• 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.

Web Series: Bus Pirates

TITLE: Bus Pirates

YEAR: 2007-2008

GENRE: Action Adventure and Comedy

WEBSITE: www.buspirates.com

As we have discussed before, internet series can be a mixed bag. Production values due to lack of finances are usually quite low in these series, so they must rely on unique ideas and a heavy dose of creativity in order to woo potential viewers to their site to watch their product. Many series do throw in a large amount of sexy content as well to attract less mature viewers, but this is not necessary in order to create a quality product worthy of repeated viewings. Such is the case with the web miniseries “Bus Pirates,” an entertaining and funny offering that is also well crafted and creative.

Meet Dan (played by Fred Maske), a local junior office executive whose vehicle is in the shop. He ventures onto the Los Angeles Transportation System and ends up on the bus. While trying to find his way around he starts some small talk with Kristi (Nikki Slater), an attractive blonde in the back of the bus. Little do they know that their transport is about to be plundered by Captain Jack Bonnier (William Bibbiani) and his band of pirates. Things are about to get worse as another group of scurvy dogs led by Redbeard (Adam Taylor) venture onto the same bus and kidnap Kristi. As Dan attempts to find Kristi he discovers the legend of the robot’s kiss, which he and Kristi may be a part of the folklore. Will Kristi be Blackbeard’s pirate bride, or will Dan win the hand of the fair maiden? Is the legend of the robot’s kiss true? Will Redbeard learn how to pronounce Bonnier’s name?

Alright, I will admit that the plot is ridiculous but “Bus Pirates” has put together a quality production that has a comical script. The banter between the actors is especially entertaining: for example, Redbeard states funny lines such as “As sure as traffic fines are doubled in construction zones you will be my pirate bride!” and Bonnier explains why they have to stop the bus to pick up Redbeard and his gang by saying “It’s a bus stop, not a bus go!” The production is very good considering they only spent about $850 an episode (mostly to rent a bus) and there are some very acceptable and hilarious sword fighting scenes throughout. She does not have a line, but the facial expressions of the bus driver (played by Brandy Davis) is especially enjoyable as she looks at all the fallacy as remotely normal on her route. The Black Oracle (Rob Walters) who holds the key to the legend of the robot’s kiss turns out to be a schizophrenic African-American homeless man at the back of the bus is also quite comical in his execution. “Bus Pirates” also does a great job with the stereotypical pirate-themed music, plus the opening and closing credits are well done especially at the end of the series. The acting overall is also pretty good and there are many quality performances through “Bus Pirates”.

“Bus Pirates” will not win any film festival awards, but it is a well written and entertaining romp through a fantasy world wrapped up in a normal setting for working class people and college students. It almost makes me want to board the local transportation system and do some pillaging and plundering myself I am hoping that these guys decide to do another series of “Bus Pirates” as they understand what they are doing and know how to create a web series that is sure to thrill, entertain, and create a few quality belly laughs at the same time. You can find the six episodes on their website and YouTube. Before watching make sure to pour yourself a mug of grog, put on that eye patch, and load your flint lock pistol to prepare a rollicking good time with “Bus Pirates”. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

* * * *

–Mark

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