The Couch Potato Report – November 6th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report has a Buzz, a Woody, a Martin Scorsese Collection and the bridge on the river Kwai.
Up first this week is not only the number one film of this year, but after grossing over a billion dollars at the worldwide Box Office it is also the Number One Animated film of all time.
However, it isnít the success of the film that makes it special, it is the film itself.
Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Bullseye, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Hamm, Rex, the three-eyed aliens, they are all back in TOY STORY 3 and ñ as Andy is about to head off to college ñ the toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of being sent to the attic for storage. So it is up to Woody to try and convince them that they weren’t abandoned and that they should return home.
I loved TOY STORY 3, is that rare film that is fantastic on every level. It has a heart, some great laughs and will connect with you emotionally. It is great for everyone, from little kids, to grown-ups and grandparents. Do not make a mistake and dismiss this as ìonly a cartoonî, TOY STORY 3 is so much more than that, and I highly recommend it!!
I began this week with a picture about toys, and here now is a picture about a man who takes picturesÖwhether people want him to or not.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, Marlon Brando broke his jaw and the documentary SMASH HIS CAMERA is all about him, paparazzi photographer Ron Galella ññ but in addition to focussing the lens on the man, the film also looks at issues from right to privacy, freedom of the press, and celebrity worship.
SMASH HIS CAMERA is a fascinating documentary! I didnít always like the man it is about, but I did thoroughly enjoy the movie about him.
Parts of SMASH HIS CAMERA are battles between Ron Galella and his subjectsÖbut only parts of it.
Almost all of CENTURION is about battles because it is about a group of Roman soldiers in Britain in 117 A.D. who must fight for their lives behind enemy lines.
CENTURION is a gory, bloody, very violent medieval action film and so if that is the sort of film you like, you will not be disappointed.
The next film I have for you ñ called GIALLO ñ is one that you probably would never have heard of, and I probably wouldnít have reviewed under normal circumstances, because it just isnít that goodÖbut a few weeks ago, when Academy Award winner Adrien Brody sued to prevent the release of the film, the film received a ton of publicity and the odds increased that you would have heard of it, and now I am reviewing it.
It still isnít that good…but let me tell you about it anyway.
Giallo is an Italian 20th century genre of literature and film, which in Italian indicates crime fiction and mystery.
GIALLO is also the name of this film ñ set in Italy ñ about a woman whose sister was kidnapped by a sadistic killer known only as Yellow.
Adrien Brody is suing the producers of GIALLO for nearly $3 million because he said he never got paid for his work on the film. Personally, I hope he winsÖand then I hope he cuts me a cheque for the 92 minutes I wasted watching itÖthat is time I am never getting back.
Like I said, GIALLO isnít complete garbage, but it is pretty close. Donít waste your time!!
Hey, if you think you know Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the pathologist, right-to-die activist, painter, composer, and instrumentalistÖ.the folks who have given us this next release want you to inform you that YOU DONíT KNOW JACK.
YOU DONíT KNOW JACK is the name of this look at the life and work of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, as directed by Barry Levinson ñ who has also given us THE NATURAL and RAIN MAN ñ and starring Academy Award winner Al Pacino.
YOU DONíT KNOW JACK is an interesting film about a fairly eclectic individual, but it isnít entertaining in any way. It is just a by the books bio-pic and even though I found it interesting, once it was over it I thoughtÖîNow that I know JackÖso what?!?î
This one is only for those who want to know more about the man once dubbed ìDoctor Deathî.
You, and only you!
But this next filmÖit is sort of for everyone. Sure, it is juvenile, idiotic at times and maybe too childish for itís own goodÖbut those are the good things about ELF!!
ELF is the modern day holiday staple directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who is raised by Elves and Santa at the North Pole, who returns to New York City to meet his Father.
But all doesnít go well as Buddy is used to life on the North Pole, not in the Big Apple.
I love this movie and ELF is now available in an ULTIMATE COLLECTORíS EDITION, that comes in a Holiday Tin, with a 5-track soundtrack CD sampler, a holiday stocking, 15 gift tag stickers and a magnetic Elf picture frame with magnet.
If you know someone who loves this movie, this is a great gift for themÖafter all Christmas is comingÖand so is the jolly man dressed in red!!
ELF will make a great gift this year, and so will an animated movie that was released to theatres back in March. When it played on the silver screen it was in 3D and it was so much funÖand now HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is available to own, but only in 2DÖand that is fine as it is still so much fun!!
Ottawa born actor Jay Baruchel from TROPIC THUNDER provides the voice in this animated film about a hapless young Viking who wants to hunt dragons like his Father and everyone else in his small village.
