The Couch Potato Report – January 21st, 2012
Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report, enjoy the ides of March, and stay away from Abduction…unless you are on Team Jacob.
When the Academy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday George Clooney’s film THE IDES OF MARCH received a nod in the best adapted screenplay category, but it wasn’t named in any of the big six categories – including Best Picture and Best Director.
Unfortunately London, Ontario born co-star Ryan Gosling was completely ignored – although he was so good in this political drama and in the romantic comedy CRAZY STUPID LOVE and the thriller DRIVE. He had a great year, but he didn’t get nominated.
Gosling’s nomination is a longshot…however you WILL definitely hear co-writer, co-star and Director George Clooney’s name called as he WILL be nominated for Best Actor for his performance in another film…one called THE DESCENDANTS.
But that one isn’t coming out for home viewing until March, so let me focus on the film you can see both George Clooney and Ryan Gosling in right now…the very good THE IDES OF MARCH.
Clooney stars here as a presidential candidate whose has groundbreaking ideas that could change politics and carry him all the way to the White House.
Gosling is his Junior Campaign Manager and he isn’t just trying to sell this guy to the people, he actually believes that this is the guy that will make a difference…however, when he agrees to go to a meeting with the competition, something he knows he shouldn’t do, things change for everyone.
The great cast of THE IDES OF MARCH also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood and this is a film I recommend, even though it doesn’t have much of a payoff, and the major twist the story takes isn’t really all that surprising.
But it does have that cast, and enough sharp, quick-witted and interesting dialogue that I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed the made-in-Montreal THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS about a modern day family trying to deal with love, divorce, break ups, new beginnings, pregnancy, infertility, infidelity, happiness and heartbreak.
The main reason I liked it is because THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS is a full of people who seem genuine and real. They aren’t movie characters all living beyond their means, they are folks like you and I…working hard and trying to make it in the world. They are people you root for and want the best for.
Unfortunately THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS is not a great movie…at times it does drag more than a bit…but I did enjoy it and can easily recommend it.
What I don’t recommend…because I did not enjoy it at all…is an awful wannabe action thriller called ABDUCTION, starring Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob in the TWILIGHT films.
Now I am not surprised that a film starring Taylor Lautner is bad…the kid can’t act…but the fact that it was directed by John Singleton…who also made BOYZ N THE HOOD, SHAFT and 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS…is what’s disappointing. He may not be the world’s greatest director, but in the past he has been able to direct action scenes.
Here…as a young man runs around Pittsburgh and area searching to find out the truth about his life and who his real parents are…Singleton has given us a film that doesn’t work, and is a complete waste of your time.
Unless you are a long-time member of the Team Jacob fan club…skip ABDUCTION, at all costs!! It is a waste of time!!
Finally this week is a small British film called BRIGHTON ROCK, based on the classic 1939 novel of the same name by Graham Greene.
The novel is set in the 1930s, while this film takes place during the Mods and Rockers era of the 1960s as small-town Pinkie ruins the life of a shy and quiet waitress named Rose, only because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, prior to him killing a rival thug. He wants to marry her in order to keep her quiet, and – for some reason that is hard to grasp in this film – she agrees.
BRIGHTON ROCK is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination…and the character of Rose is a bit too annoying to really get invested in whether she lives or dies…but I admit that I got caught up in the film enough that I wanted to see how it would all end.
So call that a very mild recommendation.
The okay British film BRIGHTON ROCK, the awful action film ABDUCTION – for fans of TWILIGHT hunk Taylor Lautner only!!, the good but not great made-in-Montreal family drama THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS and the very good political drama THE IDES OF MARCH are all available now, either on disc or on demand.
Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report
The action film REAL STEEL, the horror thrill PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and the partially filmed in Vancouver cancer comedy 50/50
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!