• 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.

Fido

TITLE: Fido

YEAR: 2006   

GENRE: Horror and Comedy

There are times when one hears about a concept for a film that is truly unique in scope and it makes one really want to view the finished product. Fairly new ideas do not come out of Hollywood very often as exceptional concepts usually do not translate into a profit margin, so it is up to the independent film world to conjure for the fan base films that stick in the memory as being original. Movies such as Bubba Ho-Tep effectively create a unique idea that do combine horror and comedy elements to create a roller coaster effects of laughs and gags to keep the watcher guessing. I wish I could say the same about Fido, a horror comedy with some great concepts yet falls just a little bit short in its execution.

Fido is set in an idyllic 1950’s style neighborhood with large finned automobiles, white picket fences, and perfectly maintained gardens and parks. A world war had recently ended that pitted humans against zombies, and man is the supposed winner of the conflict to the point where zombies are now used for menial labor and pets. Timmy Robinson (played by K’Sun Ray) has such an undead servant in Fido (Billy Connolly), a lumbering undead brute who is not too welcome by Timmy’s father Bill (Dylan Baker) but is received by his mother Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss). Fido is controlled by a shock collar created by Zomcon, a multi-national organization that seems to have a hand in almost all commerce. Bill does not trust his new zombie servant, and when Fido inadvertently kills a neighbor woman damage control is necessary to save the zombie from a Zomcon recycling program. Timmy later discovers all is not what it seems in his tranquil world and that the world outside his neighborhood is not all peaches and cream.

Fido parodies 1950’s society, the zombie movie, the Lassie franchise, propaganda, and the ambivalence of American society to world affairs to varying degrees, some successful and others not so much. The film is most triumphant when satirizing propaganda with a couple black and white shorts that grossly distort the happenings of the day with some comical results. The rest of the satire lands flat and really does not bring about any real chuckles. On the positive side, the sets and filming are very well done for an independent (which it should have with a rather large $8 million budget) and the acting is very good. My problem with the movie was that the director obviously has watched Pleasantville a few times and used many of that film’s concepts in the production of Fido and then sprinkled in aspects of Shaun Of The Dead as well. Fido boils down to a “something borrowed, something new” philosophy that unfortunately did not fire on all cylinders.

There are some films that have amazing potential to be truly great satires of humanity and its values but unfortunately miss the mark, and Fido happens to be one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I like the film and it has a few humorous moments but unfortunately misses the target in its sarcasm too many times to make Fido effective in its execution. There are some great ideas in Fido that are worthy of a viewing, but overall I wanted more out of movie through taking advantage of its humorous and satirical potential.

* * *

–Mark

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