The Couch Potato Report – November 1st, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels the latest film from a former Academy Award nominated Canadian director, and some easy riders.
There are some good films this week, and sadly some bad too…and I’ll begin with a Canadian movie that is the latest release from Atom Egoyan, the writer and director of such great films as THE ADJUSTER, GROSS MISCONDUCT, EXOTICA and 1997’s Academy Award nominated THE SWEET HEREAFTER.
Egoyan’s latest is called ADORATION.
This film is about a high school student who is coaxed by his French teacher to write a work of fiction about his family.
He puts his parents into a news story involving terrorism, but only he and the teacher know that it isn’t real.
The students friends, family, teachers and everyone in his internet chat-room have no idea what is going on, and all of this coaxing and communication from his teacher leads him to some family secrets that force him to question some things he thought he knew about his dead father.
I am a fan of Atom Egoyan, and I will watch anything he makes, no matter what it is about, and how good – or bad – it is.
And while I won’t call ADORATION a bad movie, I didn’t like it.
Everything he does in this film, both in the writing and direction, he has done before, and done better.
And this movie is so………slow moving…..is moves at less than a snails pace…..slooooowwwww.
I wanted to see it, I am glad I saw it…but I can’t recommend it at all, even to people who also enjoy Egoyan’s work.
Atom Egoyan’s next movie, due out in 2010, is currently called MOVING THE ARTS, and I am hoping for something better. My fingers are crossed for something better!!
Now, as much as I didn’t like ADORATION, I didn’t hate it. This next film, I did hate.
And I know “hate” is a strong word, and I usually prefer to use the word “dislike”…however I hated this next film…hated it.
It is a “suspence thriller” called ORPHAN.
The only I enjoyed about ORPHAN, was when it ended.
Filmed in and around Toronto, ORPHAN is about a husband and wife who adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.
ORPHAN started off okay, it had several storylines that were teased, but not explained, and some interesting suspence filled scenes…it was all going along well, until the story switches to where the orphan, Esther, becomes the focus.
She is an utterly unlikeable character, and the young actress playing her does a bad job, plus…the filmmakers have given her a Russian accent like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle!!
Let me be blunt…ORPHAN is an awful, awful movie and I hated it!! I’m done talking about it, because I have another DOA DVD to tell you about.
A DOA DVD is a film that appears on the shelves at our local video store, and looks like it might be good.
Plus, it has actors in it that we all like, and so you might think about picking it up.
But a DOA DVD is a complete waste of your time, and worthy only of mention so you make a note to skip it.
And you really should make a note to skip THE ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT!!
THE ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT co-stars Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton and a whole bunch of young actors that you will probably recognize on the DVD sleeve, but don’t let that sleeve, or the synopsis of the film on the back of it sway you…this movie is dead on arrival.
With the lesser of this week’s releases behind us, let me spend the rest of this edition of The Report being positive, starting with the made-in-Vancouver film BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – THE PLAN.
Okay, what I am about to say will only make sense to people who watched the re-make of the Battlestar Galactica series when it ran from 2003 to earlier this year. If that isn’t you, please excuse us for a minute.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – THE PLAN is set just after the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. The story follows multiple versions of the Cylon models One and Six who have infiltrated the remaining humans, both on the planets, and those who have escaped into space.
From there, the events of the series are shown from a Cylon perspective, and their underlying plan is revealed.
Okay, and I will say this to everyone now…BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – THE PLAN is a very good film, but it is for fans of the series only. I have recommened this series several times before, even for those who normally don’t like science fiction shows, and I will happily do that again now.
It is great stuff!!
ICE AGE – DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS is the next movie that I’ll speak positive about. And yes, Manny, Scrat, Diego, Ellie, Crash, Eddie and Sid all all back!!
This third film in the enetrtaining family series is about Sid’s attempt to adopt three dinosaur eggs. When their real mother takes him to an underground lost world, his friends attempt to rescue him.
I like the caharcters in these films, and so I liked ICE AGE – DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS. I don’t know how many more of them they can do, but I’ll watch them all.
And I will always also watch any animated films that are released by the National Film Board.
Twenty-six animated films made by filmmakers all across the country, and supported and released by the NFB, are available now in the spectacular two-disc collection ANIMATION EXPRESS.
ANIMATION EXPRESS is a fun and entertaining collection of recent work from the National Film Board’s animation unit and it includes the Genie-winning Sleeping Betty and the Oscar nominee Madame Tutli Putli along with many others!!
If you like animated short films, this is a must own!!
And finally this week…when it first came out in the summer of 1969, EASY RIDER was simply a film about two hippy bikers traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans.
However, in the last forty years, it has come to mean so much more than that, it was the start of a new wave of filmmaking!
And now a new 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray not only allows us to see the film in High Definition, but it includes an insightful retrospective documentary as well.
This week, the BLU RAY BEACON shines on EASY RIDER.
EASY RIDER, ANIMATION EXPRESS, ICE AGE – DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – THE PLAN, ORPHAN and ADORATION are available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
THE ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT is available now only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Saturday morning inside Couch Potato Report
We will celebrate 100 years of Canadian aviation with the series CANADA – ABOVE AND BEYOND, re-visit THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1,2,3, enjoy THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of SPIN CITY, head to PASSCHENDAELE once again, and I will also tell you about a new documentary about some filmmakers looking for John Hughes…it is called DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in six days.
For now, that’s THE COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – November 1st, 2009