On an encore presentation of “Pop Life” on June 13, 2020 we welcome the droid you’ve been looking for, Anthony Daniels. As C-3PO he is the only actor to have appeared in all of the episodic films in the series, as well as many of its spin-offs, including television shows, video games and radio serials. On this twelfth episode of season five of “Pop Life,” he talks about his first stage appearances, the uncomfortable nature of the gold suit that made him famous and how he once felt like a “secret outcast” from the rest of the cast. Then the “Pop Life” panel, Marvel, DC, Lucasfilm and Hasbro artist Ken Lashley, CTV NewsChannel anchor and “Star Wars” super-fan Todd Van Der Heyden and Roger Christian, the Academy Award winning Set Decorator and Production Designer for “Star Wars”–he created the lightsaber and R2D2 and decided to put dice in the film as a nod to Han Solo gambling–discuss why “Star Wars” is still important forty two years after its initial release.
Film critic and pop culture historian Richard Crouse shares a toast with celebrity guests and entertainment pundits every week on CTV News Channel’s exciting talk show POP LIFE.
Featuring in-depth discussion and debate on pop culture and modern life, POP LIFE features sit-down interviews with celebrities from across the entertainment world, including rock legends Sting and Meat Loaf, musicians Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman, comedian Ken Jeong, writer Fran Lebowitz, superstar jazz musician Diana Krall, stand-up comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell, actors Danny DeVito and Jay Baruchel, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Nigella Lawson, and many more.
This week on The Richard Crouse Show: Richard chats with “1917” co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns about tending bar, working with Sam Mendes and writing a film that is presented in one shot. Then he speaks to the two stars of the Fist World War story to discuss creating the characters and the challenges of shooting the epic film. Then we meet “Rise of the Skywalker” star Joonas Suotamo about playing the iconic Wookie character Chewbacca, and what it is like wearing the fur suit for ten hours a day and Yvette Nicole Brown who plays Aunt Sarah in the Disney+ version of “Lady and the Tramp.” They talk about adopting rescue dogs, wearing corsets and if Brown agrees that her character is the villain of the story.
Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.
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Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats” and the ripped from the headlines drama “Bombshell,” starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Todd van der Heyden to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the end of the road for the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats” and “Bombshell,” featuring Charlize Theron as Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Cats,” the weirdest movie of the year, the lightsaber action of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Bombshell,” the inside story of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the conclusion of everybody’s favourite space opera, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Cats,” starring a collection of half human-half cat rejects from The Island of Dr. Moreau and “Bombshell,” the inside story of sexual harassment at Fox News.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and the weirdest movie of the year, “Cats.”
It has taken forty-two years but the story of the Resistance, begun in “Star Wars: A New Hope” comes to a conclusion in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” With an amped-up story, featuring flying Stormtroopers and much talk of destiny, confronting fear and inner turmoil, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith promises to deliver big box office, but will it satisfy old school fans who have waited a lifetime for the film’s final showdown?
The events of “Episode VII: The Last Jedi” and the passing of Carrie Fisher presented challenges that helped shape the plot of the new film, but you’ll get no spoilers here. I will say that old footage of Fisher as General Leia Organa from “The Force Awakens” appears alongside new work from Darth Vader’s grandson, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Jedi apprentice Rey (Daisy Ridley), Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance-fighter Finn (John Boyega), Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and the First Order’s General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson).
Add to that new characters like diabolical First Order Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant), Spice Runners of Kijimi leader Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell) and returning faves Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker (in what form I will not say) and you have a blended “Brady Bunch-style” family in space. That is, a complicated intergalactic family dynamic in which not everyone sees eye to eye.
Tasked with wrapping the Skywalker Saga up in a pretty bow director J.J. Abrams has made a film that is part fan service—many familiar faces come along for the ride—and part homage to the Original Trilogy. He replaces subtext with action, rehabilitates one character’s tarnished, cranky-old-man reputation (NO SPOILERS HERE) and essentially delivers the movie you expect.
Abrams knows there are no do overs on this one. “Do or do not; there is no try,” comes to mind. It is the wrap to one of the most popular and talked-about film franchises of all time. Expectations are high with the possibility of fan backlash ever present. Questions are answered—Rey’s parentage chief among them—quips are thrown, Chewbacca howls and star ships are blasted to Kingdom Come as “The Rise of Skywalker,” for better and for worse, replaces the nuanced take of Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” with the more tried and true Star Wars tale of nature vs nurture and good vs evil.
Jam packed with action and plot, “The Rise of Skywalker” gets bogged down with exposition and tying up loose ends. Worse, it often drifts from the thing that made “Star Wars” great in the first place—the characters. They’re all present and accounted for but are often overshadowed by the whiz bang pacing and over-abundance of story.
Having said that, the film’s final third, the payoff to the Saga, hits several emotional high points. It’s the end of the Saga and, therefore (NO SPOILERS HERE JUST THE FACTS) the final appearances of several members of the original cast. Their exits are handled with sensitivity and should generate a sniffle or two from hard core fans.
The core of the movie is the anguished dynamic between Rey and Kylo. The push and pull between their logical vs biological family commitments is the most compelling part of the story. It also provides for several of the film’s most visually interesting scenes, including a climatic lightsaber battle on the wreckage of the Death Star.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” ticks a lot of boxes for fans but—again, no spoilers but be careful—the mythic battle of good vs evil, of finding balance in the Force, that has fuelled the franchise for forty plus years, was really only going to resolve itself in one way. As such the metaphysical struggle is about the journey and not as much about the actual conclusion.