The Couch Potato Report – November 2nd, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week, there are two animated releases, three TV shows released and 80 days you won’t care about.
In the year 2001 a wonderful animated movie called SHREK was released.
In that film a reclusive ogre and a chatterbox donkey went on a quest to rescue a princess for the tyrannical Lord Farquaad.
The exceptional voice talents of Mike Myers are Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey and Cameron Diaz as the princess, along with the witty and ingenious script, made the film a huge hit with moviegoers.
Since huge hits begat sequels, SHREK 2 debuted in theaters this past May and it came out on video and DVD yesterday.
In SHREK 2 the newlywed Shrek and Princess Fiona are invited to her homeland of Far Far Away to have the marriage blessed by Fiona’s parents.
Even though they did lock her in a castle tower Fiona’s parents are horrified by their daughter’s transformation into an ogress.
Plus, a fairy godmother wants her son Prince Charming to win Fiona, and a feline assassin is hired to get Shrek out of the way.
And that feline assassin was an incredible addition to an already strong cast of characters!
The animation is a treat to enjoy and the voice acting is better than ever.
All of those facts combined allowed SHREK 2 to become the highest grossing animated film, and the highest grossing comedy of all time. Plus, it was universally praised as one of the rare sequels that is better than the original.
Well, it was almost universally praised as that. Personally, I don’t agree.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love SHREK 2! It is a great movie, but I don’t think it is better than the original. The song choices all seem arbitrary in SHREK 2, whereas they felt natural in the first one. I also didn’t like the character of the fairy godmother at all.
But, those facets of the movie aside, I did enjoy SHREK 2 and I think you will too. Especially during the all too brief scenes where the Gingerbread Man appears!
SHREK 2 is an incredible film, but I still like the original film better.
To put into perspective how much I like the original SHREK, I can tell you that I enjoyed it just as much as I used to enjoy watching Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes cartoon when I was a kid.
And I enjoyed them immensely!
And now there are more of them available to own as LOONEY TUNES – THE GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO has just come out.
Yes, here on 4 discs you’ll find 60 more of the finest, funniest, bestest Golden Era cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, The Road Runner, Wile E Coyote and all of the other classic animated Looney
Plus, the fourth disc is an all-star cavalcade of Hollywood parodies and more.
And even though there isn’t even a Foghorn Leghorn short on any of the discs, this set of classic cartoons is a wonderful opportunity to relive Saturday mornings anytime you’d like!
The word “classic” will never be used in conjunction with the second cinematic telling of the wonderful Jules Verne book AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS.
Yes, the book is wonderful, this movie is not.
Jackie Chan plays a thief and Steve Coogan is a London inventor who makes a bet to go around the world in 80 days. If he wins he becomes the new minister of science. If he fails, he can never invent again. Together the pair travel around the world. You won’t care.
The biggest reason why you won’t care is because the movie changes gears too often. It goes from a serious film, to a comedy, to a kung fu movie, for no reason whatsoever. Other films have done that, and done it well, but Chan and Coogan just aren’t up for the task and thus, you won’t care.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS isn’t a horrible movie, but I can’t think of one single reason why you’d want to watch it instead of reading the Jules Verne book.
So lets move on so I can briefly tell you about some new releases featuring some great old television shows.
STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON is an 8-disc set that includes all of the 26 episodes from year two of the classic Trek.
This second season not only has some of the best episodes of the franchise but also some of the most important.
Among these are “Amok Time”, “The Changling”, “Who Mourns for Adonis?” and the unforgettable “The Trouble with Tribbles”.
There are also a wide array of special features and retrospectives from the original cast.
If you already have the yellow box set that is STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, then you will definitely want this blue box set that makes up STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
STAR TREK ran on TV from 1966 until 1969.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE is a show that ran from 1990 until 1995.
Maybe when that show has been off the air for over 30 years like it will get as extensive a retrospective as the original STAR TREK is getting.
For now, fans of NORTHERN EXPOSURE will have to let a two disc set called NORTHERN EXPOSURE – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON suffice.
Even though it is only two discs the set has more than enough extra footage and deleted scenes stuff to make even the most fanatical NORTHERN EXPOSURE fan happy.
So head back to Cicely, Alaska and enjoy the exposure today!
But if that climate is too cold for you, just head south to Santa Monica, California, and the four disc set for THREE’S COMPANY – SEASON THREE will placate your desire to own this classic television series on DVD.
This set has all 23 episodes from the 1978-79 season, including ones where Jack fakes a cold to break a date, Mr. Roper thinking Chrissy is in love with him, the roommates suspecting Mrs. Roper is having an affair with one of Stanley’s buddies, and that one where the young teenager has a crush on Jack.
If you liked the show when these episodes first aired, then just go and knock on their door. They’ll be waiting for you!
SHREK 2, LOONEY TUNES – THE GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, NORTHERN EXPOSURE – THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON and THREE’S COMPANY – SEASON THREE are all available now at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
The remake of THE STEPFORD WIVES stars Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick as a couple who settle in a town where wives are subservient. Even the most subservient fans of either actor will be hard pressed to enjoy it. Bette Midler and country singer Faith Hill also star.
In 1995 there was a great film released called BEFORE SUNRISE about a man and a woman who meet on a train and decide to spend time together talking and getting to know each other. In 2004 a sequel was released called BEFORE SUNSET and the pair meet up 9 years after their last encounter. Actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy return along with director Richard Linklater.
I’m Dan Reynish and 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!
The Couch Potato Report – November 2nd, 2004