Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at the new Idris Elba thriller “Beast,” the campy horror of “Orphan: First Kill” and Jamie Foxx, vampire slayer, in “Day Shift.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to buy a train ticket! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the man vs. nature thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” “Sharp Stick,” the latest from Lena Dunham, the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the man vs. nature thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
“Beast,” a new nature-gone-wild flick starring Idris Elba and a big, angry CGI lion, and now playing in theatres, is a throwback to man vs. beast movies like “Jaws” and “Anaconda.” “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says wildlife biologist Martin Battles (Sharlto Copely). “Multiple attacks, without eating its prey. Lions don’t do that. At least no lion I’ve ever seen.”
Elba is Dr. Nate Samuels, a recently widowed father of two teenage daughters, Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Jeffries). In an attempt to reconnect with his kids, he arranges a holiday to a South African wildlife reserve, run by Battles, a childhood friend of his late wife.
Daniels met his wife in South Africa, and, although he was separated from her when she passed, he wants his daughters to connect to their mother’s homeland.
The trip is idyllic until they arrive at a village that has been devastated by a gruesome lion attack. Soon, they meet the culprit, a wrathful male lion who regards all humans as enemies after his pride was wiped out by poachers. The lion is now fighting back.
“It’s the law of the jungle,” says Battles. “It’s the only law that matters.”
Elba hasn’t had great luck with felines on screen (see “Cats”), and faster than you can say, “Old Deuteronomy,” Samuels and family are engaged in a horrifying fight for their lives.
“It’s you against him,” says Battles, “and that is not a fight you are designed to win.”
As a thriller “Beast” is so predictable the subtitle could have been “Maul’s Well that Ends Well.” Nonetheless, Icelandic director Kormákur does stage a few straightforward action scenes in long takes that will make your blood pressure rise. The fight sequences in and around the jeep the main cast spends most of the film in, are claustrophobic and primal, with a real sense of danger.
Screenwriter Ryan Engle attempts to weave some father-daughter dynamics into the story, but we’re not here for the dysfunctional family stuff. We’re paying top dollar to see Idris Elba punch a lion in the face (before you @ me, these are CGI creations, no animal’s pride was harmed in the making of this movie) and so he does in fine b-movie style.
“The Ghost and the Darkness” this ain’t.
Between lion attacks, the silence is filled with a variety of dialogue that ranges from, “You stay right here,” to “We’ve gotta get out of here.” Elba does bring some emotive qualities to this action character, while Copely lends the story some grit. As the sisters, Halley and Jeffries bring a mix of steeliness and empathy. There is more to them than being scream queens on the Savannah.
“Beast” is not an ambitious film. It doesn’t have to be. It has Elba and enough angry animal action to make its 90 minutes fly by in the swipe of a lion’s paw.
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 “Paddington 2,” one of the most entertaining movies of the year, the train terror movie “The Commuter” and the family drama “Happy End.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at “Paddington 2, a movie Richard is already calling one of the best of the year, Liam Neeson’s long journey home in “The Commuter” and the ironically titled family drama “Happy Ending.”
Last year Liam Neeson announced his retirement from action films. “Guys I’m sixty-f******-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on!'” Then, just months later, he had a change of heart. ““It’s not true, look at me! You’re talking in the past tense. I’m going to be doing action movies until they bury me in the ground. I’m unretired.”
At an age when most action stars are staying home soaking in vats of Voltaren Neeson continues his tough guy ways in this weekend’s action thriller The Commuter. He plays an everyman caught up in a race-against-the-clock criminal conspiracy on his train trip home from work. Expect a mix of blue-collar action and Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.
It’s a perfect companion to the movies Neeson has made since his actionman breakout role. It all began with Taken in 2008. He played Brian Mills a former “preventer” for the US government who contained volatile situations before they got out of control. Now retired, when his seventeen-year-old daughter is kidnapped by a child slavery ring he has only 96 hours to use his “particular set of skills” to get her back.
He admits to being, “a tiny bit embarrassed by it,” but his burly build and trademarked steely glare made him an action star.
“Believe it or not, I have even had Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis calling my agent saying, ‘How do I get these scripts?’” he said on his sixtieth birthday.
Audiences ate up his rough and tumble work. His habit of paying the rent with chest-beaters like the Taken films, Battleship, Unknown and The A-Team led one macho movie fan to post this on Facebook:
“After watching the movie The Grey, I can only come to the (very logical) conclusion that Liam Neeson should be King of the Earth. Who’s better than Liam Neeson? Nobody. That’s who. Nobody.”
But there was a time when a kinder, gentler Neeson graced the screen.
His first film, 1977s Pilgrim’s Progress, was so low budget he played several characters. He’s credited as the Evangelist, a main character in John Bunyan’s Christian allegory, but can also be seen subbing in as the crucified Jesus Christ.
It was another supporting role in a movie called Shining Through that led to his breakthrough. In it he plays a Nazi party official opposite Michael Douglas. The performance so impressed Steven Spielberg he cast Neeson as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List, which turned him into an Oscar-nominated star.
He parlayed that fame into starring roles in period pieces like Rob Roy, Michael Collins (at the age of 43 Neeson was 12 years older than the real-life Michael Collins when he died) and Les Misérables. Then comedies Breakfast on Pluto and High Spirits showcased his more amiable side.
High on the list of his mild-mannered roles are two films with Laura Linney. He’s worked with her so often on stage and in the movies they joke they feel like “an old married couple.” They’re part of the ensemble cast of Love Actually and play husband and wife in Kinsey, about America’s leading sexologist Alfred Kinsey.
Neeson, it seems, can portray almost anything on screen but claims he doesn’t give acting much thought. “I don’t analyse it too much. It’s like a dog smelling where it’s going to do its toilet in the morning.”