Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at the violent and visceral Viking drama “The Northman,” “The Bad Guys,” a heist flick for kids, the documentary “The Automat” and season two of “The Flight Attendant” on HBO.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the animated heist flick “The Bad Guys.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” the animated heist flick “The Bad Guys” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
“We may be bad,” says Wolf, in “The Bad Guys,” a new DreamWorks animated heist flick now playing in theatres, “but we are so good at it.”
Wolf, voiced by Sam Rockwell, leads a criminal organization of anthropomorphic animals, safecracker Snake (Marc Maron), master of disguise Shark (Craig Robinson), an apex predator of a thousand faces, Piranha (Anthony Ramos), a loose cannon with a short fuse and eight-legged tech wizard Tarantula (Awkwafina), who use their frightening reputations to strike fear into the hearts of their victims.
“Do I wish people didn’t see us as monsters?” asks Wolf. “Sure I do, but these are the cards we were dealt so we might as well play them.”
The gang is riding after a particularly daring bank robbery, but the wind is taken out of their sails when Governor Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz) shames them during a press conference, calling them second rate hacks, driven by anger, not intelligence. “They have all the classic signs of a crew in decline,” she says.
Her televised insults push the Bad Guys to plan the ultimate heist, the theft of The Golden Dolfin, a priceless award given to philanthropists and do-gooders. This year it will be awarded to Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), a hamster with a heart of gold.
When their heist goes sideways, the Professor Marmalade, from the goodness of his heart, makes a deal with the Bad Guys and the Governor. He will teach the reprobates to use the skills they developed being bad, to be good.
“Being good,” he says, “just feels so good and when you are good, you are loved.”
Question is, can these bad guys be rehabilitated, or is it time to take the “walking garbage” to the trash and lock them up forever?
Based on the New York Times best-selling graphic novel series by Australian author Aaron Blabey, “The Bad Guys” is kind of like “Ocean’s 11,” but for kids. The emotional undercurrents that Pixar weaves into their movies are missing, replaced with a snappy, stylish story that is more swagger than substance. The movie’s singular message—don’t judge a book by its cover—is a good one for kids, but it is hammered home with the subtly of a Don Rickles one liner. It’s a movie about not accepting stereotypes, that is ripe with stereotypes.
The animation is stylish, but not as sophisticated as we’ve come to expect from big screen offerings like this. Wolf’s fur is rudimentarily rendered and the overall look doesn’t have the zip of Pixar or other computer-generated films.
Having said all that, “The Bad Guys” succeeds through sheer strength of the characters and the humor in Etan Cohen and Hilary Winston’s witty script. There are silly characters kids will get a kick out of, like the flatulent piranha, coupled with jokes parents will appreciate.
Despite its shortcomings, in the end, “The Bad Guys” does good for the audience.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD and the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies.”
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 the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to kill time over the weekend including a new cooking show on Crave called “Selena + Chef,” the aspiring artists of Apple TV+’s “Little Voice,” the cocaine opera “Scarface” on Starz and the Disney+ talking animal movie for kids, “The One and Only Ivan.”
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 Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
“The One and Only Ivan,” the new talking animal movie debuting on Disney+, is based on the bestselling children’s novel of the same name written by K. A. Applegate, which was inspired by the life of Ivan, a real-life silver-back gorilla who lived, as an attraction, at shopping center in Tacoma, Washington, for 27 years.
Set in 1973, the movie begins with Ivan (voice of Sam Rockwell) as the star attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, run by Mack (Bryan Cranston), who does double duty as the big top ringleader. When Ivan isn’t locked away in a cage he’s performing to increasingly sparse crowds alongside an aging elephant named Stella (Angelina Jolie) or hanging out with his closest pal, a wisecracking stray dog named Bob (Danny DeVito). Most of the animals have no recollection of how they got there; this is the only life they have ever known.
When an abused baby elephant named Ruby (Brooklynn Prince) joins the circus, Stella looks after her and makes Ivan to take care of Ruby if she cannot. With the help of Ruby and Julia (Ariana Greenblatt), the daughter of the mall custodian, Ivan begins to look past his cage to rediscover his past and move Ruby and his other animal friends to the safety of a zoo.
“The One and Only Ivan” features solid CGI—the fur and feathers, so often a problem in films like this, look real—and good voicework from the star-studded cast— Helen Mirren, Ramón Rodriguez, “The Walking Dead’s” Eleanor Matsuura, Chaka Khan, “Hamilton” star Phillipa Soo and “Enlightened” creator Mike White—but it is the film’s messages that earn it a recommend.
The gently paced drama contains life lessons about leadership, treating all living creatures with kinship, love and respect and the value of promises. Best of all, it preaches and practices empathy for humans and animals. These are potent messages that all add up to the story’s main theme, that we can all make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
“The Only and Only Ivan” softens the character of Mack, dialing down the wrong doing he displays in the book. It leaves the film with a villain-sized hole but Cranston is, nonetheless, an engaging performer, even if it would have been fun to see a little more Walter White in his portrayal of Mack.
The movie may not be appropriate for all ages. The animals in captivity and other realities of life at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade are probably best suited for children in the middle grades and up.