The Couch Potato Report

The Couch Is Back In Full Form!
This week in The Couch Potato Report we’ve got a jury, a child star, some spy kids, two matchstick men and a good director who’s gone missing.
Up first, the latest film adaptation of a John Grisham book. But forget the fact that RUNAWAY JURY comes from the same man who wrote THE FIRM, A TIME TO KILL, THE PELICAN BRIEF and THE CLIENT. This is a film that finally puts screen veterans Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman together. Even as impressive as the casting is, the pair is magnificent on screen.
Those two top line a cast that also includes John Cusack and Rachel Weisz.
Set in New Orleans, this is the story of a mysterious man who gets himself not only on the jury of a landmark case against a gun manufacturer, but voted in as the foreman.
The case involves the widow of a man killed in an office shooting suing the gun manufacturer of the weapon that was used, under the claim that they knew the store that sold it was not obeying the laws about firearm sales.
Hackman and Hoffman, who have played unforgettable screen characters in other films, bring credibility to virtually any role they play. They have an exceptional scene of hostile confrontation in RUNAWAY JURY that makes the film worth recommending all on its own.
And I am recommending RUNAWAY JURY even though – with one exception – you will be able to know precisely where it’s headed at all times. It’s not the best film you’ll see this week, month or year, but its a good rental.
This is reported to be the final installment in the “James Bond for kids” spy series from director Robert Rodriguez.
As SPY KIDS 3-D opens, pint-sized secret agent Juni has left the spy agency and launched a career as a private detective. When he finds out that his sister has disappeared into a computer game, he agrees to go in after her.
What Juni finds is a topsy-turvy world of battling robots, souped-up motorcycle races, frogs on pogo sticks, surfing on hot lava, and much, much more. It is a lot more fun for those watching the film as our sister isn’t trapped.
SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER isn’t as good as the original SPY KIDS film, but I liked it a whole lot better than SPY KIDS 2. And I’m not even a kid! Well, maybe at heart I am.
At the heart of MATCHSTICK MEN – another one of this week’s new releases – is how a con artist’s swindle is disrupted by the arrival of his teenage daughter.
MATCHSTICK MEN is a well made con film that’s also a family drama and a comedy. That comes from the picture’s intelligent script and Ridley Scott’s direction.
But the greatest thing you’ll find in MATCHSTICK MEN is Alison Lohman’s delightful acting. She plays a 14-year-old girl quite convincingly, even though she is really 23. In a film about deception this is a nice bit of deceiving, too.
Even if you enjoy being deceived, you should stay away from this week’s final film. It is called THE MISSING and stars Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett. Director Ron Howard made THE MISSING after winning an Oscar for A BEAUTIFUL MIND.
One has to wonder what he was missing when he agreed to make this movie.
The story is about a daughter and father who team up to find a missing girl.
Perhaps that isn’t the happiest premise for a film but with such a top notch cast, and an Academy Award winning director, the film seems to fall apart after the daughter goes missing.
The script simply failed to come up with any interesting twist,
Without sounding to clichÈ, if you never see it, you won’t be missing THE MISSING.
RUNAWAY JURY, SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER, MATCHSTICK MEN and THE MISSING are all available now at a store near you.
A fired musician creates a band out of 4th grade class in SCHOOL OF ROCK. This family film with Jack Black – who’d ever guessed those words would be next to each other – is a true delight from the moment it starts.
In COLD CREEK MANOR a family discovers that their new home harbors secrets, conceals a horrific past, and may not be free of the former inhabitants completely just as they begin to renovate. Its sort of TRADING SPACES, just without the babes, the carpenters and a logical plot.
LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION combines the classic cartoon characters with a script and live action cast that will never be considered classic. Well, except for Steve Martin as the President of the ACME Corporation, that is.
DUPLEX, the story of new homeowners who are forced to deal with the little old lady who lives upstairs, was the worst film of 2003. Even though it stars Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore it is absolute garbage!
Enjoy the movies and I’ll meet you back here next week on The Couch!