Posts Tagged ‘Zach Galifianakis’

THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE: 3 ½ STARS. “the only bad burger is the one you didn’t eat.”

The list of sitcoms that inspired movies is a short one. This week that exclusive list grows by one as “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” joins other animated shows like “South Park” and “The Simpsons” to make the leap from the small to big screen.

In what could be a supersized episode of the television show with a musical, murder mystery twist, the movie begins a week before the start of summer. The socially awkward daughter Tina (Dan Mintz) is hoping to hook up with her fantasy summer boyfriend. Son Gene (Eugene Mirman) hopes his latest musical invention, a napkin holder equipped with plastic forks, will be just the sound his band, The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee, needs to finally break through to audiences and after a classmate calls her a “baby,” youngest daughter Louise (Kristen Schaal) is determined to prove that she is grown up and brave.

Parents Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda Belcher (John Roberts) have bigger issues. “Every day I give myself a little diarrhea from the worry and the stress,” Bob sings in the movie’s first big musical number. They have seven days to get a loan extension from the bank or they could lose their beloved burger joint.

When a giant sinkhole opens up directly in front of their business they ask landlord, wealthy oddball Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline), for an extension. “I’m of two minds,” he says, “and by that, I mean I’m drunk.”

When the sinkhole becomes a crime scene, a “crime hole” they call it, their problems increase but an investigation by the kids may lead to a solution… or maybe something worse.

With the main creative crew and cast returning from the television series, it comes as no surprise that “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” has the same kind of irreverent, funny and punny dialogue that makes the show and characters such a delight for twelve seasons. “Bob’s” aficionados should get the fan service they expect while newcomers should catch on to the vibe with ease.

It’s not all special sauce and sesame seed buns, though. The big musical number off the top is pretty great. It separates the movie from the small screen edition, with cool animated choreography and clever lyrics. Unfortunately, after that, it’s as if director Loren Bouchard left the rest of the musical score at home. There is a song or two later, one with a great “misdemeanors and wieners” rhyme, but the promise of something different, something cinematic, is by-and-large dashed.

Pacing problems make the final section, a far-too-long action, adventure sequence, a bit of a slog that sucks some of the fun out of the story. Still, like they say, the only bad burger is the one you didn’t eat, and up until then, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” isn’t bad. It has enough laughs and clever dialogue to whet your appetite.

CTV NEWS AT 11:30: MORE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS TO STREAM THIS WEEKEND!

Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend, including the experimental documentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,” the forlorn romance “Dirt Music” and the quirky Jenny Slate comedy “The Sunlit Night.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 19:42)

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

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 the tonic for the soul travelogue “From the Vine,” the quirky comedy “The Sunlit Night,” the journalism thriller “Target Number One” and the hybrid documentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE SUNLIT NIGHT: 2 ½ STARS. “Jenny Slate brings charm to the story.”

“The Sunlit Night,” a new Jenny Slate comedy now on VOD, feels like a throwback to the oddball indie films of recent decades. No detail is too twee, no setting too obscure. The viewer is reminded of a flood of titles like “Everything Is Illuminated” and “Amelie” come to mind, movies where the quirk factor is set to the max.

Jenny Slate plays Frances, a young woman following in the footsteps of her parents. All three are frustrated artists. “Maybe I’m not an artist,” she says. “Maybe I’m just the daughter of two other artists.” After one spectacularly bad day that sees her break up with her rich boyfriend, get critically savaged by her art professors, find out her lawyer sister is engaged and her parents (David Paymer and Jessica Hecht) are splitting up. As if that wasn’t enough, she gets denied an apprenticeship in Tokyo. Rather than live with her father in his tiny studio she accepts another, less than desirable offer—“He fired his last assistant and now he needs someone to paint a barn, using only the colour yellow.”—with reclusive artist Nils (Fridtjov Såheim) in the far, far north of Norway. “This is where you go when you are exiled,” she says.

Her new life in Lofoten takes some getting used to. She is a fish out of water, the sun never sets, small goats invade her trailer, and the job is a slog, essentially a large paint by numbers project that leaves her little or no time to work on her own paintings. Still, she finds time to explore the nearby Viking Museum run by ex-pat American (Zach Galifianakis) and, despite telling her mother that she is “closed for business, a potential love interest in Yasha (Alex Sharp), a Brooklyn baker who has travelled to the top of the world to give his late father, and not just the ashes, but the whole corpse, a traditional Viking funeral.

“The Sunlit Night” has something offer after a radical rethink following brutal reviews at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It’s still a bit sloppy and a little too whimsically weird for its own sake, but Slate and a fun cameo from Gillian Anderson as Yasha’s mother do much of the heavy lifting. Most of the other characters seem to exist simply to add flavour to Frances’ rather colourless journey to find herself.

