Posts Tagged ‘Zackary Arthur’


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan  to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the comedy thriller “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the romance-in-the-age of instalove, “Every Day” and the berserko “Mom and Dad” with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro In Focus: No matter how low rent the movie, Nicolas Cage is compelling.

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

It’s no secret that Nicolas Cage’s taste in movie roles has changed from the days when he starred in A-list films like Raising Arizona, Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas. The 54-year-old actor appears to flip a coin when deciding what to make these days. Sometimes he gets lucky — The Croods has a sequel on the way and Joe made some box office bank — while other times he ends up in films like Outcast, a period piece whose outlandish story careens through Europe and Asia like a drunken soldier on shore leave.

It’s trendy to write Cage off as an actor throwing his talent away, more concerned with cash than art. YouTube brims with videos like Crazy Cage Moments and Cage Rage. Between them they’ve racked up millions of views, which is certainly more people — give or take several zeroes — that saw his recent bizarro-world revenge film Mandy or direct-to-oblivion domestic thriller Inconceivable. And yet, no matter how low rent some of his recent output is, he’s usually compelling.

The vids are an eye-opening compendium of Cage’s trademarked brand of extreme acting — a method of over-emoting perfected in the more than 80 movies he’s made since his debut (under his real name Nicolas Coppola) in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Citing The Incredible Hulk star Bill Bixby as a major influence, he has always been, for better and for worse, one of our most completely fearless actors.

This weekend’s Mom and Dad promises an extra helping of full-throttle Cage. He calls it his favourite movie in a decade, while Glen Kenny, writing in the New York Times said, “In this morbid satire about parents trying to kill their kids, Mr. Cage has plenty of opportunity to go full him.” Cage, who forever will be best known for hits like Adaptation, National Treasure and Leaving Las Vegas, has made many other movies that are worth a second look.

One writer called Cage’s work in 1989’s Vampire’s Kiss “a grand stab at all-out, no-holds-barred comic acting or one of the worst dramatic performances in a film this year,” but decades later the movie has earned cult status because of Cage’s edgy work. The story of a man who may — or may not — be turning into a vampire is best remembered as the film in which Cage ate a live cockroach, but also features one of his most unhinged performances.

A few years later, somewhere between Honeymoon in Vegas and Guarding Tess, came Red Rock West, a genre-busting movie — Ebert said it “exists sneakily between a western and a thriller, between a film noir and a black comedy” — that unfairly barely made it to theatres. Cage hands in some of his best work as a broke but honest drifter, but only took the role after Kris Kristofferson turned it down.

Existing at the intersection of Vampire’s Kiss and Red Rock West is Wild at Heart, a film that perfectly showcases Cage’s manic energy. As Sailor, a lover boy on the run from hit men hired by his girlfriend’s mother, he’s a one-of-a-kind, an Elvis wannabe with a snakeskin jacket and an attitude. It’s a bravura performance. Like the jacket, which he says “represents a symbol of my individuality,” Wild at Heart is a symbol of his artistic individuality.

MOM AND DAD: 3 STARS. “the very definition of a midnight movie.”

It is a safe bet that you’ve never seen a movie quite like “Mom and Dad.” Starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair as parents trying to murder their children it is dark yet goofy. It’s trashy with no redeeming qualities and that’s what makes it great… or at least a fun night out at the movies.

Cage and Blair are Brent and Kendall Ryan, the slightly bored suburban parents of Carly (Anne Winters) and Josh (Zackary Arthur). He longs for his wild years, she is a devoted mom, but concerned about aging. When a mysterious plague—or is it mass hysteria?—hits town, turning parents against their kids, Brent and Kendall spend twenty-four-hours trying to trap and kill their kids. Finally they can act on all the resentments they’ve been harbouring against their kids for forcing them to grow up and leave their youth behind.

“Mom and Dad” is the very definition of a midnight movie. Cage, a master at playing heightened reality, has rarely been, well, Cagier and the sight of Blair sizing up tools to kill her daughter—should she use a meat hammer or long kitchen knife—is delightful in the most disturbing of ways.

Director Brian Taylor brings the same wild anarchic spirit he brought to movies like “Crank” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” In a quick 85 minutes he provides set-up, quick character studies and enough twisted action to keep eyeballs dancing and then, as though he ran out of film and couldn’t finish the film, it ends. Cuts to black just as it feels like the story is going to head into even wilder territory. I doubt it’s a cliffhanger to trigger a sequel (the story doesn’t have very far to go) so the suddenness of it comes as a shock—almost as much of a shock as parents trying to gas their own offspring.

I suppose “Mom and Dad” may have a secret agenda, a hidden subtext about filicide and the toxic relationships that push people to do the unthinkable, but if it is there, it is hidden under layers of raucously un-PC humour.


Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.45.06 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for the frat boy humour of “Dirty Grandpa,” the galactic party crashers of “The 5th Wave,” and the martial turmoil of “45 Years.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Introducing Chloë Grace Moretz: not your typical teen star

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 10.17.13 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Eighteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz played a young vampire in Let Me In, a would-be superhero in Kick Ass and cinema’s most famous telekinetic, Carrie. It’s a diverse group of roles, but Moretz says she can draw a straight line from character to character.

