Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Stoller’

CTVNEWS.CA: “THE CROUSE REVIEW FOR ‘WONDER WOMAN’ ‘CAPT UNDERPANTS’ & MORE!”

A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Wonder Woman” with Gal Gadot, Kevin Hart in the animated “Captain Underpants: the First Epic Movie” and “Drone,” staring Sean Bean.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JUNE 2, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Wonder Woman” with Gal Gadot, Kevin Hart in the animated “Captain Underpants: the First Epic Movie” and “Drone,” staring Sean Bean.

Watch to the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR JUNE 2.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to discuss whether “Wonder Woman” is all that wonderful, if “Captain Underpants: the First Epic Movie” is crappy or not and if “Drone” lives up to its name.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro In Focus: director of Captain Underpants is a child at heart

By Richard Crouse Metro In Focus

David Soren calls Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, his adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s bestselling books for kids, subversive.

The animated film is the story of rambunctious fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins (voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch). Best friends, they write, illustrate and sell homemade comics about their favourite character, Captain Underpants. “Most superheroes look like they’re flying around in their underwear,” they giggle. “This guy actually does.” They are also pranksters so often in trouble there are two chairs outside the principal’s office labelled, “Reserved for George” and “Reserved for Harold.”

Soren says that wild temperament “is one of the things that made the books successful and controversial at the same time. I’ve never personally understood the controversy, specifically in the case of the books. There is a rebellious spirit to those characters. They are not little angels and I think that is part of why kids love reading them.”

George and Harold’s principal, Mr. Krupp (voiced by Ed Helms), is a grumpy old man who hates comics, Christmas and kittens among other things, and has a plan to put an end to the pranks and annihilate their friendship.

David Soren was born in Toronto and raised in Hamilton.

“They’ve got a terrible principal,” Soren continues, “who is doing horrible things to their school, cancelling music and arts and putting an electronic door opening in his office instead. (It’s good to) stand up to that kind of authority, it deserves to be questioned.

“These days it is not a bad thing for kids in general to have their own voice and stand up for themselves and have rights. I always saw that as a really inspiring part of those books and a key to their success.

“I think of my son now. He’s in fourth grade and in the earlier grades there was a lot more creativity, a lot more play in the education and suddenly it gets a lot more regimented. It gets more like school and it is sort of frustrating to watch how that can be beaten out of kids. You want to protect that aspect of creativity.”

The Toronto-born, Hamilton-raised animator has worked in Los Angeles for 20 years, working on films like The Road to El Dorado, Chicken Run and Shrek, and writing and directing Turbo, the story of a snail who dreams of racing in the Indianapolis 500. It’s a resumé that suggests he’s hung onto his childlike creativity.

“I think it is something I never lost. You need a little bit of that nonconformist attitude when you are an artist, and making movies in general. Especially when you’re trying to get a point of view across. Movies are best when they have a point of view and if they get too watered down or become too generic they cease to have an identity anymore.”

There’s no question Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie has an identity. How many other movies feature a talking toilet or a musical Whoopee Cushion symphony?

“Obviously you can’t make a Captain Underpants movie without potty humour,” he says. “But we did hold ourselves to a very high standard. We would not go there unless it was truly very funny.”

When I compliment Soren on giving a character the wonderfully silly name Diarrheastein, he’s chuffed. “I will take that as a great compliment,” he laughs.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE: 3 ½ STARS. “kid friendly anarchy.”

As if there weren’t already enough superheroes on the big screen these days, along comes another one tailor made for the younger set. “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” is an animated film based on Dav Pilkey’s bestselling books for kids.

Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch loan their voices to rambunctious fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins. The pair write, illustrate and sell homemade comics like “Sad Worm” and Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman.” Their favourite character is Captain Underpants. “Most superheroes look like they’re flying around in their underwear,” they say. “This guy actually does.”

They are also pranksters who get in trouble so often there are two chairs outside the principal’s office labelled, Reserved for George and Reserved for Harold. Their principal, Mr. Benjamin “Benny” Krupp (Ed Helms), a grumpy old man who hates comics, Christmas and kittens among other things has an plan to put an end to the pranks, and “annihilate your friendship.”

He plans to split them up, placing them in different classes. “You won’t be together,” says Krupp. “You won’t be able to enjoy each other and ruin my life.” To avoid being separated George accidentally puts Krupp into a trance using his Hypno-Ring, the most powerful item ever found in the cereal box, turning him into Captain Underpants.

