comedy film “Richard Crouse

KLAGNE FOR JESUS. SAVE YOUR SOUL.: 3 ½ STARS. “Ridiculous and sublime.

The term mockumentary has become synonymous with Christopher Guest’s work, a blend of documentary style and satirical fiction. Movies like “Spinal Tap” and “Best in Show” poked fun at the excesses of rick n’ roll and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, respectively.

“Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” a new film starring Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown, and now in theaters, amps up the simulation in a mockumentary, to present a satirical take on the values ​​of the Southern Baptist mega-church.

Brown and Hall are former power couple Lee-Curtis and Trinitie Childs, pastor and “first lady” of Wander To Greater Paths Church. Once a powerhouse, with a congregation in the thousands, the church was temporarily closed following a sex scandal involving the narcissist Lee-Curtis. “I am not a perfect man, ladies and gentlemen, he preaches. “God does not make perfect men. What I am is a servant of the Lord. People being servants of the Lord does not mean that you are not susceptible to being lured or deceived or ambushed by the devil.

In an effort to rebuild the trust of their congregation, they hatched a plan to reopen the church and regain the trust, and the large sum that provided their lavish lifestyle. “We need to connect with people and make them understand why they need you back in the pulpit,” Trinitie says.

There are some very funny moments in writer-director Adamma Ebo’s “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” ably performed by Brown and Hall, but it’s the dramatic sections that make this mockumentary soar. For proof of this film‘s ability to surprise, see Hall reclaim his power in a heartbreaking monologue, while wearing mime makeup. It’s a remarkable piece of work that blurs the line between the ridiculous and the sublime.

Emmy-winning Brown is equal parts charisma and egomania. Her love of fine, handcrafted Italian shoes, helicopters, and the finer things seems ripped from the mega-church playbook, but it’s her power that impresses. Brown brings the juice, preaching to the choir with an authority both divine and extravagant.

Together, their collective passion for godliness and material objects may put you in the mind of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, but Lee-Curtis and Trinitie lean heavily into the tragicomedy that their real-life counterparts managed to avoid.

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” doesn’t hold back in its savage satire, but it’s Brown and Hall’s character work that cuts the deepest.

Tags: Adamma Ebo, comedy, Daniel Kaluuya, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul., Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown
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THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE: 3 STARS. “unconventional but restrained absurdism.”

The new film “The Middle Man”, a new dark comedy now in theaters, is the story of Frank (Pål Sverre Hagen), an unemployed man who takes a job in America’s accident capital.

The setting is Karmac in any state in the Midwest, USA. Terrible things happen almost daily. It’s so grim there that the flags at City Hall are permanently at half-mast. The only growing industry in town is accident cleanup, the crew that comes to clean up after bad things happen.

The town goes bankrupt, soon they won’t be able to turn on the streetlights, which the local doctor (Don McKellar) says will lead to even more incidents, so they have to hire a middleman, someone to deliver bad news for the families of the bereaved.

Frank, who has been out of work for three years, applies, even though his only qualifications are beaten dog behavior and telling his mother that his father fell off a ladder, hit his head and died.

He gets the job, learns the ropes – “Crying is a privilege that belongs to the next of kin,” says the sheriff (Paul Gross), “not the middle man.” – and forms a bond with receptionist Blenda (Tuva Novotny). When Bob (Trond Fausa Aurvåg), Brenda’s ex-boyfriend and failed Middle Man contestant, hits and kills Frank’s best friend, it sets off events that lead an overwhelmed Frank to wonder if his new position is right for him. or not. “It’s a busy job,” he says, “accidents don’t interfere with office hours.”

Norwegian director Bent Hamer, who also wrote the screenplay for a novel by Norwegian-Danish writer Lars Saabye Christensen, may have set the story in the Midwest, but his dark, deadpan humor is purely Scandinavian. This semi-comic study of loss and grief has a macabre tone but retains a quirky, albeit dark, sense of itself. Dialing in the wacky aspects of the story may have increased the film’s commercial appeal, but may have undermined Hamer’s thoughtful thinking about life in an unusual small town.

“The Middle Man” won’t be for everyone, but viewers with a taste for unconventional yet restrained absurdism will find something to enjoy.

Tags: Aksel Hennie, Bent Hamer, Bill Lake, comedy, Don McKellar, Josiane McCartney, Karmack, Kenneth Welsh, Lars Saabye Christensen, Nicholas Bro, Nina Andresen Borud, Pål Sverre Hagen, Paul Gross, Rosalie Chelli, Rossif Sutherland, Sheila McCarthy , Sluk, The Middle Man, Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Tuva Novotny
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Richard talks to ‘CTV News at 11:30 a.m.’ anchor Zuraidah Alman about movies in theaters and on VOD to watch this weekend, including the Gillian Jacobs college comedy ‘I Used to Go Here’, the Mick Jagger thriller ‘ The Burnt Orange Heresy” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story”.

Watch it all HERE! (Starts at 6:59 p.m.)

Tags: Aladdin, Alan Menken, Beauty and the Beast, Charles Willeford, Claes Bang, comedy, Disney, Don Hahn, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Debicki, Forrest Goodluck, Gillian Jacobs, Giuseppe Capotondi, God Bless You, Hannah Marks, Howard, Howard Ashman, I Used to Go Here, Jemaine Clement, Jorma Taccone, Josh Wiggins, Kate Micucci, Kris Rey, Little Shop of Horrors, Mick Jagger, Mr. Rosewater, Scott Smith, The Burnt Orange Heresy, La Little Mermaid, thriller, Zoe Chao
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Richard and CP24 presenter Leena Latafat take a look at new movies coming to cinemas, VOD and streaming services, including the college comedy ‘I Used to Go Here’ starring Gillian Jacobs , the satire “An American Pickle” and the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy.

Watch it all HERE!

Tags: An American Pickle, Brandon Trost, Charles Willeford, Claes Bang, comedy film, comedy-drama, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Debicki, Forrest Goodluck, Gillian Jacobs, Giuseppe Capotondi, Hannah Marks, I used to go here, Jemaine Clement, Jorma Taccone, Josh Wiggins, Kate Micucci, Kris Rey, Maya Erskine, Mick Jagger, Scott Smith, Sell Out, Seth Rogen. Sarah Snook, Simon Rich, The Burnt Orange Heresy, thriller, Zoë Chao
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