Posts Tagged ‘The Heat’


Check out the Richard Crouse Show on NewsTalk 1010 for May 12, 2018! This week Richard welcomes Sarah Rotella, director and producer for Nobody Famous, Maya Gallus, Director of The Heat and comedian Kyle Bottom.

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!: Each week on The Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Richard also lets you know what movies you’ll want to run to see and which movies you’ll want to wait for DVD release. Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed! Read Richard NewsTalk 1010 reviews HERE!

The show airs:

NewsTalk 1010 –  airs in Toronto Saturday at 9 to 10 pm. 

For Niagara, Newstalk 610 Radio – airs Saturdays at 6 to 7 pm 

For Montreal, CJAD 800 – Saturdays at 6 to 7 pm 

For Vancouver – CFAX 1070 – Saturdays 6 to 7 pm. 

For London — Newstalk 1290 CJBK, Saturdays 10 to 11 pm


Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.35.00 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Spy,” “Entourage,” “Hungry Hearts” and “Insidious: Chapter 3.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.38.03 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Spy,” “Entourage” and “Hungry Hearts.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Metro In Focus: I Spy another Melissa McCarthy blockbuster

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 3.48.18 PMBy Richard Crouse

I used to find Melissa McCarthy frustrating.

Director Paul Feig calls her “one of the funniest people in the world.” Her husband, actor Ben Falcone, says she “will do anything to get a laugh” but her tendency to go for the easy gag often put me in the mind of Will Ferrell in his Blades of Glory nadir.

Thanks to a string of hits like Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat and Tammy and an $809,163,263 box office total, McCarthy is a rarity in Hollywood, a female comedy superstar. Everyone agrees she is a skilled comic actor who amplifies the funny in good movies and elevates the jokes in lesser scripts but the latter is why I used to find her exasperating. Much of her recent work—this weekend’s very funny Spy notwithstanding—has relied on her major personality to magnify minor material.

There’s no arguing with the kind of financial success she has enjoyed but critical accolades have been elusive. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, said of Tammy, “The movie’s principal intention is to make you laugh at a loser, and revel in scenes from which polite people would instinctively turn away.”

Bridesmaids was her flashpoint, the film that broke her out of the TV sidekick treadmill. As Megan—imagine a feral, female Guy Fieri—she stole the show out from under other, better known stars like Kristen Wiig and earned an Oscar nomination. It’s a wonderful, weird performance that hinted at great things to come but aside from a few inspired moments she has not made good on the promise of Bridesmaids. Her work has come to rely too heavily on a stock character, the obnoxious loser with a heart of gold buried beneath a thick shell of one-liners and non sequiturs.

“I’ve played a lot of characters who are very vocal, very aggressive,” she told me in 2014. “For the women I’ve played there is a reason why they are so ballsy and it is nice when you see the crack in the veneer and you realize, ‘It’s part of their insecurity. They stay loud so nobody yells at them.’”

It’s an interesting character breakdown but one that played itself out by the end of 2013’s Identity Thief when I believe she became infected with Will Ferrell disease.

There was a time when Will Ferrell could do no wrong. At least that’s what the directors of Blades of Glory, Land of the Lost and Semi-Pro thought. Popular with audiences, he was allowed to run riot in a series of so-so films resulting in the bleak middle period of his career where manic energy replaced humor in his films.

McCarthy suffers from the same affliction. She is funny, she knows how to deliver a line, but in Identity Thief, The Heat and Tammy she’s off the chain, Ferrelling her way through underwritten scripts.

Ferrell turned things around and so has McCarthy. In St. Vincent she took a step away from her well-established comedic persona to deliver laughs and show her dramatic range.

Her latest film, Spy is also welcome return to form. Paired once again with director Feig, the movie offers up the best of both worlds, a funny, smart script and a director who knows how to maximize her talents. As Susan Cooper, a CIA computer-analyst-turned-international-field-agent-on-a-mission-of-revenge, she’s likeable, funny and most importantly, reigned in.

SPY: 4 STARS. “Melissa McCarthy has better action scenes than Jason Statham.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 3.47.22 PMThe new movie “Spy” has all the stuff you expect from a secret agent flick. There’s exotic locations, shoot-outs, beautiful women, handsome tuxedoed men and plenty of action. That Melissa McCarthy has better action scenes than co-star Jason Statham is just one clue that it’s also a comedy. The next clue is the constant stream of laughs coming from the ensemble cast.

McCarthy is Susan Cooper, a CIA computer analyst who guides the field agents through their missions. She’s in love with Bradley Fine (Jude Law), a James Bond type—think Daniel Craig without the menace—who rhetorically asks, “Who’s the finest of them all?” after taking down his enemies. As accomplished as Susan is behind-the-scenes, Fine and her boss Agent Crocker (Allison Janney) treat her like a lap dog. When Fine disappears during a dangerous mission Crocker decides they need an unknown agent to complete his assignment and locate a Bulgarian arms dealer named Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). Cooper, thirsty to avenge Fine’s death volunteers and despite the protests of senior agent Richard Ford (Jason Statham), is sent to Paris to track Boyanov and stop Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale) from selling a nuke to a terrorist organization.

