Posts Tagged ‘Moon’


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Ryan Gosling’s as astronaut Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Ryan Gosling’s take on Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at Ryan Gosling’s as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

FIRST MAN: 3 ½ STARS. “It’s a small story about a giant leap.”

We all know how “First Man” will end. No surprises there. What may be surprising is the portrayal of its titular character, American astronaut and hero Neil Armstrong. It’s a small story about a giant leap.

Focussing on the years 1961 to 1968 “First Man” introduces us to Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) as an engineer and envelope-pushing pilot. When an X-15 test flight gives him a glimpse of space he becomes obsessed with going further. When his three-year-old daughter dies of a brain tumour he turns his grief inward, throwing himself at work. Becoming a NASA Gemini Project astronaut over the next seven years he fulfils the dream of President Kennedy 1962, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” speech. Alongside Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll) and Jim Lovell (Pablo Schreiber), he begins a journey that will take him to the moon and back.

“First Man” is based on one of mankind’s greatest achievements and yet feels muted on the big screen. Deliberately paced, it nails the bone-rattling intensity of the early flights, the anxiety felt by the loved ones left behind as the astronauts risk everything to beat the Russians to the moon, and yet it never exactly takes flight.

Part history lesson, part simulator experience, it doesn’t deliver the characters necessary to feel like a complete experience.

Gosling is at his most restrained here as an analytical man who loves his family but is so stoic he answers his son’s question, “Do you think you’re coming back from the moon,” with an answer better suited to the boardroom than the dinner table. “We have every confidence in the mission,” he says. “There are risks but we have every reason to believe we’ll be coming back.” He is buttoned-down and yet not completely detached. His daughter’s memory never strays from his mind, even if he never discusses her death with his wife, played by an underused Claire Foy. Gosling embraces Armstrong’s fortitude but has stripped the character down to the point where he is little more than a distant man of few words.

“First Man” contains some thrilling moments but for the most part is like the man himself, stoic and understated.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Ryan Gosling’s giant leap as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 3.14.58 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” the great Greta Gerwig’s “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.38.58 AMRichard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the magically delicious “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

WARCRAFT: 1 STAR. “’how many times did I look at my watch’ drinking game.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 6.50.32 AMPeter Jackson may have exhausted the Tolkien catalogue with his “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies, but for moviegoers with a taste for JRR’s brand of fantasy along comes “Warcraft.”

Based on the video game series and novels of the same name, the Duncan Jones film is set in the world of Azeroth, a realm blessed by titans and home to humans and all manner of mythical creatures, including elves, dragons and everything in between. Lush and peaceful, it’s ruled by homo sapiens, the kindly king and queen (Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga).

The warrior Orc clan homeworld of Draenor, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. A dying dominion, it’s led by warlock Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) and Warrior-In-Chief Blackhand (Clancy Brown) who use a mysterious portal—“the Great Gate!”–to bring unrest, terror and a mighty army called the Horde to Azeroth. “This is a new time,” growls Gul’dan. “The time of the horde. Be feared or be few!”

In the midst of the mayhem are the Orc give-peace-a-chance chieftain Durotan (Toby Kebbell), his pregnant, swashbuckling mate Draka (Anna Galvin) and Garona (Paula Patton), a half human, half Orc who leans toward her human side while exercising her Orcian charms.

For a film that cost as much as this one did “Warcraft” sure looks a lot like Halloween at a Cos Play Convention, fake fangs and all. It has all the primal elements of any epic story—good, evil, betrayal, birth, death, biblical references, honour and even terrifying glowing eyes—but it also has distinct b-movie feel that hangs over the whole thing like like a shroud. There’s an unmistakeable campy aura that must be intentional although in my heart I suspect it isn’t.

For instance, when one of the Guardian keepers of the wisdom is flummoxed by a mysterious gizmo and says, “It’s never done that before,” he sounds less like a mystical being and more like my grandfather trying to figure out why the App Store won’t load on his iPad. It’s funny, but probably unintentionally so.

With all the faux gravitas of a Steve Reeves epic, “Warcraft” is more Dungeons And Dragons than Tolkien. As it plods on toward the end credits it only reinforces a long held belief of mine: videogames are videogames, movies are movies and never the twain shall meet. It’s becoming more and more obvious that sourcing videogames as the inspiration for films is as effective as pulling stories from the backs of milk containers. They are two different art forms and perhaps should stay that way.

I admired Duncan Jones’s last two films, “Moon” and “Source Code,” but this time out he’s crafted a movie that is most entertaining as an excuse for a “how many times did I look at my watch” drinking game.

Gravity, WALL-E and 2001: A history of Hollywood in space by Richard Crouse Metro Canada Oct. 2, 2013

walleIt’s one thing to feel cut off from other people. It’s another thing to be alone thousands of miles above the earth.

A new film from Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón does a great job of showing the isolation felt by two cosmonauts who, in the words of David Bowie, are “sitting in a tin can, far above the world.”

Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who get pelted by a debris storm, comprised of bits and pieces of old satellites. With their space shuttle disabled and their communications offline and they are forced to become Space MacGyvers in order to survive.

Bullock and Clooney aren’t the first movienauts to be cut adrift in space. From animated films like WALL-E to epics like 2001: A Space Odyssey Hollywood has mined the vastness of space in some unforgettable movies.

In the film Moon Sam Rockwell is astronaut Sam Bell, a Lunar Industries employee living and working on a space station on a three year contract.

His job is to tend to machines that are “harvesting solar energy from the dark side of the moon” and providing almost 70% of earth with power. His only companion is a robot / cup holder named Gerty (voiced by the appropriately named Kevin Spacey) although he can receive taped messages from his wife Tess (Dominique McElligott). The loneliness of the job is broken, however, when he discovers that he may not be truly alone.

The comparisons to 2001 are obvious, made even more apparent by Spacey’s HAL-like delivery of his robot lines, but director Duncan Jones has simply used Kubrick’s film as a visual reference on his way to creating a unique and fascinating film. Another thing he borrowed from Kubrick and many other sci-fi films of the 60s and 70s is his emphasis on ideas rather than special effects. Michael Bay this ain’t.

One of the earliest alone-in-space movies came in 1950. Destination Moon is noted as the first Hollywood movie to contain scientific representations of space travel. The story involves a two-man journey to the fifth largest moon in the Solar System and the difficult decision to leave one behind. Heralded at the time for its realism, through today’s eyes it looks somewhat corny. For example: “I know one thing,” says a spacesick General Thayer (Tom Powers), “unless these pills work, space travel isn’t going to be… popular.”