The Couch Potato Report

Grab some movies and find an air conditioned room!!

The Couch Potato Report – July 16th, 2011
Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is a Canadian acting Icon, Johnny Depp as a lizard, and Das Boot.
Christopher Plummer is an acting icon…a Canadian acting icon.
Born in Toronto in December 1929, since he began acting he has appeared in many films – including Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Man Who Would Be King, The Return of the Pink Panther, Battle of Britain, Waterloo, Dragnet, Malcolm X, 12 Monkeys, The Insider, Somewhere in Time, A Beautiful Mind, Inside Man, and in 1965 – he gave us a performance that he is still beloved aound the world for – he was Captain Georg von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
In addition to his work on the silver screen, he is a Tony Award winning stage actor, who continues to act on Broadway, and in productions staged at Stratford, Ontario’s world renowned Shakespeare Festival.
Christopher Plummer is one of the best and most renowned actors that our country has ever produced…he is a Canadian acting Icon!
Mr. Plummer once again returned to the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2010 in their production of THE TEMPEST as the lead character, Prospero, a Duke cast away on a deserted island, plotting his revenge against those who put him there…and then having to decide what to actually do when gets close to the enemies who robbed him of his dukedom.
Stratford’s production of THE TEMPEST is minimalist, but what they have produced is very effective. It is engaging, moving, and even very funny at times.
Plus, Plummer is surrounded by a great cast of mostly unknown actors who match his performance word for word and beat by beat.
I highly recommend this version of THE TEMPEST, and if you have never seen Plummer on stage, don’t miss it!
He is a Canadian acting Icon!
The great Christopher Plummer appeared with modern day icon – Johnny Depp – in director Terry Gilliam’s 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, but Depp had solidified his own iconic position in movie history long before that eclectic and odd film came out…he did it through his performances in movies like Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Ed Wood, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and the Pirates of the Caribbean films, among others, and now he provides the voice of an goofy and kooky chameleon in the animated film RANGO.
Rango is a lizard who becomes freed from the confines of his tank and decides to creates a new identity for himself when he stumbles into a Wild West town in the desert. He also accidentally talks his way into the role of Sheriff in the lawless town of Dirt.
RANGO is an animated movie, and it is bright and colourful and packed with enough oddball characters to keep the young kids interested, but it also has enough to entertain us older kids.
There is action, adventure, romance, it features a great voice cast – which in addition to Depp includes Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton and Timothy Olyphant – and the movie often parodies the spaghetti Western genre, with great success.
RANGO is a very entertaining film, and it is also a lot of fun at times. I didn’t love it…but I really liked it!
I also really liked THE LINCOLN LAWYER, even though I had seen most of what was on screen before in other movies and procedural cop shows like LAW & ORDER, but the performances are so strong that it just won me over.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly THE LINCOLN LAWYER is a police procedural thriller starring Matthew McConaughey as a defence lawyer who works out of his Lincoln.
Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei plays his ex-wife and occasional moral compass, and Ryan Phillippe stars as a wealthy Realtor who accused of raping a prostitute.
McConaughey takes the case, but as he digs deeper into the facts he discovers that all the evidence points toward the fact that his client might not only be guilty in this case, but in an old case as well.
Like I said, THE LINCOLN LAWYER isn’t fresh and new and anything we haven’t seen before, but McConaughey, Tomei, Phillippe and the entire supporting cast are so good that the result is a very good film that I really liked.
Several of the characters in THE LINCOLN LAWYER have blood on their hands, as do more than a few of the people who populate the film BLOODWORTH.
BLOODWORTH is one of those movies where it probably would have been a heck of a more fun being on the set with the people involved than it is to watch the results of their work.
Kris Kristofferson, Val Kilmer, Dwight Yoakam and Hilary Duff headline the cast and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the filming of this movie!! Man, the conversations these older stars must have had with Duff and the rest of the young cast!!
Anyway, BLOODWORTH stars Kristofferson as a man returning to his hometown forty years after running out on his wife and three sons. He is not necessarily seeking redemption, and the family he left behind is bitter that he both 1) left, and 2) returned. The only redeeming character in the whole film is his grandson, a high school dropout who is an aspiring writer who falls for a woman his brother has gotten pregnant.
Bottom line here is that there isn’t much to recommend about the film as the majority of characters in it are extremely unlikable and it is extremely boring at times, but MAN I would have loved to have been there when they were making it!!
It is supernatural horror thriller time now, and if the movie INSIDIOUS had finished as strong as it started, I would be highly recommending it right now!! But since it didn’t, all I can say is that it isn’t great…but it is a very good flick.
