Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to buy a train ticket! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train,” the rescue drama “Thirteen Lives” and the sci fi horror of “Prey.”
Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at Bard Pitt in “Bullet Train,” the real life drama of “Thirteen Lives” on Prime Video and the Disney+ social media satire “Not Okay.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train,” the true-to-life drama “Thirteen Lives” and “Prey,” the latest in the Predator franchise.
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train,” the true-to-life drama “Thirteen Lives” and “Prey,” the latest in the Predator franchise.
I join NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train,” the true-to-life drama “Thirteen Lives” and “Prey,” the latest in the Predator franchise.
The story begins as we get to know the Wild Boars, hours before their group decision to take a detour to explore a cave before heading off to a teammate’s birthday. Alarm bells are triggered when only one boy shows up to the party. It’s soon discovered the team is trapped deep inside a treacherous network of caves. As early monsoon rains approach it becomes a race against time to rescue the stranded soccer players before the caves fill with water.
When a rescue attempt by the Royal Thai Navy SEALs fails, local cave diver Vernon Unsworth (Lewis Fitz-Gerald) appeals to English splunkers, John Volanthen (Colin Farrell) and Rick Stanton (Viggo Mortensen), for help. After an arduous dive of more than seven hours, they find the boys alive, but how do they get them out through the winding maze of quickly flooding caves?
As water engineer Thanet Natisri (Nophand Boonyai) devises ways of diverting the water from the caves, anesthetist Dr. Richard Harris (Joel Edgerton) and cavers Chris Jewell (Tom Bateman) and Jason Mallinson (Paul Gleeson) who develop an audacious plan to administer a sedative to the boys, ensuring they did not panic during the watery, claustrophobic swim to safety.
“Thirteen Lives” is first and foremost a tribute to the courage of, not only the rescuers, but also of the people trapped in their subterranean prison. In the showdown of man vs. nature, it took bravery and brains to succeed, not just brawn. Howard takes his time, carefully doling out the details of the rescue plan, creating great tension in a story with a well-known ending. But knowing the outcome doesn’t take away from the effectiveness of the tale. The drama here is in the details, the careful planning and its bold execution.
Howard emphasizes action over character in many of the scenes, never allowing Harris, Jewell or Mallinson to overtly hero-it-up and pull focus from the mission at hand. The low-key performances dodge the white savior aspect of the story, while emphasizing the key factors of communication, camaraderie and cooperation between the rescuers. It may be slightly hokey, but when the actual cave diving begins—the narrow caves are almost impossibly tight and very claustrophobic—the all-business approach gives way to a kind of wonder as Howard terrifyingly recreates the cramped retrievals.
“Thirteen Lives” does away with many of the tropes of a big rescue movie. Big speeches and back slapping are kept to a minimum. Instead, the life-and-death stakes speak for themselves.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including Shia LeBeouf’s semi-autobiographical story “Honey Boy,” the eco-doc “Spaceship Earth,” the period dramedy “Emma,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “The Assistant,” the family drama “Ordinary Love,” the horror comedy “Extra ordinary,” the ugly divorce proceedings of “Hope Gap” and the neo-realist look at the gig economy “Sorry We Missed You.”
In climate change circles the term “hope gap” refers to people who worry about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. The new film “Hope Gap,” now on VOD, has nothing to do with the climate, but is all about change and a person who feels powerless to prevent it.
Bill Nighy and Annette Bening play mild-mannered Edward and firecracker Grace, a married couple of twenty-nine-years. Their cluttered home displays the earmarks of a life well-lived. Shelves overflow with books and knick knacks, photographs decorate the fridge. They have a seemingly comfortable relationship; they know how one another takes their tea and pad about the house working on their pet projects, his academic updating of Wikipedia history sites, her poetry projects.
When their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to their Sussex coast home to visit there is tension in the air. Grace, in an attempt to shock Edward out of what she thinks is his silent complacency, picks a brutal fight, overturning a table and slapping her husband in the face. “He should fight back,” she says to Jamie. “I want a reaction.”
The relative calm of the seaside home shattered, Edward announces that he has long felt inadequate in the marriage and that he’s leaving, immediately. Devastated, Grace wants to try and work things out as Edward begins his new life.
“Hope Gap” has moments of humour but make no mistake, this is downbeat story about two people who were living separate lives under one roof. The overall tone is one of melancholy but not melodramatic. Nighy and Bening give naturalistic performances, each feeling the pain of the other’s actions in a battle of wills. Bening is heartbroken, angry and yet hopeful for reconciliation. Nighy plays Edward like a wounded animal, skittish and afraid, a damaged man who has retreated from the relationship.
The beauty of the screenplay by Oscar-nominated writer-director William Nicholson, is that it doesn’t take sides. Complex characters are thrown into a complicated, almost unbearable situation with no real winners. It paints a vivid picture of Grace and Edward but doesn’t judge them.
“Hope Gap” is a portrait of middle-age angst. It may not make for a good date night movie but the nuance of the relationships on display is worth the price of admission.