This week on “The Richard Crouse Show”: You know Randall Park as Eddie Huang’s father, American restaurateur Louis Huang, in “Fresh Off the Boat,” for which he was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. He was Danny Chung on “Veep,” Kim Jong-un in the 2014 film “The Interview” and you’ve seen him on “The Office,” in “Trainwreck” plus the superhero movies “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Aquaman” among many others. He co-wrote and co-stars with Ali Wong in his latest Netflix movie “Always Be My Maybe.” In the romantic comedy they play childhood friends who have a falling out and don’t speak for 15 years. They reconnect as adults when Sasha runs into Marcus in San Francisco. Although the old sparks are still there, the couple live in different worlds.
“For actors of any colour, it’s a life of struggle,” he says. “Even making a living at this job is like hitting the lottery. Then, put on top of that being an actor of colour and being made aware of the limited kind of choices out there and the limited opportunities. I just knew it would be hard and, most likely, I wouldn’t be able to make a living just by acting. I would always have to have a part time job on top of that.”
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 sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries,” the family drama “Leave No Trace” and the love letter to one of Manhattan’s most famous hotels, “Always at the Carlyle.”
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 latest Marvel superhero flick “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries” and the glitz documentary “Always at the Carlyle.”
“Do you guys put the word quantum in front of everything?”
That’s the question Paul Rudd, playing Scott Lang / Ant-Man, asks in the new Marvel movie “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” Having seen the film I wonder why he didn’t speak up earlier, like when the screenwriters were scribbling about quantum physics, quantum realm, quantum void, quantum this and quantum that. These movies are supposed to be about a smart alecy guy who can shrink himself down to the size of an ant to solve crimes, not the Heisenberg principle.
The movie begins as Lang has just three days left on his house arrest following the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Trapped in his apartment he has a strange dream. He sees Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), wife of scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), mother of Lilly van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), trapped in the quantum wormhole she disappeared into three decades before. Meanwhile Hank and Lilly are perfecting a method to rescue their loved one from the quantum hike she now calls home. Trouble is, they can’t do it alone. They need any information that may be trapped in Rudd’s head and money from a grubby bad guy. Time is of the essence as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a spectral presence who can walk through walls, also seeks out Janet’s quantum power to heal her cellular disorder.
From the kitschy sounding title to the size-shifting characters to the scientific mumbo jumbo that takes up much of the screen time, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is a throwback to drive-in movies of the 1950s. It’s been updated with better special effects and more authentic sounding science jargon, but make no mistake, for better and for worse, this has just as much in common with flickers like “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “Them!” as it does with the Avengers. Like the 50s b-movies that were undoubtedly an influence, this is a loud-n-proud genre film but like many of the Avengers films that are part of the Ant-Man family, it is marred by excess. Too many characters, too many story shards—a rescue mission, two sets of baddies chasing down the quantum technology, a romantic subplot, a family film angle—too much exposition to much quantum theory.
There is a funny scene about an hour into the movie where Michael Peña, playing Lang’s former cellmate and current business partner, recaps the story so far. It takes two minutes, is laugh-out-loud funny and completely negates the need for much of the exposition—people in this movie love to ask things like, “What have you done?”—that comes before it. Move that to the beginning of the film and they could have saved pages of dialogue and juiced up the film’s fun factor by at least fifty percent.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp” does plough some new ground—it is the first time a female superhero’s name is in the title of an MCU film—but feels scattershot in its execution.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show guest host Ken Connors to talk about the small scale superheroes “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries,” the father and daughter drama “Leave No Trace” and the love letter to one of Manhattan’s great hotels, “Always at the Carlyle.”
A new(ish) feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” with Patrick Huard and Colm Feore, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, “Snatched” with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” with Patrick Huard and Colm Feore, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”and the sniper flick “The Wall.”
“Snatched” is a mother and daughter comedy. Sounds wholesome, right? Mom and daughter on holiday, but add in kidnapping, sex trafficking and manual tapeworm extraction and you have a raunchy comedy that plays like a cross between “Taken” and “Steel Magnolias.”
Amy Schumer is Emily Middleton, a sales clerk with no filter who over-shares with customers. On the eve of an Ecuadorian vacation her musician boyfriend (Randall Park) dumps her, leaving her with two plane tickets and a South American hotel with a king sized bed. Rather than cancel the trip Emily asks her divorced, retiree mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) to come along for the ride.
“Pack your bags,” Emily says, “we’re going to South America.”
“Everybody knows you need two years to plan a vacation,” says her cautious mom.
Linda is a worrywart, as uptight as Emily is free spirited. She’s the kind of person who triple locks her suburban doors and checks websites for nearby sex offenders.
To convince mom to come along for the ride Emily pulls the one card her mother can’t refuse. “The trip is non-refundable.”
In Ecuador Emily meets James (Tom Bateman), a handsome English man who sweeps her off her feet. On a day trip he convinces Emily and Linda to take the scenic route back to the hotel only to stand by as the women are abducted. Their captor is Morgado (Óscar Jaenada), a notorious gangster who holds them for $100,000 ransom. One daring escape later they are off on their own in the Columbian jungle, trying to make it to the American consulate in Bogotá. On their trip they are aided by Roger Simmons (Christopher Meloni), an explorer who seems to have just stepped out of a 1950 adventure film and two friends from the resort, Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and Barb (Joan Cusack).
Back home Jeffrey Middleton (Ike Barinholtz), Linda’s agoraphobic son convinces a reluctant State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin) to get involved.
At its dirty little heart “Snatched” is a movie about the importance of family, specifically the bond between mother and daughter but it’s not all sweetness and light. The film is inhabited by comic creations that are grounded enough to prevent the movie from careening into farce, but not so grounded that they can’t surprise us.
In her first movie role in fifteen years Hawn reminds us of what a gifted comedienne she is, spouting lines like, “I tell you when dad left I thought I’d never have sex again… and I was right,” with pitch perfect comic timing.
Schumer’s self-depreciating humour—“The sex traders want beautiful women. Your poufy faces will protect you.”—is relatable but it is her more subtle character work that really shines here. Little things, like the way she tries to take the perfect selfie, tell us everything we need to know about the self-indulgent Emily without a line of dialogue.
Sykes, Cusack, Barinholtz and Meloni all bring the funny in a series of off kilter cameos.
“Snatched” isn’t exactly a laugh-a-minute, it’s more a giggle followed by a laugh every few minutes but director Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies,” “The Night Before” and “50/50”) has a good grasp of the humour, action and mushy stuff, finding a pleasing balance between all three.