The Couch Potato Report – May 1st, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a grown up movie star and weíll travel to Tombstone, Arizona.
Back in January Regina-born actress Tatiana Maslany made a big splash at the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival when she captured a special jury prize for breakout performance in world cinema for her role as a rebellious teen in the made-in-Newfoundland film GROWN UP MOVIE STAR.
In the film she plays a 14-year-old in the midst of a sexual awakening who is also dealing with a mother who has run off to become famous and a father who has come home to be with his daughters, but has some very serious issues to work out.
Because of the publicity the film and Tatianaís performance had received GROWN UP MOVIE STAR was a movie I really wanted to seeÖand now that I have ñ let me tell you to make sure that you avoid it at all costs!!
GROWN UP MOVIE STAR does have some very good acting ñ and I can see why Tatianaís performance would have been singled out and given an award as it is a very showy performance.
I can also understand how there would be people who would enjoy the film as it is full of very familiar characters that could be found in any smaller town anywhere in Canada.
But, no matter how I can understand all those things, I just didnít like this movie at all!!
I disliked it so much in fact, that I could not wait for it to end!!
Yes, GROWN UP MOVIE STAR does have some good actors and performances, but I did not like one of the characters that populated this film and so I didnít like the movie. I also didnít believe that these people would actually do most of the things that the script has them do.
Itís not complicated, this movie is just not worthy of your time.
Now, had the filmmakers filled the movie with characters and people you wouldnít mind spending two hours with, then they may have produced something I could recommendÖeven if it was only a mild recommendationÖand that is what I give this next release ñ ITíS COMPLICATED.
IT’S COMPLCATED was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who over the years has given us Something’s Gotta Give, Father of the Bride, Baby Boom, Private Benjamin, and What Women Want, among others, and it stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve MartinÖhowís that for a cast?!
Meryl and Alec are a divorced couple who spend the night together after drinking too much at their sonís college graduation, and then continue to see each other afterward as well.
The primary complication in their relationship is the fact that he has remarried.
Another complication is Steve MartinÖhe is an architect working on Merylís house, and they have a lot in common as well.
You see, ITíS COMPLICATED!!
As I sat and watched this one, I was thinking how nice it is to see a movie made for grown-ups from time to time. This is a movie made for adults, by adults, and if you like the cast, youíll probably like the movie. No, it isnít perfectÖbut it is very good.
I liked itÖand thus, the mild recommendation.
Like is where all great relationships begin, then comes loveÖand that is where we are now because, NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU!!
In addition to being a statement of fact, NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU is also the name of this next film, an anthology that has eleven short films, from eleven different directors, with each segment running around 10 minutes long, and the ensemble cast includes Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Chris Cooper, Andy Garcia, Hayden Christensen, Robin Wright, James Caan, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, Shia LaBeouf and Julie Christie, among many, many others.
As with any anthology, some of these films are hit, some are miss…and the ones that miss do so primarily because they are trying to hard to be unique and artistic, when I didnít think they needed to be.
Ultimately all of the films are interesting, even the ones I didnít think were that good, so I enjoyed the movie as a whole and can recommend it quite easily.
NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU is the second in the series of films about some of the worldís greatest cities. PARIS, JE TíAIME was the first one, and SHANGHAI, I LOVE YOU and RIO, EU TE AMO are up next.
Up next here on this weekís Couch Potato Report is DISGRACE.
No, I am not going to ñ purposefully ñ do anything to lose your respect, or commit and act that causes shame, reproach, or dishonorÖI am talking about the movie DISGRACE, starring John Malcovich from BURN AFTER READING and IN THE LINE OF FIRE as a college professor in Cape Town who ñ after having an affair with a student ñ moves to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where he gets caught up in his daughterís life, and some post-apartheid politics.
DISGRACE isnít the most compelling film that I have ever seen, and if you donít like John Malcovich then you might even find it boringÖbut I like his work, and I must admit that I found this film interesting from start to finish.
If you find yourself looking for a very small, very dramatic movie about South Africa this Saskatchewan Weekend, then search this one out.
From Cape Town, South Africa, lets go to Cape Canaveral, Florida, now as that was one of the locations for the 1998 disaster film ARMAGEDDON!!
I have said many times before how much I enjoy disaster movies, and when I can sit and watch them in High Definition, I tend to enjoy them even more!!
That is what I was able to do this week as ARMAGEDDON has made itís debut on Blu-rayÖand it looks, and especially soundsÖgreat!!
ARMAGEDDON is a great popcorn movie with an all-star cast that includes Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Owen Wilson, and Steve Buscemi.
Willis leads a rag-tag group that have to go into space to blow up an asteroid to save the planet and the movie is still fun and entertaining.
No, itís not WAR & PEACEÖbut I always enjoy it!!
Another film I always enjoy is the 1993 release TOMBSTONE, and it too is new on Blu-ray this weekÖand while it isnít WAR & PEACE either, I love the peace that ultimately arrives after the war between law and order in this film!!
TOMBSTONE focuses on Wyatt Earp and his brothers’ move to Tombstone, Arizona, where they and Doc Holliday face off against a band of criminals called the Cowboys.
It stars Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Michael Biehn, Dana Delany, and Val Kilmer gives a fantastic performance as Doc Holliday!!
He is so good that I still canít believe he wasnít nominated ñ and didnít win – an Oscar!!
TOMBSTONE remains a very entertaining movie, and it is one that I will own forever!!
TOMBSTONE, ARMAGEDDON, DISGRACE, NEW YORK I LOVE YOU and ITíS COMPLICATED are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
And the I-wish-it-was-better, made-in-Newfoundland film GROWN UP MOVIE STAR, starring Regina born actress Tatiana Maslany, is available now, only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
A very busy week that will include THE FACTS OF LIFE, ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, SUBURBIA, THE TOOTH FAIRY, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and Heath Ledger stars in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS.
I’m Dan Reynish. 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!