Posts Tagged ‘The Fault in Our Stars’


Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 2.05.20 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Southpaw,” “Pixels” and “Paper Towns.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.50.42 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Southpaw,” “Pixels” and “Paper Towns.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

PAPER TOWNS: 3 STARS. “simultaneously overwritten and under realised.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.19.05 PM“Paper Towns,” the new teen movie from the writer of “The Fault in Our Stars,” is a coming-of-age-mystery-love story-road trip-romance about a teenage boy and the mysterious girl of his dreams.

Nat Wolff is Quentin, an Orlando, Florida A-student just weeks away from graduation. His childhood crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne), lives across the street but they haven’t spoken in nine years. He’s a nerd, she’s an exotic beauty who looks like she just walked out of a Victoria Secrets catalogue—because, in real life, Delevingne was a VS model—and he still loves her. One night, out of the blue, she appears and asks a favour with her husky voice, like a young Brenda Vaccaro.

“I have nine things to do tonight, and I need a get-a-way driver.”

It’s a mission of revenge against her cheating boyfriend and BFFs who have betrayed her. “It’s a night to right some wrongs and wrong some rights,” she tells him. “Basically it will be the best night of your life.”

Among other things they cloak a car in Saran Wrap, complete with a note that reads “That’s a wrap on our friendship,” and share a quick tender moment. The next morning, she’s gone.

Her parents are unconcerned. “She’s not missing,” says her mother, “she’s gone. There’s a difference. She’ll come back when people stop talking about her.”

Quentin isn’t so sure, and soon begins to find clues Margo left behind. Convinced she wants him to find her, he becomes a teenage Columbo, piecing together a series of obscure clues that would give Sherlock Holmes a headache. The clues lead him and a car load of friends (Halston Sage as Lacey, Austin Abrams as Ben, Justice Smith as Radar and Jaz Sinclair as Angela) to a tiny “paper town” (a fictional place on a map used by cartographers as copyright protection) in New York State.

Whether or not Quentin finds her is irrelevant. It’s the journey, not the destination that counts. Margo is the McGuffin, an impossible pixie dream girl who, despite reading Walt Whitman and being the only millennial who knows who Woody Guthrie is, is the least interesting part of the story. She exists simply to put everything in motion.

Is the journey worth your time and money? Sure, if you consider pop psychology like, “You have to get lost to find yourself,” to be a deep insight to the human condition. It rides the line between existential teen drama and the above-mentioned mishmash of styles (coming-of-age-mystery-love story-road trip-romance) that never exactly dins its tone. For a movie whose mantra is, “Take a risk,” it certainly plays it safe with the storytelling.

Keeping that in mind, “Paper Towns” is populated with likeable, compelling characters. Delevingne is a charismatic catalyst, and the trio of boys have the genuine chemistry of friends who have “known one another since they were foetuses.” They bring the material to life, breathing life into a story that is simultaneously overwritten and under realised.

Watch Richard’s CP24 weekend reviews! Edge of Tomorrow, Chef & Fault of Our Stars!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.58.16 PMRichard reviews “Edge of Tomorrow,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Chef” and “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” on CP24!

Watch the whole thing HERE!




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Richard’s weekend CTV NewsChannel movie reviews! Cruise, Woodley and more!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.59.47 AMRichards’s weekend CTV NewsChannel movie reviews for “The Edge of Tomorrow,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Chef!”!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: 3 ½ STARS. “The first five-hankie film of the year.”

1391020437000--FAULT-OUR-STARS-MOV-jy-2622The first five-hankie film of the year, “The Fault in Our stars” is an adolescent “Love Story.” Based on John Green’s young adult novel about two teenagers who fall in love after meeting in a cancer support group, it’s a tearjerker that has been making teenage girls spout tears like water shooting from fire hydrants since its release in 2012.

“Divergent” star Shailene Woodley plays Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old first diagnosed with cancer when she was thirteen. An experimental treatment has given her some semblance of a normal life, but the cancer is now in her lungs and she relies on a portable oxygen tank to keep her alive. “My lungs suck at being lungs,” she says, “but theoretically they should work for a while.”

Fearing that the young girl is spending far too much time alone compulsively reading a cancer memoir called An Imperial Affliction, her parents Frannie and Michael (Laura Dern, Sam Trammell), push her towards a support group for kids with cancer at a local church.

There she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a handsome eighteen-year-old former athlete who lost a leg to osteosarcoma. He falls for her but she keeps him in the friend zone in an attempt to protect him from what she sees as an unhappy ending to their potential romance. “I’m a grenade,” she says, “and one day I’m going to explode and obliterate everything in my wake and it is my responsibility to minimize the causalities.”

It sounds like it has all the elements of a major summer bummer, but despite being set in what Hazel calls the “Republic of Cancervania,” it avoids the maudlin. Instead the story is told with acerbic wit, filtered through the life experiences of characters who have rarely known a healthy day. In the film’s opening minutes Hazel says she doesn’t live in a world where “nothing is so messed up it can’t be fixed by a Peter Gabriel song,” suggesting that there won’t be any easy answers offered up here.

Spearheading the uniformly excellent cast is Woodley who strays into Jennifer Lawrence territory here. Her Hazel is a realist, with a fatalistic streak, but still a teen and Woodley finds a balance between those aspects of Hazel’s life and personality in a remarkably complex but natural performance. She’s wry, calling herself the “Keith Richard of cancer kids” while inventorying her daily intake of drugs. But she’s also wise beyond her years. On her parent’s struggle she says, “The only thing worse than biting it from cancer,” she says “is having a kid bite it from cancer.”

As a terminally ill girl who lets down walls to let love into her life Woodley drips with charisma. Her performance—with capable assistance from Elgort and Dern—brings genuine emotion to scenes that might have gone the way of over-the-top sentimentality or cliché.

It’s true that some of the dialogue is overwritten—these are the most articulate teens on film since Juno—and the second half succumbs to a hint of emotional manipulation, but it works.

My biggest complaint about the whole experience was being splashed by the tears of my fellow moviegoers. Bring a towel.