Posts Tagged ‘William H. Macy’


Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 1.04.38 PMRichard sits in with CTV NewsChannel’s Merella Fernandez to chat about the morning’s Emmy nominations, who was snubbed and who will win!

Watch the whole thing HERE!


the-sessions_2012-2-2048x1152“The Sessions” should be the downer movie of the year. But the story of a severely disabled man who wants to explore his sexuality, before, as he says, his “use by” date, is funny, passionate and bawdy.

Based on the life of poet Mark O’Brien (played in the movie by John Hawkes) “The Sessions” sees a man who can’t move have a sexual awakening with some unlikely advice from his priest (William H. Macy) and the help of a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt).

“The Sessions” doesn’t reinvent the narrative wheel, things progress pretty much as you imagine they might, but as obvious as some elements of the story may be, the frank treatment of its subject and performances elevate the story.

Director Ben Lewin (who also wrote the script) expertly handles the delicate subject of sex and the disabled, never once allowing the characters to fall into the trap of pious condescension or pity. It’s a no nonsense look at life and love from a disabled point of view, and Lewis handles it simply and effectively.

The real credit for the story’s humanity, humor and passion, however, belongs to the actors. Helen Hunt bares all, emotionally and physically in a tender performance that would make her best-known character, “Mad About You’s” Jamie Buchman turn beet red, but it is John Hawkes who walks away with the picture, figuratively, not literally.

Playing a man who sleeps in an iron lung, who lost the ability to move below the neck at an early age, he is extraordinary. Using only his eyes, mouth and voice to express himself he creates a complete portrait of a man struggling past his emotional baggage to break through to another phase in his life. It’s a subtle performance that relies on minute changes in vocal quality and facial expressions to portray complication emotions. It’s also a far cry from his most famous role, the violent hillbilly drug dealer he played in “Winter’s Bone” and one that will garner attention at awards time.

“The Sessions” is a simple film about a difficult subject that eschews sentimentality for heartfelt feelings, and does so with a dose of unexpected humor.


DoogalDoogal, a new animated film about a rambunctious, candy-loving dog, has a great pedigree. It was derived from a popular French children’s TV show which was shown in England with great success under the title of The Magic Roundabout; it features the voice work of Judi Dench, William H. Macy and Whoopi Goldberg and is being released by former Miramax head honcho Harvey Weinstein. With such good breeding too bad it won’t be winning any awards at the Westminster Dog Show.

Like Curious George, another recent animated movie, Doogal is geared for younger kids who will likely take delight in the silly story, the bright colors—Doogal lives in a village where everything seems to be made of gingerbread and icing—and goofy characters. I’m not sure, however, how many times even the most patient of parents will be able to endure the adventures of Doogal—who I thought looked like a member of the 1970s band Slade, with his shaggy hair and droopy eyes—and his band of friends. The unlikely group—a train, a love-struck snail, a singing cow and Karate master rabbit, characters that seem ready-made to become merchandise if the movie is a hit—must retrieve three diamonds from far flung places, keeping them out of the hands of the evil Zeebad who will use their power to freeze the sun and earth. If they are successful they will be able to free Doogal’s owner Florence from the icy jail that imprisons her.

The filmmakers have thrown in the obligatory pop culture references in an effort to keep parents on board—everything from Pulp Fiction, to Lord of the Rings and Mission Impossible is included—but I don’t think a few in-jokes will be enough to keep older eyes interested.

One drawing point for older viewers is the addition of the funniest man on television, Jon Stewart, to the voice cast. Stewart is Zeebad, and all I can say is that it is a good thing that he’s hosting the Oscars this year because that is as close to an acting award as he’ll ever get.

