I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the Paramount+ espionage series “Special Ops: Lioness,” the Netflix movie “They Cloned Tyrone” with Jamie Foxx and John Boyega and the Disney+ docu-series “The Ashley Madison Affair.”
I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about TIFF and the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the best of the fest and “The Woman King,” playing in theatres.
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Viola Davis action movie “The Woman King,” immersive David Bowie film “Moonage Daydream,” the Jon Hamm reboort “Confess, Fletch” and the creepy FOMO flick “Pearl.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Viola Davis action movie “The Woman King,” immersive David Bowie film “Moonage Daydream” and the Jon Hamm reboort “Confess, Fletch.”
“The Woman King,” is a ripped-from-the-history books story of fierce camaraderie, discipline and determination, starring Oscar®-winner Viola Davis as a general in charge of all-female unit of warriors called the Agojie, who served as the inspiration for the “Black Panther’s” Dora Milaje warriors.
Set in the 1823 West African kingdom of Dahomey, the story begins as menace from white slave trader Santo Ferreira (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) and nearby Oyo Empire, led by the ruthless Oda (Jimmy Odukoya), threaten the reign of King Ghezo (John Boyega). He can no longer rule by diplomacy and cleverness alone. “An evil is coming that threatens our kingdom, our freedom,” says the King, “But we have a weapon they are not prepared for.”
That weapon is the Agojie, a.k.a. the Dahomey Amazons. They are a generations-old fighting force led by a brilliant tactician and general Nanisca (Davis), with right-hands Amenza (Sheila Atim) and Izogie (Lashana Lynch). “We fear no one,” Nanisca says. “We fear no pain.”
Armed with blades, spears and unlimited fearlessness, the Agojie fight against the heavily armed Oyo, for their land, freedom and King. Any Oyo prisoners are sold off to the Europeans in return for weapons. Nanisca knows her King is complicit in the slave trade, and tries to convince him to stop human trafficking and replace the cash flow with the sale of palm oil. “The slave trade is the reason we prosper,” she says, “but it is a poison.”
Until then the change, they must train a new batch of recruits, including the 19-year-old Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), a rebellious woman offered to King Ghezo by her father. Brought into the Agojie by Izogie, the teenager finds a sisterhood with the group she has never known in her life.
“The Woman King” breathes the same air as 90s era action epics like “Braveheart” and “Gladiator.” Crowd-pleasers that mixed interesting characters with history, some humor, a bit of melodrama and fierce fight scenes. That may feel like a dash of déjà vu, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s story comes steeped in Black history, specifically female Black history, and characters that bring it to vivid life.
As the battle-scarred general Nanisca, Davis commands attention, balancing the character’s authority, resilience and battle prowess with a hidden vulnerability.
As Nawi, Thuso Mbedu steals every scene she is in with a combustible charisma that keeps her coming-of-age story compelling.
“The Woman King” is a character driven epic, one that tempers the rousing action scenes—the audience I saw this with cheered for the Agojie—with powerful interpersonal relationships to keep us engaged. It feels like an old-fashioned action movie, but with a fresh and fascinating update.
On an encore presentation of “Pop Life” on June 13, 2020 we welcome the droid you’ve been looking for, Anthony Daniels. As C-3PO he is the only actor to have appeared in all of the episodic films in the series, as well as many of its spin-offs, including television shows, video games and radio serials. On this twelfth episode of season five of “Pop Life,” he talks about his first stage appearances, the uncomfortable nature of the gold suit that made him famous and how he once felt like a “secret outcast” from the rest of the cast. Then the “Pop Life” panel, Marvel, DC, Lucasfilm and Hasbro artist Ken Lashley, CTV NewsChannel anchor and “Star Wars” super-fan Todd Van Der Heyden and Roger Christian, the Academy Award winning Set Decorator and Production Designer for “Star Wars”–he created the lightsaber and R2D2 and decided to put dice in the film as a nod to Han Solo gambling–discuss why “Star Wars” is still important forty two years after its initial release.
Film critic and pop culture historian Richard Crouse shares a toast with celebrity guests and entertainment pundits every week on CTV News Channel’s exciting talk show POP LIFE.
Featuring in-depth discussion and debate on pop culture and modern life, POP LIFE features sit-down interviews with celebrities from across the entertainment world, including rock legends Sting and Meat Loaf, musicians Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman, comedian Ken Jeong, writer Fran Lebowitz, superstar jazz musician Diana Krall, stand-up comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell, actors Danny DeVito and Jay Baruchel, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Nigella Lawson, and many more.
This week on The Richard Crouse Show: Richard chats with “1917” co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns about tending bar, working with Sam Mendes and writing a film that is presented in one shot. Then he speaks to the two stars of the Fist World War story to discuss creating the characters and the challenges of shooting the epic film. Then we meet “Rise of the Skywalker” star Joonas Suotamo about playing the iconic Wookie character Chewbacca, and what it is like wearing the fur suit for ten hours a day and Yvette Nicole Brown who plays Aunt Sarah in the Disney+ version of “Lady and the Tramp.” They talk about adopting rescue dogs, wearing corsets and if Brown agrees that her character is the villain of the story.
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.
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Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats” and the ripped from the headlines drama “Bombshell,” starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly.