Posts Tagged ‘Tituss Burgess’


Richard joins Jay Michaels and guest host Deb Hutton of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the morbid history of the Sourtoe Cocktail and some new releases in theatres, the Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy” and the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Ryan Reynolds in the action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including the new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


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 new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the new Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy,” the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” and the Robert De Niro Hollywood satire “The Comeback Trail.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

RESPECT: 3 ½ STARS. “a rousing tribute to Franklin’s lifeblood, the music.”

Two years ago, the documentary “Amazing Grace” showcased Aretha Franklin remarkable 1972 two-night stand at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. It’s a soul stirring window into Franklin’s vocal ability as she caresses and stretches the notes of the songs to maximum effect.

A new film, “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson and now playing in theatres, broadens the scope, detailing Franklin’s life from her beginnings, singing in her father’s church, to the height of her fame.

We first meet Aretha as a ten-year-old (Sky Dakota Turner) phenom, blessed with a beautiful voice. “You have a talent,” her Baptist minister father Clarence (Forest Whitaker) says, “they call genius.” She’s ten, says a friend, but her voice is going on thirty. Her guiding light is mother Barbara (Audra McDonald), who tells her, “Singing in sacred and you shouldn’t do it because somebody wants you to. What’s important is that you are treated with dignity and respect.”

Despite that advice, her father controls every aspect of her life. Using his connections, Rev. Franklin secures a recording contact with music producer John Hammond (Tate Donovan) at Columbia Records. Four low-selling albums of jazz and blues standards follow as she struggles to find her voice on vinyl.

The climb to the top of the charts came with advice from a legend, Dinah Washington (Mary J. Blige), who told her, “Honey, find the songs that move you. Until you do that, you ain’t going nowhere,” and a new manager (and love interest) in the form of Ted White (Marlon Wayans). Taking the career reigns from Franklin’s father, White breaks ranks with Columbia, and gets a new record deal and a new sound with producer Jerry Wexler (Marc Maron).

As Franklin becomes known as the Queen of Soul, she and White struggle with personal demons that threaten to sidetrack her rise to superstardom.

First and foremost, “Respect” is a tribute to the genius of Aretha Franklin and the talent of Jennifer Hudson. Franklin left an indelible mark on several generation and styles of music, and her life’s work is well represented here, from her roots in the church, to her genre-bending chart toppers and the civil rights activism that defined her life off stage.

Hudson is given ample opportunity to showcase Franklin’s vocal stylings, and does so with a voice that sounds heaven sent. As a rousing jukebox musical “Respect” succeeds spectacularly well.

It’s in the telling of Franklin’s life that the movie hits a few sour notes. There is a lot of ground to cover, from alcoholism and racism to sexism and becoming pregnant at the age of 12, it’s a complicated story told in fits and starts, wedged between musical numbers.

The film’s early scenes, featuring the wonderful Skye Dakota Turner as the ten-year-old “Ree,” are nicely developed and paint a vivid picture of Franklin’s young life. It’s when “Respect” adopts the Wikipedia bullet point approach to quickly cover a lot of ground that the movie loses some of its dramatic thrust.

“Respect” skims the surface of a long, interesting life—the story ends rather abruptly in 1972 with the recording of Franklin’s landmark “Amazing Grace” gospel album—but presents a rousing tribute to Franklin’s lifeblood, the music.


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Gemini Man,” “Dolemite is My Name” and “Lucy in the Sky.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Gemini Man,” “Dolemite is My Name” and “Lucy in the Sky.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

DOLEMITE IS MY NAME: 4 STARS. “entertaining and heartening story.”

Rudy Ray Moore may be the most influential entertainer who is not exactly a household name. The actor, comedian, musician, singer and film producer is best known under his stage name Dolemite, his motor-mouthed pimp persona from the 1975 film “Dolemite.” Featuring a mix of clumsy kung fu action, flashy clothes and sexually explicit dialogue and action, it has a well-earned a reputation as one of the best bad movies ever made.

No one will ever confuse the “Dolemite” movie or its sequels “The Human Tornado” and “The Return of Dolemite” with great art, but the character, vividly brought to life by Eddie Murphy in the new biopic “Dolemite is My Name,” was a trailblazer. His vocal delivery, a blend of braggadocio and raunchy rhymes, was a direct influence on hip hop pioneers like Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and 2 Live Crew, setting the template for a generation of rappers.

The new film, directed by “Hustle and Flow’s” Craig Brewer, is the story of how Moore became Dolemite but it’s also about an outsider who created his own path to stardom. Like “The Disaster Artist” or “Ed Wood” it’s about the power of a person to make their dreams come true.

When we first meet Moore he’s assistant managing Dolphin’s of Hollywood one of the first African-American-owned record stores in Los Angeles by day and flopping as an MC in the clubs by night. He’s what they called an all-in-one-act. He sings, dances and tells corny jokes that start with lines like, “What did the Elephant say to the man?”

It isn’t until he finds inspiration in the tall tales told by Ricco (Ron Cephas Jones), a homeless man who hangs around the shop. “I ain’t no hobo,” he announces. “I am a repository of African-American folklore.” Ricco tells hilarious stories of “the baddest m*****rf***er who ever lived, Dolemite,” giving Moore just what he needs, an act like no one has ever seen before. Dolemite, complete with rhyming street poetry, wild 70s fashion and enough obscenity to make Lenny Bruce blush, is an instant hit. Audiences love it and soon Moore is making raunchy, self-produced records that hit the Billboard charts despite having to be sold under-the-counter because of their filthy covers and subject matter.

The inspiration to bring Dolemite to the big screen comes after Moore and friends take in a screening of Billy Wilder’s 1974 comedy “The Front Page.” The mostly white audience eats it up, yukking it up throughout while Rudy and his friends stare at the screen, stone faced. “That movie had no funny, no t**ties, and no Kung Fu,” he says. “The stuff people like us want to see.” He hires D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes) and playwright Jerry Jones (Keegan-Michael Key) and self-finances a movie about a pimp who takes revenge on the criminals and corrupt police officers who framed him. The result is a playful, over-the-top jumble of kung fu fighting, low rent action and sexy, sexy good times that becomes a word-of-mouth hit. “All my life I’ve wanted to be famous,” Rudy says, “but this is more important. This is about connecting with people.”

“Dolemite is My Name” is a simple, very sweet movie about a very raunchy man. An inspirational story of outsiders who find an on ramp into the show biz life nobody else would offer them, it’s the tale of an independent man who doesn’t see problems, only solutions.

Murphy plays Moore with plenty of heart. It’s a live wire performance that brings to life the indefatigable spirit of a guy who thought big. “I want the world to know I exist,” he says, not only for himself but for his under-represented community.

“Dolemite is My Name,” from its wild costumes by Oscar-winning designer Ruth E. Carter, to the fun performances from Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, Craig Robinson and Da’Vine Joy Randolph in supporting roles, to the music and the comedy to the evocation of the 1970s, is an entertaining and heartening story of a life lived large.