Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the loud and proud Milla Jovovich actioner “Monster Hunter,” the Andy Samberg time loop rom com “Palm Springs” and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Angie Seth to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
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 the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
Director Paul WS Anderson and star Milla Jovovich made four movies together based on video game developer Capcom’s “Resident Evil” action-adventure series. Their new project, “Monster Hunter,” now playing in theatres, returns to the same well, this time bringing Capcom’s second best-selling series, after “Resident Evil,” to big, noisy life on movie screens.
The plot is straightforward. Jovovich is Captain Natalie Artemis, a last name she happens to share with the Greek goddess of the hunt. When she and her team slip through a portal into a world teaming with monsters, she partners with The Hunter (Tony Jaa), a warrior who specializes in battling giant monsters. If she wants to survive and make it back to her world, he is her best hope. “To kill a monster,” she says, “you need a monster.”
Anderson’s previous movies are like heavy metal concerts, loud and proud, with the finesse of a sledge hammer and “Monster Hunter” is no different. It’s a simple story told with sweeping shots of the alien landscape, a turn-it-up-eleven sound mix and more CGI creatures than you can shake a gaming controller at. Don’t come here for story arcs or character development, those qualities are as absent as subtlety.
The action sequences are shot motion-sickness style, with the camera in constant movement, making it hard to see who is beating the stuffing out of who. It’s a shame because Jaa is one of the most agile and entertaining action stars this side of Jackie Chan in his prime, but much of the time here he is a blur of fists and fury.
“Monster Hunter’s” plot is so thin, if you held it up to the light, you could see right through it. But this isn’t “War and Peace.” Heck, it’s barely “See Spot Run” story wise. Instead, it’s more an excuse to slap together some jump scares and, admittedly cool looking creatures, with elements borrowed from other movies like “Predator” and “Alien.”
2020 has been slim pickings for big off-the-wall action movies. “Monster Hunter” doesn’t offer much, but for anyone starved for no-nonsense—or should that be all nonsense? —pedal to the metal action, it just might do the trick.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries,” the family drama “Leave No Trace” and the love letter to one of Manhattan’s most famous hotels, “Always at the Carlyle.”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the latest Marvel superhero flick “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries” and the glitz documentary “Always at the Carlyle.”
“Do you guys put the word quantum in front of everything?”
That’s the question Paul Rudd, playing Scott Lang / Ant-Man, asks in the new Marvel movie “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” Having seen the film I wonder why he didn’t speak up earlier, like when the screenwriters were scribbling about quantum physics, quantum realm, quantum void, quantum this and quantum that. These movies are supposed to be about a smart alecy guy who can shrink himself down to the size of an ant to solve crimes, not the Heisenberg principle.
The movie begins as Lang has just three days left on his house arrest following the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Trapped in his apartment he has a strange dream. He sees Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), wife of scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), mother of Lilly van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), trapped in the quantum wormhole she disappeared into three decades before. Meanwhile Hank and Lilly are perfecting a method to rescue their loved one from the quantum hike she now calls home. Trouble is, they can’t do it alone. They need any information that may be trapped in Rudd’s head and money from a grubby bad guy. Time is of the essence as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a spectral presence who can walk through walls, also seeks out Janet’s quantum power to heal her cellular disorder.
From the kitschy sounding title to the size-shifting characters to the scientific mumbo jumbo that takes up much of the screen time, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is a throwback to drive-in movies of the 1950s. It’s been updated with better special effects and more authentic sounding science jargon, but make no mistake, for better and for worse, this has just as much in common with flickers like “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “Them!” as it does with the Avengers. Like the 50s b-movies that were undoubtedly an influence, this is a loud-n-proud genre film but like many of the Avengers films that are part of the Ant-Man family, it is marred by excess. Too many characters, too many story shards—a rescue mission, two sets of baddies chasing down the quantum technology, a romantic subplot, a family film angle—too much exposition to much quantum theory.
There is a funny scene about an hour into the movie where Michael Peña, playing Lang’s former cellmate and current business partner, recaps the story so far. It takes two minutes, is laugh-out-loud funny and completely negates the need for much of the exposition—people in this movie love to ask things like, “What have you done?”—that comes before it. Move that to the beginning of the film and they could have saved pages of dialogue and juiced up the film’s fun factor by at least fifty percent.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp” does plough some new ground—it is the first time a female superhero’s name is in the title of an MCU film—but feels scattershot in its execution.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show guest host Ken Connors to talk about the small scale superheroes “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the Christopher Plummer road trip “Boundaries,” the father and daughter drama “Leave No Trace” and the love letter to one of Manhattan’s great hotels, “Always at the Carlyle.”