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 dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto,” the coming of age story “C’mon C’mon,” Peter Jackson’s 468 minute epic “The Beatles: Get Back” a.k.a. “Lord of the Ringos,” the videogame horrors of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised.”
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 the star studded family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto” and Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised.”
Then, we talk about the decision to scrap gendered awards, Ridley Scott and the flop of “The Last Duel” and Richard’s new podcast “Last Call.”
“Bruised,” a new MMA drama directed by and starring Halle Berry, and now streaming on Netflix, punches through the usual sports cliches and training montages to tell a redemption story of a woman whose rage dominated her life.
Berry is Jackie Justice, a disgraced UFC mixed martial arts star who left the sport in disgrace when she vaulted out of the cage during a match. Four years later her hair trigger temper gets her fired from a job as a nanny and booze helps her cope with abusive boyfriend/manager Desi (Adan Canto). It was his push to take on bigger fights that sent her over the brink at the height of her fame, and now he wants her back in the ring, making money.
“I don’t want to fight,” she says, “I’m happy.” Trouble is, she doesn’t appear to be happy.
When she is spotted by fight league promoter Immaculate (Shamier Anderson), who promises to set her up with top flight trainer Buddhakan (Sheila Atim), her career looks to be back on track until the 6-year-old son (Danny Boyd, Jr.) she abandoned years ago suddenly comes back into her life.
“Bruised” is a slickly produced sports flick that takes us into a little explored world, women’s MMA. Berry doesn’t shy away from the brutal nature of the fight game, both in and out of the ring. It paints a vivid portrait of the physical and mental toll paid by Jackie as she seeks personal and professional redemption, but often veers into melodrama. Plots lines crisscross as we follow Jackie’s relationships with her mother (Adriane Lenox), her trainer, Desi and Manny. Each thread clutters the plot with storylines that are not only predictable, but also take away from the movie’s main thrust, how Jackie’s life has been shaped by trauma and rage.
When “Bruised” focusses on the fighting, it succeeds. It is interesting to see that world from a female point of view and about a woman older than might be expected in the punishing sport. Even Jackie’s trainer calls her “Betty White.”
But as Jackie’s road to redemption meanders through a laundry list of misery, the two-hour, 15-minute movie becomes weighed down by the sheer volume of story.