• 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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TITLE: Idiocracy

YEAR: 2006

GENRE: Science Fiction and Comedy

As discussed before, there are films that are intentionally buried by Hollywood that is much better and more worthy of being seen than the ones that the executives spend millions promoting. Sometimes these great films do not receive appropriate distribution or marketing because of changes in upper management, such as what happened to Repo! The Genetic Opera and The Midnight Meat Train when Lionsgate changed their CEO. Another one of these films would be Idiocracy, which was intentionally buried by 20th Century Fox by releasing the film to only seven cities and not creating a press kit for the production. This was not enough to hold Idiocracy down, as the film has gained a cult following through DVD release and subsequent buzz at science fiction and comic book conventions as well as numerous blogs. It is easy to understand why Idiocracy has received so many accolades from the nerd community as this film is one of the most fresh, hysterical, and at times frightening sci-fi offerings in years.

In 2005, the Pentagon starts work on the Human Hibernation Project, a research project that is designed to freeze humans to be awoken in the future. Two humans, Army private Joe Bauers (played by Luke Wilson) and prostitute Rita (Maya Rudolph), are chosen to be the guinea pigs in this experiment mostly because of their IQ scores, which are a hopelessly average 100. The twosome are forgotten about when the program loses funding, and are left frozen until 2505 when a huge garbage dumping accident awakens them from their cryogenic slumber. It is later discovered that Joe and Rita are now the smartest people on the planet due to a continual dumbing down of society, and they brought to former wrestler and porn star and current United Stares President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews) who quickly promotes Joe to become the Secretary of the Interior. During a nationally televised speech President Camacho charges Joe to solve the world’s problems, such as starvation, dust bowls, and a crippled economy much to the surprise of the former Army private. Joe also learns that if he does not succeed that he will be imprisoned and kicked in the grapefruits by the former wrestler. How does a “normal” guy like Joe save a world from its own stupidity?

Idiocracy is a unique film because it combines of often hilarious storyline and great jokes with a truly chilling vision of the future. As a script the storyline is downright funny especially considering how Joe and Rita consider the new world: Joe is amazed and appalled at how the planet has lost all forms of intelligence while Rita sees the world as a fantastic place where she can use her prostitution kills to exploit the not-so-smart males for a good living. The acting is better than most comedies especially Wilson as the confused Army private who has huge expectations heaved on his shoulders and Crews as the over the top President who uses WWE-style catch phrases to keep himself in the catbird’s seat. What makes Idiocracy truly special however is its excellent satirical writing by Mike Judge (Office Space, the TV show “King Of The Hill”) and Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) as it is a comical and disturbing look at the future. Current issues such as the overpopulation of welfare recipients, excessive advertising, putting vapid celebrities on a social pedestal, and a lack of respect for fine art are all touched upon by Judge and Cohen’s satirical approach, and the final results are well stated, creative, and speaking. Although intended as a comedy, Idiocracy is much more: it is a societal warning of the future of a world that caters to the lowest common denominator to the point humanity mentally devolves and no longer can take care of itself.

In 1975 a film called Network was released that displayed a near future of the nightly news becoming nothing short of tabloid journalism that reported on the worst in the world for corporate profit; in the days of Walter Cronkite people scoffed at this premise as nothing more than entertainment, but thirty years later this film’s vision has become terrifyingly true. We very possibly could be saying the same about Idiocracy in one hundred years as the image of the dumbing down of America is already happening and can be seen through the proverbial worshipping of celebrities, continual bombardment of advertising products nobody really needs, and a lack of leadership from our elected officials. It will be interesting for some anthropologist a couple hundred years from now who may dig this film up from the ruins of some library and see how much of Cohen’s vision materialized into truth. I am hoping for humanity to prevail, but I am not holding my breath. Recommended.

* * * * 1/2



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