Posts Tagged ‘Teresa Palmer’


screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-4-29-02-pmRichard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Doctor Strange,” the fourteenth film in the Marvel Universe, “Trolls,” the return of a 1970s pop culture phenomenon, Andrew Garfield as real-life WWII hero and pacifist Desmond Doss in “Hacksaw Ridge” and the Iggy and the Stooges documentary “Gimme Danger.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-4-28-18-pmRichard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Benedict Cumberbatch in “Doctor Strange,” the fourteenth film in the Marvel Universe, “Trolls,” the return of a 1970s pop culture phenomenon with Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, Andrew Garfield as real-life WWII hero and pacifist Desmond Doss in “Hacksaw Ridge” and the Iggy and the Stooges documentary “Gimme Danger.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

HACKSAW RIDGE: 3 STARS. “occasionally profane and with a muddled moral core.”

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-4-54-59-pm“Hacksaw Ridge,” a new war film from director Mel Gibson, is much like the man himself; blustery, loud, occasionally profane and with a muddled moral core.

The film opens with grim imagery, soldiers with their faces blown off, engulfed in flames, before jumping back in time sixteen years to tell the tale of real-life pacifist Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield). Growing up in podunk Virginia Desmond is a high spirited boy who almost kills his brother during a play fight spun out of control. When his mother (Rachel Griffiths) tells him the most egregious sin of all is the taking of another person’s life, he allows the potent words to sink in and take root.

Later, after a whirlwind romance of the, “Today I met the girl I’m going to marry,” type he enlists in the army, despite the protests of his WWI vet father (Hugo Weaving and his fiancée (Teresa Palmer). A conscientious objector, Desmond refuses any kind of weapons training, insisting instead to go into battle as a medic. In boot camp his fellow cadets treat him like a pariah while his superiors (Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington) threaten him with a court martial. “I’m not off up above,” he says pointing to his head. “I just believe what I believe.”

“Hacksaw Ridge” is the kind of movie that presents the main character as an underdog, but you know by the end of the film someone will say, “That crazy SOB was the bravest man I ever met,” or words to the effect. And so it goes. On Hacksaw Ridge, an impossibly tall cliff on the Japanese island of Okinawa, his mettle is tested when his platoon is attacked and overwhelmed. Without firing a shot, or even touching a gun, Desmond dodges death in the form of Japanese soldiers, bullets and grenades to bring aid to his colleagues.

This is a morality tale about a man whose noble intentions are misunderstood by everyone. Based on real events, it nonetheless has the feel of Hollywood fiction.  Perhaps it’s because of our cynical times, but stories of the indomitable spirit seem to take on a corny edge no matter how much gruesome stuff—legs turn in the hamburger meat, rats eating corpses—the director uses to paint the screen.

That may be unfair, but there is an undeniable aw-shucks vibe that permeates the air. Gibson clearly respects the moral high ground his main character takes, but allows Garfield to play Doss as a hokey cliché, with one hand on the bible and a goofy grin plastered on his face. It’s amiable enough work but when the “hellfire of combat” kicks in he tends to get lost amid the action.

And there is a lot of action. By the time the movie shifts location to the titular warzone Gibson goes full tilt with skilfully shot, hardcore battle scenes. For a film about pacifism he doesn’t hold back, bringing his usual subtlety (think “Braveheart,” “The Passion of the Christ” or “Apocalypto”) to scenes of dismemberment and even a glimpse of ritual Seppuku. It’s wild and woolly and often very effective. A slow speed chase sequence in one of the cliff’s tunnels has tension and a couple of good jump scares. It’s solid filmmaking, if just a little safe. There’s nothing here as oddball or challenging as the use of arcane languages in his last two films or “Passion’s” female Satan. Instead he’s made a conventional, if somewhat gory inspirational biopic that suggests, come for the old time religion, stay for the blood and guts.

It’s hard to separate Mel Gibson from his films. “Hacksaw Ridge,” despite its lack of his usual eccentric flourishes, still feels like it could only be made by a man torn between deeply held faith and a wild side that sometimes runs free.


Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 9.12.55 AMRichard sits in with Marcia McMillan to have a look at the continuing adventures of the USS Enterprise “Star Trek Beyond,” the family-friendly “Ice Age: Collision Course,” Edina and Patsy’s drunken adventures in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” and the ‘are you afraid of the dark’ movie, “Lights Out.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

LIGHTS OUT: 2 STARS. “jump scares and a few low-fi but high wattage shocks.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.46.29 PMAs a general rule it’s not the dark we’re afraid of, it’s the goblins and ghosts that may be lurking on the dark that terrify us. A new film from producer and horror meister James Wan takes advantage of our fears, unveiling the creepy crawlies that may or may not be shrouded in darkness.

