The Couch Potato Report

12500 – In case you need a flick or two for Canada Day!!

The Couch Potato Report – June 29th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a made-in-Saskatchewan movie that could have been great, and a fifty year-old film that still is.
When I read the synopsis for this week’s first new release – our Hot Potato – I was very…very excited!!
Sure, the fact that it was made-in Bulyea, Craven, Qu’Appelle and Regina made it a must-see as well, but it was primarily the synopsis that had me excited.
Here it is:
“In the Autumn of 1960, a fluke atmospheric weather condition allows a young teenager, Parry Tender, to receive a radio broadcast from New York City.
Nestled in the Northern town of Goose Lake, Saskatchewan, Parry believes the contest the New York radio D.J. is running may be his ticket out of town, and away from a life to which he feels he never belonged.
When Debbie Baxter, a young girl from California, arrives in the town by way of her father’s position with the military, Parry soon discovers love, loss, and the magic of rock and roll.”
Now, that sounds like a great movie!!
Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t just a DVD by it’s cover either!!
45 RPM does feature the things that it’s synopsis suggests, but as the movie plays out, the music and friendship elements of the story start to take a back seat to police brutality, child abuse, sexual assault, and several other subjects that take away from what the film could have been.
The truth is that the filmmakers decided to make their movie, with all of the extra story lines that aren’t mentioned in the synopsis, and it was their movie to make.
My feeling is that had they focussed on the classic rock and roll music an dthe dream of these two friends getting out of Goose Lake, Saskatchewan to New York City, this could have been as good a movie as STAND BY ME, MY GIRL, THE GOONIES or THE SANDLOT, all great films about friends overcoming the odds of their situations.
45 RPM, is not a bad movie, but parts of it are…and so even though Saskatchewan loosk great on film, as always, I just can’t recommend it.
I suggest you see STAND BY ME, MY GIRL, THE GOONIES or THE SANDLOT instead, if you haven’t already.
I have four capsule reviews for you now, four films that I didn’t like or dislike, but you might consider a good rental.
Like INKHEART, for example.
INKHEART is the film based on the young adult-child fantasy novel that is the first book of the Inkworld trilogy.
Canadian Brendan Fraser stars along with Paul Bettany, and Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.
Fraser plays the father of a young girl who discovers that he has the ability to bring characters to life from books just by reading out loud.
He must try to stop a freed villain from his plot of world domination!!
INKHEART is not awful, but there is nothing special about it. If you have a teenager who likes to read, get them the book instead.
Now, if you have a teenager who likes to shop…relax…that is normal!! We all liked to shop at that age…and some of us still do!
In CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC Isla Fisher from WEDDING CRASHERS and DEFINITELY MAYBE stars as a wannabe journalist who loves to shop, and is good at it too!!
I admit that even though I love Isla Fisher, and think she is a beautiful and talented actress, I didn’t expect much from CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, so I didn’t mind it.
It isn’t as good as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, and it certainly isn’t for everyone – but it isn’t a bad little film.
I will say the same about THE PINK PANTHER 2.
It also isn’t a bad little film.
I love and adore Steve Martin, but I didn’t see his first PINK PANTHER film. I was a little embarassed that he felt the need to take over this iconic Peter Sellers role of Inspector Jacques Clouseau, so I stayed away.
I may have to go back and see it now as this second movie was sort of fun at times.
In PINK PANTHER 2 Clouseau is part of a team of International detectives who are working to try and stop a globe-trotting thief who specializes in stealing historical artifacts.
Some parts of THE PINK PANTHER 2 are simple silly and stupid fun, other parts of it are just stupid.
Ultimately, it isn’t a bad little film. It isn’t a classic, but it is okay.
This next release has an amazing cast, including Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd, all actors I like, but I have nothing positive to say about it.
I didn’t dislike CROSSING OVER, I just don’t have anything positive to say about it.
CROSSING OVER is a film with multiple story arcs that is primarily about immigrants struggling to live life and become American citizens in Los Angeles.
The cast, the stories, they are almost all interesting…however, this movie is so slow and boring at times that I found it hard to stay interested in them, or their stories.
As far as I was concerned, when it ended, it ended.
As this review now does because I am moving on, with an instantly recognizable TV show there song!
With the release of TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN to theatres this week, the time has never been better to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the animated television show.
Especially if you like quality – albeit dated at times – entertainment!!
I found the newest film to be a loud, useless film that was too noisy and pointless to enjoy, so I’m glad I had the simplistic television shows to watch this week, at at time when due to the hype and publicity machine behind the theatrical film, I have been craving some TRANSFORMERS.
If you’ve had that craving too, skip the film, and check out the three disc set for TRANSFORMERS – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, which comes with a very interesting restrospective look back at how an advertising company came up with the characters in the first place, and it also features some of those great old commercials!!
Yes, it has been twenty-five years since the debut of the TRANSFORMERS…do you remember 1984?
How about 1988?
That was the year that a small Tom Hanks film went on to do some big things.
Tom Hanks’ film BIG is now available in High Definition for the first time and the BLU-RAY BEACON shines it’s spotlight on it this week because the new Blu-ray also features the EXTENDED EDITION of the film, with some interesting new scenes added in!
The Blu-ray of BIG doesn’t feature any new features that weren’t included on the DVD that came out a couple fo years ago, but it does allow you to see either the theatrical version, or the 26-minute longer EXTENDED CUT in High Definition.
For me…that is a big difference!!
Finally this week, talk about remembering 1984 and 1988, do you remember 1959?
That was the year the film THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK debuted.
Before the Holocaust films SOPHIE’S CHOICE, SCHINDLER’S LIST, and THE PIANIST there was this, harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
What made and makes this one different is that we know this one is absolutely true!
It is said that THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK is second only to The Bible as the most widely read book in the world, and so many people know the story of this girl who hid in the attic with her family for two years.
But if you have never seen the film, this new 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION features some great retrospective looks back from Anne’s family and friends, and the filmmakers and cast…including Millie Perkins, who played Anne.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK remains an important film, even fifty years after it’s Academy Award winning release.
It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray, along with Tom Hanks’ great comedy BIG, Steve Martin’s okay comedy THE PINK PANTHER 2, the not bad CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, and the not awful but nothing special film INKHEART.
The could have been interesting CROSSING OVER, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the still fun animated show TRANSFORMERS, and the made-in-Saskatchewan film 45 RPM are all available now only on DVD.
Coming up in TWO WEEKS on the next Couch Potato Report
Plus, we will SKATE OR DIE and THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the television show PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE debuts on DVD!!
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!