The Couch Potato Report – July 2nd, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features one thirty year old classic, a casino and a pacifier that won’t pacify anyone.
If you look at the Box Office results for this year – so far – there are eight films that have made over $100 million.
STAR WARS: EPISODE III, HITCH, MADAGASCAR, THE LONGEST YEARD, BATMAN BEGINS, MR. & MRS. SMITH, ROBOTS and THE PACIFIER have all grossed more than $100.
This year is half over and there are eight films over the $100 million mark.
In 1975 there was one for the whole year.
Thirty years ago this summer Steven Speilberg’s film JAWS became the first movie to ever make more than $100 million at the Box Office.
JAWS was the movie industry’s first blockbuster and now the classic film is being released on DVD in a 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
JAWS is the story of Amity, a Long Island summer town.
After some great-white-shark attacks, the business owners and residents find that not only their tourist business is threatened.
JAWS is a movie that features some beautifully crafted, crowd-pleasing sequences of action and suspense supported by a trio of terrific performances by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and especially Robert Shaw.
JAWS continues to be a movie classic, even thirty years later.
The only thing for me that is different about watching JAWS now, as opposed to when it first came out, is that I no longer worry about letting my legs dangle over the edge of my bed.
When I was a kid, the film made me stop doing that for a while.
And I suspect I am not alone!
I also suspect I am not alone in being very happy that this new 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of JAWS if finally giving us fans of the film many of the special features that were issued ten years ago on the laserdisc celebrating the movie’s 20th ANNIVERSARY.
This 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION has a very insightful 2 hour retrospective documentary, a sixty page booklet, an interview from the film’s set in 1974, and much more from the “Jaws Archives”, including this admission from director Steven Speilberg.
JAWS was the first Hollywood blockbuster, and thirty years removed, the film is still worth watching.
How many of this year’s $100 million grossing films will we say that about in 2035?
Certainly not THE PACIFIER, but I will get to that film in a moment.
Right now, lets focus on the 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of Martin Scorsese’s film CASINO.
In 1995 the legendary director reunited with members of his Oscar nominated GOODFELLAS team. Specifically writer Nicholas Pileggi and actors Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
The result was a three-hour movie about how the Mafia seized, and finally lost control of, Las Vegas gambling.
The first hour of CASINO plays like a fascinating documentary on Las Vegas, intricately detailing the inner workings of casinos.
The first hour sets you up to think that another masterpiece is in the offing.
But after that first hour, the film goes down in quality and – well, if I am being honest – it always just makes me want to watch GOODFELLAS again.
CASINO isn’t a bad film, it is actually very, very good, but it is no GOODFELLAS and that latter film’s shadow looms large over this picture, even if the movies are filled with different characters.
No, CASINO isn’t as fast paced, enthralling or as interesting as GOODFELLAS, but it is still very worthy of your time.
Yes, the movie is worth your time, but I reccomend that you be a bit wary of this 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of CASINO.
There are only a few extra features on the DVD. Even though they are really good, limited features on a DVD for a movie such as this usually means that there will be other special editions coming out in the future!
So be wary.
You should also be wary of any editions of THE PACIFIER that are released!
Personally, I hope there will never be a 10th, 30th, or even a 1st Anniversary edition of this movie.
THE PACIFIER features action hero Vin Diesel from XXX and PITCH BLACK as a Navy SEAL who is called upon to baby sit a group of kids.
THE PACIFIER isn’t very entertaining, and that is too bad as there is a precendent for an action film star to make a kiddie comedy.
In 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger went from the action of TOTAL RECALL to the kids he faced in KINDERGARTEN COP.
That film was very entertaining, but Schwarzenegger had two things that Diesel doesn’t have: talent or a good script.
The biggest problem with THE PACIFIER is that it is just a generic fish-out-of-water kiddie comedy.
The second biggest problem with the film is the fact that Vin Diesel has no comedic timing and he just isn’t funny.
Young kids who will watch anything might find the movie funny, but parents and older kids will likely find THE PACIFIER a waste of time and they will quit watching it about twenty minutes.
The 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF JAWS, the 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF CASINO and THE PACIFIER are all available now at a store near you.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
The late great John Candy stars in the wonderful 1991 film ONLY THE LONELY, and we’ll go back to 1928 for some VINTAGE MICKEY MOUSE cartoons.
I’m Dan Reynish and I will 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 – July 2nd, 2005