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 dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto,” the coming of age story “C’mon C’mon,” Peter Jackson’s 468 minute epic “The Beatles: Get Back” a.k.a. “Lord of the Ringos,” the videogame horrors of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the star studded family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto” and Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised.”
Then, we talk about the decision to scrap gendered awards, Ridley Scott and the flop of “The Last Duel” and Richard’s new podcast “Last Call.”
“Bruised,” a new MMA drama directed by and starring Halle Berry, and now streaming on Netflix, punches through the usual sports cliches and training montages to tell a redemption story of a woman whose rage dominated her life.
Berry is Jackie Justice, a disgraced UFC mixed martial arts star who left the sport in disgrace when she vaulted out of the cage during a match. Four years later her hair trigger temper gets her fired from a job as a nanny and booze helps her cope with abusive boyfriend/manager Desi (Adan Canto). It was his push to take on bigger fights that sent her over the brink at the height of her fame, and now he wants her back in the ring, making money.
“I don’t want to fight,” she says, “I’m happy.” Trouble is, she doesn’t appear to be happy.
When she is spotted by fight league promoter Immaculate (Shamier Anderson), who promises to set her up with top flight trainer Buddhakan (Sheila Atim), her career looks to be back on track until the 6-year-old son (Danny Boyd, Jr.) she abandoned years ago suddenly comes back into her life.
“Bruised” is a slickly produced sports flick that takes us into a little explored world, women’s MMA. Berry doesn’t shy away from the brutal nature of the fight game, both in and out of the ring. It paints a vivid portrait of the physical and mental toll paid by Jackie as she seeks personal and professional redemption, but often veers into melodrama. Plots lines crisscross as we follow Jackie’s relationships with her mother (Adriane Lenox), her trainer, Desi and Manny. Each thread clutters the plot with storylines that are not only predictable, but also take away from the movie’s main thrust, how Jackie’s life has been shaped by trauma and rage.
When “Bruised” focusses on the fighting, it succeeds. It is interesting to see that world from a female point of view and about a woman older than might be expected in the punishing sport. Even Jackie’s trainer calls her “Betty White.”
But as Jackie’s road to redemption meanders through a laundry list of misery, the two-hour, 15-minute movie becomes weighed down by the sheer volume of story.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the scary series “Welcome to the Blumhouse” on Amazon Prime Video, the literary documentary “The Capote Tapes,” now on VOD and the biggest movies on screens this weekend, “Dune.”
Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about how Mick Jagger singlehandedly made the Tequila Sunrise a staple on drink menus everywhere. Then they talk about “Dune” and “The Harder They Fall,” now playing in theatres.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including sci fi epic “Dune,” the wild Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King and the literary documentary “The Capote Tapes.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the much anticipated sci fi epic “Dune,” the wild Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King and the literary documentary “The Capote Tapes.”
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 much anticipated sci fi epic “Dune” and the neo-Western “The Harder They Fall” starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Regina King. They also discuss the tragic incident on the set of “Rust” that took the life of director of photography Halyna Hutchins.
“Dune,” the latest cinematic take on the Frank Herbert 1965 classic, now playing in theatres, is part one of the planned two-part series. So be forewarned, the two-and-a-half-hour movie doesn’t wrap things up with a tidy bow. For some, the film’s last line, “This is only the beginning,” will be a promise of more interesting movies ahead, for others, who prefer tighter storytelling and a clear-cut finale, it may come off as a threat.
Director and co-writer Denis Villeneuve benefits from the parceled-out storytelling. Where David Lynch’s ill-fated 1984 version attempted to cover the complexity of the entire book, Villeneuve is given the time for world building, to explain the various and complex spiritual sci-fi elements that make up the story.
Here are the Cole’s Notes.
Set 8,000 years in the future, the story focusses on Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), son of an aristocratic family and possibly, just maybe, a prophet. His father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), has been bestowed stewardship of Arrakis, the desert planet also known as Dune. His mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is part of the Bene Gesserit, a social, religious, and political alliance who can magically control enemies by modulating their vocal tones.
Their new domain, Arrakis, is a desolate, almost inhabitable place that is home to the Fremen, a group of people who have lived on the planet for thousands of years. It is also the universe’s only source of mélange, also known as “spice.” It’s a drug with the power to extend human life, facilitate superhuman planes of thought and can even make faster-than-light travel possible. It is the most valuable commodity in the universe and those who control it, control everything.
When Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård doing his best impression of Marlon Brando in “Apocalypse Now”), the former steward of Arrakis, double crosses the Atreides clan, Paul and his mother are left in the desert to die. If they are to survive it will be with the help of the Fremen—including Chani (Zendaya) and Stilgar (Javier Bardem)—who call Paul “The Chosen One” and believe he has the power to bring peace to their world.
There’s more. Lots more, but that’s the non-spoilerific version.
Villeneuve lays out the information methodically, allowing the various story points and character motivations to seep into the fabric of the film and make an impact before moving on. There’s a lot to get through, but it doesn’t feel onerous like so many origin stories do.
Also effective are the large scale, and I mean large as in you need three or four eyes to take it all in, action scenes. The entire movie is big. So big it makes even the giant humans Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista, who play swordmaster Duncan Idaho and warrior Glossu Rabban respectively, look puny by comparison. As for the action, Villeneuve pulls out all the stops, staging world ending battles with elegance. Often major battle sequences can be muddled, a blur of colours and glints of metal, but Villeneuve delivers clear cut, tense sequences with a clarity that is unusual for modern action.
“Dune” is big and beautiful, with plentiful action and a really charismatic performance from Momoa. It is unquestionably well made, with thought provoking themes of exploitation of Indigenous peoples, environmentalism and colonialism.
So why didn’t I like it more than I did?
Partially because it’s an epic with no payoff. The cliffhanger nature of the story is frustrating after a two-and-a-half-hour wait. As good audience members we allow ourselves to be caught up in the world, humourless and bleak as it often is, to get to know the characters and then what? Wait for two years for the next movie? Apparently so, and the ending feels abrupt.
Nonetheless, “Dune” is formidable. It’s a grim, immersive movie that doesn’t shy away from the darkness that propels the story or the high-mindedness of the ideas contained within. Eventually, when we have a part two, it will feel like one piece, much like “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, but right now, despite its scope, it feels incomplete.