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 “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of avarice and privilege, the mind-bending Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird” and the documentary “The Way I See It.”
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 twisty-turny Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of greed, the documentary “The Way I See It” and Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird.”
“Antebellum,” starring singer and actor Janelle Monáe in a dual role, is a horror film about the intergenerational impact of slavery.
At the film’s beginning Monáe is Eden, enslaved on a plantation at the onset of the Civil War. The plantation boss, Confederate Captain Jasper (Jack Huston), is a cruel drunk with a strict set of rules. He demands no talking and obedience “with a smile.” The cost of speaking out of turn or not working hard enough is misery. Forced to endure sexual exploitation, physical trauma and mental anguish, one night Eden shuts her eyes and goes to sleep.
When she awakens it’s 2020 and she is Veronica Henley, a famous writer on American race relations with a busy schedule that includes television appearance and live speaking engagements. Her latest work, “Shedding the Coping Persona,” a roadmap to revolution for historically marginalized people, examining the intersectionality of race, class and gender, is a hot button book that touches on some of the same concerns that plagued Eden’s life.
“Black women are expected to be seen and not heard,” she says at a conference. “To the patriarchy we’ve been practically invisible but their arrogance is their greatest vulnerability and our greatest opportunity.” She closes her speech with a quote from Assata Shakur, “The only thing that we have to lose are our chains.”
Although successful, wealthy and well-known, she is treated with condescension from everyone from a white television host to a hotel concierge, from a ghostly little girl in an elevator to a corporate headhunter (Jena Malone) who gives her kudos on her lipstick choice. “It compliments your skin tone,” she says. “I don’t think I could… pull it off.”
Eden and Veronica have a connection, brought forth in a ferocious climax, but there will be no spoilers here.
In a “Twilight Zone” finale “Antebellum” asks if Eden was a figment of Veronica’s imagination or vice versa. It’s hard to describe without giving anything away but the writing-directing duo of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz have done some of the work for me, foreshadow the ending throughout. For instance, at one point Veronica tells her friend Sarah (Lily Cowles), “Our ancestors haunt our dreams to see themselves more.”
“Antebellum” is a horror film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Instead, with a tip of the hat to Rod Serling, it blends social commentary on the legacy of American slavery with the supernatural to form a provocative essay on how the unresolved past can create turmoil in the present.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jee-Yun Lee to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the horror film “Us,” the romantic drama “The Aftermath,” the high tech tale of “The Hummingbird Project” and the indie “An Audience of Chairs.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Beverly Thomson to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Us,” Jordon Peele’s follow-up to the Oscar winning “Get Out,” the melodramatic love story “The Aftermath,” the high tech drama of “The Hummingbird Project” and “An Audience of Chairs” starring Carolina Bartczak.
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 the horror film “Us,” Jordon Peele’s follow-up to the Oscar winning “Get Out,” the melodramatic love story “The Aftermath” and the high tech drama of “The Hummingbird Project.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the doppelgänger danger of “Us,” Jordon Peele’s follow-up to the Oscar winning “Get Out,” the melodramatic romance “The Aftermath,” the high tech drama of “The Hummingbird Project” and “An Audience of Chairs” starring Carolina Bartczak with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Director Jordan Peele follows up the Oscar-winning success of his social thriller “Get Out” with a trip to the “Twilight Zone.” No, not his reboot of the famous anthology series (that will come to small screens later this year) but to a storyline he says was inspired by an episode of the Eisenhower-era show called “Mirror Image.”
According to Rod Serling’s original opening monologue when look-a-likes torment a young woman, “circumstances assault Millicent Barnes’s (played by “Psycho’s” Vera Miles) sense of reality and a chain of nightmares will put her sanity on a block.”
Peele updates the doppelgänger danger premise but also ups the horror elements to tell the story of a trip gone wrong for the Wilsons, overprotective mom Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), goofy dad Gabe (Winston Duke) and young kids Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex).
On vacation in Adelaide ‘s hometown of Santa Cruz, site of an upsetting incident when she was a child, the young mom is tormented the past. Her attempts to squash the unhappy memories have been unsuccessful and now she is troubled by the fear that something bad will happen to her family if they don’t pack up and head home. “I can’t be here,” she says. “It’s too much. I feel like there’s a black cloud hanging over me and I don’t feel quite like myself.”
Her worst nightmares come true when strange beings in red jumpsuits, carrying scissors, show up in their driveway. The really creepy part? They call themselves the Tethered because they look like each member of the Wilson family. When they invade the house, the horror is kicked up a notch or three. “They look exactly like us,’ says Adelaide. “They think like us. They know where we are. We need to move and keep moving. They won’t stop until they kill us… or we kill them.”
When the family first spies the mysterious family in the driveway Gabe puts on a brave face. “Let’s all stay calm,” he says. But this isn’t the kind of movie where people stay calm. Especially when feral shadow people with a grudge against anyone who grew up in the light are out for revenge. The Wilsons are a nice family confronted by something they could not imagine, let alone control. “How many of anybody are there going to be,” asks little Jason.
Peele proves, as if there was any doubt, that “Get Out” was not a fluke. He skilfully navigates “Us’s” story, establishing the Wilsons as a regular, likable family with a teen daughter prone to rolling her eyes and a father who’s always quick with a dad joke. When the going gets grim Peele uses ingenuity, humour, a creepy kid choral score and some very scary images to add life to what might have been a simple home invasion movie. From the opening scenes in a California carnival to an audaciously choreographed climax, Poole crafts a memorable horror film with a message.
For much of the film it’s the Wilsons against the world but soon the subtext sinks in. The Tethered aren’t exact replicas of the Wilsons, they are the Wilsons if they didn’t have advantages—education, money—and they are here to get what they think they deserve. It’s a gory take on class structure, on the chasm between rich and poor, between those with power and advantages and those without. It’s an outlandish story but the powerful message resonates in Trump era America.
“Us” is given it’s humanity by Nyong’o’s Adelaide. Even when she’s cracking heads with a fireplace poker she has compassion. She is by times a mom, a monster, a victim and the aggressor but never less than compelling. For too long women of colour have been dispensable in genre films. Nyong’o’s deft touch makes one hopeful for more colour-blind casting in the horror and fantasy genres, even if the overall tone of this film is one of hopelessness.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Us,” Jordon Peele’s follow-up to the Oscar winning “Get Out,” the melodramatic love story “The Aftermath,” the high tech drama of “The Hummingbird Project” and “An Audience of Chairs” starring Carolina Bartczak.