Watch Richard Crouse review three movies in less time than it takes to pet a dog! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard joins host Jim Richards of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the newfangled werewolf tale “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum. Then, instead of ordering in a pizza, why not try a pizza beer?
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the newfangled werewolf tale “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the Tom Holland action adventure “Uncharted,” the neo-werewolf story “The Cursed” and the man-and-his-dog tale of “Dog” with Channing Tatum.
In his first film in five years Channing Tatum trades in the g-strings and dance moves of “Magic Mike” for a dog leash and self-awareness. “Dog,” now playing in theatres, is a pet project of a sort for Tatum, who not only stars but also makes his directorial debut in a movie about the power of the dog to change a life.
Tatum plays Jackson Briggs, a former U.S. Army Ranger sidelined by a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Cut adrift of the military, in civilian life he is lost, separated from the only world he truly feels part of. He wants back in, but his medical status won’t allow a return to service.
When his best Ranger friend dies in Arizona, Briggs is offered a way back into the military. “You want to get back in the game?” asks Ranger Jones (Luke Forbes). “Prove it. Sergeant Rodriguez was a legend. Family funeral is Sunday outside of Nogales. They want his dog at the funeral. You do this, and you’re back in the game.”
The dog is Lulu, a Belgian Malinois military working dog, who vicious nature worked well in the field, less so back on base. “One minute she’s good,” says Briggs, “the next minute she’s sending three guys to the ER.”
Despite Lulu’s temper, Briggs agrees to drive her down the Pacific Coast from Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Washington to the funeral in Arizona. The unlikely pair head out on an eventful road trip, one that may lead to redemption for both.
“Dog” is a low-key man and his dog movie that quietly examines the after effects of trauma and the healing power of companionship and respect. As the miles tick by, Briggs comes to understand the shared bond between man and dog. Both are figuring out life outside the war zones that were their homes for many years, and both are forever marked by the experience. As their relationship deepens, it’s clear the key to their recovery is mutual TLC.
The movie takes some strange detours along the way—like a long sequence where Briggs pretends to be blind to get a fancy hotel suite or an odd encounter with a cannabis farmer who believes Briggs is an assassin—but the beating heart of the movie is the relationship between man and dog.
Tatum brings his likeable self to a character who isn’t always likeable. The film places Briggs is comedic and dramatic situations, which gives the movie an uneven tone—there are some “ruff” spots—but Tatum levels the field, providing continuity between the film’s goofy and gallant moments. Most importantly, he shares great chemistry with Lulu, who is actually played by three different canine actors. Tatum and co-director Reid Carolin make sure to include lots of close-ups of the Lulu’s soulful eyes, and in those scenes Tatum’s warmth shines through.
“Dog” is not a movie that teaches a lot of new tricks to the dog or to the audience but it does end on an emotional note with a welcome, if well-worn message, of the healing power of companionship.
The first “Magic Mike” was a sexy slithering slice of cinema that was about the dancers, the men who shook their booties for the pleasure of anyone with a few dollars to spare. It was about, as Mike said, “women, money and good times,” but it also told the story behind the glittery G-strings.
As the title suggests, the sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” is bigger than the first film, but is disappointingly (depending on your point of view) about the dancing, rather than the dancers.
The new movie begins with Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) struggling to make a go of his new furniture business. Out of the male entertainment game for three years, he hasn’t quite left his old life behind. His girlfriend has run off, his one employee is owed big bucks and, in his private moments, he still spontaneously breaks into exotic dance routines. At loose ends, he decides to find solace in stripping, making one last run with his old outfit The Kings of Tampa. “It’s like when Justin came back to Backstreet,” says one of his co-peelers.
His mentor Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) is out of the picture, promoting shows over seas, but that doesn’t stop the well-toned but aging crew (Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez) from doing one last show at a Myrtle Beach stripper convention and earning a “tsunami of dollar bills.”
“Magic Mike XXL” is a road trip through the undergarments… er… the underbelly of the male entertainment business. It skims the surface of the life it portrays, playing like a more revealing “Entourage” bromance. The spiritual journey of the first film has been replaced by a burlesque show with skin-deep depth. It’s a blockbuster with an indie film feel—any slicker and this would be little more than “Showgirls”—but none of the introspection that would make it special. A profound lack of drama or conflict make it feel like a slightly sexier “Road to Bali.”
Having said that, the naturalistic performances and chemistry between the cast is appealing and there is an undeniable appeal to the dirty dancing scenes, but, depending on your point of view, they either make the film worth watching or push the movie into R-rated make-you-blush territory. One thing that can’t be denied is that Channing Tatum could have had a career as a gymnast if the whole acting thing didn’t work out. All of his dance scenes look as though he performing inside a snow globe full of dollar bills thrown by excited onlookers.
As revealing as “Magic Mike XXL” is, it doesn’t give us enough of an inside look at the characters to be really interesting.