The Couch Potato Report – June 22nd, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels all of the biggest new releases, some Python, and a few Fatherís Day gift ideas.
Those Fatherís Day ideas are coming up, but this weekís first release is one that stars Brampton, Ontario resident Luigi Ceraís son Michael.
Michael Cera has also appeared in the films JUNO and SUPERBAD, and on the television series ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and his stock in trade is playing a shy, unsure of himself, bumbling teen who ñ somehow ñ always seems to get the girl.
And ñ in YOUTH IN REVOLT ñ he is once again doing what he does bestÖbut this time he is also playing a second character.
The main character in YOUTH IN REVOLT is Nick Twisp. After he meets and falls for an intellectual and beautiful girl named Sheeni ñ who doesnít share his feelings ñ he realizes that he has to create an alter-ego who is a bad boy to win her love.
And ñ as it turns out ñ that bad boy soon has Nick wanted by the policeÖand Sheeni loves it!
In addition to Michael Cera, YOUTH IN REVOLT has a supporting cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Jean Smart, Ray Liotta and Zach Galifianakis from THE HANGOVER and together they star in a film that is not spectacular in any wayÖbut it is pretty good.
It is very odd at times as it takes risks, and not all of them pay off, but I liked itÖand so I mildly recommend it.
Iíll also mildly recommend THE BOOK OF ELI, but only to people who love violence in films and are craving something that plays like a cross between Cormac McCarthyís book THE ROAD and George Millerís MAD MAX films.
If that is you, then this is a film you need to see. If notÖdonít!!
THE BOOK OF ELI stars Denzel Washington as a lone man in a post-apocalyptic world who is walking and fighting his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
As I mentioned, if you love films full of violence than donít miss THE BOOK OF ELI, as it is full of it!!
However if you like films that have a plausible story that donít completely betray everything that has come before it once it gets to the end, then stay away from this one.
Personally, I liked parts of THE BOOK OF ELI, and that is why I mildly recommend itÖbut by no stretch of the imagination is this a good movie. It is just okay.
I have mildly recommended this weekís first two films, and I am also going to mildly recommend the third one.
WHEN IN ROME is a romantic comedy that stars Kristen Bell from FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL as a young, ambitious, professional businesswoman in New York City who is completely unlucky in love.
But, when she goes to Rome for her sisterís wedding, and takes some coins from a fountain of love, she suddenly has an opportunity to meet the man of her dreams.
And even a couple of guys who are the men of her nightmares.
WHEN IN ROME is not great, but I found it quite entertaining. Sure, it is utterly implausibleÖbut it has a nice cast, and if you cut the premise some slack, and donít expect much from itÖyou might enjoy it as well.
WHEN IN ROME is a movie that takes place in modern times, while our next release is one that is based on a film that was set in Ancient Rome.
NOT THE MESSIAH ñ HEíS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY is a comic “baroque and roll” oratorio inspired by Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
Yes, you heard me rightÖthis is an oratorio inspired by Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which was staged by Eric Idle at London’s Royal Albert Hall as a way to commemorate Python’s 40th anniversaryÖand coming off the success of his brilliant SPAMALOT, this had potential.
Yes, it had potentialÖhowever as I sat there watching itÖall I kept thinking wasÖdoes Eric Idle need the money? Is he broke?!? Why would he do this?!?
Yes, without question, there are some great moments in NOT THE MESSIAH ñ HEíS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY, but they primarily come due to the forty year history of Monty Python, and their words and lyricsÖnot anything that has been created for this show.
Fellow Pythons Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam ñ And the always great Carol Cleveland join Idle on stageÖbut ultimately this one is for fans only, and you wonít ever watch it a second time.
I sure wonít watch NOT THE MESSIAH ñ HEíS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY againÖbut I am not disappointed Iíve seen it.
I am also glad that Iíve seen UNTHINKABLE, as I like the cast and was curious to see how the story played out, but I wouldnít suggest this as a film my friends should seeÖand I donít recommend it to you eitherÖunless you also like the cast and are curious to see how it plays out.
UNTHINKABLE stars Samuel J. Jackson and Canadian actress Carrie-Anne Moss from THE MATRIX.
