The Couch Potato Report – September 18th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a bird on a wire, the sands of time and non-stop shenanigans.
Back in 1972 a concert film was released that followed the Canadian icon Leonard Cohen on his European tour. BIRD ON A WIRE was then re-released in 1974 and after thatÖit wasnít seen at all, in either the original or edited form as it went out of print. In fact, prior to this week, it had never come out on DVD and only existed as a bootleg video that was very hard to find.
And now, director Tony Palmer has restored the film and it is available on DVD for the first time, and the limited edition packaging of it also includes a reproduction of the original 1972 film poster, in addition to 17 fabulous Cohen performances, 4 poems, tour footage and interviews.
LEONARD COHEN ñ BIRD ON A WIRE is a very interesting film that is a must see for all fans of the man, and music in general. I really, really enjoyed it!!
A film I didnít enjoy was the intended Summer Blockbuster PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME, based on the video game of the same name.
PRINCE OF PERSIA stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Sir Ben Kingsley. Jake and Gemma play a young fugitive prince and princess ñ respectively ñ who are trying to stop a villain who is threatening to destroy the world, using a special dagger that can take the holder of it back in time using magic sand.
Now I am all for check-your-brain-at-the-door Summer action films, but PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME just doesnít add up to much, even with itís likable cast, and some very good action scenes, and so I donít recommend it.
Some releases I do recommend now, starting with the Box Set for SEASON TWO of the CBC series BEING ERICA.
BEING ERICA is about Erica Strange, a young woman who decides to see a therapist because she wants to start dealing with the regrets she has in her life, and discovers that the therapist has the ability to send her back in time to actually relive these events and even change them.
And in Season TwoÖchange is in the air.
I wouldnít say that I am a huge fan of BEING ERICA as the show is too hit and miss, and it misses too often, but I like the cast, and so ñ at times ñ I have to admit that I sort of like their show.
And if you are a fan of the series, donít forget that Season 3 will debut on CBC Television on Tuesday, September 21st, at 9 oíclock.
Another show that will make itís new season premiere on Tuesday, September 21st ñ on another network ñ is a little juggernaught called GLEE.
GLEE is the very popular television show about a High School Glee Club, and the talented and troubled kids who are in it.
The show is also about their teacher advisor, and Sue Sylvester, the head of the school’s cheerleading team who is always scheming to take down the Glee club.
Sue is played by the great comedienne Jane Lynch from THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN and BEST IN SHOW.
GLEE is a fun show that features a great young cast, and a wide array of great musical numbers and THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is available to own now.
I like the show, and the only thing stopping me from fully recommending it is that the teen melodrama that is also featured in the show is nothing we havenít seen beforeÖbut I do like GLEE, especially the songsÖand it is a show that I do recommend for people who enjoy musicals.
Another TV show set that is now available is for THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of CHUCK, the action comedy series about an “average computer-whiz-next-door” who ñ as the series begins ñ has the only remaining copy of the world’s greatest spy secrets implanted into his brain and in this season, he starts using it to become a spy.
CHUCK is one of those shows that I really like. It is smart, features a great cast, has some great spies, spy gear and stories. Plus, it is fun and funny and even features a nice love story.
If you have never seen it, I easily recommend it!!
I also recommend the comedy series THE BIG BANG THEORY, a program that seems to get better and better each seasonÖand I recommend it knowing full-well that one of the lead characters ñ Sheldon ñ is almost completely unlikableÖbut that said, I think he is great and he works very well within the show.
THE BIG BANG THEORY is a show about a group of friends ñ a beautiful woman and four male scientists ñ and it features a great ensemble cast and some great pop culture references, and more that a few laughs.
THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is now available to own, and I am glad I do because I love this show!!
The TV Show On DVD portion of this weekís Couch Potato Report is now over, however we have now arrived at a TV Movie On DVD.
WHO IS CLARK ROCKEFELLER? is a made-in-Toronto police procedural film starring the cityís own Eric McCormack from the series WILL & GRACE. He plays a German con artist who for years impersonated many people, at one point claiming to be part of the Rockefeller family.
WHO IS CLARK ROCKEFELLER? is based on a true story, and is well made, but the film isnít anything special at all. Unless you like the cast ñ that also includes Sherry Stringfield from E.R. ñ you may want to skip this one.
And unless you absolutely NEED to see each and every zombie movie ever made, you should also skip George A. Romeroís latest film SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD because it is just more of the same cinematic killing. Yes, there are some cool new ideas in it, but for the most part it is just more of the same.
Romero is the man who basically invented the Zombie genre, but this latest one ñ about an island where local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state ñ is for Zombie fans only.
SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD is absolutely for Zombie fans only.
Just like LETTERS TO JULIET is only for fans of Amanda Seyfrid from Dear John, Chloe and Jennifer’s Body ñ and only for those who love predictable romantic comedies.
