The Couch Potato Report – March 25th, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on an author, a
little chicken, Usher, and a prizewinner, from Defiance, Ohio.
Let me get right to the point: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s work in CAPOTE is a must see!
In real life Truman Capote was an American writer whose non-fiction, stories and novels have become classics in the literary world.
Capote is best known for his 1966 book “In Cold Blood” and the 1958 novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman is an American actor who has appeared in SCENT OF A WOMAN, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, BOOGIE NIGHTS, ALONG CAME POLLY, TWISTER
and ALMOST FAMOUS.
Hoffman has been good in all of those films, but in CAPOTE his work is brilliant!
The film CAPOTE is about the author’s work researching the details of the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Kansas for what would become the book “In Cold Blood.”
During that time Capote develops a close relationship with one of the killers.
CAPOTE is not a loving biography of the man, instead it is an honest look at what Capote was willing to do to finish his book.
And if I haven’t mentioned it yet, Philip Seymour Hoffman is superb in the film.
He not only master’s Capote’s unique voice and mannerisms, but he also lets us see the man who is both unsure that what he is doing is right, and completely sure his work will change the literary world forever.
CAPOTE is a great film with an incredible performance at its core.
Hoffman’s Oscar win as Best Actor was completely justified, and if you spend time with CAPOTE, your time will be justified as well.
On the other hand, if you spend time with the animated film CHICKEN LITTLE, your time will be wasted. Your kids time might not be, but yours will!
In CHICKEN LITTLE, after ruining his reputation with the town by warning “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” a courageous little chicken must come to the rescue of his fellow citizens when aliens start an invasion.
The story is basically the classic, age-old tale, but the film about it is no classic.
But, if you have a young child, they might find some of the film entertaining.
As for me, I love animated films, and CHICKEN LITTLE just isn’t any fun.
Well, okay, one scene featuring the voice of the late, great Don Knotts as Mayor Turkey Lurkey is fun, but as a whole, CHICKEN LITTLE isn’t worth your time.
And neither is IN THE MIX, the film featuring singer Usher. I wouldn’t say that IN THE MIX is the worst film of last year, but it definitely deserves a place near the bottom of any such list.
The Grammy Award winning Usher plays a nightclub disc jockey who wants to start his own record label.
He is asked to play at a party for the welcome home party of a Mafia princess.
And as things go in movies like this, he saves the life of a very important mobster.
He then becomes the bodyguard for the young lady, they fall in love, and you never hear of his dream for a record label again!
Sure, Usher has on screen presence, and the princess is played by the beautiful Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui, but unless you love Usher, or Chriqui, IN THE MIX is a useless movie.
It makes THE BODYGUARD with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner look like CITIZEN KANE by comparison.
Anyway, enough about IN THE MIX, let me move on to THE PRIZE WINNER OF
Julianne Moore from THE HOURS and FAR FROM HEAVEN stars in this based on
a true story film as a woman who enters as many commercial jingle-writing contests as she can to support her ten children and husband.
Moore is an optimistic homemaker with a husband who drinks the family’s extra money away and swears at the radio all night.
Now, I like Julianne Moore, I like her work, and I thought that this true to life story would be inspirational and wonderful
Instead it is a bad movie that wastes a wonderful performance from Moore.
That said, I have never seen such a beautiful ending in a movie I didn’t care for.
THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO might not be a great film, but it has inspired me to read the book the film is based on just to see if I can find the inspirational and wonderful story within that we don’t get in the movie.
IN case you’d like to save yourself some time, and do the same, the name of the book is “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less” and the author’s name is Terry Ryan.
As for the film they made from the book, THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO is available now at a store near you, along with IN THE MIX, CHICKEN LITTLE and the spectacular CAPOTE, starring Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Peter Jackson used his clout and success from THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY to remake KING KONG; THE SQUID AND THE WHALE was another one of 2005’s best films; and in DREAMER a trainer and his daughter nurse an injured horse back to health
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 – March 25th, 2006