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.
I wonder if the number in the titles of the “Fast & Furious” movies is a scale of how implausible the movie will be. Do the producers think, “Well, it’s the ninth movie so it has to be nine times wilder than the last one.” I mean, why simply have a Pontiac Fiero when you can have a Pontiac Fiero with a rocket engine strapped to the roof?
Trust me, I’m on to something here.
I was not a fan of the first batch of “F&F” films but as they’ve incrementally amped up the action, shifting into a higher gear each and every time, with no regard for sentient storytelling or the laws of gravity, I’ve developed a soft spot for Dom and the Gang.
The movies stopped making sense some time ago. How is it, exactly, that a group of gearheads became a highly trained squad of international warriors, equally at home with ignition coils and international intrigue? These movies redefine the word excessive, and yet the franchise’s commitment to auto anarchy and Vin Diesel’s raspy way with a catchphrase has caught me in its speed trap.
The latest entry, “F9,” now playing in theatres and Drive-Ins, is less a movie and more a spectacle. A loud-and-proud exercise in far-fetchery, cliches and twisted metal, it uses on the usual “F&F” staples —family, friends, fast cars and flashbacks—as a backdrop to the over-the-top action to tell a story of international espionage, an evil mastermind named Cipher (Charlize Theron) and the broken relationship between brothers Dom (Diesel) and Jakob (John Cena).
There’s more, but fans don’t go to these movies for the storytelling. They go because director Justin Lin has eliminated most of the boring bits—i.e. when the characters speak—to distill the movie down to its sweaty essence. When the characters do talk, they don’t converse exactly, they exchange clichés, and when they aren’t speaking in a low rumble, they yell.
The result is a Kabuki car show, the latest entry in a franchise that knows no speed limit.
When James Gunn isn’t ripping up the box office with big budget “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies he occasionally let’s his freak flag fly by writing smaller, stranger movies like “The Belko Experiment.” A grisly look at human nature, it’s a riff on the bloody Japanese cult film “Battle Royale” with brains and plenty of brain splatter.
It’s just another day at the office for Belko Industries workers. Housed in a monolithic building outside Bogotá, Columbia city limits, the non-profit company facilitates the hiring of American workers in South America. Today, like every day before, the workers answer phones, drink coffee, talk about their weekends and some even pass the time flirting.
It’s just like any other day except today new security at the front gate sent all the Columbian nationals home. Then an announcement came over the loudspeaker. “There are currently 80 of you in the building,” says a mysterious voice. “By the end of the day many of you will be dead. To survive you must follow instructions. First order: murder any two employees. Doesn’t matter how but there will be repercussions if there aren’t two bodies in half an hour.”
Some think it’s a company wide psychological test, others drift into paranoia. The workers soon learn there’s no place to hide. Surveillance is everywhere and the mysterious voice seems to have tabs on what everyone is doing. With nowhere to hide, nowhere to run panic ensues and the bodies start to pile up.
When a second announcement instructs the workers to kill thirty of the remaining staff it is every man or woman for himself or herself.
Will anyone survive? Will whoever is in charge allow anyone to tell the story of what happened? Well they work together or will they kill one another?
If blood splatter is your thing “The Belko Experiment” may appeal to you. It’s a gory, brain bursting (literally) exercise in nihilism that masquerades as an unfettered social experiment. Which is not to say it isn’t entertaining. For much of its running time it is a compelling cat-and-mouse game but by the time everyone is slipping and sliding on blood soaked floors I was left hoping for a bit more satire or social commentary and a little less sadism and plasma.
Before “The Belko Experiment” becomes all about the blood ‘n brains it does feature some interesting human behaviour by the varied and noteworthy cast. “The Newsroom’s” John Gallagher Jr. is voice of reason Mike who stands in stark contrast to the bloodthirsty survivalists Barry Norris (Tony Goldwin) and Wendell Dukes (“Office Space’s” John C. McGinley). A study in how far people will go to stay alive, it doesn’t offer many surprising answers—here’s a shocker, people will do almost anything not to be killed—but at a lean 89 minutes it’s brutally entertaining.
Welcome to the House of Crouse. This week we learn about Baby Groot and golf. Not playing golf with Baby Groot, but how Michael Rooker relates to the tiny tree-like being and why Jason Connery loves to play golf. The HoC guests give you a behind-the-scenes look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Tommy’s Honour. It’s good stuff so c’mon in, sit a spell.
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” and the bruising “First Round Down.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the bruising “First Round Down” and the grim and grimy “I, Daniel Blake.”