No amount of re-editing could get “The Sunlit Night” past the basic premise of outsiders navigating the strange Arctic Circle surroundings, but Slate brings charm to a story that otherwise may have been devoid of any realistic or interesting human behaviour.

JFL42: RICHARD HOSTS ‘BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE” SCREENING

Come watch Netflix’s highly anticipated film BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE on the big screen! Following the screening, we’ll be joined by Scott Aukerman (director, producer, writer) and actor Lauren Lapkus as they discuss the laugh-out-loud comedy that gives new insight into the curmudgeonly, beloved outsider Zach Galifianakis has created over the years.  The film will be released globally on Netflix on September 20th, 2019.

Moderated by Richard Crouse (CTV’s Pop Life) on Friday September 20, 2019 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox!

Buy tickets HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW ON “MISSING LINK,” “HELLBOY” AND MORE!

A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm.”

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 the reboot of “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm” and the kid-friendly “Mia and the White Lion” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

MISSING LINK: 3 STARS. “Galifianakis’s performance gives the movie heart.”

The new animated film from Laika, the folks behind beautiful stop motion movies like “Coraline,” “Paranorman” and “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is an odd couple, historical adventure that brings to mind “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”

Hugh Jackman voices Victorian-era explorer Sir Lionel Frost. Dressed head to toe in houndstooth, he’s an anthropologist of sorts, scouring the world in search of mythical beasts. He tries to lure the Loch Ness Monster with bagpipes. “They do say music soothes the savage beast.“

Despite his adventurous spirit his peers at London’s Optimates Club don’t take him seriously. Desperate to secure his legacy, he follows the lead of an anonymous letter about Bigfoot sightings in America. “He’s neither ape nor man,” he says, “but something in between.” If he can track down the elusive beast he hopes the snobby Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry) will be won over and offer membership into the exclusive club. Trouble is, Piggot-Dunceby is an old racist who doesn’t actually want progress in the form of new biological discoveries or anything else. “We have brought good table manners to savages of the world over,” he says proudly, “Now, they all tinker with changing the world and soon there will be no room left for me.” He’s so dead set against Frost’s mission he hires Stenk (Timothy Olyphant), an assassin to make sure the missing link goes unfound.

Meanwhile, it turns out the elusive Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis) isn’t so elusive. The 8-foot-tall beast introduces himself almost as soon as Frost arrives in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Link, as Frost calls him, can speak, has opposable thumbs and, most poignantly, is lonely. “Your world gets bigger every day as mine gets taken away.” He wrote the letter in hopes that Frost would “discover” him and escort him to his ancestral homeland, the Himalayan mountains, where he hopes to meet others like him, his long-long Yeti cousins. “I need someone who knows the wild places of the world,” he says. “Who won’t shoot me.” Together, along with Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), the widow of Frost’s ex-partner, they set off to Phileas Fogg-it around the world,

In search of adventure and Mr. Link’s long-lost relatives.

“Missing Link” is beautiful looking with the special animated feel that only comes with the stop motion technique. The visuals feel organic, handmade in a way that slicker, computer generated movies simply don’t. In fact, the visuals held my attention even when the story didn’t.

Woven into the script are timely messages about British colonialism, sometimes earnest—“The world,” says The Elder (Emma Thompson) to Frost, “is something to be claimed as a symbol of their worth.”—sometimes funny—they find Shangri-La or in the Yeti language, “Keep out, we hate you.”—that are timely and make a good argument for personal evolution. “Do we shape the world,” asks Frost, “or does the world shape us?”

It’s good stuff and Galifianakis’s Mr. Links is also a treat. An innocent with an imposing physical presence is a classic cartoon trope and with equal amounts of slapstick and poignancy, he livens up the proceedings. Galifianakis does great, understated voice work from the heartbroken—”I don’t want to have to spend the rest of my life alone. Won’t you take me there?”—to the hilarious—”Your utopia sucks!” It’s a wonderful performance that provides the movie with a great deal of heart.

Galifianakis aside, “Missing Link’s” over-all story misses the mark. Fight scenes make up much of the running time but (BIGTIME SPOILER ALERT) it’s Mr. Link’s assimilation into the human world that seems to run counter to the story’s overall anti-colonialist subtext. It puts a pretty bow on the tale and even sets it up for a sequel but makes absolutely no sense given the spirit of the film. Add to that a supporting role for a woman that isn’t quite as evolved as I‘m sure the filmmakers assumed and you have a film that will engage the eyes—it’s beautiful looking—but not the brain.