The Couch Potato Report – December 13th, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features one of the best, and one of the worst films of the year.
It has been said that laughter is the best medicine.
I put that theory to the test one week in late August when I was in need of some hilarity.
Luckily I wasn’t disappointed, and I felt better after one dose, but I went back for two more.
The medicine I took was a movie called THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.
Steve Carell from ANCHORMAN and BRUCE ALMIGHTY is THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.
The plot of the film is exactly what the titles suggests, it’s about how a 40-year-old virgin named Andy looks for love.
Not just sex, but love.
Along the way Andy discovers chest waxing, speed dating, and he is encouraged by his friends and co-workers.
THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN is incredibly funny, all of the main and supporting characters are personable and interesting, and the dialogue is always entertaining, and sometimes insightful.
When I needed to laugh, this movie made me laugh, and every time I have watched it since, I still laugh just as hard.
I don’t think you can ask for more from a comedy than that.
THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN is one of my favourite films of the year.
On the other hand is THE ISLAND.
I wouldn’t call THE ISLAND the worst film of 2005, but it is definitely close.
In the film Ewan McGregor from BIG FISH and Scarlett Johansson of LOST IN TRANSLATION star as clones.
They are residents of what they perceive to be a utopian facility sometime in the mid 21st century.
Every resident of this carefully controlled environment hope that they are chosen to go to the “The Island” – reportedly the last uncontaminated location on the planet.
But soon McGregor’s character finds out that he, and everyone else in the facility are clones.
After that, the film’s interesting premise is thrown aside and THE ISLAND becomes a run and hide, explosion and chase film.
That isn’t too big of a surprise as the movie was directed by Michael Bay, the man responsible for the less-than-subtle films ARMAGEDDON and PEARL HARBOUR.
McGregor and Johansson are both talented, personable actors with great physical appeal, but they are wasted in THE ISLAND and if you watch the movie your time will be wasted as well.
To recap, I think THE ISLAND is a waste of your time.
Some other people think that sitting and watching TV is the ultimate waste of time.
For others – like me – watching TV is an enjoyable way to relax and be entertained.
When I was in high school I used to relax and be entertained by MIAMI VICE. Soon after I completed my education, THE SIMPSONS became a staple of my daily and weekly TV watching.
Now, there are new box sets available for both shows!
MIAMI VICE: SEASON TWO and THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON.
The former continues to follow the adventures of the vice squad detectives of the Miami Police Department; specifically the adventures of Crockett and Tubbs.
The 3-disc set for SEASON TWO features the 22 episodes of the 1985-86 season and begins with “Prodigal Son,” a two-hour episode that transplants Crockett and Tubbs to New York.
Along the way are guest stars Peter Allen, Gene Simmons, Pam Grier, Phil Collins, Bruce McGill, David Strathairn, Little Richard, Bob Balaban, and G. Gordon Liddy.
MIAMI VICE is a TV show that is a product of the 80s, and many of the episodes reflect the period so effectively that at times it does seem a bit dated.
But that is also a part of its charm. I enjoyed MIAMI VICE in the 80s and I still recommend MIAMI VICE now because it remains a great show and a great waste of time.
MIAMI VICE ran from 1984 to 1989 and the year it went off the air was the same year THE SIMPSONS debuted.
THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON contains all 25 original episodes, and another incredible array of commentaries, deleted scenes and extras.
Some of the episodes in the season include the answer to “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”, the Radioactive Man movie, Bart selling his soul for five dollars, “Lisa the Vegetarian”, featuring Paul and the late Linda McCartney, “King-Size Homer”, Sideshow Bob returns, former President George Bush moves next door, “Homerpalooza”, and “The Treehouse of Horror’ special features Homer in 3-D.
My favourite is “The Simpsons 138th Show Spectacular’, hosted by Troy McClure – who is voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman.
THE SIMPSONS is still airing new episodes, and will be back next year for it’s eighteenth season, but it is the episodes in the seasons that are already available on DVD that make it worth watching, owning, and laughing at.
And even if watching TV is a waste of time, remember laughter is the best medicine.
THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON, MIAMI VICE: SEASON TWO, THE ISLAND and THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN are all now available at a store near you.
Coming up in three weeks on the next Couch Potato Report
Bill Murray stars as a man who travels across the country to find his son in BROKEN FLOWERS, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are WEDDING CRASHERS, and the TV show FIREFLY becomes the movie SERENITY.
Also on the next Report, Jennifer Connelly’s talent and beauty can’t save DARK WATER and Jessica Alba only has her beauty on display in INTO THE BLUE.
And then there is the documentary GRIZZLY MAN about two grizzly bear activists who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in twenty-one days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – December 13th, 2005