Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Rooney’


Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 3.02.42 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Annie” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 10.49.12 AM“Canada AM” film critic Richard Crouse reviews “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Annie” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!





NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB: 1 ½ STARS. “I am a pharaoh. Kiss my staff.”

hr_Night_at_the_Museum-_Secret_of_the_Tomb_2Unless the movie is called “Planet of the Apes” its faint praise to say the monkey is the best thing about a picture. Such is the case with “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” the third outing in the popular Ben Stiller kid’s franchise. Crystal the Monkey as Dexter a Capuchin monkey, gets the most laughs and is the only member of the top-of-the-line cast who doesn’t feel like they’re only in it for the big holiday movie paycheque.

On the third visit to the New York Natural History Museum we discover the Tablet of Ahkmenrah, the magical Egyptian plaque that gives its life force to the museum’s statues, allowing them to come to life after the sun goes down, is losing its power. Soon the tablet will die and so will animated exhibits Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams in one of his last movies), miniature men Jedediah and Octavius (Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan), and a Neanderthal named Laa (Ben Stiller). To save them night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller again) travels to the British Museum to find the secret to restoring the artifact’s power.

“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” beats the original premise into submission, blowing up the idea of a secret nightlife at the museum into the best example this year of how franchise filmmaking can go horribly wrong. Like the dimming tablet that slows down the wax exhibits, this movie sucks the life out of once interesting characters, placing them in a plot that is essentially an excuse to showcase more characters (like Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot and a surprising and rather charming cameo from a very big star) and bigger special effects than in parts one and two.

There’s plenty of kid friendly slapstick and computer generated effects but a short action scene inside M. C. Escher’s topsy turvy staircase painting shows more imagination than the rest of the movie’s big set pieces put together.

It all feels old hat and despite the nostalgic rush of seeing the late Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams on the big screen, it’s less exciting to see Sir Ben Kingsley as Ahkmenrah’s father delivering bad double entendres like, “I am a pharaoh. Kiss my staff.” Andrea Martin has a fun blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo and the above mentioned cameo will raise a laugh, but as I left the theatre I couldn’t help but think my feelings about the film were best summed up by a line Octavius speaks just after a monkey urinates on him. “We must never speak of what happened here.”

From Jason Bateman to Jodie Foster – child actors who didn’t crash and burn By Richard Crouse Metro Canada In Focus Wednesday February 6, 2013

tumblr_lgh5i0yj8F1qgmpbmo1_500It’s a pop culture cliché that all child actors grow up to become the subject of tragic tabloid stories. Sure adulthood was not kind to Gary Coleman or Jodie Sweetin, (although she does earn a point or two for the title of her tell-all, unSweetined), but there are dozens of kid actors who grew up to have fulfilling careers in Hollywood.

Jason Bateman is one of the lucky ones who made the transition to adult roles with ease. At twelve he debuted as James Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie and, dozens of credits later, this weekend stars in Identity Thief opposite comedy it-girl Melissa McCarthy.

The longevity of his career is dwarfed by Jodie Foster, whose forty-seven years on screen have seen her do everything from Disney movies like Freaky Friday to playing an underage prostitute in Taxi Driver to winning Oscars for The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs. “I don’t know why people think child actresses in particular are screwed up,” she says. “I see kids everywhere who are totally bored. I’ve never been bored a day in my life.”

Mickey Rooney’s cameo appearance in The Muppets marked ten decades of acting in movies. He was just a year-and-a-half old when he began performing in his parent’s vaudeville act and made his first film just a few years later playing Mickey McGuire in a series of short films. The audition breakdown requested a young boy with dark hair so Mickey’s mom rubbed burnt cork to his scalp to color his blonde hair.

Long before Elijah Wood donned huge hairy feet and went off in search of the magical ring in Lord of the Rings, he kept busy as a child actor in movies like Internal Affairs and Radio Flyer.

It’s hard to top winning an Oscar at age 11, but Anna Paquin has gone on to distinguish herself in indie hits like The Squid And The Whale and on television in True Blood.

And speaking of Oscars, one of this year’s Best Actor nominees, Joaquin Phoenix, made his debut at age eight, appearing on an episode of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers with his brother River. “There are kids who get on a BMX bike when they’re eight and they go, ‘Whoa, this is incredible’ and grow up to do extreme sports,” he said. “It’s the same for me with acting.”