Although it is packed with good messages for kids about tolerance and co-operation, Doogal isn’t as clever as Hoodwinked, as gentle as Curious George or as touching as last week’s dog movie Eight Below.


wild-hogs-0Wild Hogs boasts an all-star cast of old pros with a collective career span of 94 years. This is relevant because Wild Hogs is a movie about middle age and the kind of life lessons people pick up as the clock ticks on. The film’s leads, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy, are all in the throws of middle age and should have learned by now to avoid stinkers like this. With almost 100 years of experience between them they are old enough to know better.

In this baby boomer fable four weekend warriors try desperately to cling to their youth. During the week they are average citizens plucked straight from central casting—a henpecked husband, a computer nerd, a dentist who craves the gravitas that comes along with the title doctor and an investor who looks like he’s on top of the world, when in reality he’s broke and about to be served with divorce papers by his model wife—but on the weekends they are The Wild Hogs, a bike gang complete with porcine insignias embroidered on their leather jackets by their wives. A better name might be The Mild Hogs.

Eager to shed the shackles of middle age the Hogs decide to hit the open road, leave Cincinnati, drive across America and dip their toes into the Pacific Ocean. Their Easy Rider dream soon becomes a nightmare when they happen across an honest-to-God biker bar. Stripped of their dignity by the down and dirty Del Fuegos, Woody (Travolta) seeks revenge and accidentally blows up the biker bar. On the run from the bikers they seek refuge in a small tourist town where there is the inevitable show down between the hooligans and the heroes.

There is the occasional laugh in Wild Hogs, but considering Brian Copeland, the pen behind My Name Is Earl and Arrested Development, wrote the script this should be sharper, funnier and less clichéd than it is. You can squeeze a titter out of an audience by showing an inappropriately naked middle-aged bum or by telling weak bladder jokes, but we’ve seen and heard all this before. The jokes are too easy, and rarely rise above the level of slapstick. Many movies have tread this same path, but only Albert Brook’s Lost in America manages to balance the humor with the pathos of middle age.

More disturbing than the shallow treatment given the main characters is the film’s blatant homophobia. In one running joke Travolta’s character repeatedly shudders at Macy’s familiar touch, even though they have been friends since childhood. Other scenes involving a gay motorcycle cop and an effete karaoke singer at a country fair qualify as gay bashing.

The cast tries valiantly to make the best of the material, managing the snappy dialogue like the pros they are, but aren’t convincing as long-time friends. The lack of chemistry sucks some of the fun from their scenes together. Ray Liotta hands in a nice turn as a sadistic biker, showing off his rarely used comedic skills.

Wild Hogs is a predictable story of middle age that is far less than the sum of its parts.


Scene-from-Bobby-2006-001Bobby is an ambitious attempt to reenact the day Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. Director Emilio Estevez has assembled a extensive ensemble cast, featuring vets like William H. Macy, Harry Belefonte and Anthony Hopkins to Brat Packers like Christian Slater and Demi Moore to hot young stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood to up and comers like Shia LaBeouf and Joshua Jackson who play people who were in the hotel the night Kennedy was killed.

Estevez, who wrote and directed Bobby, was only six years old when Kennedy was assassinated so it might be his lack of personal experience with the era that gives Bobby it almost hopelessly earnest tone. The late 60s were a politically charged time, fuelled by protests, assassinations and civil unrest, but Estevez’s account of the time is simplistic, with stock characters—the racist kitchen manager, the wise old doorman—spouting dialogue that sounds as though it was written for a history textbook and not a feature film.

When Lohan’s character says, “If marrying you tonight keeps you from going to Vietnam, then it’s worth it,” before she walks down the aisle with a recently drafted Elijah Wood, it’s difficult not to imagine even a Harlequin romance writer cringing at the clichéd line.

With 22 characters Bobby is too populated by half. Many of the stories are superfluous and don’t add anything to the film except star power and running time. It’s a snapshot of the time that needs some serious cropping.

Despite the needlessly sprawling story, it’s hard to really dislike a movie this earnest, a film that wears its heart on its sleeve. While cinematic greatness might not be evident, Bobby’s message of peace and justice shines through.