The Couch Potato Report – September 25th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels a robbing hood, a modern family and secrets.
The story of Robin Hood and his merry men ìrobbing from the rich and giving to the poorî has been told since the early fifteenth century and this summer the director and star of GLADIATOR ñ Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe ñ gave us their version.
We all know the story of Robin Hood, Little John, King Richard, Friar Tuck, and Maid MarianÖbut what the filmmakers have done for this version is attempt to give us the story that takes place, before the story we already know.
And so this time we meet Robin Longstride before he becomes Robin Hood, and weíre shown how his band of Merry Men got togetherÖand one of said men is played by Newfoundlandís Alan Doyle of the band Great Big Sea.
Because of the pedigree of the people in front of and behind the camera, I was expecting big things from this version of ROBIN HOOD, and while it does deliver at times ñ the action scenes are all spectacular and almost all of the film is visually impressive ñ it doesnít give us any reason to get emotionally involved because it is easy to figure out how it is all going to end.
Upon second viewing ROBIN HOOD is not the worst movie Iíve seen this yearÖbut it is one of the most disappointing. This one should have been much better than it is!
What Ridley Scott and the folks behind ROBIN HOOD should have done was take the conventions we already know, and turn them around to make them seem fresh. That is what the people behind the television series MODERN FAMILY have done.
The show was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, the people behind Frasier and Just Shoot Me and it is about a multinational, multisexual and exceedingly complicated extended family and their hilarious antics, and it is all filmed in a pseudo-documentary style ñ the same format that is used for the show THE OFFICE.
MODERN FAMILY is a fantastic show that it both very funny and involving and THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON was completely deserving of the Emmy Award it recently won for Outstanding Comedy Series.
If you have never seen it, see it!! It is a very funny view of what it means to be in, be a part of, and raise a family in this day and age.
I LOVE this show!!
MODERN FAMILY is about an actual familyÖwhile the show COMMUNITY is about a group of people who meet when they join a study group at Community College in Colorado who ñ over the course of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ñ become a family.
COMMUNITY isnít the greatest show on TV, but it is fun and has a great ensemble cast that includes Joel McHale as a suspended lawyer who is forced to go back to school to get his law degree and Chevy Chase as a blunt millionaire.
If you are looking for some laughs, you will definitely find some in THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of COMMUNITY.
You might also find some in the show BORED TO DEATHÖbut far fewer of them.
BORED TO DEATH features a fantastic cast ñ Jason Schwartzman from RUSHMORE, Zach Galifianakis of THE HANGOVER and Ted Danson from CHEERS ñ I love this cast!! ñ and the show follows a writer based in Brooklyn who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective.
In the Special Features the people who have created and work on this show think that it is clever, unique, smart and brightÖand those are their wordsÖbut I just found it boring. I wasnít bored to death, mind youÖwhen the three main stars are together in scenes the shows works well enoughÖbut there wasnít enough of those scenes.
THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of BORED TO DEATH are eight television episodes that I know some people will loveÖbut I didnít care for them at all. If you usually enjoy programs that people describe as clever, unique, smart and brightÖyou should give it a shotÖand I hope that you enjoy more than I did.
BORED TO DEATH takes place and is 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 as they travel through two universes.
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 FOURTH SEASON is a six disc set that I am happy to own, and happy to recommend ñ to anyone who also enjoys all types of science fictionÖgoodÖbad…and both.
HeyÖlets have some fun now, shall we?!?
The great SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS show debuted in 1999 and it has been going strong ever since. Sure, it is an animated show made primarily for kidsÖbut it is so much fun that many adults enjoy it as wellÖincluding myself!!
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS ñ 10 HAPPIEST MOMENTS features over two hours of cartoons that feature SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy and the rest of the gang as they spread laughter and cheer under the water throughout Bikini Bottom.
If you are in the need of some immature funÖmake sure you pick this budget priced disc up!!
Now, should you like your immature fun to be aimed at adults, the Broken Lizard comedy troupe have a new release out now as well.
BROKEN LIZARD ñ STANDS UP ñ LIVE, EXTENDED AND UNCENSORED is a concert film where no topic is off limits. Broken Lizard are the guys behind the films SUPER TROOPERS and BEERFEST and in addition to the show that features stories about drugs, lust and everything in between, STANDS UP concludes with the guys on stage talking about how they all met.
This show isnít superb, but there are more than a few laughs. If you are a fan of the troupe, donít miss it!!
Ah, laughing. It is always a good thing to do, whether those laughs come thanks to a group called Broken Lizard, or at a movie by Tim Burton about Martians attacking Earth.
MARS ATTACKS is a 1996 American ensemble comedy science fiction film starring Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Tom Jones, Danny DeVito, and many others. It was directed by Tim Burton and is based on the cult trading card series of the same name from the 1960s. The film is a black comedy AND a romantic comedy, and it includes surreal humor AND political satire. Plus, it is also a parody of science fiction movies.
MARS ATTACKS is now available on Blu-Ray and it remains a fun, fun film!! Sadly, said Blu-Ray doesnít have any Special Features at all, but the film is still very entertaining!
There are two Academy Award winners to conclude this weekís edition of The Report, starting with the movie that in 1999 won for Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Actor for Kevin Spacey.
This is AMERICAN BEAUTY!
Spacey stars here as a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis who decides to turn his hectic life after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s attractive friend.
But other obsessions abound as well.
AMERICAN BEAUTY is a fantastic film that looks amazing in High Definition, and that is primarily due to the Oscar winning work of cinematographer Conrad Hall.
This is a great film to own and watch on Blu-ray!!
Finally this week, the film that won the Best Foreign Film Oscar back in March. THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES is a crime thriller from Argentine, and it is an amazing movie!!
This film is about a retired legal counselor who wants to write a novel in order to find some closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with a co-worker ñ both of which continue to haunt him decades later.
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES is smart, engaging, entertaining and is so well done that I highly, highly recommend it!!
And remember, it is called THE SECRET IN THEIR EYESÖso pay attention to the characters eyes.
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, AMERICAN BEAUTY, MARS ATTACKS, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of BORED TO DEATH, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of COMMUNITY, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of MODERN FAMILY and the latest cinematic version of ROBIN HOOD are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
BROKEN LIZARD ñ STANDS UP ñ LIVE, EXTENDED AND UNCENSORED, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS ñ 10 HAPPIEST MOMENTS, THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of LEXX are available now only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
THIS MOVIE IS BROKEN, starring the Canadian band Broken Social Scene, the SOUTH PARK set A BOX OF BUTTERS, SCRUBS ñ THE COMPLETE AND FINAL NINTH SEASON, and the films GET HIM TO THE GREEK and IRON MAN 2.
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 25th, 2010