• 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.

Hobo With A Shotgun

TITLE: Hobo With A Shotgun

YEAR: 2011

GENRE: Action/Adventure

There is something to be said for truth in advertising in movies. When a film is titled Hobo With A Shotgun, the viewer knows that this is not some philosophical drama that explains the meaning of life or some Shakespearean epic. Rather, we know that we will receive two basic elements with this film: some homeless guy and a shotgun of some sort, and it is a safe bet that he does not have the weapon readily displayed on the wall of the cardboard box that he calls home. In addition, it is safe to say that our homeless friend is going to be roaming the area doing some serious damage to the bad guys in his community, and Hobo With A Shotgun delivers the carnage in spades. Hobo With A Shotgun is overtly violent, gleefully ridiculous, miraculously over the top in its presentation, and is downright fun to watch.

A nameless hobo (played by Rutger Hauer) arrives via the railroad in Hope Town with the desire to start a new life and start a lawn mowing business. Hope Town is an oxymoron however; as the town is overrun by a criminal organization owned by The Drake (Brian Downey) and his corrupt sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). After suffering a brutal injury after standing up to Slick, the Hobo is cared for by Abby (Molly Dunsworth), a prostitute with a heart of gold. While buying a lawn mower at a pawn shop three thugs break into the store and rob the pawn shop, so the Hobo instead grabs a shotgun and kills the three robbers. Realizing that somebody has to stand up for justice, the Hobo takes the shotgun home and uses it to extract justice to the criminals in Hope Town, one shell at a time. When The Drake declares war on the homeless and the Hobo is captured by The Drake, a showdown in the center of town between the crime lord and the homeless vigilante is bound to happen.

As one would expect from a film inspired from the grindhouse era, Hobo With A Shotgun is gleefully over the top in its presentation. Much of the violence is greatly exaggerated and insane in nature: the beheading of The Drake’s brother Logan (Robb Wells) at the hands of Slick and Ivan using a rope made out of barbed wire is downright nasty; the scene where Slick torches a school bus filled children using a flamethrower is controversial and ridiculous; and a scene with three prostitutes beating a man with baseball bats while he is tied upside down while The Drake and Slick have a conversation is almost comical in nature. The violence is downright vicious in nature and delivers a significant amount of splatter, especially when the Hobo shoots a pedophile dressed as Santa Claus (Brian Jamieson) with a combination of brains, blood, and skull shards splattering on the passenger window of a car. The big surprise is Hauer plays the character as straight as possible and may have delivered his best leading role acting performance since Blade Runner, plus Dunsworth does a great job and it is a safe guess she will appear in many more projects in the future. The performance of Downey as the sinister lead criminal is joyfully hammy and is also memorable. Hobo With A Shotgun also brings up the spirit of grindhouse cinema quite well and is obviously made with a pure love for the most violent cinema of the 1970’s.

The initial idea for Hobo With A Shotgun evolved from a   two minute trailer created for a faux trailer contest at the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival supervised by famous director Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Sin City, Planet Terror). This film is not for everybody, but Hobo With A Shotgun is a simple, violent salute to the nasty exploitation films of the 1970’s delivered with enough attitude to fill the Grand Canyon. Fans of films with extreme violence and over the top situations will find Hobo With A Shotgun to be an entertaining, bloody way to spend some time with friends. Fun stuff and heartily recommended.

* * * * 1/2

–Mark

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