The Couch Potato Report – June 26th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels films, television shows, classic cartoons, and a movie starring Robert Pattinson.
It is the first weekend of summer, AND Soccerís World Cup continues ñ with exclusive coverage available only on CBC Television ñ but if you are like me, no matter how much you enjoy those other things, you still need a movie to watch every now and then.
And I have a great one to start The Report with this morning, the Academy Award nominated film THE LAST STATION starring Canadian icon Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy.
Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, was a Russian writer widely regarded as among the greatest of novelists. His masterpieces include War And Peace and Anna Karenina.
THE LAST STATION is a film about his struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.
It is also a love story, and his wife is played by the always great Helen Mirren.
Both Helen Mirren and Toronto born Christopher Plummer received well deserved Academy Award nominations for their performances, and the cast also includes James McAvoy from THE KING OF SCOTLAND and Paul Giamatti of SIDEWAYS.
THE LAST STATION is well made and well acted, and it is both dramatic and funny.
It is a great movie, and I highly recommend it!!
I also highly recommend SHEíS OUT OF MY LEAGUE, but for completely different reasonsÖit is fun.
This film also stars a Canadian, Ottawa born Jay Baruchel of TROPIC THUNDER and MILLION DOLLAR BABY.
This film has him starring as Kirk, a tall, lanky, odd, quirky average guy who has been very unlucky in love. In the looks department, on a scale of one to ten, his friends describe as a five.
Then, as happens only in the movies, one day at work, he meets MollyÖa woman his friends all agree is a ten.
Molly likes Kirk, really likes him and maybe even starts to fall in loveÖbut between his lack of confidence, and their friends and families inability to fathom why she is with him, begin to pick away at the relationship.
SHEíS OUT OF MY LEAGUE features several things I like in a comedy, big laughs, friends hanging out and scenarios that while maybe unlikely in real lifeÖare possible, and even though I wish the ending had been stronger, I really liked this movie.
I think youíll like it too! This one is a great rental.
As I mentioned, one of the reasons I liked SHEíS OUT OF MY LEAGUE is because it features friends hanging out with each other and that is the reason I continue to watch the television show ENTOURAGE as wellÖbecause I want to see what Vince, Johnny Drama, E, Turtle and Ari will get up to next.
ENTOURAGE is the show about movie star Vince Chase, his close circle of friends and his agent and while the show has slipped in quality since itís fantastic debut season, I will continue to watch itÖand even though one of the new characters ñ the love interest Ashley ñ even though she was so miscast that every scene she was in brought the show to a halt ñ I will still recommend THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON.
She was sooo miscast, but that said, I still like hanging out with the boys.
Lying is at the core of the next film I have for you, as we go to war now.
The Green Zone refers to the common name for the International Zone of Iraqóa 10-square-kilometer area in central Baghdad that was the center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city.
Matt Damon, from the Jason Bourne films, stars in this movie ñ which is called GREEN ZONE and is set in 2003. Damon plays an Army officer who discovers covert and faulty intelligence as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction and so he decides to find out what is actually going on.
GREEN ZONE has some of the excitement of the Jason Bourne series, and it too has great action scenes, a well-written script, and some good acting. Admittedly, it is just another war filmÖin a day and age where we have had waaaay too many war films, one even won an Academy Award as Best Picture back in February, but I still liked this movie as it kept me interested right up until the end.
That Academy Award winner didnít do that.
War is a serious topic, so please allow me to lighten the mood now with some cartoons.
Some classic cartoons!!
Tom and Jerry were created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and their cartoons are about the never-ending rivalry between a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) whose chases and battles often involved comic violence and very little dialogue.
The TOM AND JERRY ñ DELUXE ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION is a 2-Disc Set that features 30 of the duoís short films and allows us fans to celebrate their seven decades of mischief and mayhem.
I had a great time watching these cartoons again, and recommend them so you can have some fun too!!
These next two films present absolutely no funÖnone at all!!
VITAL SIGNS is a made in Quebec film about a woman who returns home from University after the death of her Grandmother.
That death changes something inside her, and she becomes obsessed with helping people who are about to die.
VITAL SIGNS does have some interesting scenes, and I was very curious to see what would happenÖbut ultimately I was left with too many questions and hardly any answers and so I canít recommend the film.
It isnít the worst release of the weekÖbut it is second last on this weekís list.
Nope, VITAL SIGNS is not the worst release of the weekÖfor me, that ìhonourî goes to a movie that some people will actually loveÖand I mean LOVE!!
But as far as I am concernedÖI just didnít care about REMEMBER ME at all!!
REMEMBER ME is a romantic drama about two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother’s suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother’s murder.
The film itself is absolutely nothing special, but the reason it will become a beloved addition to many peopleís film libraries is due to the fact that it stars Vampire Hunk Robert Pattinson from the TWILIGHT Films.
REMEMBER ME is not a film I dislikedÖI certainly didnít like it, but I admit that I didnít dislike itÖin all honesty, I just didnít care.
This is an angst filled film that is entirely predictableÖand so unless you absolutely must watch or own everything that Robert Pattinson is inÖdonít remember to search this one out…forget about it.
REMEMBER ME, GREEN ZONE, THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of ENTOURAGE, SHEíS OUT OF MY LEAGUE and the Academy Award nominated THE LAST STATION starring the one and only Mr. Christopher Plummer are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
The made-in-Quebec film VITAL SIGNS and the DELUXE ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION of TOM AND JERRY shorts are only available on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Next week Iíll tell you about a fantastic new documentary that was made about the Canadian band Rush, called BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE.
Also next week, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, THE CRAZIES, ST. URBAINíS HORSEMEN, and the Academy Award nominated Best Foreign Language Film THE WHITE RIBBON.
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 26th, 2010