Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of avarice and privilege, the mind-bending Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird” and the documentary “The Way I See It.”
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 the twisty-turny Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of greed, the documentary “The Way I See It” and Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird.”
“Antebellum,” starring singer and actor Janelle Monáe in a dual role, is a horror film about the intergenerational impact of slavery.
At the film’s beginning Monáe is Eden, enslaved on a plantation at the onset of the Civil War. The plantation boss, Confederate Captain Jasper (Jack Huston), is a cruel drunk with a strict set of rules. He demands no talking and obedience “with a smile.” The cost of speaking out of turn or not working hard enough is misery. Forced to endure sexual exploitation, physical trauma and mental anguish, one night Eden shuts her eyes and goes to sleep.
When she awakens it’s 2020 and she is Veronica Henley, a famous writer on American race relations with a busy schedule that includes television appearance and live speaking engagements. Her latest work, “Shedding the Coping Persona,” a roadmap to revolution for historically marginalized people, examining the intersectionality of race, class and gender, is a hot button book that touches on some of the same concerns that plagued Eden’s life.
“Black women are expected to be seen and not heard,” she says at a conference. “To the patriarchy we’ve been practically invisible but their arrogance is their greatest vulnerability and our greatest opportunity.” She closes her speech with a quote from Assata Shakur, “The only thing that we have to lose are our chains.”
Although successful, wealthy and well-known, she is treated with condescension from everyone from a white television host to a hotel concierge, from a ghostly little girl in an elevator to a corporate headhunter (Jena Malone) who gives her kudos on her lipstick choice. “It compliments your skin tone,” she says. “I don’t think I could… pull it off.”
Eden and Veronica have a connection, brought forth in a ferocious climax, but there will be no spoilers here.
In a “Twilight Zone” finale “Antebellum” asks if Eden was a figment of Veronica’s imagination or vice versa. It’s hard to describe without giving anything away but the writing-directing duo of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz have done some of the work for me, foreshadow the ending throughout. For instance, at one point Veronica tells her friend Sarah (Lily Cowles), “Our ancestors haunt our dreams to see themselves more.”
“Antebellum” is a horror film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Instead, with a tip of the hat to Rod Serling, it blends social commentary on the legacy of American slavery with the supernatural to form a provocative essay on how the unresolved past can create turmoil in the present.
Richard speaks with “Lady and the Tramp‘s” Yvette Nicole Brown about her role in Disney’s newest remake, adopting rescue dogs, wearing corsets and if Brown agrees that her character is the villain of the story.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Angie Seth to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Agatha Christie-esque “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig, the Disney+ revamp of “Lady and the Tramp” and the thought provoking “Queen & Slim.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig and a cast of n’ere do wells, the Disney+ revamp of “Lady and the Tramp,” the odd couple picture “The Two Popes,” the corporate legal drama “Dark Waters,” and the thought provoking “Queen & Slim” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the who dunnit “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig, the Disney+ revamp of “Lady and the Tramp,” the buddy picture “The Two Popes” and the thought provoking “Queen & Slim.”
New to the Disney+ screening platform comes a glossy live-action—that means real dogs!— remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” the House of Mouse’s 1955 animated classic.
The updated version maintains the heart of the original. The story of two dogs from different sides of the tracks, a pampered American Cocker Spaniel named Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) and Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux), a Schnauzer-mutt who lives on the street, is a study in class divides aimed at kid’s imaginations. The plot thickens when Lady’s owners (Kiersey Clemons and Thomas Mann) welcome a baby and, through circumstance, she finds herself on the streets, eking out a life with her new friend Tramp.
This is not your father’s “Lady and the Tramp.” The Disney+ version of is half an hour longer than the original version and comes with a modern sensibility. That means the regressive and racist “The Siamese Cat” song is nowhere to be found (the cats are no longer Siamese and they sing a new tune called “What a Shame.”), irritable Scottish Terrier Jock is now named Jacqueline and Tramp no longer has to defend Lady from a group of wild dogs. She’s more than capable doing that herself. Also, Tramp won’t be defined by the name Tramp. In this outing he has no name. “Who needs a name?” he says. “I’m free to be whoever I want to be.”
To my eye the changes and new additions don’t justify the extended running time but as a family television experience “Lady and the Tramp” offers up several pleasures. Once you adjust to the inherent strangeness of watching dogs speak, the canines hand in good performances (never thought I would ever actually have to write that in a review). They don’t have the range of expression their cartoon counterparts brought to the story but, as we saw in “The Lion King,” the technology that brings them to anthropomorphic life is state of the art if not quite the magical experience you might hope for.
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York” and the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick.”