The Couch Potato Report – November 2nd, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features a classic end to a classic saga and three leftovers.
It is amazing what memories we keep with us from our childhood.
For some, there are the memories of lying under a tree on a summer day, looking up at the clouds.
Others have memories of trips to the city to go shopping with siblings and mom and dad.
I have those memories, and many more as well from my childhood. Many of them remain vivid to this day.
One more very vivid memory that I have kept from my childhood is the way I felt back in 1977 when I first saw a movie called STAR WARS.
I was simply overwhelmed!
The intervening years have seen that film changed, “updated”, and renamed STAR WARS – A NEW HOPE, but every time I see the film, or think of that summer 28 years ago when I first saw it, I feel like a kid again and I remain overwhelmed.
The release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in 1980 and THE RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983 only cemented my passion.
When prequels to those films came out in the late nineties, my passion remained.
There were many people who’s passion for STAR WARS diminished after the release of STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE in 1999 and STAR WARS: EPISODE II – ATTACK OF THE CLONES in 2002, but I wasn’t one of them.
With every STAR WARS film, I felt like a kid again.
A kid sitting in a darkened movie theatre with a drink and some Maltesers getting ready to be taken to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
Now, with this week’s release of STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH on DVD the saga is complete.
It is the sixth and final film in the series and Lucas has said that he will do no more movies. Yes, he will tinker with the six he has already created, but he won’t be making any new ones.
But if it had to end, I am glad it ended with REVENGE OF THE SITH, because tis is one superb film.
A film that gives us the final piece of the puzzle in the story of the rise, fall, and redemption of Darth Vader.
There are terrific battle scenes, inside jokes and treats for longtime fans, and a well written dramatic arc…
Umm,…okay, that last part isn’t true.
Lucas has never been known for his writing skills, and REVENGE OF THE SITH does suffer from his penchant for bad dialogue from time to time.
Nevertheless, even if it is poorly written in places, the reality is that Lucas is still a great overall storyteller.
Now, the tale of a galaxy long ago and far away is complete.
And I, for one, am glad I was able to see how it played out.
Should you be asking if you will like this film if you haven’t seen any of the others, well, here’s the answer.
Take the time and watch them all! You won’t even have to wait for 28 years to see how it ended, like I did!
STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH is now on my shelf beside the other films. It will stay there forever.
THE INTERPRETER is also sitting on my shelf, but it will not be there forever.
In the film Nicole Kidman plays an interpreter for the United Nations who overhears a possible assassination plot one night as she returns to collect her things.
Sean Penn is the Secret Service agent who believes her at times, and doesn’t at others.
Come to think of it, that is the overlying theme of the whole movie.
Sometimes you will believe THE INTERPRETER is a great film, other times you won’t.
The first hour is almost all believable, but after that director Sydney Pollack doesn’t let his film have very much focus.
Should we believe Kidman’s character? Should we not?
The film never shows us what she is thinking or feeling, so it is hard. Penn is his usual reliable self, but THE INTERPRETER is a leftover this week that is best looked over as you walk by it on the shelf.
At best, I would call it a mediocre thriller.
At its best SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE was one of the funniest shows on TV.
Many consider its best to have been during the show’s first five years.
Should you count yourself one of those people, or you are curious to see how great the show used to be, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and al of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players all star is SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: LIVE FROM NEW YORK – THE FIRST FIVE YEARS.
Just don’t expect full skits as this is not a best of DVD.
This is a documentary that features many of the cast and crew who worked on the show during those first five years.
Even if you don’t think the show’s best years were from 1975 to 1980, this is still a fascinating documentary on what it took to get the show on the air in the first place.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: LIVE FROM NEW YORK – THE FIRST FIVE YEARS is a 154 minute look back at how some of the comedy we enjoy today was created, and I completely enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed ALF, the TV show about the alien life form from the planet Melmac who crashed landed on earth and lived with a human family.
In fact, it is something else I have fond memories of from my childhood.
Our final leftover this week is ALF – SEASON TWO.
Originally released on August 23rd, this four disc set includes a wide array of laughs, plus cameos by the cast of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, plus Alf hosts the David Letterman show.
I don’t know if the fact that I enjoyed watching the whole second season means that I am living in the past, or that the show is still funny.
Who knows, maybe it means both.
Either way, ALF – SEASON TWO is available now at a store near you, along with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: LIVE FROM NEW YORK – THE FIRST FIVE YEARS, THE INTERPRETER and STAR WARS: EPISODE III – Revenge Of The Sith.
Coming up in the next Couch Potato Report
Johnny Depp takes over as Willy Wonka in director Tim Burton’s 2005 version of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
In 1987 TV’s Denise Huxtable left THE COSBY SHOW for A DIFFERENT WORLD, and now SEASON ONE of that show is available on DVD.
On July 2nd some of the biggest names in the music industry took part in a series of concerts around the world. Now there is a 4-DVD LIVE 8
Our “Leftovers” next week are the superb 2001 TV show UNDECLARED and the movie version of Douglas Adams’ classic book THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE
TO THE GALAXY.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in
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, 2005