Posts Tagged ‘Shohreh Aghdashloo’

CTV NEWS AT 11:30: MORE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS TO STREAM THIS WEEKEND!

Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend including the musical  drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence” and the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 18:50)

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR JULY 31!

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and drive-ins including the musical  drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the soulful drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE CUBAN: 3 ½ STARS. “a story that brims with music and heart.”

A testament to the healing power of music and friendship, “The Cuban,” now playing at drive ins, makes the most of strong performances from Louis Gossett Jr., Shohreh Aghdashloo and “Degrassi: The Next Generation” alum Ana Golja, to tell a story that brims with heart.

Golja is nineteen-year-old Mina Ayoub, a pre-med student who gave up her dream of becoming a musician after she was orphaned in Afghanistan and sent to Canada to live with her aunt Bano (Aghdashloo). In Afghanistan Bano had been a doctor, but, stropped of her credentials when she immigrated, she now works as the administrator of a long-term care home. Her dream is to see her niece practice medicine, but Mina dreams of the long-ago days she and her grandfather would make music together.

Working at the care home, Mina meets Luis (Gossett Jr.), an elderly man in the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Nearly catatonic, he is non-communicative, staring blankly into space, until Mina hums a familiar jazz tune. He responds, and soon she creates her own brand of musical therapy to help Luis remember his past. And what a past. He tells her of his career as a famous musician in Cuba and the love of his life Elana. Despite objections from the other care home staff who think Mina is overstepping medical boundaries, she continues out of affection for Luis who reminds her of her musical grandfather.

“The Cuban” could easily have been too earnest by half, a coming-of-age movie with heart tugging moments scored to a toe tapping soundtrack but the poignant performances elevate the predictable story.

Gossett Jr., who is silent for much of the running time, finds multitudes in the character. Luis’ life is scarred by loss and loneliness, and he carries that with him, but the sheer joy that he exudes when he hears or makes music shows the profound effect it has had on his life. The actor finds poignancy in the performance and never overdoes it.

Aghdashloo does domineering really well, but her overprotective streak toward Mina is tempered by, like everything else in this movie, by love.

Golja plays off both of them very well, allowing the relationships to take front and centre, holding her own with her seasoned co-stars.

“The Cuban” works best when it focusses on those relationships. It wanders some when Mina gets a love interest and during the larger scale musical fantasy sequence but as a story of the curative power of music, it works, has a good beat and you can dance to it.

The Cuban is on a Canada-wide drive-in theatre summer tour starting at the 5 Drive-In in Oakville with more dates at the 5 Drive-in tba. Additional dates currently confirmed include the Newmarket Drive In on Aug 5th, the Sunset Barrie Drive In on Aug 11th, and Starlite Drive-In Stoney Creek Drive In on Aug 19th. The movie is also starting to book some indoor cinemas and is booked into the Regina Rainbow Theatre Aug 14-16 and the Roxy in Saskatoon on Aug 15th.

The Cuban will come out on VOD in Oct/Nov.

 

 

IN ISOLATION WITH..: ACTING LEGEND & STAR OF “THE CUBAN,” LOUIS GOSSETT JR!

Check out episode twenty-six of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet an actor who won an Academy Award winning role for playing Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the film An Officer and a Gentleman and an Emmy Award for his role as Fiddler in the television miniseries Roots. From Broadway Louis Gossett Jr made the movie to film, starring in A Raisin in the Sun in 1961, and has been busy ever since. With nearly 70 years as an actor and activist under his belt, he’s still working, starring on the critically acclaimed television series Watchmen and starring in a new film called The Cuban.

In it he plays an elderly man in the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Nearly catatonic, he is non-communicative, staring blankly into space, until his nurse hums a familiar jazz tune. He responds, and soon she creates her own brand of musical therapy to help Luis remember his past. And what a past. He tells her of his career as a famous musician in Cuba and the love of his life Elana.

Louis Gossett Jr., who is silent for much of the running time, finds multitudes in the character. The character’s life is scarred by loss and loneliness, and he carries that with him, but the sheer joy that he exudes when he hears or makes music shows the profound effect it has had on his life. The actor finds poignancy in the performance and never overdoes it.

The Cuban is a testament to the healing power of music and friendship and kicks off a Canada-wide drive-in theatre summer tour on Tuesday the 28th at the 5 Drive-In in Oakville. Check local listings for a location near you.

Let’s get to know Louis Gossett Jr.

Watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube or HERE on ctvnews.ca!

 

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR MAR 10.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the great ape flick “Kong: Skull Island,” the Shirley MacLaine dramedy “The Last Word” and the animated “Window Horses.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

WINDOW HORSES: 3 STARS. “simple message of peace, love & understanding.”

“Window Horses” is an animated cultural comedy of errors from Asian-Canadian director Ann Marie Fleming.

Rosie Ming (voiced by Sandra Oh) is a twenty year-old half Chinese, half Iranian fast food worker and poet. Raised by her overprotective Chinese grandparents (voiced by Nancy Kwan and Eddy Ko) following her mother’s death and father’s disappearance, she has dreams of one day visiting France, but so far has never been outside Canada.

When her self-published book of poetry, “My Eye Full, Poems by a Person Who Has Never Been to France,” earns her an invitation a festival she’s thrilled, even if it will take her to Shiraz, Iran, not France. Upon arrival the beret wearing Francophile learns about the father she never met and, through poetry, learns the healing power of art and to embrace a culture she was connected to but knew nothing about.

Fleming uses a variety of animators and a who’s who of Canadian talent, like Ellen Page and Don McKellar, and Iranian film legends Peyman Moaadi and Shohreh Aghdashloo, to bring Rose’s journey to life. It’s a beautifully whimsical about curiosity, finding a voice and staying open.

The director’s avatar—a stick figure that has appeared in her other short animated films—represents Rosie. The character’s lack of expression is more than compensated for in Oh’s vivid vocal performance. Visually she’s a blank slate who grows throughout to become a fully rounded character.

“Window Horses” is a gentle, airy film that cuts through the complicated clutter of everyday life with a simple message of peace, love and understanding.