Posts Tagged ‘Steve Carell’

CTV NEWS AT 11:30: MORE MOVIES AND TV TO STREAM DURING THE PANDEMIC.

Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including the “O Canada Collection” on Disney+ and two comedies, Jon Stewart’s satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, and Netflix Will Ferrell movie,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 23:48)

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JUNE 26, 2020.

Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including Jon Stewart’s satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,”  the dreary “Exit Plan” and the crime drama “Hammer.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR JUNE 26!

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Todd Van Der Heyden to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the political satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,”  and the dreary “Exit Plan.”

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 VOD and streaming services including the political satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” the dreary “Exit Plan” and the father-and-son crime drama “Hammer.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

IRRESISTIBLE: 3 ½ STARS. “equal parts heartfelt and darkly humourous.”

Big time politics invades small town America in “Irresistible,” an election year satire from director Jon Stewart, now available on VOD.

Former “Daily Show” correspondent Steve Carell reteams with his old boss to play Gary Zimmer, a Washington insider and the Democratic National Committee’s top strategist. In the midst of creating a strategy to win votes in America’s Republican heartland—”We need some way to road test a more rural friendly message,” he says.—he’s directed to a YouTube video of retired Marine colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), giving an impassioned speech in defense of undocumented workers at a townhall meeting in Deerlaken, a small right-wing Wisconsin town. He’s like “John Wayne and tractor had a baby,” says Gary as he concocts a plan to entice Hastings to run for mayor of Deerlaken, giving the Dems a strong presence in a state sea of red. “Colonel Jack Hastings is our key back into the swing state of Wisconsin,” Gary says. “He just doesn’t know it yet.”

The citified Gary takes off his suit and tie, buys some dungarees and jumps on a private jet to Deerlaken to win over the colonel and his daughter (Mackenzie Davis), who is first seen with her arm inserted where the sun don’t shine, giving relief to a constipated cow. Appealing to Hastings’ sense of duty, Gary convinces the Marine to run and fires up the political machine.

Soon Deerlaken is overrun with Democratic operatives—like demographic profilers played by Topher Grace and Natasha Lyonne—but the really race heats up when the Republican National Committee sends in Faith (Rose Byrne), Gary’s nemesis and now campaign manager to Hastings’ rival. “Twenty bucks says I do better with fear than you do with shame,” she says, taunting Gary. Soon the national media takes notice and the mayoral race in Deerlaken becomes one of the most debated elections in the country.

There’s more but that would involve giving away a plot twist and spoilers. Just keep in mind that the word “resist” is tucked away in the film’s title.

“Irresistible” is equal parts heartfelt and darkly humourous. Stewart begins conventionally enough, with the fish out of water story of bigshot Gary in a town of rubes, then slowly calibrates the story to ask, “Who are the real rubes here?” It’s a damning indictment of how political situations are manipulated, how the media allows outright lies on the airwaves and how both Democrats and Republicans are culpable and clueless to the real needs of the people. It doesn’t exactly blaze new ideological ground but the as a reminder of why the political system is twisted and broken, it’s a timely tale.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY DECEMBER 28, 2018.

Richard joins CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Christian Bale as former vice president Dick Cheney in “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR DECEMBER 28.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK” & 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 Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

VICE: 4 STARS. “a damning and timely portrait of the corruption of power.”

Recently a clever twitteratti dubbed Adam McKay, director of “The Big Short,” the “funny Oliver Stone,“ in reference to his ability to make movies that hit hard with humour.

His new film, the double entendre-ly titled “Vice,” is the twisted tale of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), former White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defence under George H.W. Bush and, most famously, Vice President to George W. Bush, from college drop out to Washington insider. “Big shot DC Dick,” his father-in-law calls him.

The story begins on September 11, 2001 in the White House situation room. George Bush is on Air Force One and Cheney is the man in charge. How did this happen to a man who got kicked out of Yale for drinking too much?

“The following is a true story,” the title credits read. “Well, at least as true as it can be given that Dick Cheney was one of the most secretive leaders in history. We did our ‘bleeping’ the best.”

McKay, a self-styled historian of troubled times, works backwards to unveil Cheney’s rise. Using voiceover and his unique informational interstitials the director pieces together Cheney’s career from so-so student and OK athlete to finding his calling as a “humble servant to power.” Hired by Donald Rumsfeld (Steven Carell) as a congressional intern the young Cheney quickly shows an aptitude for navigating the halls of power. “What do we believe?” he earnestly asks Rumsfeld.

Later, on the eve of Nixon’s resignation, having tasted power, he tells Rumsfeld, “the plan is to take over the place.“ Under Gerald Ford he became the youngest ever White House Chief of Staff and then a long serving congressman for the state of Wyoming.

It’s while Cheney is serving in the House of Representatives that McKay begins to shape the portrait of the man as one of the architects of the current political situation. He emerges as a fan of deregulation and an expert in finding elasticity in the rules.

With Roger Ailes he strikes down the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy that required news outlets to present both sides of the story. This move, as much as anything else, helped give rise to opinion based news outlets, ie: FOX News, and the spread of right wing ideology.

Cheney weathers the Clinton years as CEO of the multinational corporation Halliburton, re-entering political life at the request of George Bush Junior. “Vice President is a nothing job,” says wife Lynne (Amy Adams) scolds. “You sit around and wait for the president to die.” Nevertheless Cheney accepts the offer and works to turn the position into a power base. His systematic restructuring of the job leaves his mentor Rumsfeld amazed. “Are you even more ruthless when you used to be?”

“Vice” heats up in its retelling of the justification of the war in Iraq. Cheney recognized the need for Americans to have an easily identifiable villain. By and large, the film suggests, the public didn’t understand who or what Al Qaeda was. “Is that a country?” So Iraq, the place with the “best targets,” was chosen in what might be flippantly described as a focus group war.

At its heart “Vice” is a damning and timely portrait of the corruption of power. McKay’s talent is his ability to take complicated situations and ideas and make them eye-level without dumbing them down. “The Big Short” explained the financial crisis of 2007–2008. “Vice” uses clever editing and set pieces to contextualize the timeline of Cheney‘s time in the public eye.

To explain how Cheney and his cronies embraced policies like enhanced interrogation McKay stages a restaurant scene. Alfred Molina plays a waiter reading off a list of specials. “We have a very fresh War Act interpretation,” he says with a flourish. “That sounds delicious,” Rumsfeld purrs. It’s absurd but these are strange times. These set pieces aren’t necessarily meant to amuse but rather display the heightened nature of the situation.

Cheney bet heavily on the notion that, “the last thing people want is complicated analysis of government.” McKay does an end run around that ideology, finding ways to effectively explain how we embraced a war on a country with no WMDs or allowing the monitoring of emails and phones without consent. The genius is, it never feels like a civics class.

Bale, almost completely unrecognizable as the heavy-set Cheney, heads the sprawling cast. His uncanny take on the character is fuelled by a low key performance. He understands that Cheney knew the power of a carefully placed whisper out punches a tantrum every time. It is precise work that will undoubtedly land him an Oscar nomination.

Perhaps “Vice’s” most telling comment on Cheney comes in its final moments. (MILD SPOILER ALERT) “You want to be loved?” he says, “go be a movie star.” He feels the public’s judgement and recriminations but doesn’t care. “I will not apologize for doing what needed to be done.”