The Couch Potato Report – October 30th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report goes back, to the future, and back, to the 1970s for the scariest movie of all time?!?
It was on October 26th, 1985, when Marty McFly took Doc Brownís DeLorean Time Machine back to 1955 in the film BACK TO THE FUTURE, and it was on October 26th, 2010 when the 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the film ñ along with BACK TO THE FUTURE II and BACK TO THE FUTURE III ñ were released ñ on Blu-ray for the very first timeÖand they look and sound amazing!!
In addition to these great films ñ starring beloved Canadian Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd ñ in High Definition, there are also some new Special Features in BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE 25th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY.
The main one is TALES FROM THE FUTURE, a six-part retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Fox, Lloyd, co-star Lea Thompson, Director Robert Zemeckis, and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and the best part of that documentary is the footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.
You see, Stoltz ñ who by the mid-eighties had appeared in the hit films SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL and SAY ANYTHING ñ was originally cast in the role, but ñ as sometimes happens in Hollywood ñ it didnít work out, and he was eventually replaced by Fox.
Prior to this release, footage of Stoltz as Marty had never been shown before, and I for one was excited to see it!! It is a fantastic addition to an already stellar release!!
Bottom line is, I love these films, if you are a fan of THE BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY, do not miss THE 25th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY!!
Another box set you can not miss this week if you are a fan of great films is the six disc ALIEN ANTHOLOGY box set, featuring the 1979 film ALIEN, 1986’s ALIENS, ALIEN 3 from 1992, and 1997’s ALIEN RESURRECTION.
OkayÖmaybe not all of these films are greatÖALIEN directed by Ridley Scott and ALIENS ñ directed by Canadian James Cameron ñ sure are, and this set is worth owning just for themÖbut it is also worth it because of the sixty-plus hours of bonus footage, yes I said there are sixty-plus additional hours of documentaries, never-before ñseen footage and so much more!
The Alien film series focuses on Lieutenant Ellen Ripley ñ played by Sigourney Weaver ñ and her battle with an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly referred as “the Alien” and the ALIEN ANTHOLOGY is now the only way to watch them!!
Another film that I will attach the word ìamazingî to is THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIREÖthis film based on the second book in the Millennium Trilogy by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson is amazing!
As with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, the primary characters in THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE are Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Lisbeth is an intelligent, eccentric woman with a photographic memory and bad social skills. Blomkvist is a well-known investigative journalist.
The other two books in the series are THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETSí NEST.
In this film Lisbeth is accused of three murders, causing her to go on the run while Mikael works to clear her name.
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE has great twists and turns, doesnít pull any punches, and is utterly fascinating at times! Due to some very graphic scenes, this is not a movie for everyoneÖbut if you can stomach some cinematic violence this is one that you should not miss!
One release this week that I had been expecting to tell you that you also should not miss is the Box Set for the CBC documentary series AFRICA ON THE MOVE, unfortunately while I thought it was interesting, informative and very good at timesÖit just didnít hold my attention.
Some documentaries grab you and donít let you goÖand you are engaged and focussed on what is going on, right up until the endÖwhile others seem to go on forever and ñ even though you find it interesting at times ñ they never really engage you.
AFRICA ON THE MOVE is the latter, even thought it does do a great job of introducing us to the continentís diverse people and various cultures ñ of men and women, black and white ñ and the amazing changes that take place each and every day, but many of the stories arenít overly compelling and so ñ even though I watched all of it, I didnít care. I wish all of the people featured well, but their stores ñ as told here ñ donít make me care.
AFRICA ON THE MOVE features some very inspiring stories, but as a series, it did not inspire me to recommend it to you.
I was hoping I would, but I donít recommend AFRICA ON THE MOVE, and I also donít recommend SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE to everyone, even though I liked it.
APOCALYPSE is an animated superhero film about Batman and Supermanís reaction to a spaceship that splashes down in Gotham Harbour. A mysterious female Kryptonian with powers as great as Superman’s is the sole passenger and the villain Darkseid has her abducted and brought under his control and ñ as always ñ it is up to the caped crusaders to save the day!
The story in SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE is based on Jeff Loeb’s popular mini-series from the Superman/Batman comic books and it is good, but like all of these straight to home superhero films, they could use more story and less fightingÖbut I still liked it.
