Posts Tagged ‘Julianne Hough’


Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.45.06 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for the frat boy humour of “Dirty Grandpa,” the galactic party crashers of “The 5th Wave,” and the martial turmoil of “45 Years.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

DIRTY GRANDPA: 1 STAR. “it’s time for a career intervention.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 10.18.11 AMI figure the new Robert De Niro comedy is called, simply and inelegantly, “Dirty Grandpa” because “Filthy-Foul-Mouthed-Misogynist-Sex-Crazed-Pervert-Filthy-Rotten-Old-Coot-Grandpa” was too ungainly for the marquee.

De Niro plays Dick Kelly, a recently widowed seventy-two year old. His grandson Jason (Zac Efron) is a twenty-something who gave up his dreams of being a photographer to study law and join his father (Dermot Mulroney) firm. Jason has his life figured out—he’s about to marry the beautiful but controlling Meredith (Julianne Hough)—but is tragically unhip. According to grandpa he is like “Mitt Romney in Terminator.”

The grieving grandfather asks Jason to drive him to his summer home in Florida. “Your grandmother and I were there this time every year,” he explains. “It’s what she would have wanted.” Instead of a melancholy pilgrimage the trip takes a sideways turn when Dick goes on the prowl for a woman. He gets the chance to hook up when Jason bumps into Shadia (Zoey Deutch), an old schoolmate of his, and her friends, including the oversexed Lenore (Aubrey Plaza).

“The greatest gift a grandson can give to his grandfather,” says Dick, “is a hot college girl who wants to have unprotected sex,” so they take a detour and follow the crowd to Daytona Beach. There they meet a male drug dealer named Pamela (Jason Mantzoukas) who introduces Jason to crack cocaine, get thrown in jail, compete in a bodybuilding contest and much more.

Of course Dick’s unorthodox behaviour is ripe with life lessons… you just have to endure 60 minutes of pedophilia, masturbation and rape gags before those lessons become apparent.

“Dirty Grandpa” is credited to one writer but feels like it was penned by a group of drunken frat boys on the beer and bourbon binge. What, I guess, is supposed to be a funny look at aging and making the most of the time we all have, is reduced to a spectacle of a once revered thespian calling his lawyer grandson “Alan Douceowitz.” If this were a drinking game where you took a shot every time De Niro says “vagina” (and all of that word’s derivations) or any number of other words I can’t print here you’d have alcohol poisoning half an hour in. It mistakes politically incorrect “did he really just say that” jokes for actual humour.

Then there is the presence of the great man himself. I can forgive Zac Efron’s participation in “Dirty Grandpa,” he’s young and the idea of starring with De Niro (who he imitated rather perfectly in “Neighbors”) must have been irresistible but what is the star of “Taxi Driver” doing here? At one point Jason yells, “What the ‘bleep’ is wrong with you?” at him repeatedly. It’s a legit question. Perhaps it’s time for a career intervention. For the good of all of cinema let’s get David O. Russell to talk to De Niro before he accepts “Dirty Grandpa Pt. 2.”

“Dirty Grandpa” is the kind of film that, one day, De Niro’s great-grandchildren will watch and wonder what all the fuss about him was.


footloose_onesheet2_twittericonWhen I went to high school people didn’t dance as much as they swayed, or maybe gyrated when the music really hit them. The adventurous among us occasionally tried the Hustle or the Bump, but that was about it. According to “Footloose,” a remake of the 80s classic from “Hustle and Flow” director Craig Brewer, now-a-days high school seniors have moves that would make Mikhail Baryshnikov green with envy.

Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) is a big city kid forced by circumstance to move to the small town of Bomont, Georgia to live with his uncle. He’s a rebel who soon finds a cause in town. Three years prior a group of teens were killed in a car crash after a dance. In reaction the town banned public dancing, amplified music and other rites of teenage passage. Ren, a former gymnast and dancing fool, challenges the law, butts heads with the local preacher Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid in the John Lithgow role) and falls in love with the minister’s daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough). Will the town lift the ban? Will the love birds ever get to break dance in public?

“Footloose” is a little grittier than you would imagine a movie starring Ryan Seacrest’s girlfriend to be. Director Brewer’s roots are in indie filmmaking and it shows. The slickness normally associated with contemporary teen fare is by and large missing here, replaced with the steamy Southern feel that permeates his other films. You won’t hear a line like, “You’re sexier than socks on a rooster,” in any of the “Twilight” movies.

MacCormack and Hough shine the brightest when they are in motion on the dance floor, but Miles Teller as Willard (played by Chris Penn in the original), Ren’s dance-challenged best friend steals the show on and off the dance floor.

Rebooting a well-loved classic is a tricky business. Brewer has wisely not messed with the formula too much. There are slight changes, Ren is now from Boston instead of Chicago, the tractor game of chicken from the original is now a bus race and the dancing has been updated but upbeat rebellious core (and most of the songs) of the ’84 movie is intact.

Remaking a teenage classic RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA Published: October 06, 2011

footloose-kenny-wormald-julianne-hough-01The names Ren and Ariel are touchstones for a generation. In the teen classic Footloose, big city boy Ren (Kevin Bacon) romanced Ariel (Lori Singer) and brought the boogie back to the small town of Bomont, Georgia.

Despite bad reviews, the story of teen rebellion and two-stepping struck a chord with audiences who made it one of the biggest hits of 1984.

Director Craig Brewer knew his new big-screen version had to tread carefully, reinventing the characters without losing what made them popular in the first place.

“I think all of my cast members were able to occupy the characters without there being any sort of mimicry or impersonation of the original,”?he says.

The project had been in development for some time, with big names like Zac Efron attached, but Brewer decided to go a different way.

“If you went in a time machine and sat with me in 1984 when I was 13 and went and saw Footloose, right before the screening happened if you would have asked me, ‘What do you think of Kevin Bacon?’ I would have said, ‘Who?’ That movie made that guy. He was already a talented actor, he just needed a movie to break him into the pop scene.

“You want to see someone new come into town, you want to have that same bit of mystery surround them so I resisted having Ren McCormack being played by a ‘movie star’ because then you get all the baggage of their other movies tied into this one,” he says.

Kenny Wormald, a choreographer and dancer, won the role after a recommendation from Justin Timberlake, who spotted his innate talent when Kenny was a backup dancer for the singer.

For Ariel, Brewer cast the more established Julianne Hough, best known as a Dancing with the Stars champion.

After her initial audition Brewer was relieved.

“I knew I had Ariel. I was excited because I had just seen the birth of a new actress who was really good and really brave,” she said.