Posts Tagged ‘William Jackson Harper’

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig and a cast of n’ere do wells, the Disney+ revamp of “Lady and the Tramp,” the odd couple picture “The Two Popes,” the corporate legal drama “Dark Waters,” and the thought provoking “Queen & Slim” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

DARK WATERS: 3 STARS. “compelling David and Goliath story.”      

The only thing big and green in Mark Ruffalo’s new film “Dark Waters are the hulking wads of cash a major corporation is willing to pay to cover up an ecological disaster.

Based on true events, Ruffalo plays corporate defense lawyer Robert Bilott, a native West Virginian now working for an upscale Cincinnati firm. He makes a living defending big companies but when Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), a friend of his grandmother shows up complaining that chemical giant Dupont is poisoning his livestock, Bilott is at a loss for words. “I defend chemical companies,” he stuitters. “Well, now you can defend me,” replies the plainspoken Wilbur.

Bilott knows the farm. As a kid he rode horses and milked his first cow there and even though the he doesn’t think he can help, he agrees to have a look. On the land he finds horrifying things. 190 cows dead, many born with birth defects and tumors. Wilbur is convinced that runoff from a nearby landfill is responsible. What was once a pastoral paradise is now a poisoned plot of land.

To paraphrase the famous John Denver song, country roads lead Bilott back home to place he belongs, defending a farmer done wrong by a conglomerate more concerned with profit than people.

“Dark Waters” is about accountability. Bilott spends more than a decade of his life, putting his health and family life at risk to take a corporate Goliath to task for their irresponsible behavior. Ruffalo does a good job at portraying the Bilott’s decline as he is worn down by the tactics of his foe, the impatience of the people he is trying to help and his inability to force the power brokers to play fair. It humanizes a story that otherwise would be a high level legal procedural.

Director Todd Haynes shoots the story in drab tones that echo much of the colorless work—i.e. cataloguing the mountain of paper sent over by Dupont in the form of discovery. It doesn’t make for a compelling looking film but it helps set the scene and tone. Fighting back isn’t glamourous work. It’s about late nights, crappy food and a constant feeling of exhaustion.

“Dark Waters” isn’t a thriller. From the first frame there is no question about who is guilty. The question here is how guilty and will they ever pay for what they have done? It is geared to outage and infuriate, to underscore that the big guys don’t always win. It is marred by a leisurely approach and some paper-thin characterizations, but the David and Goliath story is compelling.

NEWSTALK 1010: THE RICHARD CROUSE SHOW FOR JULY 07, 2019 WITH BILLY EICHNER & MORE!

This week on The Richard Crouse Show, Richard welcomes four very special guests, “Midsommar” director Ari Aster and star Jack Reynor, “The Lion King” co-star Billy Eichner and travel guru Rick Steves.

I first saw Eichner as the host of “Billy on the Street,” a gonzo game show on which he hits the streets of New York asking strangers questions like “For a dollar, which would you rather have: Netflix, Hulu or people who love you? And plays games like Would Drew Barrymore like that? He even once convinced Michelle Obama to slow-dance with Big Bird on the show. We talk about playing Timon, the melodramatic meerkat made famous by Nathan Lane, in the new, photo-realistic version of “The Lion King.”

“Midsommar” is a tough movie to categorize. It’s not exactly a horror film although there are some horrifying moments. The story of a group of Americans who visit a Swedish midnight sun festival—imagine a medieval Scandinavian Coachella—and fall prey to unusual villagers is shrouded in an air of menace as the tone slowly shifts from Burning Man to “The Wicker Man” after a secret pagan agenda is revealed. The morning after I saw the film I was exhausted because I had been up all night trying to process what I had seen but stilkl took the chance to sit down with the film’s director Ari Aster and star Jack Reynor.

Travel expert Rick Steves is a fascinating character. His travel books are available wherever fine books are sold and for everyone you buy, you’ll be contributing to a good cause. The travel guru recently announced he’ll donate $1 million each year from his company’s profits in an effort to combat climate change.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Here’s some info on The Richard Crouse Show!:

Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

Click HERE to catch up on shows you might have missed!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JULY 05, 2019.

Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the pagan ceremonies of “Midsommar” and the poignant story-telling of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR JULY 05.

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the twenty-third instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Midsommar,” the creepy new film from “Heredity” director Ari Aster, and the captivating new drama “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Midsommar” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” with CFRA Morning Rush guest host Matt Harris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW ON “SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME” & “MIDSOMMAR”!

A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the pagan ceremonies of “Midsommar” and the poignant story-telling of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

CJAD IN MONTREAL: THE ANDREW CARTER SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the web-slinging adventures of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the pagan ceremonies of “Midsommar” and the poignant story-telling of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

MIDSOMMAR: 4 ½ STARS. “doesn’t easily fit into any definable category.”

“Midsommar,” the creepy new film from “Heredity” director Ari Aster, is proof positive that not all scary stuff happens under the cover of darkness. Sometimes daylight can illuminate the true horror of a situation in even more terrifying ways.

In the wake of a family tragedy American grad student Dani (Florence Pugh) finds out about her aloof boyfriend’s Christian (Jack Reynor) secret holiday, a trip to Sweden. Christian has one foot outside the relationship but half-heartedly asks her along. “I invited Dani to come to Sweden,” he tells his friends, “just to not make it weird. She’s not actually coming.”

But she does go with Jack and fellow anthropology students Josh (William Jackson Harper), a PhD student gathering info for his thesis, and wannabe-playboy Mark (Will Poulter) to a midnight sun celebration in the remote hometown of school mate Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). “It’s sort of a crazy festival,” Pelle says. “It only happens every ninety years. Lots pf pageantry, special ceremonies and dressing up.”

The festival is a Scandinavian Coachella, complete with dancing, pan-flute music and hallucinogenic drugs, all under a blazing sun that never sets. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I wanted to share it with my friends,” Pelle says. “People I know would appreciate it.”

At first it’s hospitable—”Welcome and happy Midsommar,” says the Ceremony Leader. “Skål!”—but after the and fun and games—and psychotropic mushrooms—start to wear off a gradual air of menace settles over the proceedings as the tone shifts from Burning Man to “The Wicker Man” as a secret pagan agenda is revealed.

“Midsommar” is a tough movie to categorize. It’s not exactly a horror film although there are some horrifying moments. It’s more the story of Dani, a woman trapped in a loveless relationship, (SPOILER ALERT) who lost one family only to find another under very strange circumstances. Elements of high school rom coms and revenge films echo throughout.

Aster, a master of mood, slowly unveils how the unusual customs of the villagers unsettle their American guests. His film asks questions about the relationship the Swedes have with their surroundings and traditions. The circle of life brings joy for them, not terror and the pious, matter-of-fact way they deal with death as a sacrament suggests the North Americans fear the situation simply because they don’t understand the customs. Are they the ultimate Ugly Americans or are they actually in danger? That’s the push and pull that builds the tension leading up to the explosive climax.

“Midsommar” may be the definition of ‘not for everyone.’ A colleague, who has sat through more movies with me than either of us could possibly remember, declared it one of the worst films she’s ever seen. But that is the subjectivity of art, the polarizing nature of a film that doesn’t easily fit into any definable category.