Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
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 Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
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 Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video) and the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD).
“Songbird,” a new film produced by Michael Bay and now on premium VOD, feels ripped from the headlines.
Like, today’s headlines.
The first film to shoot in Los Angeles during the lockdown details life during COVID.
Set in 2024, during the fourth year of pandemic, COVID has mutated, leaving the United States under martial law were infected citizens are forcibly removed from their homes. Treated like walking, talking biohazards they are housed in concentration camps called Q-Zones.
Meanwhile, motorcycle courier Nico (KJ Apa) is immune. A recovered COVID patient, he has the antibodies to fight off the disease. When his locked-down girlfriend Sarah (Sofia Carson) is suspected of contracting the virus, Nico springs into action to save her from being taken away.
There are side characters galore, like Bradley Whitford’s sex-crazed record producer, a lovelorn veteran played by Paul Walter Hauser, Demi Moore’s protective mom and an over-the-top Peter Stormare as the evil head of the Los Angeles’ “sanitation” department–but most of them exist only to heighten the grim desperation of the situation.
“Songbird” isn’t a politicized screed about masks or the virus’ origin. Instead, it’s a star-crossed style romance—”You’ve never been in the same room,” says Sara’s mother, “but he loves you.”—set against the backdrop of the worst world event in decades.
It would be one thing if “Songbird” had something to add the conversation about COVID, but it doesn’t. Instead, it plays off our worst collective fears in clumsy and exploitative ways.
It’s likely to appeal to conspiracy enthusiasts who may finger their tinfoil hats in excitement at the mention of bracelets for “munies”—the immune—an unchecked department of sanitation who arrest at will, apps that will report you if your temperature is above normal and ever-present surveillance.
For those not inclined toward dystopian extremes, “Songbird” is a crass reminder of the real-life death, sickness, unemployment and heartache COVID has wrought. It feels tone deaf, and worse, it’s a bad movie.
Who says the “Alien” franchise is dead? Ridley Scott may have exhausted the storytelling possibilities of the original franchise but don’t tell that to Kristen Stewart and the annoying T.J. Miller, stars of the new thriller “Underwater,” a.k.a. “Aquatic Alien,” new this week on VOD.
Stewart is Norah an engineer working on a rig at the bottom of the ocean. She and the crew of nautical scientists, (Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, Gunner Wright and Miller) are at the mercy of the watery depths when an earthquake destroys their subterranean laboratory. As they fight for survival they discover they may have woken a fierce enemy. “This better not be some ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ crap,” says Paul (Miller).
On the ocean floor no one can hear you scream but we can hear lots of heavy breathing as the cast grunt their lines into their deep-sea diving suits.
“Underwater” is an ocean floor people in peril flick with loads of wet, claustrophobic atmosphere but little in the way of actual thrills. The earthquake happens in the opening minutes of the film, throwing the characters into danger right off the bat so we don’t get to know anything about them other than their “never say die” attitude and Norah’s wondrous ability to squeeze through very tight spaces before the bad stuff happens. There is no emotional connection, just characters navigating the murky depths with the occasional jump scare thrown in. The final showdown with the deep-sea beast has a certain majesty to it but by then echoes of better movies like “Alien,” “The Abyss” and ”Leviathan” have done in the film’s chances of making an impression.
Lots of movies have mined similar territory but the ones that stand out add something interesting to the mix. Unfortunately “Underwater” brings nothing new to the outer space/underwater monster genre.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Montreal morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the buddy comedy “Like a Boss” starring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne, the soggy horrors of Kristen Stewart’s “Underwater” and the gritty drama “Luba.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the Tiffany Haddish buddy comedy “Like a Boss,” the wet-but-not-wild “Underwater” starring Kristen Stewart and the family drama “Luba.”