The Couch Potato Report – April 5th, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels Florida, Heaven, Mist, Tomorrow, The Beatles and more!!
Sometimes the reason we like the films we like only stems from the fact that one film or another reminds us of something that we have personally experienced.
You might have fallen in love with FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL or WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, as you were falling in love.
SLAPSHOT might have become your favourite movie as you were learning how to play hockey.
And the BACK TO THE FUTURE films may have struck your fancy once you returned from the year 2015.
Personally, I watched this week’s Hot Potato – the 1993 Canadian film LA FLORIDA, about a Quebec family who buys a motel and moves to south Florida. – right after I got back from Fort Lauderdale and south Florida.
So fresh with the smell of the sea air, the sight of palm trees, and the memory of beautiful women in bikinis on the beach in my mind, I liked it.
Now, had I not just spent a week, and had a great time in The Sunshine State…I am not sure I would have liked it very much.
But that is the power of life and the movies!!
Yes, in LA FLORIDA, tired of rough winters, a Quebec family buys a motel in south Florida.
But life is not as easy as they think it is going to be as the competition is fierce, and a land developer is trying to buy them out and send them home.
At times LA FLORIDA is a very nice film with some sweet moments, and it also has some great scenes featuring the beaches in Hollywood, Florida. It might be a bit long, but I liked it.
And if you have just returned from a Floridian vacation, I think you might like it too.
If you have just returned from the land where predictable romantic comedies are beloved by all, then you might also enjoy the film ALMOST HEAVEN.
This easy-to-figure-out film is set around the director, star and cast of a fishing show that is made for Canadian television.
A down on his luck former director has to go to Scotland to work with his ex-wife who is the star of the TV show in ALMOST HEAVEN, but as soon as he meets a beautiful local fishing guide, you can tell where this film is going to go.
And that is too bad because as soon as it takes the turn toward the land or predictable romantic comedies you can easily connect the dots to how it will end, and I didn’t want it to!
That is because the cast, including Ottawa’s Donal Logue from THE TAO OF STEVE and Vancouver’s Joely Collins from the TV show COLD SQUAD, are charming and likeable, and the scenery in Scotland and British Columbia is spectacular to look at!!
Yes, there are some great moments in ALMOST HEAVEN…just not enough of them to make the film one I would recommend.
That is also the case with THE MIST, the film that brings Stephen King’s horror novella to life.
There are also some great moments in this one, but at two hours and six minutes this film could have used a good editor to come in and tighten it up and heighten the suspense!
Well, because this is based on a Stephen King story, you know it isn’t two fronts meeting, left over from any type of storm!
Nope, there is evil in that thar mist!!
In THE MIST something evil is unleashed upon a small town, and a small group of residents are trapped inside a grocery store, fighting for their lives.
THE MIST was written and directed by Frank Darabont, the man who also gave us the films THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and THE GREEN MILE based on Stephen King works, but while this film does have some good, old fashioned scares, and the ending is one-of-a-kind, some of the bibilical fire and brimstone stuff goes on for way too long, and…for me, there weren’t really any characters who I wanted to survive this ordeal…and when you are left with no one to root for in a horror/suspence or monster movie…you aren’t left with much.
I have two unique titles to conclude The Couch Potato Report with this week, starting with OPERATION: FILMMAKER. This is a documentary about some Hollywood film stars and filmmakers who give an Iraqui wannabe filmmaker the opportunity of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, they give that opportunity to the wrong guy!!
Actor and director Liev Schrieber, who has been in many films, and more recently appeared as Michael Keppler on the TV show CSI.
Soon after the fall of Baghdad in 2003 he and a group of others decide to give a young film student named Muthana a chance to work on their film EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED in Prague after they see his story on MTV.
After initially being treated like a star, due to the news coverage and the fact that this documentary was being filmed, eventually Muthana is expected to work…but he really liked being treated as a star.
OPERATION: FILMMAKER is not a spectacular documentary, but at times it is very engaging, especially once you realize that Muthana is looking for everyone else to give him opportunities and money, including filmmaker Nina Davenport, who becomes increasingly entangled in his life, even giving him money on more than one occasion.
Yes, they gave a young man the opportunity of a lifetime…but they gave it to the wrong guy!!
Finally this week is a DVD that I think succeeds for several reasons….primarily since it is the first DVD release since the great talk show host Tom Snyder died last July…but also due to that fact that it contains what became John Lennon’s last televised interview
Yes, THE TOMORROW SHOW WITH TOM SNYDER – JOHN, PAUL, TOM & RINGO features the late-great television host’s interviews with three of the fab four.
In addition to John’s interview from 1975, there is also a chat with Paul and Linda from 1979, and a 1981 interview with Ringo.
THE TOMORROW SHOW WITH TOM SNYDER – JOHN, PAUL, TOM & RINGO features real people giving honest answers to honest questions from a true broadcasting original and if you are a fan of JOHN, PAUL, TOM or RINGO, then this is a must have!
The very interesting THE TOMORROW SHOW WITH TOM SNYDER – JOHN, PAUL, TOM & RINGO, OPERATION: FILMMAKER – where the wrong guy gets the chance of a lifetime, the less-than-succesful cinematic version of Stephen King’s THE MIST, the failed romantic comedy ALMOST HEAVEN and the Quebec film LA FLORIDA, a film you will enjoy if you have been to Florida recently, are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
SEASON ONE of the Canadian television series RENT-A-GOALIE debuts on DVD.
SHARKWATER seeks to debunk historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks.
In RESERVATION ROAD, one father loses a son and another tries to live with the guilt of a hit-and-run accident.
THE 11TH HOUR is Leonardo DiCaprio’s look at the state of the global environment.
And THE PROM NIGHT COLLECTION contains the four original films in the Prom Night Franchise including the original film from 1980 starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Saskatchewan’s own Leslie Nielsen.
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!
If you don’t wanna go outside this weekend, sorry…but I don’t have many options for you!!
The Couch Potato Report – April 5th, 2008