The Couch Potato Report


The Couch Potato Report – October 25th, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a Canadian made documentary, a HULK, and four films to get you ready for Halloween!
The huge summer blockbuster THE INCREDIBLE HULK is new on DVD this week…but I will be telling you about that one last this morning.
Even though this new HULK movie was primarily filmed in Toronto, I have a different movie with a Canadian connection that I have made this week’s HOT POTATO.
This one is called UP THE YANGTZE and it is a documentary by Chinese-Canadian director Yung Chang.
The film focuses on people affected by the building of the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze river in China.
Even as I speak with you, engineers are constructing the largest dam in the world across the great Yangtzee. When finished, it will produce the energy of 15 nuclear power plants.
To China’s leaders, the dam is the greatest engineering feat since the construction of the Great Wall, but to critics worldwide, it is a social and environmental disaster.
During the planning stages in the 1990s it was estimated that 1.13 million residents would be forced to relocate due to the construction of The Three Gorges Dam, however the final number – as of June – was 1.24 million.
UP THE YANGTZE focuses on the transition that is required of some of the peasant farmers who live in areas that were flooded as China develops this rural area, and it also shows us how others are benefitting from the Dam.
It also takes us aboard a cruise ship to meet some of the tourists who are flocking to the area before it is no more.
UP THE YANGTZE is very interesting from start to finish, but it is a film that contains so many people’s stories that it can’t help but leave you wanting more.
Personally, I wanted to see how more farmers were relocating and how they are coping in new homes, especially at one point, when a displaced farmer says about the Dam: “It is beneficial for China, but I don’t think it will do me any good.”
I also wanted to see more of this massive Dam…but, all that said, I still highly recommend UP THE YANGTZEE to you, this is a very engaging movie.
Today is October 25th, the last Couch Potato Report before Halloween, so to help get you ready, I have four movies to suggest…starting with the claustrophobic and fantastic terror film THE STRANGERS.
Yes, you heard me right. I didn’t refer to THE STRANGERS as a horror…this is a terror film!
Three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks force the young couple in this film to go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive, and I loved every minute of it.
THE STRANGERS is creepy, and it features some fantastic frights. If you – or someone you love – enjoys these types of films, turn off the lights, sit close on the couch and enjoy!!
If modern day terror, or horror films aren’t your cup of tea, and you prefer the way they used to make ’em, then you are also in luck heading into Halloween as well because three of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films have just been re-released in spectacular Two-Disc SPECIAL EDITIONS.
Get ready to re-admire REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO and PSYCHO.
The 1960 film PSYCHO is about a young woman who steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, and then meets Norman Bates, a motel proprietor who is under the domination of his mother.
In 1958’s VERTIGO a San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
And in the great 1954 film REAR WINDOW a wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
All three of these SPECIAL EDITIONS allow the films to look better than they ever have before, and they also feature a wealth of extras…incluidng some facts I guarantee that you have never even thought about before!
If you like old school scares, REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO and PSYCHO are fantastic films by a master filmmaker, and as you may suspect, I do highly recommend all three!!
Oh, and happy Halloween!!
Finally this week…THE INCREDIBLE HULK!
This made-in-Toronto summer blockbuster stars Edward Norton and the great Liv Tyler and it is not a sequel to the 2003 film HULK, it is a reboot…and it is good based on characters from a comic book movie fun!
Unlike the previous film, this one gives you the plot set up – a scientist is exposed to a deadly amount of gamma rays and as such becomes a huge, green Hulk whenever he gets mad – during the opening credits, and then it is on to the mayhem as Bruce Banner is on the run from General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and forced to fight a creature known as the Abomination.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK is just a pure adrenaline rush of a based-on-a-comic-book movie, and it is also fun! If you think you will enjoy it, give it a a chance, because I think you will!
Especially if you have been a fan of the character, either since the character first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 in May 1962, or because you grew up with the television show THE INCREDIBLE HULK that was based on the comic books of the same name ran from 1978 to 1982 and starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
If you are a fan of the TV show, there is a new 20 disc box set that may appeal to you, it is THE INCREDIBLE HULK – THE COMPLETE SERIES, and it has all five seasons of the show, and some great special features!
For true believers, it is a must have!!
THE INCREDIBLE HULK – THE COMPLETE SERIES, the very enjoyable 2008 version of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, Alfred Hitchcock’s immortal thrillers REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO and PSYCHO, the exceptional terror film THE STRANGERS and the documentary UP THE YANGTZE are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Brendan Fraser stars in the family film JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and SIDNEY CROSBY – ON THE ICE AND BEYOND takes us behind the scenes of Sid The Kid’s 2007-2008 NHL season
Plus, I will tell you about releases featuring LOU REED, B-BOYs, THE SMURFS, and THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of ROBOT CHICKEN.
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!