The Couch Potato Report – November 1st, 2008
This week The Couch Potato Report peels some journeys – one to the center of the earth, one to Berlin, and one to The Stanley Cup Finals!
There is a lot to cover this week, and I liked all of it, so let me dive right in with this week’s HOT POTATO, a great family film called JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
Canadian actor Brendan Fraser stars in the film that focusses on three modern day characters who follow some of the clues from the classic 1864 Jules Verne novel as they sort of accidentally find themselves on a – JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
Now, for those who love the book, you should know that this is not a faithful interpretation of the 1864 Jules Verne novel. The book is simply a reference point with some of the story elements incorporated into it.
It is, however, an entertaining movie that I think would be great for the whole family to sit and watch together.
PLUS, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH was originally filmed to be seen in 3D, and the DVD comes with some glasses so you can watch it that way, if you’d like.
And with those glasses, some of the action and special effects – especially the ride in the coal mining car – is a blast!!
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is not a classic, like the book it shares a title with, but I just plain enjoyed it.
Fans, especially younger ones, of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Sidney Crosby might also enjoy our next release this week.
Personally, I wanted and expected more from the NHL produced release SIDNEY CROSBY – ON THE ICE AND BEYOND, but it is still a pretty entertaining and informative.
Personally, I was expecting ON THE ICE AND BEYOND to be a career overview, with footage of Sid The Kid playing hockey as a young boy, through his junior days, the entry draft and his time thus far in the NHL.
To my chagrin, it is a film that only covers a bit of Sid’s life. It mainly focuses on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2007-2008 season and their road to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final.
And while it is a very well produced DVD that also features the entire Winter Classic game played outdoors in Buffalo, it just left me wanting more. Who is this kid Sid? What are his likes and dislikes? What does he do the night before a big game…like, say, a game in the Stanley Cup Final?!?
He narrates it, so he could have explained it all to us…but that is not what the film is about.
No, instead of being an complete documentary about the life of the man who is now the face of the National Hockey League, it is an NHL approved and produced look at one year in his life, with a few flashbacks to past glories.
I will stop short of calling it more of a commercial for the NHL than a documentary, and that is because this is a release that is simply meant for young fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby.
Yes, they might enjoy SIDNEY CROSBY – ON THE ICE AND BEYOND, but I only mildly enjoyed it and as such I suggest you hold off until a more complete, informative and insightful documentary comes out about Sidney Crosby, because you know there will eventually be at least one more DVD released of this exciting young hockey star before his career ends in twenty years or so.
At least one!
Now, if you know anyone who is a fan of the great Lou Reed, well I can guarantee you that they will love the film LOU REED’s BERLIN.
LOU REED’s BERLIN is the film by Academy Award nominated director Julian Schnabel – who gave us THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY and it is a straight concert film – with a few cinematic elemants – of Lou’s 2006 live concert performance of his 1973 concept album “Berlin”, filmed over five nights at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.
If you or anyone you know is a fan of Lou Reed, or his “Berlin” album, then this is a must watch and own. Otherwise, you don’t need to see LOU REED’s BERLIN as it literally is just a concert film, and Lou has never been a dynamic stage performer, and that is certainly true in this film.
This one is for the fans. Enjoy it fans!!
Up next this week is a very engaging documentary, one set in the world of breakdancing…yes, there is still breakdancing in this day and age…it is called PLANET B-BOY.
The film was directed by Canadian-American Korean filmmaker Benson Lee and it focuses on the 2005 Battle of the Year while also describing B-Boy and Breakdancing culture and history as a global phenomenon.
Even if you think that a film that features extensive footage of B-boy dancers in competition, as well as street performances and various rehearsals by the different crews from France, Japan, South Korea, and the United States around the world doesn’t sound interesting, it is!
The people you meet in this film just want what we all want, to be happy, and be the best in the world at something.
And the dance moves that they do are spectacular!!
If you are looking for something a little different to watch, that is interesting and at times even dramatic, search out PLANET B-BOY and get served!!
Finally this week are two films featuring animation. One is for adults, and the other for kids. Well, admittedly the second one is also for adults who watched the show as kids.
That second release features The Smurfs, but in front of that is THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of ROBOT CHICKEN.
ROBOT CHICKEN is an Emmy Award-Winning animated television series with short, quick sketches that parody a number of well known pop culture icons.
Even though THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of ROBOT CHICKEN isn’t as consistantly entertaining as SEASONS ONE AND TWO, each episode is less than 12 minutes long, and if you enjoy being entertained by stupid or juvenile humour, and you have not seen this show yet, then rush out and get some ROBOT CHICKEN right now, and have a laugh…or two…or even more!!
Finally this week is THE SMURFS: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2
Created on October 23rd, 1958, in Belgium The Smurfs are a group of small blue creatures who live in mushroom houses somewhere in the woods.
Their popularity as toys continues around the glode to this day, but it was the 1981 debut of their Saturday-morning cartoon that first made them famous in North America.
This two disc boxset THE SMURFS – SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE includes the final 20 episodes from Season 1.
Yes, they are back to Smurf up your day, any time you need them!
This show was fun then, and it is fun now!
If you loved The Smurfs when you are a kid…this is a perfect way to feel young again.
VOLUME 2 of SEASON 1 of the always fun TV show THE SMURFS, the good-but-not-as-good-as-the-first-two COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of ROBOT CHICKEN, the very interesting documentary PLANET B-BOY, LOU REED’s concert film BERLIN, the could-have-been-better SIDNEY CROSBY release called ON THE ICE AND BEYOND and the great family film JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH are all available now on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Michael J. Fox’s television series SPIN CITY finally debuts on DVD, along with SEASON THREE of the Canadian series ROBSON ARMS.
Also next week, the cinematic version of GET SMART, the 30th ANNIVERSARY of ANIMAL HOUSE; Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, and Peter Pan’s fairy gets her own movie with TINKERBELL.
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!
The Couch Potato Report – November 1st, 2008