“Honey, there is a new Judi Dench movie available! Lets rent it tonight!”

The Couch Potato Report- November 16th, 2004
If you are a person who likes to laugh and enjoys music from the 80’s, then you will be pleased with what’s in The Couch Potato Report this week.
If you like former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE star Will Ferrell’s films, then you will really be pleased with The Report this week.
Because Ferrell’s holiday gift from last year is now available on video and DVD.
That holiday gift is a wonderful film called ELF.
ELF is a well written comedy about Buddy – a 6 foot tall human who is adopted and raised by Santa Claus and the Christmas elves.
Eventually Buddy returns to the human world to find his father, and both comedy, melodrama and heart ensue.
James Caan from THE GODFATHER and MISERY is Buddy’s reluctant father and the lovely Zooey Deschannel is buddy’s love interest.
Both actors warmth and personalities help make the movie wonderful, but without Will Ferrell’s incredible performance it wouldn’t be nearly as great as it is.
It seems his work in OLD SCHOOL, ANCHORMAN and ZOOLANDER was just the tip of his comedic iceberg. In ELF he lets us see the whole thing.
Thus, instead of coming across like just another fish-out-of-water character, Ferrell’s Buddy is an endearing outsider in a world that doesn’t understand him.
And the result of that is funny. Very, very funny
If you think of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A CHRISTMAS STORY and CHRISTMAS VACATION as perennial Christmas movie favourites, then you now have one more to add to your list.
ELF is a very funny movie with some much needed Christmas spirit.
There is nothing about THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK that is needed, unless you were a fan of the film PITCH BLACK.
That film came out in 2000 and it was the one set in the distant future, where a spaceship crash landed on a hot, humid distant planet. The people then had to survive deadly creatures from the planet and a convict from the spaceship named Riddick.
Vin Diesel from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS reprises the character of Riddick as his career continues it’s downward trajectory.
In the movie Riddick is now a hunted man who finds himself in the middle of two opposing forces in a major crusade.
Canadian actor Colm Feore plays a warrior priest who is the leader of a sect that is waging the tenth, and perhaps final crusade, 500 years in the future.
Dame Judi Dench – yes, the same Oscar winner Dame Judi Dench from SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and CHOCOLAT! Dench plays an ambassador from the Elemental race. She is an ethereal being who helps Riddick unearth his origins.
Now, it isn’t that THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK is a bad movie, but PITCH BLACK was just a poor man’s version of ALIEN and no one I know ever saw it. Here we have a sequel to a movie no one saw. The fact that hardly anyone went to see the film in theaters confirms my thoughts that the movie is a bit unnecessary.
But, if you’ve seen PITCH BLACK then you should see THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.
If you haven’t, I can’t think of one reason why you would need to see this movie.
I can, however, this of many reasons for you to watch this week’s other major new release.
Many of them involve laughing.
The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a satisfying conclusion in THE OFFICE SPECIAL, set three years after the end of the faux-documentary’s second season.
This may be the funniest thing you watch this month. Pick it up, press play and enjoy!
On July 13th, 1985, we all enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime concert event, even though we knew there were serious connotations behind it.
Now, LIVE AID is available as a 4-DVD Box Set so we can enjoy it again.
The set has over 10 hours of performances, including sets from David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sting, The Who, U2, Neil Young, and many, many more.
All of the royalties from the sale of the set will go to benefit the Band Aid Trust, which continues to provide direct hunger relief in Africa.
ELF, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, THE OFFICE SPECIAL and LIVE AID are all available now at your favourite local video store.
SEINFELD – SEASONS 1, 2 & 3 will finally be available on two separate 4 disc box sets or in one big box set that features all 41 episodes from the first three seasons of the show, plus an Original Script, Salt & Pepper Shakers, and Playing Cards. Other than the SCTV BOX SETS, this is the comedy release of the year!!!
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN sees Harry and his friends enter their third year at Hogwarts. The original cast of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson is intact.
And in THE TERMINAL a Balkan immigrant who is confined to an airport falls in love with a flight attendant. Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones in this film that never really takes off.
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!