The Couch Potato Report

Need any gift ideas?!

The Couch Potato Report – December 13th, 2009
The Couch Potato Report is about to peel box sets, multiple disc sets, and offers some gift ideas!
The Holiday season is upon us, and so the studios have been releasing a wide array of gift boxes, series collections and celebratory sets in hopes that you’ll decide they will make a great gift idea for someone you love, or to complete your own collection.
So, if you need some ideas, I have nine new releases to tell you about this morning, starting with the Canadian one, or the Canadiens one, if you will.
100 YEARS OF THE MONTREAL CANADIENS is a four disc box set that has over four hours of stories, game action, and historical footage from the team that just celebrated it’s centennial.
The centerpiece of the set is a feature length documentary called “100 Years Of Glory – The History Of The Montreal Canadianes 1909-2009” and it is narrated by Viggo Mortenson, from the LORD OF THE RINGS films.
The other three discs look at the Habs’ “24 Stanley Cup Championships”, the “Dynasties and Rivalries” and “The Immortals – The Greatest Players.”
100 YEARS OF THE MONTREAL CANADIENS is a must have for any fans of the Habs, but I can’t recommend it otherwise, and that is not because I am a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs…it is because even though they had 100 Years of history to work with, this box set – and especially the documentary, leaves a lot of it out – good and bad.
There is no mention of the 1976-77 season when the team only lost 8 games all year, no mention of the game where Patrick Roy was shelled and said he’d never play for the team again, and if those omissions weresn’t bad enough…the majority of the players who made up the legendary teams this set is celebrating, are absent!
Sure, a few of them are featured in the main documentary, but most of them are not. You have to go to the other discs to find Ken Dryden and Scotty Bowman for instance.
And Viggo Mortenson, who professes to be a huge and passionate fan of the team…offers boring, mundane narration.
All that stuff aside, like I said, 100 YEARS OF THE MONTREAL CANADIENS is a must have for any fans of the Habs, however, with such a tremendous hockey legacy to commemorate and celebrate, it had been my hope that it was going to be a must have for any fans of hockey.
But it isn’t…and that is my review.
Love that song, and if you were a fan of the television series Ally McBeal when it aired from 1997 to 2002, I bet you love that show’s theme song.
It has taken a long time, but ALLY MCBEAL is finally available on DVD. The hold up was the music rights, for that song and the many others that were performed in the series over the years, a series about a woman named Ally McBeal that starred Calista Flockhart in the title role.
She was a lawyer working in a Boston law firm with people whose cases, lives and loves were eccentric, humorous and dramatic.
So if you have been waiting for this show to come out on DVD…here you go! ALLY MCBEAL – THE COMPLETE SERIES is a 32 disc Box Set that features every episode, with every joke, every dramatic twist and turn, and above all else…every Fish-ism.
There are also some great retrospective features, and unlike the Montreal Canadiens Box Set, the producers of this set brought back the principal players!!
I wasn’t a regular viewer of ALLY McBEAL when it aired, but I did watch it from time to time, and it remains a very fun and entertaining show…this is a great Box Set!!
Another great DVD Box Set that might make a great gift is FUTURAMA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION…and in addition to the great episodes of the TV show I love, the discs come housed in a plastic Bender head…bender being the robot from the show…the 18 discs all come in a case that is his head.
I love the show even more for that!!
FUTURAMA was created by Matt Groening after the success of THE SIMPSONS and it is about Fry, a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, who is frozen for a thousand years and wakes up in the 31st century.
It aired from 1999 to 2003.
FUTURAMA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION – in addition to the Bender head packaging – includes all four volumes of Futurama, as well as the four feature-length films they made after the series ended.
As a fan of the show, I had all of the DVDs already, but when I heard about this set, this was the one I wanted to keep in my collection.
If you know someone who is a fan…you now have one left gift idea to come up with.
You’re welcome!
From BIG, celebratory Box Sets, lets move now to single season sets that have recently been released…and we’ll start with Royalty.
The King….no, not the television royalty from THE TUDORS, I’ll get to them in a second, I meant the Queen!
