Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the loud and proud Milla Jovovich actioner “Monster Hunter,” the Andy Samberg time loop rom com “Palm Springs” and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Angie Seth to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
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 Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
Director Paul WS Anderson and star Milla Jovovich made four movies together based on video game developer Capcom’s “Resident Evil” action-adventure series. Their new project, “Monster Hunter,” now playing in theatres, returns to the same well, this time bringing Capcom’s second best-selling series, after “Resident Evil,” to big, noisy life on movie screens.
The plot is straightforward. Jovovich is Captain Natalie Artemis, a last name she happens to share with the Greek goddess of the hunt. When she and her team slip through a portal into a world teaming with monsters, she partners with The Hunter (Tony Jaa), a warrior who specializes in battling giant monsters. If she wants to survive and make it back to her world, he is her best hope. “To kill a monster,” she says, “you need a monster.”
Anderson’s previous movies are like heavy metal concerts, loud and proud, with the finesse of a sledge hammer and “Monster Hunter” is no different. It’s a simple story told with sweeping shots of the alien landscape, a turn-it-up-eleven sound mix and more CGI creatures than you can shake a gaming controller at. Don’t come here for story arcs or character development, those qualities are as absent as subtlety.
The action sequences are shot motion-sickness style, with the camera in constant movement, making it hard to see who is beating the stuffing out of who. It’s a shame because Jaa is one of the most agile and entertaining action stars this side of Jackie Chan in his prime, but much of the time here he is a blur of fists and fury.
“Monster Hunter’s” plot is so thin, if you held it up to the light, you could see right through it. But this isn’t “War and Peace.” Heck, it’s barely “See Spot Run” story wise. Instead, it’s more an excuse to slap together some jump scares and, admittedly cool looking creatures, with elements borrowed from other movies like “Predator” and “Alien.”
2020 has been slim pickings for big off-the-wall action movies. “Monster Hunter” doesn’t offer much, but for anyone starved for no-nonsense—or should that be all nonsense? —pedal to the metal action, it just might do the trick.
Want to know how to spend your theatre-going dollars this weekend? Richard’s CTV NewsChannel reviews for ‘Jersey Boys’ (two stars), ‘Think Like a Man Too’ (three stars) and ‘The Rover’ (three stars) run all weekend! Tune in and check them out!
The idea of turning self-help books into movies isn’t new. Fifty years ago Helen Gurley Brown’s guidebook “Sex and the Single Girl,” which featured advice on “How to be Sexy,” among other useful tips, was made into a film starring Natalie Wood and “Mean Girls” was an adaptation of the high school survival manual “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughters Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence.”
So the idea of the 2012 farce “Think Like a Man” based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” wasn’t a stretch.
But now a sequel? The question is: How do you conjure a second story out of a book with no plot? Set it in Vegas and let Kevin Hart do all the heavy lifting.
The idea of Harvey’s tome is to give women an inside look into the workings of the male psyche and take control of their relationships. It’s typical battle of the sexes stuff and on film they play it for laughs.
The four couples from the original movie— Maya and Zeke (Meagan Good and Romany Malco), Dominic and Lauren (Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson), Jeremy and Kristen (Jerry Ferrara and Gabrielle Union) and Tish and Bennett (Wendi McLendon-Covey and Gary Owen)—plus the almost single Cedric (Kevin Hart) reunite in Las Vegas—“The number one destination in the world for people who do the craziest thing… get married.”—for “Think Like A Man Too.”
They’ve gathered for the wedding of Candace (Regina Hall) and Michael (Terrence Jenkins) but you know as soon as someone says, “I’m going to give you the perfect wedding… nothing is going to go wrong,” that, of course, everything is going to go wrong. The romantic getaway is jeopardized when the bachelorette and bachelor parties spin out of control.
“Think Like a Man Too” plays like a tamer version of “The Hangover.” There’s even a cameo from a world champion boxer but “TLAMT” doesn’t have the cynical edge of the Bradley Cooper movie. Instead, it plays it safe, making Sin City look like a wild but not terribly dangerous place to get married. All the usual Vegas clichés are well represented, from the gambling montage to the glaring neon lights to flaming cocktails to skimpy bikini-clad women to male strippers. What happens in Vegas also happens in the movies… quite often. The only thing missing is an Elvis impersonator or two.
Director Tim Story moves the story—what there is of it—along faster than a spinning roulette wheel. Montages and music video interludes keep the pace up, disguising the fact that there isn’t much going on. The story is thin, despite the multiple storylines crisscrossing throughout.
Kevin Hart seems to be trying to singlehandedly make up for a dearth of story by pulling out all the stops. No pratfall or face pull is beyond him. He even recreates Tom Cruise’s “Risky Business” underwear dance. His hyperactive performance stands in stark contrast to the more laid back work from his co-stars, but it does add a splash of life to every scene he’s in. Only his enthusiastic reading of a line like, “I’m sick of this non-tourage,” could pull laughs from some of this material.
“Think Like a Man Too” is a thin story bolstered by a few laughs (courtesy of Hart) and good-looking people navigating the choppy waters of modern romance. The advice contained within has more Hart than actual heart and is unlikely to provide much self-help, but has the same kind of bland appeal as its predecessor.