Posts Tagged ‘War Machine’

Metro In Focus: Topher Grace says “War Machine” isn’t political.

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Topher Grace doesn’t need me to put words in his mouth, but in this one instance I’m going to.

I recently sat down with the former That ’70s Show star to talk about his new Netflix movie War Machine. Based on the Michael Hastings New York Times bestseller The Operators, it fictionalizes the real life career implosion of General Stanley McChrystal, Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. An article in Rolling Stone that reported on the McChrystal’s disappointment with Obama and his policies undid the General’s distinguished career. In the film he is renamed Gen. Glen McMahon and played by Brad Pitt, who also produced the film.

“What I love so much about the film [director and writer David Michôd] made,” said Grace, “and it was in the script but I really felt it when I saw the film, is the emotional journey. That is so hard to get into a war movie. Anyone who is willing to watch it understands it on an emotional level, which is a much more effective way to communicate to the audience than just using facts.”

Here’s where I chime in. “I think that when you have a very specific story it can become universal because of the emotions,” I said. “None of us will find ourselves in that particular situation but all of us, at some time in our lives, will end up in a mess of some kind. It’s relatable.”

“That’s what I meant to say,” said Grace with a laugh. “Can you quote yourself and use that?”

Consider it done.

Grace plays Matt Little, McMahon’s civilian press adviser. He’s young, brash, and according to Grace, not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

“What is the definition of an idiot?” he asks. “Is it knowing you don’t know but still going ahead anyway? I don’t think it is, but that’s who he is.

“On the first day I popped my collar up and the military advisor said, ‘They don’t do that in the military.’ The director said, ‘No, no, no! He’s playing an idiot. He would totally have his collar popped up.’ He’s a civilian and he doesn’t even really care about the war going on.”

The thirty-eight-year-old actor says despite the story’s timely nature and the inclusion of a character based on recently disgraced National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, the film isn’t political.

“I want people to check their politics at the door and take the emotional ride of what it would feel like to be in that position.

“The really cool thing is that it is not an American telling the story. David is a great talent out of Australia and no matter what he brings a non-American POV. The fact that it can be that heightened in terms of humour at some points and so real when they are out on the battlefield is really great. He told me he wanted to make a war film before Brad’s company sent him the book but he couldn’t think of a way to do a war film that didn’t glorify war. This does not glorify war.”

It may not be political but Grace says it is timely.

“We made it in Obama’s America,” says the thirty-eight-year-old actor. “It’s crazy releasing it now. It is timelier than when we shot it. I haven’t been on a lot of projects that were like that.”


Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 2.20.21 PMRichard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases,the George Clooney – Julia Roberts thriller “Money Monster” and the lusty and lurid “A Bigger Splash.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.42.28 PMWelcome to the House of Crouse. Occasionally an image seen on line or in a magazine will burn itself into your brain. HoC guest George Zimbel has taken his share of memorable photographs but his 1954 snap of Marilyn Monroe, standing on a subway grate, skirt flying up around her waist is not only one of those memorable pictures, it’s one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Listen in and find out the story behind the photo. Also stopping by for a chin wag is Emily VanCamp, co-star of Captain America: Civil War. Find out who she supports, Iron Man or her love interest Captain America. The answer may surprise you!

Metro: Emily VanCamp talks about playing Captain America’s love interest

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.19.27 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

There’s trouble in Avengers Land.

Like the recent Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.

As anyone who has seen the Avengers movies knows, the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a rescue mission leaves 11 innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.

The proposed restrictions divide the group. Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) wants more oversight while Captain America (Chris Evans) refuses to compromise.

Watching from the sidelines is Sharon Carter, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D field agent and love interest of Captain America. Played by Port Perry, Ont., native Emily VanCamp, the character is firmly onside with her superhero suitor.

“It’s an interesting debate,” she says, “because there is no real right or wrong at any given moment. It is difficult to take sides. I know where my character stands. I understand that. Because I play her, I get it but at the same time, as Emily, I really do feel it would make much more sense to be on Iron Man’s side. That’s what makes it interesting.  You think you’re going to go into it with a very clear vision of whose side you’re on but you don’t leave feeling that way.”

With two Captain America films under her belt VanCamp is part of the Marvel Universe. That means she has a whole new group of fans with ideas about her character.

