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The Couch Potato Report – June 20th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a week, a car, a musical festival and asks: Who ya gonna call?
After a week away I am back with more critical analysis of movies that are now available on DVD and in High Definition on Blu-ray.
Up first this week is the Canadian film ONE WEEK.
Joshua Jackson from the television shows DAWSON’S CREEK and FRINGE stars as Ben, a man who is diagnosed with cancer and given a slim chance of survival.
But instead of going into treatment, he decides to take a motorcycle trip.
Along the way, Ben makes new friends and he ponders his relationship with his fianc├łe, his job, and his dream of becoming a writer.
Since ONE WEEK is a Canadian film about a road trip across Canada, it features some of the unique places and things that can be seen along the Trans Canada between Toronto and British Columbia, and that includes Saskatchewan.
And that is why I liked this film! No matter what I say for the next minute, please remember that I liked this film.
Yes, I liked it because I have driven the roads this movie travels, and I have visted the same unique places and things that can be seen along the Trans Canada…but at times the film just goes from one place to the next, and Ben has little to no human interraction with people.
And I can tell you for a fact that when you visit small town Canada, people are friendly, and they will talk with you!
Plus, the best people in the world can be found in small towns, and there is a plot point that happens at the end of this film that would never happen!! It would never happen in a small town!!! I won’t tell you what it is, but when that event happened, I was disappointed in the filmmakers…not the film, per se, but the filmmakers.
They obviously didn’t spent enough time in the great small towns – like Kipling – where they were filming.
In the end, as I said, I liked ONE WEEK, primarily because of how much of Canada it showed me during it’s 94 minute running time.
No, it is not a perfect film, but at one point the lead character says that he is “…just searching for moments.”, and there are enough good moments in this film for me to recommend it.
From the Canadian film ONE WEEK, let’s park now beside Clint Eastwood’s latest…this one is called GRAN TORINO!
In this great movie Eastwood plays a widowed, racist war veteran who dislikes, and then befriends his neighbor, a young teenager, who tried to steal his prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino.
After filming MILLION DOLLAR BABY in 2004, Eastwood had said that he was done with acting and he was only going to direct from then on.
I – for one – am glad that he decided to appear in this film as well as no one else could have played this character.
He is so racist at times that a person with a lesser screen presence would have made the character unlikeable…however, Clint gives us another superb performance, and film.
GRAN TORINO is a great movie with real characters and it is also very funny at times. You might even learn a thing or two!
It is one of the best films I have seen in the past year.
Alright, let’s rock!! Let’s rock at Woodstock!!
Believe it or not, it has almost been 40 years since the Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place.
It took place in the rural town of Bethel, New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969, and now WOODSTOCK: 3 DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC DIRECTOR’S CUT – 40TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION is the perfect way to relive it.
This set features more than three hours of extras – including two hours of rare performance footage with songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter & Mountain who played at Woodstock but never appeared in any previous film version, plus a third hour of featurettes showcasing interviews from the filmmakers.
But it primarily features the music!
They say if you can remember the sixties you weren’t really there, so if you’d like to experience what you missed, look for WOODSTOCK: 3 DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC DIRECTOR’S CUT – 40TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION.
I have two films to get to quickly now before I tell you about the comedy classic that is debuting on Blu-ray this week, up first is the wanna be comedy FIRED UP.
In FIRED UP the two most popular guys in high school decide to ditch football camp for cheerleader camp so they can meet new women.
This is a pointless, very predictable film that offers nothing new. I say skip it and check out BRING IT ON or the eighties classic PRIVATE SCHOOL. They are much better films.
Two actors I like topline this next film, Clive Owen from INSIDE MAN and Naomi Watts from THE RING films star in THE INTERNATIONAL.
They are working together to expose a high-profile financial institution’s role in an international arms dealing ring.
THE INTERNATIONAL takes you to Berlin, Milan and New York City, but with one exception it doesn’t offer up anything we haven’t seen before, so it is ultimately unsatisfying.
That one exception? There is an extended shootout that takes place inside New York’s Guggenheim Museum…well, not the real one, but still…it is pretty cool!
However, if you want to see cool shootout’s in New York City’s landmarks, along with ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, I have a film that continues to satisfy, twenty-five years after it’s debut.
Yes, if there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call?
GHOSTBUSTERS was released to theatres on June 8, 1984, and this week the BLU-RAY BEACON shines on the 25th Anniversary Edition of the film.
Many of the special features that have been available on the various DVDs over the years are included on this new Blu-ray, but there are a few features that are brand new, including a trivia and behind the scenes option.
GHOSTBUSTERS remains one of my all-time favourite films, and I loved watching it in High Definition!!
Yes, if I haven’t been clear, I do recommend this movie…I still recommend it!!
Finally this week, it is the FOREIGN FILM FESTIVAL ON DVD!!!
We head to Columbia this week for the film DOG EAT DOG about two hoods who break the unwritten code of the country’s crime world.
Yes, you can lie, cheat, steal and kill, but don’t break the code, for if you do, you sign your own death sentence.
DOG EAT DOG isn’t a film with a happy ending, but it is full of some great action sequences and scenes. I was left with a few questions at the end, but I still enjoyed looking around a country that I have never been to, and I enjoyed the Columbian film DOG EAT DOG, which is available now on DVD.
The 25 Anniversary edition of GHOSTBUSTERS, the okay THE INTERNATIONAL, the wannabe comedy FIRED UP, the 40 Anniversary Edition of WOODSTOCK, Clint Eastwood’s great GRAN TORINO and the Canadian travelogue ONE WEEK are available now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
I will talk about the made-in-Saskatchewan film 45 RPM, we’ll hear about some CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, and the BLU-RAY BEACON shines on the Extended Edition of the Tom Hanks’ movie BIG.
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!