• 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.

Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon

TITLE: Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon

YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Action/Adventure and Science Fiction

Canadian film makers have contributed significantly to science fiction that goes directly to television, especially shows for cable. Television shows such as “The X-Files” and “Smallville” originated from the Great White North as well as films like Scanners, Cube, and Johnny Mnemonic. However, the Canadians also create a fair amount of low grade productions that vary in quality just like any other country with a film industry. The film Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon is one of those low grade films that was made for the SyFy Channel and unfortunately is an unexciting and uninspired collaboration that lacks in most categories.

In the late 19th century an anthropology project led by Dr. Samuel Jordan (played by Duncan Fraser) disappears while researching ancient caves in the Grand Canyon. Dr. Jordan’s daughter Susan (Shannen Doherty) assembles a team of adventurers and scientists including Jacob Thain (Michael Shanks) and Marco Langford (J.R. Bourne) to help find her father and the missing crew. As the group investigates, they find an ancient Aztec community inside one of the caves that is still practicing their religion including human sacrifices to appease Quetzalcoatl, the primeval serpent/bird monster that demands blood sacrifices. The group quickly discovers that the bird monster does indeed exist and has a nasty attitude toward humans. No, the search to find Dr. Jordan is more than just a rescue mission, but rather a struggle for survival from being a human sacrifice or being killed by a flying serpent or Aztec warriors.

Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon attempts to capture the magic of the Indiana Jones films and also tosses in elements of the Tomb Raider franchise, but falls woefully short on all counts. Most the film features too many conversations among characters that does not add much to the story nor develops any of the performers. Shanks and Bourne (stars of the defunct Canadian TV show ‘Stargate: SG-1”) both seem to sleepwalk through their roles and deliver lackluster performances, and Doherty (star of 1980’s American TV show “Beverly Hills: 90210”) is virtually emotionless even when she watches some of her comrades killed. Other acting is especially ridiculous especially one guy who rams his shoulder into a cave wall repeatedly thinking that he will make the wall collapse. The CGI effects of Quetzalcoatl are downright terrible at times and way too dark, but the traditional special effects of the same monster look acceptable for a guy in a rubber suit. Some of the death scenes look pretty good although the blood is lacking (it was made for TV, after all), but some of the weapons used are awful looking especially a mace-style trap that when the mace hits the wall it bounces and is obviously made of foam rubber. The filming is too dark at times and the camera angles are fairly uninspired.

The most amazing part of this film is that Front Street Productions spent an insane budget of $15 million CN on this film, which is a ridiculous amount of money for a made for TV production and literally cost 25 times more than most productions from American low budget company The Asylum. Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon is a subpar at best effort that lacks any true inspiration or creativity to raise the project above other low budget independent productions. Some of these low budget films are very worth watching, but Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon is not one of them. Avoid this boring tripe at all costs.

*

–Mark

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