• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Future Sport

TITLE: Future Sport

YEAR: 1998

GENRE: Science Fiction

It is pretty common when a straight to DVD horror release hits the market as it seems that a new one arrives every week. Science fiction DVD titles however are  less common. This is mostly because science fiction films costs a lot more money to produce, mostly in special effects, so they are cost prohibitive unless they have a theatrical release or some type of television partnership. The SyFy Channel has been paramount in increasing the release of additional low budget science fiction films for fans to enjoy, but whether this new wave of sci-fi films is to be praised or not is up to debate. Future Sport is one of those minimally financed science fiction films that regrettably lacks the quality writing that would raise the movie above usually high expectations.

In the near future gang wars are eliminated and replaced with a game created by Obike Fixx (played by Wesley Snipes) with what is called the “future sport”, which is a combination of skateboarding, hockey, and roller derby. The game becomes a big hit with street fans, and big business steals the concept and creates a cleaned up version of the sport that becomes larger than the NFL, much to the dismay of Fixx. Tre Ramzey (Dean Cain) of the Los Angeles Rush is the game’s biggest star, a self-serving man who measures his success by his popularity index and bank accounts. During turbulent times a terrorist organization is raising havoc in an effort for Hawaii to secede from the North American union, and Ramzey makes a unique proposal to stop a potential civil war: one game of future sport with the winner taking all. Ramzey’s team mates have a natural distrust of Ramzey due to their unpleasant experiences with him on and off the field, plus they have to deal with threats from the terrorist group on their lives. When reporter and Ramzey’s love interest Alex Torres (Vanessa Williams) is kidnapped just before the game, the North American Alliance team must attempt to rescue the journalist. But can the team get back to the arena in time to keep Hawaii from seceding from the union?

This is not exactly the most intelligent plotline in history and much of the game is borrowed from the 1975 film Rollerball and its 2002 god-awful re-make so zero stars for creativity in plot. The special effects at times are pretty good although they are limited mostly due to budgetary restraints; for example, the last game takes about eight minutes of film time while simple dramatic scenes take up much more screen time. This is not to say that Future Sport should be a special effects spectacle, but this major aspect of science fiction is minimally used and makes the film drag in spots. Some of the make-up effects are poorly executed, especially in the character of Hatchet Jack Jamiston (Ken Kirzinger) and the steel plate in his head which is obviously some type of tin foil. Part of the script has a Disney feel-good formula–bad guy goes good, heart warming scene, new good guys wins, etc.—that makes Future Sport feel cheap in its plot lines. On the positive, the acting is surprisingly acceptable with the exception of Snipes who speaks with a Jamaican accent which sounds forced, plus the direction and cinematography is decent enough especially for a low budget production.

Director Ernest R. Dickerson moved on from this production to be a high quality director for numerous geek-oriented television shows including ‘Heroes”, “The Walking Dead”, and “Dexter”. It is pretty safe to say that this SyFy production is no longer on Dickerson’s resume, and it is understandable as to why. Although Dickerson did what he could with the limited resources he had, Future Sport does not have a proper storyline that develops enough to make the viewers care about the end result. Nothing stands out about Future Sport in terms of writing creativity and the project has a “same old, same old” feeling that does not allow it to rise above other independent science fiction efforts.

* *

–Mark

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