Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Zuraidah Alman about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at “Eternals,” the latest from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana and “Finch,” a dystopian drama starring Tom Hanks and a robot.
Richard joins guest host Jim Richards and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about peanut butter flavoured rye, the strange history of the Long Island Iced Tea, one of the most dangerous drinks ever and reviews “Eternals,” “Finch” and “Spencer.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Eternals,” the 25th film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana and “Finch,” a dystopian drama starring Tom Hanks and a robot.
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Eternals,” the latest from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana and “Finch,” a dystopian drama starring Tom Hanks and a robot.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “Eternals,” the latest from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana and “Finch,” a dystopian drama starring Tom Hanks and a robot.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 guest host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “Eternals,” the 25th epic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spencer,” a heightened look at one awful weekend in Lady Diana’s life and “Finch,” the man and his robot movie starring Tom Hanks.
“Finch,” the new Tom Hanks dystopian drama now streaming on Apple TV+, feels like a mix of “Castaway” and “Short Circuit.”
Set in the near future, the movie takes place in a world where a catastrophic solar flare devastated the planet. 140° Fahrenheit temperatures are commonplace and most people are dead, burned to a crisp, leaving behind desiccated corpses. Those who are left, like Finch (Hanks) must scavenge for food and supplies. Finch, an engineer and inventor, lives in a bunker with his best (and only) friend, a cute dog named Goodyear.
When he isn’t driving around in his armored vehicle—a giant RV with solar panels—exploring the burned-out area around his home for any morsels that might have been left behind, he is working in the lab, building a robot.
Finch isn’t tinkering with the droid to pass the time. He’s sick, slowly dying of radiation poisoning and building a machine to care for Goodyear once he is unable.
Slapped together with spare parts, the robot (Caleb Landry Jones), with his elongated face and camera lens eyes, is a gangly contraption, childlike in his awareness of the strange new world to which he is introduced.
As Finch’s health worsens so does the situation outside his doors. As temperatures rise and the weather becomes more and more unstable, Finch, Goodyear and the robot, who goes by the name Jeff, hit the road headed toward San Francisco.
The trip is fraught with danger and made no less easy by Jeff’s learning curve. He’s not always the droid Finch is looking for. “I know you were born yesterday,” says an exasperated Finch, “but I need for you to grow up!”
Despite the high tech aspects of the story—the robotics and mysterious cause of the dystopia—“Finch” is an old fashioned movie. The action sequences are old school, man-against-nature style, as Finch and his rag tag team battle tornadoes, UV radiation and extreme weather in the hellish post-apocalyptic wasteland.
More than that, “Finch” is not really about the robot. It’s about making a connection, human or otherwise, determination and legacy.
Ensuring that the movie has some heart and soul is Hanks. He’s in virtually every frame of the film, and his empathic likability shines through. There’s not a lot of backstory—any background is told in the form of stories to teach Jeff a life lesson—but Hanks, through his expressive eyes provides all the details we need.
Landry Jones, in a motion capture performance, brings a great deal of heart and humour to the mechanical Jeff as he figures out the nuts-and-bolts of day-to-day life. The father and son bond between he and Finch brings both the joy and sorrow of relationships to the fore and goes beyond the usual buddy movie clichés into something deeper.
“Finch” is a different kind of post-apocalyptic movie. In fact, it may be the most jovial end of the world flick ever. Finch and Jeff lightheartedly joust back and forth, which leads to some sappy moments but at the end of the day it’s about their relationship. And let’s face it, if Hanks could make us care about a volleyball in “Castaway” he can make you fall for a CGI robot.
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 drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Theatres), the psychological thriller “St. Maud” (digital and on-demand), Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” (in theatres), the cheesy action flick “Skyfire” (VOD) and the dark comedy “Breaking News In Yuba County” (VOD).
Like Rodney Dangerfield, Sue Buttons (Alison Janney) gets no respect. In the new dark comedy “Breaking News in Yuba County,” now available on VOD, she discovers that with respect and unwanted attention comer hand in hand.
A help-desk operator, Sue is verbally abused by random callers, her half-sister Nancy (Mila Kunis) doesn’t remember her birthday and even shopkeepers talk down to her. “You’re important. You’re strong. You matter,” she says into the mirror, despite all the evidence to the contrary. When her husband Karl (Matthew Modine), who has been laundering money for crime boss Mina (Awkwafina), goes missing after a tryst with his mistress (on Sue’s birthday no less), people begin to take notice of Sue. Elevated to local celebrity status, Sue weaves a web of lies to keep policewoman (Regina Hall), deadbeat brother-in-law (Jimmi Simpson) and reporter Nancy from discovering what really happened to Karl.
“Breaking News in Yuba County” is part suburban satire, part character study. As a satire it aims to peel back the soft underbelly of big box stores, small town attitudes and middle-age angst.
As a character study, it follows Sue as she blossoms from wallflower into the anxious center of attention.
In a well-oiled machine, these two elements would sit comfortably side-by-side but here the satire doesn’t cut and the characters don’t compel.
The performances, particularly from Janney, tap every ounce of interest from the script, but the underwritten story from Amanda Idoko doesn’t dig deep enough for the satire. Mean spirited instead of insightful, it attempts the kind of juggling act Joel and Ethan Coen perform in films like “Fargo,” where crime, character and satire blend to unveil a more universal truth. Here, Sue’s search for acknowledgement and fame is as uninspired as her oft-repeated mantra, “You’re important. You’re strong. You matter.”