Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to walk the dog! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the adorably raunchy “Strays,” the superhero origins of “Blue Beetle” and the gyrations of “Back on the Strip.”
I appear on “CTV News at 11:30” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend, including the Paramount+ documentary “Reinventing Elvis: The 68 Comeback,” the male stripper comedy “Back on the Strip,” now playing on theatres and the animated “The Monkey King” on Netflix.
I sit in for NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the adorably raunchy “Strays,” the superhero origins of “Blue Beetle” and the gyrations of “Back on the Strip.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the adorably raunchy “Strays,” the superhero origins of “Blue Beetle,” the gyrations of “Back on the Strip” and the animated “The Monkey King.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the adorably raunchy “Strays,” the superhero origins of “Blue Beetle,” the gyrations of “Back on the Strip” and the animated “The Monkey King.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the adorably raunchy “Strays,” the superhero origins of “Blue Beetle,” the gyrations of “Back on the Strip” and the animated “The Monkey King.”
The humor in “Back on the Strip,” a new Las Vegas comedy starring Wesley Snipes, Faizon Love and J.B. Smoove as Las Vegas male strippers who return to the stage after a long hiatus, is about as subtle as the title’s insinuation is hard to understand. Which is to say, not at all.
In this “Full Monty” riff, Tiffany Haddish plays Verna, free-spirited mother to Merlin (Spencer Moore II), a wannabe magician whose life is turned upside down when his high school crush Robin (Raigan Harris) announces she is engaged to “the Michael Jordan of comedy,” on-line prankster Blaze (Ryan Alexander Holmes).
Brokenhearted, he heads to Las Vegas looking to land a gig as a magician. At an impromptu magic gig at a strip club instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, by accident, Merlin pulls, well, something else out of his pants. The revealing moment catches the eye of Luther a.k.a. “Mr. Big” (Snipes), the former leader of a famous Black male stripper crew called The Chocolate Chips, just as he’s thinking of putting the old band back together.
Desperate for a gig, Merlin reluctantly joins the dance crew, keeping it a secret from Verna and Robin, who, despite being engaged, is still in contact.
“Now with a man with something big in front of him,” says Luther as he intros Merlin. “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about his future… Mr. Black Magic.”
Merlin’s life becomes complicated when Blaze decides to publicly embarrass Merlin and keep Robin all to himself. Will Merlin finally learn how to do thing his way? Will he go big or will he go home?
“Back on the Strip” is not a subtle movie. From Haddish’s raunchy narration to the predictable plot points, it’s clear writer-director Chris Spence (and co-writer is Eric Daniel) aren’t looking to reinvent the raunchy comedy wheel. It’s a mix of sweet and sour, romance for the heart and the raunchy stuff—it’s like Spencer consulted the Double Entendre Dictionary when writing Haddish’s dialogue—for the other extremities. The only really surprising thing about the movie is how far the script pushes the innuendo.
The willing cast go along for the ride with considerable collective charm. Smoove is a standout, bringing some much-needed unpredictability to every scene he is in.
Unfortunately, the emotional scenes between Merlin and Robin, meant to be heartwarming, are rendered tedious by the predictability of the script. We know what’s going to happen in this movie long before any of it actually happens and we don’t need Haddish’s expository, non-stop narration to let us know what’s going on.
Simply put, “Back on the Strip” does not have any of Mike’s magic.
I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Pauline Chan to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the epic Amazon Prime series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” the Showtime sports documentary “McEnroe,” season two of “1 Queen, 5 Queers” on Crave and the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the mockumentary “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,” the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time” and the gritty coming-of-age story “Funny Pages.”