Richard joins the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.” Then we take a sip of the Japanese favourite cocktail the Ginza Mary,.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the frenetic Beyhem (look it up) of “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.”
“Minamata” is a mix-and-match of a few different things. The story of celebrated “Life” photojournalist W. Eugene Smith as he documented the effects of toxic mercury poisoning in Japan is part, biopic and part exposé of corporate malfeasance with just a hint of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” thrown in for color.
The story begins in 1971 in New York. Smith (Johnny Depp) is at the tail end of a legendary career. His reclusive and erratic behavior has eroded his relationship with “Life” editor Robert Hayes (Bill Nighy) and the years as a World War II photographer haunt his memory.
Aileen (Minami), a translator for Fuji film advertisement, suggests he go to Japan to witness and document the effects of mercury pollution in the city of Minamata. For a decade and a half, the locals have suffered a neurological disease caused by mercury poisoning, the result of toxic waste dumped into Minamata Bay by the Chisso chemical plant. Aileen wants the eyes of the world to focus on the problem.
The gruff Smith is initially reluctant, but his growing fondness for Aileen, an assignment from “Life” and his own sense of journalistic integrity change his mind. The resulting trip and story transforms both Smith and the perception of the situation in Minamata.
The long delayed “Minamata”—it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020—is an uneven film anchored by a rock-solid performance by Johnny Depp. He humanizes the curt Smith, milking out a redemption arc for the character as he atones for past transgressions by applying his craft to make the world a better place for the people of Minamata. His torment is made clear in a speech about the old belief that a photograph steals the soul of its subject. “What gets left out of the fine print,” he says, “is that it can also take a piece of the photographer’s soul.”
It is mature work, without a trace of Capt. Jack. A flash of Hunter S. Thompson peaks through in Smith’s abuse of methamphetamine, alcohol and general disregard for the niceties of being respectful to one’s editor, but overall, Depp digs deep and brings a rough-hewn mix of charm and compassion.
Depp shines in a movie that travels a well-worn path. Stories of activism vs. corporate malfeasance tend to follow a similar trajectory, and “Minamata” is no different. It hits familiar beats of corporate callousness but offers something new in the stunning recreations of Smith’s photos, specifically “Tomoko in her Bath,” the most famous picture from the portfolio.
“Minamata” takes liberties with historical timelines, but this isn’t a documentary, it is a dramatic recreation of Smith’s call to arms, and as such, delivers a compelling, if familiar, story.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about some TIFF highlights and the best movies and television to watch this weekend including the intense Oscar Isaac drama “The Card Counter,” now playing in theatres, the shoot ’em up action flick “Kate” on Netflix.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Paul Schrader’s austere drama “The Card Counter,” the kick ass “Kate” and rom commy “Finding You.”
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 Paul Schrader’s austere drama “The Card Counter,” the kick ass “Kate” and rom commy “Finding You.”
Richard and CKTB Niagara morning show host Tim Denis have a look at Paul Schrader’s austere drama “The Card Counter,” the kick ass “Kate” and rom commy “Finding You” and what TIFF feels like in its first “hybrid” year.
In “Kate,” a new action thriller now streaming on Netflix, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the titular character, a ruthless killer with just twenty-four hours to get to the bottom of a murder—her own.
When we first meet Kate she’s in Japan. Her handler and mentor, played by Woody Harrelson, has arranged a hit of a high-level yakuza. She takes the shot, hits her target, leaving his young daughter Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau) in tears over his body.
Later, on another gig, just as she’s about to take a shot her eyes blur. Unable to aim, she misses, takes another shot and misses again. After a wild chase she lands in the hospital where she is told she’s been poisoned and has just twenty-four hours to live.
Her quest for vengeance leads her to an unlikely ally, Ani, the daughter of one of her victims.
“Kate” is a fast-paced riff on “D.O.A..” the seventy-year-old Edmond O’Brien movie about a victim who tries to figure out who poisoned him and why. French director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan amps up the action, staging everything from wild car chases through the streets of Tokyo to up-close-and-personal fight scenes, all focused on Kate’s ability to jump, punch, shoot and generally lay waste to all comers. Winstead, who proved her action bona fides as Huntress in “Birds of Prey,” brings the kick assery in fight scenes that are fleet-footed and plentiful.
Set against the background of the ticking clock, “Kate” delivers some high velocity action, even if the premise isn’t exactly new.
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Silence” from director Martin Scorsese, Hidden Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe and “A Monster Calls” with Liam Neeson.