The Couch Potato Report

Watch, enjoy!

The Couch Potato Report – March 7th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels films about high school, what
just happened, Chihuahuas and Wonder Woman!
I have opinions on several high profile releases to share with you this
week, but the title that I have dubbed our HOT POTATO this Saturday
morning is a small Canadian movie that you won’t hear anyone else talk
There isn’t even a Wikipedia page for this made-in-Moncton, New
Brunswick film…and just about everything can be found on Wikipedia –
The Free Online Encyclopedia…there is even a reference to ME on
No, you won’t find GROWING OP on that website, and you probably won’t
find it in every movie store either, but if you do find it, this movie
is a pretty good rental.
GROWING OP is the cinematic story of a home-schooled kid who decides to
head to high school, despite the protests of his majijuana growing
parents, all in hopes of winning the love of the new girl in town.
Surprisingly, she likes him as well, and they start to become
friends…and maybe even more.
GROWING OP follows the same tried and true formula that we have seen
hundreds of times before – guy likes girl, guy lies to girl, she falls
for him, she finds out he lied, they break up, and we all hope for a
happy ending because we like the characters – so, isn’t a film that
offers much that anything you haven’t seen before. But it does offer it
up with a Canadian soundtrack and attitude, and it also has a few unique
turns that you might not see coming.
Plus, the parents in GROWING OP are played by Rosanna Arquette from THE
WHOLE NINE YARDS and Wallace Langham of TV’s LARRY SANDERS SHOW, and
they aren’t your typical idiot parents we usually see in films like
this. They are well rounded people, who love their kids, and just happen
to have a grow op in their house.
No, GROWING OP isn’t an entirely fresh take on the romantic comedy, but
I liked it. If you can find it at a store near you, give it a shot.
And if you love movies, and the inner workings of the film business,
yiu will probably also want to give WHAT JUST HAPPENED a shot.
I wanted to like this movie starring Robert DeNiro as a fading
Hollywood producer, and we see two weeks out of his life as he is having
a tough time getting his latest film finished and in theatres, but
unfortunately it just doesn’t work.
In addition to DeNiro, the cast of this film includes Bruce Willis,
Robin Wright Penn, Stanley Tucci, Catherine Keener, John Turturro,
Kristen Stewart and Sean Penn, but the story is a bit too inside
Hollywood, and features situations and jokes that only people who work
in the film business could find funny and appreciate.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED isn’t a good movie to just sit down and watch, but
it is an interesting look at how some people make movies, and how some
movies are made.
I think Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER was a better film about this
subject, but as a movie fan, and fan of movie making, I enjoyed WHAT
JUST HAPPENED, but I thought I would love it, and I didn’t.
I also didn’t love SOUL MEN, and that was too bad as it features the
final screen performances of the late, greats Isaac Hayes and Bernie
Bernie Mac stars with Samuel L. Jackson as a singing duo who are
reluctantly getting back together – after decades apart – to drive cross
country to sing at a memorial service at The Appolo Theatre in New York
City for the man who they were once in a trio with.
SOUL MEN is rated 18A, so it is a very profane comedy, but it just
isn’t a very good movie. I think they were really hoping to make it a
Black BLUES BROTHERS, and there are some funny lines, but overall this
is a move that is only worthy of your time if you were lifelong fans of
the great Bernie Mac or Mr. Isaac Hayes…may they rest in peace.
This next movie I have for you this Saturday morning – I admit – is not
a film for me. I knew that going in, the title and the promos I had seen
for it gave it away…, but I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt,
and I watched the whole thing, and some of the Special Features…but in
the end what I though to be true was.
No, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover…but you sometimes can judge
a film by it’s title.
This film is about a Chihuahua who is kidnapped while in Mexico
and…does it matter what it is about? It is a movie called BEVERLY
I love this breed of dogs, as a kid we had Chihuahuas, two of them –
Chico and Dumpling, may they rest in peace – but this is a movie for
kids, adults stay away! If you love high courture fashion, you might
enjoy the first ten minutes or so, but after that, unless you are a kid,
skip this!!
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA isn’t a dog…it has dogs, but it isn’t a
dog…but I was sooo happy when it was over!!
So happy!!
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG is up next.
This is a film for us adults, and I thought it was great!
Kristin Scott Thomas from THE ENGLISH PATIENT stars as Juliette, a
woman who has just been released from prison after fifteen years.
Her younger sister invites her to stay with her family.
Juliette struggles with being around them, as she tries to become part
of society again, and copes with her past…a past I won’t tell you
about, you will have to let the film unfold in front of you, as I did,
to get all of the details.
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG is primarily in French, and features great
subtitles…but true to Kristin Scott Thomas’ talent – she is British –
there is also an English language soundtrack too.
I quite enjoyed I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG, and I really enjoyed the new
animated WONDER WOMAN movie!
While the world continues to wait for a live action feature length
WONDER WOMAN film – to go along the BATMAN, SUPERMAN and even WATCHMEN films that have come out over the years – we have now been given this animated film featuring the Amazon who is sent to “man’s world” as an
ambassador of peace.
WONDER WOMAN has great animation, an entertaining voice cast including
Kerri Russel from FELICITY in the starring role, and Edmonton’s own
Nathan Fillion as Colonal Steve Trevor.
I have enjoyed WONDER WOMAN from the very first time I read the comic
as a kid, and saw Lynda Carter on TV, and this new film is great!!
It is not for kids, due to the violence in it, but as a big kid, I
really enjoyed it!!
I also enjoyed the film that won the Academy Award in 1972 as the Best
Picture of 1971, and I am sure I always will! It is a classic!!
available on BLU-RAY. The sequel is an awful, awful movie, so I won’t
focus on it, other than to let you know it is now out on blu-ray,
instead, let me rave about the original, starring Gene Hackman as Popeye
He is one of a pair of New York City cops who stumble onto a drug
smuggling ring with a French connection.
The quality of the original FRENCH CONNECTION film on Blu-ray is
fantastic!! The film has probably never looked, or sounded better, and
there are some great special features as well, including Hackman
explaining why he wanted to quit the picture.
The new Blu-ray release for THE FRENCH CONNECTION is fantastic, and it
is now available in stores and online on a new Blu-ray release, along
with it’s less than spectacular sequel FRENCH CONNECTION II, which Gene
Hackman actually praises in that discs special features.
The great WONDER WOMAN animated movie, I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG and
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA – a film only for kids – are all available now
on Blu-ray and DVD…and SOUL MEN, WHAT JUST HAPPENED and the
made-in-Moncton film GROWING OP are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER is a documentary about a woman who fled to Canada, where she gave birth to a baby fathered by
the man she had killed.
MILK features Sean Penn’s Oscar winning performance as slain politician
Harvey Milk.
Also next week, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in AUSTRALIA, we
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!