Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the new Spike Lee Vietnam epic “Da 5 Bloods,” the Pete Davidson semi-autobiographical story “The King of Staten Island” and the latest from Disney+, “Artemis Fowl.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including Pete Davidson’s semi-autobiographical “The King of Staten Island,” the AMC game show scandal series “Quiz” and the latest from Disney+, “Artemis Fowl.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the new Spike Lee joint “Da 5 Bloods,” the Pete Davidson semi-autobiographical story “The King of Staten Island,” the absurdist dramedy “It Must Be Heaven” and the latest from Disney+ “Artemis Fowl.”
“Artemis Fowl,” a fantasy film streaming on Disney+, is brand spanking new but there’s a feeling of déjà vu that hangs over the entire film. Adapted from the beloved books by Eoin Colfer, the movie feels like an expensive mix-and-match of “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.”
Newcomer Ferdia Shaw is Artemis Fowl Jr., a poor little rich kid and budding criminal mastermind with the sartorial sense of Will Smith in “Men in Black” and an IQ that would give Einstein a run for his money. When his father (Colin Farrell) is kidnapped, the youngster, along with his trusty bodyguard Domovoi Butler (Nonso Anozie), and some help from elf reconnaissance officer Holly Short (Lara McDonnell) and Josh Gad as Hagrid wannabe Mulch Diggums, sets off on a quest to locate him. To pay the kidnapper’s ransom Artemis and Company must infiltrate the mysterious underground world of fairies, led by Commander Root (Judi Dench), and take charge of the Aculos, the fairies’ most coveted magical apparatus. “Artemis,” says Domovoi, “it’s time to face your destiny.”
Question is, Will young Arte’s brains be a match for their fairy magic? There’s more but further details involve major spoilers.
Fans of the books take note, “Artemis Fowl’s” origin story takes liberties with the books. Both Holly Short and Mulch are allies from the get-go and daddy Fowl didn’t turn up until the second book in the series.
Structural changes aside, the film adaptation lacks much of the charm of Colfer’s writing. It does capture Artemis’ growth from innocent unaware of the world of magic and intrigue his father operates in, to almost anti-hero, but despite large scale set pieces and many action scenes it feels been there, done that.
Director Kenneth Branagh has crafted a handsome but generic fantasy film, complete with “Avengers” style special effects and a sweeping soundtrack that feels like the set-up to a franchise and not a stand-alone story. If you don’t believe me, check out Artemis’ last line in the movie. “We have some unfinished business.” It’s like a ninety-minute trailer for the next instalment.
“Artemis Fowl” may survive to have more on-screen adventures, perhaps filling the hole for fantasy fans left by the absence of “Harry Potter” movies, but next time around fewer special effects and more personality would help.
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 Wrinkle in Time,” “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and “Meditation Park.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the highly anticipated “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.
What was it like working with Oprah? That’s the question Deric McCabe, the nine-year-old star of A Wrinkle in Time, has been asked most often since he started doing press for the new film.
The Whitefish, Mont., native has nothing but praise for the icon but adds she didn’t awe him. “I didn’t know who she was,” he says, “so I didn’t get starstruck or anything. Every day I said, ‘Good morning,’ then goodbye. I said everything to her.”
McCabe plays Charles Wallace, a precocious, intelligent child whose father, astrophysicist Alex Murry (Chris Pine), disappeared through a “wrinkle in time” when the boy was very young. Charles believes he can help locate his dad with the help of three astral travellers, Mrs. Which (Oprah), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).
Guided by the trio of spirit beings, Charles, his sister Meg (Storm Reid) and their friend — and Meg’s crush — Calvin (Levi Miller) ascend to the universe in search of Alex. In their celestial travels they meet a helpful seer called the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis), talking flowers — “Everyone knows the flowers are the best talkers,” says Mrs. Whatsit — and the universe’s most evil entity. They will learn life lessons along the way that may — or may not — reveal what happened to their dad.
McCabe beat out thousands of other child actors for the role of Charles Wallace. A November 2016 entry on his Instagram shows him doing “a little happy dance” when director Ava DuVernay called to tell him he’d won the part.
