Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

CP24: WHAT MOVIES AND TV SHOWS TO WATCH TO THIS WEEKEND!

I join CP24 to have a look at Canadian movies and television shows coming to VOD and streaming services.  Today we talk about the return of Seth McFarland’s “Star Trek” homage “The Orville: New Horizons” on Disney+, the wild documentary series “The Anarchists” on Crave and the couples comedy “Trying” on Apple TV+.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Justin Lin continues J.J. Abrams’ homage to Star Trek in new film

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 2.05.52 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Seven years ago director J.J. Abrams, the brains behind hit TV shows like Lost and movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, thought there was still some uncharted life to be found in the Star Trek universe.

This weekend the third film in his new generation of movies, Star Trek Beyond, puts phasers on stun. Directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin it continues Abrams’s mission to seek out new cinematic life and civilizations.

After five television series, ten movies, countless books, comics and video games, a stage version and even an Ice Capades style show Abrams re-launched the big screen Trek franchise. Simply called Star Trek, he took audiences where no man (or director) has gone before, back to the very beginning of the story before James Tiberius Kirk bore an uncanny resemblance to T.J. Hooker.

In this prequel to the original series Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) are assigned to the maiden voyage of the most advanced starship ever created, the U.S.S. Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood).

Star Trek was one of the great popcorn movies of 2009. Notice I didn’t say sci-fi movie. Star Trek is a lot of things but despite all the talk of warp speed, black holes and time travel, it can’t be strictly classified as science fiction. It’s a character based space serial more concerned with the burgeoning relationship between Spock and Kirk than with photon thrusters.

2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness is a sequel AND a prequel (something so illogical Spock would never approve) that gets underway when an act of terror robs Kirk of a close friend. Determined to bring the perpetrator to justice the reckless Starfleet captain takes the Enterprise and crew to a war zone populated by Klingons and one brilliant and ruthless genetically engineered adversary (Benedict Cumberbatch). To finish his mission he must make difficult decisions.

Abrams finds a balance of old—Kirk, Spock et al—and new—the space suits are redesigned, the tech is different and there are younger characters—that should satisfy hard-core Trekkers and attract tenderfoot Trekkies. For fans there are in-jokes like Kirk telling two expendable members of the landing team to “lose the red shirts.”

At the beginning of Star Trek Beyond Kirk’s life on board the U.S.S. Enterprise has become a grind. He’s three years into a five-year mission and he is, personally lost in space, trying to find meaning in his mission. “It can be hard to feel grounded when even gravity isn’t real.”

Lin, taking over for Abrams, does his best to spice things up for the good captain. The director, best known for his Fast & Furious films, knows there is nothing like a wild alien attack to snap James T. out of his funk. Expect more hi-fly action than sci fi intrigue.

Star Trek Beyond producer Abrams admits he “didn’t love Kirk and Spock when I began this journey, but I love them now.” It seems the fans love his interpretation of the characters as well. Trekkers have embraced the new movies but Abrams knows the Star Trek universe is so vast it’s impossible to please everyone. Instead he says he caters to the average moviegoer “who just wants to be entertained, understand, and care about the world and the characters.” As Spock might say, “Sounds logical to me.”

The Mississauga News: Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.54.51 PM“Richard Crouse, a film critic and pop culture expert, was part of the group that selected the movies that would be included as part of the festival. It basically involved them sitting around and lightheartedly arguing about what movies they would like to see back on the big screen.

“As Crouse said, there’s just something about going to see a film in the theatre and how watching a movie can be a rather enjoyable collective experience with others.

“There’s no better way to see a film than going to see it in the theatre,” said Crouse.”

Read the while thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY AUGUST 28, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.34.38 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “We Are Your Friends,” “Cop Car,” “Learning to Drive,” and “Z for Zachariah.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Z FOR ZACHARIAH: 3 STARS. “performances more interesting than the movie.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 1.20.53 PM“Z for Zachariah,” a three hander starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine, is a dystopian story where the catastrophic events surrounding the devastation of the human race are less important than the more primal themes of lust and jealousy that arise between the trio of characters.

Robbie is Ann, a pious woman whose tough, lonely life changes when she meets and befriends scientist Loomis (Ejiofor). She hasn’t seen another person in a very long time and soon they work through their mutual mistrust to form a friendship with romantic overtones. Their budding romance is stopped short with the appearance of Caleb (Chris Pine), a charming stranger who inserts himself into their lives. Loomis doesn’t trust the newcomer and becomes even more suspicious when Ann and Caleb become romantically involved.

Based on a novel by Robert C. O’Brien, “Z for Zachariah” is a quiet movie that sits on the other end of the scale from recent dystopian movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road” or “CHAPPiE.” The action here is mostly internal and the only explosions are emotional. Director Craig Zobel challenges the audience’s idea of what a post apocalypse world would look like. His world is lush, save for a creek infected by nuclear waste, and he has boiled the story down to its essentials.