Yes, Mary, Murray, Lou and Ted are all back in THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW!!
SEASON FIVE is the one where Mary Goes to Prison, Lou has to deal with Ted after Ted endorses a candidate during a broadcast, and Ted reacts when Lou gambles away their football pool winnings.
Its also the one that offers more huge laughs!
SEASON SIX of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW is coming out in January, but THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON is available now.
Okay, from TV’s Queen, lets go to the King now.
Specifically, King Henry the 8th.
The Tudors envisions Henry VIII as a young man of both passion and ambition, driven by boundless sexual energy and the desire to establish a legacy early in his monarchy.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is back as The King in THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON and once again we are treated to a unique re-telling of history full of incredible costumes and period set pieces and storylines.
THE TUDORS remains a great guilty pleasure for me, and with only 8 episodes, this year went by too fast.
If you have seen the first two seasons – either on CBC Television or DVD – don’t miss THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of THE TUDORS!!
THE TUDORS is a show that I do usually watch, because I enjoy it.
Admittedly, I do enjoy the series BONES as well, but it isn’t one I watch on a regular basis. Some friends of mine and my sister watch it, so when I visit them, I see it, but otherwise I don’t.
However, I sat down to look at the episodes of BONES – SEASON FOUR this week that I hadn’t seen, and – like I said – I do enjoy it!
BONES is a procedural crime drama that is based on forensics, with each episode focusing on an FBI case file concerning the mystery behind found human remains.
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz head up a great ensemble cast, and if you – or someone you love has been looking for a new TV show to watch, how about BONES – SEASON FOUR?
Stewie from FAMILY GUY even makes a guest appearance this season.
Or, if you are looking for a fantastic new TV sho wto watch, and you have not seen the BBC show LIFE ON MARS, well…let me HIGHLY recommend LIFE ON MARS!!
LIFE ON MARS is about a Police Detective who is hit by a car in 2006, and wakes up in 1973.
In addition to solving the mystery of why he is now there, he also has to solve cases with his new unit as well.
There was only two seasons of LIFE ON MARS filmed by the BBC, and now the second one – SERIES TWO – is available as a tremendous 4 disc Box Set.
LIFE ON MARS mixes the genres of science fiction, police procedural, and time travel…and I think it is a spectacular show, and I highly recommend it!!
And make sure you get the original British version of the show…the American remake just wasn’t as good.
Up next is a new Gift Set for the stop-motion animated film CORALINE.
CORALINE is a teenager who has just moved to an old house in the middle of nowhere with her writer parents.
When she finds an old hidden door, she convinces her mother to unlock it, only to find a wall of bricks.
But that night, the bricks magically disappear and she discovers a pathway to another world where everything is just what she wishes for.
But…be careful what you wish for!!
The director of CORALINE is Henry Selick, the man who gave us THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and he once again populates a film with unique, oddball characters and sets.
This is a fun, family film, and the new GIFT SET includes the 2-Disc Collectorís Edition DVD; Plus 4 pairs of 3-D glasses; and a book.
The box set for SEASON ONE of ELVIS COSTELLO’S SHOW SPECTACLE doesn’t come with glasses or a book, it merely features the iconic performer in conversation with some other well-known musicians and people.
It also features the man singing as well, both his songs…and others.
The music in SPECTACLE is great, but it is the conversation – with the likes of Elton John, Lou Reed, Diana Krall, Rufus Wainwright, Smokey Robinson, Bill Clinton, and all three members of The Police – that had me tuning in week after week, and now that it is out in a Box Set, I will own it forever!!
ELVIS COSTELLO – SPECTACLE – SEASON ONE is a great gift for fans of music, great conversation, or both!!
Coming up on Saturday on the next Couch Potato Report.
The made-in-Quebec film HEAT WAVE, Ang Lee’s TAKING WOODSTOCK, Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, and the complete third season of the television show ICE ROAD TRUCKERS.
Plus, coming soon…the great non-love story (500) DAYS OF SUMMER.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this morning’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next time on The Couch!