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 and CP24 anchor Courtney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the middle-aged adventures of “Bad Boys for Life,” the animal tales of “Dolittle” and Victor Hugo inspired “Les Misérables.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the pseudo Bayhem of “Bad Boys for Life,” “Dolittle,” the strange adventures of the doctor who can speak to the animals and France’s entry to the Academy Awards “Les Misérables.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Montreal morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the seventeen-years-in-the-making sequel “Bad Boys for Life,” the reboot of a remake “Dolittle” and France’s entry for Best International Picture at the Oscars “Les Misérables.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the the reunion of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in “Bad Boys for Life,” the talking animals of “Dolittle” and France’s entry into the Academy Awards “Les Misérables.”
Another franchise, another eccentric genius. Robert Downey Jr. laves Tony Stark behind to return to the big screen in a reboot of a remake of a classic story of a man who could talk to animals.
When we first meet Dr. John Dolittle (Downey) he’s at the Howard Hughes recluse stage of his life. The passing of his wife has left him despondent, unable to enjoy the company of humans so he lives in seclusion with only a menagerie of animals for company.
To pass the time he plays chess with a timid gorilla named Chee-Chee (voice of Rami Malek) and in conversation with the various animals who crowd his home, including his trusted macaw advisor Polynesia (voice of Emma Thompson) and Jip (voice of Tom Holland), a bespectacled dog.
“I don’t care about anyone, anywhere, anymore,” the doctor says.
Of course, that’s not true. When animal lover Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett) shows up at Dolittle’s gate with an injured squirrel (voice of Craig Robinson)—“I’m too beautiful to die,” the squirrel says.—on the same day the doctor is summoned to Buckingham Palace to see the ailing Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley), he is brought back into the human world. Her Majesty is gravely ill and if she dies the treasury will take the animal sanctuary Dr. Dolittle calls home. Worse, all his animals will be thrown out into the world during hunting season.
To save the Queen‘s life he must embark on a journey to find the Eden Tree and its magical, healing fruit. It’s trip fraught with danger and is the same journey that cost his beloved wife her life. Add to that some palace intrigue, an island of misfits and thieves, turbo boosting whales, a vengeful squirrel and even a dragon and you have a new chapter in the life of the man who can talk to animals.
Kids will likely find “Dolittle’s” chatty animals amusing but this isn’t simply a movie about wise cracking beasts. At its beating heart it is a movie about pain, but, as one character says, not the kind of hurt inflicted by a bullet or a knife. It’s about the agony of losing someone. Dolittle’s heart is broken by the death of his wife, and that ache is the engine that propels the entire movie. So, while the young’uns may giggle at the animals but the movie’s underlying downer vibe and generic approach suggests that Dolittle’s wife isn’t the only lifeless part of this movie.
Downey plays the character with a sense of bemused confusion, topped with a mealy-mouthed Billy Connolly impression that changes from scene to scene. It’s a pantomime performance that makes the best of his finely tuned comic timing but feels sloppy and needlessly mannered.
“Dolittle” contains some good pop psychology for children about working together—”Teamwork makes the dream work!”—and facing their fears but overall a movie featuring talking animals shouldn’t be this banal.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Ottawa morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the seventeen-years-in-the-making sequel “Bad Boys for Life,” the reboot of a remake “Dolittle” and France’s entry for Best International Picture at the Oscars “Les Misérables.”
At once both an investigation in obsession and white male privilege, “Brad’s Status” stars Ben Stiller as a man who cannot help but compare himself to his more successful friends. “I have a creeping fear that not only have I not lived up to my expectations,” he says, “but have disappointed others as well.”
Brad Sloan is a husband, father and the owner of a non-profit organization that helps people in need. It’s a comfortable Sacramento life, comfortable but, according to Brad, unremarkable. Lately his head has been filled with thoughts of his college years when, “I was in love with the world and it was in love with me.” The difference between then and now? “The world hates me and the feeling is mutual.”
He must confront his feelings of inadequacy when he and his musical prodigy son Troy (Austin Abrams) tour colleges in Boston. Harvard seems sure to accept the teenager until a mix up in the dates delays Troy’s admissions interview. Determined to reschedule the meeting Brad has to swallow his pride and call his wealthy friends for help.
Contacting Billy Wearslter (Jemaine Clement), a rich guy who lives with two girlfriends in Hawaii, best-selling author and DC powerhouse Craig Fisher (Michael Sheen) and billionaire playboy Jason Hatfield (Luke Wilson) gets the job done but forces Brad further down the rabbit hole of inadequacy.
“Brad’s Status” is a character study of a man who complains about being ignored at dinner parties because he isn’t rich. Stiller is very good—he’s always at his best when in movies that don’t feature statues that come to life—at bringing Brad’s neurosis to vivid life, but what years ago would have been thought of as a mid-life crisis movie is now a story of male privilege, ripe with first world problems. In other words, it’s hard to feel particularly sorry for a character whose self-pity overrides the good things in his life. Stiller keeps him relatable, from his petty frustration at a useless silver airlines status card to his deep seeded jealousy of everyone from his successful friends to his talented son, but early on you sense the story is only headed in one direction.
I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll put a [SPOILER ALERT] here, but it turns out that Brad doesn’t have it so bad after all. There is poignancy to the story by times but the lesson—never judge a person by the private jet—is too slight, too obvious to make any lasting impression.
As a laundry list of Brad’s existential questions “Brad’s Status” doesn’t delve deep enough to provide any real answers, no matter how good the performances.
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 Richard Gere in “Norman,” Emma Watson in the cyber thriller “The Circle” and the animated movie “Spark: A Space Tail.”