The Couch Potato Report – July 26th, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features two films I love, one from 2005 and the other from 1979.
Kevin Costner has starred in the baseball themed films FIELD OF DREAMS (1989) FOR LOVE OF THE GAME (1999) and BULL DURHAM (1988).
Since I enjoyed all three of those films, and I love baseball and baseball movies in general, I was excited when I heard that Costner would once again portray a baseball player in the film THE UPSIDE OF ANGER.
I was doubly excited when I heard that he was also playing a radio announcer!
But THE UPSIDE OF ANGER has little to do with baseball, or radio broadcasting for that matter. In fact, Costner’s role is a supporting one.
The actual star of this wonderful film is Joan Allen, from THE NOTEBOOK and PLEASANTVILLE.
When THE UPSIDE OF ANGER begins, Allen’s character has lost her husband. He has literally vanished without a trace, and she presumes that he has run off to Europe with his secretary.
In addition to dealing with her own anger she has to care for her four teenage daughters, none of whom she is particularly close to.
Along comes Costner, the ex-baseball player turned radio talk show host neighbour who has always had feelings for Joan Allen’s character.
Despite his alcoholism, and his refusal to talk baseball with anyone, he turns out to have a bit of a stabilizing effect among the women, and the family.
That all might sound way too dramatic but THE UPSIDE OF ANGER is exceptionally well written and features an abundance of smart dialogue.
It is dramatic, but it is also funny and quite touching at times.
In addition to Allen and Costner THE UPSIDE OF ANGER features four of today’s most talented up-and-coming young actresses – Alicia Witt from VANILLA SKY, Keri Russell of TV’s FELICITY, Erika Chistensen from TRAFFIC and Evan Rachel Wood, who is best known for the film THIRTEEN.
All four actresses are wonderful, and so is Kevin Costner, but as I mentioned earlier, this is Joan Allen’s movie.
She gives her character a unique combination of raw emotion, alcoholism, sex appeal and pain, and the whole time you still aren’t sure what to think of her.
From beginning to end THE UPSIDE OF ANGER is a great movie!
It is one of my favourite films of 2005, and I am very happy that it is finally available on video and DVD.
I remember back in the early nineteen eighties when I was excited about another film that had been released in a home viewing format.
That film was THE JERK and I have since owned it on Beta, VHS, Laserdisc and already once on DVD. It remains one of my favourites and one of the funniest films ever made!
And now we have a new widescreen 26TH ANNIVERSARY DVD EDITION of the film to enjoy!
Then stand up comic Steve Martin made his film-starring debut in THE JERK portraying Navin Johnson, the adopted son of a poor sharecropper family.
One of his inventions leads him from rags to riches and then he goes right back to rags.
Along the way, he’s smitten with a lady motorcycle racer, survives a series of attacks by a deranged killer, and finds out what his “special purpose” is.
Yes, the film is stupid and idiotic and Martin is more than willing to play the fool.
And yes, I am the fool who has been laughing and following THE JERK for 26 years now!
It was the film that made me realize I had a “special purpose!”
For a few seasons back in the late nineties the special purpose of the television show SLIDERS was to entertain people.
SLIDERS is the show about four people who found a gateway to another dimension, but they forgot one problem… how to get back!
My older sister was a fan of the show, but I only watched it when we were visiting each other.
Since she wasn’t with me, I must admit that I wasn’t very excited about having to sit and watch the 25 episodes of the show that are contained in the 4-disc box set SLIDERS – THE THIRD SEASON.
In the end, I didn’t mind watching the show, but I would never call myself a fan of SLIDERS.
The plots aren’t very interesting and the special effects are very low budget.
But, I still enjoyed watching the box set because of the show’s cast, namely Jerry O’Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Sabrina Lloyd and Kari Wuhrer.
SLIDERS may not have been the best science fiction TV show of all time, but it is entertaining enough, and if you are a fan, you now have this four-disc box set to enjoy whenever you’d like.
As for the box set that I have, well I am sending it to my sister, so she can enjoy it whenever she’d like.
The box set for THE THIRD SEASON OF SLIDERS, THE JERK and THE UPSIDE OF ANGER are all available now at a store near you.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT…
…is a look at the SPECIAL EDITION of the hilarious 1994 film SWIMMING WITH SHARKS.
Kevin Spacey from AMERICAN BEAUTY and SEVEN stars as the “boss from hell.”
Spacey also starred in the 1997 film MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, a movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Clint’s daughter Alison.
The younger Eastwood ventured away from her Dad’s career to star in the horror film THEY ARE AMONG US and it too is now available on video and DVD.
I’m Dan Reynish and I will have more on those films, 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 26th, 2005