This one is about a woman in her mid-twenties who is on vacation in Italy who finds an unanswered “letter to Juliet” — one of thousands of letters that are left ñ in real life and in this film ñ in the Verona courtyard where Romeo & Juliet took place. These letters are answered by the “secretaries of Juliet” — and the young woman goes on a quest to help bring together two people who met fifty years earlier.
I didnít dislike LETTERS TO JULIET, but as it begins to move toward itís inevitable conclusion I got bored and just didnít care. Ultimately, what could have been a nice little film just isnítÖso unless you are a HUGE fan of Amanda Seyfrid or you love predictable romantic comedies skip it.
If you are looking for the latest releases in High Definition, Iíll turn on The Blu-Ray Beacon in just a moment, however if you are looking for EricÖhere we are.
My name is not Eric, it is Dan, but LOOKING FOR ERIC is an English film about a man named Eric who is a HUGE soccer fan whose life is falling apart, so he starts to imagine that he is receiving advice and from real-life soccer player Eric Cantona.
LOOKING FOR ERIC is a small, very interesting character driven movie that had me interested right up until the end. It isnít great in any way, but I am glad Iíve seen it.
Okay, it is Blu-Ray Beacon time now, and it canít come soon enoughÖespecially if you werenít able to take a real vacation this summer. So, letís go on a trip with Clark W. Griswold and family to Wally World!!
Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo star as Clark and Ellen Griswold in both 1983ís VACATION and 1985ís EUROPEAN VACATION and both of the films feature many, many great lines that are quoted to this day.
Neither one of the films look pristine on Blu-ray, but each of them have some huge laugh out loud moments, and some notable Special Features. I love both NATIONAL LAMPOONíS VACATION and NATIONAL LAMPOONíS EUROPEAN VACATION.
And I truly enjoyed watching them again this weekÖespecially when the late great John Candy shows up at Wally World.
Love that John Candy, and I also love the late great director Robert Altman. His films MASH and NASHVILLE have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, and another one of his best is now on Blu-rayÖthe 1992 film THE PLAYER.
THE PLAYER stars Tim Robbins as a studio executive who is being blackmailed by a writer whose script he rejected but he doesnít know which one, and so he tries to find out. Then he tries to avoid going to jail for murder.
The film is loaded with cameos from some very high profile actors ñ including John Cusack, Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts, among many others ñ and it is jam packed full of Hollywood insider jokes.
If you are a fan of movies, THE PLAYER is a must see in any format, but it comes highly recommended on Blu-ray.
I absolutely love, admire and respect this film!
It is always great when there are releases I like, admire, respect and can recommend in the run of a weekÖI am always happy to talk about good films, and so for the next minute I will do that as I talk about the Blu-ray release of David Fincherís fantastic 1995 film SEVEN.
This is such a great filmÖdisturbing, yes, but so great!!
Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow star in this police drama about two cops, one new and one about to retire, tracking down a serial killer whose crimes are based on the seven deadly sins.
This new Blu-ray for SEVEN features a High Definition transfer that looks amazing!! I have never seen the film look this good!! Plus, it comes with a Digi-book package with 36-pages of text, and a wealth of Special features.
As gory as it is, I love this film, and so I easily recommend this new Blu-ray. This is filmmaking at itís finest!!
Finally this week, ANOTHER tremendous film!!
MICMACS is the latest from French director Jean-Pierre Jeune, who also gave us DELICATESSEN and AMELIE.
Itís original French title is MICMACS A TIRE LARIGOT, translated meaning ìNon-stop shenanigansî and it is a satire about a man and his friends who come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers.
MICMACS is smart, clever, features fantastic sets, gimmick, and peopleís facesÖit is so fantastically uniqueÖalthough it is oddÖunique, but oddÖand because of that it wonít be admired by everyoneÖbut I loved it and if you are looking for a little something differentÖenjoy these non-stop shenanigans!!
MICMACS, the SPECIAL EDITION of SEVEN, Robert Altmanís THE PLAYER, Chevy Chaseís NATIONAL LAMPOON films VACATION and EUROPEAN VACATION, LETTERS TO JULIET, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of THE BIG BANG THEORY, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of CHUCK, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of GLEE and THE PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME Öare all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
LOOKING FOR ERIC, WHO IS CLARK ROCKEFELLER, SEASON TWO of BEING ERICA and LEONARD COHENís fantastic 1972 concert film BIRD ON A WIRE are available now, only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Weíll head into Sherwood Forest for one of the worst films of the year as Russell Crowe stars in the latest version of ROBIN HOOD, Iíll tell you about the Academy Award winning films THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES and AMERICAN BEAUTY, MODERN FAMILY and COMMUNITY debut on disc, and so does THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of the great show 30 ROCK.
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 – September 18th, 2010