Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the family friendly “The War with Grandpa,” the hilarious “The Forty Year Old Version” on Netflix and “Percy,” the farming drama starring Christopher Walken.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
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 kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
Depending on which way you look at “The War with Grandpa,” a new family comedy starring Robert De Niro and now playing in theatres, it’s either about a child trying to assert some kind of control in his life or a gruesome exposé of elder abuse.
Based on the children’s book of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith, “The War with Grandpa” is far more family-friendly than “Dirty Grandpa,” De Niro’s other ancestral comedy. The Oscar winning actor plays Ed, an old codger who gets arrested after causing a scene at the self check out at his local grocery store.
Widowed and out of step with the times—he can’t figure out how to swipe on an iPhone—his daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) decides it’s time he moved in with her family, husband Arthur (Rob Riggle) their two daughters and son Peter (Oakes Fegley). Trouble is, there’s no room. Grandpa can’t handle the stairs to the basement apartment. Ditto the attic loft so Peter is forced to give up his room and he’s not happy about it. The youngster declares war, pulling a series of escalating pranks on his grandfather designed to force him out of the room. Trouble is, grandpa fights back. “We’re in the middle of a turf war over a bedroom,” Ed says.
“The War with Grandpa” is part “Home Alone,” part “Jackass” but with an old guy. The warfare consists of slapstick gags mixed with the story’s easy sentimentality—Peter says, “I love you grandpa… but the war is still on.”—and adult diaper jokes. In other words, it is exactly what you imagine it will be.
De Niro does a riff on his tough guy persona, tempered with age and humour, that the film hopes will inevitably become endearing. That there are no surprises will be comforting to some happy to see old school stars like De Niro, Thurman, Cheech Marin, Christopher Walken (whose collective careers don’t exactly scream family entertainment unless you are the Addams Family) and Jane Seymour have some juvenile, if forgettable, good fun on screen. Just don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before, except, perhaps the tacked on anti-war message near the end.
“The War with Grandpa” is a harmless family film but the movie lover in me couldn’t help but cringe just a bit watching “The Deer Hunter” co-stars De Niro and Walken return to battle against a bunch of tweens.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including strange and beautiful period drama, “The Favourite,” the critic’s favourite “Roma,” the zombie musical “Anna and the Apocalypse,” the animated “Henchmen” and the documentary “Almost Almost Famous.”
Every now and again when I’m at the movies a deep-rooted feeling of ennui sneals up me. That, “What the heck am I doing wasting my time watching ‘insert title here?’ It has only swept over me a handful of times usually in what I call Seatbelt Movies, films so uninspired I need a seatbelt to keep me from fleeing the theatre.
That familiar creeping feeling came over me during a recent screening of “Henchmen,” a new superhero animated film starring the voices of James Marsden, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Jane Krakowski and Rob Riggle. I stayed, trapped by professional duty to make it to the end credits, but it tested my patience in ways few other movies have.
“Silicon Valley’s” Thomas Middleditch is Lester a self described comic book nerd and orphan. On his sixteenth birthday he auditions at the Union of Evil—“The best of the worst!”—only to be assigned Henchman Third Class. A janitor. His dream of one day making his super villain persona, The Orphan,” a reality will have to wait. He’s assigned to Hank (Marsden), a disgraced former First Class henchman (he was too nice a guy to be bad), now pushing a mop. On a visit to the Vault of Villainy Lester accidentally winds up wearing an old super villain suit. Taking advantage of Lester’s newfound powers Hank sees a way to change his life. Using Lester’s ray gun hands he tries to free a chip of What-ifium—a substance that can change the past—from a giant crystal block. Before he can go back in time mega-baddie Baron Blackout (Alfred Molina), who put me in the mind of Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions impersonation, asserts his intention to take over Super Villain City. Will the What-ifium save the world and make all their dreams come true?
There’s more—a team of superheroes called the Friendly Force Five, and a goopy gangster called Gluttonator who wants to use radioactive cheese to bring his foes to their knees and shouts “What the feta??!!” when his plan goes south—but why prolong this any more than I have to?
Set to a soundtrack of sound-alike classic rock songs “Henchmen” is about as imaginative as you can expect from a movie where all the criminals live in a place called Super Villain City. From the uninspired voice work to animation that looks like next wave cheapo Hanna-Barbera style animation without any of the organic charm, “Henchmen” is little more than a collection of cartoon clichés. Very small children might find distraction in the colourful design or the bullet proof underpants or the ‘Bad guys always lose’ moral but all others beware.
I took no joy in writing this review but then again I could find no joy in “Henchmen” either.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the animated Yeti tale “Smallfoot” and the GED comedy “Night School” starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.