Watch Richard review three movies in less time than it takes to ring for the butler! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about “Top Gun: Maverick’s” need for speed, the animated sitcom spinoff “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the oddball “The Middle Man.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about “Top Gun: Maverick’s” need for speed, the animated sitcom spinoff “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the oddball “The Middle Man.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the thirty-six-years-in-the-making “Top Gun: Maverick,” the animated “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the absurdist “The Middle Man.”
Richard sits in on the CKTB Niagara in the Morning morning show with guest host Stephanie Vivier to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Top Gun: Maverick’s” need for speed, the animated sitcom spinoff “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the oddball “The Middle Man.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Top Gun: Maverick’s” need for speed, the animated sitcom spinoff “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the oddball “The Middle Man.”
It’s been thirty-six years, but movie goers can once again ride into the danger zone.
Hotheaded test pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) returns to the screen and sky in the high-flying sequel “Top Gun: Maverick,” which, despite the main character’s feats of daring do, plays it mostly by-the-book.
When we first get reacquainted with Captain Maverick, he’s still the hotshot, risky pilot we remember from the first film. His cocky attitude and bad boy behavior has kept him from being promoted. “I’m where I belong,” he says when asked why he’s not an Admiral after decades of distinguished service. He’s popular with his peers but not with the brass, save for his old friend and guardian angel, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer in an extended cameo).
“Your reputation precedes you,” says Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm). “That’s not a compliment.”
Called back to Top Gun, the United States Navy training program where he learned fighter and strike tactics and technique, Maverick is presented with a last chance for glory. “You fly for Top Gun or you don’t ever fly for the Navy again.”
Cyclone is obviously disdainful of the arrogant Maverick, but acknowledges he is the best person to train twelve of the brightest and best recent Top Gun graduates for a dangerous mission to locate and destroy an underground uranium enrichment site.
For Maverick, the job comes with baggage. It places him in the vicinity of on-again, off-again girlfriend Penny (Jennifer Connelly), a new character, referenced in the first film as the daughter of an admiral. Most dramatically, one of his students is Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s late best friend, “Goose,” played by Anthony Edwards in the first film. Rooster holds Maverick responsible for his father’s death and is resistant to Maverick’s training. “My dad believed in you,” he says. “I’m not going to make the same mistake.”
Of the twelve recruits, half will make the cut, one will be the leader, if Maverick can teach them the precision and “Don’t think, just do” attitude needed to come home alive.
“Top Gun: Maverick” screenwriters Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie keep the story simple; a splash of romance, a dash of remorse, some shirtless volleyball and a mountain of eye-popping aerial action. It’s a recipe that echoes the events of the first film to the point of déjà vu. Still, as an exercise in nostalgia, complete with callbacks to the original, and an emotional appearance by Kilmer, “Maverick” works because it blends old and new in a crowd-pleasing way. Unlike other recent 1980s and 1990s reboots, it salutes the original in tribute. Loud and proud, it wears its superficiality on its sleeve in an old fashioned, last century style that is unabashed fan service.
But what really sets the new and old films apart is Cruise. He was a movie star then, and he’s a movie star now, but with age, the stakes for his character are higher. Maverick has a lot to prove, regrets to be dealt with and while the actor doesn’t appear to have aged at all, that trademarked Tom Cruise Run can’t be as easy as it once was. Maverick is a still a hotshot, but here the character is tempered by the sins of the past and a real concern for the future. Cruise’s work shaves some of the hypermasculine edges off Maverick to reveal a more human and humane character than the first time around. It centers the movie with some earthbound emotion to counter the sky-high action.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is a sequel that plays it safe with the story, but lets it rip in the blockbuster action sequences, giving the audience the expected need for speed.
Déjà vu isn’t so much a whodunit as it is a howdunnit. At the center of this New Orleans murder mystery is a government computer program that allows scientists to recreate the past, traveling back in time four days and six hours. This journey into the heart psychics is fleeting, however. The g-men brainiacs can recreate a perfect image of the past, complete with different camera angles and perfect sound, but because of the great amount of energy needed to generate the image they can’t rewind or pause. This ghostly likeness of the past plays in real time and then, like real life, is gone forever.
How do they do it? Good question. The movie takes pains to explain the science in a long protracted scene and they shouldn’t have bothered. It’s all mumbo jumbo that slows the picture’s momentum to a crawl, but fortunately, that’s the only time the police procedural aspects of the movie take second place to the scientific claptrap. The rest of the film is straight out action and suspense. It a metaphysical story with the onus on the physical.
Denzel Washington is an ATF investigator whose analysis of an alleged terrorist bombing of a New Orleans ferry carrying hundreds of U.S. sailors leads him not to an Al-Qaeda cell but to a homegrown terror plot and a beautiful girl who may have been an unwitting victim. So far it’s like a really elaborate episode of CSI, (which like the movie is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer), but the wrinkle comes in the form of a wrinkle in time. The above-mentioned time machine bends not only time but also the movie, transforming it from a standard run-of-the-mill police drama into a metaphysical thrill ride.
Director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley and maker of such frenetically edited films as Domino and (and two others with Denzel including Man on Fire and Crimson Tide) infuses every frame of the film with beautifully composed shots and intricately choreographed action sequences. Time travel has never looked this good. In one spectacular scene Denzel engages in a car chase set in two time zones simultaneously. It’s exciting and unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The science in Déjà vu doesn’t add up and, frankly, the movie doesn’t have much to do with déjà vu, but Scott and Washington are a reliable team and deliver enough wham-bam action and eye candy to earn a recommendation.