Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the film that will likely earn Lady Gaga an Oscar nomination, “A Star is Born,” Tom Hardy’s dual role in “Venom” and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as the titular “The Sisters Brothers.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star is Born,” Tom Hardy’s dual performance as man and beast in “Venom” and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as deadly bounty hunting siblings in “The Sisters Brothers.”
Richard has a look at Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star is Born,” Tom Hardy’s alien tongue in “Venom” and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as bounty hunting siblings in “The Sisters Brothers” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
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 “A Star is Born,” Tom Hardy’s dual role in “Venom” and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as the titular “The Sisters Brothers.”
Based on a historical novel by Canadian-born author Patrick deWitt “The Sisters Brothers” is a buddy Western that, for better and for worse, doesn’t rely on the clichés associated with buddy flicks or Westerns.
Set in 1851 Oregon, “The Sisters Brothers” tells parallel stories. First we meet the brothers, Eli (Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix). The pair are bounty hunters and all-round thugs for hire, currently working for a mysterious Oregon City mob boss known only as the Commodore (Rutger Hauer in a wordless cameo). “You do realize our father was stark raving mad and his foul blood runs in us,” Charlie says to his big bro. “Its why were good at what we do.” Violent and ruthless, wherever they go a heap of sorrow is left behind.
Their latest job is to meet detective John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is to hand off Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), a chemist-turned-gold-prospector who has developed a formula to make searching for gold a scientific rather than physical procedure. It’s a chemical mixture that, when poured in the river, lights up the gold. All you have to do is reach in and pick it up
It’s a get rich quick scheme and the Commodore desperately wants to get his hands on it. Warm’s ultimate goal is much more pure. He has visions of using the gold money to create a new society in Texas that favours nonviolence, education and true democracy. Morris the hunter becomes the hunted when Warm appeals to his better nature. Moved by warm’s plea—“The Sisters will cut off my fingers, burn my feet,” he says—Morris becomes a business partner. The big question? What will happen if and when the Sister Brothers catch up with them?
The four leads play tough guys and cowboys who spend as much time discussing their feelings as they do firing their guns. The brothers have daddy issues—he was a violent alcoholic—while Morris hated his father for any number of sins, both personal and professional.
The brothers bicker constantly. Eli, a great lummox who, at first glance seems ill suited for the job at hand and yet never hesitates to shoot an adversary in the head, is sensitive and wants to settle down. Charlie, on the other hand, is a wild card, with a hair trigger and a more limited idea as to what the future may or may not bring.
The conversations range from heartfelt to funny and are the engine that propels the action. There are shoot-outs and horses and all the other tropes of the genre but this story is actually about the guys, not their actions. A John Wayne oater this ain’t. Instead it is a movie that explores the masculine bond that lies at the heart of so may westerns but is never fully explored.
“The Sisters Brothers” is a story about family, purpose and male bonding made human by a sensitive performance from Reilly (who also produced) and his chemistry with Phoenix. It’s a buddy flick and a Western but it’s also more than the sum of its parts.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the film that will likely earn Lady Gaga an Oscar nomination, “A Star is Born,” Tom Hardy’s dual role in “Venom” and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as the titular “The Sisters Brothers.”
CHIPs: It’s a remake, a comedy and an action film and yet it doesn’t quite measure up to any of those descriptors. It’s a remake in the sense that writer-director-star Dax Shepard has lifted the title, character names and general situation from the classic TV show but they are simply pegs to hang his crude jokes on.
The Circle: While it is a pleasure to see Bill Paxton in his last big screen performance, “The Circle” often feels like an Exposition-A-Thon, a message in search of a story.
The Fate of the Furious: Preposterous is not a word most filmmakers would like to have applied to their work but in the case of the “Fast and Furious” franchise I think it is what they are going for. Somewhere along the way the down-‘n’-dirty car chase flicks veered from sublimely silly to simply silly. “The Fate of the Furious” is fast, furious but it’s not much fun. It’s an unholy mash-up of James Bond and the Marvel Universe, a movie bogged down by outrageous stunts and too many characters. Someone really should tell Vin Diesel and Company that more is not always more.
Fifty Shades Darker: Depending on your point of view “Fifty Shades of Grey” either made you want to gag or want to wear a gag. It’s a softcore look at hardcore BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) that spanked the competition on its opening weekend in 2015. Question is, will audiences still care about Grey’s proclivities and Ana’s misgivings or is it time to use our collective safeword? “Fifty Shades Darker” is a cold shower of a movie. “It’s all wrong,” Ana says at one point. “All of this is wrong.” Truer words have never been spoken.
