The Couch Potato Report – May 7th, 2011
This week The Couch Potato Report is full of Canadian connections, and warns you of a film that is unwatchable.
If you have ever had the desire to see a slow-moving French movie that features an odd relationship between a Father and his 12 year old daughter, that is primarily set in a bowling alley ñ yet is calling CURLING, well then you are in luck because I have one for you.
CURLING is the first rock being thrown on a very mediocre movie week.
CURLING is about a lonely single father who works two jobs to support his daughter.
Their odd relationship stems from the fact that he is over-protective of her and doesn’t let her go to school or play with other kids.
Instead, he devotes almost all of his free time and energy to raising her, but she is getting older and wants to know more about life and the outside world…so when Dad is out at work, she leaves the house and goes walking.
During one of those walks, she finds some dead bodiesÖand youÖwonítÖcare.
CURLING is one of those films that yearns to be something more than it is, but not much happens, and most of the things that do happen are not fully explained, and when they are, you wonít care.
Iíll admit that at times it is mildly interesting, so it isnít completely awful, Öbut it comes very, very close.
Also not completely awful, but very, very close is the big screen version of THE GREEN HORNETÖbased on the radio and comic book masked vigilante originally created in the 1930s.
Vancouverís Seth Rogen ñ from FUNNY PEOPLE and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS ñ co-wrote the script and stars here as the title character.
He is the primary reason why this film doesnít work, not because he canít act or write ñ because he absolutely can ñ but because he chose to make this character unlikeableÖand it is hard to root for someone like that when they are supposed to be heroic.
In addition to The Green Hornet, Seth Rogan also plays his alter-ego ñ spoiled rich kid Britt Reid who ñ after the death of his disapproving father ñ teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to form a masked crime fighting team.
Kato does all the work ñ he creates all the weapons and vehicles and does the majority of the fighting ñ yet Rogen takes all the credit.
THE GREEN HORNET does have some good action scenes and some cool gadgets and such, but not enoughÖto make up for the fact that the lead character is a jerk.
This might make a good rental for people who love movies based on comic books ñ but everyone else should skip it.
The Couch Potato Report has existed ñ in one form or another ñ since 1991 and during that time I have reviewed thousands of movies, and not once ñ not a single time ñ have I called a film ìunwatchableî.
Dead on arrival, god awful, complete and utter garbageÖyes, I have said all of those things about movies over the yearsÖsome of them even Canadian moviesÖbut I have never thought even one movie was ìunwatchableîÖuntil nowÖand that ìhonourî goes to a film directed by a filmmaker I love ñ Ron Howard ñ stars an actor whose films I love ñ Vince Vaughan ñ and features an actress I just plain love ñ Jennifer Connelly ñ yet THE DILEMMA is completely unwatchable.
THE DILEMMA is a wannabe comedy that stars Vaughan as a man who discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair, but instead of telling his friend or his own girlfriendÖa solution that would have made sense and could have resulted in a much better filmÖhe decides to follow his friendís wife and then confront her, and confront her lover and try to get them to stop before his friend finds out.
It is all done in the name of comedyÖbut this movie gives comedy a bad name!
THE DILEMMA is not funny, not anything we havenít seen before ñ not worthy of your timeÖit is dead on arrival, god awful, complete and utter garbage and ñ for the first time in twenty years let me tell you that this film ñ THE DILEMMA ñ is unwatchable.
Do not waste your time on it!!
Up next is something that is watchableÖa television series that is good stuffÖa series that would have made a fantastic movie, but as it is is still worthy of your time.
IDENTITY is a British police procedural drama about a Unit that focuses exclusively on identity theft.
IDENTITY has some fantastic twists and turns that unfold over its six episodes and I was hooked the whole time. This is a must see for anyone who enjoys police procedural shows.
And you might even learn a thing or two about how people steal our identities.
That must see leads into THE MAKING OF PLUS ONE.
You know, as someone who watches as many as fifteen films a week ñ yes, I do literally see them all ñ I must admit that I am getting tired of movies like this one that profess to pull back the curtain and show an audience the inner workings of the film industry.
The problem is that these films tend to be made by people who have had very little success in the industry and so they donít really know how it all works, since they are seeing it from the outside.
And if they do have the inside track, they tend to try and make these movies funnyÖand they are rarely funnyÖso the results are usually mixed as they feature some good, but mostly badÖand like the others THE MAKING OF PLUS ONE is for people in the movie business only!!
One other staple of these ìinsider picturesî is the casting of former stars or one time Oscar nominees who are happy to have work, so they will seemingly do anything trying to get a laugh.
THE MAKING OF PLUS ONE features Jennifer Tilly, Geraldine Chaplin from DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and Amanda Plummer of PULP FICTION.
THE MAKING OF PLUS ONE is set during the Cannes Film Festival and it attempts to be a humorous look at the modern day film industry, and the fact that you need a star to make a hit film.
Saskatoon born actor Michael Eklund plays a movie producer and his family and friends will probably want to see it.
If that isnít you, or youíre not in the movie business, skip it!!
And if you are in the movie businessÖplease tell your colleagues to stop making movies like this!!!
I have had enough of them!!
Finally this week is a television series shot in and around Toronto that is based in that city circa 1890.
MURDOCH MYSTERIES is about Detective William Murdoch, a police investigator who employs emerging science to solve Torontoís most dreadful murders. He experiments with ballistics, psychological profiling, and other newly developed techniques.
It is a lot like CSIÖset in the 1890s.
Murdoch Mysteries is a multiple Gemini Award winning series that is based on the Detective Murdoch series of novels by Maureen Jennings and it is very interesting.
SEASON THREE of the show continues to takes history ñ as we know it ñ and plays with it a bit to suit itís needsÖplus it continues to be populated with great charactersÖand even though it can be very slow at times, I like it.
SEASON THREE of the set in Toronto series MURDOCH MYSTERIES, THE MAKING OF PLUS ONE ñ starring Saskatoon born actor Michael Eklund, the British series IDENTITY, the unwatchable ìcomedyî THE DILEMMA, THE GREEN HORNET with Vancouverís Seth Rogen and the boring made-in-Quebec movie CURLING are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
London, Ontarioís Ryan Gosling stars in the bittersweet love story BLUE VALENTINE, Stratford, Ontarioís Justin Beiber performs in the concert film NEVER SAY NEVER, and Torontoís Ivan Reitman ñ who directed GHOSTBUSTERS ñ now gives us the better-than-it-should-have-been romantic comedy NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
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 – May 7th, 2011