The Couch Potato Report – April 2nd, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report has the six Academy Award nominated films that were released on video and DVD over the past three weeks.
I begin this week with THE INCREDIBLES, the film that recently won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
Mr. Incredible is a superhero; or he used to be.
After his forced, and unsuccesful, retirement, Mr. Incredible becomes insurance claims specialist Bob Parr and he moves to the suburbs with his wife Helen, the former superhero Elastigirl, and their three children.
Mr. Incredible is then offered the chance to be a hero again by the mysterious Mirage and her unknown employer.
That opportunity turns out to be a trap and the family must all work together for the benefit of the family, and each other.
Mr. Incredible is the star of this wonderful film, but it is called THE INCREDIBLES for a reason. Each member of the family is well written, well animated, and well, incredible.
Yes, the incredibles is totally wicked!!
FINDING NEVERLAND isn’t exactly totally wicked, but it is an exceptional drama.
Johnny Depp from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN leads the cast – and received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor – in this story of how J.M. Barrie came up with the play Peter Pan.
Kate Winslet from TITANIC is a widowed mother of four small boys and she, the child actors, and Depp, are superb in the movie.
There have been some writers and critics who have focussed on the reported historical accuracies in this film instead of the emotion. Admittedly, there are more than a few, but I say ignore them.
FINDING NEVERLAND is wonderful and if you are very familiar with Peter Pan then there are added benefits as you see the origins of the scenes from Barrie’s eternal classic.
Let me pause now and focus for a minute on both sides of that word as it applies to romantic comedies.
The orginal BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY film was a classic. It was funny, enjoyable and made you root for the heroine.
That film’s sequel, BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON isn’t a classic.
Not at all. Instead, we get a film that doesn’t even seem to like it’s main character.
Instead, every single, non-funny, horrible thing that can happen – except death – happens to her.
She gets splashed with water, falls off a roof, gets thrown in jail, and can’t get off the lift while skiing.
It isn’t funny, and after a while it just seems mean.
I admit it, I liked the orginal BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY film and I like the character of Bridget Jones that Renee Zellweger created.
I want to see her succeed and be happy.
If she can’t succeed, and since this is a movie, she can’t succeed right away, but if she can’t succeed, embarrass her and make fun of her with some respect and adoration.
But this sequel doesn’t seem to respect her and thus I don’t respect or recommend the film.
And yes, I know I am talking about a fictional person as if she was real, but Zellweger made her a real person in the first film and that is why it was a classic.
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON is just a sad, unnecessary sequel, that I didn’t care for at all.
I do know a lot of other people who didn’t hate it, but my advice is to ignore this film and watch the original again.
Okay, enough negativity.
Let me be positive again and there is a lot to be positive about regarding the film BEING JULIA.
Annette Bening is Julia Lambert, a well known London stage actress in the 1930’s. BEING JULIA is about Julia’s eperiences with love and
And the revenge part of the film, is the sweetest part to enjoy
Bening lost the Academy Award for best Actress to Hilary Swank, but in any other year she would have won. She is spectacular and the film is well acted and great to watch.
Our final two films this week were also Academy Award losers. But don’t let the fact that they didn’t win an Oscar stop you from seeing them as they contain unique and interesting characters.
Imelda Staunton received her Oscar nomination for Best Actress in the superb, but uneasy film VERA DRAKE.
Vera is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies.
I enjoyed every minute of VERA DRAKE and that was 100% due to Imelda Staunton. She is remarkable!
I would also proclaim Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Clive Owen to be remarkable in CLOSER. He plays a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances in this erotically charged tale of love, loneliness and betrayal.
The all-star cast also includes Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nominee Natalie Portman.
CLOSER is a handbook about how not to act in a relationship and director Mike Nichols was able to get incredible performances from his entire cast.
Due to it’s language and content CLOSER isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t mind seeing real people speak real words to each other, then you should see it.
CLOSER, VERA DRAKE, BEING JULIA, BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON,
FINDING NEVERLAND and THE INCREDIBLES are all available now on video and
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
The Oscar winning SIDEWAYS is about two buddies who take a bachelor
party trip to the California wine country.
In SPANGLISH a housekeeper teaches the family she works for about
And Jennifer Garner from TV’s ALIAS looks great in the awful action
I’m Dan Reynish and I will have more on ELEKTRA, SPANGLISH and
SIDEWAYS, 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 – April 2nd, 2005