The Couch Potato Report – October 24th, 2009
This week The Couch Potato Report peels the first film that I ever saw, a great television show, and some dead snow.
I don’t think I have ever really talked about this before, but the very first film I ever saw was WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
At the time, I didn’t know that it was a movie based on Roald Dahl’s classic book CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE factory, I just knew that my sister got to do something I didn’t, and so I wanted to go to the movies too!!
I was six.
The film showed at The Odeon Theatre in Trenton, Ontario, a theatre that is still open…although it is called The Centre theatre now.
I sat in that theatre and watched the film that day, and loved it. To this day I still love it!
This week, I was able to see it clearer than I ever had before, as it is now available on Blu-ray, in high definition.
So, come with me, won’t you, and I’ll review a movie for you…a movie, about pure imagination.
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was first released in 1971 and it stars Gene Wilder in the title role of a candy man who rarely ventures out in public.
Then – one day – he surprises everyone by announcing that he will be opening his factory to five lucky winners who find golden tickets inside his candy.
Charlie Bucket is a boy from a poor family who finds a ticket and decides to take his Grandpa Joe on the tour with him.
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY features superb visuals, a fun story with some interesting lessons, and some great characters and songs.
It remains one of my favourite movies of all time, and I am sure I will always love it. After all, they say you never forget your first.
Yes, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was the first film I ever saw, and the first comic book superhero that I ever read featured Batman…and Superman was in the second one.
I only bring that up because the two heroes are on screen together these days in a brand new film called SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES.
This animated release is based on the six-issue comic-book arc by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness and finds the two on the run from the law with a bounty on their heads…after they are framed by Lex Luthor…who is now the President of the United States.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES is a very faithful adaptation of the comic books, and it is pretty good. The primary audience is for people who like the comic books, so if that isn’t you, stay away.
If it is…enjoy!!
Up next is a spectacular 16-DVD-Box Set for a television show that ran from 1986 to 1990.
Folks, IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S SHOW!
This show was never a mainstream hit, and probably won’t be now either, with the entire series available on one big box set.
However, if you remember it, enjoyed THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW or just love the comedy of Garry Shandling, then this set is a must have!
IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S SHOW is about a single man who is a comedian, but it set itself apart from traditional sitcoms because Garry would break the fourth wall to include the studio audience and the viewers at home in on the storylines and the making of the show itself.
In addition to the 72 episodes of the show, IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S SHOW – THE COMPLETE SERIES also features some great bonus materials.
There are six Featurettes With Cast, Crew and Writers, Episode Outtakes, Promos, Commentaries and much more!!
This is a great set for a great show, and I am very happy that it is now available on DVD!!
Up next this week is a film called DEAD SNOW that is absurd fun!
It is a movie from Norway, and the studio’s synopsis says it all…so I will just read it to you:
“A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.”
Yes, zombie nazi’s!!
DEAD SNOW is a 100% guilty pleasure, and really only for zombie movie fans only, but if that is you…enjoy this one my friend!
From nazi zombies, let’s move now to NATURAL BORN KILLERS as THE BLU RAY BEACON shine’s it’s light this week on THE DIRECTOR’S CUT of Oliver Stone’s 1994 film.
Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play traveling serial killers who become television celebrities when a tabloid journalist played by Robert Downey Jr. begins to focus on them.
I think NATURAL BORN KILLERS is a great film, and the DIRECTOR’S CUT is my preferred version…and in High Definition on Blu-ray it also comes with some spectacular retrospective features…and so now this is my preferred way to watch it.
Finally this week, a very entertaining semi-documentary that actually features natural born killers…dinosaurs!
DINOSAURS ALIVE! is a great family film that allows us to follow some paleontologists as they uncover some dinosaur finds in the dunes of the Gobi Desert and along the sandstone buttes of New Mexico.
The film uses animation to re-create the dinosaurs along with documentary footage of the people searching for their fossils and it is all narrated by Michael Douglas.
DINOSAURS ALIVE is a very entertaining release and I highly recommend it.
DINOSAURS ALIVE!, THE DIRECTOR’S CUT of NATURAL BORN KILLERS, SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES and WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY are available on Blu-ray and DVD.
DEAD SNOW and IT’S GARY SHANDLING’S SHOW – THE COMPLETE SERIES are both available now only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato ReportÖIT’S HALLOWEEN!!
So I will tell you about some horror, suspence and thrillers that are out there for us all to enjoy!
Like THE HANNIBAL LECTER COLLECTION, MISERY, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, TRICK R TREAT, AUDITION, WRONG TURN, MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, THE CRAFT, ORPHAN and CHILD’S PLAY.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days…and all the latest new releases on DVD and Blu-ray again in eight 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 – October 24th, 2009