Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to pull a rabbit out of your hat! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the romantic fantasy “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” the Stallone superhero flick “Samaritan” and the vampire bride flick “The Invitation.”
Richard sits in on the CKTB Niagara in the Morning morning show with guest host Stephanie Vivier to talk the new movies coming to theatres. This week we look at the romantic fantasy “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” the Stallone superhero flick “Samaritan” and the vampire bride flick “The Invitation.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the romantic fantasy “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” the Stallone superhero flick “Samaritan” and the vampire bride flick “The Invitation.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 guest host Dave Kaufman on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the romantic fantasy “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” the Stallone superhero flick “Samaritan” and the vampire bride flick “The Invitation.”
There was a time when, to be a hero, all Sylvester Stallone had to do was go a few rounds with Ivan Drago.
How times have changed.
In “Samaritan,” Stallone is a hero of the super variety. He has exceptional strength, is able to jump through walls, bound over lakes of fire and absorb high octane gun fire.
He even has a catchphrase, “Have a blast,” but Marvel, this ain’t.
“Samaritan” is the kind of off-brand superhero flick that used to decorate the shelves at Blockbuster. These days, you’ll find it streaming on Amazon Prime.
Set in Granite City, the movie takes place twenty-five years after the city’s protector, Samaritan, disappeared in the wake of the fight with his enemy Nemesis, opening the door for baddies like Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), who could pass for “Lost Boys” era Kiefer Sutherland, and his gang of ultraviolent goons to take over.
Imagine “The Warriors” but with masked heroes and supervillains.
Unemployment and poverty are on the rise. “It’s only a matter of time until the city implodes,” screams one newscast.
Granite City is also home to teenager Sam (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton), described by his single mom (Dascha Polanco) as “good, but a little lost.” Sam is obsessed with the story of Samaritan, and is convinced his neighbor, a garbage man named Joe Smith (Stallone), is the superhero in hiding.
Joe denies any connection to the missing crime fighter. “Samaritan is dead,” he grunts. “I just pick up garbage.” But when Sam witnesses Joe survive almost getting snapped in half by a brutal car attack, he is more convinced than ever that his neighbour has special powers.
Over time a father-son bond develops between them and when Cyrus calls for a violent revolution—actually just rioting and looting—Sam pleads with Joe, “You’re the only one who can help.”
Question is, will Joe be able to clean the streets of crime or just pick up trash?
“Samaritan” has a distinct early 90s vibe. There is an undeniable nostalgic rush to the movie’s low-tech effects, villains who cackle with glee at every evil deed and city on the edge vibe. It’s the stuff of George H. W. Bush era direct to video flicks and put me in the mind of the days when I watched movies, rented for a day or two, on rickety old videotapes.
That being aid, “Samaritan” is set-your-expectations-low enjoyable. It is a hoot to hear Stallone explain the biometrics of his superhero body, and even as a lumbering superhero who eats his morning cereal with apple juice, and is afraid to jump off a building out of concern for his knees, the man formerly known as Rocky is a fun watch.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies to watch this weekend including the inspired-by-true-events drama “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Prime Video), the Netflix action flick “Outside the Wire” (Netflix) and the young adult drama “Words On Bathroom Walls” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray).
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 inspired-by-true-events drama “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Prime Video), the Netflix action flick “Outside the Wire” (Netflix) and the young adult drama “Words On Bathroom Walls” (EST, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray).
“Outside the Wire,” a new futuristic Netflix movie starring Anthony Mackie, is a run-of-the-mill action flick with more bullets than ideas.
Set in 2036, as “Outside the Wire” begins there is a violent civil war in Eastern Europe. The United States are there as peacekeepers, using robotic soldiers called Gumps to battle a ruthless warlord called Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbæk), the Terror of the Balkans, who may possess a doomsday device. In the midst of this conflict is Lieutenant Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), an U.S.-based drone pilot who makes the difficult, long-distance decision to sacrifice two Marine lives to save thirty-eight others. Instead of being commended for saving lives, an ethics committee sends him to a demilitarized zone in Eastern Europe to experience real combat up-close-and-personal.
He’s assigned to work with Captain Leo (Mackie), a hardnosed veteran who’ll show him the ropes. “War is ugly,” Leo says. “Sometimes you gotta get dirty to see any real change.” The twist is that Leo is only five years old. And no, before you ask, this isn’t a militaristic riff on “The Boss Baby.” Leo is a biotech android, a one-man militia, designed to be smarter, faster and more efficient than everyone else. “My existence is classified,” he tells Harp as they head off on a mission to deliver a vaccine to a cholera break twenty clicks outside the wire. The operation is partly humanitarian, and partly to act as a cover to meet an informant with intel on Koval’s whereabouts.
“Outside the Wire” is a slick mish-mash of “iRobot,” “Chappie” by way of “The Terminator” and modern war movies like “The Kingdom.” The derivative story is a delivery system for a series of clichés, large scale battle scenes and nifty special effects.
The social commentary on the ethics of using drones during wartime and what constitutes acceptable collateral damage feels blunted by the movie’s propensity to blow away soldiers and civilians alike with what must be the highest body count in a movie so far this year. It’s an important and ongoing discussion in the real world but don’t look for answers here, just giant fireballs and the rat-a-tat-tat of automatic weapons.
When the bodies aren’t dropping, the clichés are. It’s as if Leo’s speech functions were programmed by a bot who had watched a 1000 hours of 1940s war movies. He does, however, occasionally deliver a fun line. “I’m not an idiot,” says the “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” star. “That would make me human.”
“Outside the Wire” is a noisy time-waster that could have used some outside the box thinking to make its shop-worn story more effective.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the return of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” the sub-sub-sub-sub genre of Nazi zombie movies and “Overlord,” the sun dappled noir “The Padre” and the historical drama “Outlaw King.”