Based on Swedish director David F. Sandberg’s acclaimed short film of the same name, the movie stars Teresa Palmer as Rebecca, a young woman who left home at a young age, disturbed by visions and her mother Sophie’s (Maria Bello) behaviour. Years later Rebecca returns home after a phone call from her half-brother Martin’s (Gabriel Bateman) school. Seems he’s been having a hard time staying awake in class and Rebecca fears the same spirit that plagued the family for years is tormenting him. “Every time I turn off the lights,” he says, “there’s this woman waiting in the shadows.”

The bloodthirsty supernatural form is Sophie’s childhood friend (Alicia Vela-Bailey) who had a skin condition that made her allergic to the light. “A long time ago I had a friend named Diana,” says Sophie, “and something really bad happened to her.” Sophie sees her as “a good friend” but Rebecca fears she is actually a malevolent spirit only visible in the dark. When the lights come on, she disappears. “Everyone is afraid of the dark,” says Rebecca, “and that’s what she feeds on.”

With her sanity and safety at risk, Rebecca must discover, once and for all, why Diana does bad things when the lights go out. “Each one of us is being haunted by this thing,” says Rebecca.

The light averse wraith is a cool, fresh idea for a movie bugaboo. The story, however, feels stretched to fill the 8eighty-one-minute running time. There are some good jump scares early on and a few low-fi but high wattage shocks in the final twenty minutes—Beware the flickering light!—but the lead up feels padded.

As it is “Lights Out” is a nicely performed ray of genre with a few story problems that will leave some audience members in the dark.


Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 9.00.19 AMRichard and CP24 anchor host Nneka Elliot have a look at he weekend’s big releases, the Spike Lee satire “Chi-Raq,” the young adult dystopia of “The Divergent Series: Allegiant Pt. 1” and the Lance Armstrong biopic “The Program.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 9.34.26 AMRichard and “Canada AM” host host Beverly Thomson have a look at the weekend’s big releases: the Spike Lee satire “Chi-Raq,” the young adult dystopia of “The Divergent Series: Allegiant Pt. 1,” the Lance Armstrong biopic “The Program,” and “Knight of Cups,” the new Terrence Malick paint drier.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


KNIGHT OF CUPS: 1 STAR. “not unlike watching expensive, glossy paint dry.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.35.26 PMSometimes it can be hard to be a Terrence Malick fan. At their best the director’s poetic films are soulful investigations of the human spirit. His greatest movies—“Tree of Life,” “Badlands”—are masterworks of spiritual introspection but his worst work crosses the lane into pretention in a way that makes Kanye West’s Twitter account look humble. It can be a struggle to actually enjoy some of his work, but never have I battled with a Malick movie the way I did with “Knight of Cups.” Fought to stay in my seat until the end. It’s a cure for insomnia not unlike watching expensive, glossy paint dry.

Broken into chapters with titles like Judgment, Death and The Hanged Man, the film stars Christian Bale as Rick, a successful but desperately unhappy Hollywood screenwriter. Like an extended episode of “Seinfeld” were nothing happens, Rick wanders around the screen accompanied by a series of beautiful women—Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer and Freida Pinto—but ultimately cannot find joy with any of them. He strolls through life with a sad sack expression on his face that makes Sad Keanu seem jubilant, moving from woman to woman, rueing, “All of those years living a life of someone I did not know.”

Apparently inspired by the 1678 Christian allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and the passage “Hymn of the Pearl” from “The Acts of Thomas,” “Knight of Cups,” is, I suppose supposed to be a dreamy look into one man’s life, but is this a sense memory visualized for the big screen or is it just the self-indulgent ramblings of an auteur? As Helen (Pinto) tells Rick, “Dreams are nice but you can’t live in them.”

Part of the problem is Malick’s storytelling, or more rightly, lack thereof. The film follows Malick’s trademarked impressionistic style but seems to have been assembled by a Random Shot Generator. Indiscriminate images of Los Angeles flood the screen—wild parties, an Antonio Banderas cameo, earthquakes, palm trees, movie studio back lots—accompanied by mumbled dialogue and Bale’s grim face.

It’s hard to feel compassion or anything else for Rick as he stumbles through relationship after relationship because we are never given any clue as to who he is. He’s a cipher, the walking conundrum with an attitude. If I wanted to spend two hours watching someone having a mid-life crisis I’d look in the mirror rather than spend another minute concerning myself with Rick’s troubles.

I gave “Knight of Cups” one out of five stars because there is something there. I’m just not sure what it is and I’m not sure Malick does either. Tedium, thy name is “Knight of Cups.”


Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.45.13 PMRichard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson review the screwball comedy of “Hail, Caesar!,” the thrills of “Mojave,” the tearjerking of “The Choice” and the heartwarming of “The Lady in the Van.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!