Richard joins the hosts of NewsTalk 1010’s “The New Rush” with Scott MacArthur and guest host Deb Hutton, for a new segment called “Entertainment Court.” Each week Richard serves as the judge, Reshmi and Scott the jurors, and we render a verdict on the week’s biggest pop culture stories.
This week we ask, Do we have to clamp down on people who just want to have a good time at the movies? Guardian writer Stuart Heritage argues that Season 4’s episodes of Stranger Things are ungainly. They are mostly movie-length and considerably longer than previous instalments. He wonders if the sprawling shows can even be counted as TV anymore. So, the question is… on TV, does size matter? Is the trademark squatter who scooped up the names Dunder Miflin, “Dillon Football” (as in Dillon, Texas from Friday Night Lights) and “Nostromo” (the ship from Alien) a copyright menace or a clever business person?
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” the charming “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” and the Ralph Fiennes/Jessica Chastain drama “The Forgiven.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to shuck an oyster! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the supremely silly “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” the tiny mollusk with a huge heart, and the period rom com “Mr. Malcolm’s List.”
Not since the Three Stooges has nonsense been this much fun. Over five movies, the frantic, Tic Tac-shaped Minions, the silly sidekicks to former supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), have brought the most kid friendly anarchy to the screen since Curly said, “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” for the first time.
Their new movie, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” now playing in theatres, sets a new standard for silliness.
Set in 1976 San Francisco, the story begins with awkward twelve-year-old Gru and his dream.
“There are a lot of villains in the world,” he says, “but I am going to be a supervillain.”
To make his evil wish come true, he interviews to become a member of the world’s top outlaw team, the Vicious 6. But, he is not taken seriously. At all.
“I am pretty despicable,” Gru says proudly. “You don’t want to cross me.”
“Evil is for adults who steal powerful ancient stones and wreak havoc,” says Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), the newly-appointed head of The Vicious 6, who took over from the former, recently deposed Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin). “Not for tubby little punks, who should be at school learning, taking a recess and sucking his thumb! Come back when you’ve done something evil to impress me!”
To prove he’s got what it takes to be a supervillain, Gru steals something near and dear to the peach-pit sized hearts of the Vicious 6, their prized Zodiac Stone. Instead of impressing Belle Bottom, the theft turns her against Gru and his loyal Minions. With the mad, bad and dangerous to know Vicious 6 on their tail, Gru is kidnapped by Wild Knuckles. “My favorite villain is also my kidnapper,” marvels Gru. “This is going to be a great opportunity if you don’t kill me.”
Cue the Minion mayhem.
“The Minions: The Rise of Gru” provides fans of the franchise exactly what they want, no deep thoughts, just sublime silliness.
If you want to get all film critic-y about this, I suppose you could say the leitmotif is that of sweetly-inspired mayhem that follows the Minions wherever they go. But this isn’t a movie with layers of subtext or loads of diegetic elements. There is a denouement, a resolution to the story, but why overthink this? It’s short, fast and stupid, with an easily digested message of, as Armistead Maupin always says, finding your logical, not biological family. Or, as Gru says, “find your tribe and never let them go.” More zesty than arty, it’s made for kids, who I’m sure will gobble it up, while parents sit patiently through the 85 minute runtime with visions of the Three Stooges dancing in their heads.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s two big releases, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” with Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza and the animated kid’s flick “The Secret Life of Pets,” starring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan and Ellie Kemper.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to talk about the big releases in theatres, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” with Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza and the animated kid’s flick “The Secret Life of Pets,” starring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan and Ellie Kemper.
If you believe a new animated movie from Minions main man Chris Renaud (with co-director Yarrow Cheney), drinking from the toilet, chewing up furniture and napping are not the only things pets do when their owners are gone.
Max (voice of Louis C.K.), a brown-and-white Jack Russell Terrier has a great life with his human Katie (Ellie Kemper). They live together in a nice New York apartment and pass the time taking walks and playing. At first there’s only one problem, “Pretty much every day she leaves.”
While Katie is at work Max misses her but fills the endless hours hanging out with the other pets in his complex. There’s Buddy the dachshund (Hannibal Buress) who uses a Mixmaster as a back scratch, an obese tabby named Chloe (Lake Bell) who regularly empties the fridge and a poodle who rocks out to death metal when her opera-loving roommate is out of the house.
When Katie brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a big slobbering beast of a dog and “brother” for Max, the Jack Russell’s life, errr, ahhh, goes to the dogs. The ensuing battle for alpha dog supremacy brings on canine confusion as it spills out of the apartment and onto the street. Max and Duke must now contend with dogcatchers and the human-hating Flushed Pets gang—Liberation Forever! Domestication Never!—while Gidget (Jenny Slate), a white Pomeranian with the hots for Max, launches a rescue mission.
Animal slapstick has done well this year. First “Zootopia” gave us a menagerie of messages and laughs and now “The Secret Life of Pets” strolls along. Funny and charming, it isn’t as rich in subtext as “Zootopia,” but what it lacks in meaningful moralizing it makes up for in silly fun. It’s as deep as a dog’s dish, but it is, one might say, doggone funny.
Renaud brings the kind of bizarro humour that made the Minions a hit—the facial expressions of the pets are often as funny as their dialogue and there is a surreal musical number with edible singing sausages—to “Secret Life.” That, with a healthy mix of slapstick keeps the pace up for the younger kids. Older folks should get a kick out of the stereotypes, how the movie plays into them—“I’m your friend,” purrs Chloe, “and as your friend I don’t care about you or your problems.”—and against them—ie Kevin Hart as Snowball, the adorable but vicious bunny.
To bulk up “The Secret Life of Pets” short running time a new short, “Mower Minions,” is tacked on the front. As the strange yellow jellybeans try and make money to buy a new blender the age-old question, Do minions have tiny tattooed bums?, is finally answered probably to the delight of the kids everywhere.