The Mountain Between Us: Mountain survival movies usually end up with someone eating someone else to stay alive. “The Mountain Between Us” features the usual mountain survival tropes—there’s a plane crash, a showdown with a cougar and broken bones—but luckily for fans of stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet cannibalism is not on the menu. Days pass and then weeks pass and soon they begin their trek to safety. “Where are we going?” she asks. “We’re alive,” he says. “That’s where were going.” There will be no spoilers here but I will say the crash and story of survival changes them in ways that couldn’t imagine… but ways the audience will see coming 100 miles away. It’s all a bit silly—three weeks in and unwashed they still are a fetching couple—but at least there’s no cannibalism and no, they don’t eat the dog.
The Mummy: As a horror film it’s a meh action film. As an action film it’s little more than a formulaic excuse to trot out some brand names in the kind of film Hollywood mistakenly thinks is a crowd pleaser.
The Shack: Bad things in life may be God’s will but I lay the blame for this bad movie directly on the shoulders of director Stuart Hazeldine who infuses this story with all the depth and insight of a “Davey and Goliath” cartoon.
The Snowman: We’ve seen this Nordic Noir before and better. Mix a curious lack of Oslo accents—the real mystery here is why these Norwegians speak as though they just graduated RADA—Val Kilmer in a Razzie worthy performance and you’re left with a movie that left me as cold as the snowman‘s grin.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: Movies like the high gloss crime thriller “La Femme Nikita,” the assassin mentor flick “Léon: The Professional” and outré sci fi opera “The Fifth Element” have come to define director Luc Besson’s outrageous style. Kinetic blasts of energy, his films are turbo charged fantasies that make eyeballs dance even if they don’t always engage the brain. His latest, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” not only has one of the longest titles of the year but is also one of the most over-the-top, retina-frying movies of the year. Your eyes will beg for mercy.
Wonder Wheel: At the beginning of the film Mickey (Justin Timberlake) warns us that what we are about to see will be filtered through his playwright’s point of view. Keeping that promise, writer, director Woody Allen uses every amount of artifice at his disposal—including cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s admittedly sumptuous photography—to create a film that is not only unreal but also unpleasant. “Oh God,” Ginny (Kate Winslet) cries out at one point. “Spare me the bad drama.” Amen to that.
Song to Song: I think it’s time Terrence Malick and I called it quits. I used to look forward to his infrequent visits. Sure, sometimes he was a little obtuse and over stayed his welcome, but more often than not he was alluringly enigmatic. Then he started coming around more often and, well, maybe the old saying about familiarity breeding contempt is true. In “Song to Song” there’s a quick shot of a tattoo that sums up my feelings toward my relationship with Malick. Written in flowery script, the words “Empty Promises” fill the screen, reminding us of the promise of the director’s early work and amplifying the disappointment we feel today. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back, the Terrence Malick movie that put me off Terrence Malick movies. I’ll be nice though and say, it’s not him, it’s me.
EXTRA! EXTRRA! MOST COUNFOUNDING
mother!: Your interest in seeing “mother!,” the psychological thriller from “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky, may be judged on your keenness to watch American sweetheart Jenifer Lawrence flush a beating heart down a toilet. Aronofsky’s story of uninvited guests disrupting the serene lives of a poet and his wife refuses to cater to audience expectations. “mother!” is an uncomfortable watch, an off-kilter experience that revels in its own madness. As the weight of the weirdness and religious symbolism begins to feel crushing, you may wonder what the hell is going on. Are these people guilty of being the worst houseguests ever or is there something bigger, something biblical going on?
Aronofsky is generous with the biblical allusions—the house is a paradise, the stranger’s sons are clearly echoes of Cain and Abel, and there is a long sequence that can only be described as the Home-style Revelation—and builds toward a crescendo of wild action that has to be seen to be believed, but his characters are ciphers. Charismatic and appealing to a member, they feel like puppets in the director’s apocalyptic roadshow rather than characters we care about. Visually and thematically he doesn’t push button so much as he pokes the audience daring them to take the trip with him, it’s just too bad we didn’t have better company for the journey.
“mother!” is a deliberately opaque movie. Like looking into a self-reflective mirror you will take away whatever you put into it. The only thing sure about it is that it is most confounding studio movie of the year.
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Dunkirk,” the year;’s first serious Oscar Best Picture contender, Luc Besson’s retina frying “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and David Lowery’s eerie love story, “A Ghost Story.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Dunkirk,” the year;’s first serious Oscar Best Picture contender, Luc Besson’s retina frying “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and David Lowery’s eerie love story, “A Ghost Story.”