The Couch Potato Report

Today’s New Releases
This week in The Couch Potato Report, a movie that should have failed but succeeded and a TV show that just plain failed.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL should have been one of 2003 biggest theatrical bombs.
After all it was a movie that was based on a ride at Disneyland, and it was a pirate movie. Over the past decade any movies with pirates in them have failed miserably.
Neither do most people.
But you will remember PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. Just forget everything you heard about this film. Forget it’s based after a Disney ride, forget that the cast that includes Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly and Geoffrey Rush, all seemed horribly miscast, forget that pirate movies have been dreadful for the past few decades, just forget all and any preconceptions you might have.
This is an amazing movie!
Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow fights to regain his pirate ship the Black Pearl. It was stolen by his former crew turned, who are now less than human.
I don’t want to say too much regarding the plot as you should have the opportunity to press play and let PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL unfold as I did.
Trust me, you won’t be disappointed, me mateys.
For 12 brief and shining episodes in 1992 THE BEN STILLER SHOW was the best show on television.
It recaptured the humour of skit based comedy that had been missing since the years when we had both Saturday Night Live and SCTV to watch every week.
Sadly, the show was too-hip-for-the-room and had more than dismal ratings and was unceremoniously cancelled.
Happily the cast went on to bigger and better things. Ben Stiller starred in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and MEET THE PARENTS. Andy Dick was part of the cast of the TV show NEWSRADIO. Janeane Garofalo starred on TV in THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW and on the silver screen in THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS and BOB ODENKIRK became a writer for THE CONAN O’BRIEN SHOW, but for those few of us who were enjoying THE BEN STILLER SHOW every week, that cancellation left a void.
Luckily I had taped the entire run of the show, but over the years those tapes have been loaned out to so many people that they had become unwatchable.
I no longer need those videos. The entire run of THE BEN STILLER SHOW has been released on DVD!!
Stiller and company’s pitch-perfect and intimately observed skewering of movies, television, and show business convention could be exhilarating, as witness “Woody Allen’s Bride of Frankenstein” (you’ll never watch another Allen film with a straight face again), “Cape Munster,” with Stiller as a psychopathic and vengeful Eddie Munster, “Skank,” a potent comment on the crass programming that was initially Fox’s stock in trade, and even brilliant riffs on the seminal reality series Cops, which re-imagine the series in witch-hysteric Salem, Massachussetts, ancient Egypt, and medieval times.
In addition to the cast’s uncanny impersonations (Stiller’s Bono, Tom Cruise, Bruce Springsteen, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bruce Willis, and Garofalo’s Juliette Lewis), The Ben Stiller Show was home to a gallery of recurring characters–agent Michael Pheret, the No, No, No Guy–who, thankfully, SNL producer Lorne Michaels was not around to parlay into godawful films. The topical humor can’t help but date some of the material (the show is a veritable Trivial Pursuit of pop culture references, from The Partridge Family to Beverly Hills 90210, but the brilliance of the writing and sheer abandon of the performances are still a joy to behold.
And now you don’t have to borrow my video tapes to watch them, you can own your own copy of THE BEN STILLER SHOW!
Also out this week, the TV show ALIAS offers you a box set with THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON; and THE ALIEN QUADRILOGY is an incredible nine disc box set that includes all of the ALIEN films. That’s ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN3 and ALIEN RESURRECTION.
Bad Boys II – Two Miami cops are out on the trail of drugs and a ruthless drug lord in one of the most pointless movies of 2003. (Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union)
How To Deal – A teenager, who doesn’t believe in love, falls in love. Sorry, I didn’t see it, but I love Mandy Moore. (Mandy Moore, Allison Janney, Alexandra Holden)
Gigli – A kidnapping mobster falls for his female cohort in one of the worst movies ever. (Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Walken)
M*A*S*H: Season Five Collector’s Edition – The complete fifth season of the TV series M*A*S*H. (Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit)
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you on The Couch!