The Couch Potato Report – August 25th, 2007
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a fracture, a superb documentary, an awful ex, and IÖfor India.
When the Academy Award nominations came out in January for last year, Canadian actor Ryan Gosling from London, Ontario, was included in the Best Actor category for his work in the superb film HALF NELSON.
When the nominations for this year are announced in January, it is unlikley that Gosling will get nominated for his latest film, but that doesn’t mean that FRACTURE isn’t worth seeing…because it is!
Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS also stars in FRACTURE.
He plays a millionaire who loves his wife, but when he discovers that she is having an affair, he shoots her.
Gosling plays hot shot assistant D.A. Willy Beachum.
But Willy’s head isn’t in the game as he is about to start a new job with a prestigious law firm.
Plus, he thinks the case is a slam-dunk because there is a signed confession and a weapon.
Since the lawyer has one foot out the door, he isn’t prepared to deal with a man who is a superb adversary, and he starts to lose the case.
While not a superb film, FRACTURE is a very entertaining cat and mouse thriller that won’t overload you with “shocking” twists and “surprise” turns.
Yes, Hopkins can play this sort of role in his sleep, and at times he does seem a bit bored by the script, but at those times Gosling holds the film together as he spars with Hopkins.
FRACTURE is a movie that is worth your time, it is, as they say, a good rental.
Up next this week is a film that is not only also a good rental, it is a must see!
That film is the documentary GOD GREW TIRED OF US.
This film is about three of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, a group of some 25,000 young men who have fled the wars in Sudan since the 1980.
After showing some of the horrific realities of life for the thousands of men living in a refugee camp GOD GREW TIRED OF US then begins to focus on three of them as they move to the United States, and hopefully a brighter future.
But as they learn new customs, adapt to new and strange foods, and cope with the ordeal of getting and keeping a job, or multiple jobs, they never forget the loved ones they left behind in Africa.
GOD GREW TIRED OF US is utterly fascinating from the moment it begins, and in addition to being an exceptionally well-made documentary, it is also an entertaining film.
Especially once the boys get to American and have to learn how to use new devices.
Yes, GOD GREW TIRED OF US will entertain you, but it will also break your heart.
It might even move you to try and help…and if it does, the DVD also provides you with links and information on how you can help The Lost Boys Of Sudan.
However it affects you, I suggest you give it an opportunity to do so. GOD GREW TIRED OF US is a superb movie!
Yes, GOD GREW TIRED OF US is superb….our next release – THE EX – is an awful film about a slacker who is forced to work for his father-in-law.
Three television actors I love, I mean literally love to watch on screen star in this mess – Zach Braff from SCRUBS, Jason Bateman from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, and Amanda Peet from STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, and their talents are wasted
Braff plays a guy who has a history of being unable to keep any job for long.
His latest opportunity comes from his father-in-law, who invites him to leave New York and become part of his team at an advertising agency.
So, his wife, and their new baby, move to Ohio and he finds out that his mentor, the wheelchair-bound Chip, used to date his wife, and still has a thing for her.
THE EX has a great cast and a premise that could have resulted in something entertaining.
But the execution of all those elements is a film that should just be executed.
THE EX is just a movie populated by dislikeable individuals doing unpleasant things and you should ignore it, no matter how much you might like the actors who star in it.
I wish I had!
Alright, lets close this week with two good titles, two things that are worth watching, that are worth you rtime.
Starting with SEASON THREE of the superb TV series HOUSE.
HOUSE is an Emmy-winning show that stars British actor and comedian Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, a maverick medical genius who heads a team of young diagnosticians at a Teaching Hospital set in New Jersey.
The team goes to extraordinary lengths to accomplish a common task: diagnosing and treating unusual ailments.
HOUSE is one of those shows that I don’t watch on TV every week. Instead, like many people do, I always wait for the DVD release so I can watch an entire season in a few days.
It is that good, and I enjoy taking it all in, as opposed to patiently waiting to see it unfold each week.
Yes, with HOUSE, a show about a doctor and the people he sees and the cases he and his team work on in each epiosde, I have no patience!
By the way…that joke is funnier than anything you will hear in THE EX.
In SEASON THREE of the show, HOUSE ups the ante by putting its main character in jail and threatening him with prison.
That changes the relationships that House has with all of the show’s main characters, and makes for some engaging ongoing storylines, while the team works together to solve a medical mystery in each episode.
HOUSE mixes medical drama with some CSI-style investigating and graphics, and it challenges you. I always like it when a TV show challenges me and I enjoyed watching every episode of SEASON THREE this week on DVD.
Okay, finally this very busy week, our FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD continues with the British film I FOR INDIA.
After moving to Britain from his home land of India in 1965, Yash Pal Suri bought two Super 8 cameras, a pair of projectors and two tape recorders so that he could keep in audiovisual contact with his relatives back in India.
The dialogue between the families is fascinating as Dr. Suri and his family enjoy life in Londaon and everything it has to offer, while his family in India misses him, and wishes that he will return.
Dr. Suri’s now grown-up daughter has collected all of her family’s correspondence, and with it she tells their story.
But she also charts the rise in immigrants to England, using vintage news reports and clips from BBC shows that were airing in the early sixties to help immigrants get acclimatized with their new home.
I FOR INDIA is a unique look back at the history of this family, a great time capsule for a era gone by, and it is the second to last entry in this summer’s Foreign FIlm Festival on DVD.
The very interesting I FOR INDIA, SEASON THREE of the great TV show HOUSE, the awful non-comedy THE EX, the utterly fascinating documentary GOD GREW TIRED OF US and the very entertaining cat and mouse thriller FRACTURE are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian film SIX FIGURES asks, could a man in his mid-thirties, married, two kids, with a dead-end career in fund raising be capable of murder?
The TV show HISTORY BITES is a sketch comedy show that answers the question, “What if television had been around for the past 5,000 years?”
HEROES is the spectacular TV show about some ordinary people who discover that they have extraordinary abilities.
Also next week, our FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD concludes with the Academy Award nominated Danish film AFTER THE WEDDING.
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!
In case you need something to watch (or avoid) this weekend!
The Couch Potato Report – August 25th, 2007