“Deric worked hard for this,” reads the post, “Hours of auditions, callbacks, meetings interviews… 17 page, 5 page, 3 page, 21 page scripts to learn overnight…while continuing to spend time with family, do his regular chores, and excel in school. He prayed, remained patient, and was persistent.”
“The trick is you can be nervous,” he says of the audition process, “you just can’t show it. You put a straight face on. You can’t fake smile, like you’re nervous. You can’t wave nervously. You have to act confident.” As for all the memorization? “It is kind of easy remembering all those lines. I don’t know why.”
The youngster is working alongside established stars like Winfrey, Witherspoon, Kaling and Galifianakis but it was while watching another performer that the acting bug bit.
“When I was six I saw Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers and I thought, ‘I want to do that,’” McCabe says. “My parents were super supportive. They were like, ‘OK,’ and made it happen and here I am!”
The busy preteen is already winning praise for his performance in A Wrinkle in Time and will soon star opposite Luis Guzmán in the music industry drama Hold On.
“I think I know more about sets and acting than when I started,” he says. “I like how you get to act like a different person every day. That is pretty cool. You get to meet new people.”
Looking back at his A Wrinkle in Time experience, McCabe singles out a scene where his character’s personality changes as his favourite.
“I liked the evil Charles Wallace because I got to do things a regular kid wouldn’t get to do like drag his dad, his sister and her friend down a hallway.”
The last time someone tried to adapt Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel “A Wrinkle in Time” for the screen the author herself was not impressed. “I have glimpsed it,” she said of the 2003 TV movie, “I expected it to be bad and it is.”
The novel’s mix of science fiction, math and spiritualism is intoxicating on the page but the story’s trip through time and space, heavy on symbolism. alien life and pop psychology has rumoured to be an unfilmable fantasy. Fans of the book will find out this weekend if Ava DuVernay, Oscar nominated director of “13th” and “Selma,” can bring the wonder of L’Engle’s vision to the screen.
Like many Disney movies “A Wrinkle in Time” begins with the loss of a parent. Husband and wife Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine) and Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are astrophysicists and loving parents to Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Alex is determined to push the limits of their research, to find a wrinkle in time that could propel them to the ends of the universe. One night, alone in his laboratory he discovers the wrinkle and, just like that, he’s gone.
Cut to four years later. Meg’s sunny disposition disappeared with her father. “What would happen if your father walked through the door,” asks her principal. “The world would make sense again,” she replies.
Charles Wallace has grown into a precocious, intelligent child who believes he can help locate his father with the help of three astral travelers, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).
Here’s where it gets trippy.
Guided by the trio of spirit beings Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend—and Meg’s crush—Calvin (Levi Miller) ascend to the universe in search of Alex. In their astral travels they meet a helpful seer called the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis), talking flowers—“ Everyone knows the flowers are the best talkers,” says Mrs. Whatsit.—and the universe’s most evil entity. Meg will learn life lessons along the way that may—or may not—reveal what happened to her dad.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is a big, colourful and complicated movie with a simple moral. Love conquers all. Like all fantasy the story isn’t really about the tesseract, fifth-dimensional phenomenon time travel or any of that, it’s about fundamental truths, self-worth and the struggle between good and evil. Director Ava DuVernay wrestles all these themes and more into the film, which occasionally feels more interested in the visuals and ideas than it does with the story. The movie’s many moving parts and heaps of CGI overwhelm but DuVernay gets much right as well.
Casting wise, the success or failure of “A Wrinkle in Time” hinges on the kids. In Reid, DuVernay found a young actress capable of portraying Meg’s complexity, from her struggle to fit in to her very relatable flaws. She’s heroic but also a real girl in an unreal situation and Reid breathes life into her.
As Charles Wallace, the precocious preteen whose personality takes a turn for the worse in outer space, McCabe brings a weight to the character that feels beyond his years.
The trio of aliens are vividly portrayed by Winfrey, Witherspoon) and Kaling who impart wisdom and smooth the way for Meg’s emotional journey but I found their somewhat psychedelic presence distracted from the telling of the tale.
“A Wrinkle in Time” contains good messages for kids and some visuals that will make your eyeballs dance and it is made with heart but—there’s always a ‘but’ when I discuss this movie—it feels like it bites off more than it can chew.