The Couch Potato Report – January 26th, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report includes a flightplan, the aristocrats and three films from the 1980s.
I am now and I have always been a fan of Jodie Foster and her work.
Ever since 1976, when I first saw her onscreen as Tallulah in BUGSY MALONE, and as Annabel Andrews in FREAKY FRIDAY, I have been hooked.
Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed Jodie’s work in FIVE CORNERS, STEALING HOME, LITTLE MAN TATE, CONTACT, THE ACCUSED, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and PANIC ROOM, just to name a few of her films.
Much to my chagrin, Jodie only appears these days in a new film about once every 18 months.
Last September I was very excited to watch Jodie’s 2005 effort, the thriller FLIGHTPLAN.
But make no mistake, I don’t usually love a movie just because an artist I admire is in it. And yes, I admire Jodie Foster, and I find some enjoyment in all of her movies due to that fact, but in order for me to recommend it to you in this forum, FLIGHTPLAN has to stand on its own as a film.
Sadly, it doesn’t.
In the film Jodie plays a woman who is flying on a jumbo jet with her daughter from Berlin to America.
Along the way, at 30,000 feet above the ground, the child disappears without a trace and no one is able to confirm that the child was ever actually there.
I love that premise, and my opinions on Jodie Foster are well stated, but FLIGHTPLAN just has too many holes in the plot to allow me to recommend it.
Yes, you will remain curious throughout the movie as there is a great deal of suspense, and it is well paced with a running time of 98 minutes, but FLIGHTPLAN doesn’t answer all the questions that it asks, and the end result is only a mediocre thriller.
One that I can’t recommend to you, no matter how much I love the star.
Unfortunately, I also can’t recommend this week’s other major new release to you.
That film is THE ARISTOCRATS.
In this film one-hundred comedians, including George Carlin, Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Dave Thomas, John Stewart, Eric Idle, Chris Rock, Tim Conway, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman, and many, many more, each tell “the dirtiest joke of all time” in their own unique way.
The joke starts off with a person telling a Manager that they have the greatest show business act of all time, and it ends with the words “The Aristocrats.”
Everything in between is what the comedians fill in.
And comedians have been filling in the middle part for years as it originated during the vaudeville years.
Unfortunately, not much of what they use in the middle is repeatable here as they use outrageously obscene scenarios to try and make other comedians laugh.
And if you watch the film you will laugh at least once. I laughed many, many times.
Yet, I can’t recommend the film.
That is because the scenarios that these comedians conjure up are so dirty, so foul and so disgusting that I don’t want anyone checking this film out because they heard it would make them laugh.
Yes, THE ARISTOCRATS will make you laugh, but it might also offend you.
Thus, I don’t recommend it, but it is a very, very funny film that I enjoyed immensely!
I have also enjoyed DEAD POET’S SOCIETY and GOOD MORNING VIETNAM.
Both of them star Robin Williams – who you can also see in THE ARISTOCRATS – and both of them are now available as SPECIAL EDITION DVDs!
In DEAD POET’S SOCIETY Williams stars as English professor John Keating. He works hard to entertain and inspire his students to form a love of poetry, and more importantly to “seize the day.”
The SPECIAL EDITION DVD features a commentary by Director Peter Weir, a collection of uncut, deleted scenes, a look back at the making of the film and more.
DEAD POET’S SOCIETY remains a superb film seventeen years after it’s release, but if we are talking about superb Robin Williams films, and we are, that list will always feature GOOD MORNING VIETNAM at the top of it!
In that film Williams plays real life person Adrian Cronauer, an unorthodox and irreverent radio announcer who breathes life into the stale and stiff US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam.
He does the type of things on his show I would love to do!
The GOOD MORNING VIETNAM SPECIAL EDITION DVD includes a thirty-four minute production diary, six behind-the-scenes features, and the real Adrian Cronauer explains how he created the “Good Morning Vietnam” sign on.
There is also about thirteen minutes of raw Williams performance footage, from which many of the movie’s best comedic moments were taken.
GOOD MORNING VIETNAM remains one of my favourite movies of all time, and this SPECIAL EDITION is a great addition to my movie library.
Finally this week is the new COLLECTOR’S EDITION of the 1984 film REPO MAN. Emilio Estevaz plays a young punk named Otto in the movie who becomes a repo man after helping to steal a car. Once he begins his new job he soon finds himself in the middle of a world that contains aliens, government agents and a huge repossession bounty on a 1964 Chevy Malibu.
REPO MAN will never be considered a classic by anyone who didn’t see the film when it first came out. It is for those people that this new COLLECTOR’S EDITION is for, especially since this is the fourth time that the film has been released on DVD.
I am not one of the people who love REPO MAN, but it remains a unique, cult film from my youth. Plus, it is the sort of obscure science fiction film that they don’t make anymore, and that makes it worth seeing, at least once.
The REPO MAN – COLLECTOR’S EDITION is now available at your favourite local video store along with GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, DEAD POET’S SOCIETY, THE ARISTOCRATS and FLIGHTPLAN.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
I’ll talk about Tim Burton’s completely enjoyable stop-motion animation film CORPSE BRIDE; the third season of the TV show KNIGHT RIDER and I tell you what the name Alan Smithee means in the movie world as it relates to the EXTENDED EDITION of the 1984 movie DUNE.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll 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 time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – January 26th, 2006