A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Ryan Gosling’s as astronaut Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Ryan Gosling’s take on Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard has a look at Ryan Gosling’s as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Six years ago writer/director Drew Goddard deconstructed the slasher movie genre with the whimsical and exhilarating “Cabin in the Woods.” A mash-up of horror and humour, of post-modern self-awareness and gruesome gags, it simultaneously adopted and challenged the conventions of the slasher genre. He returns to the big screen—his day job is writing, producing and directing TV shows like “Daredevil” and “The Good Place”—with “Bad Times at the El Royale,” an inversion of a 1990s broken timeline crime drama.
The El Royale is the kind of seedy hotel that dotted the highways and byways of 1960s America. Split down the middle by the California/Nevada border, it’s a perfect slice of mid-century kitsch, like the same guy who decked out Elvis’s rec room designed it. When we first lay eyes on it a shady character (Nick Offerman) with a bulging suitcase and a gun wrenches up the floorboards and hides a case of money before replacing the carpet and the furniture. It’s an act that establishes the El Royale as a home-away-from-home for transients and ne’er-do-wells and sets up much of the action to come.
As for the action to come, you’ll have to go see the film to find out what happens. I will tell you that the film takes place ten years after the suitcase was hidden in the hotel and begins with a disparate group of folks checking in well after the El Royale’s heyday. There’s slick talking vacuum cleaner salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), Reno-bound singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a priest with tired eyes and hippie chick Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson). All three pay front desk manager Miles (Lewis Pullman) the $8 deposit and take to their rooms.
Secrets are revealed about the guests and the hotel as an aura of menace clouds the sunny California/Nevada border. “We’re in a bit of a pickle,” says Father Flynn in what may be the understatement of the year.
Goddard takes his time setting up the narrative drive of “Bad Times at the El Royale.” He bobs and weaves, playing with time, slowly revealing the intricacies of the story. For the patient—it runs two hours and 21 minutes—it’s a heck of a ride but may prove too opaque for casual viewers. Large conspiracies are hinted at, secrets are kept and no one is really who they seem to be. For those willing to submit to the grimly funny and admittedly indulgent proceedings, it’s a Tarantino-esque web of intrigue and unexpected violence that plays both as a crime drama and a metaphor for the decay of 1960s idealism.
“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a good movie filled with bad people. It asks you to care about people who do terrible things and by the end, thanks to inventive storytelling and good performances—Erivo is s standout—you just might.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Ryan Gosling’s giant leap as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at“A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and “Meditation Park.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the highly anticipated “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.
Christina Hendricks is thankful for a warm jacket. “I was shooting on a mountain only hours ago,” she says on the line from Calgary. “It is below zero but they are doing a great job of keeping me warm. Those parkas are no joke.”
The Knoxville, Tenn., native hasn’t called to talk about the weather in Canada, however. She’s on the phone to discuss her new film, the creepy killer flick The Strangers: Prey at Night.
The former Mad Men star plays a mother who moves her family to a remote community in an effort to put some distance between her daughter and the bad influences of the city. There’s no one around except for three masked psycho killers, Dollface, Man in the Mask and Pin-Up Girl who emerge from the woods with knives, axes and bad intentions.
The creep-fest is a sequel of sorts to The Strangers, a 2008 home invasion film that saw the masked marauders attack an unsuspecting family. It’s also one of Hendricks’ favourite movies.
“I am a huge, huge fan,” she says. “I’ve talked about it for years. I think it is the scariest movie I have ever seen in my life and I reference it all the time. It was coincidental that they came to me. My manager said, ‘I don’t know if you are interested in doing a horror film about The Strangers.’ And I screamed, ‘The Strangers! Are you kidding me?’”
She says the villains of The Strangers: Prey at Night unsettle her more than Dracula, Frankenstein or anything that goes bump in the night because there’s nothing supernatural about them. But at the same time there’s nothing natural about the horrors the all-too-human monsters unleash on the newcomers.
“It’s my absolute worst nightmare,” she says, “people messing with you just because. It’s not a devil thing. It’s not a monster thing. It is not an apocalypse. It is just people coming to mess with you because they can.”
The film was shot in rural Kentucky. “It is beautiful during the day but when the sun goes down it is scary,” she says. “Everything is scarier in the dark.
“I thought, ‘Certainly I won’t be that scared. I know what’s going on,’ but I was actually scared. In the moments before we had to get ourselves worked up so Bailee (Madison, who plays her daughter) and I would go off to a different area and gear ourselves up before they yelled action. You can’t turn it on immediately. You have to get yourself in that state but in between we got along so well. We listened to music and had a laugh.”
She says she enjoyed everyone on set but didn’t hang out with the entire cast.
“They did keep a little bit more separate,” she says of the actors playing the masked killers.
“In the beginning we even said, ‘Can we not see them in their masks until the last moment?’ because they are so scary. It is kind of hard to be chatting and hanging out and having a snack with Dollface and the next thing you know she says, ‘I’m just going to go over here and kill you!’ ‘OK! I’ll see you in a minute.’ A little mystery helps.”