The Couch Potato Report – October 1st, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week there’s one of the best films of the year, and the absolute worst.
Please allow me to start with the one that is one of the best.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is the new film from writer Charlie Kaufman. His previous works include BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ADAPTATION, HUMAN NATURE and CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND.
The one thing that all of those films have in common is that they are all brilliant, odd and not for everyone. Kaufman is a writer who exists on a different plane than most of us, and that makes his vision a bit askew.
In ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND Canadian Jim Carrey is a man who tries to erase his ex-girlfriend from his memory. Be warned, this isn’t your typical Jim Carrey movie. And as I’ve alluded to, this isn’t your typical movie.
The luscious Kate Winslet plays the girlfriend and while Carrey is undergoing the procedure to erase her, he changes his mind. He wants to keep the memories, but since this is all going on inside of his head the erasure team cannot hear his request that they stop.
So he, and his memories of his ex-girlfriend are forced to flee around his mind to hide.
I told you it wasn’t a typical movie.
But it is the kind of film that I truly love. A movie that keeps you guessing and shows you things you haven’t seen before.
At it’s core ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is a love story. A love story that juggles morality, identity, and heartbreak at at once.
I enjoyed it on every conceivable level and highly recommend it, even though I know many people will not like it at all.
Something that many people do like is fast food, especially McDonald’s.
If you count youself among that group, then you absolutely have to see the documentary SUPER SIZE ME.
In this very entertaining film Morgan Spurlock subjects himself to a steady diet of McDonald’s cuisine for 30 days, just to see what will happen.
What happens is he gets fat, his cholesterol sky rockets, his organs take a beating, and he becomes subject to headaches, mood swings, symptoms of addiction, and has a lessened sexual energy.
SUPER SIZE ME is not a perfect film, but it will entertain you.
Surprisingly, it also made me crave McDonald’s, and I haven’t eaten there in over two years. In the end I went home and made some rice, but I will always remember how much fun eating at McDonalds was when I was a kid.
I will also always remember The Alamo. The actual place, not the film THE ALAMO that is now available on video and DVD.
And as a history buff, I am actually mad that this film is so bad. I didn’t expect it to be a documentary, as it is a movie, but I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it is either.
The history and battle that took place at the actual Alamo remains a great idea for a movie. This version of THE ALAMO is just a movie with a very bad screenplay, poor direction, and, well, let me just stop at two bad things, but I could go on.
Now, after all that negativity, I suppose I should say something nice about THE ALAMO…well, okay, admittedly Billy Bob Thornton isn’t bad as Davy Crockett.
But other than that bad is the word I would use to sum up THE ALAMO. Skip it, ignore it, check out something else.
But whatever you do, don’t make that something else ENVY.
Envy is a mortal sin, and the fact that I had to watch this film was a sin too!
And in a million years, I would never have thought that I would say that as ENVY stars two of my favourite actors: Ben Stiller from DODGEBALL and MEET THE PARENTS and Jack Black of SCHOOL OF ROCK and HIGH FIDELITY.
But, and there is no getting around this, ENVY doesn’t have one laugh and it is the worst movie I have seen this year.
In ENVY one man’s invention tests the bonds of his friendship with his closest friend and neighbour. The friend has the chance to buy in on the idea, but says no thanks. Once the invention becomes a huge success, hilarity should have ensued, but it does not. Not once. Not at all!
If you never have to sit through ENVY, know that I am envious of you, because I had to.
And that is a sin!
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, SUPER SIZE ME, THE ALAMO and ENVY are all available at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 is Michael Moore’s documentary about the events surrounding 9/11. It is the highest grossing documentary of all time and it may also become the first movie to topple a president.
The classic animated Disney film ALADDIN, with Robin Williams as the voice of the genie, will finally make its debut on DVD.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is this past summer’s ecological disaster film. Up to a certain point it is actually very good.
And in the religious comedy SAVED! two high school groups battle over religion and morals. The great young cast includes Jena Malone, Mandy Moore and Maculay Culkin.
I’m Dan Reynish and 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!
The Couch Potato Report – October 1st, 2004