The Couch Potato Report

“Go Leafs, go!!”

The Couch Potato Report – September 23rd, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on the rocket and some hard candy.
Last week on The Couch Potato Report I stated ìOne of the hardest types of films to make are biographies.î
I went on to say that ìMovies are movies and since they are made to entertain and make money, sometimes facts and situations have to be changed for “cinematic” reasons.î And I explained that filmmakers call this “creative license.”
When you are oblivious to what is fact and what is fiction, the story of a personís life mixed with ìcreative licenseî can make for a very entertaining movie.
For instance, the Johnny Cash Biography WALK THE LINE features several very engaging scenes with Cash on tour with Elvis.
But, while the two did know each other in real life, they were never on tour together.
Since I didnít know that, and it seemed plausible, I was entertained by it.
I was also entertained by the Canadian film THE ROCKET about Maurice ìThe Rocketî Richard.
This is a perfect example of how when you are oblivious to what is fact and what is fiction, the story of a personís life mixed with ìcreative licenseî can make for a very entertaining movie.
And THE ROCKET is a very entertaining movie.
The first time I saw this film about the great Montreal Canadiens right-winger was at the theatre in Montreal that stands on the land where The Forum used to be. In that same space hockey fans watched Richard from his debut in 1942 until he retired in 1960. It was a unique feeling.
A feeling that I was sure had added to the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the film, even though I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and as such I can never acknowledge the greatness of the Montreal Canadiens or their players.
Then this week I sat down in my living room, far away from Montreal, and I watched THE ROCKET again.
And I was thoroughly entertainedÖagain.
And even if you donít like the Montreal Canadiens either, or you arenít a fan of sports at all, I still think you will enjoy THE ROCKET.
It isnít just the story of an athlete; it is the story of a person.
In the film THE ROCKET Maurice Richard is a man with a sole passion ñ playing hockey. After spending his days working at the factory, he throws himself body and soul into the game to pursue his dream.
He isnít the biggest player on the ice, and he isnít the most talented, but through his passion he becomes the best.
His coach, former Regina Capitals player Dick Irvin, Sr., pushes Richard just enough to get that best, and he also fuels The Rocketís obsession to win.
As I mentioned, THE ROCKET isnít just a sports movie. Personally, I found the film most effective when it was showing how Richard was treated by the other players in the league, not because he was on the Canadiens, but because he was French.
Yes, Maurice Richard was the first to score 50 goals in one season, doing so in 50 games, and the first to score 500 goals in a career.
And yes, he also played on eight Stanley Cup teams, was captain of 5 straight, and played in every National Hockey League All-Star Game from 1947 to 1959, and today he is an honoured member of The Hockey Hall Of Fame, but he was also so much more.
He was a husband, a father, and a proud French-Canadian.
His life and his accomplishments are inspirational and the film about him starring Roy Dupuis as Maurice Richard – is superb!
I canít wait to watch it again, even if he is a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Go Leafs, go!!!
Our next film this week isnít as good as THE ROCKET, and Iím not sure I would even use the word good to describe it.
As a film, it kept me intrigued the whole time, and at one time I even wanted to fast-forward to the end just to see what was going to happen, but the characters in the movie are so disturbing that I could never say it is a good film.
The movie in question is called HARD CANDY.
It is about a 14-year-old girl who meets a 32 year-old man on the internetÖand it turns out that she is the predator.
After spending time chatting online the girl agrees to meet the man at a local coffee shop, and that results in a trip to his home.
However, Jeff soon learns that Hayley isn’t as innocent as she appears and I canít say very much else without giving away some of the filmís many plot twists…, or disgusting you.
Now that is a word I would use to describe HARD CANDY: disgusting. Parts of the film actually disgusted me, but not for the reasons you might think.
At times during the movie both the girl and the man are at fault, and deserve punishment.
HARD CANDY is a film that challenges you to watch, and for that reason it succeeds as a film, regardless of the subject matter.
However, eventually that subject matter must come up, and it is for that reason that I am reluctant to recommend the film.
Now, if you enjoy seeing a film that you will want to discuss afterward, then you should definitely see HARD CANDY. Otherwise, look for something else.
I hear THE ROCKET is really good.
And THE ROCKET is now available on DVD along with HARD CANDY.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
In Douglas Copelandís SOUVENIR OF CANADA he tries to find out what makes Canadians, Canadians.
The legendary childrenís character CURIOUS GEORGE finally gets his own movie!
And BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA ñ SEASON 2.5 will finally debut on DVD!!
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!