Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Lois Lee to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”
Can Richard Crouse review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the Neo’s return to virtual reality in “The Matrix: Resurrections,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” in less time than it takes to buy a pack of Twizzlers.
These days movies are regularly remade, rebooted, reimagined and regurgitated. But none of those terms capture how Warner Bros has brought back one of their most famous and ground breaking franchises.
The new Keanu Reeves movie isn’t simply a return to the Matrix, the simulated reality created by intelligent machines to pacify humans and steal their energy, it’s a resurrection. After eighteen years, Neo has been raised from the dead by Lana Wachowski in “The Matrix: Resurrections,” now playing in theatres.
The last time we saw Neo (Reeves) he made the ultimate sacrifice, giving himself to create peace between machines and mankind. His death would allow people to finally be free of the virtual world of the Matrix.
In “Resurrections” it’s twenty years later. Neo now goes by his real name, Thomas A. Anderson. He is the “greatest videogame designer of his generation,” with an ordinary life, save for the visions that plague him. “I’ve had dreams,” he says, “that weren’t just dreams.” His analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) has him on a steady diet of heavy therapy and blue pills, meant to quell the strange delusions.
Anderson’s regular life is turned upside down when his business partner Smith (Jonathan Groff) announces that their company will be making a sequel to their most popular game, “The Matrix.” As his team works on the new game—“It’s a mindbomb!”—his memories become more intense and soon he has trouble distinguishing fact from fiction.
Or is it all real?
When people from his past, like computer programmer and hacker Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), an alternate reality version of the heroic Matrix hovercraft captain who first believed Neo was “The One,” appear, Thomas fears he is losing his mind.
Things become clearer—Or do they?—when the new Morpheus offers Thomas/Neo a choice of pills. The blue ones will keep Thomas’ state of mind status quo. The red ones, however, will take him down the rabbit hole, into the heart of the Matrix. “Nothing comforts anxiety like a little nostalgia,” says Morpheus.
Pill popped, the simulated world opens up to reveal a dangerous place in need of a hero. Teaming with a group of rebels, Neo battles a new enemy and secrets are revealed. “The Matrix is the same or worse,” says Neo, “and I’m back where I started. It feels like none of it mattered.”
“The Matrix: Resurrections” may be the most self-aware movie of the year. No instalment of “The Matrix” will ever match the whiz bang excitement of the first film, and “Resurrections” knows it. It comments on itself and consistently winks at its legacy.
“This cannot be a retread, reboot or regurgitation,” says one of the “Matrix” videogame designers.
“Why not?” says another. “Reboots sell.”
Like the movie’s story, the film itself attempts to blur the line between the reality of the story and the very act of watching the movie. It is simultaneously self-depreciating and cynical. It’s OK to have a bit of good fun with the story, especially given the oh-so-serious tone of the previous “Matrix” movies, but by the time Thomas meets Trinity at the Simulatte Café, the jokes have worn thin.
The meat of the story, a search for truth, is the engine that keeps the movie motoring along, but the endless exposition, a torrent of words, seems to be the fuel that keeps things running. When a character says, “That’s the thing about stories, they never end,” it’s hard to disagree as the movie gets mired in mythology and world building.
It becomes a slog, without enough of the trademarked Wachowski action scenes to help pick up the pace. When the movie does dip into bullet time and the action that made the original so memorable, it feels like a pale comparison. There is nothing much new—“I still know Kung Fu,” says Neo—just frenetic action and nostalgia for a time when a slow-motion bullet made our eyeballs dance.
“The Matrix: Resurrections” does try to recontextualize the existing mythology. This time around the all-you-need-is-love-story between Neo and Trinity is amped up and there is some timely social commentary about control, whether it’s from the government or a virtual reality machine, but, and there is a big “but,” as much as I wanted to enjoy another trip to the Matrix, I found it too meta, too long and yet, not ambitious enough.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Christopher Nolan head scratcher “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Christopher Nolan mind bender “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe” the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Christopher Nolan mind bender “Tenet,” the Disney+ animated flick “Phineas And Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” the timely period piece “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the wrestling doc “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” the long awaited X-Men spin off “The New Mutants” and the return of William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Just because Bill and Ted, the time travelling slackers last seen on screen almost thirty years ago, got bigger and older doesn’t mean they grew up. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reunite as William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” available now in theatres and on demand, to try, once again, to save the world through music.
