This week on the Richard Crouse Show Podcast we meet Jena Malone. She is a Golden Globe nominated actress known for her roles in “The Hunger Games” franchise and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” She returns to theatres and VOD in the critically acclaimed film “Lorelei.” The gritty story of a man released from prison after 15 years who reunites with his high school girlfriend, who is now a single mother of three, has been called a “moving character study” and that contains some of Jena Malone’s best work.
We’ll also meet author and a journalist Omar El Akkad. His novel “American War” was an international best seller that has been translated into thirteen languages. He returns to the best seller charts with “What Strange Paradise,” a new book that looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child.
Finally we chat with Spinmaster President, Jennifer Dodge. She’s the producer of “Paw Patrol: The Movie” and has been a part of the Paw brand since the beginning.
Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.
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Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the sickly but sweet “The Suicide Squad,” the family drama of “Lorelei,” starring Jena Malone and the inspirational sports film “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
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 Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater” and the gritty family story of “Lorelei.”
A gritty story of second chances, “Lorelei,” starring Jena Malone and Pablo Schreiber and now on VOD, pulls career high performances from its veteran leads.
Schreiber plays Wayland, a biker fresh out of prison after a fifteen-year stint for armed robbery. He kept his mouth shut, didn’t implicate any of his brothers and is welcomed warmly back into the fold. But the next day when he reconnects with Lola (Malone), his childhood sweetheart, he sees a way out of his old life.
They reconnect over drinks, and soon Wayland moves in with Lola and her three kids, Demin (Parker Pascoe-Sheppard), Dodger (Chancellor Perry) and Periwinkle (Amelia Borgerding), all named after different shades of blue. “Time goes fast,” she says. “Not in prison,” he replies. His readjustment into civilian life is rocky, despite his best efforts at holding a job and parenting Lola’s kids.
Money is tight and the lure of his old ways looms and as tensions rise at home, Lola attempts to fulfill a dream they had when they were young. Before prison. Before the kids. Before life’s curveballs.
“Lorelei” could easily have fallen into stereotypes, but director Sabrina Doyle avoids poverty porn to provide an authentic portrait of people struggling to keep their heads above water. The entire movie is on simmer, threatening to boil over at any moments, but the chaotic chemistry Malone and Schreiber keep the relationship interesting. Completing the picture are very strong performances from the kids, all newcomers, who provide the film’s best reason to care about the action on screen. Issues of gender identity and race within the children are handled with sensitivity and realism.
“Lorelei” was produced by the folks behind “The Florida Project,” another slice-of-life movie, ripe with struggle and strife. Like that Oscar nominated film, it shifts from pragmatism to whimsy in the third act, capping the gritty story of second chances with an endearing ending.
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 “Skyscraper,” the animated Adam Sandler flick “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” and the documentary “Whitney.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Skyscraper,” the animated Adam Sandler flick “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” the documentary “Whitney,” the biopic “Mary Shelley,” “Sorry to Bother You” starring LaKeith Stanfield and the comedy “The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger.”
Dwayne Johnson has saved his family from an earthquake, fought a volcanic demon and prevented a wild, overgrown ape from destroying Chicago. If you gotta life-or-death problem, yo, he’ll solve it. His new film may be his fieriest yet. “Skyscraper” sees him hundreds of stories above the earth, trying to save his family from certain death. Let’s see him revolve that.
Johnson is former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford. After an bomb blast left him with a prosthetic leg he went into business as a security expert for big companies. His latest gig takes him and family, including wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and twins, to Hong Kong where he will assess the security concerns for a building nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World. At three times the height of the Empire State Building, The Pearl is one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements, but is it safe? That’s what billionaire owner Zhao Min Zhi (Chin Han) wants to know. It’s the tallest most advanced building in the world, it’s a vertical city, but, as Ford says, “you have brought with it every single safety and security challenge I can think of. Not only have you brought them all indoors but you have trapped them 240 floors in the air, No one really knows what would happen if things go wrong.”
Of course things go wrong—there’d be no movie otherwise—when some terrible people sabotage the building’s security systems, starting a blaze on the ninety-sixth floor. Ford’s family is trapped above the fire line so our one-legged hero must rescue them while fighting the bad guys and convincing the cops the fire wasn’t his fault.
“Skyscraper” is the kind of over-the-top action movie that used to star Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. It’s a manly man movie that values sweaty action over narrative logic, rockin’ schlock over the laws of physics.
It’s Johnson in full-on the video-game hero mode. Fun to watch but whatever high wire antics he gets up to ultimately the stakes aren’t very high. (SPOILER ALERT) The Rock is not going to plunge to his death, leaving his family to become lumps of coal in the world‘s biggest inferno. “Skyscraper” is all about the stunts, the adrenaline and even then they give away the film’s best deed of daring do on the poster and in the trailer.
Johnson is charismatic, has a way with a line but here he is reduced to his most obvious asset, his over developed body, capable of superhuman feats of endurance and skills. He is Hercules a slab of grade A muscle who can power his way out of any situation, most often with a roll of duct tape in tow. (Begging the question, how much did the makers of duct tape pay in product placement. Not since “The Red Green Show” has the sticky stuff been so essential to the plot.) As a man of action he’s second to known, as a character in a film, however, he not as muscular. There’s not much to Will Ford—or any character here—other than a look of grim determination and a flex arm. Even the bad guy, Kores Botha (Roland Møller), is just a Hans Gruber wannabe but without the evil charm or nasty one-liners.
“Skyscraper” is a loud, over-the-top flick. The action may entertain the eye but with no characters to care about all that’s left are plumes of smoke and fire.