Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including Gal Gadot’s return to superhero-dom in “Wonder Woman 1984” (available in theatres and as a 48-hour rental on various digital movie stores for $29.99), the existential animation of “Soul” (Disney+), the timely sci fi of George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix), Tom Hanks, western style in “News of the World” and “Chicago 10” (The Impact Series, VOD/Digital).
“Chicago 10,” a documentary that echoes the events detailed in the recent Netflix drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” brings a sense of immediacy and even anarchy to an often-told story.
Director Brett Morgen uses mixed media, a amalgamate of archival footage and animation set to a soundtrack of edgy protest music, to tell the tale of one of the defining events of 1968. In an unsettled and unsettling year, a trial saw 60s counterculture icons Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin of the Youth International Party, and assorted radicals David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot stemming from their actions at the anti-Vietnam War protests in Chicago, Illinois, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Black Panther Bobby Seale had his case severed from the others but earns considerable coverage here.
The story, based on transcripts and rediscovered audio recordings, is familiar but Morgen’s film is as much an experience as it is a straightforward documentary. His mix and match of styles brings with it an energy that captures the wild ‘n woolly climate of the times, from the hippies and the Yippies to the general atmosphere in Chicago. It’s trippy with a vibrant social awareness that side steps many of the cliches used in portraying the times.
“Chicago 10” is a digital release as part of the Impact Series.
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 the historical betrayals of “Mary Queen of Scots,” the cortex boiling animation of “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” and the drug addiction drama of “Ben is Back.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the wild and webby “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse,” the political drama of “Mary Queen of Scots” and the Julia Roberts’s drug drama “Ben is Back.”
Can’t get enough Spider-Man? Check out “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse,” a mega-origin story that features not one, not two but at least seven iterations of the web slinging superhero.
Before a radioactive spider bit Miles Morales (voice of Shameik Moore) he was a half-Puerto Rican and half-African-American, Brooklyn born student with loving parents. Post bite, his world goes topsy-turvy. Unable to control his brand-new powers—he sticks to everyone and everything like glue—he needs help. Enter the real Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) who asks the younger Spider-Man to combat crime lord Kingpin (Liev Schreiber).
The evil genius doesn’t have superpowers but he does have a machine called a Collider with the power to tear the world apart. “It’s a hell of a freakin’ light show,” Kingpin cackles. “You’ll love this.” When Kingpin hits the Collider’s on switch the various portals between Spider-Verse open, sweeping alternate Spider-People including Peter B. Parker (Johnson again), a “junky, old, broke-down hobo Spider Man,” Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), an anthropomorphic animal parody of Spider-Man, Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), a Japanese-American middle school student, adopted by Aunt May and Uncle Ben and Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), a hard-bitten Raymond Chandler-esque type, into Miles’s world. The inter-dimensional Peter B. becomes a mentor of sorts to Miles—“Disinfect the mask,” he advises. “Use talcum powder. You don’t want chaffing.”—teaching his the tricks of the superhero trade. “You’re like the Spider-Man I don’t want to be,” Miles says to the frayed around the edges Peter. “I don’t think you have a choice kiddo,” Peter B. replies.
Before shutting off the Supercollider and saving the world Miles must sends the other Spider-types back to their realms or they will disintegrate.
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” is a cortex-boiling hit of boffo superhero theatrics. Visually it’s a pop art explosion, paying tribute, in its more restrained moments, to the work of original Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko. In the climatic multiverse showdown, however, it’s as if M.C. Escher and Roy Lichtenstein did acid and conceived a psychedelic freak-out that mixes and matches op art, anime and everything in between. It doesn’t look like any other superhero film you’ve ever seen. It’s wild and woolly, a pastiche of styles formed into one seamless whole.
It’s fresh and funny, and yes, there is a Stan Lee cameo, but despite the eye-catching animation and the flippant time of the script, there is substance; the film has a point. “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” is a coming-of-age story for Miles who must tap into his inner strength to succeed. Uncle Ben’s quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” comes up in the film’s multiple origin stories but is amended to reflect that great power also comes with an awareness of self. “Anyone can wear the mask,” Miles says. “If you didn’t know that before I hope you know it now.” It’s a message about finding the greatness within whether you can shoot webs from your wrists or not. In a tweet the day Stan Lee died Seth Rogen wrote, “Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.” Lee didn’t write “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” but his powerful, personal message of self worth is alive and well here.
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Alien: Covenant,” the return of one of the most fearsome alien species ever, the Xenomorph, the continuing adventures of Greg Heffley in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” Liev Schreiber as the real-life Rocky in “Chuck” and the edgy rom com “The Lovers.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the Xenomorphic Alien: Covenant,” the whimptastic adventures of Greg Heffley in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” Liev Schreiber as the real-life Rocky in “Chuck” and the edgy rom com “The Lovers.”
Chuck Wepner goes by many names. To some he is The Champ, a heavyweight boxer who once went fifteen rounds with Muhammad Ali. To others he is the Bayonne Bleeder, a fighter sometimes sidelined by his tendency to bleed out all over the ring. Still others call him the Real Rocky in reference to the rumour that his career inspired the Sylvester Stallone movie. He’s an American brawler played by Liev Schreiber in a new movie simply called “Chuck.”
Wepner became a local hero when he was tapped to take on boxing legend George Foreman. There was just one catch. Foreman had to beat Muhammad Ali first. The odds were in his favour but, in an upset, Foreman lost. That defeat should have put Wepner out of the running but the Ali fight was being positioned as a battle of the races and since he was the only white boxer on a long list of fighters qualified to take on the champ, he got the gig. The odds against him were 40-to-1 but the lure of a $100,000 payday was too great to resist. As expected he lost but the fact he shared the ring with Ali burnished his reputation, if not his bank account.
And thus the template of Wepner’s career was set. He’s an also ran, a man who can see the brass ring but never quite grab hold of it.
In the wake of the Ali fight Wepner’s life was turned topsy-turvy. He coulda been a contender but instead moonlighted as a liquor salesman. He was a star at night, hanging around clubs, cheating on his wife Phyllis (Elisabeth Moss) and developing a cocaine problem. His notoriety increased with the release of “Rocky,” the Stallone movie reportedly semi-based on Wepner’s life. A failed audition for “Rocky 2” forces the fighter further down the rabbit hole into a “Requiem for a Heavyweight-esque” life outside the ring.
“Chuck’s” story is little known but feels familiar. The “Rocky” twist and Ali fight add some nice colour to the tale, but this is, essentially, another retelling of an arrogant also ran boxer whose life outside the ring spiralled out of control. In Schreiber’s hands it’s easy to see why people were drawn to Wepner. He’s charismatic and despite his myriad flaws, likeable.
Good supporting work also comes from Moss (in an underwritten role), Ron Perlman and Jim Gaffigan as Wepner’s manager and best friend respectively but the movie, directed by Philippe Falardeau, like it’s main character, feels workmanlike. It covers large sections of the man’s life when it feels like a concentrated version may have been more compelling.
Welcome to the House of Crouse. First up, “Wilson” star Judy Greer stops by for a quick visit to talk about working with Woody Harrelson and signing the boobs of Archer fans. Then we go long with “Goon: Last of the Enforcers” star Kim Coates. He recites Shakespeare, talks about “Sons of Anarchy” and growing up on the Canadian Prairies. From boobs to Shakespeare, we cover it all, so c’mon in and sit a spell.