The Couch Potato Report

Okay, here it is…just in case you need something to watch, buy or avoid this weekend!

The Couch Potato Report – September 29th, 2007
This week The Couch Potato Report peels an Emmy Award winning western shot in our neck of the woods and one of the funniest films of the year!
It has been a busy two weeks full of releases, and I have six notable ones for you right now.
So let me jump right into things with an Emmy Award winning movie that was filmed in Western Canada!
The book BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE was written by Dee Brown and it was first published in 1970.
It is a history of Native Americans in the West in the late nineteenth century, and their displacement and slaughter by the United States federal government.
The book features strong documentation to original sources and is still in print 37 years later.
The movie BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE was made in and around Calgary last year and a few weeks ago it won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Made for Television Movie”.
Now while I wouldn’t personally call the film Outstanding, it is very entertaining, educational and informative.
The displacement of Native Americans, and First Nations peoples here in Canada is too long, heartbreaking and detailed a story to tell in a 133 minute movie, but BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE does a good job of detailing the horrors that took place before and at the slaughter of men, women and children who were considered Sioux prisoners at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
The film’s performances are all superb, especially Montreal’s August Schellenberg as Sitting Bull, Winnipeg’s Academy Award winning Anna Paquin, and Ashern, Manitoba’s Adam Beach as a college-educated Sioux doctor that the Americans exploit.
The only reason I can’t call BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE outstanding is because it is too big a story to tell, and this film version only has the time to tell a few small parts of it.
Still, that being said, it is a solid piece of entertainment and an important encapsulation of history.
BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE is worth seeing, by young and old alike, because those who forget their history – good and bad – are condemmed to repeat it.
Up next is the comedy hit of the summer, KNOCKED UP, starring Vancouver’s Seth Rogan.
Rogen plays a 23-year-old slacker, who meets the beautiful Katherine Heigl – from GREY’S ANATOMY – at a club and theys pend the night together.
And then she gets (see the name of the film!).
After that, the pair try to make the relationship work.
Now, the reason that the film works, and it works both as a love story and a comedy, is due to Rogan.
From the moment we meet him on screen, we know he doesn’t deserve this girl, but he works hard to earn her, and the audience’s love.
KNOCKED UP is the latest film from Judd Apatow, the man who gave us THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, so in addition to the heartwarming scenes, this film is also very, very funny!
KNOCKED UP is one of my favourite films of the year! I laughed very, very hard, even this week when I saw it for the third time, and in addition to that, I also enjoyed it.
It’s a great film!
Yes, the funny, raunchy, heartwarming KNOCKED UP is one of my favourite films of the year.
Before it was released as a part of the GRINDHOUSE double feature film back in April, I thought that Quentin Tarrantino’s latest film DEATH PROOF would also be one of my favourites of 2007.
Unfortunately…, it is not.
I love Tarantino’s work! From RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION through JACKIE BROWN and KILL BILL, it is my standing policy that whatever he does, I will be the first in line to see…and when this film came out, I was.
I was also disappointed…but I still enjoyed it…or parts of it anyway.
GRINDHOUSE was concieved as a double feature film collaboration with Robert Rodriguez as a tribute to the B-Movies that used to play at drive-ins and as late, late shows at some theatres in the 1970s.
As I mentioned, it was a double feature in theatres, but the two movies are being released seperately on DVD, starting with DEATH PROOF, a film about some two sets of female friends and a psychopathic stunt man who targets them with his stunt car.
Tarantino’s films are known for their dialogue and action. The action in this film as it is great, but this time, his dialogue lets his film down.
Instead of interesting people talking about interesting things, full of pop culture and real life references, we get characters who have nothing to say, saying a lot of nothing.
No, I didn’t love DEATH PROOF, even though I thought Kurt Russell was great in it, but I am proud to own Quentin Tarantino’s latest.
And, even though I don’t recommend it, I know that I will watch it again some day.
As for our next release, the high profile football movie WE ARE MARSHALL…I will never watch that movie again…and you should never see it for a first time!
WE ARE MARSHALL had the chance to be an exceptional movie, albeit one inspired by a real life tragedy.
But instead of something that will inspire, inform, and entertain movie goers, the result is something you should just ignore, even if it does feature a football team wearing green and white.
WE ARE MARSHALL is based on the true story of the Marshall University football team from West Virginia.
On November 14th, 1970, most of the school’s team – and coaches – died in a plane crash. In all, there were 75 people killed.
The University was ready to shut the football program down, but in the end they kept it going. Then, by 1984, Marshall football began a streak of 21 straight winning seasons.
Now those are the facts, the real life facts.
To me, as tragic as it is, it sounds like a great idea for a very moving film.
But somehow, WE ARE MARSHALL ended up as just another sports movie full of chiches.
There are the usual, waaaay too-familiar, training montages and field action, and the film just never seems to find the right tone between sports, action and drama.
WE ARE MARSHALL does have some touching moments, but what could have been a powerful movie about never giving up, even in the face of tragedy, just is not.
Instead, it is a film that just isn’t worth your time.
I will also use the contraction “isn’t” for the poker movie LUCKY YOU.
It “isn’t” worth your time either!
LUCKY YOU was shot and completed over two years ago, and it was finally released this year…but it shot have stayed unreleased.
It is about Huck, the gambling son of a gambler, who’s itching to earn a seat in the World Series of Poker, where he’ll play high-stakes Texas Hold-‘Em against the world’s finest, including his semi-estranged father, with whom he doesn’t get along with.
Enter the female love interest who watches as Huck wins his way to the big game, but she can’t fully love, or trust him, because of his gambling lifestyle.
LUCKY YOU doesn’t have an engaging romantic angle, there is little to no tension between the father and the son, and even if you play poker, it is unlikley that you will feel that you have been dealt a winning hand with thsi film.
So to recap, if you watch LUCKY YOU, you will be unlucky.
Even with a cast that includes the great Robert Duvall, Eric Bana from MUNICH and the usually reliable Drew Barrymore, skip this movie! Cash out and rent or buy something else!!
Like a stupid, juvenile, exceptionally funny DVD like SEASON TWO of the hilarious TV show ROBOT CHICKEN.
ROBOT CHICKEN is an Emmy Award-Winning animated television series with short, quick sketches that parody a number of well known pop culture icons, such as Batman, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, Hilary Duff, the Muppets, Austin Powers, Inspector Gadget, Looney Tunes, Spy Vs. Spy, and My Little Pony.
Each episode is less than 12 minutes long, and if you enjoy being entertained by stupid or juvenile humour, and you have not seen this show yet, then rush out and get ROBOT CHICKEN right now, and have a laugh…or two…or even more!!
The very funny SEASON TWO of ROBOT CHICKEN, the not-worth-your-time LUCKY YOU and WE ARE MARSHALL, Quentin Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF, the hilarious KNOCKED UP and the very good, Emmy Award winning film BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
IMAGINE THE SOUND is a Canadian made documentary on some of the key pioneers of the free jazz movement from the sixties and early seventies.
The line between reality and delusion is blurred in the BUG, the latest film from the director of THE EXORCIST.
The foreign film A FEW DAYS IN SEPTEMBER begins on September the 1st, 2001, and concludes on September the 11th.
In RED ROAD a woman starts stalking a man, and the reason for her obsession is gradually revealed.
Finally next week, we will share some laughs as THE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER COMEDY FAVOURITES COLLECTION features the Governator’s best foray’s into comedy – TWINS, JUNIOR, and KINDERGARTEN COP.
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!