Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg shoot ’em up “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the glitz-glammy rom com, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg actioner “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg shoot ’em up “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”
“Crazy Rich Asians,” based on the phenomenally successful books by Kevin Kwan, is a mix of “Cinderella” and a rom com with a side order of “Pride and Prejudice.”
Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, an NYU economics professor, who dates historian Nick Young (Henry Golding). After a year of seeing one another he invites her to his best friend’s wedding and to meet his family in Singapore. She jumps at the chance because she knows nothing about them. Every time she brings up the family he changes the subject. “Maybe his parents are poor and he has to send them money,” says her mother Kerry (Kheng Hua Tan).
Turns out just the opposite is true.
When it begins to dawn on Rachel that his family is well off she asks him straight up. “We’re comfortable,” he says. “That is exactly what a super rich person would say,” she says. He is the son of unimaginably rich parents, the wealthiest people on the island. Nick is prince charming, a good-looking heir to a fortune who downplays his status. “Damn, Rachel, says Goh Peik Lin (Awkwafina), “he’s like an Asian Bachelor.”
She is the Meghan to his Harry but there are problems. Catapulted into a world of opulence Rachel finds herself under scrutiny. Nick’s family doesn’t approve of her job, her background or the fact that a single mother raised her. “If Nick chooses me,” she says to his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), “he would lose his family. And if he chooses his family, he might spend the rest of his life resenting you.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” is an effervescent concoction so fizzy it’ll make your tongue tingle. A glittery surface built around a solid chassis, it contains a bit of something for everyone, from romance and Lifestyles of the Rich and Singaporean to melodrama and philosophy, from exotic locations to comedy. But at its heart it is the story of a woman, Rachel, who is secure enough in her own place in the world to not be seduced by the cornucopia of riches on offer. It’s about character and how it relates to individualism versus tradition.
The plotting is pure rom com—couple fall in love, are forced apart and (SPOILER ALERT ONLY IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A ROM COM BEFORE) yet find a way to make their love work despite all obstacles—but it is populated with appealing characters to guide the story.
Wu is the film’s beating heart, bringing empathy and humanity to the high-flying world portrayed. Ditto Gemma Chan, an extravagantly wealthy woman trying to make sense of a marriage torn apart by money and status. As Nick’s icy mother Michelle Yeoh displays an ability to reveal much by doing very little.
On the com side of things is Awkwafina as Rachel’s best friend. She steals every scene she’s in, even when up against veteran eye catcher Ken Jeong.
“Crazy Rich Asians” is an escapist fantasy that entertains with its labyrinthine soap opera twists and turns, lush settings and all Asian cast—a first in a quarter century in Hollywood—but also digs a little deeper into the similarities and differences between the characters and cultures.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk about the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming” and the rock ‘n roll biopic “Nico, 1988.”
The news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sudden passing was met with a heartfelt outpouring of grief from fans and those who worked with him.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation,” Lionsgate, the studio behind the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, said in a written statement. “We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
Hoffman played head -games-maker-turned-rebel leader Plutarch Heavensbee in the successful series. It is a pivotal role.
In the wake of the actor’s death, questions arose as to whether the uncompleted blockbusters-in-waiting would be completed in time for their scheduled November 21, 2014 for Part 1 and November 20, 2015 for Part 2 release dates.
Hollywood studios have handled the sudden death of cast members in many different ways. In some cases, films are even abandoned.
Production on Something’s Got to Give was shut down permanently after Marilyn Monroe’s August 1962 barbiturate overdose.
Dark Blood, River Phoenix’s final film, was put into cold storage when the young actor died before filming several crucial scenes. But both movies were eventually resurrected. The documentary Marilyn: The Final Days used footage from Monroe’s aborted film while Dark Blood sat for 19 years before being finished and shown at film festivals.
Father and son Bruce and Brandon Lee both died early, leaving behind unfinished films. The elder martial arts legend had completed 100 minutes of The Game of Death when a cerebral edema took his life.
Even more tragically, Brandon was killed on the set of The Crow in an accident involving a prop handgun.
Both films were salvaged with the use of stand-ins.
When Oliver Reed collapsed of a heart attack at a Malta pub after out-drinking a group of Royal Navy sailors, the editing crew of Gladiator replaced him digitally in the remaining scenes of the film.
More recently, Heath Ledger unexpectedly died during the production of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. He was replaced in the surreal story by three actors.
“I just started calling friends of Heath,” director Terry Gilliam said. “It’s as simple as that.”
“Johnny (Depp), Colin (Farrell) and Jude (Law) turned up. It was important that they were friends, because I wanted to keep it in the family. I wanted people who were close to him because, as Colin said when he was doing his part, he was channelling Heath part of the time, so Heath was very much still alive in some sense.
“Contractually, it was supposed to be a Terry Gilliam Film,” said Gilliam. “That’s what the lawyers said, but I said, ‘No way it’s going to be that. It’s going to be a film from Heath Ledger and friends.’ The cast sat around one night and that idea came up and I said, ‘This is it. Perfect. That’s how we do it.’”
As for the upcoming Hunger Games films, reports now confirm that Hoffman completed work on Part 1 and had just seven days left of shooting on Part 2.
His absence will not require any recasting, just a rewrite of one scene. And so Mockingjay Part 2 becomes the final film in Hoffman’s remarkable career.
“Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking,” reads a statement released by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, the films’ director Francis Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and star Jennifer Lawrence.