The Couch Potato Report – November 10th, 2007
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a film that might make you proud of Canada’s health system, and my so-called life.
I have six new releases to tell you about this week,Ö so let me jump right into it with the main release this week, the Hot Potato if you will, Michael Moore’s SICKO
A film that might actually make you feel good about the health care system in this country, even if you are still on a waiting list.
SICKO is a the latest documentary film by the man who gave us FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, and in this one Moore that investigates the American health care system.
Specifically, he rips apart the for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries and compares the non-universal and for-profit American system with the universal and non-profit systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Cuba.
And even if our country doesn’t come off as well as any of the rest of those, and even if you are on a waiting list, we are still better off than the Americans portrayed in this film.
The next time you feel like the Canadian medical system is letting you down…watch this film!
SICKO is not a perfect documentary, mainly because Moore never gives the American companies or doctors the right to defend themselves.
Instead, he just focusses on the systems in those other countries, and how great they are.
What the movie is, is sad, inspiring and heartbreaking. No matter what your health, or your position on any waiting lists, you will be surprised by what you see.
And I mean that in both a good and bad way.
SICKO is a film I highly recommend, as it will definitely get you thinking.
Another movie that will make you use your brain is the foreign film THE BOTHERSOME MAN from Norway.
This is one weird flick!!
This movie starts out with a man waiting for a train while a couple kiss pationately at the other end of the platform.
As the train arrives, the man steps in front of it.
Fade to black…title sequence…and a bus arrives in a desert with nothing there except a gas station and some power lines.
We learn the man’s name is Andreas, and as he is driven to a nearby city we find out – as he does – that he has arrived with no memory of how he got there.
He is then given a job, an apartment, even a girlfriend…a girlfriend who doesn’t seem to mind when he meets a different woman he likes better.
Eventually he makes an attempt to escape the city, but he discovers there’s no way out…and your thoughts on where – exactly – he is will depend on a wide array of things.
Your upbringing, your religious beliefs, your own moral code! They will all play a part in how yoy decide where this BOTHERSOME MAN is.
My thoughts? Get THE BOTHERSOME MAN into your DVD player as soon as you can, and enjoy the mind games it plays with you.
Oh, and watch it with a friend, so you can discuss it afterwards.
Our next release this week is one that you might not want to invite a friend over to watch…or even watch it by yourself.
That release is I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY, a film that features Kevin James from the TV show KING OF QUEENS as Larry, a Brooklyn firefighter whose wife died three years ago and left him to raise their two children alone.
In order for his kids to be protected in the event of his death, he needs to get married so he will have a beneficiary in his will.
So he asks his best friend in the fire department, the very heterosexual Chuck, played by Adam Sandler.
Eventually Chuck agrees, and the problems begin when the state decides to investigate their situation.
Jessica Biel plays a lawyer who gives them some advice.
The two men do get married, and then the comedy ensures…or the filmmakers wish it would.
I admit that I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY has some good intentions, but most of the jokes fall flat.
The first part of the film is entertaining, fun and funny.
The second part is just awful and just a tad too preachy.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY isn’t the worst film you’ll ever see, it isn’t even Sandler’s worst film, but it is only worth you rtime if there is nothing else you feel like seeing.
I have a couple of TV Shows On DVD Box Sets to tell you about now, and I will get right to them with the beloved – by some – nineties TV series MY SO CALLED LIFE.
This show is making it’s debut on DVD and many people are very excited about that. Me? Well, let me use a clip from the show itself that says everything I am thinking right now.
MY SO CALLED LIFE stars Clare Danes from ROMEO & JULIET and SHOPGIRL as a 14-year-old girl who is trying to get through life at home, at school and with her first love.
In the show, we share her ups and downs, as we go through her transitions, and if you relate to this show, I am sure it is one of your all-time favourites.
Personally, I watched a few episodes of this show when it ran from August of 1994 to January of 1995, and when it was cancelled after only 19 episodes, I didn’t mind.
And when Entertainment Weekly magazine hailed it as “the greatest cancelled television series of all time.” I didn’t understand why.
For me “Why” is simple, while the writing, acting and stories are all relateable to anyone who ever went to High School, but it just didn’t hold my interest.
If this is your favourite show of all-time, or you are a teenager going through High School right now, or you know someone who is, maybe this is a box set for them.
It isn’t one for me.
But our next release this week is a show for me: That release is THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of the SCRUBS.
SCRUBS is the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning comedy about the professional and personal lives of several characters working at a teaching hospital.
It is one of my all-time favourite shows on TV because it features slapstick, fast-paced dialogue, and surreal moments, and this season there was even a musical.
Even though THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of SCRUBS isn’t as good as seasons one through five, I still enjoyed it, although I wouldn’t recommend you start with SEASON SIX…go back to the beginning.
And after you and your kids enjoy RATATOUILLE – the latest animated film from PIXAR that is now on DVD – I also suggest you go back to the beginning of Pixar itself with THE PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION – VOLUME 1.
This exceptionally entertaining and interesting disc gives us a look at how the studio got it’s start.
The DVD is a 54 minute look at a studio that changed how you and I get to see animated films today and their evolution is very interesting.
Plus, THE PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION also features all of the short films that have played in theatres before TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES, and the aforementioned RATATOUILLE.
This disc is a keeper!!
The very entertaining PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION – VOLUME 1, the not as good as the previous seasons COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of the TV show SCRUBS, the beloved – just not by me – TV show MY SO CALLED LIFE, Adam Sandler’s mildly funny I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY, the superb foreign film THE BOTHERSOME MAN and the surprisingly effective Michael Moore documentary SICKO are all available now on DVD.
The Couch Potato Report – November 10th, 2007