“The fans are incredibly invested,” she says. “There are a lot of people with very specific ideas of who they want to see with Steve (aka. Captain America) and sometimes Sharon is not that person. I certainly hear about that. You have to admire how invested people are, whether they’re on your side or not. You have to respect it. I just have to do the best job I can do as Sharon and create the best version of the character and not take some of it personally. You hope, for the most part, the fans are happy.”

The 29-year-old actress began performing in dance class when she was just three years old.

“There were a lot of us in my family so it was a way to tire us out,” she laughs. “It was an outlet to run around which then turned into more serious dance training.”

Those lessons came in handy while shooting one of Civil War’s wild fight scenes. “Dancing teaches you to be connected with your body,” she says.

“We had to shoot the scene in Civil War where Sharon and Black Widow take on Bucky, quite fast. We didn’t practice it.  They were running behind that day and they shot the reaction to getting slammed on the table the next morning but all of the fight stuff was in an hour-and-a-half. I don’t think I would have been able to do that unless I had some formal training in dance.”


CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR: 4 STARS. “Why can’t you superheroes just get along?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.18.46 PMWhy can’t you superheroes just get along? Like the recent “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, “Captain America: Civil War” sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.

Thankfully this isn’t a repeat of the Zack Snyder film. While the themes may be similar to “B v S” the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) achieve a much different result. There’s humour, a story that more or less makes sense and lots of surprises.

As anyone who has seen the other Avengers movies knows the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a debacle in Lagos leaves eleven innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.

“While a great many people see you was heroes,” says Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), “there are those who would use the word vigilante.”

Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are asked to sign a document that would limit their autonomy, requiring a U.N. okily-dokily before they can spring into action. The restrictions divide the group. Stark wants more oversight. “With no limits we’re no better than the bad guys,” he says. Captain America refuses to compromise. “If we sign this,” he says, “we lose our right to choose where and when we fight.”

Complicating matters is Cappy’s old pal Bucky Barnes a.k.a. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). When he’s not under the influence of HYDRA’s mind-control he’s a good guy, but when he is exposed to a series of code words he turns into a Manchurian Candidate style super-duper high tech killing machine. When Winter Soldier is accused of a terrible crime Captain’s loyalty to his friend that drives a wedge between him and Iron Man. As The Avengers self-destruct a mysterious figure (Daniel Brühl) watches from the sidelines.

In some ways “Captain America: Civil War” feels like an echo of “Batman v. Superman.” The difference is a matter of tone. The films share many of the same ideas about responsibility and culpability but whereas “B v. S” was a dark soul-searching affair, “Captain America: Civil War” opts for a cleaner, simpler approach. Minus the ponderosity of Snyder’s film, the Marvel movie manages to make its point in a more concise and interesting way. It’s not exactly a case of less is more—“Civil War” is almost two-and-a-half-hours long and is a Superhero-A-Rama with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Antman (Paul Rudd) Spider-Man (Tom Holland) joining all the usual suspects—but there is an easy elegance to a line like, “Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all,” missing from “B v. S.”

Better yet, “Civil War” finally finds a recipe for juggling its characters. “Age Of Ultron” featured more stars than there are in the heavens and I left the theatre feeling as though I had just left a kindergarten Christmas pageant where they have to give a part to everyone in class so no one feels left out. The Russo Brothers de-clutter, but still manage the sprawling cast effectively, giving each of them a moment or two in the spotlight and more importantly, a reason to be in the spotlight. Extended cameos from Spider-Man and Ant-man are woven into the fabric of the story, bringing some fun with them while Black Panther is set up to be an interesting recurring character.

Of the regulars Robert Downey Jr holds sway, although his Tony Stark is more subdued than usual. The wisecracks are still there, but there’s fewer than usual. Perhaps it has something to do with spending much of the movie fighting with Captain America. Much humour comes from the other characters. There’s something sublimely ridiculous about superheroes complaining about everyday things. “Can you move your seat up?”

“Captain America: Civil War” delivers. It provides all the high-flying action you expect from a summer superhero blockbuster but also delivers a thought provoking look at the nature of power, loyalty and yes, even the practicality of wedging three superheroes into a Volkswagen.