The Couch Potato Report – February 20th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels films made in Regina, Winnipeg, Normandie and Paris, and it features some men and women in trouble.
Every four winters there is an event so huge, so popular, so important, that the focus of the world shifts from everything else, to it.
That event is such a draw on television that the movie studios rarely release any Olympic size titles for home viewing while the games are onÖand that is definitely true this week.
But they have released a few titles, in case you donít get caught up in the Games, and so let me tell you about the films that have come out, starting with one that was made right here in Saskatchewan – the ìthrillerî WALLED IN that was shot in and around Regina.
And with all due respect to the good people who worked on the movie and acted in itÖthis thing is horrible!!
WALLED IN stars Mischa Barton from the television show THE O.C. as an engineering graduate who is hired to supervise the demolition of a mysterious buildingÖthat is built in the middle of nowhere…but before the building can come downÖitís secrets have to come out.
Yes, the building has secrets.
WALLED IN would like to be a dark psychological thrillerÖlike THE SHININGÖabout a building and the small group of people who are living in it ñ and the deep, dark secrets that come out due to the isolation itís location brings outÖ.but this film just doesnít work.
There are too many plot holes to count, the acting is too stiff, and this thing is just a complete waste of your time.
Do not get WALLED IN!!
Regina is substituting for Helena, Montana, in that film. In AMREEKA, Winnipeg fills in for a small town Illinois.
AMREEKA ñ spelled a-m-r-e-e-k-a ñ is about a Palestinian woman and her teenage son who leave their homeland and move to a suburb of Chicago to live with her sister with her husband and three daughters.
The film is set in 2003 and upon arriving in their new home the woman loses all her money, canít find a job that is equal to the one she left, and ñ after the U.S. invades Iraq ñ the entire family has to deal with peopleís negative attitudes toward Arabs.
AMREEKA is a movie that offers up some strong scenes about life and family, and I thought that it would be betterÖI was hoping that it would be better.
If you want something, anything to watch other than the Olympics, you might enjoy this movieÖ but I thought that it was just okay. Nothing special, but okay.
From AMREEKA, lets head to America now, specifically Los Angeles, California, because that is where the film WOMEN IN TROUBLE is set.
And even though I love all of the women who are in troubleÖthe film they are in is absolutely awful!!
The women in the film include Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui from ENTOURAGE, Carla Gugino of SIN CITY, Adrianne Palicki and Connie Britton from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and 24ís Sarah Clarke.
The film itself is about one day in the life of ten women, all of them with one crucial thing in common = trouble.
WOMEN IN TROUBLE does feature the great actresses, many of who play interesting characters, and some interesting topics of conversation, but the movie they are in is awful.
I think the filmmakers think they have given the world a comedy with some dramatic momentsÖbut I know the end result is a waste of our time.
Unless you absolutely love one or more of the actresses, just skip this mess.
OkayÖI have to tell youÖfrom this point forwardÖthe films get better! I have two spectacular movies coming up, and ñ right now ñ hereís one that is a good rental, especially if you like action movies, revenge pictures, or films about things that blow up real goodÖbecause LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has all of that!
This movie is about a man who watches the murder of his wife and daughter and decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of the killers free.
His targets include not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal as well.
Gerard Butler from 300 is the Father and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx the man who brokers the deal and they are very good in a movie that will have you rooting for the bad guy.
Like I said, if you like action movies, revenge pictures, or films about things that blow up real good, then you should see LAW ABIDING CITIZEN.
Now, if quiet, subtitled films about French fashion designers are more to your liking, then you should see COCO AVENT CHANEL because it is all about the woman whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion.
And it is a spectacular movie!!
COCO AVENT CHANNEL translated is COCO BEFORE CHANEL, and that is what this movie is all about ñ it is the story of Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel’s rise from obscure and poor beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.
COCO AVENT CHANNEL stars Audrey Tautou from AMELIE in the title role and she is great! Plus, the movie features superb costumes and locations.
This is a spectacular film, one I really enjoyed, and I highly recommend it!!
Finally this week, letís celebrate the 20th anniversary of a modern day cinematic classic!
It was in 1990 when Martin Scorseseís fantastic film ñ based on a true story ñ about Henry Hill and his friends who work their way up through the mob hierarchy debuted.
It was, and remains, a movie worth seeing.
Unfortunately, the 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of GOODFELLAS on Blu-ray is nothing more than the exact-same previously released Blu-ray with a bonus DVD that has a documentary on film gangsters, a 34-page booklet and the digi-book pacakaging.
So, aside from the packaging, there is nothing new on this edition.
BUT, even though there is nothing new, the Blu-ray version looks and sounds fantastic, and so if you donít already own the prior release, make sure you pick this one up.
The 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the classic film GOODFELLAS, the spectacular movie COCO AVANT CHANEL, the entertaining action film LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, the awful WOMEN IN TROUBLE, and the horrible ñ with all due respect to the people involved ñ made-in-Regina movie WALLED IN are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
The made-in-Winnipeg AMREEKA is available only on DVD.
And that is all that has come out this first week of the Olympics, coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
I will tell you about the Vogue magazine documentary THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, the soccer bio-pic THE DAMNED UNITED, and the made in Newfoundland romance LOVE & SAVAGERY.
Also next week, Matt Damon is THE INFORMANT, SEASON ONE: PART ONE of the television show FLASH FORWARD, and the comedies ANALYZE THIS and ANALYZE THAT.
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 ñ or the Olympics ñ and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – February 20th, 2010