Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Halloween,” the late Rob Stewart’s ecology documentary “Sharkwater Extinction,” the drug drama “Beautiful Boy” and the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun.”
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 drug drama “Beautiful Boy,” the wistful “The Old Man and the Gun” and the eco-doc “Sharkwater Extinction.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the tricks and treats of “Halloween,” Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek in “The Old Man and the Gun” and the drug drama “Beautiful Boy.”
Richard has a look at the 2018 reboot of “Halloween,” the ecology documentary from director Rob Stewart, “Sharkwater Extinction,” the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun” and the political comedy “The Oath” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Low key and amiable, “The Old Man and the Gun” is a crime drama about the nicest bank robber ever. Robert Redford, age 82, plays a stick-up man whose victims gush about how polite and well-mannered he was as he relieved them of their cash.
Forest Tucker (Redford), career criminal and all round nice guy, is part of a gang the press would later name the Over-The-Hill-Gang. All north of seventy the thieves (Danny Glover and Tom Waits) rob rural banks, usually making off with hundreds, not thousands of dollars. Calm and collected, they get in and out quickly. “Don’t do anything stupid,” Tucker says to the tellers. “I wouldn’t want to have to hurt you ‘cuz I like you. Don’t break my heart.” For Tucker it’s not about the cash, it’s about the rush.
Driving the get-a-way car after one bank job Tucker stops to assist a stranded motorist. As the police whiz by he gives Jewel (Sissy Spacek) a line of chat that charms her enough to agree to go for a cup of coffee. The pair hit it off and begin a friendship that borders on the romantic.
Meanwhile Tucker and crew are robbing banks, sometimes more than one a day, a streak that draws the attention of detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) and the FBI.
The mostly true story of Tucker and his life of crime and passion is a low-key affair anchored by the easy charms of Redford and Spacek.
Redford made a career playing rascally anti-heroes like the leads in “The Sting” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Here there is a wistfulness in the character that comes with age and the realization that the end of the road is just around the bend.
Spacek plays Jewel as a woman of strength; a person who has seen it all but is still open to finding something new. Together the pair bring life experiences that create a lived-in chemistry that is never less than watchable.
Add to that a scene-stealing performance from Tom Waits—every line of his dialogue sounds like a line from one of his songs—and you have a new take on an American staple, the charismatic scoundrel.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Halloween,” the bloody love letter to the director who started it all, John Carpenter, the film Robert Redford says may be his swan song “The Old Man and the Gun” and the political comedy “The Oath.”
People have been asking me about this movie for months but they haven’t been asking, ‘Is it good?, they’ve been asking me why anyone would remake the 1976 classic.
After seeing it, I’m not sure.
The new version is a perfectly serviceable adaptation of Stephen King’s famous book but it doesn’t have the vulnerability or frailty that made Sissy Spacek so memorable in the title role.
The third adaptation of Stephen King’s 1974 novel stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Maine high school outcast Carrie White, a lonely girl teased by classmates and abused by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore). Despite the best efforts of gym teacher Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer) to help Carrie fit in, a clique of mean girls led by Chris (Portia Doubleday) make it their mission to ensure that Carrie has a rough time at school. After being humiliated at her senior prom—pig’s blood will really ruin a taffeta dress apparently—she unleashes a terrible telekinetic vengeance on those who wronged her.
Director Kimberly ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Pierce has been more or less faithful to the flow of the book and Brian De Palma’s movie, but there are differences.
Where Spacek was a true outsider, an abused, naïve girl, Moretz plays her with a bit more pluck and I’m not sure it services the character. Carrie 2.0 still has a sullen look for the ages but she has more backbone than her predecessor and for me that eroded some of the tragedy of the story. Both are Ugly Ducklings transformed into swans and then monsters, unwitting and undeserving victims of horrible abuse, but Spacek’s take on the character brought more vulnerability to the character and that, for me, better underlined her deeply sad story.
Moretz’s best scene happens before the bloody revenge rampage. There is a sweetness to her in the prom scenes (pre pig’s blood) that makes the anticipation of what is to come all the more tense. Too bad the rest of the movie doesn’t hold that tension. Also a mother and daughter knife battle made me shift to the front of my seat mostly because it felt more organic and less computer generated than some of the other displays of Carrie’s mad telekinetic skillz. It felt dangerous in a way that the rest of the violence didn’t.
Despite a slower-than-necessary pace, I liked Julianne Moore’s head thumping self-punishment scenes and Portia Doubleday’s take on the lead mean girl who takes just a bit too much delight in tormenting Carrie.
“Carrie” works in those moments, but generally there’s too much CGI—the floating books are silly—and since when can Carrie fly?
This weekend actress Chloë Grace Moretz will recreate one of the most famous sequences from 1970s cinema.
