The Couch Potato Report – August 30th, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels everything from fine to confessions and summer rain.
Well, if is Day One of a Looooooooooong Summer Weekend, and if the weather forecast holds out, Sunday and Monday could be a bit cloudy and wet…perfect weather to sit indoors at your house, apartment or cottage and watch DVDs in…so I just happen to have 6 new releases for you this morning, starting with the made in Quebec film EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Imagine if you had four friends, and they all committed suicide, seemingly as part of a pact….but they left no notes, no description as to why they did it.
Sure, you would obviously grieve them, but wouldn’t you also wonder why they did it, and why you weren’t included?! Wouldn’t you need to know that?!?
Well, that is the premise of EVERYTHING IS FINE, and I admit it, the thought of this happening with my friends really creeped me out!!
As the sole survivor, Josh is constantly asked by those around him, including the parents of his friends, if he knows why they did it.
His own parents are also worried about his increasingly fragile mental state as he becomes more and more distanced from the world around him.
The only person Josh seems to have any connection to in the film is his dead best friend’s girlfriend, but even she can’t get any answers from him…if he has any.
EVERYTHING IS FINE possesess an admittedly morbid premise, and while there are some moments of levity, it is obviously a seriously dramatic film.
It is also about 20 minutes too long, it takes it’s time getting to the conclusion, and there is one other issue that I have with it that I can’t tell you about without giving away the ending…so I won’t do that, but I do recommend the film.
I also think you should see this week’s next release, and there is no death in this one, but there is sadness….sadness that you may feel for – and toward – the real life people we meet in the documentary CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO.
This movie is about the some of the people who portray costumed superheroes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, specifically Superman, Wonder Woman, The Hulk, and Batman.
All four are aspiring actors, they all have very different backgrounds, and different reasons for posing with tourists in Hollywood and working for tips.
As a fan of movies, and someone who always likes to see documentaries about people, especially people who may be flawed in one way or another, I really liked CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO and found it very interesting. At times I was fascinated by what was going on, at other times I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but during it all, I enjoyed it and think you will too.
Yes, at times I was fascinated by what was going on, in CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO, and at other times I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
And, now that I have said that out loud, that was exactly the same feeling I had while watching SEASON TWO of the television show HEROES…a show that had such a spectacular SEASON ONE…but started off it’s sophomore campaign with several episodes that were almost unwatchable.
And now that SECOND SEASON is available on DVD…so we can fast froward through the unwatchable scenes and new, useless characters, and just enjoy the good…because after series creator Tim Kring apologized to fans last fall after the first few episodes aired, the show did get really good again!
HEROES is a show about real people, living their lives, who “thought they were like everyone else… until they realized they have incredible abilities.”
HEROES tells it’s story like a comic books with short, multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing storyline, and as the 11 episodes that made up SEASON TWO played out in front of me, I forgot how much I enjoyed the show…once it got better, that is.
If you like to wait for anthology shows like this to appear on DVD because you don’t have the patience to watch them week to week on television, enjoy!!
Another TV show new on DVD this week is SEASON FOUR of HOUSE.
After four seasons, HOUSE – about a maverick medical genius who works with young diagnosticians at a Teaching Hospital set in New Jersey who go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish a common task: diagnosing and treating unusual ailments – after four seasons, the show is still very interesting, and very good.
If you enjoy unique medical shows with unique characters and situations, and you have never seen an episode of this show, then check out HOUSE.
It is a great show!
One movie that was not great this week, that really thought I would be, is the “documentary” WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? is the latest release from filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, the guy who gave us the fast food expose that was SUPER SIZE ME.
This release sees Spurlock searches for Osama bin Laden by visiting countries associated with the Al-Qaeda leader, as well as others affected by Al-Qaeda.
Along the way he interviews people individuals about their views of various related topis, and tries to find the man who has a bounty on his head of 25 million dollars.
His search is also taking place during the latter stages of his wife’s pregnancy and most of Spurlock’s commentary is actually based on the concerns of becoming a father.
Now, I liked SUPER SIZE ME, and I am a fan of his TV show 30 DAYS and his style of filmmaking, so I thought I would like this movie as well.
Unfortunately there is too much Morgan Spurlock in this film, and he just isn’t as funny, or entertaining as HE thinks he is, and the movie suffers for that.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? isn’t awful, but I would have liked to see more of the world, and less of Morgan Spurlock in it.
Oh, well, at least the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD is letting me see the world – if only cinematically – and this week, we are off to Spain to dance in the SUMMER RAIN.
As the summer comes to an end this Labour Day weekend, SUMMER RAIN is our film this week.
It is a coming-of-age story about first loves, lusts and obsessions of friends on vacation at the end of the 1970s.
Usually I love these types of films, ones about friends just hanging out and spending time together, but – unfortunately – SUMMER RAIN has way too many characters, too many storylines, and it is way too artistic for it’s own good.
So, SUMMER RAIN is not a great film, but that said…foreign films always seem to intrigue me, usually right up until the end, so I have no regrets about sitting through it.
If you enjoy seeing movies made in other countries, or done in languages that you don’t necessarily speak every day, or if you just enjoy movies about friends hanging out…then you should check it out.
SUMMER RAIN is now available on DVD, along with the wants-to-be funny documentary WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?, the television shows HOUSE – SEASON FOUR and HEROES – SEASON TWO, the very entertaining CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO and the made-in-Quebec film EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
THE FORGOTTEN WOMAN is a Canadian made documentary about some of the 20 million widows from India who are abandoned by their families and literally turned out into the streets when their husbands died.
And, there is also a new 2 DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION of Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS new on DVD, and even though the action filled, very loud, check-your-brain-at-the-door summer movie season technically ends this weekend, The FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD will continue next week – since I still have some great films to tell you about, starting with the Bralilian film THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION.
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 – August 30th, 2008