TORONTO STAR: Transformers are collected for their artistry and design

I write about Transformers and the people who collect them for the Toronto Star!

“Brian Flinn and his fiancée are looking to buy a new house, and like most house hunters, they have some very specific wants and needs. Top of the list? A space for Brian’s collection of Tranformers toys. “We need a basement or a separate building something to house all these,” he said. “She doesn’t collect them, but she’s very supportive. When you find somebody like that you don’t want to let them go. I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t think I’ll find somebody that goes, ‘Oh, yes, I love Transformers. I love your passion…’” Read the whole thing HERE!

TORONTO STAR: RICHARD ON THE WHAM BAM Battle of the 1980s rides!

Richard writes about the super cars of 1980s television and movies, and pits them against one another.

“Popular culture in the 1980s was filled with memorable vehicles. On TV and in movies, these rides were integral to the storylines, turned heads because of how cool they were, and, in some cases, even terrified us. But which was the greatest?” Read the whole thing HERE!

TORONTO STAR: Hollywood vehicular royalty: Cars made famous from movies

Richard writes about five cars made popular by the movies.

“Often the biggest star in a movie isn’t the one with their name in the title. Will Smith, Kate Winslet and Tom Cruise are big stars, but the cars they drive frequently get as much attention as they do. Many of the bestselling cars in history vaulted to iconic status after appearing as product placement on the big screen. It’s called “brand awareness,” and Mike Jackson, GM North America vice-president for marketing and advertising, said that the right car in the right movie “represents the perfect intersection of entertainment, marketing and design.” It can also lead to big sales, as these examples show…” Read the whole thing HERE!


On the August 23, 2020 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet Andrea Dorfman, a filmmaker, animator and artist who joins us via Zoom from her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her films have played at film festivals around the world, won awards and she is back with a new one, now on VOD. “Spinster” stars actor and comedian Chelsea Peretti from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” as a wedding caterer gets dumped on her 39th birthday. Over the next year she builds a new life based on self-empowerment and independence. “Spinster” is being called “the anti-rom-com of the summer,” so I began by asking Andrea Dorfman about subverting the rom com genre.

Then country artist Sacha stops by to talk about her EP “The Best Thing.”

Finally, we meet Sam Maggs, an author who joins us via Zoom from her home in Los Angeles. Sam is a bestselling author of books, comics, and video games. She’s been a senior games writer, the author of many YA and middle-grade books, a comics writer for beloved titles like Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, My Little Pony, and Transformers. She is also an on-air host for networks like Nerdist. Today she joins me to talk about two books, “Con Quest,” an adventure novel for young readers set in the world of comics conventions and “The Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope,” a Young Adult novel based on the world of “The Unstoppable Wasp” Marvel comics series. I love this line in her bio… as a Canadian in Los Angeles, she misses Coffee Crisp and bagged milk. In this interview we talk about her books, why we both feel we have to work all the time and discuss whether that is a good thing or not.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!



Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness of “Mary Poppins Returns,” the Transformers prequel “Bumblebee,” the underwater adventures of “Aquaman” and Natalie Portman as a pop star in “Vox Lux.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BUMBLEBEE: 3 ½ STARS. “welcome change of pace for the ‘Transformers’ series.”

The “Transformers” franchise revs up the engine for the sixth time in eleven years with a movie that feels fresh out of the body shop. Pimping the Ride this time out is director Travis Knight, founder of LAIKA studios and director of the wonderful animated fantasy “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Knight puts his own stamp on it, doing away with most of former franchise mastermind Michael Bay’s bombast in favour of a more humanistic approach.

That’s right, “Bumblebee” is a special effects driven story starring a talking robot car that emphasizes the story’s less mechanical aspects.

The action begins with a battle on Cybertron between the Autobots—the rebellious bots—and the evil Decepticons. To save themselves the Autobots, including scout B-127 (Dylan O’Brien), make a run for it, scattering across the galaxy. “We will fight on,” declares Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen), “but we must find safety first.”

B-127 lands on earth, only to be found by a Decepticon operative who disables his vocal processors and damages his memory chip. Beat-up and alone, the robot car hides in open sight at a junkyard as a yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. He’s destined for the car crusher until teenager Charlie Watson (Steinfeld) rescues him from rusting away in her uncle’s junkyard, nicknames him Bumblebee and applies some tender loving care to his dented metal and dusty interior. Charlie and her late father were car nuts who spent their time together refurbishing an old Camaro. Since his sudden death she has worn the sadness of her father’s passing like a shroud.

When she switches on the car for the first time she inadvertently sends a signal to the Decepticons setting into motion an invasion of earth. Enter the military who initially co-operate with the Decepticons, hoping to garner some space age technology tips from the alien beings. “He’s a machine,” snarls Agent Burns (John Cena). “He’s more human than you’ll ever be,” replies Charlie.

I wouldn’t call “Bumblebee” restrained by any stretch but it feels positively Bergmen-esque compared to Michael Bay’s five loud ‘n proud instalments. Bay’s “Transformers” left viewers with scorched eyes and ringing ears. “Bumblebee” does have giant action scenes but it doesn’t forget to spend time with Charlie and her family, mom (Pamela Adlon), bratty brother Otis (Jason Drucker), stepfather Roy (Lenny Jacobson) and neighbour Memo (Jorge Lendborg Jr.). The main relationship, however, is between Charlie and a big chunk of metal.

That relationship is the film’s beating heart. “Bumblebee” is not just a tale of good vs. evil; it’s a story of how friendship can mend a broken heart. Set in 1987, this is a throwback to 80s movies like “ET” that paired kids with fantastical creatures with heart warming results. Knight pulls it off, creating a believable relationship between the two. Bumblebee’s eyes—or at least in the blue bulbs that substitute for his eyes—radiate wonder and tenderness. That’s quite a trick to pull off in an action movie.

“Bumblebee” is a welcome change of pace for the “Transformers” series. Knight brings tenderness, humour—“They literally call themselves Decepticons,” says Agent Burns. “How is that NOT a red flag?”—and action that owes more to the style of the 80s era “Transformers” cartoons and Amblin films than Bay’s bombast.


A new feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Transformers: the Last Night,” “The Hero’s” tale of redemption and the underwater terror of “47 Metres Down.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Transformers: the Last Night,” “The Hero’s” tale of redemption and the underwater terror of “47 Metres Down.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the eye scorching visuals of “Transformers: the Last Night,” “The Hero’s” tale of redemption and the underwater terror of “47 Metres Down.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!