The Couch Potato Report – March 13th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels an Academy Award Winner, an Academy Award Nominee and some DogsÖcinematic and real.
Going into last Sunday nightís 82nd Annual Academy Awards both UP IN THE AIR and PRECIOUS each had six nominations.
At the end of the night, UP IN THE AIR went home with nothing and PRECIOUS left the Kodak Theatre with two statues ñ for Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Yet, this weekís edition of the Report begins with UP IN THE AIR because it is a film directed by Montreal born Jason Reitman, and Canadians rule hereÖwhether they win or not!
Nope, UP IN THE AIR didnít win any Oscars, but if you are looking for an entertaining film to watch this weekend, donít go looking for THE HURT LOCKERÖgrab UP IN THE AIR, a well written, acted and directed film with equal parts drama, comedy and romance, with a little business savvy through in for good measure.
UP IN THE AIR stars Best Actor Oscar nominee George Clooney as a corporate downsizer ñ a man that companies hire to fire employees. The film follows his travels and his attempts to stay on the road, even after his boss has decided that people can be fired using video conferencing, instead of face to face.
Vera Farmiga ñ from THE DEPARTED ñ stars as Clooneyís love interest and Anna Kendrick ñ of the TWILIGHT films ñ is the young businesswoman who is attempting to make a name for herself by creating the software that takes the downsizers off the road. Both Vera and Anna received Oscar Nominations as Best Supporting Actress for their efforts, and both are great.
Vera is good, Anna is good, Clooneyís good, Reitman is good, and in any other year UP IN THE AIR probably would have won the Oscar as Best PictureÖ.but because of THE HURT LOCKER and AVATAR, it has to be content with just the nominations this year.
However, I liked it better than those two movies and so I highly recommend it!!
Go UP IN THE AIR!
Yes, I highly recommend UP IN THE AIR, and I also highly recommend the film PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIREÖbut for different reasons.
UP IN THE AIR is a great movie, PRECIOUS is a great filmÖan Academy Award winning filmÖMo-Nique won as Best Supporting Actress and Geoffrey Fletcher received an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Both of those Awards are well deserved!
The easy way to describe this film is to tell you that it takes place in Harlem, and is about an overweight, illiterate teen named Claireece Precious Jones who is pregnant with her second child.
Precious goes behind her Motherís back to enroll and attend an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
That would be the easy way to describe PRECIOUS, but there is nothing easy about the movie, or the book it is based on. That baby she is pregnant withÖwell, her father is the Daddy. Her Mother, she knows and is abusive toward her daughter because of itÖand that daughterÖwell, she is only sixteen years old.
Nope, there is nothing easy about this movie at all.
But even though it isnít an easy film to sit through, PRECIOUS is a powerful, powerful film. This is a great movie, with a tremendous cast and even though it isnít something I could ever call ìentertainingîÖI do highly recommend it as it will introduce you to some people who live in our world, and others who spend every day just trying to survive their world.
From a pair of Academy Award Nominated films, let me now tell you about a couple of dogs!
One that I will use the slang definition for meaning something that is worthless or of extremely poor quality, an utter failure: For instance: Critics say his new play is a dog.
And the other one is a dog movie because it is actually about a dog.
The utter failure is firstÖman this one was a dog!!!
OLD DOGS stars John Travolta and Robin Williams as two friends and business partners who find their lives turned upside down when they agree to take care of 7-year-old twins
OLD DOGS has a premise that could work for a movie like this, two stars who are usually good in this type of film, and a great supporting castÖso this movie should have been a slam dunk, right?!?
Well, unfortunately, the film is awful!! The storyline is utterly predictable and the jokes and slapstick comedy all feels forced, as if the stars knew how bad it was going in, so they didnít even bother to give it their all.
I have to admit that I did laugh a couple of times at OLD DOGS, but the stuff I laughed at was all in the trailerÖso if you have seen that trailer, trust me, you have seen the best part of this dog!!
SKIP IT, unless there is nothing else available for you to rentÖand I mean absolutely nothing else at all!!
From the dog that is OLD DOGS, let me now tell you about a beautiful movie called HACHI – A DOGíS TALE.
HACHI is a film that is based on a true story and it is about the devotion and undying love that dogs have for their owners.
Richard Gere plays a man who finds a dog at a train station one night and decides to take it homeÖmuch to his wifeís chagrin.
Eventually, the wife lets him keep the dog and the film is about their time together, including the time that the dog spends every day waiting for his master to arrive back at the train station after work.
Sadly, the man dies while away from home, and Hachi still goes to the station each and every say at 5 oíclock, waiting for his master.
I loved this movie!! HACHI ñ A DOGíS TALE is for all animal lovers, especially dog lovers.
No, this is not a perfect movie, the tragic event that occurs could have happened later in the script, giving us more time with Gere and the dogs, and truth be told, not all of the animals used in the film were as well trained as some of the othersÖbut I still loved it.
And, it is rated G, so it is good for the whole family to watch together!
Finally this week, I have a love story for you.
A love story, about CAPITALISM.
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY is the latest documentary from Michael Moore, the man who gave us the insightful, yet entertaining films Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko.
This movie offers us Mooreís look at the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of regular people and takes us from small towns and the middle class to the halls of power in Washington and the global financial epicenter in Manhattan.
It works best when it tells stories that would be unbelievableÖif they werenít true.
CAPITALISM is heartbreaking, insightful, entertaining and funnyÖyes, much like Michael Mooreís other films, it features too much of him at times, but if you like his work ñ which I do ñ then you should see this one as well as it fits right in with them.
I liked it and I recommend it.
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, the enjoyable HACHI ñ A DOGíS TALE, the awful OLD DOGS, the powerful, yet difficult to watch Academy Award winning PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE, and the very entertaining, Oscar Nominated UP IN THE AIR from Canadian Director Jason Reitman are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
NEW MOON ñ the latest film in the TWILIGHT film series, Disneyís latest ñ THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, the action picture ARMOURED, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the television show BREAKING BAD, and Chris Rockís very entertaining documentary about GOOD HAIR.
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 again next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – March 13th, 2010