The Couch Potato Report

Bad weather once again, in parts of the country…so, how about a movie?

The Couch Potato Report – March 3rd, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is a beautiful former wrestler and Academy Award winners from 2012 and 1961.

Trish Stratus is a Canadian professional wrestler, actress and television personality who is known to millions around the world.

After beginning her career as a fitness model, Stratus began working for World Wrestling Entertainment – or WWE – retiring after winning her seventh Women’s Championship, the most in WWE history. Since then, she has occasionally come out of retirement to compete in one-off matches.

Nowadays Trish is married to her high school sweetheart, owns a Yoga studio, competes in triathlons for charity, and stars in the made-in-Toronto action film, called BOUNTY HUNTERS.

BOUNTY HUNTERS is about a trio who chase after those who have skipped out on paying bail or have a bounty on their heads. When the group is given the financial opportunity of a lifetime just to give someone they have caught over to a mobster and walk away, they are more than tempted…and…the story doesn’t matter in this film.

The movie is written to give the former professional wrestler plenty of opportunities to fight. The fact that she is also one of the world’s most beautiful women doesn’t hurt either, but this is a film made for people who like watching Trish fight.

And BOUNTY HUNTERS has some good fight scenes, plenty of Trish Stratus, and isn’t bad. It is never anywhere near great, but it isn’t bad.

I enjoyed it.

One of the main reasons BOUNTY HUNTERS isn’t bad, is because it is only 78 minutes long. It never overstays its welcome.

SEA WOLF – on the other hand – at three hours – goes on far too long.

“The Sea-Wolf” is a psychological adventure novel by Jack London. It is about a literary critic who finds himself at sea and comes under the dominance of a powerful and amoral ship’s captain.

Since it was first published in 1904, it has been filmed 13 times, most recently in Halifax in 2009 as a two-part television series co-starring Neve Campbell, from the SCREAM film series.

I love movies about boats and the sea, and I have no regrets about sitting through this boring adaptation, but you should skip it. The performances aren’t that great, there is little to no tension, and it isn’t worth three hours of your time.

Read the book, skip this film.

Another film based on a book is HUGO. Directed by film legend Martin Scorsese, this fantastic fantasy family drama is based on Brian Selznick’s novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” about a boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station and the enigmatic man who owns a toy shop there…who is played by the great Ben Kingsley.

HUGO is also about so much more…this is a love letter to the early days of the movies, and a man named Georges Méliès, who is famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.

HUGO was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, making it the most nominated film of 2011, and it won five: including Best Visual Effects.

It has a great cast and is a treat to the eyes, ears and heart. I loved HUGO and I highly recommend it!!

HUGO is a love letter to the movies, and THE OTHER F WORD is a love letter to music…and Fathers…yes, father’s are at the core of this insightful and entertaining documentary about aging punk rock musicians – who are used to yelling one word beginning with the letter “F’ on stage – as they become the other “F” word…Fathers.

THE OTHER F WORD features interview with Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg, and many others talking about the contrast between their anti-authoritarian lifestyle and the responsibilities of fatherhood.

Every second of this film is interesting, emotional, and very entertaining. It might not be an easy one to find, but search out THE OTHER F WORD!! It is a great documentary!!

Okay…I don’t want to waste too much of your time, or any more of my time on a film called LONDON BOULEVARD…because it just isn’t worth it. This movie is awful!!

Colin Farrell from HORRIBLE BOSSES plays an ex-con who is hired to a reclusive actress – played by Keira Knightley of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films – and wouldn’t you know it, they fall in love…and since he would rather be with her, and not join an gang, one of London’s most vicious gangsters is upset…and you won’t care.

LONDON BOULEVARD is boring, feels like it goes on forever, and it is a complete waste of time.

Skip it, at all costs!!

And skip, skip, skip to my lou…skip this next one too, my darlin’!!

Yes, skip a mess called SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS.

This mess is about a parapalegic man who is given the power – he actually has the God given power to cure others from sickness and disease – like alzheimer’s, blindness, and gout…he can even make others walk again…but he can’t cure himself…and you won’t care either way.

Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, and Orlando Bloom…if those names are ones of actors you love and admire – and I mean really LOVE and ADMIRE – then you might get something out of SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS.

I will admit that there is some interesting stuff going on at times…but it is very poorly written, and it isn’t worth your time.

Skip SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS too…also at all costs!!

AGE OF HEROES is up next, and while this isn’t the best film released this week, it isn’t awful. It is a fairly standard war flick, although it is based on real-life events.

Sean Bean from the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY leads a cast telling the story of the formation of the British Special Forces as a team goes on a search-and-destroy mission behind enemy lines that, if successful, would change the course of World War II.

It isn’t the best war movie I have ever seen, and I do watch them all, but it is far from the worst. Call that a mild recommendation.

Sometimes we need Super Hero Movies…or ones based on Super Humans…and it was back in 2003, the great British comedian Rowan Atkinson – who also gave us MR. BEAN and BLACKADDER – starred in JOHNNY ENGLISH, an action comedy parodying the James Bond secret agent genre.

Johnny is a true, super human…and now, he is back, in JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN.

In this comedic adventure, Johnny English goes up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier.

These films aren’t as completely entertaining as the Austin Powers spy parodies, but they do have some great gadgets and clever moments, and I enjoy them.

Admittedly, I guess I always enjoy Rowan Atkinson…the guy can always make me laugh…and that is why I can easily recommend JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN.

I can also easily recommend JUSTICE LEAGUE – DOOM…although the majority of you will never pick it up, because it is based on a comic book.

But those who do think you’ll enjoy it, definitely will!!

JUSTICE LEAGUE – DOOM is a direct-to-disc animated superhero film loosely based on Mark Waid’s Justice League of America story arc, “JLA: Tower of Babel”. The story centers on Vandal Savage stealing some confidential files that Batman has compiled on the members of the Justice League, and learns all their weaknesses.

Once Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and the others have been immobilized, Vandal sets out to control the world.

The big complaint that I have had about these direct-to-disc animated films based on DC comic books is that there is too much fighting, and not enough story and JUSTICE LEAGUE – DOOM corrects that. Since the source material offers a wealth of material, the fighting here is limited, and as such I really enjoyed it.

No, this group of super heroes isn’t for everyone…but it was for me, and I really enjoyed it!!

Comic book fans, don’t miss it!!

JUSTICE LEAGUE – DOOM and JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN are both worthy of your time, because sometimes we just need a super hero movie, or ones about super humans.

Finally this week, a recovering Shirley MacLaine confesses to Jack Lemmon in THE APARTMENT that she has bad luck with men. It is a beautiful scene in a film that won the Academy Award as Best Picture of 1960, in fact director Billy Wilder’s classic won five Oscars that year.

Jack Lemmon stars as C.C. “Bud” Baxter, a man who finds out that in order to successes in business he has to let some of his bosses use his apartment for their affairs.

But when one boss breaks up with a mistress – played by Shirley MacLaine – she decides she doesn’t want to live, but Lemmon saves her and the doctor next door suggest that she stay in Lemmon’s apartment to recover.

As it turns out, he also has a bit of a crush on her, and so he is forced to make an important decision – keep his job, or the woman.

THE APARTMENT is dramatic, and comedic, and funny…it has it all, and if you have never seen it, the blu-ray is a must see as it has a beautiful black and white transfer, and it has never looked better.

I love this movie!

The classic film THE APARTMENT, the very good animated superhero movie JUSTICE LEAGUE – DOOM, Rowan Atkinson’s JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN, the okay war flick AGE OF HEROES, the not very good drama SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS, the awful LONDON BOULEVARD, the insightful and entertaining punk rock documentary THE OTHER F WORD, Martin Scorsese’s fantastic Academy Award winning family film HUGO, the boring three hour made-in-Halifax mini-series SEA WOLF and the enjoyable BOUNTY HUNTERS, starring the great Trish Stratus are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

SEASON 1 of the made-in-Toronto procedural police drama KING, the remake of the eighties film FOOTLOOSE, and Adam Sandler stars in JACK AND JILL, where he plays a man, and his own sister. And yes, it is as bad as it sounds!!

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!