The Couch Potato Report

May 25th?!? Have we gone forward in time? Nope, I am on vacation…so here is next week’s Report early!! Enjoy!!!

The Couch Potato Report – May 25th, 2013

The stories told by Sarah Polley’s family are inside this week’s Couch Potato Report and so are three films to skip!!

Sarah Polley is an Academy Award nominated, Genie AND Gemini Award winning performer who grew up right in front of our eyes each week playing Sara Stanley during the years she starred on the CBC television series ROAD TO AVONLEA.

Since leaving the show, we’ve seen her grow into a woman in films like THE SWEET HEREAFTER, EXOTICA, DAWN OF THE DEAD and GO. With her recent releases AWAY FROM HER and TAKE THIS WALTZ, we’ve also watched her mature as a writer and director.

Sarah Polley is a well-known Canadian celebrity, and like anyone who has been in the public eye as long as she has, we know everything there is to know about her…don’t we?!

Nope, we do not…but now, with the release of the documentary STORIES WE TELL…now, I think we just might.

STORIES WE TELL begins with Polley asking each of her four siblings and Father to tell the story of their family, and tell they do. We learn everything about them, warts and all.

Sarah Polley is working as both a investigator and a filmmaker here as she collects the stories from her family, some of them are even about her, and then carefully dishes them out to us. Ask any Canadian family to sit down and tell their story, as individuals and not as a group, and – much like what happens here – the truth on any matter depends on who is telling the story.

The members of the Polley Family are all great characters and it is interesting to get to know them, and their Mother, who seems like she would have been a blast to know, and it is because of how personable they are that you will want to know what happens…and something does happen, but I won’t be the one telling you what it is.

STORIES WE TELL is one of those movies where the less you know going in, the more you’ll enjoy it. I knew going in that there was a twist, that the family did have a secret, but I didn’t know what it was and that is all you should want to know too.

This movie is fascinating and fun and interesting and populated with a great group of people. I highly recommend that you check it out.

I won’t highly recommend that you watch any of the other releases I have for you this week, but I will strongly suggest that you skip them. All of them. No matter how curious you are, no matter how much you like the actors in them…skip them!!

Look, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his first role since leaving politics, and if you watch the making of features on THE LAST STAND you’ll see that he is convinced that he has returned in a super special piece of filmmaking that has resulted in an amazingly fantastic movie that you can’t miss.

But if you watch the film itself – as I have – you’ll actually see a predictable, very boring movie about a small-town Sheriff who won’t let big city bad guys – or officers of the law – push him around.

Come on filmmakers…this is Arnold Schewarzenegger…big time action star…former action star…we know he isn’t going to lose a fight to a younger, much stronger man, even one who has a series of concealed weapons and some really sharp knives…so why do you try to make us think he will?!

THE LAST STAND isn’t the Schwarzenegger of old, and I sure hope it isn’t the Arnold of the future either. Skip this one, at all costs!! It is nothing special at all.

Another failed action film you must skip is PARKER, starring Jason Statham from THE EXPENDIBLES and THE TRANSPORTER films. This useless mess is adapted from Flashfire, the 19th “Parker” novel, written by Donald Westlake under the name Richard Stark. The books are great!! This movie is not!!

PARKER is a professional thief with a code: He doesn’t steal from the poor or hurt innocent people. When he is double-crossed by a crew, he sets out to get his revenge…and you will not care.

Jason Statham has been the best thing about a lot of really bad action and fight films, but he is walking through this one. And Jennifer Lopez is horribly miscast as the real estate agent who helps Parker.

Plus, the bad guys aren’t evil, or brilliant, or clever, they’re just stupid. It all adds up to something you should avoid. PARKER is a complete waste of time.

The only reason I don’t say that STAND UP GUYS is also a complete waste of time is because – at times – the cast of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin are fun to see together.

But mostly they don’t do anything…and the result is a film that wants to be a comedy, but is just a complete bore.

Pacino plays a man released from prison after a twenty-eight year stretch in STAND UP GUYS, and Walken is his best friend, who picks him up upon his release, but has been given the assignment to kill him from a mob boss.

The friends get together with their old partner and have a night on the town, featuring fast cars, beautiful women, and all the pharmaceuticals they can steal.

As I said, because of the cast involved, STAND UP GUYS at least held a few moments of entertainment value, but primarily it is just completely boring.

Great cast…noting great about the movie…at all!!

The boring would be comedy STAND UP GUYS, the useless would be crime thriller PARKER, the predictable would be return to action flicks by Arnold Schwarzenegger – THE LAST STAND, and the fascinating documentary STORIES WE TELL – about Canadian actor, writer and director Sarah Polley and her family – are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the made in Toronto television series SAVING HOPE, Tom Cruise is JACK REACHER, Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson all star in BACHELORETTE, the 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of CLEOPATRA and – just for fun – the 1994 comedy AIRHEADS, starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, Adam Sandler and Joe Montegna.

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!