The Couch Potato Report

It is another cold weekend, so bundle up and enjoy!!

The Couch Potato Report – January 10th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a stoner comedy, a traitor, the women and we will end with a Rush!
It is the first Report for 2009, and since I have been away for the past two weeks, I have a combination of releases that are brand new, and a couple of weeks old.
I’ll start with a Brand New one, this week’s Hot Potato, the stoner comedy PINEAPPLE EXPRESS.
From the Cheech & Chong films of the 1970s, through Dazed and Confused, Half Baked and The Big Lebowski, all the way to Harold & Kumar, and the Trailer Park Boys…there have always been stoner comedies.
The latest cinematic one comes from two Vancouver born writers, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogan from KNOCKED UP and THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN,…but, it isn’t just a stoner comedy, it is an action-stoner-comedy!
In PINEAPPLE EXPRESS Rogan plays a man who witnesses a murder, and – in a panic – runs back to his dealer, unsure of what to do next.
James Franco from the SPIDERMAN films plays the dealer, and together the two must go on the run to try and avoid the hitman’s henchmen who are after them….and wouldn’t you know it, they become friends…maybe.
These days James Franco is known for being a semi-serious actor, but he started off in the business doing comedy – along with Seth Rogan in Judd Apatow’s great television series FREAK & GEEKS.
His performance in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS is especially entertaining!
Like all Judd Apatow produced or directed films, including FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL and SUPERBAD, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS is not a perfect film. It is a bit too long, and it could have used some editing, especially during one really, really long fight scene at the end…plus, due to the amount of action, profanity and drug use, I just can’t recommend this film to everyone…but I sure liked it.
Many of the action scenes are pretty cool, and at times it is laugh out loud funny!
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS is a great action-stoner-comedy…for those of us who like that sort of stuff.
Up next this week is the suspence filled spy thriller TRAITOR.
Don Cheadle from HOTEL RWANDA and the OCEAN’S 11 films stars in TRAITOR as Samir Horn, an Arabic-speaking Sudanese-American and devout Muslim, who seems to be operating as an arms dealer…but there might be more to him than originally meets the eye.
Guy Pearce from LA CONFIDENTIAL and MEMENTO plays an FBI agent who is heading up an investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, and all clues seem to lead back to Samir, a man who is also a former U.S. Special Operations officer.
Is Samir a traitor, is he not? Well, you are certainly not going to find out from me! TRAITOR is one of those films that the less you know about it going in, the better.
I liked it…no, it isn’t a great movie, but it kept me interested right up until the end.
And I can’t say that either of those statements are true about the remake of THE WOMEN.
I didn’t like it…and I honestly cannot believe I even made it to the end!!
THE WOMEN stars Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith, and features Candice Bergen, Cloris Leachman, Bette Midler and Carrie Fisher.
It is about four friends and the trials and tribulations that people – in this case women – go through.
Love, infidelity, loyalty…you know, life.
It was written and directed by Diane English – who created the TV series MURPHY BROWN – and it is an updated version of the George Cukor-directed 1939 film of the same name, which was based on the 1936 play by Clare Boothe Luce.
Sadly, this remake isn’t as interesting as the original, and after a while, no matter how much I loved the actress on screen, it was just blah, blah, blaaaah!!
And I do, I love all of the folks involved with this movie, but the end result is awful!!
I never believed that any of them would still be friends, the writing is done in the style of a TV sitcom and not a movie, and even though we are supposed to care about these women…the movie they are in never really gives us a reason to.
So, I say skip THE WOMEN, there are a few touching moments between Meg Ryan and her daughter’s character, but it is just a waste of time.
In fact, in order to be fair to both genders, I also suggest that you skip THE MEN too…the men who star in the film RIGHTEOUS KILL.
And it hurts me to say that since the men are Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino!! I love these guys…but this film is horrible.
Prior to this mess, cinematic legends Pacino and DeNiro had only appeard together in two films THE GODFATHER, PART II – in which they had no scenes together – and HEAT – in which they did…but they weren’t shot side by side, they only had the camera on them individually.
In RIGHTEOUS KILL they have dozens of scenes together, and I admit that it is a superb treat to see them acting together, but their performances are restrained by a bad script.
They play two veteran New York City detectives working on a serial killer case, and they come to realize that they might have put the wrong person behind bars.
Sadly, the film is an awful, awful mess! If you can imagine Pacino and DeNiro guest starring on a bad episode of LAW & ORDER, and that is what we have here.
Due to it’s pedigree RIGHTEOUS KILL is a movie that you will probably want to see…but know this going in…it is not worthy of your time. Skip it!!
Finally this week, two titles that will appeal to a specific domographic, and if that includes you, then you are in for a treat!! The latest concert DVD from Rush is coming up, but first, the made-in-Vancouver BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – SEASON 4.0.
The great new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series continues to be a a drama about the fight to save humanity,… that just happens to take place in science-fiction setting.
This is one of the best shows that is currently on television, science fiction, or otherwise, and the superb SEASON 4.0 has come out in a great 4 disc box set!
This Box Set also includes the great movie BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR, and the release of SEASON 4.0 on DVD sets the stage for SEASON 4.5, the final part of the entire series, which just happens to begin airing on Friday.
I am really looking forward to the final ten episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and even more so no wthat I have re-watched BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – SEASON 4.0.
Finally this week, the BLU-RAY BEACON shines the spotlight on the Canadian band RUSH and their fantastic release SNAKES & ARROWS LIVE.
If you were one of the thousands that attended the Rush concert in Regina last May 25th, and you wished you had a high definition souvenir of the show, well this is it!!
This is not the Regina show, instead this release was filmed over two performances in Rotterdam, Holland, but it features all of the same filmed clips and music that was played in our province.
Alex, Geddy and Neil are in fantastic form, and just as they were during our concert, they are quite playful as well!!!
RUSH – SNAKES & ARROWS LIVE is a great looking and sounding DVD release, but on Blu-ray it looks and sounds spectacular!!
If you have always loved the band…enjoy!!
The fantastic SNAKES & ARROWS LIVE disc from RUSH is now available on Blu-ray, and you can also find it on DVD as well, along with SEASON 4.0 of the great series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, the awful RIGHTEOUS KILL, the really awful THE WOMEN, the very interesting thriller TRAITOR and the great stoner-action-comedy PINEAPPLE EXPRESS.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
All three of Mike Myers’ AUSTIN POWERS films are being released in one very inexpensive set called AUSTIN POWERS – THE FRANCHISE COLLECTION
CLIP – AUSTIN – Details
TIME – 15 seconds
And I will also discuss SWING VOTE, APPALOOSA, ARRANGES, MIRRORS and a film who’s title is such a ethnic slur that I won’t even say it.
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!