I still think that the premise behind INSIDIOUS is fantastic – shortly after moving, a young family discover that dark spirits have possessed their home and their son has inexplicably fallen into a coma.
Trying to escape the haunting and save their son, they move again only to discover that it was not their house that was haunted.
THAT IS AN AWESOME CONCEPT FOR A FILM, but the filmmakers – who also gave us the SAW and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films – lose their way in the middle of the movie and give us something more similar to POLTERGEIST.
I didn’t dislike INSIDIOUS, it is a good supernatural horror thriller with more than a few jumps, frights and creepy scenes, but I wish it has finished as strong as it started, and that its premise was fully realized.
I have another horror thriller for you now, but this one comes with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek!!
This is another one of those hybrid monster films where the acting is wooden and the script is laughable at times…yet the result is good cinematic fun.
Yes, DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR is good fun!!
DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR – and I do so love saying that title – DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR is about two beasts created deep within the secret island laboratories of an unscrupulous biotech corporation who have broken free of their compound and escaped and they are killing everything in their path.
It is up to a male undercover investigator, a beautiful female Fish & Game officer, and a cold-blooded swamp hunter known only as “The Cajun” to track them down and eliminate them.
But no
matter the story, this movie is all about the climactic battle between the two beasts!!
Yes, the acting is wooden and the script is laughable at times, but DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR isn’t meant to be anything than light-hearted entertainment, and it succeeds at that!
A movie that doesn’t succeed…at least as a piece of entertainment is MIRAL, the latest release from Julian Schnabel, the Academy Award-nominated director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
MIRAL stars Freida Pinto from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE as a young woman growing up in East Jerusalem as she is forced to deal with the realities of occupation and war in every area of her life.
MIRAL is based on a true story and the film is interesting at times, but it is never great. I have no regrets that I’ve seen it…but I can’t recommend that you do.
Up next…some rock and or roll!!
In the late 1970s and into the 80s Foreigner was one of the biggest bands in rock and roll, due to their hit songs Head Games, Cold As Ice, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Double Vision, Dirty White Boy, Feels Like the First Time, Urgent, Juke Box Hero, Hot Blooded and I Want to Know What Love Is.
FOREIGNER: LIVE is a 105 minute concert from the band, which technically exist today in name only. Lead guitarist Mick Jones is the only original member still in the band and vocalist Lou Gramm is long gone, replaced by sound-alike Kelly Hansen.
Still, even with the new line-up – that also includes Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham’s son Jason on drums – there is no denying that these songs are rock classics, they weren’t hit songs by accident, and so I enjoyed FOREIGNER: LIVE because of the music.
After all of these years, I still love these songs!!
Yes, I still enjoy the music of the band called Foreigner, no matter who the lead singer is, I have enjoyed them for as long as I can remember.
And that is about how long I have also enjoyed nature documentaries…for as long as I can remember…and this week I enjoyed one I hadn’t seen before, called THE GREATEST PLACES.
Shot in IMAX, so the picture and sound of the film on Blu-ray are incredible, THE GREATEST PLACES takes us to some of the world’s most geographically incredible locations.
We see Greenland’s massive icebergs, Madagascar’s unique inhabitants, Tibet’s ancient plateaus, and some incredible waterfalls!!
THE GREATEST PLACES features wildlife, natural land formations, and brilliant topography, and at only forty minutes long it is far too short…but I enjoyed every second of it and highly recommend it!!
Finally this week is a 3 hour and 28 minute German war film from the early 1980s that takes place almost entirely in a submarine…and I couldn’t recommend it strongly enough.
DAS BOOT is a classic!!
Along with THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and RUN SILENT RUN DEEP, DAS BOOT will always be found at or near the top of any list about the greatest submarine movies ever made.
DAS BOOT is brand new on Blu-ray and it looks amazing in High Definition, and the sounds of war are fantastic!!
This is an epic movie, with an epic running time, and there are some great new documentaries and special features on the Blu-ray!
As said, I couldn’t recommend it strongly enough.
DAS BOOT, the IMAX film THE GREATEST PLACES, FOREIGNER: LIVE, MIRAL, DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR, INSIDIOUS, BLOODWORTH, the likable THE LINCOLN LAWYER, the very likable animated film RANGO, and Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, starring Canadian acting Icon Christopher Plummer are all available now in stores and online.
Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report
The made-in-Quebec film RETURN TO SENDER, Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, and Jennifer Garner star in a remake of the 1981 Academy Award winning comedy ARTHUR, and Terry Gilliam’s 1985 classic BRAZIL debuts on Blu-ray…and I’ll tell you why it is for fans only!!
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!