Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” copy cat “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent,” the family drama “What They Had” and the operatic documentary “Maria by Callas.”
Richard has a look at Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the family drama “What They Had” and Gerard Butler’s action-adventure “Hunter Killer” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
If there was ever more proof need to put Pablo Picasso’s remark, “good artists borrow, great artists steal,” to bed it’s the new Gerard Butler film. “Hunter Killer” borrows and out right steals elements from any number of movies, “The Hunt for Red October” chief among them, but is neither good nor great.
“Hunter Killer” takes place on land, on sea and on the phone. Based on the 2012 novel “Firing Point” by Don Keith and George Wallace “Hunter Killer” sees Butler as an unconventional US submarine Commander Joe Glass. He’s on a mission to find and rescue a missing U.S. sub when he stumbles across a popular 1990s plot twist—a Russian coup that threatens to demolish world order.
Stealthily cruising through enemy waters he becomes part of a three-pronged mission to rescue the Russian president, being held hostage in Russia by rogue Defence Minister Dmitri Durov (Mikhail Gorevoy). At sea level are Navy Seals led by Bill Beaman (Toby Stephens), National Security Agency analyst Jayne Norquist (Linda Cardellini), Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common), and, back home in America, Admiral Charles Donnegan (Gary Oldman in post-Oscar pay cheque mode) who barks orders at minions and into phones. It’s American-Russian collusion that could change the course of history!
Throw in a craggy-faced Russian submarine captain, Sergei Andropov (the late Michael Nyqvist)—we’re not enemies, we’re brothers—and you have a run-of-the-mill World War III scenario that was better the first few times we saw it. “It’s not about your side or my side,” Glass says to Andropov, “it’s about the future.”
“Hunter Killer” is so cheesy it should come with a side of saltines. Much of the dialogue sounds cribbed from the “Tough Guy ‘R Us” manual circa 1986—“He’s gonna play the hand he was dealt!”—spoken by characters so wooden they could easily double as buoys in the above water scenes.
At almost two hours ”Hunter Killer” is a waterlogged thriller, a sopping wet excuse for Butler to grunt his way through another film that is beneath his talent.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” wannabe “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent” and the Alzheimer’s dramedy “What They Had.”
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the superhero flick “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the superhero flick “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
To understand “The Journey” you need to know the players. The film, a speculative look at the negotiations that brought peace to Northern Island after forty years of violence, does a good job of setting the stage but in the interests of clarity, or if you miss the movie’s opening minutes, I’ll give you the Coles Notes.
Set in 2006, the film sees Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness, the former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army (“Allegedly,” he says) and Sinn Féin politician. “You may call me the acceptable face of the organization,” he says. Timothy Spall is Ian Paisley, the eighty-one-year-old leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and founder and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church. The two are sworn enemies—“They are civil war,” says MI5’s Harry Patterson (John Hurt), “they are anarchy.”—warriors on opposite sides of a bloody decades long war known colloquially as The Troubles.
Northern Irish director Nick Hamm and writer Colin Bateman play fast-and-loose with the details. In real life the men met on an airplane. In reel life the film finds a contrivance to place the two in the back of a car, on a sixty-minute trip to the Edinburgh airport. MI5 secretly arranged the meet in hopes the men will discover what they have in common, that barriers will be broken down and that some sort of pact will be reached. It doesn’t start well. “I haven’t spoken to him in thirty years,” snorts Paisley, “another hour will be no trouble.”
History tells us the conversation led to the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement and an end to The Troubles. “We need a leap of faith,” says McGuinness, “and you are a man of faith.” The film shows the head-to-head that led to the treaty; how the two began as egotistical enemies and ended as friends and allies in a new, shared Northern Irish government.
“The Journey” is essentially a two-hander between Meany and Spall. There are others characters—Freddy Highmore as a British agent masquerading as their driver, Hurt as the architect of the scheme—but the movie hinges on the chemistry between its leads. Both hand in sturdy, theatrical performances as they spar, like two heavyweights trading words instead of punches. It often feels like a play adapted for the screen.
Spall is all bluster and religious rage. Meany plays McGuinness as a canny but pliable politician, resolute in his beliefs but hopeful for a deal. Each hand in interesting work but their conversation often feels like history in point form. The passing along of this information feels artificial and drains much of the juice from the situation. The script zips along, never digging too deep, which given the performances is a shame. These actors are hungry for a meatier script but Bateman’s dialogue doesn’t deliver.
Despite the performances “The Journey’s” take on the St. Andrews Agreement feels false. By the time Patterson shrieks, “Bloody hell, they’ve done it! They’ve bloody done it!” the film takes on the tone of a buddy movie and not a persuasive document of how peace came to Northern Ireland.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliott talk about Michael Bay’s latest, the action film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” a buddy cop flick called “Ride Along 2” starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart and the Edsel of the animation world, “Norm of the North.”