The Couch Potato Report

“So, would you like to watch a bad movie about an American institution on the birthday of the United States Of America?”

The Couch Potato Report – July 4th, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on the trouble with ANNAPOLIS and the trouble with Harry.
Over the years there have been some great movies made about the military and the armed forces.
Sadly, over the years there have also been some really bad movies made about the military and the armed forces.
Since I offered six good ones, let me know give you six bad ones: PEARL HARBOUR, DOWN PERISCOPE, NAVY SEALS, U-571, WINDTALKERS, and JARHEAD.
With that list, sadly, I could also easily go on.
And I will, let me add one more title to the list of really bad movies made about the military and the armed forces: ANNAPOLIS.
In real life Annapolis is The United States Naval Academy, an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It is located in Annapolis, Maryland, and thus The Academy is often referred to simply as ìAnnapolis.î
The movie ANNAPOLIS stars James Franco from the SPIDER-MAN movies as a young man from the wrong side of the tracks whose dream of attending becomes a reality.
Or at least thatís what the film starts off as, but then it becomes a boxing movie.
Boxing is part of the training at the real Annapolis so I don’t have a problem with the film’s facts, but once it goes down the pugilist road full-time it becomes almost unwatchable.
Before that ANNAPOLIS is a “coming of age” movie and also a “small town boy makes good” movie, but it is isn’t actually very good.
It aspires to be TOP GUN, FULL METAL JACKET or AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, but it never quite gets there.
Once it is over, all ANNAPOLIS actually achieves is a place on the list of really bad movies made about the military and the armed forces.
Granted, it is better that DOWN PERISCOPE, NAVY SEALS, U-571 and JARHEAD, but that isnít saying much.
So I will stop saying things about ANNAPOLIS at all.
Instead, let me turn our focus to another one of ALFRED HITCHCOCKíS FILMS.
This week I have some things to say about Hitch’s 1955 film THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY.
The trouble with Harry is that he’s dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body.
Everyone also thinks that they had something to do with his death.
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY is a black comedy and it was a radical departure for the director. Thus, audiences didnít warm up to it when it was first released, even though by todayís standards it features an all-star cast.
Before Shirley Maclaine hit the big time; before Jerry Mathers was the Beaver; before John Forsythe was BACHELOR FATHER, or had even heard of DYNASTY; and before Alfred Hitchcock was a household name, they all were a part of THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY.
The film might not be a masterpiece, but it has enough of Hitchcockís trademark techniques and plot twists to keep you guessing.
So in reality, I didn’t have any trouble with THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. And it is available now on DVD, and so is ANNAPOLIS.
Coming up in the next Couch Potato Report
In the superb THE MATADOR Pierce Brosnan leaves James Bond behind playing a globetrotting hitman who meets a businessman in a hotel bar in Mexico City and they become friends, for reasons neither expected.
STONED is a chronicle of the sordid life and suspicious death of Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, who was found in the bottom of his swimming pool weeks after being let go from the band.
Iíll also continue our tribute to ALFRED HITCHCOCKíS FILMS with the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece SABOTEUR; and I will tell you about SEASON ONE of the TV show WEEDS.
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!