Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Portman’

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: NEW MOVIES COMING TO VOD AND STREAMING SERVICES!

Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain discuss “James Vs His Future Self,” the Disneynature docs “Dolphin Reef” and “Elephant” and the drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including “James Vs His Future Self,” the Disneynature docs “Dolphin Reef” and “Elephant” and the drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”

Listen to thew whole thing HERE!

CJAD IN MONTREAL: THE ANDREW CARTER SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s VOD and streaming releases including the time travel romance “James Vs His Future Self,” the Disneynature docs “Dolphin Reef” and “Elephant” and the drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”

Listen to thew whole thing HERE!

DOLPHIN REEF: 3 ½ STARS. “beautiful cinematography and engaging storytelling.”

“Flipper,” the lovable dolphin of 1960’s television, as the song goes, lived “in a world full of wonder, flying thereunder, under the sea.” For a new generation, who want their underwater shows in glistening Technicolor comes Echo, a bottlenose Pacific dolphin and star of “Dolphin Reef,” Disneynature’s new documentary premiering this week on Disney+.

Narrated by Natalie Portman and populated by underwater creatures that look as though they sprung from the imaginations of Disney’s animators by way of H.P. Lovecraft, “Dolphin Reef” is the educational but cutesy story of life on a Pacific Ocean coral reef.

The star, Echo, is a rambunctious youngster learning the ropes of life on the reef from mother Kumu. The high-spirited calf, however, is more interested in adventures and exploring his world full of wonder than learning how to stay safe and contribute to the pod. It’s easy to see how Echo’s eye could wander down there. Director Keith Scholey captures the vivid beauty and otherworldly weirdness of life in Echo’s ecosystem. There are the deadly cuttlefish whose skin strobes different colours as they attack and the phenomenon of “sand poop,” whixh is exactly what you think it is. “Given enough time,” Oscar winner Portman says, “Parrot Fish can poop entire tropical beaches.”

A close-call or two, however, gives Echo the push he needs to become an adult. “Being locked in an ocean at night gives you a whole new appreciation for your mother,” Portman says. “It has been a huge wakeup call for Echo. Time has run out. He can simply not rely on Kumu to protect him anymore. He must learn to take care of himself, once and for all.”

Along the way are lessons in how dolphins build communities and use their unique physiologies to protect their pods. We learn about synchronized sleeping—one hemisphere of the brain sleeps while the other hemisphere remains awake—and their skin’s antibacterial properties, which may help stop infections in open wounds. It’s an interesting, accessible nature lesson wrapped in an aquatic coming-of-age story, although one or two of Echo’s close scraps with mortality may be too intense for very young children.

Portman’s narration runs from folksy—”Here’s how the whole reef thing works in a nutshell…”—to serious and sympathetic as the tone of the film changes.

“Dolphin Reef” may not be as action packed as an episode of “Flipper”—Echo does not help solve crimes or do a “tail walk”—but its beautiful cinematography and engaging storytelling make its message of interconnected community—whether marine or human—resonate. “They rely on their extended family for comfort, safety and survival,” Portman says in the film’s final moments, “and now they need to rely on us as well. Their world is our world.”

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY OCTOBER 11, 2019.

Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Gemini Man,” “Dolemite is My Name” and “Lucy in the Sky.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR OCT 11.

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Gemini Man,” “Dolemite is My Name” and “Lucy in the Sky.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW ON “GEMINI MAN” “LUCY IN THE SKY” AND MORE!

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 “Gemini Man,” “Lucky Day” and “Lucy in the Sky.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the high frame rate of “Gemini Man,” the high violence of “Lucky Day” and the high flying theatrics of “Lucy in the Sky” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

LUCY IN THE SKY: 1 STAR. “the insight never transcends cliché.”

“Lucy in the Sky” is the only movie I can think of that would have been improved by the addition of adult diapers. Loosely based on the exploits of former naval flight officer turned NASA Astronaut Lisa Nowak, the new Natalie Portman movie recreates the troubled astronaut’s cross-country drive minus one juicy detail—the diapers she allegedly wore to eliminate the need for rest stops.

Portman plays Lucy Cola, an astronaut having trouble to adapting to life on terra firma. After being in space, witnessing the vastness of the world while floating far above it, her eager-to-please husband (Dan Stevens) and teenage niece Blue Iris (Pearl Amanda Dickson) seem hopelessly earthbound. “You go up to space and see the whole universe,” she says, “and then you come back and everything is so small. What are you supposed to do? Go to Applebee’s?”

She finds a kindred soul in Mark Goodwin (Jon Hamm), another NASA vet described as “a divorced action figure who likes to go fast.” Casual chats soon turn into an affair, although while Lucy falls deeply head over heels, Mark sees it as a fling and continues to date other women, including new recruit Erin Eccles (Zazie Beetz).

As her mental state erodes Lucy throws herself into training for a new mission until she becomes a danger to herself and others. Cut loose from the only job she cares about the frantic Lucy drives cross country to confront—or worse—Goodwin. “You’re going to lose,” she shouts, “because I’m a winner.”

“Lucy in the Sky” is a character driven drama that offers up only the scantest insight into Lucy’s psychosis. Director Noah Hawley plays around visually, changing the aspect ratio and focus to convey Lucy’s loosened grip on reality but it is all surface and while there are some striking images, the insight never transcends cliché.

Portman isn’t given much to work with. She’s a walking cliché, a character who ticks a number of “interesting” traits off a check list only to have them add up to a less than compelling character. She isn’t aided by a script that requires her to say things like “All systems go!” when asked about her mental state.

The supporting actors don’t fare much better. As Lucy’s husband Stevens is a one note goody two-shoes, annoying to the point where you begin to understand why she wandered away from the marriage. Ellen Burstyn is a bit of fun as Lucy’s potty-mouth mother, but she seems to have drifted in from another movie. Only Hamm emerges more or less unscathed, handing in the kind of tortured leading man performance that allows him to have moments of introspection, like when he watches footage of the Challenger explosion over-and-over before heading to space, and be a bit of a playboy. There’s not much to his character but at least Hamm breathes some life into him.

The story that inspired the film is ripped straight from the tabloids, all lurid details, but “Lucy in the Sky” glosses over most of them (i.e.: the adult diapers) in favor of an oversimplified look at mental illness that never takes flight.