The Couch Potato Report
This week in The Couch Potato Report a classic film, a classic setting
in a mediocre film, and a TV show called Futurama.
Director Steven Spielberg has a resume that includes that class films
JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF the THIRD KIND, E.T. – THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
and THE INDIANA JONES TRILOGY.
But in 1993 Spielberg topped all he had done before.
He released a summer blockbuster called JURASSIC PARK that was the
number one money earner for the year and a picture called SCHINDLER’S
LIST that he refers to as “the most satisfying experience of my
Not only was SCHINDLER’S LIST satisfying for it’s director, but it was
a cinematic triumph that engaged and informed movie lovers. It swept the
Academy Awards and was deservedly named that year’s Best Picture.
Adapted from the book by Thomas Keneally SCHINDLER’S LIST was filmed on
location in Poland with a meticulous emphasis on absolute authenticity.
It’s a film about heroism with an unlikely hero who risked his life and
went bankrupt to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in
As it reads in the Talmud, and as included in the movie, ‘Whoever saves
one life, saves the world entire.'”
SCHINDLER’S LIST is not light entertainment as it will make you feel
like you are actually a part of one of the darkest, most horrific
periods in history.
The story of the Holocaust needs to be told over and over again, in
hopes that future generations can understand the horrors perpetrated on
an entire race of people and prevent future occurrences.
“Schindler’s List” is perhaps one of the best and most effective
vehicles for telling that story that you may ever experienced.
It debuted on DVD this week and the disc includes the VOICES FROM THE
LIST documentary that offers never-before-seen testimonies from actual
Schindler survivors, and THE SHOAH FOUNDATION STORY with a
behind-the-scenes look at works and accomplishments of the survivors of
the Shoah Visual History Foundation.
SCHINDLER’S LIST is a classic film that will never be forgotten. Julia
Roberts new movie MONA LISA SMILE is a forgettable film based on a
Whether it’s GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, TO SIR WITH LOVE, FAST TIMES AT
RIDGEMOUNT HIGH or DEAD POET’S SOCIETY, every generation has a great
film about a teacher. A film that reminds us all of a teacher we
MONA LISA SMILE wants to be this generation’s great film about a
teacher, but it doesn’t come close to the standards set by those other
It raises a number of interesting possibilities but then ignores them
all in favor of taking the “safe” path.
MONA LISA SMILE is just a mediocre film, even though it stars a bevy of
very talented actresses.
I hope young stars Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal
learned more in real life about surviving Hollywood from seasoned
veteran Julia Roberts than they did in the movie.
MONA LISA SMILE might entertain you, but I thought it was just bland
and I didn’t enjoy it at all.
What I thoroughly enjoyed was watching FUTURAMA – VOLUME 3. This box
set features 22 episodes of the underappreciated animated television
series from Matt Groening, the creator of THE SIMPSONS.
Although I know people who just don’t like the show about a pizza
delivery guy named Fry who’s accidentally cryogenically frozen in 1999
and wakes up a thousand years later, just as it is about to become the
year 3000, I find it hilarious.
FUTURAMA is ever–irreverent, boundlessly inventive, warmhearted, and
chock-full of in-jokes, sight gags, and fleeting references to all
manner of pop-culture icons and obscure genre classics.
The show never quite found the mainstream appeal of its stablemate The
Simpsons, and I’ll be the first to admit that it is simply a stablemate,
but when it is funny, it is superb comedy.
As with the two previous DVD sets FUTURAMA – VOLUME 3 includes a
selection of bonus features including deleted scenes, storyboards,
commentaries on every episode, animatics, “How to draw” tips, and more.
SCHINDLER’S LIST, MONA LISA SMILE and FUTURAMA – VOLUME 3 are all
available now at your local video store.
COMING NEXT WEEK IN THE COUCH POTATO REPORT
Mike Myers stars in the un-Seuss-ian DR. SEUSS’ THE CAT IN the HAT.
Sadly, the exceptional, timeless book about a talking cat who helps to
break up the boredom of rainy day did not translate well to film.
21 GRAMS is a film that you may have to watch twice just to piece it
all together. Personally, once was enough for me as three strangers
affect each other’s lives forever. Sean Penn stars along with the Oscar
nominated Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts.
VERONICA GUERIN is the story of a Dublin journalist murdered by her
subjects. It stars Cate Blanchett and Brenda Fricker.
I’ll have more on those releases in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report