Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Amazon Prime’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the Netflix animated movie “Over the Moon) and Crave’s joyful concert film “American Utopia.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix) and “American Utopia” (Crave).
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 “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix), “American Utopia” (Crave), “The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw” (VOD), “Rebecca” (Netflix) and “The Haunting of The Mary Celeste (VOD).
Glen Keane brings 43 years of Disney character animation experience to a new film now streaming on Netflix. From “The Little Mermaid’s” Ariel, “Beauty and the Beast’s main character—the Beast, not the Beauty—to the eponymous folks in “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” and “Tarzan,” he’s the Disney Legend who created some of the most indelible characters of several eras.
This week he turns his eye, as character designer and director, to “Over the Moon,” a fanciful animated musical loosely based on the Chinese legend of Chang’e, starring the voices of Sandra Oh, Phillipa Soo and Ken Jeong.
The action begins in modern China, four years after the passing of Fei Fei’s (Cathy Ang) mother. She’s smart, funny and a romantic who believes in the legend her parents told her about Chang’e (Phillipa Soo), the Moon Goddess who yearns to be reunited with her true love. Fei Fei is still grieving her mother’s loss when her father (John Cho) becomes involved with another woman Mrs. Zhong (Sandra Oh) and her 8-year-old child, Chin (Robert G. Chiu).
To prove that love is forever and that her father’s affection for Mrs. Zhong is misplaced, Fei Fei concocts a plan. She builds a rocket ship to visit the moon so she can get evidence of Chang’e existence to prove to her father that love burns eternal. Unbeknownst to her Chin stows away on the adventure to the moon that will help her appreciate what she thinks she is missing on Earth.
“Over the Moon” isn’t a Disney picture, but it feels like one thanks to the Keane touch. The familiar tropes, a deceased parent and adventure, are given a zippy new life with colourful, fun animation and some beautiful sequences like the cross cut between the CGI to the more traditional hand drawn animation in the telling of the legend. There are flashier more fluorescent sequences later on, particularly in the vivid and abstract Lunaria scenes, but the use of an organic style of animation to illustrate a time-honored story is the first of many of the film’s good decisions.
Also strong is the voice work. As Fei Fei, Ang is feisty and smart as a self-sufficient youngster on a journey of self-discovery. She is no damsel in distress, just a kid looking to make things right in her world. The supporting cast, like Margaret Cho in a dual role and Ken Jeong as Fei Fei’s sidekick Gobi bring the goods as does Soo, who earned a Tony nomination for her work on Broadway in “Hamilton,” but her work leads to one of the film’s minuses.
Soo is a great singer, and has one of the movie’s show-stoppers, a Broadway-by-way-of-Beyonce tune called “Ultraluminary,” but each of the songs feels tacked on in an effort to sell soundtrack downloads. A mix of show tunes, K-Pop and pop music, with the exception of “Rocket to the Moon” none of the tunes feel necessary.
“Over the Moon” is a beautiful movie that celebrates Chinese culture, tells a story of overcoming grief and has some great animation and while the main story beats feel familiar, the high gloss visuals are unpredictable and consistently interesting.
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector” and the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector,” the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” the Shakespeare update of “Measure for Measure” and the violent revenge film “Ravage.”
Heartbreak has been the catalyst for much great art. During a lull in her relationship with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo painted “The Two Fridas” depicting herself on one side with a full heart and with a gaping hole in her chest on the other. David Levithan’s “The Lover’s Dictionary” told a tale of heartbreak through a collection of dictionary entries and Taylor Swift has made a career turning her romantic anguish into art.
In “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” a glossy new rom com starring Geraldine Viswanathan playing in theatres this weekend, a young woman deals with romantic upheaval by turning heartbreak into an art gallery.
Viswanathan is quirky Brooklyn art gallery assistant Lucy, a romantic hoarder, not of hearts but of trinkets from all the men who left her forlorn. The mementos, stuffed animals, bicycle locks, candlesticks and more, clutter her bedroom, acting as a shrine to love gone wrong. Her roommates (Phillipa Soo and Molly Gordon) tell her she can’t have a good relationship “because she’s always mourning the past.” An ex says, “Every time I came over it was like hooking up in a mausoleum.”
When her boyfriend Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who is also her boss at a tony art Manhattan gallery, suddenly dumps her at a work event, she causes a scene and loses her job. “I know we have 10 years before we all drown in the melting ice caps,” she says before being escorted out, “but I swear the most precious resource is not the ozone. Oh no. It’s honesty.”
Single and unemployed she calls an Uber, jumps into the first car on the block and, in the kind of meet cute that only happens in the movies, meets Nick (Dacre Montgomery) who isn’t an Uber driver, but gives her a lift anyway. Turns out he’s about to open a boutique hotel and it’s there Lucy find purpose as the curator of the Broken Hearts Gallery, a space where people can deposit the detritus of past relationships, leaving behind the pain and moving on to the future. “There are broken people out there who need help moving on,” she says.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” is Generation-Y answer to “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Sex and the City.” It plays like a regular rom com with all the stuff we expect, the funny, raunchy best friends, the NYC setting (although whenever they step in doors it’s actually Toronto) and there’s even the predictable run through the rain as the beau declares his love.
What doesn’t feel conventional is Viswanathan’s performance. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is a showcase for the 25-year-old Australian actress’ considerable charisma, sincerity and comedy chops. The story and the surrounding characters feel interchangeable with other rom coms but Viswanathan makes this optimistic ode to empowerment a cute, feel good diversion.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend, including the screen adaptation of “Hamilton,” the semi-biographical “Shirley,” starring Elisabeth Moss and “American Woman,” a new take on the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst.
Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the much anticipated small screen version of the big Broadway hit “Hamilton,” the semi-fictional psychological drama of “Shirley” and “American Woman,” loosely based on the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst.