A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the superhero flick “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the superhero flick “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the adult rom com “The Big Sick” and the political buddy movie “The Journey.”
This weekend, Peter Parker swings back into theatres, but it’s not Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield behind the familiar red-and-black-webbed mask. Instead, for the third time in 15 years the web-slinging role has been recast. This time around, 21-year-old English actor and dancer Tom Holland wears the suit as the star of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Holland’s extended Captain America: Civil War cameo in 2016 almost stole the show, displaying the character’s bright-eyed, boyish spark but this is his first outing as the title star. So far he’s getting rave reviews. After a recent critics screening the twitterverse lit up.
“Tom Holland is perfect,” wrote one poster, “He’s having the time of his life and it shows.” “I don’t want to spoil it,” wrote another, “but they found a way to make Spider-Man relatable like never before on screen, that’s where @TomHolland1996 shines.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is poised to hit big at the theatres, breathing new life into a character we all know but it is also a shining example of the old adage, “The only constant is change.” Hollywood loves to reboot movies — we’ll soon see new versions of It, Flatliners and Blade Runner — but while the titles stay the same, the faces change.
Not everyone embraces the changes. When Garfield took over for Maguire in 2012 1234zoomer commented on The Amazing Spider-Man: “IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME WITHOUT TOBBY!!!,” (her uppercase and spelling, not mine), but Maguire was gracious, saying, “I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story.”
Whether Holland acknowledges Maguire or Garfield is yet to be seen, but at least one replacement had the manners to recognize his precursor.
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 007 No. 2 George Lazenby paid a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the original Bond, Sean Connery. After a wild battle to rescue Contessa Teresa (played by Diana Rigg) the new James Bond didn’t get the girl. “This never happened to the other fellow,” he says, looking dejectedly into the camera.
Connery went on to co-star in The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan, a character later portrayed by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.
In 2014 Chris Pine (who also took over the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek from William Shatner) played the super spy in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. He admits, “We didn’t totally get that right,” but still has hopes for the series. “It’s a great franchise, and if it’s not me, then I hope it gets a fifth life at this point. I hope it’s done again and with a great story.”
The Batman franchise also has had a revolving cast. Since 1943 eight actors have played the Caped Crusader, including Lewis G. Wilson, who at 23 remains the youngest actor to play the character, and George Clooney who admits he was “really bad” in Batman & Robin.
Most recently Ben Affleck, dubbed Bat-Fleck by fans, has played the Dark Knight but probably the most loved Bat-actor of all time is the late Adam West. West, who passed away last month at age 88, admits playing Batman typecast him but says, “I made up my mind a long time ago to enjoy it. Not many actors get the chance to create a signature character.”
The folks behind “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the second reboot of the web slinging comic superhero following franchises lead by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, wisely decides not to rehash the Peter Parker’s origin story. We know he’s an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben when a bite from a radioactive spider caused mutations in his body, granting him the superpowers of super strength and agility.
Been there, done that twice before.
Instead, it picks up the story a few months after “Captain America: Civil War’s” epic airport tarmac battle. After that taste of big league crime fighting with the Avengers, 15-year-old Parker (Tom Holland) returned to normal life as a high school student in Queens, New York, living in a small apartment with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei).
Mentored by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) he’s slowly figuring out what it means to be a superhero at night while and Peter Parker, a scrawny science nerd by day. “I am a kid,” he says, “but a kid who can stop a bus with his bare hands.” When he ‘s not fighting crime he’s acting like a teen, building a 3803-piece Lego Death Star with his best friend or getting shy in the presence of his crush Liz (Laura Harrier). He likes Liz but Liz loves Spider-Man. What to do?
It’s just one of many problems Parker encounters as his ambition to become a full-fledged Avenger puts him on a crash course with Vulture (Michael Keaton), a villain with wings and a bad attitude.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is easily the best web tale since 2004s “Spider-Man 2.” Director Jon Watts channels John Hughes in the high school scenes, Sam Raimi in the action scenes. There’s comedy and a more light-hearted tone as Parker comes of age as a crime fighter and hormonal teen. Holland finds the right mix of the character’s vulnerability and arrogance, nerdiness and impulsiveness. Together they spin a new web that is the most diverse entry in the Marvel Universe to date and one of the most entertaining.
There are new Spidey toys—his suit now speaks to him à la Jarvis in “Iron Man” for instance—but while cool, the effects aren’t the things that give “Homecoming” a recommendation, it’s the movie’s sense of fun and humanity. It’s a fantastical story about real people. Parker is simply a teen coming to grips with the changes in his body and even the villain is essentially a working class guy who wants to provide for his family. He’s tired of being pushed around so he’s pushing back. By going back to basics Watts grounds the movie in the comic book lore that made the character popular in the first place. He’s not the tortured superhero we’ve come accustomed to seeing on the big screen, instead he’s a regular teen in extraordinary circumstances. How regular is he? Sometimes his crime-fighting escapades are spoiled by after school detention.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is over two hours long and, like all other superhero movies, features a CGI heavy climax, but somehow doesn’t feel bloated. It also features the best last line of any Avengers movie and, for once, an after credit scene that is worth waiting for.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s big releases, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” the Tom Hanks dramedy “A Hologram for The King” and Sally Field in “Hello, My Name is Doris.”
Richard and “Canada AM” host Marci Ien talk about the weekend’s big releases, the pomp and circumstance of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” the Tom Hanks dramedy “A Hologram for The King,” Sally Field in “Hello, My Name is Doris” and the sexy sax sounds of “The Devil’s Horn.”
The title character of “Hello, My Name is Doris” is an unmarried woman of a certain age left alone when her elderly mother dies. It sounds depressing but a wonderful performance from Sally Field brings both comedy and heartache to the film.
Doris lives in Staten Island in the home she grew up in and shared with her mother until she passed away. A job as an accountant in “the city” keeps her busy, but she is lonely, surrounded by mounds of stuff she and her mother hoarded over the years, loved only by her pet cat and best friend Roz (Tyne Daly).
When Doris meets John Fremont (Max Greenfield), a new hire at her company, she is immediately smitten despite the several decades difference in their ages. She moons over him, awkward and afraid, but with the words of a self help guru echoing in her ears—“Don’t ask Why me, ask Why not me?”—she courts him, i.e. stalks him on the internet. When she goes to a concert by one of his favourite artists they hit it off… but only as friends. The quirky Doris is a hit with John’s hipster pals but it turns out John has a girlfriend (Beth Behrs), dive bombing Doris’s hope of getting closer to her work crush.
“Hello, My Name is Doris” is a slight movie, but much funnier than you might imagine given the subject matter. It’s a showcase for Sally Field’s loosest performance in years. Whether she is frozen, lost in the reverie, or dancing to electropop for the first time, she delivers a fine comedic performance. Simmering under the comedy, however, is subtly rendered heartbreak. She’s a woman who feels life passed her by while taking care of her mother and a cloud of sadness and disappointment hangs over her.
Will Doris’s life plan set her on a path to disappointment and rejection or will this be an update of “Harold and Maude”? No spoilers here but suffice to say what “Hello, My Name is Doris” lacks in twists and turns it makes up for with inventive, likeable performances, particularly from Field and co-star Daly.
Early on in the film John says, “I like you Doris.” I predict by the end of the film you will too.