If you are a comic book fan, donít miss it!
Some Halloween oriented releases are coming up, however ñ right now ñ how about some TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE.
TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE features several shorts stories, each one set in the late communist period in Romania and based on urban myths from the time. The title refers to the alleged “Golden Age” of the last 15 years of Ceauşescu’s regimeÖ.years that were actually the worst in Romania`s historyÖbut the government propaganda machine referred ñ without fail ñ to that period as “the golden age.”
TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE features comic, bizarre and surprising urban myths all told in a lighthearted, entertaining and clever way. I really enjoyed it!
And then there is the other handÖa film I did not enjoyÖone called NICE GUY JOHNNY that would have been a huge disappointment, if I had been expecting much from it.
NICE GUY JOHNNY is the latest from Director Edward BurnsÖthe same guy that gave us a great film called THE BROTHERS MACMULLEN back in 1995Öand this movie isnít great.
It is a small movie about a nice guy named Johnny who is about to trade his dream job in talk radio for a job in the cardboard box industry just to please his fiancÈe.
His womanizing Uncle Terry want shim to see that he is making a mistake, to no avail, but then a beautiful female stranger comes along, and ñ as happens in predictable films like this ñ she makes him see the error of his waysÖand you wonít care.
NICE GUY JOHNNY is poorly make, the continuity is off, you can see the camera crew in window and door reflections at times, and ñ as someone who has worked in radio for a number of years ñ I can tell you that this guy would never get a job in radio, let alone a dream job in the medium ñ and so this is one of those movies you should just skip past
OkayÖthe Halloween Weekend is here!! A weekend when we get to eat candy guilt free and enjoy scary movies, just because!
And one of the best scary movies, one that I can easily recommend to you even twenty-eight years after it first came outÖis POLTERGEIST.
Based on a story idea by Steven Speilberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, POLTERGEIST is about a young family who are visited by ghosts in their home. At first they appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they “kidnap” the youngest daughter.
POLTERGEIST is now available on Blu-ray and it is still a great flick to watch at this time of year!!
If you have never seen it, scare yourself up a copy!!
Here is a trick for you now, after that treat, a remake of a true classic horror film, a remake that does not need to exist, yet it does.
Yes, surprise, surprise the remake of the 1984 horror classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is pointless.
This NIGHTMARE is billed as a re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, the serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades for fingers.
And once again here if you die in your dreams you die in real lifeÖand as I was watching it, I wished this film would die. If filmmakers are going to re-imagine things, you would hope they would either do it better than the original or at least give their film a reason to existÖthis one just does not.
The 2010 version A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is a complete waste of timeÖsee the original instead!!
Since it is the Halloween weekend ñ Or Halloweekend as I like to call it ñ it is my pleasure to let the Blu-Ray Beacon shine on the film whose packaging refers to it as ìThe scariest film of all time.î
Ultimately only you can decide if THE EXORCIST is ìThe scariest film of all timeî, and you should use the new Blu-Ray Book edition to help you make up your mind because this 2-Disc Edition features fantastic High-Definition Presentations of the Original 1973 Theatrical Version and the 2000 Extended Director’s Cut.
THE EXORCIST is about a young girl who becomes possessed, and a mother who seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
Whether THE EXORCIST is ìThe scariest film of all timeî or not is up for debate, but what is not is the fact that it is a true horror classic!!
Finally this week, ITíS THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN
The 1966 classic about the Peanuts gang celebrating Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin is now available on Blu-ray and it looks just as good now as it ever didÖand one day, one of these years, I hope that Great Pumpkin actually shows up!!
ITíS THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, THE EXORCIST, the remake of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, POLTERGEIST, NICE GUY JOHNNY, TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE, SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE, the CBC Documentary series AFRICA ON THE MOVE, the tremendous film THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, ALIEN ANTHOLOGY and BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE 25th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Buzz, Woody and the gang are back in TOY STORY 3, weíll head to THE PACIFIC, celebrate Christmas early with the ULTIMATE COLLECTORíS EDITION of Will Ferrellís ELF and THE SOUND OF MUSIC debuts on Blu-ray!!
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 – October 30th, 2010