Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the family drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Anita Sharma to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
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 intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).
“Pieces of a Woman,” now steaming on Netflix, begins with happy, loving couple Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Shawn (Shia LaBeouf) on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives. In the scene, shot mostly in long takes, Martha is in labor, minutes away from giving birth to their daughter. With their midwife indisposed a replacement named Eva (Molly Parker), unfamiliar with their case, is sent in her place. By the end of the twenty five-minute pre-credit sequence tragedy has struck, and their lives are forever changed.
Director Kornél Mundruczó sets the bar very high in the opening moments of the film. It is riveting filmmaking, intimately showing Martha and Shawn’s anticipation, pain and anguish in real time. The bulk of the film deals with the aftermath as the couple are driven apart by grief and recrimination and it’s very strong, but cooler in tone than the opening.
It is interesting to note that “Piece of a Woman” was originally conceived as character sketches by Kata Wéber meant for the stage. You can feel the attention to detail that was lavished on each of the characters. They are richly drawn and carefully portrayed by the actors.
A trio of performances tell the story.
Kirby, best known as Princess Anne on “The Crown,” digs deep to create a portrait of a person devastated by the loss of her child; someone whose world stopped turning that day. As she looks for closure, there is an intensity that comes from her rage and sorrow manifesting themselves as heartbreak. It is layered, emotionally-draining, award worthy work.
LaBeouf plays Shawn as an attention hungry husband. A man trying to move on by forcing his attentions on Martha and when that doesn’t work, he looks elsewhere. LaBeouf is a bubbling cauldron of frustration, about to overflow.
As Martha’s mother, an imperious woman hell bent on assigning blame, Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force monologue about the way mothers raise their daughters that could be a short film all on its own.
“Pieces of a Woman” isn’t an easy watch. The performances are raw, real and uncomfortable that exhaust and exhilarate in equal measure.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the raunchy revenge flick “Ravage” and the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector” and the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”
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 the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” the gritty gangster flick “The Tax Collector,” the glossy rom com “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” the Shakespeare update of “Measure for Measure” and the violent revenge film “Ravage.”
No one will ever say that Shia LaBeouf isn’t committed to his art. He left behind a big-time career in blockbuster movies to concentrate on making smaller, more interesting films. For his latest role, a sociopath who says things like, “Do I have to kill anyone today? I have my nice shoes on,” he got a giant torso tattoo to help him find the character’s authenticity. That’s commitment. It’s a shame “The Tax Collector,” now on VOD, doesn’t make good use of LaBeouf or the tat.
Set in South Los Angeles, the movie follows David (Bobby Soto) and sidekick Creeper (LaBeouf), violent men who collect payments, or “taxes,” from 43 different street gangs for Wizard, an enigmatic crime boss currently residing as a guest of the state. They are feared and respected in equal measure but when Wizard’s old rival Conejo (Jose Martin) shows up after a ten-year absence, life on the street changes. Conejo and his deadly girlfriend (Cheyenne Rae Hernandez)—“She’s like the female you,” David says to Creeper.—plan on taking over, edging Wizard out. David can either sign on or face the grim repercussions for his loyalty to the old regime. When he refuses to kiss the ring and join the new family things get bloody. “Everything you love is going to die real fast.”
“The Tax Collector” is rich with details of gang life and atmosphere. Unfortunately, it’s also ripe with hackneyed depictions of the same. Director and screenwriter David “Training Day” Ayer replays themes of love, honor, loyalty and family that have been played to death (literally) in almost every gangster film ever made. It’s stylishly made but no amount of tricky camera angles will erase that sense of déjà vu.
It’s propped up somewhat by solid performances from Soto and LaBeouf, who, contrary to internet chatter is not playing a Hispanic character. Soto, as the family man with a dark side, shares good chemistry with LaBeouf in their chattier moments. Ayer perfected the riding-around-in-cars dialogue schtick in “Training Day” and uses they make the most of it here.
The movie’s biggest surprise is the casting of comedian George Lopez as David’s Uncle Louis, a garage mechanic with a violent past. He’s gutsy and gritty and in his limited time on screen makes an impression as opposed to Martin who plays Conejo with all the finesse of a pantomime villain.
“The Tax Collector” is a violent, gore soaked portrait of gang life with nothing new to say.
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 Shia LeBeouf’s semi-autobiographical story “Honey Boy,” the eco-doc “Spaceship Earth,” the period dramedy “Emma,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “The Assistant,” the family drama “Ordinary Love,” the horror comedy “Extra ordinary,” the ugly divorce proceedings of “Hope Gap” and the neo-realist look at the gig economy “Sorry We Missed You.”