Posts Tagged ‘Warner Bros. Pictures’


Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 38:17)


I make the perfect cocktail to enjoy while watching Harley Quinn, Bloodsport and Peacemaker rampage through “The Suicide Squad.” Have a drink and a think about the movie with me!

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins Jay Michaels and Ryan Doyle of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the long road the Bloody Caesar made to becoming Canada’s National Drink, “The Suicide Squad” in theatres and the look on his wife’s face when she met Idris Elba.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the sickly but sweet “The Suicide Squad,” the family drama of “Lorelei,” starring Jena Malone and the inspirational sports film “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards 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 “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater” and the gritty family story of “Lorelei.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE SUICIDE SQUAD: 3 ½ STARS. “equal parts silly and serious.”

The difference between the 2017 “Suicide Squad” film starring Will Smith and this weekend’s sequel, “The Suicide Squad,” goes far beyond adding the definite article to the title. I accused the first film of “trying to echo the very movies it should be an antidote to.” You know, the self-important, self-absorbed superhero blockbusters that forgot to unpack the fun along with the story. “The Suicide Squad,” now playing in theatres, has some social commentary but it doesn’t forget the fun. Or the violence, daddy issues or anthropomorphic weasel.

There’s a lot happening in “The Suicide Squad.”

At the beginning of the non-stop 132-minute rollercoaster ride, cold-blooded government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) offers a selection of the world’s worst criminals a deal. the Join Task Force X, a.k.a. the Suicide Squad, work for her and, and in exchange she’ll reduce their sentences at the notorious Belle Reve prison. Stray outside the job, however, and a chip inserted at the base of their skull will be detonated, ending the mission forever.

Signing on for the mission to invade the (fictional) South American republic of Corto Maltese and steal and destroy a piece of alien technology from evil scientist The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), are a motley crew of supervillains.

There’s assassin Bloodsport (Idris Elba), patriotic vigilante Peacemaker (John Cena) who will kill anything or anyone in the name of peace, the neurotic “experiment gone wrong” Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), the dumb-as-a-stump fish-human hybrid Prince Nanaue (Sylvester Stallone), the rodent loving thief Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), the unhinged Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), crazed criminal and former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and field leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman).

Add to that TDK (Nathan Fillion), Weasel (Sean Gunn), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Javelin (Flula Borg), Mongal (Mayling Ng) and Savant (Michael Rooker), and you have a dysfunctional “Brady Bunch” charged with saving the world, if a giant, telepathic alien starfish doesn’t get them first.

“The Suicide Squad” has many of the same features as a Marvel movie. The world is at stake, there’s an alien lifeform causing trouble, there’s villains and a team of outsiders with special skills who fight back. They may look the same on paper, and share blockbuster budgets, but DCEU’s “The Suicide Squad” is seedier; a sister from a different mister.

The kills are squishier and bloodier than anything seen in “The Avengers.” The sense of humour is more juvenile than “Thor: Ragnarok” and you’re not likely to find a cute rat with a backpack in “Black Widow.”

James Gunn has not forgotten his schlocky Troma Films roots. His resume includes a screenwriting credit for “Tromeo and Juliet,” and “The Suicide Squad” pays homage to “The Toxic Avenger.” That sensibility helps define the new Squad movie’s most memorable bits but Gunn also tempers the gross stuff with a certain kind of sweetness and some not-so-subtle social commentary.

When the characters aren’t in motion, kicking, shooting, punching, gouging or stabbing, they often engage in character work, explaining how and why life pushed them toward joining this unorthodox team. The stories are dysfunctional—being trapped in a box with live, hungry rats is the stuff of nightmares—but they create a bond between the Squad that is unexpected in a movie that, in the beginning anyway, values brutality more than empathy.

Built into the story of an invasion of another country are questions of US foreign policy and military integrity. Casting the likable John Cena as Peacemaker, a “hero” willing to do anything to protect his perceived ideology, is subversively brilliant. When one Squad member snarls, “Peacemaker… what a joke,” the line drips with meaning.

But don’t get the idea that “The Suicide Squad” has fallen prey to the foibles of the self-serious 2017 version. Gunn brings enough fun and absurd action to make the sonic overload of the second kick at the can equal parts silly and serious.


THE GOOD (in alphabetical order)

Baby Driver: Although it contains more music than most tuneful of movies “Baby Driver,” the new film from director Edgar Wright, isn’t a musical in the “West Side Story,” “Sound of Music” sense. Wallpapered with 35 rock ‘n roll songs on the soundtrack it’s a hard driving heist flick that can best be called an action musical.

The Big Sick: Even when “The Big Sick” is making jokes about terrorism and the “X-Files” it is all heart, a crowd-pleaser that still feels personal and intimate.

Call Me By Your Name: This is a movie of small details that speak to larger truths. Director Luca Guadagnino keeps the story simple relying on the minutiae to add depth and beauty to the story. The idyllic countryside, the quaint town, the music of the Psychedelic Furs and the languid pace of a long Italian summer combine to create the sensual backdrop against which the romance between the two blossoms. Guadagnino’s camera captures it all, avoiding the pitfalls of melodrama to present a story that is pure emotion. It feels real and raw, haunted by the ghosts of loves gone by.

