Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including the “O Canada Collection” on Disney+ and two comedies, Jon Stewart’s satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, and Netflix Will Ferrell movie,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including Jon Stewart’s satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” the dreary “Exit Plan” and the crime drama “Hammer.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Todd Van Der Heyden to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the political satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” and the dreary “Exit Plan.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the political satire “Irresistible” starring Steve Carell, the Netflix comedy with the longest title of the week,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” the dreary “Exit Plan” and the father-and-son crime drama “Hammer.”
Big time politics invades small town America in “Irresistible,” an election year satire from director Jon Stewart, now available on VOD.
Former “Daily Show” correspondent Steve Carell reteams with his old boss to play Gary Zimmer, a Washington insider and the Democratic National Committee’s top strategist. In the midst of creating a strategy to win votes in America’s Republican heartland—”We need some way to road test a more rural friendly message,” he says.—he’s directed to a YouTube video of retired Marine colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), giving an impassioned speech in defense of undocumented workers at a townhall meeting in Deerlaken, a small right-wing Wisconsin town. He’s like “John Wayne and tractor had a baby,” says Gary as he concocts a plan to entice Hastings to run for mayor of Deerlaken, giving the Dems a strong presence in a state sea of red. “Colonel Jack Hastings is our key back into the swing state of Wisconsin,” Gary says. “He just doesn’t know it yet.”
The citified Gary takes off his suit and tie, buys some dungarees and jumps on a private jet to Deerlaken to win over the colonel and his daughter (Mackenzie Davis), who is first seen with her arm inserted where the sun don’t shine, giving relief to a constipated cow. Appealing to Hastings’ sense of duty, Gary convinces the Marine to run and fires up the political machine.
Soon Deerlaken is overrun with Democratic operatives—like demographic profilers played by Topher Grace and Natasha Lyonne—but the really race heats up when the Republican National Committee sends in Faith (Rose Byrne), Gary’s nemesis and now campaign manager to Hastings’ rival. “Twenty bucks says I do better with fear than you do with shame,” she says, taunting Gary. Soon the national media takes notice and the mayoral race in Deerlaken becomes one of the most debated elections in the country.
There’s more but that would involve giving away a plot twist and spoilers. Just keep in mind that the word “resist” is tucked away in the film’s title.
“Irresistible” is equal parts heartfelt and darkly humourous. Stewart begins conventionally enough, with the fish out of water story of bigshot Gary in a town of rubes, then slowly calibrates the story to ask, “Who are the real rubes here?” It’s a damning indictment of how political situations are manipulated, how the media allows outright lies on the airwaves and how both Democrats and Republicans are culpable and clueless to the real needs of the people. It doesn’t exactly blaze new ideological ground but the as a reminder of why the political system is twisted and broken, it’s a timely tale.
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 jason and the Giant Shark a.k.a. “The Meg,” the new Spike Lee joint ”BlacKkKlansman” and the doggie doo of “Dog Days.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including ”BlacKkKlansman,” the latest film from Spike Lee, the giant shark flick “The Meg” and the doggie stylings of “Dog Days.”
“BlacKkKlansman” is based on the strange but true story of Ron Stallworth. The true part sees the Colorado Springs, Colorado police officer join the KKK and even act as a bodyguard for Grand Wizard David Duke. The strange part is that Ron Stallworth is African American. Maybe that’s why director Spike Jones chose to open the film with the title credit, “DIS JOINT IS BASED UPON SOME FO’ REAL, FO’ REAL S***.”
When we first meet Stallworth (John David Washington) it’s the mid-1970s and he is an ambitious rookie cop who wants out of the records room and into the action. The overwhelmingly white Colorado Springs police department doesn’t quite know what to do with him until Civil Rights organizer Stokely Carmichael (Corey Hawkins) is booked to speak in town. “We don’t want this Carmichael getting into the minds of the young people of Colorado Springs,” he’s told. Sent undercover to the meeting wearing a wire, he meets local college activist Patrice (Laura Harrier). She calls the police “pigs” but awakens Ron’s dormant activism with her passion.
Back at his desk a recruitment ad for the Ku Klux Klan. On an impulse he dials the number, changes his voice and gets a meeting with a local, high-level Klansman. Now what to do? Stallworth continues wooing the Klan on the phone, spouting racist gobbledegook, while his colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) plays the part in person.
“BlacKkKlansman” is set forty plus years ago and comes complete with flared pants, jive talk and other indicators of the time but feels timely and alive. This is not a period piece. It’s a slice of Stallworth’s life that bristles with Lee’s anger, social commentary and humour. Parallels to today’s news are woven throughout, sometimes subtly, sometimes with the delicacy of a slap to the face. For instance, midway through Duke says he’s working, “to get America back on track, to give America its greatness again.” It’s a barbed satire with its feet firmly rooted in the realities of American life.
The use of clips from D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” and news footage from Charlottesville compares and contracts a hundred years of filmed racist behaviour, displaying how little has changed in that time.
Terrific performances and fearless storytelling make “BlacKkKlansman” a searing document that defies the viewer not to react.