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.
The 1980s were the heyday of Donkey Kong, parachute pants, Cabbage Patch Dolls, New Coke, break dancing, and of course, deliciously funny teen comedies. Hollywood still pumps them out by the cartload, but the Golden Age of adolescent humor dates back to the days when a new Brat Pack film was guaranteed to play to sold out houses. Dozens were released, but few had the impact of Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which became classics of the genre and touchstones of the Reagan years and are now included in a new set of DVDs called I Love the 80s.
FOOTLOOSE (1984): 3 ½ STARS
In Footloose Kevin Bacon is Ren McCormick, a city boy who comes to a small town where rock music and dancing have been forbidden. This one is better than you remember. Once you look past the dated clothes and hair, you’ll find a compelling story with a breakout performance from Bacon. Also of note is John Lithgow as the Reverend Shaw Moore. He’s the movie’s bad guy, the preacher who forbids toe tapping music but Lithgow actually gives him some dimension, playing him as a man of conviction and not simply a fundamentalist crack pot. Worth a second look and not just for nostalgic reasons.
TOP GUN (1986): 3 STARS
Long before Tom Cruise pounced on Oprah’s sofa he was Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a cocky fighter pilot assigned to the elite Top Gun training school for advanced fighter pilots. His trip into the “Danger Zone” made Cruise a superstar and in the process made his famous lop sided grin an eighties pop culture icon. If Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships, it could also be said that Tom Cruise has the smile that sold a million movie tickets. Top Gun is wall to action with a pulsating soundtrack and great dogfights, but slows when Cruise opens his mouth and actually speaks.
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986): 3 STARS
Dismissed by critics when it was first released, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’s portrayal of wiseacre Bueller’s (Matthew Broderick) efforts to fool his parents and high school principal into thinking he’s sick, when, in fact, all he wanted was a day off, was called irresponsible. Directed by John Hughes, fresh off the success of The Breakfast Club, the movie is essentially a series of skits or vignettes strung together to make a whole, and while funny and engaging it doesn’t have the resonance or pathos of his other classic teenage outings like The Breakfast Club or his script for Pretty in Pink.
PRETTY IN PINK (1986): 4 STARS
A 1980s teen classic. Although the pretty-girl-from-the-wrong-side-of-the- tracks story is predictable Pretty in Pink is elevated by a good cast featuring Molly Ringwald as the above mentioned girl, Jon Cryer as Ducky, her new-wave-loving best friend and Andrew McCarthy as the rich guy she falls for. Their efforts, (plus the always dependable Harry Dean Stanton), keep the movie from becoming too overly sentimental. It’s not deep, but it is good heartfelt teenage drama with a great soundtrack and a good script by teen guru John Hughes.
SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL (1987): 3 ½ STARS
Probably the least remembered title in the series Some Kind of Wonderful is one of the best films of the five. John Hughes’s film about a tomboy (Mary Stuart Masterson) whose romantic feelings for her best friend (Eric Stoltz) are awakened when he scores a date with the most popular girl in school features good natural performances from Masterson and Stoltz, a simple but effective story and smart dialogue.