• 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.

Final Destination

TITLE: Final Destination

YEAR: 2000

GENRE: Horror

AKA: Flight 180

Back in the 1990’s the science fiction television show ‘The X-Files” was obligatory viewing for pretty much anybody who loved nerd cinema. A script called “Flight 180” was rejected by show founder Cris Carter, but writers Glen Morgan and Jeffrey Reddick believed strongly in the core idea of the storyline and showed their idea to director James Hong. The story, about a teen who supposedly dodged a life-threatening situation that was supposed to kill him and as a result Death was stalking the teen to collect his debt, intrigued Hong and the threesome decided to lengthen the project from an hour-long television episode into the full-length film. The final result was Final Destination, a creative horror concept that delivers acceptable scares in most cases and has some interesting twists and turns that gives the script a creative feel.

Alex Browning (played by Devon Sawa) is a typical high school senior who is traveling to France on a field trip along with about forty of his classmates and a few advisors. While on the plane, Alex has a terrible vision of their plane exploding and killing all the passengers and exits the plane along with a few of his best friends and one advisor. When the bizarre vision comes true Alex is seen as a freak and is ostracized by the community with the exception of his rival Carter Horton (Kerr Smith) and eccentric artist orphan Clear Rivers (Ali Larter). As the survivors start to die one by one the FBI starts to believe that Alex is murdering the survivors, but Alex believes an even more sinister plan is unraveling: that Death himself is returning to claim the souls that should have died on the plane, and the Grim Reaper will always bring in his harvest of souls.

What makes Final Destination work so well compared to other horror offerings fromHollywoodwould be the creativity and subsequent build-ups in the deaths in the film. All of the kills in this film have multiple angles and methods by which the kill shot is delivered, and it makes for an entertaining and suspenseful viewing. The deaths are not your typical knife to head inflicted by a Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers-type, and the delivery gives the film a fresh and creative feel. One never really knows when the death blow will be delivered and what will kill the unfortunate soul, and the approach is therefore fresh. Final Destination also has a genuinely creepy soundtrack courtesy of Shirley Walker (Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm), and the music adds to the suspense of the finished product. The acting is nothing special unfortunately, and the script does rely too much on teen stereotypes such as the dumb, wealthy jock and the nerdy yet cute teen lead to deliver its story. The highlight in the acting wa horror veteran Tony Todd (the killer in the Candyman series) as a sinister and over the top mortician.

Final Destination grossed over $110 million worldwide and has spawned four sequels of varying qualities. Although not a perfect film, Final Destination is a fun and entertaining viewing for the simple fact that one does not know when the icy hand of Death will reach out and snatch another soul from the cast. This causes the viewer to do the proverbial sit on the edge of one’s seat which is what a good horror film is supposed to deliver. Final Destination is not a classic in the horror genre, but it is definitely better than most scary Hollywood offerings of the past twenty years.

* * * 1/2

–Mark

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