Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including the dystopian young adult drama “Chaos Walking” (PVOD), the true-life weed study story “The Marijuana Conspiracy” (VOD) and the documentary “Tiny Tim: King For A Day” (available across Canada in partnership with Yuk Yuk’s).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the dystopian young adult drama “Chaos Walking” (PVOD), the true-life weed study story “The Marijuana Conspiracy” (VOD) and the documentary “Tiny Tim: King For A Day” (available across Canada in partnership with Yuk Yuk’s).
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 dystopian young adult drama “Chaos Walking” (PVOD), the true-life weed study story “The Marijuana Conspiracy” (VOD) and the documentary “Tiny Tim: King For A Day” (available across Canada in partnership with Yuk Yuk’s).
On paper “Chaos Walking,” a new dystopian movie starring Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland and now on PVOD, seems like a can’t fail for sci fi fans. In execution, however, the story of a world where men’s thoughts are manifested for all to see, is a letdown.
Based on “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” the first book of the Patrick Ness “Chaos Walking” trilogy, the story takes place in the year 2557 in a place called Prentisstown on the planet New World. Colonized by refugees from Earth, New World’s original inhabitants, the Spackle, fought back, slaughtering many of the male settlers and all the women. The surviving men contracted something called “The Noise.”
“It happened when we landed on the planet,” says Mayor Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen). “Every thought in our heads is on display.”
Prentisstown residents, like Todd Hewitt (Holland), walk around with their thoughts exposed like wisps of multicolored cigarette smoke swirling around their heads.
When her spaceship crash lands on New World it leaves earth woman Viola (Ridley) stranded in this strange world. Todd, who has never seen a woman before, helps her navigate the dangers of her new home, as they both discover the deeply held secrets of New World.
“Chaos Walking” has ideas that feel ripe for satire, social commentary and drama but squanders them in favor of crafting a tepid young adult friendly dystopian story. Todd’s “Noise” reveals the kind of thoughts a teenager may have when first laying eyes on a girl, although in a g-rated fashion. His inner voice mumbles “Pretty” in Viola’s presence, but that’s about as deep into his psyche we get. It’s a shame because the “Noise” device could have been used to provide some much-needed humour into this earnest story. Or to more effectively drive the plot or the tension between the two characters. Instead, it is inert, a ploy to add some interest to a generic dystopian tale.
“Chaos Walking” was shot in 2017, deemed unreleasable, and has been fiddled with ever since. It hits PVOD as a film of unrealized potential, a minor footnote on the IMDB pages of its stars.
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Silence” from director Martin Scorsese, Hidden Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe and “A Monster Calls” with Liam Neeson.
Richard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, “Silence” from director Martin Scorsese, Hidden Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe and “A Monster Calls” with Liam Neeson.
Conor O’Malley’s (Lewis MacDougall) needs a friend. A sensitive child with a troubled home life, he’s being forced to deal with adult problems even though he’s only twelve-years-old. He is, as one character says, “too old to be a kid, too young to be a man.”
The young British boy’s troubles are many. His mother (Felicity Jones) has terminal cancer so he’s forced to move in with his strict grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). “If you get hungry there’s spinach in the fridge,” she says on the way out the door. “Don’t touch anything!” If that wasn’t bad enough his father (Toby Kebbell) lives in California and he’s the favourite of local bully Harry (James Melville). “I’m sorry you have to face this,” says dad, “but you have to be brave.”
One night at 12:07 he meets the friend he so desperately needs, a monster yew tree (voiced Liam Neeson) with roots for legs and long branches for arms. “I know everything about you,” he rumbles. “The truth you hide. The truth you dream.” Speaking in parables the giant tree tells Conor three stories to help him cope with the trauma in his life.
“A Monster Calls” is a quiet family drama about growing up and learning to grieve. It’s an intense topic and one that places it just outside of the kid’s entertainment category. An off-kilter tale that packs an emotional wallop in its final third, it defies expectations by allowing the characters to react in real ways. This is not sentimental fluff. Conor is in turmoil, plagued by nightmares of his mother’s grave and, as a result, lashes out in anger. It’s powerful and upsetting to see a young boy struggle with situations that he can barely understand let alone control.
At the heart of the story is Lewis MacDougall as Conor. He’s a child with an adult face that imbues the character with an unactorly authenticity that feels utterly real, even when he is talking to a giant tree.
Neeson’s voice is a thunderous roar that comes on strong but hides an undercurrent of tenderness and compassion.
“A Monster Calls” is a heartbreaking tale with a nightmarish climax that will be too intense for kids who may get wrapped up in the story. For everyone else it’s a fractured fairy tale with real insight and pathos.