The Couch Potato Report – April 26th, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features a cinematic unfortunate series of events, a movie I am going to tell you very little about, and beaches.
My friends Chris and Debbie have two small children, Max and Ellie.
On my last visit to see them Debbie was kind enough to let Chris and I go out to a movie and bowling one afternoon while she watched the kids.
Due to their aforementioned children, Chris and Debbie don’t get out to see movies much anymore. On the other hand, as I have no kids, I get to go all the time and I usually go and see films on the day that they open.
So, as Chris and I were trying to decide what film to go see we quickly realized that there was only one film that I hadn’t seen.
As is his nature, he very graciously stated that we should go and see that one movie. Yes, there were films that I was willing to see again, but as he is a great guy, we went to see the one film I hadn’t seen.
That film was LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, a movie based on the popular series of kid’s books by Daniel Handler.
My friend Chris and I, both men in our mid to late thirties, went to see a film based on a series of kid’s books.
And you know what, we both completely enjoyed the movie!
Yes, I really liked it!
I haven’t read any of the books, and I have no plans to, but I am told the film LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS is based on three of them.
After Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire’s parents perish in a terrible fire, they are placed in the care of their uncle. Jim Carrey from DUMB & DUMBER and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND plays the Uncle, a mysterious actor named Count Olaf.
In reality, he may or may not be their Uncle, but -either way – he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.
Yes, it is a family film where one character is trying to kill the kids, but that is never the point. If he fails or succeeds is never the question. How entertaining is the film – that’s the question.
And I have a one-word answer for you: Very.
It is very entertaining.
Billy Connolly, Jude Law, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep all play supporting roles, but this is Count Olaf’s film. He keeps appearing in the strangest of places and each one is more entertaining then the last.
And true to the movie’s title, there are a series of unfortunate events.
The movie is a cross between THE ADDAMS FAMILY, some Dr. Suess and Roald Dahl books, with a little bit of Charles Dickens and Tim Burton thrown in for good measure.
LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS is a very entertaining family film that is even good for a pair of men in their mid to late thirties.
And I’ll tell you one other thing; I will be buying a copy of this for Chris’ kids. This way, the next time Chris and I see it, we can see it with its intended audience.
It is a great film, an was unexpected surprise.
Our second film this week was unexpected as well, because I didn’t know anything about THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON before I started watching it, and I don’t think you should either.
If I had known anything about it, then I would have known too much. By not knowing anything, the film had the chance to play out in front of me.
But, since my reason for speaking about THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON here on The Couch Potato Report is to tell you something about it, I will.
But I’m not saying much!
Sean Penn stars in this film as a man whose life – circa 1974 – has become unbearable. Since he is unable to take the blame for his own downward spiral, he chooses to blame the President.
And that is all I will say about the plot of the film.
No, THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON is not a perfect film, and I can’t fully recommend it as at times it is really slow and almost boring.
However, Sean Penn continues to be one of the best actors of this generation and every scene he is in is worth watching.
Yet even though I can’t fully recommend it, if you would like to see an interesting character study about a man determined to leave his mark on the world, then you should see THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON.
And for the record, U.S. President Richard Nixon wasn’t assassinated. He died on April 22, 1994 after suffering a stroke.
Hey, by the way, did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I wish I could be. I could fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.
Okay, well if I never told you that, I am sure sometime in late 1988 or early 1989 you heard Bette Midler’s song “Wind Beneath My Wings” on the radio. The song came from her movie BEACHES, director Garry Marshall’s touching drama about a 30-year friendship between two women, one wealthy, and the other seeking her fortune in show business.
Over the years BEACHES has remained a favourite amongst many friends of mine and they still find the movie touching and “worth a good cry.”
For those friends, and you, if you are interested, there is now a BEACHES – SPECIAL EDITION DVD. There are no extra scenes as the film is great just as it is, but Gary Marshall offers his thoughts in a commentary, there is a blooper reel and some other features. Plus, if you haven’t heard it enough already, the disc also features the “Wind Beneath My Wings” music video
I can’t say I ever loved the film, but I did enjoy watching the movie again, and the extra features on the BEACHES – SPECIAL EDITION DVD.
It isn’t the wind beneath my cinematic wings, but it is still a good movie.
BEACHES, THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON and LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS are all available now on video and DVD.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
Is the everything blows up real good film NATIONAL TREASURE, in which treasure seekers find a map written on the back of the American Declaration of Independence. Nicolas Cage, Sean Bean and Diane Kruger star in this really bad, but successful action film.
The POCAHONTAS – 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION is a look back on a film I wonder if anyone wants to look back on. In the animated Disney release a Powhatan maiden falls for English settler. Irene Bedard gives voice to the title character and Mel Gibson is the settler.
Finally next week is the film version of ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. For the record, Lloyd Webber’s name is actually part of the title. If you are unfamiliar with the incredibly successful stage version of this story, a masked figure falls in love with a singer he is tutoring. Gerard Butler is the cinematic Phantom and Emmy Rossum from MYSTIC RIVER is his student.
I’m Dan Reynish and I will have more on ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, The POCAHONTAS -10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, NATIONAL TREASURE, 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 26th, 2005