Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Apple TV+ darkly humorous series “Bad Sisters,” the Crave comedy series “Roast Battle Canada,” and the Lena Dunham coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” “Sharp Stick,” the latest from Lena Dunham, the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
Frank and provocative, “Sharp Stick,” the new film written and directed by “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham, returns to familiar ground with a sexual coming-of-age story.
Kristine Froseth stars as 26-year-old Sarah Jo. A sexually inexperienced woman who had a hysterectomy at age 17, she still lives at home with her mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and wannabe Instagram influencer sister (Taylour Paige). She scraps by, babysitting for Zach, son of Josh (Jon Bernthal) and Heather (Dunham). Heather is pregnant, and Josh has a wandering eye, which happens to land on the flirty Sarah Jo.
Their ”affair” culminates with a tryst on the floor of a cramped laundry room, setting Sarah Jo off on a journey of sexual discovery involving lots of pornography, a fixation on adult film star Vance Leroy (the ornately tattooed Scott Speedman) and carefully organized, random “educational” hook-ups.
“Sharp Stick” reverberates with echoes of the frankness of “Girls” and the edgy work of filmmakers like Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, but never rises to the level of any of those namechecks.
Dunham has woven some interesting characters to surround Sarah Jo, like her mother Marilyn, played by Leigh, a much-divorced Hollywood hanger-on and twerking sister Treina, but she hasn’t given her main character any real depth. She is thirsty for carnal knowledge, and approaches it like a job, with a check list to boot, but aside from the humor inherent in that, Sarah Jo’s arc simply isn’t that interesting. Her desperation to prove to herself and others is repetitive, her actions so naïve they suggest her emotional age is far less than her stated age of 26. Given her mother’s openness regarding sex, it doesn’t ring true that Sarah Jo is completely unfamiliar with anything to do with sexuality.
“Sharp Stick” does have a few funny scenes, an interesting character or three, and an uncomfortable but refreshing candidness about sex but, by the time the end credits roll, Sarah Jo’s journey is the film’s least interesting element.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” is an audacious animated film from graphic novelist Dash Shaw that has been described as, “John Hughes fused with The Poseidon Adventure.” That’s not far off the mark. It’s a bravura, bizarro-land high school disaster flick, unlike anything else you’re likely to see this year.
Animated using a colourful hodgepodge of drawings, paintings and collage, it’s the strange story of sophomores Dash (voice of Jason Schwartzman) and his best friend Assaf (voice of Reggie Watts), writers for the newspaper at Tides High School. A wedge is pushed between the junior Woodward and Bernsteins when editor Verti (voice of Maya Rudolph) offers Assaf solo assignments. To even the score Dash writes a fictitious story about his former friend’s erectile dysfunction. He is suspended and when he uncovers an actual story—their school isn’t built to code—no one will believe him.
No one, that is, until an earthquake strikes, toppling the school into the Pacific trapping everyone inside. Racing to escape the crumbling building Dash and Assaf plus a crafty lunch lady (Susan Sarandon) and school-know-it-all Mary (Lena Dunham), must battle sharks, jellyfish, senior gangs, electrocution and more.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” startles with its originality. Visually it’s an eye-bending exercise in collage while the script’s dry wit and explorations of high school hierarchy are bang on the money. High school is about a balance of power and how better to test friendships and power dynamics than to throw everyone into a potentially life threatening situation?