Posts Tagged ‘Justin Long’


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CKTB Niagara in the Morning morning show with guest host Stephanie Vivier to talk the new movies coming to theatres. This week we look at the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Listen to 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 latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to flip a coin! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BARBARIAN: 3 ½ STARS. “truly keeps the viewer off balance throughout.”

The grisly events in “Barbarian,” a new house rental horror film now playing in theatres, are a better advertisement for staying in a hotel than anything the Canadian Hotel & Lodging Association could have dreamed up.

The story begins with Tess (Georgina Campbell) pulling up in front of an Airbnb in the rundown neighborhood of Brightmoor in Detroit. Turns out, the only house on the block without broken windows or a kicked-in front door, is doubled booked, and Keith (Bill Skarsgård), is already settled in. She booked on Airbnb, he booked on another site, wires were crossed, but instead of sending her out in the rain to find another place to stay, he invites her in. You take the bed, he says, I’ll sleep on the coach. She reluctantly agrees, won over by his charm and seemingly good-guy vibes.

After lights out, strange things happen. At first, it’s creepy but explainable, like creaky old doors that open and close by themselves, but, the next day, when she goes to the basement to retrieve some supplies, the house reveals a dark secret.

Cut to Los Angeles, present day, and the worst moment of self-involved television star AJ Gilbride’s (Justin Long) life. Accused of sexual impropriety by a co-star, he’s fired from his show and is the subject of an exposé in the Hollywood Reporter. His career in tatters and his bank account running dry, he decides to sell off assets, including an Airbnb property he owns in Brightmoor, Detroit. “I’m not here on vacation,” he tells his lawyer as he lands in Michigan. “I’m here for some liquidity.”

As the story of Tess and AJ collide, “Barbarian” takes one last left turn, this time to Detroit, circa the Reagan years, with the origin story of the innocent looking house’s evil.

“Barbarian” is an audacious thriller with a heaping handful of solid scares. Director Zach Cregger zigs and zags, trusting the audience to hang on for the wild ride. It’s worth the trip. The tense atmosphere of Tess and Keith’s story gives way to AJ’s MeToo cautionary tale and the sinister origin story before throwing it all into the hopper to create a genre-busting final third act. Nothing is off the table as the movie tackles the worst of human nature, narcissism, murder and even incest. It’s a heady mix that should have you moving toward the edge of your seat.

“Barbarian” is one of the rare, recent horror movies that truly keeps the viewer off balance throughout. It’s never clear where the story is going, and that off-the-hook storytelling keeps the creepy story compelling. It’s a roller coaster in which only one thing is clear: Never rent an Airbnb built over a catacomb.

LAVENDER: 3 STARS. “an assured performance from Abbie Cornish.”

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-12-01-56-pmSalman Rushdie once wrote, “Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.” It’s a quote that resonates throughout “Lavender,” a new psychological thriller starring Abbie Cornish as a woman whose ghostly, fragmented memories haunt her.

In this elegant and eerie movie from “The Last Exorcism II” director Ed Gass-Donnelly, Cornish stars as Jane, a photographer who snaps pictures of old, dilapidated homes. One house in particular seems to have a draw on her, but after photographing it she has visions, one of which cause her to run her car off the road. Suffering memory loss, she undergoes therapy to stimulate repressed memories, a treatment that works all too well. Soon strange boxes appear, seeming to be clues to a past she had long ago left behind. Jane’s unfinished business comes flooding back in the form of long forgotten memories of a tragic and unsettling event.

“Lavender” is a hallucinatory study of the hidden horrors of the mind, a look at false memories and how they can be used as a shield from madness. It follows a well-trodden path—previously explored in mind movies like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Shining”—but Gass-Donnelly’s deliberate, almost trance-like direction lends plenty of atmosphere to the story. He effectively milks an emotional response with an anxiety inducing score by Sarah Neufeld and Colin Stetson and an assured performance from Cornish.

Cornish is at the very center of “Lavender,” grounded and eerie at the same time, she’s a sympathetic character with a hint of menace. This character driven story gives Cornish the chance to explore the psychological implications of a woman uncovering her uncertain past.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP: 2 STARS. “at least they’re cute.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 10.53.39 AMThe most interesting thing about “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” is watching the former stars of entertainments like “Almost Famous,” “Veep,” “Anchorman” and “Lost in Translation” stumble over one another for a paycheque.

The fourth “Alvin and the Chipmunks” sees the musical rodents, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney) take an extended road trip from Los Angeles to Miami to prevent their caregiver and producer Dave (Jason Lee) from proposing to his new girlfriend Shira (Kimberly Williams-Paisley). The Munks like her well enough, but her son Miles (Josh Green), their potential new step-brother, is a future serial killer who delights in torturing the small, furry brothers.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” operates on the premise that everything the chipmunks do is cute. Actual jokes? Don’t need them because they’re Theo-dorable! Get it?

This is the kind of movie that feels like the marketing department and not filmmakers created it. There are enough songs to fill a soundtrack, enough adorability to fill shelves with plush toys with just enough pop culture references to Linda Blair and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” to keep the old folks awake and semi-engaged. Less a movie than an exercise in extreme product placement, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” will make anyone over the age of four shout something a little saltier than Dave’s trademark “Alvin!” screech.

The chipmunks don’t make very good movies, but hey, at least they’re cute.

TUSK: 1 STAR. “Part Freaks, part The Human Centipede. Goo goo goo joob goo goo goo job.”

kinoprosmotr.net_tusk-trailerI suppose there is some kind of H.P. Lovecraftian message tucked away, deep inside “Tusk’s” jaded little heart but director Kevin Smith doesn’t bother to unearth it. Instead he’s content to make poutine jokes.

Based on an idea evolved from Episode 259 of Smith’s SModcast about a internet star and a seafarer with a thing for walruses, the movie begins with Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) travelling from Los Angeles to Manitoba to interview a subject for his popular podcast. When that interview falls through he finds another guest, a mysterious old sailor named Howard Howe (Michael Parks) with a storied past and a remote mansion in Bifrost, Manitoba.

Ahoy, mateys! There be spoilers ahead.

The kindly, old wheelchair bound man doesn’t just have marvelous stories about drinking with Ernest Hemingway; he also has a jones for a kindly walrus who saved his life on one of his many adventures. “I have never known such a connection with anyone,” he says, “human or otherwise.” Turns out, he’s a serial killer who lures young men to his home, drugs them and surgically turn them into a walrus. “Man is a savage beast. Better to be a walrus.” Goo goo goo joob goo goo goo job.

There’s more, in the form of a girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) and podcast partner (Haley Joel Osment) who, with the aid of a Quebecois detective Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp, in what may be the most tedious performance by a major star in a film this year) search for the waylaid podcaster.

“Tusk” is audacious. I’ll give Smith that. Part “Freaks,” part “The Human Centipede,” and part stoner comedy, it has some truly astounding moments. It’s a deeply weird idea, which in other hands might have been developed into something more interesting than simply a vessel for gags about a restaurant called “Poutiney Weenie” and Canadian stereotypes.

Smith had good stuff to work with. Parks is creepy and eloquent. Long is well cast as an annoying twit of a podcaster, but they are hindered by a torrent of words; endless dialogue that doesn’t forward the story. The idea of “Tusk,” as Smith presents it, warrants a short film, not a ninety-minute movie that feels much longer than it actually is because of self-indulgent direction.

RICHARD’S “CANADA AM” REVIEWS FOR DEC. 13, 2013 W/ Jeff Hutcheson.

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 12.28.44 PMRichard Crouse reviews this week’s releases: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” “American Hustle,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Her,” and “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!