The Couch Potato Report – August 28th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels love, hate, propaganda, back-up plans, Elvis and Hamlet.
Our first release this week is LOVE, HATE & PROPAGANDA: WORLD WAR II FOR A NEW GENERATION ñ a six-part documentary series, that originally aired on CBC television. The series is hosted by “The Hour’s” George Stroumboulopoulos and it looks at the war through propaganda ads, interviews and media reports…Canadian, and otherwise.
LOVE, HATE & PROPAGANDA excels when it shows us ads, newspaper stories and footage from World War II, and when it shows us the locations where the battles took place as they are today and as they were then. During these times, the series is very, very good.
Unfortunately it also drags at times as the actors hired to do voice over work arenít always that convincing and most of the ìexpertsî who offer opinions and facts about World War II are not very compelling.
I am happy to report that the good far outweighs the bad, and if you would like to see it, and I liked it enough to recommend that you do, LOVE, HATE & PROPAGANDA is available now in a 4-disc Box Set.
From love, hate and propaganda, lets move now to a film that is about love, hate and having a baby.
Jennifer Lopez stars in THE BACK-UP PLAN as a woman who is looking for the love of her life so she can start a family.
Since she canít find that one, she decides to get pregnant through artificial insemination, and ñ wouldnít you know it ñ she meets the man of her dreams in a taxi-cab mere moments after the procedure is complete.
But all is not rosy once he finds out her news.
THE BACK-UP PLAN would like to be a charming, funny and entertaining romantic comedy, but it isnít any of those things. You can see the jokes coming a mile away, the slapstick isnít funny, the guy turns on Jenny From The Block too quickly, and in the end the whole thing is utterly predictable.
This isnít the worst movie Iíve ever seen, but if you had hoped to build your Saturday night around watching it, I hope YOU have a back-up plan.
This movie just isnít that worthy of your time.
Yes, THE BACK-UP PLAN is utterly predictable, but the television series LOST never was. It may have been a wide array of other things ñ frustrating AND incredible among them ñ but during itís six-year run it was certainly never predictable.
And now that it has ended, LOST ñ THE FINAL SEASON is available for you to own, so you can watch it again.
LOST is the show that ran for six seasons about the survivors of a plane crash who are forced to live with each other on a remote island, a dangerous new world that poses unique threats of its own.
THE FINAL SEASON does deliver what it promises, a final, but that finale wasnít necessarily one that many fans ñ including myself ñ had hoped for. I liked it, and wanted to love itÖyet I did not.
And ñ sadly ñ if you are expecting the creators of the show to explain their ending, you will be disappointedÖbecause they do not.
However, during some great interviews, extra footage, and behind-the-scenes special featuresÖthey do refer to it ñ however, I wonít reveal what they say, in case you havenít seen how it all ends yet.
Nope, there are no spoilers here!!
THE FINAL SEASON of LOST didnít answer all the questions the show posed over the years, but it is still a very strong ending to a great television series, one that if you have never seen, I can easily recommend.
And yes I did, I just told you to get LOST!
Over the next few weeks, as we move toward the start of the 2010-2011 television season, there will be a wealth of TV Shows coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, and I actually have three of them right now, starting with THE SIMPSONS ñ THE COMPLETE THIRTEENTH SEASON, which features the familyís trip to Canada!
I continue to love this show as it makes me laugh out loud, and I enjoyed this great four disc set, which is ñ as ñ always ñ filled with a wealth of Special FeaturesÖbut most of all, it features the show itself.
THE SIMPSONS ñ old and new ñ still makes me laugh out loud and so does the fantastic comedy music comedy show based on the New Zealand duo FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS.
The FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS series stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement and it lasted two seasons before the duo decided it was too much work to keep doing it and now THE COMPLETE COLLECTION features all 22 episodes from the series along with the Flight of the Conchords: One Night Stand–Never-before-released 30-minute special.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS ñ THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is a tremendous amount of fun, and if you have never watched this series eitherÖit comes highly, highly recommended!!
THE CONCHORDS show takes place and was shot in New York City, and the television series LEXX was primarily shot in Halifax.
Lexx is a science fantasy television series that ran for four seasons starting in 1997. It follows the adventures of a group of mismatched individuals aboard a space craft called Lexx. They travel through two universes and encounter planets including a parody of the Earth.
The crew of the Lexx is Stanley Tweedle, Kai, Zev and 790 – a sarcastic robot head.
