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.
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 crime drama “White Boy Rick,” the Nicolas Cage rage-a-thon “Mandy” and the thriller “A Simple Favor.”
In real life Richard Wershe Jr. lived twenty lives all before the time he could legally have a drink. As a teenage FBI informant he lived the high life before it all came crashing down. A new film, “White Boy Rick,” details his rise and terrible tumble.
14-year-old Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) a.k.a. White Boy Rick, lives with his father Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey),and older sister Dawn (Bel Powley) across the street from his grandparents (Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie) in 1980s Detroit. Despite the newly launched “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign crack is everywhere, seducing many in his neighbourhood.
Sr. is a small time dealer in illegal guns with aspirations of one day opening up a legit business. Before he can do that, however, Jr. is convinced to become an undercover agent for the FBI. If he snitches on local drug dealers, they say, the feds will leave his father’s operation alone. The teenager takes the deal and soon is dealing cocaine and rolling in cash. His run comes to a sudden end when he becomes a victim of the war on drugs. Arrested for drug possession of an enormous amount of cocaine the feds drop him like a hot potato and he is sentenced to thirty years behind bars.
There’s a lot going on in “White Boy Rick.” The main thrust of the story, Jr.’s rise and fall, is muddied by the addition of side characters. They’re often entertaining—particularly in the case of the grandparents—or unexpectedly touching—Powley nicely portrays Dawn’s fragility and descent into addiction—but feel like after thoughts in an already busy movie.
Newcomer Merrit and McConaughey have great chemistry. Merrit, found at a Detroit casting call, isn’t quite up to the emotional heights necessary for us to care about him but fares better when he’s required to swagger around the screen.
While overstuffed, “White Boy Rick” does give McConaughey a chance to act as anchor, deftly portraying his desperation for the American Dream while keeping his family together in the only way he knows how.
“White Boy Rick” nicely captures the grit of 1980s Detroit and makes a powerful statement of the failure of the war on drugs but despite the multi-pronged story and dramatic turns in Jr.’s life it never completely grabs our attention.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the crime drama “White Boy Rick,” the Nicolas Cage rage-a-thon “Mandy” and why Lady Gaga kissed him at the Toronto International Film Festival.