• 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.

Dog Soldiers

TITLE: Dog Soldiers

YEAR: 2002

GENRE: Horror

The werewolf genre has been bastardized in the last few years with the god awful “Twilight” saga. Cute, brooding teenage boys are not what I think of when lycan come to mind. Hollywood has not given us much with this genre of the horror film in the last decade with the exception of the gothic throwback The Wolfman (2010) and to a much lesser extent the “Underworld” films. Despite this, we still have not been given a wonderful werewolf film since the 1980’s when An American Werewolf in London and The Howling tore its viewing audiences to collective shreds.

Dog Soldiers fortunately howls back to those classic 80’s films. An independent film out of England, Dog Soldiers is about a platoon of British soldiers on a practice mission who come across a group of their own soldiers who have met an unfortunate and blood-soaked fate. They discover that they are now being hunted by a coven of werewolves, and the soldiers start getting picked off one by one. A local woman leads the wounded militia into a barn which becomes more of a trap than a safe haven.

This film has a great feel; it is fast paced, energetic, and at times balls to the wall. At times the film is reminiscent of Predator in the way the soldiers are hunted and the feel of the men against a superior foe. The film does shows its low budget limitations (mostly in the gore effects), but the script is simple yet solid, has the occasional funny one liner (one soldier tells a werewolf that he “hopes to give you indigestion” just before being devoured), and the cinematography is fast paced and high energy. The little less than two hours of time passed rather quickly and I was thoroughly entertained by the pace. Dog Soldiers is entertaining; it is not a classic werewolf film like the above mentioned movies but it is much better than most of the Hollywood swill being passed off as horror films.

This was Neil Marshall’s first full-length directorial work, and it is obvious that he has a lot to offer. He has already given us one of the last decade’s best horror offerings with 2005’s The Descent and a great guilty pleasure in the post-apocalyptic splatter fest Doomsday (2008). Dog Soldiers is a heck of a first effort and this film is a fun way to spend a dark, stormy night with a full moon in the sky.

* * * *

–Mark

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