The Couch Potato Report

In case you need something to watch this weekend…other than football, of course!!

The Couch Potato Report – November 24th, 2007
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a beauty television special, and some music DVDs!
In case you have never heard me say this before, my favourite movie of all time, of all time, is THE ADVENTURES OF BOB & DOUG MCKENZIE: STRANGE BREW.
Yes, of ALL TIME!!
I love CASABLANCA, CITIZEN KANE, THE GODFATHER, STAR WARS, and many other classic films that have stood teh test of time, but the one that still entertains me – and more importantly, makes me laugh the most is STRANGE BREW.
As I am sure you know, Bob and Doug McKenzie were a pair of fictional Canadian brothers who hosted “The Great White North”, a sketch which was introduced on SCTV for the show’s third season when it moved to the CBC in 1980.
Bob is played by Rick Moranis and Doug is played by Dave Thomas and after their tremendous national success on television, they made STRANGE BREW in 1983.
The film’s story is loosely based on the Shakespeare’s HAMLET, with the McKenzie Brothers taking the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and I love it!
So, you can imagine the excitement that I was feeling when I sat down on the Victoria Day weekend to watch the reunion slash retrospective show – BOB & DOUG McKENZIE’S TWO-FOUR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL.
Sadly, that excitement was quickly dashed as the special was not funny, not entertaining, and not very good.
Sure, the bits NEW AND OLD with Bob & Doug were still funny, and former Prime Minister Paul Martin, who hosted the show, had a few good lines, but the special featured way too many testimonials from fans and celebrities like Ben Stiller, Dave Foley, Barry Pepper, Martin Short and Paul Shafer, and not enough Bob & Doug.
But the good new this morning is the fact that the people who produced the TWO-FOUR ANNIVERSARY have fixed their mistake, and the new TRUE HOSER’S COLLECTOR’S EDITION DVD is very, very entertaining!
This DVD is exactly what the TV special should have been!
It is funny, takes a retrospective look back as the history of the characters, and it reminds us of their place in Canadian history.
The DVD version is twice the length of the television version, but it isn’t just longer, it is actually better.
Sadly, almost all of the footage that was shot in Saskatoon at the Juno Awards and the Juno Cup practice that was in the TV version has been taken out, but it has been replaced with some very unique features…like a choir performing Bob & Doug’s unforgettable anthem.
If you like to laugh, then the one DVD you need to get this week is the very entertaining BOB & DOUG MCKENZIE’S TWO-FOUR ANNIVERSARY: THE TRUE HOSER’S COLLECTOR’S EDITION.
It’s a beauty way to go!!
Alright, I have four other releases to tell you about this week, all of them feature music, and all of them are great!!
I’ll start with a musical that I didn’t expect to enjoy, but I did! I did enjoy HAIRSPRAY, the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, itself adapted from John Waters’ 1988 cinematic comedy.
HAIRSPRAY was filmed in Toronto and it is set in Baltimore in 1962.
It follows a “pleasantly-plump” teen named Tracy Turnblad as she simultaneously pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.
Due to that latter story line, HAIRSPRAY does have some serious overtones, but mostly it is fun!
The songs, the characters, the cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes and John Travolta… in drag…it all works.
I’m not always the biggest fan of musicals, but I really enjoyed HAIRSPRAY, and if you check it out, make sure you get the Two-Disc “Shake & Shimmy Edition” as it has a great look back at the transformation from film to musical and back to film again.
The whole package is just fun!!
Fun is also an element of our next release, The Beatles:
HELP is a semispoof of the James Bond pictures with John, Paul and George trying to protect Ringo from an Eastern religious cult who want the ring he can’t seem to get off of his finger.
As with any Beatles movie, the plot is not important, we will watch these films forty-plus years after the fact because of the songs, and in addition to the title track HELP! features six other Beatles tunes, including “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Ticket to Ride.”
This new 2 Disc Edition of HELP! also includes THE BEATLES IN HELP! – a 30 minute documentary about the making of the film with director Richard Lester, the cast and crew, exclusive behind the scenes footage of The Beatles on set, and more.
THE BEATLES HELP! is still goofy, still clever, and still a great time spent watching a movie!
In addition to the 2-DVD release, there is als a new Deluxe Package that also includes; a reproduction of Richard Lester’s original annotated script; 8 lobby cards; a poster and a 60-page book with rarely seen photographs and production notes from the movie.
From a classic sixties band, I will wrap up this week’s Couch Potato Report with two new releases from classic seventies bands, starting with the new 2-DVD SPECIAL EDITION of LED ZEPPELIN – THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME.
THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME is a concert film that was recorded over three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the band’s 1973 concert tour.
As with HELP! there is a bonus DVD with a wealth of bonus features including extra songs and interviews.
I never got the chance to see Led Zeppelin live in concert, so I always enjoy watching THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME for that fact. This new version is the best that it has ever looked, sounded, and been presented.
If you enjoy the band, the songs might remain the same, but that is why we like them, isn’t it?
No, I never got to see Led Zeppelin live, and I never got to see The Who live in concert either…the real Who, featuring the original line-up of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltery, John Entwistle and Keith Moon.
There have been many Who concerts released on DVD, and I have enjoyed them all, and now there is a great documentary on them available to enjoy as well. It is called AMAZING JOURNEY – THE STORY OF THE WHO.
And if you have ever wondered how they got their name, you will get the definitive answer.
AMAZING JOURNEY looks back at the band’s history, right through their origins four decades ago, straight into the work that Townshend and Daltery are doing today under the name.
Sadly, what this documentary, or it’s bonus disc, don’t have, is an abundance of interviews with the late drummer Keith Moon.
There is a lot of performance footage of him, but I wanted to hear his side of the story as well. But sadly, if it even exists, it isn’t included here.
AMAZING JOURNEY – THE STORY OF THE WHO is a spectacular look at a band who are more known today for the fact that their songs open the various CSI shows every week.
It is both informative and entertaining.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The NHL GAME 7 COLLECTION features some of THE GREATEST GAMES IN STANLEY CUP HISTORY, PARIS, JE T’AIME features well-known actors and directors from around the world showing Paris in a way never before imagined, in MR. BEAN’S HOLIDAY the beloved character takes a trip, THE BOSS OF IT ALL is a Danish film about a man who must produce his fictional boss; and LET’S ALL HATE TORONTO is a documentary that examines the art of Toronto-bashing, and why it happens.
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!