The Couch Potato Report – May 16th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a new beginning, two unworthy Hathaways and two funny TV shows.
From 1982 to 1986 I lived on Prince Edward Island. During that time I happily called the Island home and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the place, and it’s contributions to Canadian history and culture.
It was toward the end of my time living on the Island that I discovered one of the province’s largest contributions to our Canadian literary culture, Anne Of Green Gables.
I read some of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, and then I saw the CBC film about the headstrong, chatty and sometimes stubborn Red-Headed orphan girl who ends up at the Green Gables farm in P.E.I.
It was after seeing director Kevin Sullivan’s film, and it’s 1987 sequal, that I fell completely in love with the character, and – to this day – I will watch any movie that features Anne with an “e” and read any book about her adventures.
That included the less-than-succesful 2000 movie THE CONTINUING STORY and last year’s ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – A NEW BEGINNING.
A NEW BEGINNING was written and once again directed by Kevin Sullivan. He based his screenplay on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s characters, not her stories, and his story attempts to offer a prequel AND a sequel to Anne’s ongoing story.
This story shows us Anne’s life before she arrives at Green Gables.
I wish I could tell you that ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – A NEW BEGINNING is a great film and a cherished addition to the series, but unfortunately it isn’t.
According to this story, Anne isn’t even an orphan…and that is a story point I was just unable to get past…plus, her beloved Gilbert has been killed off!!
After everything Anne went through in THE CONTINUING STORY to find him in the war, to just kill him off in for this new film made it seem like the filmmakers weren’t treating their own series with any respect, so I starting wondering why should I?!
Plus, instead of Megan Follows as a grown-up Anne, we get Barbara Hershey, from BEACHES. She is good enough, but she never seemed to fully become Anne with a “e”…it always just looked like she was playing a role.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – A NEW BEGINNING isn’t an awful movie, it has a few redeeming moments, and 14-year-old Hannah Endicott-Douglas who plays the young Anne is pretty well cast, but the entire thing just seems pointless.
I love the characters enough to have no regrets about seeing the film, but I can’t recommend you do the same, and it is unlikely that I will ever sit through it again.
However, I will read the books again from time to time, and I will see the first two films at least once more…those I love!!
I didn’t love this next film, but I did really like it.
Yes, I admit it, I was taken with TAKEN!
Liam Neeson from SCHINDLER’S LIST stars in this film as an ex-spy whose daughter gets…taken.
There is nothing subtle about this film, a father with knowledge on how to find and rescue people goes to Paris to find his daughter, plain and simple.
He is a man you do not mess with who is not happy, and anyone who gets in his way pays the price!
TAKEN has drama, action, car chases, explosions and a great performance from Liam Neeson…if any of that sounds appealing to you, don’t miss this one! I highly recommend it!!
I have two films for you now from my current favourite actress. Jodie Foster remains my all-time favourite, but right now, I am smitten with Anne Hathaway and her films.
Her work in last year’s GET SMART film and the Academy Award nominated performance in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED solidified my adoration, and I thought she could do no wrong.
And then I saw PASSENGERS and BRIDE WARS, and while they aren’t the absolute worst films I have ever seen, neither one is very good.
In PASSENGERS Anne plays a grief counselor working with a group of plane-crash survivors.
She finds herself in the middle of a mystery as life seems to be a little different and her patients begin to disappear.
PASSENGERS was filmed in and around Vancouver and features a great supporting cast, but the film itself is just too slow. By the end everything is fully explained and it all makes sense, but the film doesn’t give you enough reasons to care.
However, of these two Anne Hathaway films, PASSENGERS is the better one, even if that isn’t saying much, because the second one is the awful BRIDE WARS.
This one is a complete stinker!!
Anne stars with the also great Kate Hudson in this film. They play two best friends who have always dreamed of getting married at New York City’s glamourous Plaza Hotel.
After they each get engaged, they are able to get different dates at the Hotel so their dreams can come true…and then – since this is a movie – there is a problem
And now, two best friends become rivals as neither one is willing to back down and allow the other the day, and a double wedding is out of the question!!
BRIDE WARS could have been a fun romp, and an enjoyable little film, but instead – because it isn’t very good, you’ll find yourself just sitting there wondering why the two life-long, best friends, couldn’t just come to some sort of arrangement…and then you’ll realize it is just a movie and you will either just shut it off or watch it right up until the end because you are a fan of the people in it.
My advice? Even if you are a fan of Kate Hudson or the lovely Anne Hathaway…skip this one!
The final release I have for you this week is one that I have personally be wating for!! This week saw the debut of THE DANA CARVEY SHOW on DVD!!
THE DANA CARVEY SHOW was a half-hour sketch comedy show that aired during the 1996 season.
It featured Dana Carvey, fresh from his departure from Saturday Night Live, and the cast included two then unknown comedians named Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.
THE DANA CARVEY SHOW always made my friends and I laugh, and so we have been waiting for these DVDs, and if you enjoy comedy that is very crude at times, and very sophisticated at others, check this one out.
It can be hit and miss, and when it misses it really misses, but when it hits, the laughs are huge!!
The very funny DANA CARVEY SHOW and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – A NEW BEGINNING are both available now on DVD.
Anne Hathawayís less than succesfull BRIDE WARS and PASSENGERS and the great thriller TAKEN are available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Coming up in TWO WEEKS on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian film CAPTURING REALITY – THE ART OF DOCUMENTARY, the Pixar animated film A BUGíS LIFE featuring voice work from Kids In The Hall member Dave Foley, Tom Cruise’s VALKYRIE and the home debut of the surprise box office hit PAUL BLART – MALL COP.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in fourteen days, on Saturday, May 30th….including the return of the annual Foreign Film Festival On DVD!!
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!
12397 – I love those women named Anne…usually!
The Couch Potato Report – May 16th, 2009