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The Couch Potato Report – April 10th, 2004
In the Couch Potato Report This Week there’s a revolution with mixed results, 12 for the price of a dozen and two more great TV series debut on DVD.
By the time most film trilogies get to the third chapter the filmmakers usually have little left to say and even less left to show us. THE LORD OF THE RINGS, INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS trilogies are exceptions to that rule, but prime examples of trios that have run our of gas before concluding are THE GODFATHER, BACK TO THE FUTURE, AMERICAN PIE and MAD MAX.
Those films do all have something to offer in their own right, but theyíre nowhere near the quality of their pedigree. They just donít have much of the magic that drew us to their series in the first place.
Many filmgoers added THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS to the latter list when it came out last November. Personally, I sort of enjoyed this not entirely satisfying third and final chapter in THE MATRIX trilogy.
Make no mistake, it has none of the originality or personality of the original MATRIX and it lacks the WOW action factor that propelled THE MATRIX RELOADED, but I liked THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.
I wonít bother to explain the plot as by this point youíre either familiar with THE MATRIX films or youíre not. What I will reiterate is that THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS is a highly adrenalized action film that has some superb and seamless special effects.
But there is no denying that the Wachowski Brothers’ trilogy goes out with a whimper instead of the mesmerizing conclusion many were waiting for after Part Two.
The film is available as a two-disc DVD and those discs have several in-depth documentaries, a featurette, a 3-D Matrix timeline and much more.
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS might not have hit a home run with all of the series fans, but as I mentioned, it’s not entirely unsatisfying.
The remake of CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN with Steve Martin in the Clifton Webb role of the father is totally satisfying; sort of in the way Pabulum was when we were babies. It is what it is and youíll enjoy it.
Martin stars with Bonnie Hunt of JERRY MAGUIRE as parents trying to raise 12 kids and manage their careers. Twelve messy, messed up and mischievous kids.
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN is an enjoyable family flick that stars a bevy of todayís most popular young actors ñ including SUPERMANís Tom Welling, Ashton Kutcher from THAT 70íS SHOW, Piper Perabo of COYOTE UGLY and pop-princess Hilary Duff. It isnít a great movie, an important movie or even a surprising movie, but it is a crowd-pleaser.
The TV show IN LIVING COLOUR pleased crowds from 1990 until 1994. This original, bawdy, hilarious sketch comedy show succeeded by exploiting stereotypes and then proving how ridiculous they could be, without being politically correct or preachy.
Led by Keenan Ivory Wayans, his brother Damon, David Allen Grier and some guy named James ñ who would later become Jim – Carrey the writing was spectacular, the performers were incredibly talented, and they had natural comedic chemistry.
Now IN LIVING COLOUR: SEASON ONE is being released as a 3-disc set and we can watch Homey the Clown, Fire Marshall Bill, The Men On Film and The Fly Girls anytime weíd like.
I, for one, couldnít be happier, even if Homey donít play dat!
Finally this week, if you were a fan of a brilliant little TV show called FREAKS AND GEEKS that came and went too quickly in 1999 then youíll be happy to know that there is a new DVD box set now available that has all 18 episodes of the show. This 6 DVD set has a wide array of extras that include the director’s cut of the pilot with never-before-seen footage, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and outtakes.
Simply put if you went to high school in the early 80ís youíll relate to FREAKS AND GEEKS as itís the most realistic approach you will ever see about our time getting an education.
The show is colourful and hilarious and you will easily identify with the characters as you laugh at them while laughing at yourself.
It was an awesome show that makes a superb DVD set.
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, IN LIVING COLOUR: SEASON ONE and FREAKS AND GEEKS are available right now at your favourite local video store.
Just ahead of the theatrical release of Volume II, Quentin Tarantinoís KILL BILL: VOLUME I is being released on video and DVD. Uma Thurman plays a wronged bride and a former assassin who awakes from a coma with a vengeful desire to, ÖKill Bill.
In TIMELINE a group of students go back in time to Medieval France to save their professor.
PAUL MCCARTNEY ñ MUSIC & ANIMATION is a trio of short films that celebrate nature, animal welfare, and the imaginative innocence of childhood.
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!