It is a wannabe psychological thriller about an off the grid black-ops interrogator and an FBI agent who press a suspect terrorist into divulging the location of three nuclear weapons sets to detonate in three days.
UNTHINKABLE is well done, with lots of dramatic twists, and interesting at times, but it isnít something that you need to see.
If you think youíd like to, then pick it upÖotherwise, just skip it.
And even if you think youíd like to, even if you love horror films, action films, films with gore, even if those are your absolute favourite films of all timeÖyou should skip the remake of THE WOLFMANÖdo not waste your timeÖskip itÖabsolutely skip it!!
This version stars Benicio Del Toro ñ whose work I love, Anthony Hopkins ñ whose work I love, and Emily Blunt ñ whose work I loveÖbut their film is awful!! Most of the computer effects looks fake, the story is boring, and even though there are a few cool scenes and some good action, this thing is a mess and you should run, donít walk away from this stinker!!
THE WOLFMAN is a dog!!
Okay…from this point forward, for the rest of this weekís Couch Potato Report, no monsters, no dogsÖjust films worthy of your time, and some that might make for good gift ideas.
The 1995 action comedy BAD BOYS is up nextÖand this film is a blast!!
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star as two detectives who are assigned to protect a murder witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin.
And they have great chemistry on screen.
BAD BOYS is loud, proud, a good timeÖand it is now available on Blu-rayÖand in high definition it looks and sounds amazing!!
This is a fantastic action movie!!
Sunday was Fatherís DayÖso a big hello to all you Dads!!!Öand to you kids, if your Dad is anything like mine, he loves Clint Eastwood movies!
My Dad loved Clintís films, and I look back fondly on the times I sat and watched them with him when I was a kid.
So, if you need a late gift ideas, some of Eastwoodís best are now available on Blu-ray in a pair of inexpensive 2-disc sets.
And I will tell you about those in a moment, but firstÖlet me tell you about Clint Eastwood and the the documentary THE EASTWOOD FACTOR, film historian Richard Schickelís look back at the movies that Clint has been in, and made, over the past 35 years.
Admittedly, THE EASTWOOD FACTOR is a puff piece made by the studio where Eastwood has made the majority of his films, there isnít one critical word in it at all ñ even of the manís flops ñ but as an Eastwood fan, I enjoyed itÖand so will anyone who is also a fan. Father, son, daughter, motherÖwhoever!
It is time for the BLU-RAY BEACON to shine againÖand it is also shining on Clint, specifically a pair of double features that are now available in High Definition.
The first set features a pair of action/war films – KELLYíS HEROES from 1970 and WHERE EAGLES DARE from 1968.
These are movies you can watch over and over on DVD or now on Blu-ray, and yet still sit and watch them when they are playing on TV. No, neither one would make the list of the best war films ever madeÖbut they are very entertainingÖand I highly recommend them both!
Unfortunately the 2-Disc set with KELLYíS HEROES and WHERE EAGLES DARE donít feature a lot of Bonus Materials on Blu-ray, but the films look and sound great!!
The other 2-Disc set of Clint films that is also new does have a wealth of special features, and the 1976 film THE ENFORCER and SUDDEN IMPACT from 1983 are also great looking in High Definition.
These are the third and fourth films in the DIRTY HARRY SERIES, and while they arenít as powerful as the original, they are still great action films and each one continues to stand the test of time.
Plus, they both feature many great lines that will be probably be quoted forever.
The Clint Eastwood Double Features THE ENFORCER/SUDDEN IMPACT and KELLYíS HEROES/WHERE EAGLES DARE, BAD BOYS, THE WOLFMAN, UNTHINKABLE, NOT THE MESSIAH ñ HEíS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY, WHEN IN ROME, THE BOOK OF ELI and YOUTH IN REVOLT are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
THE EASTWOOD FACTOR is available only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The Academy Award nominated film THE LAST STATION starring Canadian icon Christopher Plummer, REMEMBER ME, with TWLIGHT vampire hunk Robert Pattinson, and the comedy SHEíS OUT OF MY LEAGUE.
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 – June 22nd, 2010