The Couch Potato Report – August 21st, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a gun filled western, an awful vampire movie, and weíll head to cemetery junction.
As far as Canadian stars who have stayed in Canada are concerned, I donít think there is any doubt that Paul Gross is one of our biggest. Whether he is acting, writing or directing ñ on television, stage or screen ñ he is a great Canadian starÖand I have no problem stating that I am a fan.
His projects include DUE SOUTH, SLINGS & ARROWS, PRAIRIE GIANT: THE TOMMY DOUGLAS STORY, MEN WITH BROOMS and GROSS MISCONDUCT, and when he has good material to work with, he is always great to watchÖand, even when he is working with lesser material, he usually rises above it and delivers a pretty good performance.
Sadly, he is definitely working with lesser material in the Comedy Western GUNLESS, and this time he doesnít always rise above what he is doing. He tries, but doesnít always succeed.
GUNLESS stars Gross as an American gunfighter who ends up in Canada and is looking for a fightÖbut he has landed in a friendly Canadian town ñ are there any other?!? ñ and instead of finding people who understand or appreciate the brutal code of the American Wild WestÖhe might just be falling in love.
Now I like westerns, I like comedies, and I am a fan of Paul Gross, but GUNLESS is a film that is nothing special at all. Yes, there are some funny moments, the gunfights are well done, and the cast is very good, but the film, which I must admit is not awful, just doesnít add up to much.
If it sounds interesting to you, then GUNLESS might make for a good rental, and if it doesnítÖwell, you should just mosey on past it then, partner.
And hereís to the next Paul Gross project!! May it ñ and he ñ be worthy of our time once again!
GUNLESS was filmed in British Columbia, and it features guns. SUCK was shot in Toronto, and it features people who suckÖvampires.
SUCK is a wannabe rockíníroll vampire comedy spoof about a down and out band of musicians looking for fame and success.
One night they get their lucky break when the bass player is bitten and becomes a vampire. Her fate becomes the bandís ìgimmickî and as they become more popular when people flock to see the group with the Vampire Bassist. Eventually she turns almost all of the band into vampires as well, and they all succumb to their blood lust.
But ñ then ñ they find out that fameÖbites.
SUCK features a mostly unknown Canadian cast, and some people you do know ñ such as Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Alice Cooper, Moby, Malcolm McDowell and Iggy Pop…and I have to be honest with you, I have no idea how the producers were able to get those people to appear in their film as this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
SUCK has no reason to exist. It doesnít do anything well, the acting, writing and story are all badÖand is just an awful, awful movie.
Even if you absolutely need to see anything vampire relatedÖI still suggest that you stay away from this one!!
We are moving on now, to a movie that features one of my all-time favourite filmmakers as a lead character.
This is ME AND ORSON WELLES!!
Orson Welles is the man who gave the world the films CITIZEN KANE and A TOUCH OF EVIL ñ among others ñ and scared the world with his radio broadcast of WAR OF THE WORLDS.
Welles remains a fascinating individual and this very entertaining film about him stars heartthrob Zac Efron ñ of the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL films ñ as a teenager in New York City who is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of “Julius Caesar” directed by a young Orson Welles in 1937.
ME AND ORSON WELLES is a work of historical fiction ñ meaning not all of it is true ñ yet almost all of it works, and it features great sets, costumes and songs.
Directed by Richard Linklater ñ who also made DAZED & CONFUSED and SCHOOL OF ROCK ñ ME AND ORSON WELLES is a film I enjoyed and highly recommend!!
That isnít the last song youíll hear this morningÖand neither is this one.
That is “When I Look at You” from Miley Cyrus from THE LAST SONG, a coming of age film developed alongside the Nicholas Sparks novel by the same name.
Miley also stars in the film as Veronica “Ronnie” Miller, an angry, rebellious adolescent forced to spend a summer with her estranged father.
THE LAST SONG is one of those two-people-who-find-each-otherÖfall-in-love-against-all-oddsÖbut-there-is-a-secret-that-when-the-other-person-finds-out-will-drive-them-apartÖthey-find-out-but-still-manage-to-get-together-because-love-conquers-all-films and it never won me over.
I think that Miley Cyrus has an immense amount of talent, but her character is too unlikeable here, and once we are supposed to like her, she just doesnít pull it off.
I didnít dislike THE LAST SONG, but I didnít like it either. Everyone involved here has done better in the past, and I hope they do better again.
THE LAST SONG is a movie that might appeal to teenage girls. FURRY VENGEANCE might ñ MIGHT ñ appeal to younger girls, and boys.
FURRY VENGEANCE stars Canadian actor Brendan Fraser ñ of THE MUMMY FILMS ñ as the project coordinator in charge of a real estate developer’s new housing subdivision.
The new development is being built in the middle of some woodlands and Fraser has to deal with a unique group of protesters, local woodland creatures who don’t want their homes disturbed.
Yes, he has to fight the animals.
Younger kids might think that FURRY VENGEANCE is funÖand it is, occasionally. This older kid found it clever at times and thinks that it has some fun stuff in it.
It is not great by any stretch of the imagination, and the CGI is really bad at times as the animals communicate with each otherÖbut the kids might enjoy it.
The kids might enjoy FURRY VENGEANCE and teenage girls might like THE LAST SONG, so how about a show now for the adults in the house.
COUGAR TOWN is a television series starring Courteney Cox from FRIENDS as a recently divorced woman with an 18-year-old son who is looking to put some fun into her dating life.
She is also looking to make her life better, so she spends time with friends ñ old and new ñ and they talk, dance, enjoy wine, and just hang out.
COUGAR TOWN was co-created by Bill Lawrence, the man who also co-created SPIN CITY and SCRUBSÖand those are two shows I absolutely love!!
COUGAR TOWN isnít a bad showÖbut after watching almost every episode when they aired, and then again this week as THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON has been released on DVD, it continues to come across to me as a show that is trying to hard. The acting, the writing, everything about the show just seems forced.
I want it to because I have enjoyed the work of the people involved in the past, but COUGAR TOWN has never really grabbed me and as such, I canít wholeheartedly recommend it.
Our finale this week is the latest release from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the co-creators, writers and directors of the BBC television series THE OFFICE and EXTRAS.
Both have made films before this one, but this is the first one they have written and directed togetherÖand it isnít what youíd think. It is not an out and out comedy like THE OFFICE or EXTRAS.
CEMETERY JUNCTION takes place in England in the 1970s and is about three friends who spend their days joking, drinking, fighting and chasing girls.
Freddie wants to leave their working-class world but Bruce and Snork are happy with life, just the way it is.
But life never seems to stay just the way it is, does it?
CEMETERY JUNCTION is a film that isnít great, but I really liked it. This is a nice, small film about friendsÖand if that sounds appealing to you, I suggest that you pick it up.
CEMETERY JUNCTION, FURRY VENGEANCE, THE LAST SONG, SUCK and GUNLESS are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
ME AND ORSON WELLES and THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of COUGAR TOWN are available only on DVD.
Coming up in on the next Couch Potato Report
LOVE, HATE & PROPAGANDA is a six-part documentary series about World War II, LOST ñ THE FINAL SEASON, THE COMPLETE THIRTEENTH SEASON of THE SIMPSONS, SEASON THREE of LEXX and Jennifer Lopez stars in THE BACK-UP PLAN.
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 – August 21st, 2010