The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – June 6th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a Quebec film, a Saskatchewan Grandson, some fan boys and Paris, circa 1936.
Believe it or not I actually have ten releases to tell you about this week, primarily do to the release of some great films in High Definition on Blu-ray, so let me get right to this week’s HOT POTATO…the made-in-Montreal film HONEY, I’M IN LOVE/LE GRAND DEPART.
This is the story of Jean-Paul, a 53-year-old doctor who leaves his family behind to start a new life with a younger woman…25 years younger.
But what he believed would be heavenly bliss quickly turns into a complete nightmare.
HONEY, I’M IN LOVE/LE GRAND DEPART is very serious and dramatic at times, but it also has some very funny stuff too as Jean-Paul tries to do what’s right, and find a way to be happy again.
The film won’t make you completely happy as it stalls toward the end and the last twenty minutes move at a snails pace, but the end result is a film that I thought was very good.
Not great, but very good.
Those words are true for HONEY, I’M IN LOVE/LE GRAND DEPART and they are also true for SEASON SEVEN of the television show 24.
Not great, but very good.
Since this is the seventh year of the show starring Tommy Douglas’ grandson Keifer Sutherland, I won’t recap the entire premise of the show, but I will tell you that in this season the show returned to the quality it had acheived in Seasons one to five. Season Six was a stinker, but I am happy – as a fan of it – to report that 24 is back on track!
This Season in the show is set in Washington D.C., after years in Los Angeles. Sutherland’s Jack Bauer is on trial for all his misconduct and questionable interrogation tacticts.
Bauer’s day takes an unexpected turn when the government is threatened and his expertise is needed once again.
SEASON SEVEN of 24 returned the show to glory by giving us great twists and turns and great action and dilemmas for it’s lead characters.
If you are looking for some great action this Saskatchewan Weekend, check it out!!
If you are looking for a less than mediocre film starring some exceptionally likeable actors, well, skip 24 and look for HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.
Personally, I think yous hould skip this film, but – like I said – if you are looking for a less than mediocre film starring some exceptionally likeable actors, than this one is for you!!
How is this for a cast, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU stars Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Justin Long AND Ginnifer Goodwin, all nice, likeable people…in real life!
Their film is about modern day relationships and how men and women often misconstrue the intentions of the opposite sex.
That premise, that cast, that all sounds good to me…but this movie is not good, and let me be totally clear so you don’t misunderstand my signals…this movie is not good.
I don’t think that anyone, man or woman will enjoy sitting through it.
Yes, just so we are completely clear, I’m JUST NOT THAT INTO IT!!
Yes, the cast and most of the characters are likeable, but this movie doesn’t give any of them enough screen time. Plus it isn’t that funny, the drama is all too easily resolved, and in the end the film is a huge failure, regardless of how good the cast is.
So, if you want to see a film about love and relationships that features likeable characters who are all connected through with multiple stories, don’t bother with HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU…look for LOVE ACTUALLY.
Now THAT is a great film, that I am totally into!!
Yes, I am into LOVE, ACTUALLY, and Joni Mitchell, and I am also totally into the STAR WARS films, and so when I heard that there was a movie coming out set in 1998 about four friends who were going on a cross country trip together to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to watch “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” before the movie’s worldwide release, I was stoked!!
And when I heard that they were doing this drive together so they could see it with their dying friend, before it was too late, I thought that whatever this movie was, it would be great!!
Sadly, FANBOYS is not great…not at all!!
It is one of the most disappointing films ever!
That is the film’s Director Kyle Newman, and if you watch the special features on the DVD, or listen to the film’s commentary, it is obviou sthat he, an dthe rest of the cast and crew behind this film have a great affinity for STAR WARS and their fans.
However, their fantastic premise is poorly realized, the comedy fails almost every time, and the emotion of a dying friend is even missing.
It is not funny, not touching, and not good.
Yes, there are some funny sight gags, some great cameos, and Kristin Bell from VERONICA MARS and FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.
FANBOYS is a failure, plain and simple. The combination of STAR WARS, the music of Rush, and friends hanging out should have appealed to me, but it didn’t…and none of my friends liked it either.
Just skip it, the force is weak with this one.
I have five films to tell you about now because all of them are now available in High Definition on Blu-ray, and – for the most part – they all look and sound fantastic!!
The Blu-Ray beacon will first shine on the Oscar winning classic Fargo!
The Coen Brothers’ movie looks a little grainy in High Def, but the writing and the characters are still as entertaining as ever and so I will keep this one in the new format.
And I will also keep THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
This was the very first film I ever watched on video, when my Dad brought home our very first Beta machine and some movies in the last 1970s.
Home viewing has come along way since then, but this version of the Clint Eastwood classic looks and sounds great!! It too is a keeper, because of the film itself, and due to the insightful retrospective documentary features too!
Not all of the James Bond films are classics, even though I do admire and like them all, but for me two of the worst ones are Roger Moore’s THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and LICENCE TO KILL starring Timothy Dalton…and wouldn’t you know it, they have both been released on Blu-ray at the same time!
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and LICENCE TO KILL might not be as good as some of the other films in this ongoing series, but they are still Bond films, and so their transfer to HD is welcome, and they look and sound very good.
AIR FORCE ONE is the final new to Blu-ray title this week, and while the film is still a very entertaining movie, the transfer to digital isn’t a complete success as some of the special effects don’t look very good when they are shown as clear as High Definition allows them to be.
But while the film might not excel in High Def, seeing Harrison Ford in action is always something I will enjoy, so I give it a passing grade!
Finally this week, let’s head to Paris for this week’s FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD.
FAUBOUG 36 is the small Foreign film I want to share with you this morning, while the big and loud releases of the Summer Movie Season explode on screens across the province.
The film take place in the Spring of 1936 – in a working-class district in the north of Paris.
Faubourg is the blue-collar neighbourhood where a once vibrant music hall is now closed and in disrepair.
Three unemplyed friends decide to rent the hall and begin to produce a “hit” musical that will allow them to buy the place.
FAUBOUG 36 is a great little film that features music, comedy and drama. At times it does move a little slow, but the Parisian scenery and interesting characters in the film don’t allow that to happen for too long at a time.
I really liked this one.
This week’s entry in the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD is FAUBOUG 36 from France and it is available now on DVD along with the very good Quebec film HONEY, I’M IN LOVE/LE GRAND DEPART.
Harrison Ford’s AIR FORCE ONE, the James Bond films THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and LICENCE TO KILL, the classic western THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, the Coen Brothers’ great FARGO, the failed FAN BOYS, the very bad HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU and SEASON 7 of Keifer Sutherland’s television show 24 are all available now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Coming up in Two Weeks on the next Couch Potato Report
ONE WEEK is the story of a man who finds out he is going to die so he takes a motorcycle trip from Toronto to the Pacific Ocean.
Also in two weeks, we will spend three days at WOODSTOCK
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in fourteen 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!