Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including including the silly and sublime “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” the road rage flick “Unhinged” and the anti rom, com, “Spinster.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the silly and sublime “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” the road rage flick “Unhinged” and the anti rom, com, “Spinster.”
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 wet and wild “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” the crazed driver flick “Unhinged,” the old codgers on a mission film “Never Too Late” and the anti rom com “Spinster.”
“Unhinged” is the kind of b-movie that normally would have gone straight to DVD or streaming but in our topsy-turvy pandemic world, where the rules are being constantly rewritten, the new Russell Crowe psychothriller is playing only in theatres this weekend.
Hairdresser Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is having a rough time. The young mom is in the midst of a brutal divorce and her brother and his girlfriend are unwelcome guests at her home.
Today she’s stuck in traffic and if things don’t get moving, she’ll be late for both an appointment with a client and dropping her son (Gabriel Bateman) at school. Pulling her Volvo tight behind an idling truck belonging to Tom Cooper (Crowe), she honks her horn and triggers an epic fit of road rage. “I need you to learn what a bad day is,” he says, “and I need you to learn how to say sorry.”
Subtlety, thy name is not “Unhinged.” From Crowe’s snarling, sweating psychopath and a bloody “courtesy tap” to emasculation and car crashes, the movie delivers a buffet of b-movie pleasures. Crowe spits out lines like, “I’ll make my contribution this day with violence and retribution,” and amps up the angry but like the movie itself, he’s one, loud note.
Director Derrick Borte begins the film with context, a long montage of current world ills, suggesting that things are falling to pieces because we lack civility, but then forgoes any kind of social commentary in a story that relies on shock and awe to fill the screen with violent images. At one point Cooper talks about being an “invisible” man and, after a diner scene, it’s clear he has no love for divorce lawyers, but that’s it for character development. He is simply a dangerous man who has been cut loose of the bonds of polite society.
In the relatively small sub-genre of Crazed Driver Movies—“Duel” and “The Hitcher” come to mind—“Unhinged” distinguishes itself by keeping the pedal to the metal without providing anything new in the way of thrills. As a study of an emasculated man seeking revenge it brings to mind “Falling Down,” Michael Douglas’ 1993 black comedy, except “Unhinged” is all darkness and no comedy.
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 Ryan Gosling’s as astronaut Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Ryan Gosling’s take on Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard has a look at Ryan Gosling’s as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Six years ago writer/director Drew Goddard deconstructed the slasher movie genre with the whimsical and exhilarating “Cabin in the Woods.” A mash-up of horror and humour, of post-modern self-awareness and gruesome gags, it simultaneously adopted and challenged the conventions of the slasher genre. He returns to the big screen—his day job is writing, producing and directing TV shows like “Daredevil” and “The Good Place”—with “Bad Times at the El Royale,” an inversion of a 1990s broken timeline crime drama.
The El Royale is the kind of seedy hotel that dotted the highways and byways of 1960s America. Split down the middle by the California/Nevada border, it’s a perfect slice of mid-century kitsch, like the same guy who decked out Elvis’s rec room designed it. When we first lay eyes on it a shady character (Nick Offerman) with a bulging suitcase and a gun wrenches up the floorboards and hides a case of money before replacing the carpet and the furniture. It’s an act that establishes the El Royale as a home-away-from-home for transients and ne’er-do-wells and sets up much of the action to come.
As for the action to come, you’ll have to go see the film to find out what happens. I will tell you that the film takes place ten years after the suitcase was hidden in the hotel and begins with a disparate group of folks checking in well after the El Royale’s heyday. There’s slick talking vacuum cleaner salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), Reno-bound singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a priest with tired eyes and hippie chick Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson). All three pay front desk manager Miles (Lewis Pullman) the $8 deposit and take to their rooms.
Secrets are revealed about the guests and the hotel as an aura of menace clouds the sunny California/Nevada border. “We’re in a bit of a pickle,” says Father Flynn in what may be the understatement of the year.
Goddard takes his time setting up the narrative drive of “Bad Times at the El Royale.” He bobs and weaves, playing with time, slowly revealing the intricacies of the story. For the patient—it runs two hours and 21 minutes—it’s a heck of a ride but may prove too opaque for casual viewers. Large conspiracies are hinted at, secrets are kept and no one is really who they seem to be. For those willing to submit to the grimly funny and admittedly indulgent proceedings, it’s a Tarantino-esque web of intrigue and unexpected violence that plays both as a crime drama and a metaphor for the decay of 1960s idealism.
“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a good movie filled with bad people. It asks you to care about people who do terrible things and by the end, thanks to inventive storytelling and good performances—Erivo is s standout—you just might.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Ryan Gosling’s giant leap as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”