Darkest Hour: This is a historical drama with all the trappings of “Masterpiece Theatre.” You can expect photography, costumes and period details are sumptuous. What you may not expect is the light-hearted tone of much of the goings on. While this isn’t “Carry On Churchill,” it has a lighter touch that might be expected. Gary Oldman, not an actor known for his comedic flourishes, embraces the sly humour. When Churchill becomes Prime Minister his wife, Clementine (Kristin Scott Thomas) makes an impassioned speech about the importance of the work he is about to take on. He raises a glass and, cutting through the emotion of the moment, says, “Here’s to not buggering it up!” It shows a side of Churchill not often revealed in wartime biopics.

The Disaster Artist: The key to pulling off “The Disaster Artist” is not recreating “The Room” beat for beat, although they do that, it’s actually about treating Wiseau as a person and not an object of fun. He’s an outrageous character and Franco commits to it 100%. From the marble-mouthed speech pattern that’s part Valley Girl and part Beaker from The Muppets to the wild clothes and stringy hair, he’s equal parts creepy and lovable but underneath his bravado are real human frailties. Depending on your point of view he’s either delusional or aspirational but in Franco’s hands he’s never also never less than memorable. It’s a broad, strange performance but it may also be one of the actor’s best.

Dunkirk: This is an intense movie but it is not an overly emotional one. The cumulative effect of the vivid images and sounds will stir the soul but despite great performances the movie doesn’t necessarily make you feel for one character or another. Instead its strength is in how it displays the overwhelming sense of scope of the Dunkirk mission. With 400,000 men on the ground with more in the air and at sea, the sheer scope of the operation overpowers individuality, turning the focus on the collective. Director Christopher Nolan’s sweeping camera takes it all in, epic and intimate moments alike.

The Florida Project: This is, hands down, one of the best films of the year. Low-budget and naturalistic, it packs more punch than any superhero. Director Sean Baker defies expectations. He’s made a film about kids for adults that finds joy in rocky places. What could have been a bleak experience or an earnest message movie is brought to vivid life by characters that feel real. It’s a story about poverty that neither celebrates or condemns its characters. Mooney’s exploits are entertaining and yet an air of jeopardy hangs heavy over every minute of the movie. Baker knows that Halley and Moonie’s well being hangs by a thread but he also understands they exist in the real world and never allows their story to fall into cliché.

Get Out: This is the weirdest and most original mainstream psychodrama to come along since “The Babadook.” The basic premise harkens back to the Sidney Poitier’s classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” In that film parents, played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, have their attitudes challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé. The uncomfortable situation of meeting in-laws for the first time is universal. It’s the added layers of paranoia and skewered white liberalism that propels the main character’s (Daniel Kaluuya) situation into full-fledged horror. In this setting he is the other, the stranger and as his anxiety grows the social commentary regarding attitudes about race in America grows sharper and more focussed.

Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s skilful handling of the story of Lady Bird’s busy senior year works not just because it’s unvarnished and honest in its look at becoming an adult but also, in a large degree, to Saoirse Ronan’s performance. I have long called her ‘Lil Meryl. She’s an actor of unusual depth, a young person (born in 1994) with an old soul. Lady Bird is almost crushed by the weight of uncertainty that greets her with every turn—will her parents divorce, will there be money for school, will Kyle be the boy of her dreams, will she ever make enough cash to repay her parents for her upbringing?—but Ronan keeps her nimble, sidestepping teen ennui with a complicated mix of snappy one liners, hard earned wisdom and a well of emotion. It’s tremendous, Academy Award worthy work.

The Post: Steven Spielberg film is a fist-pump-in-the-air look at the integrity and importance of a free press. It’s a little heavy-handed but these are heavy-handed times. Director Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are entertainers first and foremost, and they do entertain here, but they also shine a light on a historical era whose reverberations are being felt today stronger than ever.

The Shape of Water: A dreamy slice of pure cinema. Director Guillermo del Toro uses the stark Cold War as a canvas to draw warm and vivid portraits of his characters. It’s a beautiful creature feature ripe with romance, thrills and, above all, empathy for everyone. This is the kind of movie that reminds us of why we fell in love with movies in the first place.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: The story of a mother’s unconventional war with the world is simple enough, it’s the complexity of the characters that elevates the it to the level of great art.

Wonder Woman: Equal parts Amazon sword and sandal epic, mad scientist flick, war movie and rom com, it’s a crowd pleaser that places the popular character front and centre. As played by Gal Gadot, Diana is charismatic and kick ass, a superhero who is both truly super and heroic. Like Superman she is firmly on the side of good, not a tortured soul à la Batman. Naïve to the ways of the world, she runs headfirst into trouble. Whether she’s throwing a German tank across a battlefield, defying gravity to leap to the top of a bell tower, tolerating Trevor’s occasional mansplaining or deflecting bullets with her indestructible Bracelets of Submission, she proves in scene after scene to be both a formidable warrior and a genuine, profoundly empathic character.