“Dan is going on vacation for the next two weeks. I know he has written The Couch Potato Reports for us to read during that time, but just in case he doesn’t get the chance to post them right away we should make sure to read this week’s ‘Report’ in case i

The Couch Potato Report – September 7th, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report, there are three mediocre movies and the third season of a popular TV show.
Up first this week is the Coen Brother’s remake of THE LADYKILLERS.
If you’ve never enjoyed Alec Guinness in the classic 1955 Ealing comedy that inspired this remake, you might enjoy this new Tom Hanks version.
If you have seen the original, well, I doubt you’ll like this new version at all.
One thing you will like is the fact that Tom Hanks creates his own character, instead of just re-creating the standout Guinness performance.
Hanks is a con man who rents a room in an old lady’s house. He needs a secret headquarters for his five-man plot to rob a riverboat casino moored on the Mississippi.
His “gang of experts” pose as musicians and they use the woman’s cellar to tunnel to the casino’s cash-rich counting room.
As this is a Coen Brothers film mishaps ensue, the experts are all idiots, and to tell you any more would rob you of the very few pleasures in this less than stellar remake.
Yes, it’s a less than stellar film that takes place in a cellar.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist saying that.
THE LADYKILLERS is funny in parts, but those parts are few and far in between.
It is certainly not as funny as the Coen Brothers’ O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? and nowhere near as entertaining as FARGO.
As far as it being a Tom Hanks film, well it falls somewhere between THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOW and TURNER & HOOCH.
I doubt if either Hanks or The Coen Brothers will ever see THE LADYKILLERS added to the list of their good films.
A few weeks ago I added HELLBOY To the list of good films made from comic books. This week we add THE PUNISHER to the list of bad ones.
Before he starts punishing people Frank Castle is a regular guy who retires from the FBI.
A shady Florida businessman, whose son was killed in Castle’s last mission, orders a hit Castle’s wife and child. He also wants Castle’s parents and other members of his family killed.
Castle is also shot, but he survives and sets out to even the score.
The character of The Punisher first appeared in comics in “Spider-Man: Number 129.”
The Punisher first appeared on the big screen in 1989 in a film starring Dolph Lundgren from ROCKY 4.
This new film version of THE PUNISHER isn’t as bad as that original theatrical miss-fire, but it is really, really bad.
If you need to punish yourself, watch THE PUNISHER. Otherwise, see something else.
Like JERSEY GIRL, for instance.
JERSEY GIRL is the latest movie written and directed by Kevin Smith. Smith also gave us CLERKS, CHASING AMY and MALLRATS.
JERSEY GIRL is nothing like any of those movies.
It is reminiscent of other films you’ve seen, but its nothing like Smith’s previous work.
Ben Affleck from CHANGING LANES and PEARL HARBOR stars as a workaholic who loses his wife and has to raise his newborn daughter with the help of his less-than-perfect New Jersey father, who is played by the one and only George Carlin.
As I mentioned, JERSEY GIRL is reminiscent of other films you’ve seen as it contains several movie clichÈ’s, including: a parent forced to choose between child and career; a parent rushing to attend a child’s school performance; and a man oblivious to the fact that he loves the woman he’s been spending all of his free time with, just to name three.
ClichÈd or not, I liked JERSEY GIRL! Yes, I am a long time fan of Kevin Smith’s work, but I thought Affleck was great in the movie. I also think Liv Tyler does a tremendous job as the woman and Raquel Castro is superb as the Jersey Girl.
JERSEY GIRL is not a perfect film, but it is a nice little film.
Most of the time there is nothing nice about Special Agent Sydney Bristow, the character Jennifer Garner plays on the TV show ALIAS.
She is a spy who has to fight, lie and steal all in the name of justice and doing what’s right.
And even though the mystery and excitement started to wane in its most recent season, the exploits of the characters on ALIAS are always worth watching because of the talents of Jennifer Garner. Thus, ALIAS – THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is a DVD Box Set that I am more than happy to recommend.
Especially i fyou like to watch Ganer kick some serious butt!
THE LADYKILLERS, THE PUNISHER, JERSEY GIRL and ALIAS – THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON are all available now at your favourite local video store.
SCOOBY-DOO2: MONSTERS UNLEASED is the less than stellar live-action sequel to the 2002 movie that was based on the classic cartoon. The original movie cast of Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini all return, but they should have hired a screenwriter.
In MAN ON FIRE Denzel Washington is a man who seeks vengeance on kidnappers in Mexico.
And HOME ON THE RANGE is an animated film from Walt Disney about some animals who band together to save a farm from foreclosure. Roseanne, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Jessica Parker provide the voices.
I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!