In “Spy” McCarthy leaves behind the aggressive but damaged comedic persona of “Identity Thief,” “The Heat” and “Tammy” and is likeable, funny and most importantly, reigned in. “Spy” is funny, but feels so much more disciplined than any of McCarthy’s last handful of films. Director Paul Feig knows when to let McCarthy off the leash—there are some wild slapstick scenes here but he also knows when to pull her back and let the script do the work. She’s appeared in a string of weakly written comedies that required her to pull out all the stops to wring a laugh or two from poor scripts. Here she has the best of both worlds—a funny, smart script and a director who knows how to maximize her talent.

The supporting cast who knows when to work and when to get out of the way ably assists. It’s fun to see Statham have fun with his tough guy persona—“This arm was ripped off,” he says indicating his right arm, “and reattached with this one,” raising his left.—and Byrne’s mastery of one liners gives McCarthy a run for her money in the laughs department.

McCarthy Ferrelled it in several films, replacing humor with manic energy, but she’s in top form in “Spy,” generating genuine laughs and excitement for the upcoming “Ghostbusters” sequel she’s planning with Feig.


The_Heat_37990A few years ago Will Ferrell could do no wrong.

At least that’s what the directors of “Blades of Glory,” “Land of the Lost” and “Semi-Pro” thought. Popular with audiences, he was allowed to run riot in a series of so-so films resulting in the bleak middle period of his career where manic energy replaced humor in his films.

“The Heat” suffers from the same affliction. Melissa McCarthy is funny. She knows how to deliver a line, and was one of the most memorable characters in “Bridesmaids” but between “Identity Thief” and this new film with Sandra Bullock, she is off the chain, Ferrelling her way through these comedies, but not bringing enough of the funny along with her.

“The Heat” is an odd couple, buddy cop movie set in Boston. Sarah Ashburn (Oscar winner Bullock) is an uptight, lone wolf FBI agent who has closed more cases than anyone else at the Bureau. Her colleagues don’t respect her, however, thinking that she’s arrogant and competitive.

When she is assigned to a case in Boston she bumps heads with Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), a tough-talking street cop who spends as much time berating her co-workers as she does arresting bad guys.

They form an unlikely alliance, teaming up to bring down a murderous drug dealer.

This kind of dynamic is as old as the movies, so you’d hope for the performances to breath some new life into the film’s withered lungs. Instead we get the same old from two good performers.

“Bridesmaids,” also directed by Paul Feig, worked because no matter how outrageous the situation the characters were based in some kind of reality. They may have been exaggerated in a Commedia dell’Arte kind of way, but at their core each character felt somewhat grounded and the humor in the film arose from the situations and audience’s relationship with the people on screen.

In an effort to create real characters “The Heat” adds in some family dynamics and backstory, but even then, it feels more like a plot device than an authentic attempt to deepen the onscreen dynamic.

“The Heat” has two capable stars with good chemistry—McCarthy is crass and likeable; Bullock is charming and likeable—but their broad characterizations of Ashburn and Mullins never achieve any kind of bond. Instead they push for laughs that often don’t appear.

There are laughs—less funny are some hacky jabs at the expense of an albino character— but with this pedigree there should be more. McCarthy is responsible for many of the chuckles, but the gag to giggle ratio is 5 to 1. McCarthy doesn’t do anything here we haven’t seen her do before, and her foul-mouthed, female Zach Galifianakis schtick is getting old. She has more to offer than this, and before she turns into “Land of the Lost” Ferrell I hope she tries something new.

“The Heat” is a mild summer diversion, a formulaic movie that once seen will be instantly forgotten.

The buddy cop genre is about to cross gender lines with The Heat – but will it pass the Bechdel Test? By Richard Crouse In Focus – Metro Canada June 26, 2013

the-heat-melissa-mccarthy-sandra-bullock-6The Bechdel gender bias Test was created in the mid-eighties by cartoonist Alison Bechdel. It’s a simple analysis that gives movies a pass or fail based on three simple criteria:

1.) It has to have at least two women in it, 2.) who talk to each other, 3.) about something besides a man.

This weekend The Heat will submit itself up to the Bechdel Test and has a good chance of getting the seal of approval.

Starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as an uptight FBI agent paired with a loose cannon Boston cop to hunt down a drug lord, the movie is a rarity—a female buddy cop movie.

Not all of he movies on Bechdel’s list are winners—Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula, anyone?—but the test isn’t an indicator of quality, just gender bias.

For example, the buddy picture Beaches, starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey as lifelong friends has the Bechdel seal of approval but is hopelessly melodramatic. The story of the bond between singer “C.C.” and wealthy lawyer Hillary is a weepie (the Wind Beneath Your Wings moment is a five Kleenex scene) that audiences responded to because of the tender relationship between the two women.

Woody Allen’s most successful movies have frequently had women’s names in their titles and while Vicky Christina Barcelona isn’t a classic like Hannah and Her Sisters and Annie Hall it really good and earned a thumbs up from Bechdel.

The movie begins with two girlfriends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), on summer vacation in Spain. They’re best of friends but have very different outlooks on life. Vicky is a straight-laced New Yorker, Cristina is a sexually audacious free spirit, still trying to find herself. The young Americans meet an intriguing painter (Javier Bardem) who woos them both as he tries to deal with his residual feelings for his passionate but slightly loopy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz).

Finally, Whip It, first time director Drew Barrymore’s movie about female roller derby, also gets a passing grade on Bechdel’s test. Ellen Page plays an unhappy teenager from small town Texas who stumbles across a flyer for a female Roller Derby league and sees a way out of her mundane life. Turns out she has a natural derby demon ability and soon learns that just because she’s found a new family at the roller rink she can’t throw her old family away.