Better late than never!

The Couch Potato Report – August 19th, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report, two old new titles that are worth your time and two new new titles that aren’t.
First up, the two new new titles.
TAKING LIVES stars Oscar winner Angelina Jolie as an FBI profiler who tracks a serial killer to Montreal.
Jolie is an incredible talent, and beauty, but TAKING LIVES isn’t incredible at all. Its just (another) very predicable thriller that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
TAKING LIVES is no SILENCE OF THE LAMBS or SEVEN but it does have a few good frights and an interesting moment or two, plus it has Angelina Jolie.
I enjoyed looking at her, you might enjoy her “work” or you might appreciate the “work” of Ethan Hawke, Olivier Martinez and Kiefer Sutherland, who also star.
You might also enjoy the film’s best line. I’ll give it to you right now, and don’t worry, it doesn’t give any of the plot away.
At one point, Ethan Hawke says, “I should have stayed in Winnipeg.”
Had Nia Vardalos stayed in Winnipeg, her hometown, the world would never have been able to see her cinematic BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING.
And that would have been too bad.
On the other hand, had she stayed in Winnipeg, we would have been spared having to ever see her horrible follow-up film, a “comedy” called CONNIE AND CARLA.
No amount of Windex will ever clean up this mess about two women who pose as men posing as female impersonators to evade criminals.
There are some laughs along the way, but the movie is not funny. It wants to be a modern day SOME LIKE IT HOT, but it is really just a Big Fat Cinematic Mess.
Nia Vardalos has genuine comedic talent, but she has to avoid making another movie like CONNIE & CARLA or she may become known as a one hit wonder.
Admittedly, she’s not the only one at fault here. Toni Collette from THE SIXTH SENSE and former X-FILE-er David Duchovny get to share the blame.
There is no blame to share with this week’s two other new releases, two old titles getting a new release.
Let me start with Martin Scorsese’s classic film GOODFELLAS.
After years of only being available as a DVD you had to flip over to watch the entire film, GOODFELLAS finally gets a two disc DVD special edition!
GOODFELLAS is Scorsese’s 1990 masterpiece. It centers on the hilarious, horrifying life of actual gangster Henry Hill, from his teen years on the streets of New York to his anonymous exile under the Witness Protection Program.
On this new two disc Special Edition the movie now has a digital soundtrack and picture. There is also a director’s commentary, a making of featurette and a look at how GOODFELLAS influenced other filmmakers, which there are many.
The final new title this week on The Couch Potato Report is the three-disc set HAPPY DAYS – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON. It contains all 16 episodes from the 1974 season of the classic television series.
HAPPY DAYS was the show set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1950’s. It revolves around Richie Cunningham and his family and friends, including The Fonz, Joanie, Ralph Malph, Potsie and Mr. And Mrs. C.
Plus, in this first season, Richie has a brother named Chuck. Remember Chuck? If not, that’s not a surprise, he disappeared after a few episodes of the show and was never referenced again.
HAPPY DAYS – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, GOODFELLAS – SPECIAL EDITION, TAKING LIVES and CONNIE AND CARLA are all available now at your favourite local video store.
ELLA ENCHANTED is a charming film about a young woman is cursed with obedience. The breathtaking Anne Hathaway from THE PRINCESS DIARIES and Cary Elwes of THE PRINCESS BRIDE star.
Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore top line LAWS OF ATTRACTION as two New York divorce attorneys who fall in love and get married.
Canada’s Elisha Cuthbert, from the television show 24, is THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. In this modern day poor remake of RISKY BUSINESS a high school boy takes his ex-porn star neighbor to his prom.
What?!? It could happen!
I’ll have more on those, and some other 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!