Years after the release of the 1976 Brian De Palma-directed Carrie, the movie’s impact was summed up by Esquire who wrote, “Like any top-tier, truly unforgettable scene in cinema [it’s] so well-known that you don’t even have to see it to know it.”
The image of the teenaged Carrie (Sissy Spacek), the victim of a cruel practical joke, dressed in her best Prom Queen outfit, wide eyed as pig’s blood covers her, dripping from the fake jewels on her tiara, has been referenced in everything from the sitcom Roseanne—daughter Darlene says the only way she would go to the prom is if she was the one sitting in the rafters with a bucket of pig’s blood—to the X-Files, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Scream, Gilmore Girls and even Veronica Mars.
The gore soaked scene also provided the inspiration for a sequel called The Rage: Carrie 2. In this unintentionally funny b-movie Rachel (Emily Bergl) is another high-schooler with the ability to make objects fly and explode with her mind. “Do not attempt to sit through this movie without a hefty supply of psychopharmaceutical drugs,” warned one critic.
Marginally better was Carrie, a 2002 television film meant to serve as a pilot for a proposed series. But that involved making some sweeping changes to the plot, including having Carrie survive the high school carnage and final run-in with her unstable mother. Bad reviews and poor ratings doomed this to the DVD delete bins.
From the screen to the stage Carrie provided the source material for an ill-conceived 1988 Broadway musical and several spoofs, including Scarrie! The Musical and Carrie’s Facts of Life, a mash-up of Stephen King’s story and the sitcom The Facts of Life.
All singing, all dancing versions of Carrie’s humiliation aside, the original film remains a horror touchstone, but don’t expect the new remake to be a carbon copy.
“The script is totally different from the [original],” Moretz told ET OnLine. “It’s more like the book. It’s a more Black Swan version – it messes with your mind.”
One thing is for sure, there will be blood—pig’s blood. Judy Greer, who plays Miss Desjardin in the new film, says the prom scene is “amazeballs,” adding, “It’s really totally jarring and creepy but also in a strange way gorgeous.”
The success of movies like The Bells of St Mary’s and A Christmas Carol triggered an avalanche of Yuletide themed movies from producers eager to cash in on the spirit of the season. Every year a new one comes out and for every hit there are a Santa’s sack of stinkers like Jingle All the Way and Surviving Christmas. This year’s entry is Four Christmases, the story of two smarmy yuppies played by Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon who lie to their families—“You can’t spell families without ‘lies,’” Vaughn says—to get out of spending quality time with their siblings and parents over the holidays. When they get caught in the lie they must spend four Christmases, one with each of their divorced parents.
Every year Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Witherspoon) sidestep family obligations at Christmas with a series of well crafted lies. They usually tell the folks they have volunteered to do charity work in third world countries but instead take off for the sunny climes of Fiji or some other exotic vacation spot. When their flight gets cancelled and they end up on the news the jig is up—they’ve been busted and have to make the rounds visiting their families. There’s Brad’s crusty old father (Robert Duvall) and his Ultimate Fighter brothers (Jon Favreau and Tim McGraw), Kate’s mother (Mary Steenburgen) and nymphomaniac aunts and grandmother, Brad’s free-loving hippie mother (Sissy Spacek) and Kate’s sensitive but aloof father (Jon Voight). Of course by the end, despite their families foibles, they realize that there is nothing more important than family.
Four Christmases tries for the tricky balance between comedy and heart-warming and almost succeeds. In its first hour it mostly goes for laughs, using Vaughn’s fast-talking jive, slap stick and some outrageous characters to keep the needle on the laugh-o-meter clicking into the red. Sprinkled throughout the four family tour are some good moments and funny situations and some sequences that strain to find the joke which is pretty much on par with an average mainstream comedy not written by Seth Rogen.
Then in the last thirty minutes it’s as if someone flicked off the funny switch and the tone suddenly shifts into heart-warming and it’s here that the movie earns a big lump of coal. The edge of the past sixty-minutes evaporates and all of a sudden we’re watching a TV movie of the week about family values. Reese Witherspoon can pull this off. She’s likeable, emanating a warm fuzzy glow when she’s on-screen. Vaughn can’t. His inborn edginess works well in something like the R-rated Wedding Crashers but falls very flat in family fare; ditto his patented mile-a-minute patter. In fact, his two funniest scenes—both mush mouthed television appearances—work because he finally drops the smart-Alec rapping.
When the movie turns mushy you have to care about the characters in order to care about their love lives, and Vaughn’s lack of warmth works against him here. You’ll see the “family is everything” message coming a mile away; the trouble is by the time it hits you may not care.
Four Christmases isn’t a truly bad movie, just a really predictable one.