The film isn’t cluttered with the backstory of the disaster, instead it gives us just enough information on the characters to allow us to draw our own conclusions about them. Loomis is a drinker, Ann’s religious convictions have left her open to being taken advantage of while Caleb’s past is murky enough to arouse suspicion. It’s a complex study of character, a look at how people behave in isolated circumstances.

The actors rise to the occasion. Robbie leaves behind the glam of “Wolf of Wall Street” to find Ann’s vulnerability, while Pine is allowed to show more depth as Caleb than he’s able to in his “Star Trek” franchise. By the time the end credits roll, however, it’s clear this is Ejiofor ‘s movie. The multifaceted character is vividly alive behind his eyes and often his performance is more interesting than the movie itself.

Zobel’s deliberate pacing is meant to highlight the all-important subtext of the story but occasionally feels more like foot dragging than a style choice.

Metro Canada: Playing a dangerous game in Elephant Song

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.34.14 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Bruce Greenwood is a busy actor who has spent much of the last year on set, away from his Los Angeles home.

“Yesterday I found myself reading a script,” he says of a rare day off. “I was lying on the coach and I put the script down and fell asleep in the sun. I woke up an hour later and said to my wife, ‘We’re home. I’m lying on the coach. I could get up and make tea but I don’t have to. My bag is not packed.’”

When he isn’t on set the actor, best known as Christopher Pike in the rebooted Star Trek series, occupies himself in the kitchen.

“I’m baking bread,” he says. “It’s my new thing. I’m making at least a couple of baguettes a day. Usually I make three in a batch, give two to the neighbours and force the other one on my wife.”

In the new psychological thriller Elephant Song—just one of four movies he has in the pipeline—Greenwood as hospital chief of staff Dr. Toby Green is lured into a cat and mouse game with Michael, a long time patient played by Xavier Dolan, who may know the whereabouts of a missing doctor.

Greenwood hadn’t met his co-star and Dolan wanted to keep it that way—at least until they shot their first scene.

“He had a great idea early on which serves to illustrate how willing he is to experiment,” says Greenwood. “He decided that when the two characters meet in the film for the first time it might be interesting that, as actors, we were meeting for the first time while the cameras were rolling. I kind of thought, ‘Well, that’s a bit of extra lifting I don’t think is really necessary.’ But he really wanted to try it so I said, ‘OK.’ When he walked into the room all this stuff started pouring through my system that I couldn’t have anticipated. It turned out to be a great idea.”

Greenwood has been so busy, he had to rely on journalists to refresh his memory about Elephant Song, a movie he shot almost two years ago.

“It is one of those things where if you are doing ten interviews in a row, the first two interviewers get the short end of the stick because during the interviews you’re reminded of what the film was about. By the third interview, twenty minutes in, you remember what it was about the film that excited you and interested you and challenged you. Today after the first couple of interviews I hung up the phone and thought, ‘God, those poor people must think I’m an idiot.’”

The Captive’s Bruce Greenwood and Atom Egoyan make a dynamic movie duo

fhd007TSS_Bruce_Greenwood_013@013351.923By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Bruce Greenwood first met director Atom Egoyan in a singles bar. “Atom was alone in the corner and I felt sorry for him,” says Greenwood. “We were introduced by a mutual friend.”

That was in the early 1990s, when Egoyan was on the brink of international acclaim as a director and Greenwood was a film and television star with a handful of movies and recurring roles on St. Elsewhere and Knots Landing under his belt. That chance meeting led to their first film together, Exotica, a study of loneliness and desire in a lap-dancing club that Roger Ebert called “a deep, painful film” in his four-star review. “We became good friends during that process,” said Greenwood, “and in the ensuing years.”

Three years later the pair collaborated on The Sweet Hereafter, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Russell Banks about the effects of a tragic bus accident on the population of a small town. Greenwood earned a Genie Award nomination playing a grieving father and in 2002 readers of Playback voted it the greatest Canadian film ever made.

Next was a small role in Ararat, Egoyan’s story of a young man whose life is changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide, and then, in 2013, a cameo in Devil’s Knot. Greenwood played a judge in Egoyan’s retelling of the events leading up to the West Memphis Three murders and the “Satanic panic” that fuelled the hysteria surrounding the subsequent trial of teenagers Jessie Misskelley Jr., Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin.

These days Greenwood is best known for his work as Capt. Christopher Pike in the 2009 Star Trek film and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, but he’s not too busy in Hollywood — the Quebec-born actor has lived in Los Angeles since the late 1980s — to reteam with his Canadian cohort. In Egoyan’s new psychological thriller, The Captive, Greenwood joins stars Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos in a story of a child kidnapping. Egoyan says he and Greenwood share a shorthand that makes for easy work on set. As for Greenwood, he says he trusts the director, “more than anyone I’ve ever worked with. He can ask me to do anything and if my initial instinct is ‘Oh no,’ it ends up being the right idea. He’s a tremendous guy.”

