Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou,” “Copshop,” the new action thriller starring Gerard Butler and “The Mad Women’s Ball.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Clint Eastwood’s latest “Cry Macho,” the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou,” “Copshop,” the new action thriller starring Gerard Butler and “The Mad Women’s Ball.”
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 Clint Eastwood’s road trip movie “Cry Macho,” the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou” and “Copshop,” the wild action thriller starring Gerard Butler.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about to talk about Clint Eastwood’s neo-Western “Cry Macho,” the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou” and “Copshop,” the new action thriller starring Gerard Butler.
“Blue Bayou,” a new immigration drama starring Justin Chon and Alicia Vikander, tells a fictional, but all-too-true, story that is sincere but heavy-handed.
Written, directed and starring Chon, the story takes place in the Louisiana bayou. Chon plays the Korean-born Antonio LeBlanc, adopted by an American family when he was three. Now married to Kathy (Vikander) he’s raising step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske) with another child on the way.
A loping Cajun twang disguises the anxiety he feels with a new baby coming but not enough money coming in. His two felonies make it tough to find extra work, and his job as a tattoo artist does not cover the bills. Still, the family is happy, even if Jessie is concerned Antonio, the self-proclaimed “fun” parent, won’t spend time with her when the new baby arrives.
A little spat between Kathy and Antonio in a grocery escalates when Ace, a cop and her ex-husband, and his violent partner (Emory Cohen) get involved. Antonio is arrested. When Kathy attempts to pay his bail, she’s told, matter-of-factly, “He’s not here anymore. ICE took him.”
Seems his adoptive parents didn’t follow the proper procedures to make him a citizen, and now, after thirty years in America he may have to return to a country he doesn’t remember.
“I understand your frustration,” says the lawyer (Vondie Curtis-Hall) the couple hire but can’t afford. “Depart voluntarily,” he continues, “and have a chance to get back in. You can fight, but if you lose, you can never come back.”
“I’m not leaving my family,” Antonio replies.
“Blue Bayou” has much going for it. Chon has a poetic eye for visuals and frames the hot button story nicely. There are enough details about the family to make us care about them and Antonio’s backstory adds some mystery to the proceedings. The chemistry between the core group—Antonio, Kathy and Jessie—feels genuine—Kowalske is a real find—and, as the immigration situation spins out of control, we’re along for the ride. But as the story gets heavier, so does the story-telling. Like leaden.
Chon’s characters are so compelling and much of the tale so heartfelt, that it’s a disappointment when the movie turns to melodrama in its final third. Nuance goes out the window and the quiet naturalism of the first half disappears. Add to that a villain in the form of Cohen’s bad cop character who seems to have wandered in from a British pantomime and you’re left with a case of the let-downs.
“Blue Bayou” details a very important, and for many people, very personal story, but falls victim to ham-fisted storytelling.
The trick to gauging your enjoyment of “21 and Over,” a new college comedy starring people you’ve never heard of and Skylar Astin, is to think deeply about your ability to sit through an extended vomiting scene. In slow motion. If you are game for that, read on, if not, “Wreck it Ralph” comes out next week on Blu Ray.
In a movie like “21 and Over,” which is sort of a “Hangover” for young adults, when a father character says to his son, “Be rested, be sharp and don’t embarrass me,” that, of course, is the opposite of what’s going to happen.
Miller (Miles Teller), Casey (Astin) and Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) are childhood BFFs whose lives have taken different courses. Miller is a smart-mouth troublemaker killing time at a state college while his friends are hitting the books at Princeton. On Jeff’s twenty-first birthday the three reconnect to celebrate. Trouble is, Jeff has an important interview the next morning arranged by his overbearing father (François Chau).
Against his better judgment Jeff agrees to go out, just for a beer or two before getting a good night’s sleep.
If Jeff had followed his better instincts we wouldn’t have much of a movie. But as it stands we don’t have much of a movie even though the trio goes on a rampage of body shots, beer pong and pants dropping, complete with angry sorority sisters, flashes of gratuitous nudity and a berserk buffalo. Soon Jeff is legless and it’s up to his pals to take him home, carrying him around “Weekend at Bernie’s” style. There’s just one BIG problem, they can’t remember where he lives.
“21 and Over” is a coming of immaturity story, a movie about a character who says, “I don’t need you to grow up, you need to grow down.” Each of these manboys gives credence to the old saying, “Just because you got big doesn’t mean you grew up.”
I don’t mind puerile behavior. As long as it is amusing, I’ll watch it onscreen and sometimes even still engage in it myself. My issue with “21 and Over” is that it isn’t funny. It tries for that elusive balance of vulgarity to heartfelt-hug-it-out-good-vibes but like everyone who tries this (except Judd Apatow), it’s lopsided.
Can a movie that uses a sanitary product as a snack ever be thought of as heartfelt? Even weaving subplots about the pressures of higher learning and the estrangement of friends as the teen years give way to the minivan years, isn’t enough to take the edge off the crude attempts at humor that characterize this movie.
Add to that Teller’s motor-mouth mimicking of Vince Vaughn and characters who say, “Do you have a better idea?’ when, of course, there are a hundred better ideas than the thing they are about to do, and you get a charmless hour-and-a-half at the movies.