I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the animated “Trolls Band Together,” the origin story “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the biopic “Rustin,” the sports comedy “Next Goal Wins,” and the rock doc “The Stones and Brian Jones.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the animated “Trolls Band Together,” the origin story “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the biopic “Rustin,” the sports comedy “Next Goal Wins,” and the rock doc “The Stones and Brian Jones.”
Charming but slight, Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins” is an inspirational, underdog sports movie that falls just short of a win.
Michael Fassbender plays real-life football coach Thomas Rongen, a hothead whose failure to push the Under-20 United States men’s national team to the World Cup cost him a prime gig with the league. At loose ends, with a broken marriage and no prospects, he takes a last-chance job with the failing American Samoa soccer team. “This guy has been fired from his last three jobs because he can’t control himself,” says player Daru (Beulah Koale).
How bad are they? “We haven’t scored one goal in the history of our country trying to have a soccer team,” explains Tavita (Oscar Kightley), head of the Football Federation of American Samoa. “All I want is just one goal. One goal.”
It’s a modest ambition, but this is a team who once gave up 31 goals in a match against Australia. The question is, Can a man who values winning above all else work with a team of such modest ambitions? “I can honestly say it’s the worst bunch of players I’ve ever come across,” says Rongen.
Although based on a true story, “Next Goal Wins” leans into every cliché in the sports movie playbook. Add to that a boatload of fish out of water tropes, a drunken, angry coach and one big game, and you have a movie that, despite the American Samoa setting, feels very familiar.
It’s “Ted Lasso” Lite by way of the “Bad News Bears,” but isn’t without its humble charms. The script is stuffed to bursting with one-liners and sight gags, delivered by an able and willing cast. The scene stealer here is Kightley, the eternally optimistic federation leader. He’s a ton of fun and is a nice counterbalance to Fassbender’s dour performance.
The film’s beating heart is Jaiyah Saelua (Kaimana), the first openly non-binary and trans woman in soccer history to compete in a World Cup game. Known as faʻafafine, a third gender accepted in traditional Samoan culture, Saelua’s addition to the story—which is based on the team’s true history—modernizes the well-worn inspirational sports flick with a nod to identity and acceptance.
“Next Goal Wins” is a crowd pleaser with some laughs, but aside from some timely, sly social commentary on white saviour tropes and inclusion, is as formulaic as sports movies get.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the return of the Crawleys in “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” the menacing “Men” starring Jessie Buckley, the warm-hearted comedy “The Valet” and the wild and wacky “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.”
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” the animated adventures of “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” the heartwarming humour of “The Valet” and the menacing “Men.”
Richard sits in on the CKTB Niagara in the Morning morning show with host Tim Denis to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the upstairs/downstairs drama of “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” the animated adventures of “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” and the heartwarming humour of “The Valet.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the return of the Crawleys in “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” the menacing “Men” starring Jessie Buckley, the warm-hearted comedy “The Valet” and the wild and wacky “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.”
A kid’s movie about Hollywood as a boulevard of broken dreams doesn’t exactly scream Disney, but “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” a new live action, cartoon hybrid starring John Mulaney and Andy Samberg in the title roles, and now streaming on Dinsey+, is exactly that.
Except it’s WAY funnier than I just made it sound.
Set in Los Angeles, this is the tale of anthropomorphic chipmunks Chip (Mulaney) and Dale (Samberg). Once tight pals and big television stars, relative to their tiny size, they are now has-beens, relegated to the delete bin of popular culture. “We were living the dream,” says Dale. “Dancing the Roger Rabbit, with Roger Rabbit.”
Dale sticks it out in show biz and with some CGI surgery—i.e. plastic surgery in toon world—is now a photorealistic computer-animation version of himself chasing glory on the oldies convention circuit, while Chip gave up his Hollywood dream and makes ends meet by selling insurance.
Worst of all, they’re estranged and haven’t spoken in years. It takes a wild story from their old “Rescue Rangers” co-star Monterey Jack (Eric Bana) about missing animated characters, possibly kidnapped by Sweet Pete (Will Arnett), a middle-aged, paunchy version of Peter Pan, to bring them back together.
When Monterey disappears, Chip ‘n Dale use the sleuthing lessons they learned on “Rescue Rangers” and are drawn into the seedy underworld of Uncanny Valley where the baddies come in all styles—hand drawn, computer generated, claymation, puppets—Muppet fights are a daily occurrence and bootleggers threatens the toons’ lives and careers.
“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a multiverse of toontastic fun. In a wild mix n’ match, characters from movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “My Little Pony” to “South Park” and “The Jungle Book” clash and collide. There’s even Ugly Sonic, the original Sonic the Hedgehog design with human teeth.
The array of characters aside, there are loads of in-jokes for animaniacs to enjoy. A computer-generated Viking (Seth Rogen) is described as having, “those Polar Express eyes,” and director Akiva Schaffer crams the screen with various styles of animation that irreverently pays tribute to, and pokes fun at, these beloved characters who have fallen on hard times.
A riff on “The Happytime Murders,” which brought the Muppets into a crime-ridden, R-rated world, and the Toontown antics of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is ripe with sight gags and deep laughs that will likely be appreciated more by parents than kids. Once again, my semi-annual reminder that simply because a movie is on Disney+, doesn’t mean it is for the entire family. There are good messages for kids about the importance of friendship but they are tempered by some adult humour and mild language.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jee-Yun Lee to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” the creepy kid movie “The Prodigy” and the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want.”