Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the feel good musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl” (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the big, splashy musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the joyful musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the big, splashy musical “In the Heights” (theatres and PVOD). the music doc “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Gir”l (VOD/Digital) and the crime drama “Akilla’s Escape” (VOD).
In director Charles Officer’s crime-noir “Akilla’s Escape,” now on digital & VOD, a drug robbery goes sideways, opening the door for the title character’s reckoning of his past, and the future of the young man who held a shotgun to his head.
Drug dealer Akilla (Saul Williams, who also composed the film’s score with Robert 3D Del Naja) wants out. Marijuana is about to become legal in Canada, but his days as a violent, mid-level drug runner are over.
His ‘retirement” is postponed when he walks in on the robbery of one of his boss’s operations. As shotgun and machete wielding gang members invade the place, Akilla locks eyes with Sheppard (Thamela Mpumlwana), the youngest of the thieves. As things turns violent, Akilla subdues the teenaged Sheppard, knocking him unconscious.
Instead of seeking revenge in the name of his employer, Akilla forms a bond with the young man, recognizing in Sheppard parallels to his own life and the trauma that put them both on the path to a life of violence.
“Akilla’s Escape” is a stylish crime story laced with social commentary. What it lacks in pulse racing action scenes, it makes up for with tense, tightly wound performances, illustrations of toxic masculinity and a nicely rendered story that jumps back and forth in time.
Taking on a double role, Mpumlwana plays both Sheppard and, in flashbacks, young Akilla. It’s a clever casting trick, but it works to skillfully reveal the similarities in their lives. The two characters may have been led down a similar path, but Mpumlwana’s work ensures the characters are distinct and interesting throughout.
The core of the movie is the rock-solid performance from Williams. World-weary and contemplative, he’s part criminal, part social worker and is the film’s heart and soul.
“Akilla’s Escape” is a study of how generational trauma and poverty shapes lives. It errs on the side of exposition in several scenes, but the power of the story lies in what isn’t said as much as what is. The film is at its best when Williams and Mpumlwana are showing, not telling. In those moments “Akilla’s Escape” is powerful, mature and impactful.
Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the murky depths of “Underwater” with Kristen Stewart, the family drama of “Rosie” and the gory good fun of “She Never Died.”
Check out episode three of my new web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet the director and star of the soon-to-be-midnight-movie-favourite “She Never Died,” Audrey Cummings and Oluniké Adeliyi. In my review I called this “a snazzy horror film with equal parts gore and gags… Come for the bloodshed, stay for the subtext.” Join us and find out about the virtues of vinegar water, making a movie in 15 days and how to pass the time during the pandemic. Come visit with us! In isolation we are united!
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 the deep sea adventure of “Underwater” with Kristen Stewart, the family drama of “Rosie” and the gory good fun of “She Never Died.”
“She Never Died,” a feminist riff on the 2015 horror-comedy “He Never Died,” and new on VOD this week, stars Oluniké Adeliyi as Lacey, an indestructible, immortal killing machine whose humanity makes her vulnerable.
Lacey lives on the streets, killing people she figures no one will miss, ie criminals. But she’s not trying to clean up the streets. Far from it. She hunts and kills the baddies for food. She gouges out eyes as entrees, and is always careful to remove the fingers for later. “They fit in my pocket,” she says. “And I need the bone marrow.”
When grizzled Detective Godfrey (Peter MacNeill) gets wind of her abilities—surviving a gunshot to the head—he makes an offer. If she’ll agree to rid the world of the evil brother and sister team of human traffickers (Noah Dalton Danby and Michelle Nolden) he’ll find her a decent place to hang her hat.
She agrees, and with the help of Suzzie (Kiana Madeira), a young streetwise woman rescued from a life of being sold by some very bad men, carnage ensues.
Canadian director Audrey Cummings has made a snazzy horror film with equal parts gore and gags. It’s not a horror comedy so to speak, but thanks to some clever scripting it’s a ton of fun with humor emerging organically out of the unusual situation. Combine that with the film’s brisk pacing and you have a movie that could become a midnight madness favorite.
“She Never Died” relies on some old school special effects to deliver the bloody stuff, but lo fi though they may be, they pack a punch.
The blood and guts are fine, but the movie’s strong point is Adeliyi‘s work as Lacey. Even though she only has a handful of lines the film passes the Bechdel test (the film features women who talk to each other about something other than a man) and proves that Adeliyi doesn’t need pages of dialogue to create a compelling character. When she isn’t in motion, killing the villains, Lacey’s scenes with Suzzie give the film subtext about surviving trauma and the power of community that deepen the story and the characters. Come for the bloodshed, stay for the subtext.
Despite its rather abrupt ending—perhaps it’s meant to whet the appetite for a sequel, but it feels incomplete—“She Never Died” distinguished itself as a good and gory character study with a style and feel all its own.