The Couch Potato Report – January 12th, 2005
In The Couch Potato Report this week there is a non thrilling thriller, an unfunny comedy, and the definition of the word “paparazzi.”
Our first film this week is THE VILLAGE, the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director who thrilled us with THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS.
Now, before I continue, I won’t be giving anything about the movie away, but I will be mentioning a few story points.
So if you would rather see this film without knowing anything at all about it, please cover your ears for the next few minutes
Yes, M. Night Shyamalan thrilled us with THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS, but if you are expecting another great story with a twist close to the end, you will be bored by THE VILLAGE.
THE VILLAGE isn’t a bad movie, but since it is the latest movie from the man who gave us the very successful THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS it has to be promoted to you by telling you that this is the latest movie from the man who gave us THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS
You see, THE VILLAGE isn’t the same type of movie as those other M. Night Shyamalan movies.
THE VILLAGE is a drama, plain and simple. No thrills, no suspense, just a dramatic movie that is well told, well acted and well directed.
The village in THE VILLAGE is a place that is surrounded by woods and, according to a tombstone we see in the opening minutes, it takes place in 1897.
In those woods dwell “Those We Don’t Speak Of, ” creatures who – we’re told – do not take kindly to intruders.
As long as the villagers don’t attempt to enter the woods, they are safe.
That is, until “Those We Don’t Speak Of” start to come within the village’s boundaries.
But those creatures and that story line is the lesser part of THE VILLAGE. The main tale of interest in the movie is the relationship between shy, verbally-challenged Lucius and a blind girl named Ivy
It is a classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
Bryce Dallas Howard makes he film debut as Ivy and she is wonderful in the movie.
But the movie around her lets her down. Well, actually the hype that has been created around the film lets her down.
So try not to think of THE VILLAGE as the latest movie from the director of THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS, otherwise you’ll be disappointed.
Just think of it as a great dramatic film with a wonderful performance by Bryce Dallas Howard, and a supporting cast that includes Joaquim Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver, Adrien Brody and William Hurt.
This way, you might enjoy the movie, because you won’t be expecting anything other than what happens in the movie.
That is what I did when I first saw the film, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it.
Yes, I enjoyed THE VILLAGE.
I didn’t enjoy WITHOUT A PADDLE.
There is nothing I find more disappointing than a comedy that doesn’t make you laugh.
I can take a horror film that isn’t scary, a drama that isn’t overly dramatic and an erotic thriller that is neither erotic nor thrilling, but if a movie is supposed to be a comedy and it isn’t funny, that bothers me.
Paramount Pictures released this film and on the movie’s official website – www.withoutapaddlemovie.com – it is described as “A high speed comedy adventure in which three friends go into the Oregon wilderness in search of treasure.”
They used the word comedy, so the movie is supposed to be funny, right?
WITHOUT A PADDLE isn’t funny. Not once!
Because it is supposed to be funny, unfortunate things happen to the trio as they stumble about in the woods.
Their goal is to either find the treasure or get out of the woods alive, but they are working from a bad script, so the results are just embarrassing on screen, and on your TV.
Seth Green from the AUSTIN POWERS films, Dax Shepard of TV’s PUNK’D and Matthew Lillard – who plays Shaggy in the SCOOBY DOO movies – as the stars of this film and even though they are all talented, funny actors, they can’t save this movie.
Even a wily-eyed Burt Reynolds in a small supporting role can’t save this movie!
I know the film is supposed to be just a lightweight, enjoyable piece of fluff, that is a bit like THE GOONIES and a bit like DELIVERANCE, but it isn’t anything like either of those movies.
In fact, it isn’t anything that you need to see.
Especially if you think you are going to laugh.
You won’t laugh at WITHOUT A PADDLE; in fact if you look in the dictionary under the word “unfunny” you might even see the film’s movie poster.
While you are in the dictionary, you could also look up the word “paparazzi.”
If you do, you’ll see that a “paparazzi” is:
“A freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers.”
The paparazzi are at the core of the new video and DVD release PAPARAZZI.
PAPARAZZI wasn’t one of the best films of last year, but it is a very satisfying thriller.
Little known in real life actor Cole Hauser stars in the movie as a huge star who gets revenge on the tabloid photographers who stalk him every day.
The paparazzi nearly kill his wife and young son and put his career in jeopardy, so he strikes back.
PAPARAZZI is the type of film that you would sit and watch if you caught it on TV. You won’t love it, but it will entertain you.
THE VILLAGE, WITHOUT A PADDLE and PAPARAZZI are all available at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT…
…is the psychological conspiracy movie THE FORGOTTEN. Julianne Moore is a woman who thinks her son has been killed, even though everyone else is telling her she has never had a son.
Yes that movie is called THE FORGOTTEN, while CATWOMAN is a movie that should just be forgotten. Oscar winner Halle Berry stars in a movie that is one of the worst films released in the last decade.
Having said that, I will find something positive to say about CATWOMAN when I talk about it next week.
That could be hard.
Luckily I know I won’t have to work too hard to find something positive to say about FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, another movie that is coming out next week.
Billy Bob Thornton stars in that film and I’ll have more on it, and those 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 – January 12th, 2005