I have said many, many times before that I am such a fan of science fiction that Iíll watch anything ñ good or bad ñ and that is definitely true with LEXX. I used to watch this when it first aired, and I loved the cheesiness of it thenÖand still do now!
LEXX ñ THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is a five DVD set that I am happy to own, and happy to recommend ñ to anyone who also enjoys all types of science fictionÖgoodÖbad…and both.
Those are the after airing television show on DVD sets that I have for you right now, and right now we have arrived at AFTER LIFE.
AFTER LIFE stars Christina Ricci as a young woman who is in a car crash and may or may not be dead and Liam Neeson plays the funeral director who is preparing her body for her funeral.
Although she isnít always locked in, the woman is trapped inside the funeral home, and she is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her own death.
During the Special Features youíll find out that the director of AFTER LIFE thinks the film is greatÖbut it isnít. It is a bland little film that that isnít bad, but it isnít good either.
If the cast or premise sounds interesting, you might enjoy itÖif not, ignore it.
THE CITY OF SHADOWS is where we have now arrived at. This is a Canadian made film, that takes place in a lost colony, near the Sahara, where a war has just ended. A doctor returns from the front, broken by eight years of service, and he is looking forward to just going home.
But when a plague breaks outÖa plague that might not even be realÖhis trip is delayed indefinitely.
THE CITY OF SHADOWS is a movie that I found very interesting and I liked it. It is a bit slow and for that reason it wonít appeal to everyone, but I liked it.
THE MAN FROM LONDON is a film that I thought I would likeÖthis is a France | Germany | Hungary co-production and it just sounds interesting ñ it is about a railway worker who has a life that is filled with loneliness and isolation…and then he witnesses a murder, and he starts to question everything about his life.
This one was interesting at times, but not very entertaining. It is just waaaay too artistic for my tastes and in the end I didnít like it. However, if you are a film student, love to study films, or enjoy seeing films that push artistic boundaries, then THE MAN FROM LONDON is for you!!
From London, letís head back to North America now, and see if we canít get by on five dollars a day.
$5 A DAY stars the great Christopher Walken as an eccentric con-artist and deadbeat dad who may or may not be dying, but is trying to reconnect with his grown-up son.
$5 A DAY also features Sharon Stone and Amanda Peet in small roles and it is a nice little character driven road movie. If you are a fan of Walken, Stone or road moviesÖcheck this one out.
Now, if you are in the mood for some new releases on Blu-Ray this week, I have some great ones for you this week, starting with a three-disc set called the ELVIS BLU-RAY COLLECTION, which features The Kingís 1957 film JAILHOUSE ROCK and VIVA LAS VEGAS from 1964, along with the spectacular Golden Globe Award winning concert film ELVIS ON TOUR.
All three films are also available individually, but the ELVIS BLU-RAY COLLECTION brings them all together in a nice little package that I know all music fans, and especially Elvis fans will love.
Elvis Presley was known as The King Of Rock And RollÖwhile William Shakespeare ñ who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.
His work ìThe Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarkî, or more simply ìHamletî, which is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601, has been committed many times to film over the years, but the one that has become THE definitive version is Kenneth Branaghís 1996, four hour version with an all-star castÖ.a cast that includes Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Billy Crystal, GÈrard Depardieu, Robin Williams, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Judi Dench, and many, many others.
But above all, it features The Bardís classic words.
HAMLET is now available to watch on Blu-ray, in a package that includes a 36-page booklet, and this is now THE only way to watch it!! It looks and sounds spectacular in High Definition!!
HAMLET, the ELVIS BLU-RAY COLLECTION with JAILHOUSE ROCK, VIVA LAS VEGAS and ELVIS ON TOUR, THE COMPLETE THIRTEENTH SEASON of THE SIMPSONS, THE BACK-UP PLAN and THE FINAL SEASON of LOST are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
$5 A DAY, THE MAN FROM LONDON, THE CITY OF SHADOWS, AFTER LIFE, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of LEXX, THE COMPLETE COLLECTION of FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS and the six-part documentary series LOVE, HATE & PROPAGANDA: WORLD WAR II FOR A NEW GENERATION are all available now, only on DVD.
Coming up in two weeks on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian film LESLIE ñ MY NAME IS EVIL, Michael Caine stars as HARRY BROWN, the latest television DVD sets for KENNY VS. SPENNY, THE NORM SHOW, THE OFFICE, CHUCK, HOUSE, and NCIS: LOS ANGELES.
Plus, there will be BABIES!!
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in fourteen 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 – August 28th, 2010