The Couch Potato Report

We are back!!

The Couch Potato Report – August 13th, 2011
Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is a trigger, your highness, Paul and a “classic” comedy from the eighties?!
Hello again! After a two week break it is great to be back, and I’ll begin this edition of the Report the same way that most of them start, with a look at the latest Canadian film on the market…as we like to promote and support Canadian cinema…so up first is Kingston born director Bruce McDonald’s latest – TRIGGER.
I gave Bruce McDonald top billing, because he is the director, but he’s just one of a group of fairly well-known Canadians responsible for this film…a group that includes Sarah Polley, Callum Keith Rennie, Don McKellar, Daniel MacIvor, Tracy Wright and Molly Parker…the latter two – Tracy Wright and the great Molly Parker – from DEXTER and DEADWOOD – star in TRIGGER as two former rock and roll band mates who reunite after twelve years apart.
It is a reunion that reignites all of the love, passion, anger and friendship they once shared.
Set in Toronto, TRIGGER is basically a movie about two people who are friends – whether they like it or not – and while it is never great, it features some really great moments between Tracy and Molly and as a whole is very good.
I liked it and I also liked the movie PAUL, but I should have loved it…since it features Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – the very funny and entertaining co-stars of 2004’s SHAUN OF THE DEAD and 2007’s HOT FUZZ – two films I do love!!
Simon and Nick are back together in PAUL playing two British science fiction loving geeks…or nerds, if you prefer…who travel to Nevada and Area 51 in America’s UFO heartland.
While there, they meet an alien – named Paul – who is voiced by British Columbia’s Seth Rogen from PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and KNOCKED UP.
Paul then asks the guys for their help and takes them on a road trip where a whole heck of a lot of fun ensues, and I did like it, but I was expecting it to be a lot funnier.
If this hadn’t come from two of the people responsible for SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ, two films that I may have mentioned I loved, then maybe my expectations would have been a bit lower…but it did, and while I laughed – out loud at times – I did expect more.
PAUL is not a disappointment, after all with a cast that also includes Jeffrey Tambor, Jane Lynch, Jason Bateman, and Sigourney Weaver how could it be…but I was hoping for more.
What was a disappointment, and remains one even after I watched it for the second time this week is the medieval stoner comedy YOUR HIGHNESS, starring Seth Rogen’s co-star from PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, James Franco.
Franco isn’t the main reason that YOUR HIGHNESS doesn’t work, everyone here – including Danny McBride, Natalie Portman and director David Gordon Green – have to share the blame for a film that isn’t that funny, clever, engaging or interesting.
The only thing it actually is, is a flop.
YOUR HIGHNESS is about the quest that Franco’s Prince undertakes when his bride is kidnapped, a quest that seems him accompanied by his lazy useless brother, played by Danny McBride of EASTBOUND & DOWN.
I will admit that there are some laugh out loud jokes, but most of them aren’t funny, the story isn’t that interesting, and at times it is just awful…so the majority of you should skip it…however, for some of you, this movie is destined to become a cult classic.
YOUR HIGHNESS will be one that some people watch repeatedly…especially those who love stoner comedies.
Even though I was away for the last two weeks, there were still new movies that came out, and I thought I would re-cap a few of them for you…in case you’ve been away as well.
The adult drama LAST NIGHT leads the way.
LAST NIGHT stars Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley as a married couple who are apart for the night.
He is on a business trip with the lovely Eva Mendes – a colleague he is attracted to – while she runs into and decides to have dinner with a past love, played by well known French actor and director Guillaume Canet.
Will she cheat, will the husband? Both scenarios are possible.
LAST NIGHT is a mature film that I found very interesting.
It movies a little slow at times, but I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed my time spent in RIO…no, that isn’t where I went on vacation, I was on Prince Edward Island, I mean I enjoyed my time spent in the world created by the animated film RIO about a macaw who must travel – with his human owner – to Rio de Janeiro because he is the last male of his species and he needs to mate with a female macaw named Jewel.
RIO has a voice cast that includes the great Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg of THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Jane Lynch from GLEE and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and it is a bright, colourful and fun film that I think kids will really enjoy!! It isn’t a home run for us adult fans of animation, but I did like it.
In computer science, source code is text written in a computer programming language. Such a language is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source code, which can then be automatically translated to binary machine code that the computer can directly read and execute.
In the movie world SOURCE CODE is a science fiction-techno-thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright.
Jake plays a soldier who finds himself inside a computer and is repeatedly put in the body of another man as he works to try and find the bomber of a train…a train that he is a passenger on.
SOURCE CODE was partially filmed in Montreal and while it is not a great action thriller, it is okay. This is the type of film you can watch and just relax…so I will call it, and this next film a good rental.
And this next film is one called LIMITLESS…a movie about the human brain and our mental capacity that is very entertaining…as long as you don’t think about it!!
Nope, do not use your brain on this movie about the brain!!!
LIMITLESS stars Bradley Cooper from THE HANGOVER films as a writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his mind…affording him the opportunity to succeed in ways even he couldn’t have imagined.
