Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s guest host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases including “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Stefan Keyes to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the loud-and-proud “F9” (theatres and drive-ins), the celebrity chef documentary “Wolfgang” (Disney+) and “The Ice Road,” the the latest from the Neesonator.
I wonder if the number in the titles of the “Fast & Furious” movies is a scale of how implausible the movie will be. Do the producers think, “Well, it’s the ninth movie so it has to be nine times wilder than the last one.” I mean, why simply have a Pontiac Fiero when you can have a Pontiac Fiero with a rocket engine strapped to the roof?
Trust me, I’m on to something here.
I was not a fan of the first batch of “F&F” films but as they’ve incrementally amped up the action, shifting into a higher gear each and every time, with no regard for sentient storytelling or the laws of gravity, I’ve developed a soft spot for Dom and the Gang.
The movies stopped making sense some time ago. How is it, exactly, that a group of gearheads became a highly trained squad of international warriors, equally at home with ignition coils and international intrigue? These movies redefine the word excessive, and yet the franchise’s commitment to auto anarchy and Vin Diesel’s raspy way with a catchphrase has caught me in its speed trap.
The latest entry, “F9,” now playing in theatres and Drive-Ins, is less a movie and more a spectacle. A loud-and-proud exercise in far-fetchery, cliches and twisted metal, it uses on the usual “F&F” staples —family, friends, fast cars and flashbacks—as a backdrop to the over-the-top action to tell a story of international espionage, an evil mastermind named Cipher (Charlize Theron) and the broken relationship between brothers Dom (Diesel) and Jakob (John Cena).
There’s more, but fans don’t go to these movies for the storytelling. They go because director Justin Lin has eliminated most of the boring bits—i.e. when the characters speak—to distill the movie down to its sweaty essence. When the characters do talk, they don’t converse exactly, they exchange clichés, and when they aren’t speaking in a low rumble, they yell.
The result is a Kabuki car show, the latest entry in a franchise that knows no speed limit.
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 the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” and the bruising “First Round Down.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the bruising “First Round Down” and the grim and grimy “I, Daniel Blake.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the big weekend movies, the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the bruising “First Round Down” and the grim and grimy “I, Daniel Blake.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens with a battle scene that would not be out of place in almost any other superhero movie.
The set-up has the Guardians — Peter Quill /Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) — working for the Sovereigns, a thin-skinned race of aliens who have hired the heroes to protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster.
The action is as wild and woolly as we’ve come to expect from these big CGI extravaganzas, but the thing that sets the scene apart from all other superhero movies is the sheer, unbridled joy brought to the screen by Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like being too small to take part in the fight. Instead he blissfully dances throughout to Mr. Blue Sky, the lush, Beatles-esque ELO song that underscores the sequence.
The scene and the movie brim with the missing element of so many other big superhero movies — fun.
“That’s what we hoped to do,” says star Michael Rooker, “bring back the fun. It was fun as hell doing it.”
Rooker reprises his role as blue-skinned, red-finned mercenary Yondu. The former Walking Dead actor — he played Daryl’s older brother Merle Dixon — jokes that his normal look, his handsomely craggy face, is actually make-up, and the Blue Man Group style we see in the movie is the face he was born with. “It takes four or five hours to get this on,” he says, pulling at his cheek. “The real problem is getting the fin off.”
Yondu’s weapon of choice is a flying arrow made of special sound-sensitive metal he controls through whistling.
“Dude,” he says, “everyone is digging that weapon.” It’s the character’s trademark and Rooker laughs when remembering talking to director James Gunn about the role. “Man, I was glad I was able to whistle.”
“The first time I got to whistle I did the melodic whistle… I hypnotized one of the aliens and then I shot out a piercing whistle. Yondu has different whistles.”
One wild action sequence with Yondu’s deadly arrow and set to ’70s pop ditty Come a Little Bit Closer is a showstopper, an imaginatively staged set piece with a huge body count and just as many laughs.
“That whole sequence is very much like a western gun fight if you think about it,” Rooker says. “You go out, and jacket pulled back, methodical, not fast. It is a total tribute.”
In the scene he is accompanied by two computer-generated characters, Baby Groot and Rocket, a genetically engineered raccoon-based bounty hunter. Neither actually appeared on set while shooting, but Rooker says they were there in spirit.
“Because these movies use a lot of CGI they require your imagination to be fertile and open and ripe for seeding,” he says. “I’m like, ‘There is Baby Groot. He’s over there and he’s sopping wet…What have they done to him?’ I talk to them like they were any other two characters.”
Yondu may be a vicious, arrow-wielding mercenary but he’s also the film’s emotional core and James Gunn says people will be “surprised by Michael Rooker’s performance. He deserves an Academy Award nomination. No joke.”
What does Rooker think? “We’ll see about that bro. I’m up for anything.”