Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Johnny Knoxville and the unnatural acts of “Jackass Forever,” the reboot of “Scream,” the unhappily ever after fairy tale “The King’s Daughter” AND the great punk rock doc “Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché” and “Clerk” the documentary on the life and career of Kevin Smith.
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at new movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including Johnny Knoxville and the unnatural acts of “Jackass Forever,” the reboot of “Scream,” the unhappily ever after fairy tale “The King’s Daughter” AND the great punk rock doc “Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché.”
Kevin Smith has long been thought of as a renegade, a movie director who has never played by Hollywood’s rules. As such his life and career are a natural for the documentary treatment.
Films like “Clerks” and “Mallrats” made him an avatar of indie filmmaking and his early adoption of the internet made him the Methuselah of geek culture. So, it is surprising that “Clerk,” a look at Smith’s legacy now on VOD, doesn’t have any of the rebel spirit that make his story, from “Clerks” to “Tusk” to his popular podcast SModcast, so compelling.
Near the beginning of its chronological look at Smith, director Malcolm Ingram shows a video the young filmmaker made as he prepared to leave home to attend the Vancouver Film School. A thank you to his parents for instilling in him a passion for movies, it’s lovely found footage that displays Smith’s heart and his devotion of his chosen industry.
If the rest of the movie struck the same tone as this footage, “Clerk” might have the depth to make it feel like something beyond an entertaining, but shallow, DVD extra.
Smith is an intriguing character. From DIY filmmaker (“Clerks”) to studio outsider (“Cop Out”) to self-distributor of his movies to podcast superstar and Geek God, he has forged an unlikely but prolific career.
Through interviews with friends—like Ben Affleck, Richard Linklater and BFF Jason Mewes—fans and family—his mother Grace, wife Jennifer Schwalbach Smith and daughter Harley Quinn all appear—a portrait emerges of a man who created a world for himself.
We’re told about his drive to create, how he has rolled with the punches and health scares, and also rolled thousands of joints, to become a cultural touchstone who has turned his love of pop culture, into a career. “I didn’t want to be a footnote,” he says.
The most revealing part of the film comes midway. Smith calls a scene in “Clerks II” the moment where he learned who he was “through the art.” The characters, Quick Stop (the convenience store the action revolves aorund) store manager Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and slacker Randall (Jeff Anderson), are in jail.
Dante says, “What would the great Randall Graves do if he was the master of his own destiny?” The answer? “I’d buy the Quick Stop and reopen it myself.”
In that moment, Smith says, this character, once defined by his cynicism and disappointment with the world, is laid bare. That scene tells “the story of my life,” the director says. “The day I realized you could just buy the Quick Stop and reopen it yourself. That’s how you’d be happiest. That was me going, ‘I’m never going to be what other cats would like me to be. The only reason you like me in the first place is because I was me. So, I’m going to go and be me for the rest of my life now.’”
It is a teary moment—Smith wells up several times during the almost two hour run time—that sums up an epiphany for Smith that appears to have influenced much of his career moving forward from that moment.
Self-acceptance is a great message—”I want to be the Smithiest Kevin Smith I can be.”—and it is one of the things that has made Smith so popular with his rabid fans. But by the end of the “Clerk” it’s clear that, despite that life lesson, the documentary is more fan service than deep dive. Smith devotees—that is, anyone who knows what “Snoochie Boochies” refers to—will enjoy revisiting the movies that made the charismatic director famous, but holes—Mewes’ drug addiction for instance—in the storytelling and hagiographic interviews prevent it from being a definitive portrait.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
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 Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
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 Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater” and the gritty family story of “Lorelei.”
“Stillwater,” the new Matt Damon movie now playing in theatres, uses the bones of American exchange student Amanda Knox’s story as a starting point to tell a story of a father determined to prove his daughter’s innocence.
Damon embraces the role of Oklahoma oil rigger Bill Baker, a MAGA man whose wraparound shades are almost a character of their own. He’s rough ‘n’ tumble, prays before every meal and spends every dime he makes visiting his daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) in prison in Marseille, France. She’s serving a nine-year sentence for the murder of her lover; a crime she says she didn’t commit.
Allison usually treats him with casual offhandedness—he wasn’t around much when she was a kid, and when he was, he was drunk—but this time is different. She hands him a letter, written in French, which he does not understand, with new evidence that she hopes will exonerate her.
When their Marseille-based lawyer tells Bill the letter and the new info is not enough to get a new trial, he launches his own investigation. Serving as translator is Virginie (Camille Cottin), who, along with her young daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvad), help him make his way through Marseille and provide the closest thing to a family he has known since his daughter went to jail.
“Refugees, zero waste,” says Virginie’s friend of Bill, “he’s your new cause.”
“Stillwater” is two-thirds of a good movie. The screenplay, co-written by director Tom McCarthy with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré, darts back-and-forth, shifting focus between the various storylines. In the film’s first hour or so, the story skews toward Allison, Bill’s bumbling investigation into the new evidence and his burgeoning relationship with Virginie and Maya. But just as the story should heat up and head toward thriller territory, McCarthy suddenly veers away from Allison’s predicament. Abruptly, “Stillwater” becomes more interested in a presenting a character study of Bill, a man of few words and even fewer motivations. Damon is compellingly watchable in the role, giving Bill a deep inner life that isn’t always apparent on the surface—I guess still waters really do run deep—but the film feels sidetracked by the diversion.
“Stillwater” is wonderfully shot and the father-daughter relationship that develops between Bill and Maya is touching and authentic feeling but is let down in the film’s final act.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Angie Seth to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the hairpin twists and turns of “Ford v Farrari,” the secrets and lies of “The Good Liar” and the life of one of Canada’s best known authors in the documentary “Margaret Atwood: A Word After A Word After A Word Is Power.”