The leaders of the Wyld Stallyns are now middle aged with kids of their own, played by Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving. At their peak Bill and Ted’s band played at the Grand Canyon but are now reduced to performing at a lodge for a handful of people who were already there for taco night. Still, they persist in their quest to write the perfect song, a tune so powerful it will unite the world.
Not everyone is on board. “It’s been hard to watch you beat your heads against the wall for 25 years,” says Ted’s wife Princess Elizabeth Logan (Erinn Hayes). “Not sure how much more we can take.”
But when their old mentor Rufus (George Carlin in archival footage) send his daughter Kelly (Kristen Schaal) from the future with a mission, Bill and Ted accept. Given 77 minutes and 25 seconds to create a song that will “save reality,“ the duo go on an excellent, time travelling journey to the future to get the song from their future selves. “Let’s go say hello to ourselves and get that song,” says the ever-optimistic Bill.
Cue the famous inner-dimensional phone box.
The new adventure brings with it some grown-up issues, marital problems, matters of life and death, their manipulative future selves, a trip to hell and killer robots.
Meanwhile, as Bill and Ted race into the future with Kelly their daughters are on a mission of their own. Zipping through time they convince some of the greatest musicians the world has ever known—Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still), Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), Mozart (Daniel Dorr), drummer Grom (Patty Anne Miller), flautist Ling Lun (Sharon Gee) and rapper Kid Cudi as himself—to bring Bill and Ted’s music to life.
A mix of quantum physics and silly humor, “Bill and Ted Face the Music” is more a blast in nostalgia than laugh out loud funny. The screenplay, by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, who also penned “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” haven’t played around with the formula. This isn’t a gritty reimagining of the franchise. Bill and Ted haven’t developed dark sides or become jaded. They are carbon copies of their former screen selves, albeit with a few more miles on their faces. The yuks are derived from Bill and Ted as wide-eyed, Valley-speaking saviors who look for and find the best in everyone they meet in the past, present and future.
Along the way there are some welcome returns, most notably William Sadler as the bass playing Grim Reaper, who can’t understand why Bill and Ted don’t appreciate his 40-minute-long bass solos, and it’s nice to see Carlin again, if only for a second. Lundy-Paine and Weaving, have fun, playing the daughters as two chips off the old blockheads, naively discovering the true secret of world unity.
“Bill and Ted Face the Music” is a blast from the past, a movie that would look great on VHS, that maintains the goofiness and the optimism of the originals.
On the August 16, 2020 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet Kiesza, a singer, songwriter and pop star with a fascinating story of resilience. From the reserves of the Royal Canadian Navy to writing songs for people like Rihanna to her single “Hideaway” debuting at number one on the UK Singles Chart to collaborating with everyone from Duran Duran to Pitbull and Diplo she is a bona fide pop princess. Then, in 2017 she suffered life altering injuries when a taxi t-boned the car she was riding in. Her recovery from a traumatic brain injury was slow and involved staying in a darkened room for six months but she is back with a new album, a new self-run record label and a new outlook.
Then… In a career that spans five decades Chaka Khan has sold an estimated 70 million records, collaborated with everyone from Ry Cooder and Robert Palmer to Ray Charles and Quincy Jones, from Chicago to De la Soul and Mary J. Blige. She’s a musician, singer and songwriter with a shelfful of Grammys. I first saw her, with the band Rufus, on Soul Train singing their mega hit Tell Me Something Good. I became an instant fan and have remained so all these years later.
I had the chance to speak with the music legend via Zoom to talk about her role as the voice of Henrietta the Chicken in the new Disney+ film The One and Only Ivan.
And finally…I speak to Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke, the stars of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.” For more than twenty years Kenny and Fagerbakke have voiced two of pop culture’s favorite animated characters, SpongeBob SquarePants and his pal Patrick Star. In the new film, playing in theatres in Canada, SpongeBob and Patrick go on a rescue mission to save SpongeBob’s pet snail Gary, who has been “snailnapped” by King Poseidon. In this interview e talk about the new movie, the popularity of SpongeBob memes and why these characters have endured for more than two decades.