The Captain Underpants has few actual superhero powers, but his skills—along with his sidekicks George and Harold—will be tested as he does battle with the evil substitute teacher Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants Esquire (Nick Kroll). Tired of people making fun of his name the mad genius inventor and revenge seeker, plans to eliminate laughter from the world by destroying everyone’s Hahaguffawchuckleamalus, the part of the brain that controls the human capacity for mirth.

His secret weapon? The Turbo Toilet 2000, a giant toilet invented by humourless classmate Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele). Because he has no sense of humour—“He’s like a chair or a supermodel,” says Poopypants—Melvin is the supervillain’s perfect sidekick.

As befitting a story about two troublemakers “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” embraces the kid friendly anarchy of Pilkey’s books. It zips along in a flash of gags, bright colours and textures. Director David “Turbo” Doren utilizes state of the art computer generated images plus puppets, flipbook animation and children’s drawings come-to-life to illustrate the story. It’s lively and fun and if you don’t like a joke, hang on, there will be another one a second later.

That potty humour is the lowest form of wit is a running gag throughout but a film titled “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” wouldn’t be quite the same without it. It’s hard to image the story without the musical Whoopee Cushion symphony or the wonderfully silly name Diarrheastein. If, like Melvin, you have to ask, “Why is it funny?” then maybe it’s not for you, but if you’ve ever giggled in science class at the name Uranus, you’ll enjoy.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY SEPT 23, 2016.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-30-19-pmRichard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the star-studded “The Magnificent Seven,” the inspirational “Queen of Katwe,” and “Storks,” an animated film for kids.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR SEPT 23.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-29-04-pmRichard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the star-studded “The Magnificent Seven,” the inspirational “Queen of Katwe,” and “Storks,” an animated film for kids.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

STORKS: 2 STARS. “has promise but never really delivers the goods.”

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-5-49-47-pmBeing an only child has its benefits. You don’t have to share clothes or wait in line for the bathroom, but Nate Gardner (voice of Anton Starkman) is lonely and one day announces to his busy parents, “I’ve decided I want a baby brother.”

To speed the process along the youngster writes a letter to the folks at Stork Mountain. “Dear Stork Delivery Service,” he writes, “Our son really deserves a baby brother. P.S. He has to have ninja skills. Signed adult parents Perry and Sarah Gardner… adults, not Nate.”

What Nate doesn’t know is that Stork Mountain head honcho Hunter (voice of Kelsey Grammer), a white stork and the executive CEO of Cornerstore.com, dropped babies years ago in favour of picking up packages. Why did they stop? Because there are other ways to get babies.

With huge profits rolling in the CEO offers the company’s top job to Junior (Andy Samberg). With over 1 million deliveries under his beak, he’s their best stork, but the new job it comes with a caveat. Junior must fire the company’s lone human employee, Orphan Tulip (Katie Crown), but the brash-but-kindhearted bird can’t bring himself to let her go. Instead he assigns her to the least used department in the company, the Letter Sorting Department.

Tulip intercepts Nate’s letter and accidentally feeds it into the Rube Goldberg-esque Baby Making Machine—literally a machine that makes babies, and not… well, you know what you were thinking—and through the science of baby making transforms the note from pen and ink to an adorable baby girl

Trouble is, Junior has never delivered a baby and doesn’t know what to do with the unauthorized child. He knows he must do something before Hunter gets wind of the kid. With a wounded wing Junior has no choice but to take Tulip along as they begin a wild adventure to unite the child with Nate and his parents. “If I can deliver this by Monday I can still be made boss,” says Junior.

“Storks” never quite takes flight. A manic mix of action-adventure and kid’s humour, it often feels padded by cut-a-ways and musical numbers and never met a gag it can’t run into the ground with repetition. There are several stand-out moments, like a silent battle between storks and penguins, kept quiet so as not to wake the baby and the ever-morphing Wolf Pack, who can change Transformers style into anything from bridges to submarines, but everything else is over-amped and loud with a side of sentimentality thrown in.

Samberg is perfectly cast as the brash but not-so-bright lead character and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele provide funny and interesting voices to the Wolf Pack leaders but most of the voices are as undistinguished as the story.

“Storks” has promise but never really delivers the goods.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MAY 20, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 3.53.30 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases, the seedy charm of “The Nice Guys” with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, the kid’s cartoon “The Angry Birds Movie,” and the Seth Rogen sequel “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!