Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres), and the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres), the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, and VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role and the dreamy thrills of “Come True” (VOD).
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 Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres) and the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, and VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role.
“Boogie,” a new film directed by TV host, chef and author of “Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir” Eddie Huang and now playing in theatres, is a universal story of hoop dreams set within the Asian community of Queens, New York.
The son of Chinese immigrants, (Perry Yung and Pamelyn Chee), Alfred Chin (Taylor Takahashi)—“I prefer my stripper name,” he jokes, “Boogie.”—has dreams of playing in the NBA. He’s got game, but his family is divided. His father and uncle want him to take a big payday from an Asian team, an offer that will ruin his chance of going pro with the NBA. Mom is more academically minded. To that end she enrolls him in a fancy prep school in hopes a scout for a college team will discover him there, smoothing his way to a scholarship.
Trouble is, Boogie is more interested in hanging out with his best friend and teammate Richie (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and wannabe romantic interest Eleanor (Taylour Paige) than he is in studying “Catcher in the Rye.”
On the court he’s a maverick, skilled but a bit of a wild card. He a trash talker who doesn’t respect his teammates—he describes the then collectively as “hot trash”—or the guidance of his coach. As a beef with rival player Monk (Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson) smoulders off court and on, Boogie learns important life lessons about team work, respect for himself and others and the millstone of expectation.
One of Boogie’s teachers tells the class, “Whether you know it or not, right here, right now, you are a coming-of age-story.” And that it is, a story of finding first love, navigating the emotional ups and downs of his parent’s rocky relationship and getting his footing as a young man entering the world. More importantly, it is also a story of representation and expectation.
We’ve seen the up-coming athlete story before, but what makes “Boogie” compelling is Huang’s handling of the material. From flipping the typical high school movie seduction scene on its head by allowing Eleanor guide Boogie through a sexual encounter to weaving subtextual, personality defining cultural references throughout, Huang defies expectations. Eventually the typical sports movie template kicks in, dampening the film’s novel approach and feel but up until then “Boogie” is an authentic and intimate portrait of a young man entering manhood.
“Boogie” is a strong directorial debut from Huang. It’s a lively, complex film that almost transcends its sports movie roots.
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.