Posts Tagged ‘Julian Richings’


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 Netflix drama “Fair Play,” the travel drama “The Royal Hotel” and the quirky sci fi film “Relax, I’m From the Future.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the hellacious “The Exorcist: Believer,” the gripping “The Royal Hotel,” the relationship drama “Fair Play” and the sci fi comedy “Relax, I’m From the Future.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

RELAX, I’M FROM THE FUTURE: 3 STARS. “slice of silly speculative fiction.”

“Relax, I’m From the Future” is remarkably thoughtful for movie that bills itself as a “dirtbag time travel comedy.” The low-budget sci fi flick plays like an absurdist riff on “The Terminator” or maybe a more serious “Sleeper.”

Rhys Darby is Casper, a time traveler who crash lands in the present-day Canadian suburbs. “I thought it would be cool to come to the twenty-first century,” he says. “Not as cool as the twentieth, but…  I found a portal. Accidentally. Instead of reporting it, I did some prep and I went through.”

He is a fish out of water, a man out of time, with a hope to ensure a bright future for the world. Trouble is, he doesn’t really have a plan to a place to stay.

His fortunes change when he meets Holly (Gabrielle Graham). At first the cynical former activist doesn’t believe he’s from the future, but when he correctly predicts random, upcoming events, she buys in. Using his knowledge of the future, they make money on the lottery and betting on sports, enough for him to rent a dingy bunker from Chuck (Zachary Bennett). “I’ve got money now,” he says. “I can buy a hot dog whenever I like.”

He collects artefacts from present day, what he calls forgotten art, introduces Holly to Percy (Julian Richings), a fast-food clerk whose political cartoons will one day change the world, until the arrival of Doris (Janine Theriault), a ruthless bounty hunter from the future.

“Relax, I’m from the Future” is a quickly paced slice of silly speculative fiction that appears written as a showcase for the energetically off-kilter comedy stylings of New Zealand actor and comedian Darby. He’s an edgy Mork from Ork, an otherworldly being, charmingly childlike but not above doing the drugs Holly offers him.

He’s nicely paired with Graham who is as grounded as Darby is whimsical. They are an interesting odd couple, keeping our interest as the movie rushes through a bunch of third reel plot additions and story twists that slow the movie’s momentum.

But despite an overstuffed final twenty minutes or so, “Relax, I’m From the Future” is a bit of fun that might actually make you think about the possibility of an individual’s impact on the world, the search for meaning and the repercussions of an overly optimistic attitude. It’s pop psychology, and ultimately succumbs to a preventing-the-end-of-the-world twist, but writer/director Luke Higginson manages something unique with the doomsday/time travel genre.


On this episode of the Richard Crouse Show we meet Maestro Fresh Wes. He’s the “Godfather of Canadian hip hop,” a record producer, an actor, and author who adds competition show host to his resume with “Race Against the Tide.” He plays host to 10 of the world’s best sand sculpting duos and throws down a challenge each week on the show: create show-stopping sculpture at New Brunswick’s iconic and beautiful Bay of Fundy, before the world’s largest tides flow in and wash their sculptures away. Watch the show on Sundays on CBC and CBC Gem at 8:30 p.m.

We’ll also meet Ken Hall. If you are a fan of The Umbrella Academy, the Netflix series about a a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and the threat of an imminent apocalypse, you’ll know Ken Hall. He’s played two roles on the show, Pogo, the talking chimpanzee and analytics specialist Herb. We’ll talk about working on the series and how he went from social work to the business of being funny.

Finally, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, director of a new film called Stanleyville a new darkly humorous social satire now on VOD, stops by. Imagine if Samuel Beckett wrote “Squid Game,” minus the giant Kewpie doll, and you’ll get the idea of “Stanleyville.”  It is a social satire, structured around a series of strange games administered by an odd moderator called Homunculus. The contestants are challenged to everything from balloon blowing contests to “writing a national anthem for everybody everywhere through all time.” As the games go on, escalating consequences pit the players against one another. It’s a cool move that is part Squid Game, part Lord of the Flies and part Samuel Beckett.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!

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 Chris Pratt, Elvis Costello, Baz Luhrmann, Martin Freeman, David Cronenberg, Mayim Bialik, The Kids in the Hall and many more!

Listen to the show live here:

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Watch Richard review three movies in less time than it takes to throw a hammer! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the lovey-dovey superhero film “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the animated “The Sea Beast” and the surreal “Stanleyville.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the Taika Waititi directed take on the Marvel Space Viking,  the beautifully animated Netflix flick “The Sea Beast,” the surreal “Stanleyville” and the contemplative doc “Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Richard joins CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the Taika Waititi directed take on the Marvel Space Viking,  the beautifully animated Netflix flick “The Sea Beast,” the surreal “Stanleyville” and the contemplative doc “Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the latest love story… er, superhero flick from Marvel, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the animated Netflix movie “The Sea Beast” and the surreal “Stanleyville.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


STANLEYVILLE: 3 STARS. “like ‘Squid Game,’ minus the giant Kewpie doll.”

Imagine if Samuel Beckett wrote “Squid Game,” minus the giant Kewpie doll, and you’ll understand “Stanleyville,” a new darkly humorous social satire now on VOD.

The ennui of a dead-end job and unsatisfying relationship with her husband and daughter has draped over apathetic suburbanite Maria Barbizan (Susanne Wuest) like a shroud. One day, tired of… well, everything, she rids herself of her money and purse in a mall trashcan and wanders aimlessly.


Into this fugue state walks the smartly dressed Homunculus (Julian Richings), a mysterious figure with an intriguing offer. She, he tells her, has been chosen, alongside a group of other idiosyncratic characters— spoiled brat Andrew Frisbee Jr (Christian Serritiello), Felice Arkady (Cara Rickets), Manny Jumpcannon (Adam Brown) and muscle-head Bofill Pancreas (George Tchortov)—to take part in a “platinum level contest” to “probe the very essence of mind/body articulation.” She doesn’t understand what that means, and the prize of a used habanero-orange compact sport utility vehicle doesn’t interest her either but the promise of true enlightenment or an “authentic personal transcendence” lures her in.

The promised so-called “platinum level contest” is actually a “Lord of the Flies” style reality show competition with Homunculus as host and referee. A series of strange games—at one point they are challenged to “write a national anthem for everybody everywhere through all time”—with escalating consequences pits the players against one another. Along the way they earn points and gain insight into their deepest held beliefs, “every man for himself” ethos and worst inclinations.

Actor-turned-director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos paints his characters in very broad strokes. Each one is an archetype that range from nihilist to failed performer to a Bay Street type, with easy-to-read characteristics that speak to one element of the human condition.

That, however, is the only easy-to-read aspect of “Stanleyville.”

Willfully weird, the movie is all journey. The strange situation doesn’t really go anywhere, and, given Homunculus’s ambiguous motivations, the movie doesn’t offer any closure to the characters or many questions it presents. It’s about the competition, the win-at-any-cost vibe so often evident in competition shows. This is an absurdist take on the same, but as the situation begins to unravel so does the story. The social commentary remains, but viewers hoping to for enlightenment, may enjoy the story’s oddball but thought-provoking themes, but, like Maria, leave the movie still in search of life changing spiritual illumination.