The Couch Potato Report – April 17th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a new documentary about the day The Great One was traded, and weíll open a cinematic cocoon.
Admittedly, it is one of the slowest weeks of the year for new releases, but I have still found six of them that you might enjoyÖeven if one of them reminds you of a day that maybe even broke your heart.
August 9th, 1988 is where the documentary KINGíS RANSOM begins, on the day that Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.
It ends with The Great One saying ñ in retrospect ñ he understands.
In between the beginning and the end are highlights from Gretzkyís career in Edmonton, and Los Angeles, as well as some very candid conversations between Wayne and filmmaker Peter Berg.
KINGíS RANSOM is part of a superb documentary series called 30 FOR 30 that is being produced for the ESPN Sports Network in the States. Each film takes a look at a different story that has helped transform sports since the network went on the air.
Peter Berg’s KINGíS RANSOM was the first one, and it is now available on DVD ñ with some bonus interviews and footage ñ and I think it is the best of the entire seriesÖand yes, it also includes an interview with Peter Pocklington.
Even if you are already fully immersed in the ongoing NHL Playoffs, KINGíS RANSOM is still very worthy of your time.
This is a great one!
Wayneís Gretzkyís legacy is on display in the documentary KINGíS RANSOM, the legacy of a small town doctor in Quebec is at the core of this next release.
It is calledÖTHE LEGACY.
An old doctor who has a deep attachment to his patients, is about to retire and is looking for someone to take his place in the community nine hours from Montreal.
A doctor from that city agrees to replace him for a few weeks, without considering staying any longer than necessary in the remote villageÖ.a place in decline since their mine closed over thirty years ago.
The new doctor starts to like the place, and when the old one dies and leaves her his Practice, she has to make a decision whether to stay or go back.
THE LEGACY is a nice little movie that could easily have taken place in small town Saskatchewan, it could be small town anywhere, and I liked that about it.
I also liked how it didnít over explain the characters reasons for doing thingsÖit gives us just enough information.
THE LEGACY is not a happy, cheery filmÖbut it is a very good movie.
As I said, I liked it.
I also liked this next film, but I expected to love it. Sadly, PIRATE RADIO isnít a classic, but it is fun at timesÖand I love any movie made about radio!!
The place is EnglandÖthe time, the mid-1960s. Musically, The Beatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and The Who ñ to name a few ñ were all releasing timeless music, but the BBC broadcast less than an hour of rock music a dayÖ.so pirate radio stations were set up and they broadcast from ships anchored off the coast.
PIRATE RADIO is about one such boat and the film is primarily about the motley cast of characters that keep the station on the air and the politicians who are trying to shut them downÖand it is also about the musicÖthat oh so glorious rock and roll music!!
PIRATE RADIO is from the same filmmakers who made NOTTING HILL and LOVE, ACTUALLY, but it isnít in the same league as those great filmsÖhowever with a cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Rhys Darby, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, and subjects as entertaining as radio and rock and roll, this is a movie that might make for a good rental.
I know I liked itÖI just wish it was a little bit better so I could have loved it.
Oh well, thatís rock and roll!!
From London in the 1960s, The Couch Potato Report switches now to present day Hamilton, or as it is referred to in DEFENDOR, The Hammer.
DEFENDOR is a wannabe comedy about a less-then-intelligent man who believes he’s a superhero, his psychiatrist, and the teenage prostitute he becomes friends with.
DEFENDOR is one of those movies that is going to be seen by the majority of people as an idiotic film that is dumb and a complete waste of time.
Others are going to absolutely love this film as it has some really funny and clever stuff!!
Personally, because I think that it ultimately isnít a very good movie, I am more in the former camp than the latter, but there was some stuff in here that I really liked.
Not enough to recommend it mind you, but I am still glad Iíve seen it.
Those are the newest, new releases this week, now some great new old releases as THE BLU-RAY BEACON shines on a pair of older films nowÖstarting with Ron Howardís 1985 Academy Award winning film COCOON.
COCOON won an Oscar for Visual Effects and the late, great Don Ameche was named Best Supporting Actor and the film contains elements of science fiction and comedy.
Ameche is one of a group of seniors who seem to find the fountain of youth when they trespass to swim in their neighbours pool, a pool that just happens to contain alien cocoons.
And then there are the aliens who put them there.
COCOON is still a great movie, all these years later and I will always enjoy watching itÖand on Blu-ray it looks great!! The disc even comes with a commentary from Ron Howard.
I will always love COCOON, and I will always highly recommend it.
And I will also always love heist pictures, and when I can, I will highly recommend them too!!
Like, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, for instance.
The original 1968 version of this film starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and in the 1999 remake then James Bond Pierce Brosnan was cast as a weathly businessman who likes to steal art as a hobby.
Rene Russo from LETHAL WEAPON 3 plays an insurance investigator trying to catch him.
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is a high-octane heist film that has a great romantic side as well.
It remains a great movie for adults that looks amazing in High Definition!!
If you have never seen it, I highly recommend it!!
The 1999 remake of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, 1985ís COCOON, and the entertaining PIRATE RADIO are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
DEFENDOR, THE LEGACY and KINGíS RANSOM, the documentary about Wayne Gretzkyís trade to Los Angeles, are available now, only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
A small movie from a Canadian director named James Cameron called AVATARÖdonít know if youíve heard of it, but that will be out next weekÖso will CRAZY HEART starring Jeff Bridges, CHEECH & CHONGíS HEY WATCH THIS, the anthology film NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, and the Academy Award winning THE YOUNG VICTORIA
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 again next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – April 17th, 2010