The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – August 23rd, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels some hockey wives, Miss Pettigrew and The Foreign Film Festival will take us to China.
The world’s eyes – and maybe even your own – have been focussed on China over the past two weeks, due to the Olympic Games, and we have another Olympic Update coming up at 8:53 am, plus – since our eyes are there anyway – I have a Chinese movie called STILL LIFE to tell you about this morning.
But this week’s HOT POTATO is the incredible guily pleasure that is MVP – THE SECRET LIVES OF HOCKEY WIVES.
MVP is about a professional hockey team, and the women who love the men who play on that team…both on and off the ice!
MVP debuted on CBC television back in January, and I saw a few episodes when it aired, but since I usually have other things to do on Friday nights and weekend, I stopped watching – and recording it after a few episodes, knowing that I would catch up with it when it came out on DVD.
And I am glad I did!
It is pure, over-the-top excitement, a true guilty pleasure, and I enjoyed every second of it!
If you enjoy pure soap opera writing, and shows where every woman is super-model gorgeous and every man is a hunk, then MVP – THE SECRET LIVES OF HOCKEY WIVES is a show for you!!
However, if you enjoy DVDs that are more prim and proper, then I would recommend MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY to you.
I also enjoyed every second of this film!
MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY is based on the 1938 novel by British author Winifred Watson.
Frances McDormand from FARGO stars as Miss Pettigrew, a starving governess who just can’t seem to keep a job, until she meets Amy Adams from ENCHANTED.
Amy plays a young golddigging singer who is trying to have it all – including love – while she attempts to sleep her way to a potential starring role in a major theatre production in London, while keeping the man who is letting her stay in his apartment away, while being with her piano player, who just got out of jail.
MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY has a great pace, and it includes some vintage, screwball comedy energy, and I liked it. It isn’t perfect, but I liked it.
What I did not like – in any way – was this year’s remake of the classic horror film PROM NIGHT.
The thing is utterly pointless and is a complete waste of time!
In this remake of the 1980 Canadian film, a teenage girl is the sole survivor of her family’s massacre at the hands of an obsessed teacher, who returns three years later to finish his campaign on the eve of her senior prom.
Let me reminise for a moment…in the old days, these horror films had a back story, one that made sense, and if someone’s life was taken by an insane person or maniacal murderer, it was because they were violating one of the set rules of the horror genre.
The sadistic activities in PROM NIGHT happen just because someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and to me, that just makes a film like this full of gratuitous violence and ultimately pointless.
Plus, all of the kids in this film – and the current generation of these horror films – are portrayed as entertainment lovers and pop-culture officianados…and so, wouldn’t they have seen THE SCREAM TRILOGY of films?!?
The films from the nineties that exposed all of the cliches of the horror genre…wouldn’t they have seen them, and avoided many of the predicaments that they find themselves in…ones like Neve Campbell described in the original 1996 SCREAM film.
The new version of PROM NIGHT is very insulting…it is a cliche filled mess that is a complete waste of your time.
THE SCREAM TRILOGY of films are all available on DVD now individually, and in a new inexpensive two-disc set that will be out on Tuesday.
Skip the remake, see the TRILOGY.
Finally this week, is the complete opposite of a horror film, it is the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD.
With the eyes of the sporting world on Beijing right now, please allow me to put your cinematic eyes on the Chinese film STILL LIFE
STILL LIFE is a slow moving, quiet and very engaging film that was shot in the old village of Fengjie, a small town on the Yangtze River which is slowly being destroyed by the building of a Dam, effecting the lives of everyone around it.
It tells the story of two people in search of their spouses, and it is fascinating as each story plays out.
STILL LIFE was a surprise winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and I really enjoyed it…but be warned, the description on the back of the case gets it wrong.
The case focusses on the story elements about the Dam, but it isn’t about that. It is actually a love story featuring some barriers that devide people being together instead and STILL LIFE is the latest entry in The FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD, and it is available now on DVD, along with the pointless remake of PROM NIGHT, the fun MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY, and great guilty pleasure that is MVP – THE SECRET LIVES OF HOCKEY WIVES.
The new, 2-DVD set for THE SCREAM TRILOGY will be in stores on Tuesday.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
I will talk about the Quebec film EVERYTHING IS FINE; the unique documentary CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO; and SEASON TWO of the television show HEROES.
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!