Posts Tagged ‘sports drama’

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MARCH 06, 2020.

Richard and CP24 anchor Cortney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Run This Town,” Pixar’s “Onward,” the social criticism of “Sorry We Missed You” and the sports drama “The Way Back.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR MAR. 06!

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to have a look at the newsy “Run This Town,” Pixar’s “Onward,” the social criticism of “Sorry We Missed You” and the sports drama “The Way Back.”

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 host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Pixar’s quest flick “Onward,” the sporty you-can-never-go-home-again story “The Way Back,” the social commentary of “Sorry We Missed You” and the ripped-from-the-headlines “Run This Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW ON “ONWARD” “THE WAY BACK” AND MORE!

A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at Pixar’s newest, “Onward,” the new sports drama from Ben Affleck , “The Way Back” and the new social message movie “Sorry We Missed You.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE WAY BACK: 3 ½ STARS. “‘The Days of Wine and Rose’ with basketball.”

“The Way Back,” a new drama starring Ben Affleck, is a riff on the you-can-never-go-home-again story with a sports twist.

Affleck is Jack Cunningham, a former high school basketball phenom who left a full scholarship at the University of Kansas on the table as he walked away from a promising career and into years of addiction. “I spent a lot of time hurting myself,” he says. “I made a lot of bad decisions. I got a lot of regrets.”

Cut to years later. Jack’s drinking—he starts the day with a beer in the shower—has cost him everything but when his alma mater recruits him to coach their basketball team he reluctantly agrees. “Is the team any good? he asks. “No,” he’s told. “In fact, the last time they made the playoffs, you were still playing.”

The team is in tatters, a laughing stock in the league but being back on the court gives Jack a renewed sense of being. “It keeps me busy,” he says. “Keeps my mind off other things.” As he molds the ragtag team into a force to be reckoned with, he discovers that the inspirational lessons he is teaching the kids—”The players decide the game!”—apply to his life as well.

“The Way Back” has the form of many other sports flicks—a new coach helps a failing team find their mojo—but this one digs deeper to focus on the characters rather than the rah rah of the sports. It’s “The Days of Wine and Rose” with basketball and a bleary eyed, beer-bellied and vulnerable Affleck at the center.

A quiet movie that tells the story of a man living in quiet desperation, “The Way Back” benefits greatly from Affleck’s raw but understated performance. Jack is damaged goods, a man wounded by life who subverts his pain by staring at the bottom of a pint glass. Director Gavin O’Connor gives Affleck nowhere to hide, shooting up-close-and-personal, and you can practically smell the beer breath as he shouts instructions at his players from the sidelines.

Rebuilding his life doesn’t come easily for Jack and the lack of easy life hacks, and a great central performance, elevates “The Way Back” above the run-of-the-mill sports drama.

CJAD IN MONTREAL: THE ANDREW CARTER SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s biggest releases including Pixar’s newest, “Onward,” the new sports drama from Ben Affleck , “The Way Back” and the new social message movie “Sorry We Missed You.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “CREED II” AND MORE!

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 Michael B. Jordan boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR NOVEMBER 23.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

CREED II: 4 STARS. “another puzzle piece in the feel-good ‘Rocky’ saga.”

Whoever said history never repeats didn’t work in Hollywood. Remakes and reboots have taken over theatres, recycling ideas and characters in what can sometimes feel like a continuous case of déjà vu. This week we have “Creed II” a sequel to a reboot, which is also a remake of sorts of a film made before star Michael B. Jordan was even born.

When we last saw Adonis Creed (Jordan) he was a young man who never knew his dad, former world champion boxer Apollo Creed. He did, however, inherit the old man’s love of boxing and much of his skill. Working with his dad’s old friend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to get into ring-ready shape he, like his father before him, wins the respect of the boxing world.

In the new film he finds confronted by his father’s legacy in the form of Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of the man who killed Apollo in the ring decades ago.

The year was 1985. Apollo Creed came out of a five-year retirement to give Soviet Olympic boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) a good old-fashioned American pummelling. Instead, with Rocky in his corner, Apollo is beaten senseless by the 6 foot 5 inch steroid-enhanced Russian. Just as Rocky drops the towel to end the fight Drago delivers the coup de grâce, a fatal blow that kills Apollo in centre ring. Determined to avenge Apollo’s death Rocky squares off with Drago in the Soviet Union in a Christmas season match. Journeyman Rocky shocks the world by winning, beating the statuesque Eastern Bloc fighter by knockout.

Flash forward to “Creed II.” The sting of that Reagan-era loss still bothers Drago (Lundgren, who else?). Shaping his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) into a lean, mean fighting machine. Drago seeks to vicariously regain honour in the ring. “In Russia,”
Drago says, “no one will touch the Drago name. Everything changed that night.”

Father and son challenge Adonis, now the world heavyweight champion, to a match. “My son will break your biy,” Drago says, taunting Rocky. Despite Rocky’s warnings Adonis accepts the fight, looking for vengeance for a man he never knew. The showdown between the duelling sons brings into focus the shared legacy of the four men, Adonis, Viktor, Drago and Rocky.

“Creed II” isn’t really a movie about boxing. There are two brutal fight scenes but narratively this is about finding a sense of purpose, inside and outside of the ring. It’s about the why rather than the how. On that score it works. Director Steven Caple Jr. focuses on the characters allowing us to get to know them better, or in the case of Rocky and Drago, get reacquainted with them.

The film takes its time setting up the relationships before getting into the more traditional “Rocky” tropes, ie: unconventional but effective training methods and a rousing finale, complete with a riff on Bill Conti’s rousing “Rocky” theme song “Gonna Fly Now.”

This study of fathers and sons, of vengeance and reputation is really a look at brittle masculinity. These characters are all broken somehow, looking for something they are unlikely to find in the ring. “Why do you fight?” Rocky asks Adonis several times, sending him off on an introspective journey that leads him back to where his quest began, his father.

“Creed II” reverberates with the echoes of “Rocky” past but transcends being an exercise in déjà vu by amping up the emotional content to TKO levels. It is neither a rehash nor completely original work. It’s simply another puzzle piece in the feel good “Rocky” saga.