Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Zuraidah Alman about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
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 the Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
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 Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video) and the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD).
Director Ryan Murphy returns to familiar territory with “The Prom,” a high school musical adapted from a Broadway show now streaming on Netflix. The creator of the pop culture juggernaut “Glee” throws subtlety out the window and ups the ante with an all-star cast to bring the all-singing-all-dancing story of inclusivity to glittery life.
The action begins on the opening night of a Broadway show, a musical about Eleanor Roosevelt starring two self-involved stage icons, Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden). When terrible reviews force the show to close on opening night, taking their dreams of Tony Award glory with it, they fear they’ll never work again. Joining in on the pity part are
Trent (Andrew Rannells), a Juilliard grad waiting on his big break by bartending at Sardi’s restaurant and Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman), a “Chicago” chorus girl who has spent twenty years for her chance of playing Roxie.
At the same time across the country in small-town Indiana controversy in brewing. Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington), head of the local PTA, has announced that to preserve community standards, gay high school student Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) will be banned from attending the prom with her girlfriend.
Cut to New York where the four actors hatch a plan to find a cause they can support to boost their dented public images. When they hear about Emma’s plight, the self-proclaimed “liberals from Broadway” hop on a bus for Indiana to bring their self-styled (and self-serving) activism to the Midwest.
High jinks and high stepping result.
“The Prom” is a feel-good movie that not only celebrates inclusivity but also the form of the musical. It’s an ode to Broadway and, in these isolated times, the importance of entertaining people. When Dee Dee tells high school principal Tom Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key) she’s planning to quit the business, he says, earnestly, “You can’t quit because I need you to do what you do.” It’s a lovely sentiment but it makes the clumsy handling of many of the musical numbers somewhat mystifying. If this form is so important, why are the big dance sequences such a mish mash of frenetic camera work, candy colors and flailing choreography? There is a difference between dazzling and dizzying and Murphy errs on the side of the latter too often.
Other than that, “The Prom” fits alongside pop musicals like “Bye Bye Birdie,” another show about actors trying to wring some publicity out of a small town. It’s peppy with a game cast. Streep, Rannells and Kidman have fun in big performances and Corden goes for it, but made me wonder if Nathan Lane, who would have been terrific, or Brooks Ashmanskas, who played Glickman on Broadway, were otherwise engaged while the movie was being shot.
The film’s heart and soul, however, is Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma, the gay high school senior who displays resilience and courage in the face of prejudice. She’s terrific in a role that requires her to sing, dance while pulling on your heartstrings.
If you are someone who has the release date of “West Side Story,” which features Pellman’s co-star Ariana DeBose as Anita, marked on your calendar, or if the words “Meryl Streep raps” grab your attention, then you’ll want to put “The Prom” in your Netflix queue. It aims to please fans of the genre and delivers a blast of feel-good vibes but probably won’t win over people who don’t like it when actors suddenly burst into song.
Welcome to the House of Crouse. This week we get our motors running and head out on the highway. It’s our classic cars episode. To celebrate we welcome Nathan Fillion, one of the stars of “Cars 3.” We chat about everything from car design to soap operas and naming your kids after TV characters. Then Edgar Wright pulls into the parking lot. We talk about his twenty-two-years-on-the-making pedal to the metal movie “Baby Driver.” C’mon in and fill up your tank!
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including “Cars 3,” the latest adventures of Lightening McQueen, the bachelorette party from hell in “Rough Night” and the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur in “All Eyez on Me.”
It’s only June but this year Nathan Fillion already knows what his nieces and nephews are getting for Christmas.
“I have enough little kids in my life and they are all getting Sterling Hot Wheels for Christmas,” laughs the Cars 3 star.
In his second gig for Pixar — he also appeared in Monsters University — the Edmonton-born star lends his voice to the character of Sterling, a slick-talking coupe and CEO who becomes the new sponsor of racer Lightning McQueen.
“I had some of the classic toys,” he says. “The G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu Grip. The Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots and Smash Up Derby. Do you remember those? You’d pull the cord and wheel them at each other. Those are the fantastic toys I remember having as a kid. Otherwise it was Lego or a stick and your imagination. But to go from saying, ‘Isn’t this a neat little Hot Wheels,’ to actually being one? I can’t even.”
Fillion came to Cars 3 fresh off of 173 episodes playing mystery novelist Richard Castle on the crime comedy series Castle.
“As far as taking on a new character goes, the only danger is falling into any habits,” he says of leaving Richard Castle behind. “When you do a character for eight years there are things you will start to do habitually. I think a little more focus is appropriate to make sure you are not recycling anything from your last gig.”
The actor honed his skills on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live. For three years he was Joey Buchanan, the son of original protagonists Joe Riley Sr. and Victoria Lord. His work on that show earned him a 1996 Daytime Emmy Award nomination.
“It wasn’t like one show a week,” he says, “it was every day. We didn’t do cue cards. I’ve heard rumours of cue cards. Even the older, older guys did not use cue cards. They were seasoned pros. Anyone who talks down on daytime (television), and I never will, has never done daytime. It is a mountain of work. It is 40 pages a day.
“It’s a muscle. It’s like you start doing pushups. If you do pushups every day for three years by the end of it you can do a lot of pushups. I’m pretty sure by the end of three years that memorizing, that taking of the words and letting them live, was a muscle I flexed pretty well.”
Despite guest spots on popular shows like Modern Family, Big Bang Theory and Desperate Housewives, he will likely always be best loved for playing the hilarious anti-hero Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Joss Whedon’s short lived but influential futuristic space western Firefly.
“It was almost 15 years ago that show came out and people are still loving it,” he says, “and dressing up like the characters. I will be sad on the day they stop doing that. If anyone wants to name their kid after my character on that show the kid will have to say, ‘Yes, I was named after a character on that show.’ Then there is a chance that someone may still watch it and love it and still dress up like that guy and I’ll still be relevant and everybody will be happy. Especially me.”