Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Amazon Prime’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the Netflix animated movie “Over the Moon) and Crave’s joyful concert film “American Utopia.”
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 theatres including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix) and “American Utopia” (Crave).
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 “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix), “American Utopia” (Crave), “The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw” (VOD), “Rebecca” (Netflix) and “The Haunting of The Mary Celeste (VOD).
Glen Keane brings 43 years of Disney character animation experience to a new film now streaming on Netflix. From “The Little Mermaid’s” Ariel, “Beauty and the Beast’s main character—the Beast, not the Beauty—to the eponymous folks in “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” and “Tarzan,” he’s the Disney Legend who created some of the most indelible characters of several eras.
This week he turns his eye, as character designer and director, to “Over the Moon,” a fanciful animated musical loosely based on the Chinese legend of Chang’e, starring the voices of Sandra Oh, Phillipa Soo and Ken Jeong.
The action begins in modern China, four years after the passing of Fei Fei’s (Cathy Ang) mother. She’s smart, funny and a romantic who believes in the legend her parents told her about Chang’e (Phillipa Soo), the Moon Goddess who yearns to be reunited with her true love. Fei Fei is still grieving her mother’s loss when her father (John Cho) becomes involved with another woman Mrs. Zhong (Sandra Oh) and her 8-year-old child, Chin (Robert G. Chiu).
To prove that love is forever and that her father’s affection for Mrs. Zhong is misplaced, Fei Fei concocts a plan. She builds a rocket ship to visit the moon so she can get evidence of Chang’e existence to prove to her father that love burns eternal. Unbeknownst to her Chin stows away on the adventure to the moon that will help her appreciate what she thinks she is missing on Earth.
“Over the Moon” isn’t a Disney picture, but it feels like one thanks to the Keane touch. The familiar tropes, a deceased parent and adventure, are given a zippy new life with colourful, fun animation and some beautiful sequences like the cross cut between the CGI to the more traditional hand drawn animation in the telling of the legend. There are flashier more fluorescent sequences later on, particularly in the vivid and abstract Lunaria scenes, but the use of an organic style of animation to illustrate a time-honored story is the first of many of the film’s good decisions.
Also strong is the voice work. As Fei Fei, Ang is feisty and smart as a self-sufficient youngster on a journey of self-discovery. She is no damsel in distress, just a kid looking to make things right in her world. The supporting cast, like Margaret Cho in a dual role and Ken Jeong as Fei Fei’s sidekick Gobi bring the goods as does Soo, who earned a Tony nomination for her work on Broadway in “Hamilton,” but her work leads to one of the film’s minuses.
Soo is a great singer, and has one of the movie’s show-stoppers, a Broadway-by-way-of-Beyonce tune called “Ultraluminary,” but each of the songs feels tacked on in an effort to sell soundtrack downloads. A mix of show tunes, K-Pop and pop music, with the exception of “Rocket to the Moon” none of the tunes feel necessary.
“Over the Moon” is a beautiful movie that celebrates Chinese culture, tells a story of overcoming grief and has some great animation and while the main story beats feel familiar, the high gloss visuals are unpredictable and consistently interesting.
Richard has a look at the 2018 reboot of “Halloween,” the ecology documentary from director Rob Stewart, “Sharkwater Extinction,” the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun” and the political comedy “The Oath” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
The actor Ike Barinholtz is best known for playing the dim-witted Morgan Tookers on “The Mindy Project.” What’s less known is that in real life Barinholtz is a news junkie who was inspired to write his new film, “The Oath,” during the first Thanksgiving Dinner following Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory.
This Thanksgiving is set against a backdrop of sweeping new legislation that will affect every American. Called the Patriot’s Oath, it’s a document the government expects every red-blooded American to sign as a declaration of their loyalty. One couple, the hot-headed ideologue Chris (Barinholtz) and his unflappable wife Kai (Tiffany Haddish), refuse to sign. As their extended family, including Chris’s sister Alice (Carrie Brownstein), conservative brother Pat (Jon Barinholtz) and his Tomi-Lahren-Lite girlfriend Abbie (Meredith Hagner), convene just days before the Loyalty Pledge signing deadline, the situation spirals out of control. Two officers from the Citizen’s Protection Unit (John Cho and Billy Magnussen) show up at Chris and Kai’s front door, armed with questions, toxic masculinity and a disregard for the law.
“The Oath” is part political satire, part home invasion movie. Pitched just a hair under hysterical, it’s a timely dark comedy that seeks to shine a light on the political chasm that divides the left and right wings. Under some well-crafted jokes bubbles a righteous rage worthy of Alex Jones if he leaned left rather than alt-right. Barinholtz uses a sledgehammer to explore the basis of belief, the very thing that can either bring us together or, more often than not, tear us apart. Subtle it is not.
“The Oath” doesn’t dig much deeper than that, however. It skims the surface of how divisive politics drives wedges between friends and family but tends to lean toward broad comedy to make its point rather than insight.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Halloween,” the bloody love letter to the director who started it all, John Carpenter, the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun” and the political comedy “The Oath.”
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 the missing daughter story of “Searching,” the adult rom com charms of “Juliet, Naked” and the slow burn of “Cardinals.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the missing daughter story of “Searching,” the adult rom com charms of “Juliet, Naked” and the slow burn of “Cardinals.”