The Couch Potato Report – June 28th, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a few Canadian films, one about rails and ties, and My Name Is Juani, from Spain.
It is the pre-Canada Day edition of The Report, and the the Hot Potato this week comes from La Belle Province, it is the Quebec film CRUSING BAR or MEET MARKET, en anglais.
This film is a comedy, with some very funny scenes, about four very different men from very different lifestyles, who are all going out to try and find some companionship on a Saturday night.
The four men don’t know each other, and they don’t even interact in the movie, but they do all have a connection.
All four of them – the very shy nerd, a broken- hearted junkie, a snob yuppy, and a middle-aged married man – are all played by the same actor.
Michel CÙtÈ plays all four lead characters, and he gives all four a unique series of body movements and voices.
CRUISING BAR or MEET MARKET – en Anglais – was actually released in Canadian theatres in 1989, but it is only debuting on DVD now, and I am glad it is. It isn’t perfect, but it is very, very good and I easily recommend it…and the cheesy 80’s disco music it features.
Our next two films don’t feature one actor giving multiple performances, but they do both have the same guy playing one role.
That guy is Vancouver born Ryan Reynolds and the films are DEFINITELY MAYBE and CHAOS THEORY.
Did I like them…definitely…well, maybe…lets get to the facts…but first this clip.
In DEFINITELY MAYBE Reynolds is a man who tries to explain his impending divorce and past relationships to his 11-year-old daughter, after she pesters him relentlessly to do so.
Abigail Breslin from LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is the daughter.
Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks and Isla Fisher are the women who Reynolds has romanced and they, he, and Breslin are all pretty good in this film, and the film itself would like to be a cross between WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and THE PRINCESS BRIDE…but ultimately it comes up just a bit shy.
I liked it, and it has a really nice ending, but as a whole DEFINITELY MAYBE is a film that I would only say is definitely not bad.
I would also say that the other Ryan Reynolds film I have for you would like to be not bad, but it isn’t even worthy of that mild praise.
CHAOS THEORY isn’t awful, but it definitely is the lesser of these two films.
In this made-in Vancouver film, Reynolds is a man who has every day of his life planned out, but when he misses the morning ferry, his whole life changes in a way that could never have planned, let alone imagined.
After his planned out world falls apart, he becomes completely spontaneous as his life falls apart…and I wish I could tell you chaos reigns…the good type of chaos…but instead the film just becomes overly dramatic, and while there is some good stuff in CHAOS THEORY, there just isn’t enough for me to say very many good things about it.
So, if you liked Ryan Reynolds work in VAN WILDER, or the made in Saskatchewan film JUST FRIENDS, and you need to make a choice between CHAOS THEORY or DEFINITELY MAYBE…see the latter…or just close your eyes and pick…let chaos reign, baby!!!
MAMA’S BOY is this week’s next release, and it is the type of film that we have seen before…this one marks the third time in the past two years, in fact, that we have seen the story of an mid-twenties man who either whon’t move out of his Mother’s house, or can’t let her be happy with the man she has fallen for.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH came out in 2006 with Matthew McCoaughey…MR. WOODCOCK was last year’s entry, it starred Sean William Scott and Billy Bob Thornton, and this year we have MAMA’S BOY, with Jon Heder, Jeff Daniels and Diane Keaton.
Poor, poor Diane Keaton!
Jon Heder from NAPOLEON DYNAMITE plays a twenty-nine year-old slacker named Jeffery who lives with his mom.
His lifestyle is threatened when Mom and her self-help guru boyfriend fall in love.
MAMA’S BOY also stars Canadian born actress Sarah Chalk from SCRUBS, but even her presense, and the fact that the film co-stars the great Diane Keaton can’t save this mess.
At one point, Anna Ferris – who also stars in this film, an dthe previoulsy mentioned made-in-Saskatchewan movie JUST FRIENDS – calls the Jeffery character pathetic…and that is what he is. The lead actor in MAMA’S BOY is pathetic, and as a result the film is not worth your time, just like FAILURE TO LAUNCH and MR. WOODCOCK weren’t.
RAILS & TIES is our second to last release this week, and it is a very well written and acted movie, that marks the directorial debut of Allison Eastwood, daughter of Clint.
Kevin Bacon plays a train engineer who is at the controls during a deadly collision.
A young boy escapes the accident, and he, Bacon and Bacon’s terminally ill wife – played by Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden – all form a unique bond.
RAILS & TIES is a very, very dramatic movie, but it is very worthy of your time.
And this week’s entry in the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD is also worthy of your time!!
This week I’d like to tell you about the you, fresh and hip film MY NAME IS JUANI from Spain
In this film a small-town girl named Juani and her best friend leave to seek fame and fortune in the big city.
Once they arrive in Madrid – population 3.2 million – some of their dreams are fulfilled and others are dashed.
Through it all the young actresses and the filmmakers give us music, cars, gadgets, and unique on screen visuals to wash it all down with.
Unfortunately, the ending of MY NAME IS JUANI is extremey unsatisfying, but this is still a very good film, and it is the latest entry in The FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL On DVD!!
The entertaining Spanish film MY NAME IS JUANI, the very dramatic, but very good RAILS & TIES, the useless MAMA’S BOY, Ryan Reynold’s latest two films – CHAOS THEORY and DEFINIETLY MAYBE and the Quebec movie CRUISING BAR or MEET MARKET – en Anglais – are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian made film DAKOTA about two friends who were once were inseparable; now they barely speak; the British film IN BRUGES; the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD continues with GONE WITH THE WOMAN from Norway; and the 2 DVD set YANKEE STADIUM looks at BASEBALL’S CATHEDRAL from OPENING DAY 1923 TO Opening Day 2008.
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!
The Couch Potato Report – June 28th, 2008