Posts Tagged ‘Maya Forbes’


Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain discuss the upbeat “Trolls World Tour,” the time loop romance of “Love Wedding Repeat” and the teen drama “School Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic, including the psychedelic  “Trolls World Tour.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 37:18)

TROLLS WORLD TOUR: 2 ½ STARS. “Good messages wrapped up in a glitzy, frenetic package.”

As the first movie to jump ship from theatrical to VOD at the start of the pandemic, “Trolls World Tour” set a precedent. Dozens of movies have followed suit, but this will be remembered as the first. Unfortunately, that is the only groundbreaking thing about this Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake sequel.

Returning from 2016’s “Trolls” are Queen Poppy (Kendrick), and her best friends Branch (Timberlake) and Biggie (James Corden). They are pop music loving Trolls who pass the days singing, dancing and hugging until Poppy discovers that there are five other Troll tribes, divided by their musical taste. “The truth is we are not alone in this world,” says King Peppy (Walt Dohrn, who also directs). “There are other kinds of Trolls. They are not like us. They are different ways in you can’t even imagine. We love music with a hummable hook, a catchy rhythm, and an upbeat melody that makes you want to wiggle your butt. These others Trolls sing different. They dance different. Some of them can’t even grasp the concept of ‘Hammer Time.’”

The Queen and Company set off on a fact-finding mission to visit the other musical colonies. “I can’t stay home when I know there is a world of Trolls out there,” she says. On her journey she discovers sounds she doesn’t quite understand. “They must not know that music’s supposed to make you happy,” she says as a mournful (but not too mournful, this is a “Trolls” movie after all) country song fills the soundtrack. Later, after hearing classical music for the first time she wonders aloud, “Where’s the words?” But she also discovers a threat in the form of Metal Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) who plans to use “the ultimate power chord” to assert rock’s place as the official music of all Trolls. “By the end of my world tour we’re all going to have the same vibe,” says Barb. “We’ll be one nation of trolls under rock!”

“Trolls World Tour” is an update of the “Free To Be… You and Me’s” salute to individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity. Bathed in bright colours, set to kid friendly adaptations of pop, rock, rap and country hits (like “Trolls Just Wanna Have Fun”) and populated by vinyl creatures with DayGlo “Eraserhead” coifs and big goofy smiles, it’s a jukebox movie about finding the things that bring us together, not divide us, while maintaining the things that make us unique. “Denying our differences is denying the truth of who we are,” says King Quincy (Parliament-Funkadelic’s George Clinton).

Good messages wrapped up in a glitzy, frenetic package is the stock in trade of kid’s entertainment and “Trolls World Tour” delivers in those regards. The colourful visuals, seemingly designed by a Troll on acid, will make kid’s eyeballs dance and the messages are delivered with the subtlety of a slap to the face, so check and check. What’s missing is the wonderful weirdness that made the original “Trolls” film the strangest children’s entertainment since “H.R. Pufnstuf.” Story wise, this one feels formulaic with less of an edge, but it does deliver a blast of energy that will keep its target audience—kids and stoned adults—happy.


Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 6.00.20 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Terminator: Genisys,” “Magic Mike XXL,” “Madame Bovary” and “Infinitely Polar Bear.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.05.10 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Terminator: Genisys,” “Magic Mike XXL,” “Madame Bovary” and “Infinitely Polar Bear.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!




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INFINITELY POLAR BEAR: 4 STARS. “The Hulk uses his superpowers for good.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 5.21.17 PMWhen the first “Avengers” movie with the Hulk came out I asked Mark Ruffalo how tied he was to the franchise. He said he was signed on for a half dozens more films, but also understood the power of the kind of celebrity that comes from starring in blockbuster movies. That power trickles down and makes it possible to more easily raise money for smaller more interesting (my words, not his) projects.

“Infinitely Polar Bear” is one of those movies. Ruffalo stars in and is executive producer of this low budget indie film about Cameron, a manic-depressive man’s efforts to win back the affections of his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and reunite his family.

Based on the real-life childhood experiences of writer-director Maya Forbes, the film shows, in heartbreaking and carefully observed detail, Cameron’s attempts to cope as he raises the couple’s two daughters (Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide) while Maggie studies in New York.

Forbes has crafted a heartfelt and honest portrait of a loving man struggling to get by day-to-day. Ruffalo and Saldana hand in engaging, nuanced performances. They have chemistry to burn and their affection for one another pours off the screen. Both are from the Marvel Universe and both are using their stardom for good here, but it is Wolodarsky and Aufderheide as the daughters who give the movie its beating heart. Lovely, naturalistic performances ground the movie and prevent it from becoming simply a feel-good dramedy.

“Infinitely Polar Bear” might have had more depth if it spent less time on Cameron’s highest highs and more on his despair, but it’s agile enough to present a fully formed portrait not just of a manic depressive man but of a group of people trying to be a family.

This time around The Hulk used his superpowers for good.