Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host 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 to talk about the big screen adaptation of the Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hansen,” the Melissa McCarthy dramedy “The Starling” and the Mark Wahlberg family drama “Joe Bell.”
There is a scene in “The Starling,” Melissa McCarthy’s maudlin new study of grief and ornithology, where a psychiatrist-turned-vet (that’s the kind of movie this is) tells Lilly (McCarthy), whose husband has spent almost a year in a psychiatric care home, that starlings “are different from other birds. They build a nest together. They’re just not meant to exist in the world alone, on their own.”
“That’s real subtle stuff,” she replies sarcastically but in truth, his remark is subtle compared to the rest of this well-meaning but ham-fisted movie.
Small town supermarket employee Lilly and her school teacher husband Jack (Chris O’Dowd) lives were changed when their baby daughter Kate passed away unexpectedly. Grief strikes each differently. Lilly looks forward, while Jack breaks down and checks into a mental health facility. Left alone, Lilly turns to tending her garden where a rogue starling attacks her every time she ventures outside.
Seeking guidance, she talks to Dr. Larry Fine (Kevin Kline) the psychiatrist-turned-vet reluctantly who councils her on grief and bird problems. As her relationship with the starling changes, so does Jack’s situation with his psychiatrist Dr. Manmohan (Ravi Kapoor) and the couple take steps toward reconciliation.
“The Starling” isn’t the first movie in recent memory to use a bird as a metaphor. “Penguin Bloom” covered similar territory last year and movies like “The Thin Red Line,” “Ladyhawke” and “Black Narcissus” have used birds as an emblem of freedom. It’s too bad that the CGI bird in “The Starling” doesn’t inspire the same kind of sense of wonder as it does in those other movies. As it is, the bird’s flitting and flirting only adds to the muddled feel of the story.
A strange mix of heartfelt drama and slapstick comedy, “The Starling” relies on very likable actors to try and bring a sense of balance to the material but not even McCarthy, Kline and O’Dowd can bend this mishmash of tones into a cohesive whole.
Richard joins ‘CP24 Breakfast” host George Lagogianes host to talk about movies on day two of the Toronto International Film Festival including the potential People’s Choice winner “Belfast,” two music docs, “Jagged” about Alanis Morissette’s rise to fame after “Jagged Little Pill,” and “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” and the new Melissa McCarthy dramedy “The Starling.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Pauline Chan about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including the mockumentary “Staged” with Michael Sheen and David Tennant on Hollywood Suite, the Amazon Prime horror series “Them” from producer Lena Waithe, the Netflix superhero comedy “Thunder Force” with Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer and the VOD rom com “Senior Moment” with William Shatner.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family adventure of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and the Casey Affleck drama :Light of My Life.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the live action “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” the mildly scary “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family drama “Luce” and the mob tale “The Kitchen” with CFRA morning show guest host Matt Harris.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” and the family drama “Luce.”
Set in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen, New York and based on the DCVertigo comic book title of the same name, “The Kitchen” stars Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy as mobster wives who take care of business when their husbands are sent to jail.
McCarthy, Haddish and Moss are Kathy Brennan, Ruby O’Carroll and Claire Walsh, wives of mid-level Irish mobsters. When their husbands are scooped up by the FBI the local mafia boss guarantees they’ll be looked after—“We’re going to take care of you,” Little Jackie (Myk Watford) says. “You girls are going to be just fine.”—but when it comes time to help he gets stingy. “I can’t even make the rent with what they gave me last night,” complains Claire.
With no source of income, the three decide to take matters into their own hands. “They’re just a bunch of guys who don’t even remember what family means,” says Kathy. “So, we remind them.”
Kathy is reluctant to enter the family business, but with two kids to look after she doesn’t have many options. Ruby feels like an outsider in the tightly knit Irish community and needs to provide for herself while Claire takes naturally to the wild ways of the streets. “I’m good at the messy stuff,” she says.
Before you can say, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” the three have taken over Little Jackie’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood with an eye to expanding their empire to the rest of the city, all before their husbands get out of jail.
The powerhouse trio at the center of “The Kitchen” can’t sell the film as an effective mob movie or feminist thriller. The characters are quick change artists, morphing from stay-at-home mob wives to stone cold killer criminals seemingly overnight. It’s jarring as are many of the film’s myriad plot twists and turns. Nothing quite adds up, character or story wise, and what might have been an interesting and timely look at dismantling of patriarchal structures it instead finds its female empowerment within violence.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” copy cat “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent,” the family drama “What They Had” and the operatic documentary “Maria by Callas.”