Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Glass,” the supersequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and a movie Richard says should be called “Replican’t.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and a movie Richard says should be called “Replican’t.”
Richard has a look at “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and Keanu Reeves as a doctor who tries to clone his family in “Replicas” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
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 “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s nineteen-years-in-the-making sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and Keanu Reeves as a doctor who tries to clone his family in “Replicas.”
Near the end of “Replicas,” a new sci film starring Keanu Reeves, a clone assesses the state of her being. “I am dead.” She’s referring to her former self, the template for her current physical state, but she could just as easily have been talking about her film, a movie about creating life that arrives DOA in theatres.
Reeves plays William Foster, a scientist with a genius IQ and family man with a wife (Alice Eve) and three kids (Emily Alyn Lind, Emjay Anthony and Aria Lyric Leabu). By day he works for BioNyne, a Puerto Rico-based biotech firm, toiling to place the sentient minds of dead soldiers into synthetic bodies. If successful the procedure could change the world but so far the results have been uneven. An early test subject spent his final seconds engulfed in existential angst, repeatedly yelling, ‘Who am I?” as it examined its new metal body. “You can’t keep bringing back people from the dead while you figure this out,” scolds wife Mona.
On a rare break from the lab William loads the family into the car for a weekend getaway. Driving in terrible weather he veers off the road, tumbling into a lake. He survives but the family perish. Stricken with grief he has a Eureka moment. The dedicated father and even more dedicated scientist decides to get his family back the only way he knows how—cloning and neural transmission. Enlisting lab partner and clone master Ed (Thomas Middleditch) he sets out to grow a new family in pods in his garage. “What if something horrible goes wrong?” asks Ed. “Something already has,” comes William’s reply.
Layer in some corporate greed and scientific mumbo jumbo and you have a film with all the emotional depth of one of the robots William makes at BioNyne. The creation of life has always fascinated storytellers and audiences alike but “Replicas” is so scattershot—Cloning! Artificial Intelligence! Robots!—it likely should have been titled “Replican’t” for its inability to interestingly explore any of its unfocused ideas. With no interest in the ethical or theological ramifications of the work the movie simply becomes a thriller and not a good one at that.
Reeves looks like he’s putting in some effort—he has more dialogue here than in his last three movies combined—but is in full blown “Sad Keanu” meme mode. Downtrodden and desperate, he veers from monosyllabic to bug-eyed, delivering lines with a gravitas that borders on camp.
Once upon a time “Replicas” would have gone straight to DVD, decorating delete bins and quickly forgotten. On the big screen it makes no impression, neural or otherwise.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s nineteen-years-in-the-making sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split” and the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness of “Mary Poppins Returns,” the Transformers prequel “Bumblebee,” the underwater adventures of “Aquaman” and Natalie Portman as a pop star in “Vox Lux.”
The “Transformers” franchise revs up the engine for the sixth time in eleven years with a movie that feels fresh out of the body shop. Pimping the Ride this time out is director Travis Knight, founder of LAIKA studios and director of the wonderful animated fantasy “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Knight puts his own stamp on it, doing away with most of former franchise mastermind Michael Bay’s bombast in favour of a more humanistic approach.
That’s right, “Bumblebee” is a special effects driven story starring a talking robot car that emphasizes the story’s less mechanical aspects.
The action begins with a battle on Cybertron between the Autobots—the rebellious bots—and the evil Decepticons. To save themselves the Autobots, including scout B-127 (Dylan O’Brien), make a run for it, scattering across the galaxy. “We will fight on,” declares Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen), “but we must find safety first.”
B-127 lands on earth, only to be found by a Decepticon operative who disables his vocal processors and damages his memory chip. Beat-up and alone, the robot car hides in open sight at a junkyard as a yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. He’s destined for the car crusher until teenager Charlie Watson (Steinfeld) rescues him from rusting away in her uncle’s junkyard, nicknames him Bumblebee and applies some tender loving care to his dented metal and dusty interior. Charlie and her late father were car nuts who spent their time together refurbishing an old Camaro. Since his sudden death she has worn the sadness of her father’s passing like a shroud.
When she switches on the car for the first time she inadvertently sends a signal to the Decepticons setting into motion an invasion of earth. Enter the military who initially co-operate with the Decepticons, hoping to garner some space age technology tips from the alien beings. “He’s a machine,” snarls Agent Burns (John Cena). “He’s more human than you’ll ever be,” replies Charlie.
I wouldn’t call “Bumblebee” restrained by any stretch but it feels positively Bergmen-esque compared to Michael Bay’s five loud ‘n proud instalments. Bay’s “Transformers” left viewers with scorched eyes and ringing ears. “Bumblebee” does have giant action scenes but it doesn’t forget to spend time with Charlie and her family, mom (Pamela Adlon), bratty brother Otis (Jason Drucker), stepfather Roy (Lenny Jacobson) and neighbour Memo (Jorge Lendborg Jr.). The main relationship, however, is between Charlie and a big chunk of metal.
That relationship is the film’s beating heart. “Bumblebee” is not just a tale of good vs. evil; it’s a story of how friendship can mend a broken heart. Set in 1987, this is a throwback to 80s movies like “ET” that paired kids with fantastical creatures with heart warming results. Knight pulls it off, creating a believable relationship between the two. Bumblebee’s eyes—or at least in the blue bulbs that substitute for his eyes—radiate wonder and tenderness. That’s quite a trick to pull off in an action movie.
“Bumblebee” is a welcome change of pace for the “Transformers” series. Knight brings tenderness, humour—“They literally call themselves Decepticons,” says Agent Burns. “How is that NOT a red flag?”—and action that owes more to the style of the 80s era “Transformers” cartoons and Amblin films than Bay’s bombast.