“They’re linear,” she says, “in the sense that they’re all strong characters. A lot of them are like me, the basis of them. They all have a big mountain in front of them but they are going to climb it and fight as hard as they can.”

This weekend she stars in The 5th Wave, a world-under-attack sci-fi flick based on Rick Yancey’s young adult novel of the same name. Moretz plays Cassie and her “big mountain” is an alien invasion that devastates the planet, separating her from her younger brother. Can she find her sibling before the deadly 5th wave hits?

You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that it is another spunky performance from the actress.

Over the course of a short but eventful career spirited characters have become her stock in trade. She has made a habit of playing people with rich lives swirling around them. For instance, she’s a sparkplug teenage prostitute in The Equalizer, a confused best friend to Keira Knightley in Laggies and a movie star with a scandalous life in Clouds of Sils Maria.

Here are her top three career defining roles:

Spunky: In If I Stay Moretz plays Mia, a gifted teenage cellist from a family of musicians. When a catastrophic accident throws her into a coma she has an out-of-body experience. The rest of the story is told from the perspective of her memories before the accident and in the present, as she observes, ghostlike, the aftermath of the car crash.

Here she delivers what may be her best performance yet. As Mia she is a talented teen just discovering a life beyond the cello that has been her constant companion since she was young. It’s a simple and uncluttered performance with a lot going on behind the eyes.

Spunkier: In the 2013 remake of Carrie she put her own spin on Stephen King’s most famous character, originally played by Sissy Spacek in 1976. Where Spacek was a true outsider, an abused, naïve girl, Moretz plays her with a bit more pluck. Both are Ugly Ducklings transformed into swans and then monsters, unwitting and undeserving victims of horrible abuse, but Moretz gives Carrie more backbone than her predecessor.

Spunkiest: Undoubtedly her signature spunky performance came in 2010’s Kick-Ass. If Quentin Tarantino made a kid’s coming-of-age movie it might look something like Kick-Ass. It has most of his trademarks — clever dialogue, good soundtrack and some high octane violence — but there’s a twist. The bloodiest, most cutthroat purveyor of ultra violence in the film is an 11-year-old girl.

The action scenes are plentiful and frenetic and once you get past the question, “Why would Chloë Moretz’s parents allow her to do this?” they’re really fun. It’s a little unsettling to see a young girl wielding a switchblade, gunning down dozens of bad guys and going hand-to-hand with a full grown man, but not since Natalie Portman in Léon has the screen seen such a sweet-faced assassin.

THE 5th WAVE: 2 STARS. “a teenage hodge podge of ideas and genres.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 10.16.17 AMOn screen eighteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz has moved things with her mind, played a hundred-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a twelve-year-old and as a teenage assassin used words so naughty they’d make a sailor blush. She’s done it all—even guided loved ones from beyond the grave—but her new movie sees her in her most precarious situation yet.

“The 5th Wave” is a world-under-attack sci fi flick based on Rick Yancey’s young adult novel of the same name. Moretz plays Cassie, a teenaged survivor of four waves of an alien invasion—or “galactic party crashers” as she calls them—that have devastated earth. “When you’re in high school everything feels like the end of the world,” she says. “Curfews, exams. Turns out what we thought was the end of the world wasn’t.”

The actual end of the world comes when “the others” invade looking for a new planet to call their own. Their first wave knocked out all of earth’s electricity, the second brought floods and quakes, the third wiped out hundreds of thousands of people with bird flu while the fourth saw the aliens get off their ship.

When Cassie becomes separated from her five-year-old brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) she reluctantly teams with Evan (Alex Roe), a hunky he-man cut from leftover Hemsworth cloth, to rescue her sib from a training camp run by the military. Wily but wary of everyone, Cassie must rely on Evan to help find her sibling before the deadly 5th and final wave hits.

Being that “The 5th Wave” is packed with millennial stars and is rather po-faced about itself I guess it can be categorized as a young adult drama but I’m shying away from adding any other descriptive labels to it. It’s not exactly a science fiction story even though it contains aliens—although we never get much of a look at them—and it can’t rightly be called a romance even though there are moony-eyed stares and a brief make-out scene. It certainly isn’t an action film even though we witness some of the world’s landmarks get destroyed and Moretz runs and carries a gun at the same time. Also, don’t look to “The 5th Wave” for pulse racing fight scenes as much of the carnage is off screen, perhaps to protect a teen-friendly rating.

It is a hodge podge of ideas and genres.

It starts off strong with a dark vision of what the end of the world might look like then changes into a portrait of a teenage melodrama with dystopian overtones. The blossoming romance offers up some unintentionally funny scenes, although I wouldn’t call this a comedy either.

Moretz has a way with action roles—think Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass”—so her return to a more physical role is welcome, but as a young adult vehicle it will leave you hungry for another episode of “The Hunger Games.”