The Couch Potato Report

I do so love bad words!!

The Couch Potato Report – July 12th, 2014

I’m going to use the word “bad” a lot this week. Not necessarily because the movies I have for you are bad, just because they have the word in their names.

And we begin with BAD WORDS, starring Jason Bateman from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT as a 40-year-old middle school dropout who is trying to win the National Spelling bee…yes, competing against 10-year-olds.

He’s using a loophole in the rules that allows him to compete, and we don’t find out his real motivation right away. In fact, we don’t find out much right away, but if you like your humour dark and well-written, you’ll be laughing almost right from the start of the movie.

In addition to the grown man trying to win a spelling bee, BAD WORDS’ main characters are a female reporter who helps move the story along and a young male contestant who is also the reason for some of the movie’s best scenes and one liners.

The kid also gives the movie some emotion.

BAD WORDS is not a movie for kids or the whole family, it is for adults, and this adult really enjoyed it. It is very dark, very funny and very entertaining. I don’t have any bad words to say about BAD WORDS, just four good ones: I highly recommend it.

I also had some good words to say back in January when the film BAD GRANDPA was released.

It was lewd, crude, rude, juvenile, and sophomoric, but it was also laugh out loud funny. It was even nominated for an Academy Award.

But now we have Johnny Knoxville and the makers of the JACKASS films and television series releasing something called BAD GRANDPA POINT FIVE and it’s almost a complete waste of your time and money.

The original BAD GRANDPA stars Johnny Knoxville – in makeup as 86-year-old Irving Zisman – on a road trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to drop his 8 year-old grandson, Billy, off at his father’s.

BAD GRANDPA POINT FIVE is an 87 minute “making of” that should just have been a Bonus Feature on the original release, and not something that has come out on it’s own.

It’s not bad…but it’s a making of, so fans of the film, beware!!

Lars von Trier is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He has given the world DANCER IN THE DARK (2000), DOGVILLE (2003) and MELANCHOLIA (2011), all films that most cinephiles and film festival goers know and have heard of, but most movie-goers won’t know because his films are challenging and not commercial at all.

Lars von Trier’s latest was released by him in a five and a half hour version, but the studio has cut it into two, two-hour films, and it is known as NYMPHOMANIAC – PARTS 1 & 2.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is a frequent collaborator with Lars von Trier and she also stars here, playing a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after he found her beaten and lying in an alley.

Stellan Skarsgård from GOOD WILL HUNTING plays the man, and the cast also features Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, and Willem Dafoe.

Great cast, but not a great film.

I haven’t thought that any von Trier film was great, most of them I would actually label as bad, even very bad, but I wouldn’t say that about NYMPHOMANIAC – PARTS 1 & 2.

Yes, at times it is boring and even unwatchable…but primarily it was interesting. Ultimately the movie is very unsatisfying, and I don’t recommend it at all, but I will admit that I was interested right up until the end.

I have one final use of the word “bad” this week, and that’s because it’s the title of one of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood, a series of films better known as THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY.

Eastwood stars in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965), and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966).

THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY is a three disc blu-ray set that was previously released back in 2010 and is being re-released now because THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY has been remastered.

The other two discs are exactly the same, but the trilogy’s final film has been cleaned up and looks and sounds better than ever.

I have always easily…and highly…recommended THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY and it’s even better now due to the remastering. Even without the upgrade, they all look so great in HD!!

I love these movies!!
Sergio Leone’s still classic MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY – with A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and a remastered version of THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY; the not great, but interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying Lars Von Trier film NYMPHOMANIAC- PARTS 1 & 2; the should just have been a bonus feature on the original release BAD GRANDPA POINT FIVE; and the very funny comedy BAD WORDS are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

And that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.

Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!