The Couch Potato Report – April 2nd, 2011
This week The Couch Potato Report offers up a buddy cop movie, en Francais, and an Award winning black swan.
The first film in our movie queue this week is a very entertaining Montreal-made-buddy-cop-action-comedy called THE BAIT about a fit and arrogant secret agent from France who is trying to infiltrate the mob in Montreal.
In order to do that he has to work with an out of shape and accident-prone local police officer, who thinks his new partner is there to learn from him.
At times THE BAIT merely follows the predictable formula of buddy cop movies ñ two men of very different and conflicting personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime and/or defeat criminals, sometimes learning from each other in the processÖ.but at other times, this film is very unique and offers up things the genre has never shown us beforeÖespecially during a shoot out scene that involves a trampoline.
Simply put, THE BAIT is a very entertaining film. Every store might not have it, but search it outÖI think youíll like it.
The main reason people will be watching this next film this weekend is because of what happened in Hollywood back on February 27th.
For her performance in BLACK SWAN Natalie Portman was given the Oscar for Best Actress, and she was well deserving as to prepare for the role of a ballerina she went through five to eight hours of dance training each day for six months and lost 20 pounds from her already tiny frame.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky ñ who also gave us the Academy Award nominated films THE WRESTLER and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM ñ BLACK SWAN is a psychological thriller about a ballet dancer who is given the lead role in “Swan Lake” for a prestigious New York City production.
She is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan but slowly seems to be losing her mind as she becomes more and more like the sensual Black Swan as she fights off competition from another dancer who wants the lead.
BLACK SWAN is a terrific film, and even as you watch it a second time you will be wondering what in it is real, and what isnít.
Due to some of its content, the movie isnít for everyone, but I really enjoyed it!!
It is time now for me to talk about TANGLED ñ the fiftieth animated feature film from Walt Disney.
Disneyís animated feature history began in 1937 with a strong heroine named Snow White, and continues now with a film that is largely based on the German fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm.
When a runaway thief stumbles into Rapunzelís tower, she follows him outside, and discover the world ñ and who she really is ñ for the very first time.
TANGLED has some good stuff, and some stuff that is not so good, but that latter stuff never got in the way and ñ ultimately ñ I liked it.
Younger kids may enjoy it more that I did, but I did enjoy it.
From that movie mainly for kids, here now is one mainly for adults called FAIR GAME.
Naomi Watts plays undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in this film ñ based on true events ñ her identity is leaked by the government as payback for her husbandís criticism of the George W. Bush administration.
FAIR GAME is a political spy thriller directed by Doug Liman, who made THE BOURNE IDENTITY, and while the real life story is exceptionally interesting and intriguingÖthe film isnít. It is okay, and I liked it, but with the story they had to work with, and Watts and Sean Penn playing the lead roles, this should have been a great movie.
Unfortunately, it is only okay. So call that a mild recommendation.
I will also only mildly recommend THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the television series TREME, a show about a neighbourhood in New Orleans and the ordinary people who live there who are trying to hold on to their lives and unique culture in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
TREME is one of the most interesting and entertaining show that I have seen in a long time, but what makes me only mildly recommend it is the fact that not all of the characters in the show are likeableÖand even though they are given story arks that allow them to change and grow a bit, I still didnít want to spend time with them, and I wasnít interested in whether they picked up the pieces of their broken lives or not.
TREMEís large cast includes John Goodman, Steve Zahn, David Morse and recent Academy Award winner Melissa Leo and while I like and respect their work, and love the music in the show ñ the music of New Orleans is also a co-star ñ while I do like parts of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, I can only mildly recommend it.
I do have high hopes though for the SECOND SEASON, which is in production right now.
These next three releases are new because they come in Steelbook packagingÖ A Steelbook Case is similar to the usual cases you see on DVDs and Blu-rays, but instead of being plastic, it is made of metal.
As a collector, I love them!!
I also love these three moviesÖincluding HEAT, starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.
HEAT is a tremendous film and I will keep it, and this new Steelbook version of it in my library forever.
I will also keep the Steelbook for Christopher Nolanís fantastic BATMAN BEGINS as long as I have a movie library!!
The last Steelbook Blu-ray release that I now am pleased to own is for the Stanley Kubrickís classic 1968 film 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY!!
If you are a movie collector, and you love great films with a wealth of behind-the-scenes features housed in interesting packaging, donít miss these new, limited edition Steelbook versions of these films!!
I love having them all!!
Another older film is now available for the first time on Blu-ray, Charlton Hestonís 1973 action picture SOYLENT GREEN.
This one takes place in the year 2022 in a post- apocalyptic future. After the head of the company that makes a much needed source of food called Soylent Green is murdered a detective tries to uncover the reason for the murder and discovers the foodís secret ingredient.
SOYLENT GREEN is a bit dated, but still greatÖand the ending is still fantastic, if you have never seen it it will come as a huge surprise!!
Pick this one up, and enjoy!!
Finally this week The Blu-Ray Beacon shines on a modern day classic, 2004ís ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND starring Canadian Jim Carrey and the great Kate Winslet!!
ETERNAL SUNSHINE is a very unique film about a couple ñ who were once very much in love ñ who individually decide to undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour.
However, it is only through this procedure that they discover what they had to begin with.
I love ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and it has appeared on Blu-ray before, but that edition didnít have any Bonus FeaturesÖit just had the film.
This new one has a wealth of Special FeaturesÖincluding interviews with the starsÖwhich makes a good thing, even better!!
If you have never seen it, pick it up as well!!
The fantastic ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, the Charlton Heston film SOYLENT GREEN, the Blu-ray Steelbooks with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, BATMAN BEGINS and HEAT, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the television series TREME, the political thriller FAIR GAME, the animated film TANGLED, the Academy Award winning psychological ballet thriller BLACK SWAN and the very entertaining Montreal-made-buddy-cop-action-comedy THE BAIT are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro are back in another MEET THE PARENTS movieÖthis one is called LITTLE FOCKERS, Jim Carrey stars in the romantic comedy I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, Jeff Bridges is back in the long awaited sequel TRON: LEGACY and The Blu-Ray Beacon will shine on the cinematic classic TAXI DRIVER.
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 – April 2nd, 2011