Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about how Mick Jagger singlehandedly made the Tequila Sunrise a staple on drink menus everywhere. Then they talk about “Dune” and “The Harder They Fall,” now playing in theatres.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including sci fi epic “Dune,” the wild Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King and the literary documentary “The Capote Tapes.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the much anticipated sci fi epic “Dune,” the wild Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King and the literary documentary “The Capote Tapes.”
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 much anticipated sci fi epic “Dune” and the neo-Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King. They also discuss the tragic incident on the set of “Rust” that took the life of director of photography Halyna Hutchins.
In the annals of the lore of the American West the names of Black cowboys like Nat Love and Rufus Buck don’t loom as large as Billy the Kid or Wyatt Earp. A new movie, “The Harder They Fall,” starring Jonathan Majors and Idris Elba, and now playing in theatres, aims to change that.
“While the events of this story are fictional,” reads an opening title card, “These. People. Existed.”
In real life Nat Love (Majors), Rufus Buck (Elba), Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), Jim Beckwourth (RJ Cyler) never crossed paths, but writer, director Jeymes Samuel imagines a revenge story that brings them all together in wild and increasingly violent ways.
The film’s story is put into motion when Love, as a child, sees Buck kill his parents. To finish off the heinous act, they let the youngster live, but carve a cross into his forehead.
Cut to years later. It’s the late 1800s and Love is now an outlaw, and gang leader. He’s a kind of Robin Hood who only robs people who rob banks. When he and his gang steal $25,000 Buck planned on using to fund a town for Black Americans, it puts the two men (and their gangs) on a bloody collision course.
As the final showdown between the hunter and the hunted nears, the film flips back-and-forth between the two groups, introducing the characters and, of course, gun fights, bank robberies, and bar fights.
Remember when you first saw “Reservoir Dogs” and it felt like you had entered a parallel universe? It felt familiar, yet new and exciting. That movie was a reimagination of what a gangster movie could be, and the first forty-minutes or so of “The Harder They Fall” gave me the same rush. It plays with many of the same elements we expect from a revenge style Western, but it feels fresh and daring. The cutting and pasting of styles, from classic Hollywood and bloody b-movies to the anachronistic dialogue and music and charismatic cast, it’s an exciting eyeful. Director Jeymes Samuel has reinvigorated the genre by telling the story through a Black lens, with plenty of stylised spaghetti western action and humour.
The rest of the film is a bit of a mixed bag. The story telling bogs down slightly in the middle leading up to the final shoot out, which has a body count that would make Tarantino proud. Keeping things interesting are the cast.
Cherokee Bill played by Stanfield, has a long scene on a train that makes you wish there could be an entire movie about this character alone. Stanfield’s laid back take on the stone cold killer who claims to abhor violence, but is quick on the trigger, is worth the price of admission alone.
Danielle Deadwyler as the androgynous Cuffee also warrants further exploration. A loyal sharp shooter, they get the job done, but there is a great deal of humanity tucked away under their thousand-yard stare.
At the center of it all is “Lovecraft County’s” Majors. He’s the engine that fuels the action, and it is his story that provides the emotional undercurrent beneath the bloodshed.
There are no actual heroes anywhere here, just interesting actors inhabiting outsized characters.
“The Harder They Fall” is a crowd pleaser that mixes and matches real life with fiction, tradition with innovation and does so with blood splattered panache.
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).
We’ll never know exactly what was said between Cassius Clay, Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X, soul singer Sam Cooke, and football superstar Jim Brown behind closed doors in a Miami hotel room on February 25, 1964, but a new film by Oscar winner Regina King in her directorial debut, offers up a fascinating what-if scenario.
Going into the boxing ring on that night against heavy weight champion Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay (Halifax-born Eli Goree), who had not yet officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali, was a 7-to-1 underdog. When the fight was over Clay was the youngest boxer to ever grab a title from a reigning heavyweight champion.
Helping him celebrate the landmark win are his three closest friends, mentor Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), hit maker Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and athlete Brown (Aldis Hodge). Convened at their Miami hotel on the warm February night, the foursome, all at turning points in their lives, share their thoughts, get heated, debate about how to end segregation, all with an eye toward the future.
That two of them would be murdered within the next year adds poignancy to an already charged conversation.
Cooke and Brown mull over career choices. A discussion of Cooke’s slick but conventional pop songs led to the writing and recording of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” one of the greatest anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. Brown, already a superstar on the football field, comes under fire for appearing in a movie Western called “Rio Conchos,” as a minor character, killed off early in the action.
Clay is celebratory, but plotting his next moves, both professionally and personally as he decides when to announce his conversion to Islam and his name change to Muhammad Ali.
The firestarter is X, the public figure under surveillance by the FBI, who encourages his friends to take a more militant stand, to use their celebrity and standing in a more meaningful way. He is the discontent, an activist who predicts hard times ahead.
“One Night in Miami” began life as a stage play by “Star Trek: Discovery” staff writer Kemp Powers, who also penned the movie’s script. As such, there’s a theatrical feel to King’s staging of the scenes, most of which take place in the hotel room. She has opened up the play, adding new locations and a series of vignettes at the beginning of the film, but this isn’t about action, it’s about the verbal fireworks of Powers’ script and authoritative performances.
It’s a snapshot of the cultural importance of this quartet; a history lesson made even more potent in the era of Black Lives Matter. “Power,” says Clay, “is a world where it’s safe to be ourselves.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Christian Bale as former vice president Dick Cheney in “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”