The Couch Potato Report – July 13th, 2013
Two alternatives to the Summer Movie Season are inside this week’s Couch Potato Report along with one of the worst movies of the year.
The Summer Movie Season is primarily loud and action filled and in order to enjoy movies the movies that come out at this time of year – like PACIFIC RIM, IRON MAN 3, MAN OF STEEL, FAST & FURIOUS 6 and WORLD WAR ZED – you have to turn off your brain and just enjoy what unfolds on the screen in front of you.
Don’t question it, or try to figure it out…just enjoy.
No, films that come out in theatres at this time of year in don’t tend to challenge us, but I have a couple for you this morning available for home viewing that just might.
The first one is a New Zealand comedy called BOY.
Set on the east coast of New Zealand in the year 1984, this is the story of an 11-year-old kid – who everyone calls Boy. His Father has just returned home from prison and the boy is excited that he finally gets to spend some time with his Dad. But his Dad is really only there to try and find a bag of money he buried years ago.
As it is 1984 and the boy in BOY is an 11-year-old boy, he is a huge Michael Jackson fan and that fact, and his attempts to get a pretty girl to notice him, all adds to the film’s charm.
BOY is not a classic film, but it has a lot of personality and I really liked it. This is a very good little flick that I can easily recommend as an opposite to the Summer Movie Season 0f 2013.
Another alternate is the Academy Award nominated documentary THE GATEKEEPERS. This one is fascinating from start to finish.
Nominated at the Oscars this year in the Best Documentary Feature category, THE GATEKEEPERS includes interviews with all of the surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli counterterrorism agency.
What they know is information that had all been closely held state secrets, until now.
Imagine the head of the CIA or FBI sharing the classified stories behind some major world events and – to only a slightly lesser extent – that is what THE GATEKEEPERS offers. It gives us an up close look at how state-sanctioned violence, whether it was done pre-emptive or in retaliation, has taken a crippling toll on these men and their region, even though – in their minds – it was all done in pursuit of peace.
Search for THE GATEKEEPERS, track it down if need be, this is a real life look at what some of this year’s Summer Movies are trying to fake and it is fascinating!!
Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are actors I like…and if I like an actor, if any of us like certain actors, we can forgive them just about any poor decisions they might make regarding the movies they star in.
That is definitely true with a film Tina and Paul – I like them so much I just use their first names – that is true with a film they made together called ADMISSION. If Tina and Paul weren’t in it, I would probably call it a slow, predictable, boring film with two leads who don’t have much romantic chemistry and seem more like brother and sister.
But because it stars Tina and Paul, Paul and Tina…oh, and the great Lily Tomlin…because they are all in it, I can forgive it. I’m just not sure I can recommend it.
Tina Fey came into her own on Saturday Night Live before breaking out with the movie MEAN GIRLS and the television series 30 ROCK.
Paul Rudd seems to star in just about every second comedy that comes out…he is literally in almost everything. Some of his best include OUR IDIOT BROTHER, DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS and ANCHORMAN.
In ADMISSION Tina plays an admission officer at prestigious Princeton University. It is her job to try and find the brightest and the best students in the world to pay their money to attend the school.
Paul is a teacher and caretaker of a school and he feels that one of his students should definitely get in.
Especially since he may just be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.
ADMISSION is not really that funny, it is very predictable, and I’m still not sure if it is supportive or criticising the process that is used to by major institutions – such as Princeton – to decide who gets in and who doesn’t.
But in the end, all of that aside, I liked it…or, more to the point, I liked Tina and Paul in it.
If you like them too, don’t miss it…just don’t expect much.
If you don’t really care for that woman with the glasses who played Sarah Palin and that guy who is in just about every second comedy they make today, then skip it.
Finally this week…something is so bad, so awful and such a complete waste of time that I only mention it so you can stay as far away from it as possible.
No matter how much you like any member of the cast, and no matter how much you have enjoyed the work of Stephenie Meyer in the past, even if you love her TWILIGHT SAGA, even if you enjoyed the book that this film itself is based on, skip the film.
Skip THE HOST at any and all costs…even if it is free, skip it!!
THE HOST is an attempt at a modern day INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS film, crossed with the type of love triangle that made the TWILIGHT SAGA appealing to millions around the world, crossed with the concept that love conquers all and all worlds…but it just doesn’t work.
Nothing happens in THE HOST for long stretches of time, the story is told in a non-linear fashion so it always feels like we are dumped somewhere in the middle, and the conversations between the young woman and the alien possessing her body are mostly laughable.
THE HOST is TWILIGHT lite, it is teen angst and melodrama that you can live without. Ignore it, at all costs. This is one of the worst movies of the year.
The awful, so awful, just horrible wannabe sci-fi action flick THE HOST; the not great film ADMISSION – that I liked because I like the cast of Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Lily Tomlin; the spectacular Academy Award Israeli documentary THE GATEKEEPERS; and the small New Zealand film BOY, which has a lot of personality and is great alternative to the Summer Movie Season, are all available now, either on disc or on demand.
Coming up in two weeks, inside the next Couch Potato Report
SEASON ONE of the Award winning made-in-Toronto series ORPHAN BLACK; the political docudrama KILLING LINCOLN; the baseball biopic 42 about the legendary Jackie Robinson; and the re-imagining of the horror classic EVIL DEAD.
And I am calling the original a classic…not the “re-imagining”. Just to be clear.
I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in fourteen 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!