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.”
Richard joins 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 Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage homage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
Watch Richard review three movies in less time than it takes to sign your name! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the violent and visceral Viking drama “The Northman,” the surreal Nic Cage movie “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the nostalgic documentary “The Automat.”
There is perfect casting and then there is Nicolas Cage, playing a heightened version of himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a meta new action comedy now playing in theatres.
Off screen Cage is a larger-than-life character, an Oscar winner known for his penchant for purchasing dinosaur skulls, tax troubles and wildly uneven cinematic output. He brings the weight of that public persona to this movie, making myth out of his own legend of self-indulgence.
Cage plays Cage as a faded Hollywood prince. Once a box office draw, he’s down on his luck, going broke and in need of a big money gig. He has become the White Claw of serious actors. He’s good, but no one with taste is taking him seriously.
Producers, scared off by his wild-at-heart reputation, give him the Hollywood kiss off. We love you, but are going in a different direction.
Depressed, he decides to leave Hollywood. “I’m done,” he says. “I’m quitting acting. Tell the trades it was a tremendous honour to be part of storytelling and myth-making.”
Before he leaves the life, he gets an offer he can’t refuse. Olive magnate Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) will pay Cage a million dollars to attend his birthday bash in Mallorca. The actor reluctantly agrees, and soon finds himself drinking and cliff-diving at Javi’s beautiful estate.
Javi is a huge fan, with a collection of cage collectibles. “Is this supposed to be me?” cage asks, gesturing at a statue of himself. “It’s grotesque. I’ll give you twenty thousand for it.”
Turns out the starstruck Javi isn’t what he appears. “Do you know who you’re spending time with?” CIA agent Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) asks Cage. “He’s one of the most ruthless men on the face of the earth.” They think Javi kidnapped the daughter of the president of Catalonia to influence an upcoming election.
Vivian and Agent Martin (Ike Barinholtz) recruit Cage to work undercover on Javi’s estate to get to the bottom of the case. “That little girl doesn’t have anyone,” says Vivian, “and if you leave, I don’t know what will happen to her.”
It’s a chance to do some good, but for Cage, it is also the role of a lifetime.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is an entertaining, oddball movie. Essentially a one joke premise—i.e.: Cage as Cage—it plays with the tropes of many of Cage’s films, but doesn’t play as strictly homage or satire. It’s something else. What, exactly, I’m not quite sure.
It’s almost as if this is Nic Cage’s screw you to the folks who deride him for being a working actor who pumps out two or three movies a year. “I’ve always seen this as a job, as work,” he says, as though he feels bogged down by the weight of the critical appraisal of his artistic choices.
But this isn’t a movie about score settling. It’s a silly action comedy, unabashedly interested in entertaining the audience. It occasionally errs, mistaking familiar references from Cage’s filmography for jokes. It’s that “meme-ification”—the pinpointing of Cage call-backs—of the film’s humour that prevents it from becoming a knee slapper all the way through. There are laugh out loud moments, but there are more moments that feel more Instagram ready than cinematic.
Still, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a good time, worth the price of admission to see young Cage advising older Cage and commit the most surreal example of actorly self-love ever seen on film.
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 psychological drama “The Lodge,” the poignant Brit com “Military Wives,” the Netflix comedy “The Lovebirds,” the family drama “The Roads Not Taken” and the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon comedy “The Trip to Greece.”
There is a certain kind of British feel-good movie that, while predictable, still packs an emotional punch. Movies like “The Full Monty” and “Calendar Girls” are underdog tales, filled with colorful characters and improbable situations, yet, somehow, they rate a fist pump in the air by the time the end credits roll.
“Military Wives,” starring Kristin Scott Thomas and coming this week to VOD, is cut from that same cloth. A story of resilience tempered with large dollops of sentimentality, it’s a heartwarming drama about the healing powers of friendship and music.
Based on the BBC docu-series “The Choir,” the film is set at a small military base outside London. The year is 2011 and Kate (Thomas) has just said goodbye to her husband (Greg Wise) as he left for Afghanistan for the fifth time. It’s more poignant goodbye than usual as it is the first deployment since the death of their son, a soldier who perished while in service.
Meanwhile, Lisa (Sharon Horgan) the base’s welfare officer, in charge of coming up with ways to keep the wives and partners of the soldiers occupied and entertained. At one meeting, however, Kate takes over. “Let’s come up with some exciting activities to do while our service people are away.” The idea of forming a choir is raised and implemented, which only amplifies the differences between the laidback Lisa and hard-driving Kate. “This reminds me of when my parents got divorced,” says one choir member as Lisa and Kate passive-aggressively jab at one another in rehearsal.
The early practices do not yield musical result. They sound “like the incantations of a bunch of witches,” says Lisa, but with time a bond forms between the members, both personally and musically. These women, who live in fear of a bad-news phone call or knock at the door, find strength together and when tragedy strikes the choir becomes more important than ever. “You may not need the choir Lisa,” Kate says, “but those women do.”
Nothing in “Military Wives” will come as a surprise. Beat for beat it echoes the ups-and-downs of “The Full Monty’s” moments of triumph and tragedy. Peter Cattaneo directed both, and while it feels a bit been there, done that, I’d add, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Predictability is “Military Wives’” biggest sin. But the familiarity is blunted by the performances—Thomas expertly portrays the bubbling anger and heartbreak hidden behind Kate’s smiling façade—inspirational messages of comradery and the way it portrays the women’s strength in the face of grief and loss.
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 the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.