Posts Tagged ‘Rosie Perez’


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the wild “Birds of Prey,” the #MeToo drama “The Assistant” and the giddily gory “Come to Daddy.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the boundary pushing “Birds of Prey,” the #MeToo drama “The Assistant” and the giddily gory “Come to Daddy.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the emancipation of Harley Quinn in “Birds of Prey,” the timely messages of “The Assistant” and the father complex(ities) of “Come to Daddy.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


As “Joker” sweeps through Awards Season, scooping up a motherlode of Best Actor gold for Joaquin Phoenix, along comes the standalone story of the Clown Prince of Crime’s former female sidekick. “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” sees Margot Robbie revisit her unpredictable “Suicide Squad” character in an R-rated film that is part action, part comedy and all attitude. More in tune with the antics of “Deadpool” than the serious tone of “Joker,” “Birds of Prey” is a fourth-wall-breaking story that doesn’t feel like other superhero movies.

Picking up after the events of “Suicide Squad,” Gotham City has become a cesspool of crime. Batman has flown the coop leaving the city unprotected from the likes of crime lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). The baseball wielding Quinn has rid herself of her former “partner in madness,” the Joker—” I am so over clowns!” she says—and now travels with a new squad of vigilantes. “As it turns out, I wasn’t the only dame in Gotham looking for emancipation,” she says. Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) come together to help Harley protect Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), a young pickpocket who had the bad luck of coming into possession of a diamond ebcoded with a valuable secret, a secret Black Mask desperately wants. “I’m back on my feet,” Harley says, “ready to embrace the fierce goddess within.”

“Birds of Prey” is a story of survivors, of feminism, of tough women out on the town and it is the most fun DC has offered up at the movies. The stripped-down story sheds “Suicide Squad’s” nihilistic nonsense in favor of empowerment and general kick assery.

It gets off to a slow start, establishing the characters and situation, but erupts in the last third with bombastic action choreographed by director Cathy Yan and “John Wick” fight maestro Chad Stahelski. Forget the CGI finales of the Marvel Universe, this is blood-soaked up-close-and-personal stunt action with a wicked sense of humour.

Robbie has a gleeful, cheeky commitment to the character that sets the tone for the movie’s 80s new wave kaleidoscopic aesthetic. With a habit of settling disputes with a baseball bat to the groin she isn’t a role model but is unpredictable, scrappy fun to watch on screen. Ditto McGregor who actually seems to be having fun wearing Black Mask’s hyped-up wardrobe after a series of movies that have left his charisma relegated to the backroom.

“Birds of Prey” is loads of fun but manages to weave some serious ideas about not needing men to survive into the chaos. Most of all, though, it feels like a welcome antidote to the monotony of so many comic book inspired films.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the wacky and wild “Birds of Prey” and the timely #MeToo drama “The Assistant.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE COUNSELOR: 2 ½ STARS. “Bleak and hopeless, it’s an ice-cold crime drama.”

the-counselor10“The Counselor” is the feel bad movie of the year.

Bleak and hopeless, it’s an ice-cold crime drama that examines the reasons and consequences of crime instead of focusing on the crime itself. It’s a stylish cautionary tale about the worst of human behavior driven by greed, lust and hubris; a non-action, action movie where most of the fireworks are in McCarthy’s dialogue. Luckily actors like Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Rosie Perez and Michael Fassbender are there to keep the fuse lit.

In Cormac ‘No Country for Old Men’ McCarthy’s screenwriting debut he tells a gritty story about a greedy lawyer (Fassbender) in over his head after dipping his toe into the narcotics trade with charismatic drug lord Reiner (Bardem) and his sociopath girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz).

When the deal, smuggling carrying 625 kilos of cocaine from Mexico to Chicago, goes south after one “we’ve got a problem” phone call, the Counselor finds his life swirling out of control.

Spiraling around this grim vortex are womanizing middle-man Westray (Pitt), prison inmate Ruth (Rosie Perez) and the counselor’s long-distance girlfriend Laura (Penélope Cruz).

In “The Counselor” director Ridley Scott mutes his usual high-octane visual sense to focus on the words.

And there’s a lot of them.

Talky to the extreme, the entire movie is built around dialogue that sounds like it flowed from the hardest boiled crime writer out there, which I guess McCarthy is now that Elmore Leonard is working from his celestial typewriter. Catch phrases abound—“You don’t know someone until you know what they want,” for example—but it is wordy. Sometimes brilliantly so, but the pacing, particularly in the first hour, will be thought of as hypnotic by some, slow by others.

Scott takes his time creating tension in every scene, which really begins to pay off in the second hour when the themes of truth or consequences really start to pay off. “If you think you can live in this world and not be part of it, you’re wrong,” the Counselor is told, just after it’s too late to change his fate.

Or the most part the acting is top notch. Fassbender’s shift from confident criminal to a man who lands himself in a world of trouble after doing a good deed gives a nakedly raw performance. As his desperation grows his defenses drop and the weight of what he did in the name of greed crushes him.

Perez and Pitt (who’s in his “Killing Them Softly” mode here) are both fine, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else describing a “gynecological” love scene between a woman and a car with as much strange gusto as Bardem. “You see something like that,” he says, “and it changes you.”

These actors bring the words to life. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Diaz, whose cold-blooded take on the character is too detached to be truly effective.

Like “Killing Them Softly,” another thriller that relied on dialogue and ideas to provide the thrills instead of gunshots and explosions, “The Counselor” will polarize people. Some will find it a head scratcher, others will be drawn into its uncompromising look at life and death, cartel style.

Still others, like me, will be left half in, half out, wishing the film’s virtues—it’s dialogue and ideas—were propped up with just a bit more attention to plot and possibly some warmth. But the chilliness of the story and characters may be McCarthy’s point. Early on Malkina says, “I don’t think truth has a temperature,” which sums McCarthy’s ice cold look at primal, criminal behavior.