Posts Tagged ‘The Hobbit’


Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” “Tolkien,” “Wine Country” and the documentary “Hail Satan?”.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” the cutest crime noir film, “Tolkien,” a standard look at a man who is anything but ordinary and “Wine Country,” Amy Poehler and Company’s trip to the Napa Valley.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!



Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the video game flick “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” “Tolkien,” a biopic of the “Lord of the Rings” author and “Wine Country,” Amy Poehler and Company’s trip to the Napa Valley.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” the cutest crime noir film, “Tolkien,” a standard look at a man who is anything but ordinary, “Wine Country,” Amy Poehler and Company’s trip to the Napa Valley and the religious freedom documentary “Hail Satan?” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” the cutest crime noir film, “Tolkien,” a standard look at a man who is anything but ordinary and “Wine Country,” Amy Poehler and Company’s trip to the Napa Valley.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Dragons in the movies: From J.R.R. Tolkien’s Smaug to How to Train Your Dragon

2014_how_to_train_your_dragon_2-wideBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

The Hobbit author J.R.R. Tolkien described dragon Smaug as “a most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm.” The Flight of the Conchords have a song called Albi the Racist Dragon, and on Dragon Day at Cornell University, an effigy of one of the giant beasts is burned while students shout and dance.

They can be fiery, fearsome creatures. “Noble dragons don’t have friends,” writes Terry Pratchett in Guards! Guards! “The nearest they can get to the idea is an enemy who is still alive.”

It’s not hard to understand why the folks on Game of Thrones are wary of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) brood of the beasts when she spouts off lines like, “When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!” Then there’s Bryagh, the serpentine villain of The Flight of Dragons who not only insults the movie’s heroes before dispatching them, he also gobbles up the eggs of other dragons!

Maybe if characters in movies paid more heed to the advice given by author Steven Brust — “Always speak politely to an enraged dragon” — then movies and TV wouldn’t have to offer up such a wide array of ways to rid the world of dragons. Look on IMDb, there are dozens of titles containing the phrase “dragon slayer.”

The 2010 animated hit How to Train Your Dragon begins in a remote Viking village where killing a dragon is “everything.” It focuses on Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), a kind- hearted boy who captures one of the flying behemoths and discovers two things: One, he can’t bring himself to kill it, and two, that dragons aren’t the fearful monsters everyone thinks they are. He becomes a Dragon Whisperer and the movie shows the serpentine creatures in a different light than the abysmal brutes usually seen on screen.

This weekend, How to Train Your Dragon 2 adds to the list of cinematic dragons who are more misunderstood than actually evil.

The 1941 Disney flick The Reluctant Dragon features a dragon that would rather recite poetry than cause havoc. “You’ve got to be mad to breathe fire,” he says, “but I’m not mad at anybody.”

In the live-action DragonHeart, a fire-breather must team with a dragon-slaying knight (Dennis Quaid) to end an evil king’s rule. When the giant serpent is accused of eating an adversary, he is indignant. “I merely chewed in self-defense, but I never swallowed.”

Eddie Murphy lent some comedic relief to the 1998 animated movie Mulan as the tiny, blue-horned Mushu. He may be the size of the Geico gecko, but don’t mention it. “I’m a dragon, not lizard. I don’t do that tongue thing.”

The Desolation of Smaug review: If you’re a Tolkien fan, you’ll love it.

hobbitBy Richard Crouse and Mark Breslin Reel Guys – Metro Canada

Synopsis: Picking up where An Unexpected Journey left off, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) join with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his army of 12 dwarves. Their goal is to traverse Mirkwood, Esgaroth and Dale to locate the fire-breathing dragon Smaug who hoards the wealth of the Lonely Mountain. On the way they battle giant spiders, make a deal with Bard the bowman (Luke Evans), the descendant of the original Lord of Dale, and some helpful and not-so-helpful elves (including a good lookin’ and deadly She-Elf played by Evangeline Lilly).

•    Richard: 4/5
•    Mark: 2/5

Richard: Mark, despite the sense of mild confusion I felt as I tried to piece the story together, I really enjoyed The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It took a lot of backstory to get to the fifth film based on Middle-earth and its inhabitants and it will help if you know your Shire from your Sauron or your Skin Changers.

But having said that, Peter Jackson has crafted a great action adventure with the same consistency of tone, style and spirit that runs through the LOTR and Hobbit movies. They feel like story shards chipped off the same block.

Mark: Richard, there are two kinds of people in this world — those who admire and enjoy the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and those who are repelled by his neo-medieval, Druidic nonsense.

You can guess which camp I fall into. I sat through the Rings trilogy under great duress, and skipped the first Hobbit entirely. So the only question was how much I would loathe this picture. The good news is: not that much. True, the entire movie and everyone in it needs a haircut, but the set pieces worked, especially the barrel escape down the river and the entire dragon sequence. But the movie felt so long I could have flown to Tokyo for dinner and gotten back in time for the end credits.

RC: I think fans will find the length just about right… non-fans, maybe not so much. This one worked for me. There’s a Richard Attenborough old school epicness about it. It is about good and evil without troubling nuance or antiheroes.

Perhaps because Englishman Tolkien penned these action adventure stories during the Second World War when evil was clear-cut, his books are ripe with allegory but straightforward in their approach to morality and good vs. evil.

MB: A good point, but maybe it’s precisely that serious, hectoring tone that always turned me off. Evangeline Lilly, on the other hand, did not turn me off — quite the opposite.
She really holds the screen even if her ears need cosmetic surgery. But the ending — a cliffhanging cheat, if you ask me — elicited a collective groan from the audience and made the experience feel incomplete. Did you like the dark look of the picture?

RC: I did like the look. It’s darker in tone than the Hobbit books for sure, but I thought it suited Peter Jackson’s take on the story. I also liked the Walking Dead style battle scenes — lots of arrows in heads.

MB: I kept hoping for someone to show up with a gun and put them all out of my misery.



f0d0_dwarven_beardKnow any Hobbit fans from wintry parts of the world? Help them stay warm and fuzzy with a Dwarven Beard Hat from think!


There’s just something about being a dwarf, clearing out orcs and kobolds from an underground keep that just inspires us. Imagine walking around in full armor and stompy boots, axe at the ready, with that luscious dwarven beard for all to see…

Imagine no further! For those of us looking to put some cosplay into our roleplay, check out these dwarven beards! In earthly brown and wise old gray, these 100% acrylic yarn beards will be the hit of your adventuring party. They’re easy to use and adjustable, with two buttons attaching to a knit warrior’s helm. (Axe, armor and ale sadly not included.)

And remember, dwarves are equal-opportunity — these beards aren’t just for men! Nothing says sexy like a dwarven lass with silky chin tresses.

Product Specifications

  • Dwarven beard hats make you stout and powerful!
  • Knit horned helm with detachable beard
  • Beard colors: Brown or gray
  • Materials: 100% acrylic yarn
  • Great for male and lady dwarves alike!
  • Love your bearded hat: The beard will tangle, so hand-wash that part. The hat can be machine washed on gentle/cold. Lay flat to dry.

Learn more about the hairy hats HERE!