The Couch Potato Report – April 25th, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on another wide array of new releases, including the latest from Woody Allen and a documentary about fish.
Even people who have never seen one of his films know Woody Allen’s on-screen persona: The comical and brainy New Yorker in nebbish glasses, who is nervous about sex, death and modern times.
Even when he doesnít star in his films, his leading actors still usually play a variation of Woodyís persona.
Now I like Woody Allen, and I love his work. PLAY IT AGAIN SAM, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and ANNIE HALL are three of my favourite films of all time.
However, I enjoyed the fact that the leading actor in Woodyís new film has no Woody-isms at all. Not one!
As usual, the film is well made and well written, but if no one told you it was a Woody Allen film, you might not even know.
No, MATCH POINT wonít have you thinking too much about Woody Allen, and it will only have you thinking a little bit about tennis.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers from BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM is Chris, a former tennis pro who finds work as an instructor. He then meets Tom and he falls in love with Tomís sister Chloe.
Tom also introduces Chris to his fiancÈ Nola, and soon, they are having an affair.
Chris tries to juggle both women but at some point, he must choose between them.
Scarlett Johansson from LOST IN TRANSLATION plays Nola, and she does a wonderful job playing a woman who is originally chased, who then becomes the chaser.
If you think you know Woody Allenís work, take the time to be surprised with MATCH POINT. Or if you have enjoyed him in the past, but havenít bothered with his films since the 1990s began, well I recommend that you come back for more.
MATCH POINT is a great film, that is well cast and very well directed and written.
MATCH POINT is yet another one of last year’s best films.
The documentary DARWINíS NIGHTMARE wasn’t one of 2005’s best films, but it is still very good.
DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE takes a look at the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out all of the other fish in the local waters, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.
The trend in documentaries these days is for the filmmakers to give you their opinions, and subsequently, their own conclusions.
DARWINíS NIGHTMARE just gives you the facts, with no opinions, and when it concludes, the only opinions you will have are your own.
DARWINíS NIGHTMARE isnít a perfect film, but it is interesting. In my opinion, that is all any documentary needs to be is interesting.
Let me also use the word ìinterestingî to describe Oscar winner Charlize Theronís work in the film AEON FLUX.
This science fiction film is based on the animated MTV series and takes place 400 years in the future.
Disease has wiped out the majority of the earth’s population except for one walled, protected city.
Theron plays Aeon Flux, the top operative in the underground rebellion. When she is sent on a mission to kill a government leader, she uncovers some secrets that lead her to question everything she believes to be reality.
Now, I use the word ìinterestingî here because the film is just that; interesting.
Not in the same way any documentary is, but I was interested in seeing how it ended, and what all the secrets lead to, so to me, it was interesting.
I also always enjoy watching Charlize Theron in a movie, so I found that interesting too.
AEON FLUX isnít the best science fiction film of all time, but I liked it. It interested me, and it entertained me. It didnít do that well when it played in theatres last December, but if you like these types of films, check out AEON FLUX.
And if you enjoy science fiction of any kind, I urge you to start watching the remake of the 1970ís TV series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
The old series was primarily made for kids, which is why I loved it when it was first on.
This new series is a drama for adults about the fight to save humanity, that just happens to take place in science-fiction setting.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – SEASON 2.0 is a new 3 disc box set that is finally available for sale in Canada, after debuting in America in December. The set features the first ten episodes of Season 2 of one of the best shows that is currently on television.
There are three LAW & ORDER shows still actually on television, four of you count the semi-spinoff CONVICTION, but one LAW & ORDER series is no longer on TV.
LAW & ORDER – TRIAL BY JURY was the short-lived series showing the workings of the judicial system, beginning with the arraignment and continuing through the lawyers process of building a case, investigating leads and preparing witnesses and defendants for trial.
Jerry Orbach starred in the show as the familiar Detective Lennie Briscoe from the original LAW & ORDER, but when he died after the first few episodes, it never recovered.
Now, LAW & ORDER – TRIAL BY JURY- THE COMPLETE SERIES is available as three-disc set. It contains all 13 original episodes of the one LAW & ORDER series that has failed in the last sixteen years.
Admittedly, TRIAL BY JURY isnít a bad series, but there isnít anything special about it either.
And if you would like to own it, LAW & ORDER – TRIAL BY JURY- THE COMPLETE SERIES is now available at a store near you along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – SEASON 2.0, AEON FLUX, DARWINíS NIGHTMARE, and MATCH POINT.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Steve Martinís wonderful novella ìShopgirlî is now the wonderful little film SHOPGIRL; the classic nineties film DELICATESSEN debuts on DVD; and so do the TV shows DINOSAURS – THE COMPLETE FIRST AND SECOND SEASONS and LEAVE IT TO BEAVER – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
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 – April 25th, 2006