The Couch Potato Report

If you are in the mood for something to watch this weekend, here are some ideas.

The Couch Potato Report – July 9th, 2011
Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is a hobo with a shotgun and the man who would be king.
There are some films where the title tells you everything you need to know about a film, and then there are those others that have to be explained.
INCEPTION requires an explanation, so do QUADROPHENIA, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Unless you see them, or read what they are about there is no way you’d know just from the title.
But with releases such as MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, SNAKES ON A PLANE the titles say it all…they tell you exactly what the movies about.
And you can now add the made-in-Halifax-and-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia film HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN to that latter list.
It is a movie about…wait for it…a hobo,…with a shotgun.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN was originally a fake movie trailer made for an international contest to promote the release of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature GRINDHOUSE back in 2007.
After winning that contest a decision was made to make a feature-length version and it is now the second of GRINDHOUSE’s fake trailers to be turned into actual films…the first being MACHETE, and just like that one HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is a heck of a lot of fun!!
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is an action movie that is a throwback to the exploitation films of the 70s and 80s and stars action movie veteran Rutger Hauer from BLADE RUNNER, THE HITCHER and BATMAN BEGINS as the title character…a character who gets off a freight train in a small, crime ridden town, and decides to try and help…by blowing away crooked cops, pedophiles and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.
He is – as the movie’s tagline reads – “Delivering justice, one shell at a time!”
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is a completely over the top action film, the guys who made it had some interesting and gory ideas, and they put them all on film.
This is the type of movie that you either love…or think is garbage…and I…LOVED IT!! It entertained me, grossed me out, made me laugh, had some great cameos, and I just plain enjoyed it and the insightful Special Features included with the DVD and Blu-ray!!
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN has an abundance of violence and yes – at times – it is gratuitous.
There is also violence in the made-in-Quebec film JEALOUS, but it never unjustified or groundless, it is always necessary because you will want the couple at the centre of the movie to survive.
Thomas and Marianne are a young couple whose relationship seems to have run its course – due in part to her flirtatious nature and his jealousy – and in a last ditch effort to save it they head off for a weekend at a remote cabin in the woods.
But when they arrive, they are not alone…a man who says he is their neighbour is in the cottage…and as the weekend goes on, he might not be who he says he is…and he won’t leave them alone long enough so they can find out.
JEALOUS is a well-paced thriller that doses out details of what is going on slowly…nothing is rushed with this movie…and I liked that about it. This is a very good flick!!
Now a thriller that isn’t well-paced, isn’t very good, but is also now available is SHELTER starring Julianne Moore from THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and THE BIG LEBOWSKI and Jonathan Rhys Meyers from THE TUDORS.
She plays a female forensic psychiatrist who takes on a new patient with multiple personalities, only to discover that all but one of his personalities are murder victims.
So she must now race to find out what is going on, as her life – and the life of her young daughter – seem to be in jeopardy.
No, SHELTER isn’t anything special, but I will admit that it does have a few interesting twists and turns, just not enough of them for me to recommend it.
I also don’t recommend THE EAGLE. This wannabe epic is not enjoyable in any way!!
Adapted from the 1954 historical adventure novel written for children called “The Eagle of the Ninth” this film is about a young Roman officer who goes searching to try and recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father’s legion in the northern part of Great Britain.
Based on the story of the Ninth Spanish Legion’s supposed disappearance in Britain there is enough source material to have resulted in a good movie, but the folks behind THE EAGLE do not succeed.
This is one of those movies that is just not memorable in any way so fly away THE EAGLE…fly away! I do not recommend you!!
Okay, I have nothing but good stuff for the rest of this week’s Couch Potato Report…starting with THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of the television series BREAKING BAD.
Bryan Cranston – who played the father on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and Dr. Tim Whatley on SEINFELD – continues to star in this show as a crystal meth maker who is just trying to secure his family’s financial future.
His illegal activities were once a secret from his wife, but she now knows about them and isn’t happy.
THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of BREAKING BAD is about a man trying to do the right thing, trying to keep his family together, trying to keep his partner alive…trying to keep everything together under increasingly mounting odds against him…and I really enjoyed it!!
I didn’t really care for the first two seasons of BREAKING BAD, but I did enjoy SEASON THREE!!
It has interesting characters, some well written dialogue and scenarios, and is very entertaining at times. SEASONS ONE and TWO were just too hit and miss…but they nailed it with SEASON THREE!!
Another show with interesting characters and well-written dialogue and scenarios is THE BIG C, and this show is also funny, very entertaining and heartfelt.
I really enjoyed it!!
THE BIG C stars Laura Linney from THE TRUMAN SHOW as a repressed suburban wife and mother who is diagnosed with THE BIG C…cancer…and she decides to keep it a secret.
More importantly, she starts to really begin to live for the first time in her adult life, but as she lets go, her friends and family struggle to understand her increasingly bizarre behaviour.
THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of THE BIG C contains thirteen very entertaining episodes and I not only enjoyed it and recommend it…I really liked it.
We head back to 1965 now for a great Steve McQueen film called THE CINCINNATI KID.
The Blu-Ray Beacon is shining on it as its new to HD and it looks and sounds fantastic!!
THE CINCINNATI KID shows us the story of Eric “The Kid” Stoner, a young Depression-era poker player, as he seeks to establish his reputation as the best.
That quest leads him to challenge Lancey “The Man” Howard, an older player widely considered to be the best, and it all culminates in a climactic final poker hand between the two.
As directed by Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison THE CINCINNATI KID has actual drama and intrigue and this is a great old flick.
Finally this week THE BLU-RAY BEACON shines on a movie starring screen legends Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Toronto’s Christopher Plummer.
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING is now available in High Defin
ition, and this 1975 action adventure has never looked or sounded better!!
Adapted from the Rudyard Kipling short story of the same title and directed by John Huston, Connery and Caine star as two former British soldiers in India who decide to stay in the country and travel to a remote village to try and become as rich as kings…or maybe even become kings.
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING is an enjoyable old cinematic adventure and the cast all seem to be having a great time in their roles.
This is one of those “They don’t make ’em like that anymore!” type movies, and the Blu-ray comes with a 32-page book packed with film information and photos.
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, THE CINCINNATI KID, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of THE BIG C, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of BREAKING BAD, THE EAGLE, SHELTER, the surprisingly good made-in-Quebec film JEALOUS and the very entertaining genre flick whose name says all you need to know about it – HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN – are all available now in stores and online.
Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report
William Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST starring the great Christopher Plummer, THE LINCOLN LAWYER with Matthew McConaughey, the meant to be cheesy DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR, and Johnny Depp gives live to an animated chameleon in RANGO.
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!