Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the bing-bam-boom of “Angel Has Fallen,” the culty thrills of “Ready or Not,” the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and the documentary “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the actioner “Angel Has Fallen,” the future cult classic “Ready or Not,” the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and the documentary “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including more-explosions-than-story action flick “Angel Has Fallen,” the cult classic to be “Ready or Not” and the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” with Dakota Johnson and Shia LeBeouf with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
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 the latest from Gerard Butler “Angel Has Fallen,” the future cult classic “Ready or Not” and the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” with Dakota Johnson and Shia LeBeouf.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the blow ’em up good “Angel Has Fallen,” the future cult classic “Ready or Not” and the sweetly silly “The Peanut Butter Falcon” with Dakota Johnson and Shia LeBeouf.
If action movies are the heavy-metal of the film world then “Angel Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler in his third turn as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, is the Ywengie Malsteen of the genre. It’s too loud, too frenetic with too many notes.
After years on the job Banning is starting to feel the wear and tear of protecting the president. Concussions have given him with migraines and insomnia. Getting knocked around by bad guys has left him with painful compressed discs, and his doctor is not hopeful. “You’re a disaster waiting to happen.”
Things aren’t much better at work. According to President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) the White House is, “leakier than a submarine with a screen door,” with top level info somehow making its way into the hands of nosy reporters. “I don’t know who to trust anymore,” says Trumbull. Of course, he trusts Banning, so much so he chooses him to head the massive security team accompanying him on a fishing trip. Out on the water it’s chilly, but idyllic until the hundreds of drones swoop in, wiping out the entire POTUS security detail except for Banning.
Later, in the hospital Banning is grilled by an FBI agent. “The president is in a coma and your whole team is dead. Tell me how that happened.”
Trouble is, he doesn’t remember and the FBI, who have discovered his DNA on launch controls, encrypted folders and a $10 million in an offshore bank, look at him as the sole suspect. “President Trumbull’s top guardian angel has fallen tonight,” screams a news report.
Banning has saved cities, rescued presidents but can he save himself? Cue the explosions and a rather memorable cameo from Nick Nolte as, what else, a grizzled old man.
“Angel Has Fallen” plays its hand at every turn, telegraphing the obvious, making sure the audience, who likely aren’t paying attention to the dialogue in anticipation of more explosions, get every detail. That means no suspense, just loud noises. Lots of them. Former stuntman-turned-director Ric Roman Waugh loves to blow things up, filling the screen with flames and your ears with booms. It’s the stuff of action movies, but when coupled with dialogue that sounds like it was run through the Cliché-O-Matic—”I’m not going to stop until I prove you really did this!”—the action is more of a distraction from the story than a compliment to it.
The film has under currents of social commentary. A bad guy bets on “making America strong again” and Danny Houston’s character, a war dog named Wade Jennings, ushers in a conversation on private soldiers, but neither are explored in any depth.
“Angel Has Fallen” has its pleasures. Nolte is a gas and fans of pyrotechnics will be satisfied but it feels more like a direct to steaming actioner than a big screen experience.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the Tina Fey dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the 80s action of “London Has Fallen” and the animated animals of “Zootopia”!
Richard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the Tina Fey dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the 80s action of “London Has Fallen” and the animated animals of “Zootopia”!
Last week as I fought traffic en route to a London Has Fallen screening, I tweeted from the back of a cab, “Out of my way people! I’m running late for a Gerard Butler movie!” It was a silly little joke, a comment to kill time as we idled in the morning rush hour.
The first response came in right away: “said no one, ever,” followed by a torrent of unexpected Butler hate.
One person called him a “bouncer actor,” whatever that means.
Another questioned his ability to effectively disguise his native Scottish accent and many people offered me their condolences.
Why the Butler bashing?
It’s true he is a frustrating movie star. He shares the usual leading man traits that have made Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio superstars.
He’s handsome, talented and built like an action star but he’s been done in time after time by poor choices.
Pitt makes Fight Club, Butler makes Law Abiding Citizen. Leo stars in The Departed, Gerard does Machine Gun Preacher. Years ago the website Gawker placed Butler on movie star probation, calling him a “professional bad decision maker” alongside notable career fritterers Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Travolta. A look at his IMDB page suggests they were on to something.
He’s a utility player, comfortable switching genres the way most of us change our socks. One minute he’s a romantic comedy star, the next he’s choking out bad guys on screen. He’s flirted with Shakespeare and provided voices for cartoons. He’s done sci-fi flicks, musicals and even a rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.
It’s not like he hasn’t enjoyed some very big hits. In 300 he (and his meticulously crafted six-pack) played King Leonidas, a Spartan who led 300 soldiers against the might of the Persian army. It’s the film equivalent of a heavy metal concert — loud, brutal and completely uncompromising — and it made him an action hero.
People have a soft spot for Dear Frankie, his breakout film and the one that turned him into a heartthrob with serious dramatic chops. The four-hankie U.K. tear-jerker about a single mother who resorts to trickery to keep the memory of her late husband alive in her son’s mind put Butler on the world stage.
Other box office bonanzas include playing a charming mobster in the violent Guy Ritchie flick RocknRolla and voicing Viking Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon.
It’s the other stuff that seems to rub people the wrong way. As a movie reviewer I can attest there are few English language words more terrifying than “New Gerard Butler Romantic Comedy” and I think it is those films that turned my Twitter followers against him.
He’s a good actor but his track record in the rom-com department is particularly grim. Critics hate these movies, calling the handsome Scottish actor’s attempts at mixing love and comedy, “instantly grating,” and “embarrassingly limited.”
But I come to praise Butler, not to bury him. Let’s give him another chance.
I made it to the London Has Fallen screening and can tell you it’s a pretty good action movie. Perhaps even good enough to erase the memory of The Ugly Truth or Playing for Keeps from our collective memories.