The Couch Potato Report – May 11th, 2013
It’s the Mother’s Day Weekend so there is a Mama inside this week’s Couch Potato Report and The Great Gatsby.
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all of the Mother’s out there…I hope that you are having a great morning so far!
I wish I had a better cinematic representative of what you mean to us to review right now, but alas all I have is a made in Ontario horror film called MAMA, and the filmmakers are lucky that my Mother always said “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, otherwise I’d be a lot more critical of it.
MAMA stars Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain from THE HELP and ZERO DARK THIRTY as one half of a couple who become the guardians of two young girls who were left alone in a cabin in the woods for five years.
Well, horror fans, they weren’t actually alone, they were being protected by a ghost who acted as their Mother figure, and now that the girls have returned to society, Mama has come with them.
Truth be told, because my Mother always told me to tell the truth, MAMA isn’t the worst horror film I’ve seen this year. It’s never great, but it isn’t awful either.
Horror fans, go in with low, very low expectations, and you might enjoy it. Might!!
Happy Mother’s Day, MAMA!!
Up next, THE CAPTAINS – A FILM BY WILLIAM SHATNER.
THE CAPTAINS is a documentary that follows William Shatner around North America and to England as he interviews the other actors whom have portrayed Starship captains within the STAR TREK franchise.
Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and even the latest Captain, Chris Pine, they are all here, and there is plenty of William Shatner too.
At times this film is a little self-indulgent, we certainly learn more about Shatner than any of the rest of THE CAPTAINS, but it is also informative, fun, funny, interesting, entertaining and engaging.
Sadly, it doesn’t have the one thing that I wanted the most – a scene with them all together – but I still enjoyed it immensely and have no problem recommending THE CAPTAINS, even to people who don’t know what Starfleet Academy is.
This is great stuff!!
There are people who LOVE the romance novels of Nicholas Sparks, and the films based on them. Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook,Dear John, The Last Song, The Lucky One, people love these books and movies!
There are probably even those who love his latest, SAFE HAVEN, but please don’t count me as one of them.
This may be the most clichéd, emotion free love story ever told.
SAFE HAVEN is just plain awful!
Julianne Hough from ROCK OF AGES stars here as a woman on the run who ends up in a beautiful, clichéd, small town, where she meets a hunky clichéd widower, played by Josh Duhamel of the TRANSFORMERS movies.
Of course she meets a hunky guy, and of course he has a cute kid – who is also a cliché – and of course after fighting it for about a half an hour of screen time, they fall in love.
There is no action or reaction in SAFE HAVEN, just plot points, and at the end there are several things that happen that lead me – each time – to actually say out loud, “Come on?!?! Really?!?!”
The studios have produced some great movies based on the words of Nicholas Sparks, but they might need to take a break as SAFE HAVEN is awful in almost every way.
There are hundreds of television shows that air every night of the week, and as good as some of them are, there are better ones that people never see. The simple truth is that no one can watch everything, not even me.
But I do tend to watch more than most, so let me recommend two series to you now, that you might have missed, or skipped, or just never had time for.
The first is the made-in-Toronto police procedural series ROOKIE BLUE.
ROOKIE BLUE started off as a show about the lives of five rookie police officers who has just graduated from the academy, and now that we are in THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON, the show continues to show us their challenges – personally and professionally – as they try to protect and serve.
I enjoy police procedural shows, and so I do enjoy ROOKIE BLUE…although the cases these officers have to solve are never really all that difficult…usually the first person you think did it, did.
However, even with hit and miss stories, and too much romantic drama at times, ROOKIE BLUE still has a great cast and I liked THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of the show, just as I’ve liked the first two seasons.
If you have never seen it, check it out!
Another show that I love actually ended this year after seven low rated seasons…and they knew their audience wasn’t huge.
30 ROCK stars Tina Fey as the head writer on a late night variety show – not unlike Saturday Night Live – and the kooky and crazy people who work on the show and the oddball situations they continued to find themselves in.
30 ROCK is odd and quirky and very quotable.
30 ROCK – SEASON SEVEN – THE FINAL SEASON wasn’t the best season of the show, it knew it was going off the air so it wasn’t afraid to try some plotlines that just didn’t pay off, but for anyone who has been watching the show since it debuted back on October 11, 2006, it did pay off with more huge laughs and the best ensemble cast on television.
I love this show, and if you’ve never seen it, there are now seven seasons, 138 episodes, and plenty of laughs just waiting for you.
Finally this week, with the Leonardo DiCaprio adaptation brand new in theatres, let’s go back to 1974 for the Robert Redford version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY.
Nick Carraway is a young man who decides to Summer on Long Island, and it is there where he meets a self-made millionaire named Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a charmer and a recluse who throws lavish parties on his estate each night, but only rarely attends them.
Gatsby is watching what is happen at his events, looking, hoping that one night a special woman will attend, and then he can see her again.
Carraway has a cottage near Gatsby estate, and he gets caught up in the man’s life.
Gatsby is searching for Daisy Buchanan, played by Mia Farrow, and once he finds her he is unable to let her go.
THE GREAT GATSBY is a story about obsession and tragedy set during the roaring twenties and it will always be a great book, but this 1974 film version has always been a bit slow for me. It is interesting, because the original story is, but it moves very slowly, and it isn’t always easy to see the chemistry between Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.
I’ve never disliked this version of THE GREAT GATSBY, but I have never really loved it either. So consider that a mild recommendation for the new blu-ray, which features a very good print of the film, but no Special Features whatsoever.
The 1974 version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY; SEASON SEVEN – THE FINAL SEASON of the underappreciated show 30 ROCK; THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of the entertaining made-in-Toronto police procedural series ROOKIE BLUE; the awful, cliché ridden would be romance SAFE HAVEN; the self-indulgent but very entertaining documentary THE CAPTAINS – A FILM BY WILLIAM SHATNER; and the never great, but never awful horror film MAMA, which is not a great gift for Mother’s Day, are all available now, either on disc or on demand.
Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III, we’ll spend ONE DAY ON EARTH and SEVEN DAYS IN HAVANA, and the creators of THE MATRIX TRILOGY give us the dramatic sci-fi flick CLOUD ATLAS.
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!