• 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.

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Shakes The Clown

TITLE: Shakes The Clown

YEAR: 1992

GENRE: Comedy

As we age our perception of clowns change. When we are young we see them as court jesters who represent fun and the innocence of children, but when we cross the threshold of puberty we start seeing clowns as more twisted and sinister. But what if they were both the funny entertainers of our childhood and perverse, demented individuals? Bobcat Goldthwait visited this thought in his 1992 comedy Shakes The Clown. The end result of Shakes The Clown is an entertaining, warped film that shows a bizarre world of clowns, murder, and mayhem.

Meet Shakes The Clown (played by Goldthwait), a depressed clown who is also a blithering drunk and career womanizer. Shakes is a birthday clown in Palukaville, a town that is overrun with clowns and more normal folk who have a tedious and rough co-existence. Shakes loses the part of the host of a cartoon show to Binky The Clown (Tom Kenny, who later became the voice of Spongebob Squarepants), which depresses Shakes more than usual and he increases his imbibing habit. Shakes’ job as a birthday clown is in danger due to customer complaints, but his boss Owen Cheese (Paul Dooley) has a soft spot for the drunken fool. When Shakes is framed for his boss’ murder and his girlfriend Judy (Julie Brown) disappears, Shakes and his friends are forced to dodge the police and find evidence to clear Shakes’ tarnished, alcohol-soaked name.

Shakes The Clown is a strange little production and is an acquired taste, but it is an enjoyable dance through a warped world. Most of the jokes (which are almost the entire script) in the film are funny and quite entertaining and they cover up a fairly weak script. There are a couple great jokes involving the sets, including the sign of a rodeo clown bar and the countless clown vehicles driving around town. The clowns filling a bar and drinking themselves into a stupor is enjoyable to watch, and the conversations are quite dark in their execution, and the fight scene between Shakes and a few unsuspecting mimes (he calls them “you silent mother f^$%#@*”) is something to be seen to be believed. One of the best aspects of Shakes The Clown is the bevy of cameos and early appearances of numerous comedians, including Adam Sandler as one of Shakes’ friends, Kathy Griffin as a clown cook who does not know the difference between a stove top and a spatula, and Robin Williams as a hysterical militant mime instructor. The best actor in Shakes The Clown is Kenny as the drug-addicted psychotic villain, who is a cross between Heath Ledger’s Joker and Bozo The Clown on cocaine. The collection of actors and actresses make Shakes The Clown a better film than its potential, and the casting of this film is especially good.

There are some elements that could have made Shakes The Clown a superior cult classic, but the quality of acting and the memorable characters make this film a fun adventure. More clown jokes should have been kicked into the film (for example, using seltzer bottles to pour drinks at the clown bar would have been hysterical), but despite this the foul mouthed and drunken antics of the clowns throughout makes Shakes The Clown an interesting enough film to warrant 90 minutes of your life. This one is definitely not for the children, so make sure they are tucked in bed while you watch the debauchery. You have to love a film where clowns snort coke, swear like sailors, and flip the bird like no other. Not the most mature film by any stretch, but Shakes The Clown is fun entertainment on a night where one is up way too late and has one too many beers flowing through their liver.

* * * 1/2



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