The Couch Potato Report

Have a great movie watching weekend!!

The Couch Potato Report – April 13th, 2013

There is a Queen Of Hearts that wants to be a Maverick inside this week’s Couch Potato Report and Billy Murray is Franklin D. Roosevelt?!?

There have now been three made-for-television movies produced in British Columbia with former BEVERLY HILLS 90210 star Luke Perry playing John Goodnight, a circuit judge in the western territories, circa 1880.

He is a man who travels the west protecting the innocent from injustice.

This third film, GOODNIGHT FOR JUSTICE – QUEEN OF HEARTS, begins with the judge saving a women from an attack on the stagecoach she is traveling in. There is evidence indicating that she may have been a prisoner being transported by armed guard, but the judge decides to believe her story instead…that she was merely being escorted to safety.

The problem here is their journey, and the potential for a love connection, is almost the exact same one taken in the 1994 film MAVERICK starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. In that much better movie they too meet on a stagecoach, maybe have some immediate chemistry and feelings for each other, even though they both have their own agenda, and it all concludes on a gambling riverboat.


This movie is completely predictable from start to finish and – also unlike MAVERICK – I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters.

GOODNIGHT FOR JUSTICE – QUEEN OF HEARTS wasn’t a complete waste of my time – because B.C. always looks great on film – but it isn’t worthy of any of your time.

Even if you’ve never quite gotten over your crush on Dylan McKay, you should still skip it.

In his fantastic career, the one and only Billy Murray has played some unforgettable characters.

Dr. Peter Venkman in GHOSTBUSTERS, Carl Spackler in CADDYSHACK, Phil Connors in GROUNDHOG DAY, Phil Connors in GROUNDHOG DAY, Big Ernie McCracken in KINGPIN, Herman Blume in RUSHMORE…and too many other great ones to mention.

Yes, Bill Murray has played a lot of characters, but he has only played real people in movies on a couple of occasions.

In 1980’s WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM he was Hunter S. Thompson, and now – in 2012’s HYDE PARK ON HUDSON – he is FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.

Murray does a great job playing FDR, especially when he is required to be Presidential as the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visit looking for America’s support on the eve of World War II.

What doesn’t always work in HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is the story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Daisy. It’s not that the acting isn’t good, both Murray and Oscar nominated actress Laura Linney are very good, but they don’t really say or do anything and their mutual attraction doesn’t seem to be based on anything other than availability, no matter what they say.

In those scenes, they are good…the movie is not.

Overall I liked HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, it kept me interested from start to finish both times I watched it, but I can fully admit that it isn’t great.

So call that a mild recommendation.

I can also mildly recommend the crime thriller KILLING THEM SOFTLY starring Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer who is brought in to restore order when a protected card game is robbed.

I can only mildly recommend KILLING THEM SOFTLY because most of it is really boring. There are some great visuals and scenes, and the cast that includes James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins and Ray Liotta is amazing, but it moves so slowly and nothing happens during too many drawn out scenes.

So only spend your time on this one if there is nothing else that sparks your interest…and I mean nothing else.

TV on DVD!! That is what I have for you now…three shows now available on DVD for the first time. All of them are about families, and all of them are worthy of your time, for different reasons.

The reason this first one is worthy is because it is a guilty pleasure. Yes, I feel guilty each and every time I watch DUCK DYNASTY.

DUCK DYNASTY is a reality series about the Robertsons, a Louisiana bayou family who became millionaires because of the Duck Commander, a top-of-the-line duck call, and the decoys they make out of salvaged swamp wood.

But these millionaires don’t live in huge mansions, they still live in the backwoods and go fishing and hunting, sometimes in the middle of their workday.

Sometimes in their own small workshop.

But the best part of DUCK DYNASTY, especially in the two disc set SEASON 2: VOLUME 1, are the commentaries offered by the guys to explain things to us viewers.

This show is very funny at times and always interesting. Sure, some of it is hard to appreciate – like when the uncle is excited about the squirrel he is cooking to eat, but at least the Robertsons are real. They are who they are and I like that about the show.

DUCK DYNASTY – SEASON 2: VOLUME 1 is very entertaining, and if you’ve never seen it, check it out. This is a great guilty pleasure full of very interesting people!

This next TV on DVD set is worthy of your time for a different reason other than it being a guilty pleasure.

It is a smart, well written show that features a premise not seen before.

Oscar nominee Chloe Sevigny from the movie BOYS DON’T CRY and the television series BIG LOVE stars in the British series HIT & MISS as Mia, a contract killer with a secret: she’s a transgender woman.

A dying former lover also reveals a secret in a letter on her deathbed, when Mia was a man named Ryan…he fathered a child and is now the boy’s only guardian.

As Mia becomes the guardian to a new family in THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of HIT & MISS she is forced to mix her killer instincts with her newly developing maternal instincts and the result is very interesting as she has to work to keep all of her secrets.

Because of its subject matter and how profane and violent it is, HIT & MISS is not a show for everyone, but I did really enjoy almost all of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and so I have no problems recommending it, primarily because the writing is so strong.

Those two shows are still in production, making new episodes, this last family show that is new on DVD stopped production in 1989, after seven seasons, due to Michael J. Fox’s burgeoning film career…but it makes me happy to now own THE SIXTH SEASON of FAMILY TIES on DVD.

THE SIXTH SEASON is the one where Alex gets a new girlfriend, played by a young Courtney Cox.

If you remember FAMILY TIES fondly, then this four disc set for THE SIXTH SEASON is a must own…and if you’ve never seen it, check it out!! It is very much rooted in the years 1987 and 88 when it was made, but I still love this show!!

It is one of my all-time favourites and I always love spending time with the Keaton Family.

Finally this week is one of the most interesting films I have seen in a long time.

THE OTHER SON is a foreign film about two 18-year-old boys who have grown up with the wrong parents as they were accidentally switched at birth.

If that wasn’t a big enough issue, one is Israeli and one Palestinian.

Because of their faith and beliefs, both fathers are reluctant to accept their actual sons, while the mothers want to get close to their real children.

The characters in THE OTHER SON are faced with an incredible dilemma, and at different times during the film what they may eventually do changes because they aren’t completely sure how to feel and definitely don’t know how to act.

That all makes THE OTHER SON such an interesting film, and even with one scene near the end that I didn’t like and didn’t need to be included at all, I highly recommend it

The very interesting THE OTHER SON, THE SIXTH SEASON of the still great series FAMILY TIES, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the interesting British show HIT AND MISS, SEASON 2: VOLUME 1 of the guilty pleasure DUCK DYNASTY, the less than great Brad Pitt crime thriller KILLING THEM SOFTLY, the good but never great historical drama HYDE PARK ON HUDSON – starring Bill Murray – and the predictable made-in-British Columbia western GOODNIGHT FOR JUSTICE – QUEEN OF HEARTS are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award winning DJANGO UNCHAINED, the made-in-Ontario action thriller A DARK TRUTH, the documentaries ONE DAY ON EARTH and PLANET OCEAN, and the official film of Record Store Day 2013: LAST SHOP STANDING – THE RISE, FALL AND REBIRTH OF THE INDEPENDENT RECORD SHOP.

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!