The Couch Potato Report – May 18th, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week there is an animated miracle, a film called
miracle, and some Disney magic.
Up first, MIRACLE. This is the based on the true story of 1980 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winning hockey team.
Now let me stop here and tell you that the movie isn’t as “Rah, rah, rah, USA is number one!!!” as you think it’s going to be.
Instead it gets many of the details right in telling the improbable story of a group of unknowns who won the Olympic Gold when they werenít even expected to be a factor.
The best part about MIRACLE is the fact that it looks and feels right in every detail. It captures the downbeat mood of post-Watergate America and shows how an obsessed hockey coach named Herb Brooks managed to assemble a once-in a-lifetime team and convince them they could beat their vastly superior Russian opponents.
The story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team is a great story and MIRACLE just lets the actual story unfold. It is a Hollywood movie, but the Hollywood factor is toned way down.
I especially liked how they used the majority of Al Michaelís actual calls of the games from 1980, and Kurt Russell is tremendous as coach Herb Brooks.
While this might not actually be “The Best Sporting Event In History,” as it has been advertised, it is a great film.
As for what is “The Best Sporting Event In History,î well the easy answer is Canadaís win at the 1972 Summit Series, but I also enjoyed the Blue Jays 1992 and 1993 World Series victories.
But I digress.
If you watch MIRACLE and actually find it too “Rah, rah, rah, USA is number one!!!”, then you should cleanse your palette with THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE.
Youíll get a kick out of it when it pokes fun at America.
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE is a unique film that isnít easily surmised, but I would use the word great to describe it. I would also use spectacular, awesome, and superb.
Come to think of it, I would actually combine all of those words to describe THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE.
Whatís it about, you ask? Well, when a bicyclist is kidnapped from the Tour de France by some mysterious gangsters his grandmother travels to the city of Belleville, where she tracks him down with the help of a musical trio.
In addition to the characters, music plays a central part in the film. There are only a few spoken sentences in the entire movie. Most of the soundtrack is a mix of squeaks, barks, and the jazzy music of Benoit Charest.
This is a film that is wonderful, whimsical, bizarre, surreal and very touching. It
is a movie that is not to be missed.
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE is a hand-drawn animated film that is unlike any of the classic animated films that weíve loved for years from Walt Disney.
But thatís okay. Disney has given us enough superb animation to last a lifetime.
Some of that animation is now available to own on DVD as part of THE WALT DISNEY TREASURES COLLECTION.
MICKEY MOUSE – IN LIVING COLOUR: VOLUME 2 is an infectious 2-disc set includes that includes 26 original Mickey Mouse colour cartoons, a limited edition collectible lithograph, and many, many, many extras.
THE CHRONOLOGICAL DONALD – VOLUME 1 features all 36 of Donald’s starring shorts, from “Donald and Pluto” in 1936 to “Chef Donald” in 1941, along with a wide array of insight into the character and the production of the cartoons.
ON THE FRONT LINES is another WALT DISNEY TREASURE release and it delivers Disney’s war effort productions to DVD. ON THE FRONT LINES has 32 short subjects and exclusive declassified material. This 2 disc set contains some cartoons that truly have to be seen to be believed.
The final WALT DISNEY TREASURE release this week is TOMORROWLAND: DISNEY IN SPACE AND BEYOND. While watching it you’ll go back in time to the beginning of the future and enjoy four episodes and a theatrical short that delve into the mysteries of the universe and space travel.
You’ll also get a rare look at Walt Disney’s last film, “EPCOT,” in which he reveals his concepts and plans for the Disney World and EPCOT projects.
Every single moment in the releases from THE WALT DISNEY TREASURES COLLECTION are a true delight to enjoy and a great slice of history to own.
But I still canít figure out what Goofy is. Mickey is a Mouse, Pluto a dog and
Donald is a duck. What is Goofy?!?
Other than fun and entertaining to watch, I just have no idea.
MIRACLE, THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE and the WALT DISNEY TREASURES – MICKEY MOUSE: IN LIVING COLOUR, VOLUME 2, THE CHRONOLOGICAL DONALD, ON THE FRONT LINES and TOMORROWLAND are available now at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
The third chapter in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy: THE RETURN OF THE KING is set to dominate sales and rental charts the same way it did the Oscars.
This final film in the trilogy features the last battle between good and evil.
Oh I hope good wins!
There is little good to say about the Ray Romanoís film WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT. On TV Everybody Loves Raymond, but I suspect few of you will like this movie about a plumber who runs for mayor against an ex-President. Gene Hackman plays the ex-president, although I donít know why.
Also next week, in CLUB DREAD an inept staff at island resort must battle killer.
This is the latest film from the comedy troop BROKEN LIZARD who also gave us the hilarious SUPER TROOPERS. Iím not sure if this film is supposed to be a comedy, but it is not a comedy. A movie needs to be funny to qualify as a comedy, and this film is not funny. Not at all! It is extremely boring, and will be painful to watch for everyone who saw and enjoyed SUPER TROOPERS.
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 – May 18th, 2004