Better late than never!!

This week in The Couch Potato Report four movies, count ’em four, four movies that are worth seeing!
I like watching movies.
I like going out to the movies, watching movies at home and visiting friends houses to see movies. I’ve even traveled to other cities, provinces and countries sometimes with the sole intention just to see movies.
Like I said, I like watching movies. Especially when they are good and not a waste of time.
I am pleased to tell you that this week there are four new films to tell you about. I am even more pleased to report that all four are good and quite worth your time.
We’ll start this week out with a western called OPEN RANGE.
After a decade of movies that weren’t very good Kevin Costner came here to Western Canada to direct OPEN RANGE.
Set in the Old West Costner and co-star Robert Duvall lead cattle across the land, grazing wherever the land is good.
After a territorial murder the cowboys seek vengeful justice against the ruthless rancher who threatens their law-abiding survival.
Now I’ve never been in a climactic shootout, but I suspect that the masterfully staged ones that take place in OPEN RANGE are laced with the shock and suddenness of real-life gunfire.
But it isn’t all gunfire and cattle, this is a beautiful film that is rich in character development and contains an abundance of thick-hided humor.
Costner plays his role just right Robert Duvall offers us one of his finest cinematic performances.
OPEN RANGE might not be as good as Costner’s other western – DANCES WITH WOLVES – or Clint Eastwood’s UNFORGIVEN but I liked it a lot. I especially enjoyed its slow pace and the opportunity it offers to get lost in the old west.
The films of the old west, especially Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST served as the inspiration for director Robert Rodriguez’ EL MARIACHI films.
1995’s DESPERADO was the middle film of the trio and now we have the completely enjoyable ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO. In this installment El Mariachi protects the Mexican president from coup plans.
The film is a complex with an engaging story to follow, complimented by some riveting action scenes and classy dialogue.
Antonio Banderas continues to personify The Mariachi, with Salma Hayek returning as his love interest. They are supported in wonderful performances from Johnny Depp of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, missing-in-action 80’s star Mickey Rourke and William Dafoe from THE ENGLISH PATIENT. And I can’t forget the stunning Eva Mendes.
As a big fan of these ELMARIACHI films I was pre-destined to like ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, but even if you’ve never seen the other two films in the trilogy there is a lot to like in this movie.
Movie. Spelled M-O-V-I-E.
Okay, I got it right!! I can spell movie!
It’s unlikely any actual spelling bee would offer such an easy word to spell. I know that for a fact as I’ve seen the spelling bee documentary SPELLBOUND. And you should see it too! It is wonderful.
Now who would have thought that a documentary about spelling-bee contestants could be wonderful, or even as suspenseful as a Hitchcock thriller? SPELLBOUND follows eight kids from their early victories in regional spelling bees to the national competition in Washington, D.C.
SPELLBOUND is an out-and-out nail-biter. Each of the kids gets captured so vividly that you can’t help but get emotionally immersed in their brave, nerve-wracking struggle to spell slippery, treacherous words.
And none of them are as easy as movie. M-O-V-I-E. Look, I spelled it right again!
But enough about my ability to spell, just search out SPELLBOUND at your local video store. It is a riveting, wrenching, must-see movie.
That title again: S-P-E-L-L-B-O-U-N-D.
Another title to search out, and spell for your local video store proprietor is SWIMMING POOL.
If you feel like watching a movie that you can discuss and dissect afterward than SWIMMING POOL is your movie.
This erotic thriller also offers a potent, voyeuristic charge as it takes you through a seductive tale of murder and complicity.
British mystery novelist Sarah Morton seeks peace and relaxation at her publisher’s French villa, only to find his brash, sexually liberated daughter Julie arriving shortly thereafter. What begins as mutual annoyance turns into something more sinister and duplicitous, alternating between Julie’s predatory dalliances with men and Sarah’s observant, perhaps jealous fascination.
A delicate dance of trust, curiosity, and gradual understanding ensues, until a twist ending that forces you to reevaluate everything you’ve seen.
Jump into SWIMMING POOL. You might not feel refreshed, but you will feel engaged.
OPEN RANGE, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, SPELLBOUND and SWIMMING POOL are all great films and are all available to rent and own right now.
RADIO – A football coach mentors a mentally challenged boy. (Cuba Gooding
Jr., Ed Harris, Sarah Drew)
LE DIVORCE – French and American social customs and behaviors are observed in a story about an American visiting her Frenchman-wed sister in Paris. (Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson)
THIRTEEN – A thirteen-year-old girl’s relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend. (Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter)
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you on The Couch!