Posts Tagged ‘Laurel and Hardy’


Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Glass,” the supersequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and a movie Richard says should be called “Replican’t.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and a movie Richard says should be called “Replican’t.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and Keanu Reeves as a doctor who tries to clone his family in “Replicas” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s nineteen-years-in-the-making sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split,” the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie” and Keanu Reeves as a doctor who tries to clone his family in “Replicas.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

STAN & OLLIE: 3 ½ STARS. “easy chemistry between the leads, Coogan and Reilly.”

For twenty-three years, between 1927 and 1950, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy worked non-stop. According to The Sons of the Desert, their official international fraternal organization, they appeared in 106 films together, including feature films, featurettes, short subjects and cameo appearances. This year we can add one more to the list, sort of. It’s not a recently uncovered long lost reel of film or a documentary. This time around the comedic duo get into “another nice mess” in “Stan & Ollie,” a new biopic starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly that lovingly looks back on the double act’s 1953 farewell tour.

The action begins with the pair’s best days behind them. Their heyday a memory, the ageing duo reteam after a betrayal that blew apart their friendship. “We’re getting to know one another again,” says Stan. “It’s complicated.” Booked on a variety hall tour of post-war Britain the pair trot out some of their best known routines to small audiences. “We’re getting older,” says Ollie, “but we’re not dead yet.”

A slow start gives way to bigger and bigger crowds as audiences rediscover the pair’s wit and charm. Behind the scenes, however, tensions arise. Stan felt betrayed when Ollie didn’t back him up in a power play with producer Hal Roach years before, effectively ending their professional relationship. “The only reason we were in this situation,” scolds Stan, “is because you didn’t have the guts to ask Hal Roach for the money we deserved.” In a stinging rebuke Ollie says, “You love Laurel and Hardy but you didn’t love me.”

Those frictions, a hectic schedule and Hardy’s failing health complicate things but with the help of their strong-willed wives, Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda), the comedy legends rekindle their love of performing and one another.

Never before has Laurel and Hardy’s signature “Dance of the Cuckoos” been more poignant. The story is a show biz tale but at its heart it’s the story of two very different men, thrown together on a film set, who formed an unbreakable bond.

The film begins with a long tracking shot as the men walk from their dressing room to the set. It tells us everything we need to know about Stan and Ollie in one five-minute tour de force shot. Stan is the funny one, considered in his approach with a head for business. Ollie is impulsive, going broke and many times married. They are an odd couple with unmistakable chemistry. It’s a lovely way to familiarize the audience with these almost-forgotten characters and showcase the easy chemistry between the leads, Coogan and Reilly.

By the time the end credits roll it’s that chemistry and the just-as-entertaining double act of Henderson and Arianda that elevates this story of friendship and loyalty.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Glass,” M. Night Shyamalan’s nineteen-years-in-the-making sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split” and the Hollywood biopic “Stan & Ollie.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

The Hollywood buddy comedy finds its feminine side with Hot Pursuit

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 1.35.21 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

This weekend Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara play a by-the-book cop and the widow of a drug boss in the comedy Hot Pursuit. The unlikely duo hit the road, teaming up to outrun crooked cops and a murderous cartel. “Right now we can’t trust anyone but each other,” says Reese as they crack wise and dodge bullets.

It’s a movie that follows in the long tradition of Hollywood buddy comedies.

There’s an argument to be made that Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy originated buddy comedies long before Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis donned dresses and camped it up in 1959’s Some Like It Hot. For my money, however, the Billy Wilder film about two musicians who witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and flee the state disguised as women set the template for the modern buddy movie.

The basic formula is there — colliding personalities, gibes and comic conflict between the two actors — but more important than any of that is the chemistry between Lemmon and Curtis. Even though every buddy picture relies on tension between the leads, sparks also have to fly between them or the whole thing will fall flat.

Brett Ratner, director of Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3—which paired Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to great effect—calls interesting chemistry between actors “an explosion in a bottle” and says it’s crucial to the success of any buddy pic.

Since Some Like It Hot, producers have paired up a laundry list of actors searching for the perfect mix. Lemmon and Walter Matthau were the journeymen of the genre, co-starring in six buddy pictures ranging from the sublime—The Odd Couple, which features the classic buddy picture one-liner, “I’m a neurotic nut, but you’re crazy.”— to the ridiculous — Grumpier Old Men.

The female buddy comedy is a more elusive beast. Recently Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock teamed as a tough-talking street cop and uptight, lone wolf FBI agent to bring down a murderous drug dealer in The Heat and in the 1980s Bette Midler was the Queen of the form, pairing off with Shelley Long for Outrageous Fortune and with Lily Tomlin for Big Business in which both stars played dual roles, making it a buddy comedy times two. “Two’s company. Four’s a riot,” read the movie tagline.

There are others, dating back to 1937’s Stage Door, but there is no debating that Hollywood has been slow to feature female bonding as a subject of buddy movies. It’s wild there are two man-and-his-dog buddy movies—Turner and Hootch and K9—but so few featuring women. Despite the box office success of several female buddy comedies sequels have been as rare as hen’s teeth. For instance, points out that of the duelling buddy comedies released on April 25, 2008—Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Baby Mama and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay—Fey and company grossed $60 million, while Harold and friends made $38 million and yet the guys laughed all the way to another sequel while Baby Mama remains a one off.

Hollywood is finally warming to the idea of female driven comedies, so perhaps this weekend Witherspoon and the highest paid woman on television can generate enough box office dough to warrant another team-up. In the movie biz money usually speaks louder than anything, including gender.