Richard joins Jay Michaels and guest host Deb Hutton of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the morbid history of the Sourtoe Cocktail and some new releases in theatres, the Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy” and the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Ryan Reynolds in the action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including the new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”
Two years ago, the documentary “Amazing Grace” showcased Aretha Franklin remarkable 1972 two-night stand at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. It’s a soul stirring window into Franklin’s vocal ability as she caresses and stretches the notes of the songs to maximum effect.
A new film, “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson and now playing in theatres, broadens the scope, detailing Franklin’s life from her beginnings, singing in her father’s church, to the height of her fame.
We first meet Aretha as a ten-year-old (Sky Dakota Turner) phenom, blessed with a beautiful voice. “You have a talent,” her Baptist minister father Clarence (Forest Whitaker) says, “they call genius.” She’s ten, says a friend, but her voice is going on thirty. Her guiding light is mother Barbara (Audra McDonald), who tells her, “Singing in sacred and you shouldn’t do it because somebody wants you to. What’s important is that you are treated with dignity and respect.”
Despite that advice, her father controls every aspect of her life. Using his connections, Rev. Franklin secures a recording contact with music producer John Hammond (Tate Donovan) at Columbia Records. Four low-selling albums of jazz and blues standards follow as she struggles to find her voice on vinyl.
The climb to the top of the charts came with advice from a legend, Dinah Washington (Mary J. Blige), who told her, “Honey, find the songs that move you. Until you do that, you ain’t going nowhere,” and a new manager (and love interest) in the form of Ted White (Marlon Wayans). Taking the career reigns from Franklin’s father, White breaks ranks with Columbia, and gets a new record deal and a new sound with producer Jerry Wexler (Marc Maron).
As Franklin becomes known as the Queen of Soul, she and White struggle with personal demons that threaten to sidetrack her rise to superstardom.
First and foremost, “Respect” is a tribute to the genius of Aretha Franklin and the talent of Jennifer Hudson. Franklin left an indelible mark on several generation and styles of music, and her life’s work is well represented here, from her roots in the church, to her genre-bending chart toppers and the civil rights activism that defined her life off stage.
Hudson is given ample opportunity to showcase Franklin’s vocal stylings, and does so with a voice that sounds heaven sent. As a rousing jukebox musical “Respect” succeeds spectacularly well.
It’s in the telling of Franklin’s life that the movie hits a few sour notes. There is a lot of ground to cover, from alcoholism and racism to sexism and becoming pregnant at the age of 12, it’s a complicated story told in fits and starts, wedged between musical numbers.
The film’s early scenes, featuring the wonderful Skye Dakota Turner as the ten-year-old “Ree,” are nicely developed and paint a vivid picture of Franklin’s young life. It’s when “Respect” adopts the Wikipedia bullet point approach to quickly cover a lot of ground that the movie loses some of its dramatic thrust.
“Respect” skims the surface of a long, interesting life—the story ends rather abruptly in 1972 with the recording of Franklin’s landmark “Amazing Grace” gospel album—but presents a rousing tribute to Franklin’s lifeblood, the music.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including “On the Rocks,” the new film from Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, the Gloria Steinem biopic “The Glorias” and the apocalyptic rom com “Save Yourselves!”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the timely period piece “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “On the Rocks,” the re-teaming of Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola, the cerebral sci fi of “Possessor Uncut” and the unusual Gloria Steinem biopic “The Glorias.”
Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray have only worked together twice, but “On the Rocks,” in select Theatres now and on Apple TV+ on October 23, makes you wish they would become exclusive. She gets him in all his scampish glory, allowing the septuagenarian to revel in playing a smooth talking, lovable old scamp who drinks Cutty over ice and teaches his young grandkids to bluff at poker. Murray is the Michelangelo of mischief, a clown prince with heart and soul and Coppola knows how to mine it.
Set in pre-pandemic New York City, the story centers on Laura (Rashida Jones), an author and mom who discovers that she’s not as happily married as she thought. Her high tech businessman husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) is aloof, never home and when she finds a strange make-up case in his luggage, he makes a lame excuse straight out of “Cheaters 101.”
Her father Felix (Bill Murray), a loquacious, jet setting art dealer knows about infidelity. He’s a scoundrel who knows, for instance, that The Plaza is the best place to have an affair because it has exits on three different streets for a fast extra-marital escape. He’s not shocked Dean might be having an affair, he’s just surprised he’s doing it at the Soho House, a building he considers déclassé.
Over a birthday dinner at the ritzy 21 Club, at the table where Bogart proposed to Bacall, Felix suggests they investigate on their own, using his knowledge if the cheating mind to catch Dean in the act. In a cherry red sports car they set out on their mission—“This is wartime,” he says.—but the relationship they expose isn’t the one they expected.
“On the Rocks” isn’t a rom com or a screwball comedy or an adventure film. It’s a Sofia Coppola film, a movie that teleports the viewer into a heightened world of privilege while still mining a deep emotional core. And it’s laugh out loud funny, for a time anyway.
It is light, plot wise, but exists to showcase the chemistry between Murray and Jones. Their relationship is the real love story in the film, as fractured and dysfunctional as it may be. They look at the world through very different eyes but are bound by blood.
During the caper portion they have an almost Nick and Nora vibe, exchanging sharp, smart and funny repartee. Later when the action turns introspective, they get real, exposing their feelings in a raw, real and regretful way.
Murray is loose, droll and deadpan. He’s a walking, talking anachronism who says things like, “Women. You can’t live with them. You can’t live without them. That doesn’t mean you have to live with them,” and yet there is a bittersweet quality to the work that adds unspoken layers. It is a very particular performance and one unique to his style.
Jones plays off Murray with a different kind of performance. She’s warm, vulnerable and naturalistic, even when they are mid-escapade. The trick here is to not let Murray steal the show, and she ably manages to share the spotlight.
“On the Rocks” also features nice supporting work from Wayans who dials down his comedy instincts to play it straight and Jenny Slate as an over-sharer Laura bumps into now and again. Both bring much to the proceedings but the main attraction here are the leads. Coppola knows that and while the ending may be a bit pat, the endearing characters are the draw, not the story.