• 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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YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Family and Animation

 There have been some extremely successful combinations of family fare and horror films that give a spooky feel yet being entertaining enough for the little ones. From the live action 1966 classic The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starring Don Knotts to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, family films that have a scary element have done well in the theaters and for home viewing especially during the Halloween season. Igor is a film that would fall into this genre, and it is an offering into the scary family fare that falls a bit short.

Igor (voiced by John Cusack) is a bright young man in the land of Malaria where evil mad scientists are the rock stars and the annual Mad Scientists Fair is the place where they show off their wares. The problem is Igor was born with a lump in his back and is forced to be nothing more than an assistant slave to the bumbling Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese). When Dr. Glickenstein is killed in a laboratory mishap, Igor decides to enter the science fair and do what every mad scientist dreams of doing: creating life. Igor is successful and creates Eva (Molly Shannon), but she is not evil and likes musicals and acting. A competing scientist named Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and his leech of a girlfriend Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge) concoct up a plan to steal Eva and win the science fair—and make Eva evil enough to take over their world.

Igor is fairly creative although some of their attempts either fall flat or are recycled material from other films. Many of the characters look like Tim Burton rejects, especially the mayor of Malaria who is a spitting image of the mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Some of the sets and design are fairly stereotypical and look much like many other horror films although Igor is fairly vibrant in its presentation. In addition, the Frankenstein parody is a little weak and does not do the inspirational material any justice. On the brighter side, the side characters are especially artistic and amusing especially Scamper (Steve Buscemi), a zombie rabbit that keeps coming back to life much to his dismay, and Brain (Sean Hayes), a rather stupid brain in a jar. There are some fun one liners especially from Scamper and some dark humor for a family film. It is unusual to see political correctness thrown out the window in a family film, but Igor does have this when the film ends with a bunch of blind orphans doing a musical number to the song “I Can See Clearly Now” which was more offensive than funny considering that this is a family production.

Igor was a modest hit in the theaters, but it made most of its money in the opening weekend and quickly faded away to DVD. I can understand why, as the film was highly promoted and did not keep up with its hype. Director Anthony Leondis, who did several direct to DVD titles for Disney before Igor, did not have a lot to work with here because of the not so hot script and a Korean animation crew with a limited budget of $25 million, which is a tiny budget when compared to many of the Disney, Dreamworks, and Pixar animated films. Igor does have some bright moments especially with the side characters, but overall the film does not capture the imagination of the viewer nor does it do a fabulous job in entertaining its audience. Igor is not a terrible effort, but it does not meet its potential either.

* * 1/2



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