Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Bain about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the “2nd Annual Windrush Caribbean Film Festival,” the Disney+ series “Love, Victor” and Liam Neeson in the VOD movie “The Ice Road.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s guest host David Cooper 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 “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases including “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Stefan Keyes to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the loud-and-proud “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
In recent years we’ve seen Liam Neeson morph from dramatic actor to action star. He’s battled everything from human traffickers and Mexican cartels to hijackers and murderous drug dealers. His latest, “The Ice Road” sees him up against his most daunting adversary yet—a long stretch of frozen ocean.
Neeson is Mike, a grizzled big rig driver who cares for his Iraq war veteran brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas). Gurty is a master mechanic but his PTSD has made it difficult for the brothers to stay employment. When a diamond mine in Northern Canada collapses, they accept a job offer from Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) to be part of a convoy delivering lifesaving equipment to the remote mine location.
The brothers team with Goldenrod and Tantoo (Amber Midthunder), a fearless young woman whose brother is trapped in the mine, to navigate three 65,000 pound vehicles over “ice roads,” frozen lakes, rivers and oceans to deliver life-saving equipment.
There’s more but I can’t describe the plot’s main thrust without a major spoiler. Suffice to say, there is a villain so dastardly all that’s missing is a giant moustache to twirl.
The drama in “The Ice Road” quickly melts away like ice before a fire, leaving behind a residue of clichés, long, drawn out action and fight scenes and dialogue borrowed from a hundred other, better action movies.
Director Jonathan Hensleigh, writer of the screenplays for “Jumanji,” “Armageddon” and “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” struggles to bring the popcorn thrills of his best-known work to this movie.
Even the death of one of the major players (NO SPOILERS HERE) is so abrupt and undramatic, it’s as if the actor had a doctor’s appointment and had to leave the set suddenly.
It’s too bad because there’s lots to work with. Start with Man-against-nature. Move along to a pantomime villain and throw in some of Neeson’s trademarked grimaces and growls and you could have an enjoyable b-movie but the hackneyed relationships and threadbare special effects sink the whole thing.
“The Ice Road” is a long (why did this have to be 103 minutes long?) winding road to nowhere; all build up and no pay off.
Captain America, played by Chris Evans in this weekend’s superhero flick Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was almost tagged with a different patriotic name by creator Joe Simon.
In 1940, when he first imagined the character, he dubbed his creation Super American. Then he had a change of heart.
“There were too many ‘Supers’ around,” he said. “Captain America had a good sound to it. There weren’t a lot of captains in comics.”
The first issue of the new Captain America comic was an instant hit. Released on December 20, 1940, and featuring Cap giving Adolph Hitler a knuckle sandwich, it sold almost one million copies.
Numbers like that should have attracted Hollywood’s attention, but Captain America’s screen debut was inauspicious. In 1943, Republic Films decided to launch a superhero serial based either on the mysterious masked character The Copperhead or the caped do-gooder Mr. Scarlet. Scripts were prepared, but before cameras rolled, the decision was made to insert Captain America into the story without radically altering the screenplays.
As a result, the character bares only a passing resemblance to the comics. In the serials he has a different secret identity and fights evildoer The Scarab instead of Nazis. His famous invincible shield is missing, as is his sidekick Bucky and there is no mention of the Super-Soldier Serum that transformed him from zero to hero.
Nonetheless, the 15-part serial — which featured exciting titles like Blade of Wrath and Vault of Vengeance — was very popular, but unfortunately did little to further the career of its star Dick Purcell. Legend has it that the strain of playing the active character was too much for him and he passed away just three weeks after filming was complete.
Despite the success of the serial, it would be half a century until Captain America was featured in another story shot for the big screen. In 1990’s Captain America, Cappy is played by Matt Salinger, son of author J. D. Salinger, who beat out Dolph Lundgren and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the part.
The movie returned the character to his comic book roots, and was originally set for a 1990 release to coincide with 50th anniversary of the character but was shelved until 1992 — perhaps because of what Entertainment Weekly called a “shapeless blob of a plot” — when it was released on home video.
Captain America is possibly the most patriotic of all superheroes, but the name also pops up in one of the most famous counterculture movies of the 1960s. In Easy Rider, Peter Fonda’s character Wyatt is nick-named Captain America after his Harley Davidson Captain America chopper.