Robert De Niro is a businessman who is interested in putting Bradley’s brain to work.
Like I said, if you don’t think about LIMITLESS, you’ll enjoy it as it is a pretty good flick.
It is Blu-Ray Beacon time now, time to shine a light on releases new to the HD format!
The 2006 comedy horror film SCARY MOVIE 4 is out in High Definition now in a Blu-Ray and DVD Combo pack and even though some of the jokes are a bit dated, many of them stand up and are still very funny.
The SCARY MOVIE franchise has changed a lot over the years, and the first two are still the best, but this fourth one does offer us the chance to see the late, great Leslie Neilsen in action once again…and for that reason alone, I recommend it!
Yes, I recommend SCARY MOVIE 4, after all…if it makes you happy, is it really that bad?
That is Sheryl Crow leading her band through IF IT
MAKES YOU HAPPY as seen and heard on the Blu-ray for SHERYL CROW: LIVE, a 92 minute concert that features many of her biggest hits.
If you like Sheryl Crow, this is a must have as she – and her music – sound and look great in HD!!
 just wished she had more to say. She doesn’t talk much, but that means there are more songs…including My Favorite Mistake, Leaving Las Vegas, Strong Enough, Soak Up the Sun, Everyday Is a Winding Road, and one of my all-time favourites…HOME.
SHERYL CROW: LIVE is a disc I recommend, and I also have nothing but high praise for HEART: LIVE.
Heart is a Seattle based band who first found success in Vancouver and the two main members are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson who deliver a 23-song set that touches on every era of their career–from “Barracuda”, “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You” to the ’80s hits “These Dreams” and “Alone.”
Ann and Nancy also don’t have much to say in HEART: LIVE, but I love the tunes, so I ate it up!!
But the live Blu-ray that I enjoyed the most this week features Jewel, a singer/songwriter that I just love!
She does talk during the course of the two concerts and bonus features on the 3 hour and 42 minute disc JEWEL: THE ESSENTIAL LIVE SONGBOOK.
Yes, Jewel talks, and looks beautiful, and sings all the hits!
I completely enjoyed JEWEL: THE ESSENTIAL LIVE SONGBOOK on Blu-ray, and if you enjoy her as much as I do…whether you can admit it or not…don’t miss it!!
She even yodels!!!
Another jewel this week is SHARK WEEK: RESTLESS FURY, the best of this year’s SHARK WEEK – as seen for the past 23 years on the Discovery Channel.
Several of the shows in SHARK WEEK: RESTLESS FURY were done using high-tech, high-definition cameras that enable us to see the power of sharks in all-new ways…including in slow motion as we get to see a one-ton great white shark blast from the water at 25 mph, with almost no warning, to pull a sneak attack on congregating seals.
I always love SHARK WEEK and I completely enjoyed watching RESTLESS FURY this week!!
The Blu-Ray Beacon shines now on a pair of “classic” comedies from the 1980s. One is undeniably a classic, as it is beloved by almost everyone, and the other…well, it is a classic to me and my friends, and possibly you and yours!!
Let me start with the undeniable one…1986’s FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF.
Written and directed by John Hughes this still fantastic film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend Cameron.
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF looks and sounds amazing on Blu-ray, but sadly this new 25th Anniversary Edition is missing the one feature that has never appeared on blu-ray before, the rare and no longer available John Hughes commentary from the original DVD release.
But even without that insightful commentary from the late, great filmmaker, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF is still a must own on Blu-ray!!
I love this film!!
I also love 1985’s BETTER OFF DEAD, and so do many of my friends, friends I grew up with in the eighties and watched this comedy with when it came out…a comedy starring John Cusack as a teenager who decides he is BETTER OFF DEAD when his girlfriend breaks up with him.
He then meets a foreign exchange student…who turns his life around.
BETTER OFF DEAD isn’t a film for everyone, but its mixture of animation, comedy, idiotic childish humour, and a great cast continues to appeal to me.
I continue to quote it 26 years after I first watched it!!
If you’ve never seen it, pick it up and enjoy!!
The “classic” eighties films BETTER OFF DEAD and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, the very entertaining SHARK WEEK: RESTLESS FURY, JEWEL: THE ESSENTIAL LIVE SONGBOOK, HEART: LIVE, SHERYL CROW: LIVE, SCARY MOVIE 4, LIMITLESS, SOURCE CODE, the entertaining RIO, the mature LAST NIGHT, the destined to be cult classics YOUR HIGHNESS and PAUL, featuring the voice of British Columbia’s Seth Rogen, and Canadian director Bruce McDonald’s TRIGGER are all available now in stores and online.
Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report
British Columbia raised actress Kim Cattrall stars in MEET MONICA VELOUR, the Canadian film THE BANG BANG CLUB shows us the true-life experiences of four combat photographers during the final days of apartheid in South Africa, the foul-mouthed but funny Kenny Powers is back in THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of EASTBOUND & DOWN and Mr. Lebowski debuts on Blu-Ray in THE BIG LEBOWSKI!!!
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!