STAR TREK: 4 ½ STARS

star-trek-trailer-image-28After five television series, ten movies, countless books, comics and video games, a stage version and even an Ice Capades style show is there anything left, story wise, to do with Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones and the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise? Director J.J. Abrams, the brains behind hit TV shows like Felicity, Lost and Fringe, thinks so and has re-launched the big screen franchise, which has lain fallow since 2002’s Nemesis. Simply called Star Trek, he takes audiences where no man (or director) has gone before, back to the very beginning of the story before Kirk bore an uncanny resemblance to T.J. Hooker.

In this prequel to the original series James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) is a young punk; a thrill seeking juvenile delinquent son of a dead hero recruited to join Starfleet Academy by an associate of his father’s. On another planet is Spock (Zachary Quinto), a half human, half Vulcan outcast who becomes the first of his race to be accepted into the Starfleet Academy. Soon their paths will cross as they are assigned to the maiden voyage of the most advanced starship ever created, the U.S.S. Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood). On their first dangerous mission they will become the original intergalactic odd couple as they find a way to stop the vengeful Romulan villain Nero (Eric Bana with Mike Tyson-esque tattoos on his face) from destroying all of mankind.

With Star Trek J.J. Abrams has made the first great popcorn movie of the year. Notice I didn’t say sci-fi movie. Star Trek is a lot of things but despite all the talk of warp speed, black holes and time travel, it can’t be classified as science fiction. This is a character based space serial more concerned with the burgeoning relationship between Spock and Kirk than with photon thrusters. That may bother the purists and the Roddenberries but shouldn’t trouble anyone simply looking for a good time at the movies.

Abrams gets right into the thick of things, front loading the movie with two wild action scenes in the first ten minutes. It’s edge of the seat stuff that neatly gives Captain James T a back story and sets the tone for the rest of the film. It’s big. It’s loud. It’s bombastic. It’s also the best Trek since The Wrath of Khan.

Abrams succeeds because he isn’t precious with the source material. All the prerequisite catchphrases—“Live long and prosper”—are there, coupled with some sly homages to the show’s history—Trekkers will note the fruition of Kirk’s flirtation with the green Orion woman from the TV show—but he’s more interested in creating an overall entertainment experience than displaying reverence for Roddenbery’s creation. The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) social commentary of the series has gone the way of the spent lithium crystals from season two, episode four, replaced by flat out action that engages the eye but not the brain. In terms of CGI Abrams has set phasers to stunning. It’s state of the art and will make your eyeballs dance.
Star Trek is an origin story that works. It has heart, ferocious CGI and is dead cool. It’s the best movie geek-out since Iron Man. In the words of Scotty (Simon Pegg), “I like this ship. It’s exciting.”

What? No Star Trek? The worst of Oscar snubs By: Constance Droganes, entertainment writer, CTV.ca Date: Tue. Feb. 2 2010

star_trek_2010_a_lWhat, no “Star Trek?”

The news of today’s Oscar nominations from Los Angeles shot around the world, leaving critics and film buffs shaking their heads over snubs made by Academy Award voters.

Much has been made this year of the Academy’s move to broaden the nominations for Best Picture from five to 10 entries.

For decades highbrow fare dominated this category. Oscar organizers felt it was time to give mainstream hits like “Star Trek” and other films a chance to vie for Best Picture gold.

“‘Star Trek’ was even used as the example for the kind of movie that would get nominated,” says Canada AM movie critic Richard Crouse.

Then why is “Star Trek” nowhere to be found among 2010’s Best Picture nominations?

The same can be asked about Clint Eastwood’s rousing sports drama, “Invictus.”

Toppled by popcorn-guzzling entries like “The Blind Side” and “District 9,” “Invictus” fell to the wayside like an old wad of gum.

Is “District 9” really a better picture than “Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “Where the Wild Things Are”?

Does “District 9″and all its tentacled alien fury really surpass the craftsmanship in movies like Jane Campion’s “Bright Star” or the sparkling storytelling in Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia?”

What where Academy voters thinking?

Julianne Moore gave one of the best performances of her career in Tom Ford’s searing drama, “A Single Man.” Moore, sadly, is a surprising shutout from this year’s Best Supporting Actress race.

Ditto for Mélanie Laurent, the fierce World War II heroine in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Inglourious Basterds.”

Viggo Mortensen’s gut-wrenching performance in “The Road” had some critics betting on a Best Actor nod for this underdog.

The same can be said for underdog Tobey Maguire, who blew critics away with his blistering portrayal of a troubled American soldier in “Brothers.”

Sadly, Mortensen and Maguire are out of luck.

Today’s Oscar nominations turned “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” into the heroes of Hollywood for the moment.

Oscar’s snubs, on the other hand, turned some incredible films and talents into yesterday’s news.