Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about TV shows to watch this weekend including the Netflix docu-series “Murder Among the Mormons,” the drug drama “Crisis” with Gary Oldman on VOD and the Disney+ series “Love, Victor.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Disney’s animated action flick “Raya and the Last Dragon” (Disney+ with Premier Access and theatres), the long awaited sequel “Coming 2 America” (Amazon Prime Video) and the look at the war on drugs “Crisis” (on digital and demand).
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 Disney’s animated action flick “Raya and the Last Dragon” (Disney+ with Premier Access and theatres), the long awaited sequel “Coming 2 America” (Amazon Prime Video), the biopic “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday” (VOD), the legal drama “The Mauritanian” (premium digital and on-demand), the coming-of-age story “My Salinger Year” (VOD) and the look at the war on drugs “Crisis” (on digital and demand).
“Crisis,” the new Gary Oldham movie now available on demand, aspires to be a multi-pronged thriller in the same vein as “21 Grams” and “Traffic.”
Director Nicholas Jarecki presents three parallel story threads that bob and weave to put a human face on the opioid epidemic. First is Gary Oldman as Dr. Tyrone Brower, a university professor working on developing products for a pharmaceutical company. He is confronted by an ethical dilemma when the company announces a new “non-addictive” painkiller. Bribes and big pharma conspire to push his moral code to the limit.
Elsewhere, architect Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly) beats an oxycodone addiction to get to the bottom of her son’s drug related disappearance while DEA agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer) goes deep undercover to bust up a multi-cartel Fentanyl smuggling operation as drug movie staple “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’” by the Rolling Stones plays on the soundtrack.
Eventually the trio of story shards resolve, mixing the corporate, revenge and procedural plotlines into an entertaining but not particularly substantive look at a very serious subject.
Jarecki slathers an action movie sheen on the proceedings, heightening every scene, and while the propulsive pacing, “power gangsters” and Brower’s habit of snarling pat lines like, “This is the biggest public health crisis since tobacco!” amplify the movie’s popcorn aura, they minimize its complexity.
Oldman is predictably entertaining, all self-righteousness and bluster, while Hammer (in a role shot before his recent controversies) and Lilly are blandly appealing leads who get the job done in roles that require little from them other than angst and action. Canadian actor Guy Nadon brings a toxic mix of charm and danger as a drug lord named Mother alongside an all-star supporting cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Kid Cudi and Luke Evans.
“Crisis” aims high as a well-meaning message movie that plays more like a Saturday afternoon matinee flick.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the family friendly “The War with Grandpa,” the hilarious “The Forty Year Old Version” on Netflix and “Percy,” the farming drama starring Christopher Walken.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
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 kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
“Percy,” a new based-on-real-life drama from director Clark Johnson now playing in select theatres, is a David and Goliath story with a universal message of standing up for what you believe in. Christopher Walken plays septuagenarian Percy Schmeiser, a small-town farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, who refuses to be bullied by a giant agrochemical corporation.
Schmeiser and his family have been canola farmers for generations. His cash crop is planted the old-fashioned way, with “the most virile seeds” saved from previous harvests. That’s why it is a shock to be accused by agrochemical Goliath Monsanto Canada of illegally growing their patented canola seed without a license.
“There’s got to be a mistake,” Schmeiser says. “I got my own seeds.”
Determined to prove his innocence, Schmeiser hires a lawyer he can’t afford, Jackson Weaver (Zach Braff), and vows to fight back. When Monsanto legally outguns Weaver, threatening to bury the lawyer under piles of motions, along comes agricultural activist Rebecca Salcau (Christina Ricci) with a way forward. “what you are doing is heroic,” she tells him. “You should be recognized.”
“Percy” is the story of not bowing down to corporate greed. A restrained Walken leaves behind his trademarked vocal tics to bring the principled Percy to life, and Johnson keeps the focus on him. There are courtroom scenes and some legalese but this isn’t “A Few Good Men on a Farm.” It’s about a man struggling to maintain his family farm in the face of an agricultural revolution, a very real and hot button topic across North America and the world. As Percy reluctantly becomes a spokesman for the cause screenwriters Garfield Lindsay Miller and Hilary Pryor find authentic and humanistic ways to illustrate the plight of farmers like the title character. “Farmers know the land. They know their plants,” Percy says. “Monsanto knows winning and losing and profits.”
It is a classic underdog story, one designed to make your blood boil at the disregard corporations have for the little guy.
“Percy” isn’t a flashy movie, although the landscape shots of Saskatchewan’s open skies and fields are often breathtaking. Instead it’s a low-key story of the fight to maintain the integrity of the food we put in our mouths.