Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Stone’


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Joker,” Meryl Streep’s ”The Laundromat,” the family heist film “Robbery” and the dramedy “Sometimes Always Never.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Joker,” Meryl Streep’s ”The Laundromat,” the family heist film “Robbery” and the dramedy “Sometimes Always Never.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including controversial DC Comics flick, “Joker” and Meryl Streep heading an all-star cast in ”The Laundromat,” the family heist film “Robbery” and the dramedy “Sometimes Always Never” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the controversial rethink of one of DC Comics most enduring villain, “Joker” and Meryl Streep heading an all-star cast in ?”The Laundromat.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE LAUNDROMAT: 2 ½ STARS. “a starting point for more discussion and thought.”

Based on “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite” by Jake Bernstein “The Laundromat” chronicles the rot that festers on the corrupt body of our financial institutions.

Divided into chapters with names like “Secret Number One: The Meek Are Screwed,” “The Laundromat” is a funny, star-studded portmanteau of thematically linked stories involving tax loopholes, exploitation and financial malfeasance. “All these stories are about money,” says Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), “the secret lives of money.” Like “The Big Short” it takes the spoonful-of-sugar-to-help-the-medicine-go-down approach to telling a story so dripping with bile you have to laugh to stop from crying.

Meryl Streep is at the helm of this cinematic op-ed playing Ellen Martin, a steely woman whose husband’s death leads her by the nose into the world of fake insurance policies and a shady Panama City law firm run by slicksters Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Fonseca. The flamboyant represent “drug lords, sex traffickers and destroyers of the planet” and also colorfully narrate the action. “Tax avoidance and tax evasion,” says Mossack. “The line between them is as thin as a jailhouse wall.” They’re more interested in the shell companies they control that help line the pockets of their very wealthy clients than the regular Joes affected by their actions. “Bad is such a big word for such a small word.”

As the story splinters into chapters, cameos from Jeffrey Wright (as a secretive insurance broker), Nonso Anozie (as a billionaire who tries to buy his way out of trouble) and David Schwimmer (as a business person screwed by his insurance company) pile up, revealing personal aspects of the dirty business of money laundering. The story wanders here and there but Streep stays on course, lending this ragged movie a strong emotional core.

“The Laundromat” features lively performances—I’m looking at you Oldman and Banderas—timely commentary about whistleblowers and fraud and a rousing fourth-wall-breaking ending and yet, feels like less than the sum of its parts. Director Steven Soderbergh provides some well-crafted big moments but the stories are too far flung and too brief to inspire any real interest in the characters. They come and go with little development (save for Martin), often representing ideas rather than fully formed characters.

Streep plays a double role, an ill-advised choice that feels like a stunt and doesn’t lend much to the telling of the tale, but wraps things up with a wake-up call, asking basic questions—Who is accountable? Where and how do you get justice?—that put a period on this story but should be a starting point for more discussion and thought.

FADING GIGOLO: 2 STARS. “Woody Allen walks away with the whole thing.”

fading-gigolo-woody-allen-john-turturroIt would be easy to mistake “Fading Gigolo” for a Woody Allen film. First there’s the obvious stuff—it’s set in New York, has a jazz score, younger women flirt with older men and, of course, Woody is in the center of it all cracking wise.

But it’s not a Woody Allen film. It was written and directed by John Turturro, who is a formidably talented actor but as a director, suffers in comparison to his co-star and obvious inspiration.

Allen is Murray Schwartz, a New York bookseller—he sells “rare books for rare people”—is forced to close his store and let his single employee Fioravante (Turturro) go. Fioravante is a soulful jack-of-all trades, but master of none until he embarks in a new gig that suits him to a tee—gigolo. Murray becomes an unlikely pimp, setting Fioravante up with older, bored rich women (Sharon Stone and Sofía Vergara) who become smitten with his puppy dog eyes and sweltering sensuality. Trouble is, although his bank account is full, Fioravante finds the job personally unfulfilling. That changes when he falls for Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), the demure widow of a rabbi.

“Fading Gigolo” attempts to find the balance of humour, pathos and romance that seems to come so easily to Allen, but is more “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” than “Annie Hall.” From the sexual shenanigans of the gigolo scenes to the more repressed romance of the Avigal storyline, the muddled story fails to generate any real heat. Add to that a subplot involving Liev Schreiber as a neighborhood ranger with feelings for the widow who reports Murray for breaking Jewish law and you have enough stories for two movies crammed into one.

Performance wise, Turturro is so stoic it’s as if he’s planning the next shot in his head while also trying to act in the film, but Stone, Vergara, Paradis and Schreiber each have a moment to shine. Stone, playing a doctor with a philandering husband, becomes more than a stereotype as she quietly cries, from trepidation and nervousness the first time Fioravante stops by to ply his trade. It’s a revealing moment in a movie that could have used a few more of them.

Since this is a de facto Woody Allen movie it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Allen walks away with the whole thing. There is a thrill that goes along when he describes Fioravante as “disgusting, but in a very positive way.” It’s a Woody-ism that provides a whiff of nostalgia that makes the audience long for the good Woody Allen movies, not imitations like this one.


basicinstinct2pic1Basic Instinct II is the kind of movie that gives sequels a bad name. Made a decade-and-a-half after the original burned up cinema screens with Sharon Stone’s memorable, if naughty leg crossing scene, this follow-up is way past its expiration date.

Sharon Stone is the only member of the original cast desperate enough to reprise her role in this shabby excuse for a movie. She plays Catherine Tramell, the murderous writer from the first film, now living in London, and once again under investigation for murder. She manipulates her state appointed psychiatrist into becoming her sex slave and sucks him into a world of lies and deception. Tramell is a vixen who controls people with her sexuality and when that fails, an ice pick.

Stone appears to have torn a page from the soap-opera textbook of come-hither acting. Her forced attempts at sexiness don’t come off well—the bedroom eyes have seen better days—and she has zero chemistry with her co-star and on-screen boy-toy David Morrisey.

Stone’s performance is ridiculous but she is not helped by a script that requires her to intone some of the dumbest dialogue in recent memory. “Some guys are into blondes,” she says with a straight face, “and some guys are into killers.”

Basic Instinct II lacks the trashy verve that director Paul Verhoeven brought to the original. His sense of European eroticism penetrates every frame of the 1992 film shattering the political correctness of the time and drawing people into an unapologetically brutal and lurid world. The original was dirty, controversial, wickedly funny and established Sharon Stone the “it” girl of the early nineties. The sequel is dull and should make Stone a favorite at this year’s Razzie Awards.

Simply put, Basic Instinct II basically stinks.