen-year-old who never got over the death of her mother. When her father Jeff (Joel McHale) announces his engagement to girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel), Becky goes ballistic and takes off into the woods behind their weekend cottage, hiding out in a treehouse fort. She narrowly misses the arrival of Dominick (James), a neo-Nazi with a swastika tattooed on the back of his bald head, and his goons. They’re there looking for a key that was supposed to be in a container in the basement.
Trouble is, it isn’t there.
Thinking Jeff knows where it is Dominick resorts to the usual home invasion techniques of information gathering—intimidation, snarly rhetoric and when all else fails, torture—not realizing that Becky is lurking in the woods. When he discovers where she is, and that she has the key, he sends the goons to get her. What he doesn’t realize is that the tween is, “as strong willed and vindictive as they come.”
Cue the homemade deathtraps and bloodshed. “There once was a little girl who had a little curl in the middle of her forehead,” she taunts Dom. “When she was good she was very, very good but when she was bad she was horrid.”
“Becky,” I suppose, was to be to Kevin James what “Foxcatcher” was to Steve Carell, or Mo’Nique in “Precious,” a way to break out of comedy and into drama. While it is shocking to see the “King of Queens” without a quip on his lips or Adam Sandler at his side, that’s the only shocking part of this performance. Perhaps it’s his hilariously stilted dialogue or maybe it’s just hard to take a guy who made a career playing a heroic mall cop seriously.
Either way, he’s supposed to be a bad, bad man but compared to Becky he’s a peacenik. Set loose in the woods, the teenager calls on every ounce of her bottled-up rage to unleash holy, bloody hell on the men who did her family wrong. She lets her freak flag fly in ways that would make Anton Chigurh look positively tame by comparison.
“Becky” doesn’t have a whole lot of surprises. Instead it relies on bloody situations to drive the horror of its message home.
Richard has a look at Jack “o’-lantern” Black in “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the birth of Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-inducing (but not for the reason you think) “Life Itself” and the fist-in-your-face stylings of “Assassination Nation” with the CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
You can’t say you weren’t warned. “Assassination Nation,” the new film from writer-director Sam Levinson, comes complete with a long list of trigger warnings. Fragile Male Egos. Torture. Swearing. The list goes on. All, and more, are contained within this lurid look at life in a small town vexed by a computer hacker.
When Salem, Massachusetts high school seniors Lily (Odessa Young), Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Bex (Hari Nef) and Em (Abra) aren’t in class they spend their time partying, chasing boys, sexting and sending thousands of Facebook, Instagram and twitter posts. When a computer hacker reveals the sexual peccadilloes of their town’s mayor and school principal it wakes up the sleepy suburb’s townsfolk. When the hacking continues, uncovering Lily’s cyber affair with an older man, and the deepest darkest secrets of many others, the town’s men band together to find the hacker. “The media is complicit,” they say. “People are laughing at us. We can no longer be helpless. If the government can’t save our law and order, we will do it ourselves!”
Most every hot button woes of modern life are either literally or metaphorically covered in “Assassination Nation.” Toxic masculinity, privacy concerns, desensitization to violence, mob rule, homophobia and racism for a start. It’s a Pandora’s Box of social ills, told through the prism of a satire that feels both exploitative and timely.
As the story goes on, shifting from edgy teen sex comedy to a manifesto of female empowerment it echoes back to the events of 300 years previous when rumours led to the demise of twenty of the town’s women. Blamed for their sexuality and treated as objects, the four women at the center of the story react against the righteousness and hypocrisy they say has become their town’s sickness.
“Assassination Nation” is in-your-face stuff, a movie that is part slasher flick, part call for revolution. “You may kill us,” says Lily after all hell has broken loose, “but you can’t kill us all.” It’s not always pleasant but it is never less than interesting.
Richard sits down with Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson and the director of ‘Happytime Murders.’ They discuss the R-rated movie, the miscreant puppets who star in it and if there was a line they wouldn’t cross.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Muppets Gone Wild in “The Happytime Murders,” the escape-happy convicts of “Papillon,” and the happy-go-lucky surfers dudes of “Breath.”
Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!: Each week on The 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 find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed! Read Richard NewsTalk 1010 reviews HERE!
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Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the dirty-mouthed puppet movie “The Happytime Murders,” the prison drama “Papillon,” the rom com “Little Italy” and the gritty crime drama “Crown and Anchor.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the raunchy puppet movie “The Happytime Murders,” the prison drama “Papillon” and the gritty crime drama “Crown and Anchor.”