The Couch Potato Report – January 5th, 2007
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on a lost series, an invincible man, and some treasures.
Every Canadian hockey fan of a certain vintage remembers where they were in September of 1972.
And those of us who aren’t old enough to remember where we were, still know all about Paul Henderson’s immortal goal.
But few of us have the same recollection for September of 1974, even though Team Canada was playing the Russians again.
That is primarily due to the fact that the National Hockey League and it’s players told Hockey Canada that they weren’t interested in playing the Russians again, so a team of WHA all-stars accepted the challenge.
Today, we can hear the roster of the 1974 team and acknowledge that it is equal in many ways the squad who were skating behind Paul Henderson when he scored the greatest goal in Canadian hockey history in 1972.
But in 1974 the WHA was an ugly stepsister to the NHL, and many people didn’t consider the leagues equal, so the series didn’t get the same hype of the previous incarnation.
Until now as TEAM CANADA 1974: THE LOST SERIES has come out as a four-disc box set.
TEAM CANADA 1974: THE LOST SERIES is a superb 4-DVD set that presents seven of the eight games from the series. Games that have been unseen since their original broadcast, plus a documentary about the series and a commentary track over one of the games from Frank Mahovlich and Gordie Howe.
Howe is featured prominantly in this Box Set and I enjoyed every second of footage on Mr. Hockey.
I also really liked watching and listening to Bobby Hull.
TEAM CANADA 1974: THE LOST SERIES is a great piece of Canada’s international hockey history and even though some of the audio and images are less than pristine since the original broadcast tapes were destroyed years ago, the set is still full of great hockey highlights.
Now, if you are a fan of Canadian hockey and would like to pick up this set, be warned that TEAM CANADA 1974: THE LOST SERIES is limited to 10,000 sets
Yes, the superb TEAM CANADA 1974 Box Set is limited to 10,000 copies, but you don’t have to worry about stores running out of copies of the film INVINCIBLE, there will be lots out there to buy, and to rent.
Over the past few years the genre of of sports movies featuring a person who rises above the odds has started to become so cliche that I was starting to think that I would never actually enjoy one of these films again.
GLORY ROAD, REMEMBER THE TITANS, MIRACLE, PREFONTAINE, and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS are just a few examples of some of the films that I haven’t enjoyed from the genre I call “Predictable Sports Films.”
And when I first heard about the film INVINCIBLE about a part time bartender and teacher in Philadelphia who gets an opportunity to try out for the National Football League’s Phildelphia Eagles I thought it had “Predictable Sports Film” written all over it.
But INVINCIBLE rises above the cliches and is a very entertaining movie.
Don’t mistake me, the film does have it’s moments where it treads upon the same ground predictible ground as the many other sports movies that have come before it, but while heading toward that path, this based on a true story about Vince Papale, who was 30 years old, almost out of work, abandoned by his wife, and biding time as a bartender when he answered an open call for tryouts for the Eagles in 1976, is still a very entertaining movie.
I really enjoyed INVINCIBLE!
Our final four titles this week are the latest releases in the WALT DISNEY TREASURES collection.
The WALT DISNEY TREASURES are two disc sets of classic Disney works, covering productions from the studio’s earliest days to more recent work.
The latest releases are THE COMPLETE PLUTO – VOLUME TWO with Mickey’s faithful friend in twenty-plus cartoons.
MORE SILLY SYMPHONIES completes the series of music-themed cartoons that Walt Disney created to train his artists and to experiment with new techniques and visual styles.
If you saw them originally, or when they were aired again in the 1970s, THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB FEATURING THE HARDY BOYS might bring back some memories for you, the same way it did for me.
If you have young kids who didn’t see them originally, feel free to get them involved in “The Mystery of The Applegate Treasure.”
And the final new WALT DISNEY TREASURES release is YOUR HOST WALT DISNEY where we get to see several programs hosted by the man himself.
Including one with a Moose Jaw born entertainer named Art Linkletter.
I always enjoy the WALT DISNEY TREASURES releases as they are a great way to look back on animation, television and the entertainment industry itself in some cases as it was getting started.
And I enjoyed these releases too!
YOUR HOST WALT DISNEY, THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB FEATURING THE HARDY BOYS, MORE SILLY SYMPHONIES and THE COMPLETE PLUTO VOLUME TWO are all very entertaining and they are available now on DVD as part of the WALT DISNEY TREASURES collection along with the also entertaining INVINCIBLE
and the superb TEAM CANADA – THE LOST SERIES.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
THE WAR TAPES is a documentary filmed by actual servicemen in Iraq and in a few weeks it will probably get an Academy Award nomination; THINGS TO DO is a small Canadian film that will probably not get an Oscar nod, but it is still fun to watch.
Also next week, I will talk about the martial arts based FEARLESS, the set in a cave horror movie called THE DESCENT and a little known film about some SNAKES ON A PLANE.
I’m Dan Reynish. 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 time on The Couch!
“They played in 1974 as well?”
The Couch Potato Report – January 5th, 2007