Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Levine’


A new(ish) feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” with Patrick Huard and Colm Feore, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” with Patrick Huard and Colm Feore, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

SNATCHED: 3 ½ STARS. “a giggle followed by a laugh every few minutes.”

“Snatched” is a mother and daughter comedy. Sounds wholesome, right? Mom and daughter on holiday, but add in kidnapping, sex trafficking and manual tapeworm extraction and you have a raunchy comedy that plays like a cross between “Taken” and “Steel Magnolias.”

Amy Schumer is Emily Middleton, a sales clerk with no filter who over-shares with customers. On the eve of an Ecuadorian vacation her musician boyfriend (Randall Park) dumps her, leaving her with two plane tickets and a South American hotel with a king sized bed. Rather than cancel the trip Emily asks her divorced, retiree mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) to come along for the ride.

“Pack your bags,” Emily says, “we’re going to South America.”

“Everybody knows you need two years to plan a vacation,” says her cautious mom.

Linda is a worrywart, as uptight as Emily is free spirited. She’s the kind of person who triple locks her suburban doors and checks websites for nearby sex offenders.

To convince mom to come along for the ride Emily pulls the one card her mother can’t refuse. “The trip is non-refundable.”

In Ecuador Emily meets James (Tom Bateman), a handsome English man who sweeps her off her feet. On a day trip he convinces Emily and Linda to take the scenic route back to the hotel only to stand by as the women are abducted. Their captor is Morgado (Óscar Jaenada), a notorious gangster who holds them for $100,000 ransom. One daring escape later they are off on their own in the Columbian jungle, trying to make it to the American consulate in Bogotá. On their trip they are aided by Roger Simmons (Christopher Meloni), an explorer who seems to have just stepped out of a 1950 adventure film and two friends from the resort, Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and Barb (Joan Cusack).

Back home Jeffrey Middleton (Ike Barinholtz), Linda’s agoraphobic son convinces a reluctant State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin) to get involved.

At its dirty little heart “Snatched” is a movie about the importance of family, specifically the bond between mother and daughter but it’s not all sweetness and light. The film is inhabited by comic creations that are grounded enough to prevent the movie from careening into farce, but not so grounded that they can’t surprise us.

In her first movie role in fifteen years Hawn reminds us of what a gifted comedienne she is, spouting lines like, “I tell you when dad left I thought I’d never have sex again… and I was right,” with pitch perfect comic timing.

Schumer’s self-depreciating humour—“The sex traders want beautiful women. Your poufy faces will protect you.”—is relatable but it is her more subtle character work that really shines here. Little things, like the way she tries to take the perfect selfie, tell us everything we need to know about the self-indulgent Emily without a line of dialogue.

Sykes, Cusack, Barinholtz and Meloni all bring the funny in a series of off kilter cameos.

“Snatched” isn’t exactly a laugh-a-minute, it’s more a giggle followed by a laugh every few minutes but director Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies,” “The Night Before” and “50/50”) has a good grasp of the humour, action and mushy stuff, finding a pleasing balance between all three.


all_the_boys_love_mandy_lane (6)Director Jonathan Levine has made three good movies. Trouble is, he’s made four films in total.

He created a zom com with “Warm Bodies,” made a cancer comedy with “50/50” and put a cool spin on teen angst in “.” Now a gritty little horror film that has sat on the shelf since 2006 is coming back to haunt him, breaking his cinematic winning streak.

“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” is a series of clichés strung together in an attempt to subvert the usual slasher movie tropes. It’s the “Scream” recipe of knowingly winking at the vey plot devices the story is exploiting. In this case its dead cell phones, a remote location, hormonal desires and soon to be dead teens.

At the center of it all is Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) a virginal beacon amongst the promiscuity who, for some reason, is always referred to by her full name. Perhaps it has something to do with brand recognition for this seven-year-old movie.

She is the object of desire for all the boys—both the good-looking doomed ones and the pyscho with a grudge. They say things to her like, “You have no idea how hot you are, do you?” and would literally kill to be with her.

Levine tries to turn the genre on its head with a twist, and while it does kick up the queasy quotient, it only comes after the movie has reveled in every formulaic slasher movie ritual. The sex, drugs and lame rock ‘n’ roll that get us to the surprise is so grounded in its source material that even the introduction of a late plot shocker isn’t enough to make “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” feel any less than derivative.