Can Richard review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new Disney animated movie “Encanto” and the videogame thrills of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.”
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 dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto,” the coming of age story “C’mon C’mon,” Peter Jackson’s 468 minute epic “The Beatles: Get Back” a.k.a. “Lord of the Ringos,” the videogame horrors of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised.”
Gamers will recognize Raccoon City as the name of the once prosperous home base of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corp. That we’re talking about it on this page can only mean one thing, a new “Resident Evil” movie. The seventh film in the series, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” now playing in theatres, reboots the videogame-inspired franchise, taking the story back to the beginning.
Raccoon City once thrived. A company town, from the 1960s to the late 90s the Midwestern city grew and prospered as pharmaceutical giant Umbrella set up shop there, and invested heavily in infrastructure and the townsfolk, who made up the bulk of their employees.
Everything changed in 1998 when a genetically-altered organism named Queen Leech attacked the facility, kicking off a series of events that left the city a desolate wasteland with a zombie problem.
It’s into this world director Johannes Roberts drops college student Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) on one terrifying night in Raccoon City. Claire has come to the dying city to locate her brother Chris (Robbie Amell). The T-virus, Umbrella’s top-secret biological weapon isn’t much of a secret anymore, and the infected residents of Raccoon City are now terrifying zombies. Over the course of one night Claire, Chris, and others from the video game series like Leon (Avan Jogia), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Umbrella Academy’s Tom Hopper), fight to survive.
Adapted from the first and second “Resident Evil” games by Capcom, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” returns the series to its video game roots. The previous films emphasized action over horror. This time around Roberts reverts to scary vibe of the videogames, paying homage to both the games and vintage John Carpenter for the atmosphere of dread that builds throughout. Stylistically, as a videogame tribute, that approach works quite well.
As a movie, however, it comes up lacking. Despite some good gooey and gory zombie action and some fun action scenes, it takes too long to get where it is going. While we wait for the going to get good, we’re subjected to dialogue straight out of the Handbook of Horror Clichés and too much exposition.
The opening feels long winded and the ending rushed, but, especially for gamers looking for Easter Eggs, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” has enough moments in between to satisfy fans of the series.
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 law and disorder comedy “Super Troopers 2,” the new Amy Schumer movie “I Feel Pretty,” the mother-and-son-and-a-trailer movie “Mobile Homes.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Merella Fernandez to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the cop comedy “Super Troopers 2,” the new Amy Schumer movie “I Feel Pretty,” the mother-and-son-and-a-trailer movie “Mobile Homes” and the drone romance “Eye on Juliet.”
From Fred Flintstone to Gilligan to Tarzan, many television and movie characters have had their personalities changed by a bonk to the head. It’s a comedy trope as old as time, resurrected for the new lumpy headed Amy Schumer film “I Feel Pretty.”
Schumer is Renee, a young woman consumed with feelings of insecurity. ”I’ve always wondered,” she says, “ what it would feel like to be undeniably pretty.” She works in IT for a cosmetics company far across town from their glamorous fifth Avenue headquarters, office to Renée’s idol, her boss Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams). Stung by a salesperson’s coded suggestion that she is too large to be shopping in store—“You could probably find your size on line.”—she spins away the blues at a SoulCycle class. “No matter how often we hear, ‘It’s what’s on the inside that matters,’” she says, “women know that it is what’s on the outside the whole world judges.” While her spin instructor chants, “Change your mind, change your body,” Renee takes a tumble, smashing her head against a stationary bike and is transformed. “Oh my God! I look beautiful.” The bump on the head fills her with the kind of self-esteem she has been missing, setting her free to live the life she has always dreamed of. “I get it,” she says, “modelling is an option for me, but it is just not me.”
Change-your-life movies like “Big” work because there is not only transitional hocus pocus but heart and soul as well. “I Feel Pretty” has plenty of sentiment and tries like hell to wring a tear or two out of weary eyes in its uplifting finale but ultimately it’s a sitcom stretched to feature length. It’s a movie about a woman who briefly gets what she wants only to discover (THE MILDEST OF SPOILERS) she always had it.
Despite hot button messages about anti-bullying, body positivity and “What if we never lost our little girl confidence” sentiments, the film is one joke driven into the ground, topped by the inevitable platitude, “Renée, I’ve always seen you.” Despite the good intentions the movie’s central gag, that Renée can’t be happy with herself until she sees a thin version of herself staring back at her in the mirror, feels tone deaf. The movie touches on issues of body image and Renée does eventually come around to the idea that loving one’s self isn’t about how you look but the idea of a movie star, with all the frills of Western beauty standards, complaining about the way she looks is a tough premise to pull off.
“I Feel Pretty” may have worked better if it was funnier or if Renée didn’t have to suffer a head wound to feel good about herself or if post bonk Renée wasn’t completely clueless and oblivious. Schumer has made a name for herself essaying this kind of material in her stand-up but on stage her underlying self-confidence comes through as strength, not arrogance. In the film it comes off as crass.
On the upside Michele Williams, who almost never does comedy, shines as the kitten voiced CEO.
“I Feel Pretty” is well intentioned. The “embrace yourself” message is ultimately a good one. Too bad the film has such a strange way of expressing it.