Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at the violent and visceral Viking drama “The Northman,” “The Bad Guys,” a heist flick for kids, the documentary “The Automat” and season two of “The Flight Attendant” on HBO.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” the animated heist flick “The Bad Guys” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
Watch Richard review three movies in less time than it takes to sign your name! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the violent and visceral Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage movie “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
A new documentary, “The Automat,” directed by Lisa Hurwitz and now playing in theatres, is a evocative look back when you could get a square meal for a round quarter.
For more than fifty years Horn & Hardart automats fed more Americans than any other restaurant chain. For the price of a nickel you could get a cup of strong coffee, poured from a spout shaped like a dolphin. The rest of the menu was housed behind small doors with windows that displayed the wares, like baked beans, chicken pot pies, creamed spinach or Secretary of State Colin Powell’s favorite, the macaroni and cheese. Pop a coin in the slot, open the door and lunch or dinner is served.
“The Automat” uses talking heads, like Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elliott Gould, and archival footage to create a nostalgic look at a by-gone institution but to also contextualize the contributions the quirky restaurants made to American society.
A precursor to fast food chains like Burger King or Arby’s, both of whom would later fall under the Horn & Hardart umbrella, the automats were a sensation. The first Horn & Hardart automat opened in 1902 in Philadelphia with a strict adherence to quality and egalitarianism. For the next 89 years—the last New York Horn & Hardart Automat closed in April 1991—everyone was welcome with no racial barrier, tables were shared by strangers and, at their heyday in the 1940s and 50s, they served upwards of 350,000 customers a day in New York alone.
Everyone interviewed raves about the food and the restaurants. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talks about how a visit to Horn & Hardart sparked his love of the hospitality business, and how it influences him today. Powell remembers family outings and the delicious pies that were a once-a-week treat.
As glowing as the interviews are, there is often a sense of nostalgic melancholy about the demise the automat—a victim of changing times—as an example of how the good ol’ days, represented by the elegant and welcoming restaurants, are truly behind us.
“It had some style and it was different,” says self-serve automat superfan Mel Brooks. “The marble, the brass, the polished floors, the chatter, the coffee. That was the Automat. It can’t work again because the logistics and economics of today won’t allow anything that simple, naive, elegant and beautiful to flourish again.”
“The Automat” is a quickly paced, interesting and affectionate populist documentary that brings to life how, for a time, happiness could be bought for the price of a cheap cup o’ joe.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Skyscraper,” the animated Adam Sandler flick “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” and the documentary “Whitney.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Skyscraper,” the animated Adam Sandler flick “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” the documentary “Whitney,” the biopic “Mary Shelley,” “Sorry to Bother You” starring LaKeith Stanfield and the comedy “The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger.”
The Invisible Man, Frankenstein, the Mummy and let’s not forget Dracula all make appearances in “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” but the new, animated Adam Sandler movie isn’t about the monsters, it’s about the importance of kindness and family.
At the beginning of the film Dracula (voice of Sandler) is feeling down, stressed out from the pressure of running his luxury hotel. On top of that, seems even the Prince of Darkness has trouble meeting women. He’s forlorn, hasn’t had a date in 100 years and his voice-activated dating app is no help. “I’m lonely,” he says. “You want bologna?” it replies.
Noticing her dad is depressed daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) arranges for a special treat; some time away with family and friends. “I figured you need a vacation from running everyone else’s vacations,” she says. She books passage on the monster cruise of a lifetime, a journey into the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.
Once onboard Drac immediately falls for Captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). The heart knows what it wants, even if it is a cold, un-beating heart. They hit it off, but it turns out Ericka might have an ulterior motive for returning Drac’s advances.
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” is filled with the easy sentimentality that mars Sandler’s live action films. Good messages about acceptance—“We’re here, we’re hairy and it’s our right to be scary!”—tradition and finding your own way in the world—“ You have to honour the past but we have to make our own future,” says Drac.—are hammered home like a stake through the heart.
Surrounding the family friendly clichés are an untraditional cast of cute monsters and that’s the movie’s strength. The fun of “Hotel Transylvania 3” is in the details not the story. The kid friendly creepy crawlies, deadpan fish cruise ship staff, Grandpa Dracula’s (Mel Brooks) skimpy withered green body and Captain Ericka’s underwater craft that looks like it just floated in from “Yellow Submarine” are all a hoot. Come for the creatures, stay for the silly fun.
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” doesn’t add up to much story-wise—music and dance numbers, though inventively staged, pad out the running time to feature length—but the messages of tolerance and kindness are important themes in today’s increasingly serious world. “Gotta be great-a than the hatas,” says one monster. That’s advice you can take to the (blood) bank.