Once he captures and befriends a young dragon, and learns there may be more to the creatures than just prey.
As I said, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is a whole lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. If you have kids to entertain, hook them up with this one!
One filmÖnot for the whole familyÖnot at allÖis the 1979Ödare I say, ìAction Classicî, MAD MAX.
I use the word Classic for MAD MAX because this was the first of the post Apocalyptic Action films, and it remains one of the best.
Mel Gibson stars as a cop whose family is murdered by a crazed biker gang, and he sets out for revenge.
MAD MAX is now available on Blu-Ray, and the good news is that it comes with the original Australian audio. Previous versions on Laserdisc, video and even DVD had the dubbed North American voices, but this one has the Aussie one, and is better for it!!
Yes, MAD MAX is ñ and remains ñ an action classic ñ and, even though it is only a year old, THE HANGOVER is a comedy classic.
I watched the film again this week because there is a new EXTREME EDITION available, and it still made me laugh out loud.
THE HANGOVER stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis and is about three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures.
They then must retrace their steps in order to find him.
This EXTREME edition of THE HANGOVER comes packaged in a box that holds both the Blu-ray and a 32-Page, full-color hardcover photo book featuring pictures of the misadventures the guys got up to in the film.
Now, if you already own the blu-rayÖyou probably donít need this new versionÖunless you really want to own and keep the pictures in the book.
But if you donít own it, and want to, the EXTREME EDITION of THE HANGOVER primarily contains a fabulous ñ and very funny filmÖone that I continue to highly recommend!
Another funny film that I also continue to recommend is the 2007 action comedy HOT FUZZ from Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost, the folks who gave us SHAUN OF THE DEAD.
In this one Pegg is a London cop who is committed to his jobÖso committed, in fact, that he is transferred to a small town because he is making the rest of the force look bad.
Upon arriving in the new town, he meets his co-workers and the eclectic residents.
HOT FUZZ is not only an entertaining film on itís own, but it also a nice parody and tribute to action filmsÖand now, it is available in Steelbook packaging.
Steelbooks are a current craze amongst Blu-ray collectors. The films are packaged in a decorative, embossed, and hinged) steel case, and if you like that sort of thing the one for HOT FUZZ is a great one to have!
Another great new Steelbook is the one for the comic book film SIN CITY, directed by Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino.
SIN CITY is a fantastic film that looks like it is actually a graphic novel, primarily because it is based on one. The movie, and the books, explore the dark and miserable town Basin City and the film features the stories of three different people, all caught up in the violent corruption of the city.
It has a great cast, great stories, and now ñ in Blu-Ray Steelbook packaging, it is a great addition to your movie library!!
I have four ñ count ëem ñ FOUR Academy Award winning films now to conclude this weekís edition of The Report, and three of them are housed in THE MARTIN SCORSESE COLLECTION.
This fantastic three-disc set features THE AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED and the 1991 classic GOODFELLAS.
These days, most of these sets only have the filmsÖwith no special featuresÖbut THE MARTIN SCORSESE COLLECTION has all of the Bonus Materials that have been and are available on the individual releases.
So, if you are a fan of these films, or great movies in general, and donít already own themÖI easily recommend this set and all three films!
Finally this week is a film that won Seven Academy Awards back in 1958, including Best Actor, Best Director and Best PictureÖand now THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI is available in a fantastic new Blu-Ray set!
This great filmÖvery worthy of the word ìClassicîÖwas directed by David Lean and stars Alec Guinness as a British colonel in a Japanese P.O.W. camp who decides to co-operate and oversee his men’s construction of a railway bridge for their captors ñ while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI comes with a 35-page book with stories and photos from the production, replications of the original lobby cards, a bonus DVD version of the movie and much more.
If you have never seen it, give this bridge a viewing, because in addition to the extras, the movie itself looks and sounds amazing in High Definition!
THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE MARTIN SCORSESE COLLECTION ñ with GODDFELLAS, THE AVIATOR and THE DEPARTED, the Steelbook Blu-rays of SIN CITY and HOT FUZZ, the EXTREME EDITION of the still very funny film THE HANGOVER, MAD MAX, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, the ULTIMATE COLLECTORíS EDITION of Will Ferrellís ELF, WILD GRASS, YOU DONíT KNOW JACK, GIALLO, the action film CENTURIAN, the documentary SMASH HIS CAMERA, and the fantastic TOY STORY 3 are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Some GROWN-UPS, a WHITE CHRISTMAS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and the shot-in-Toronto-set-in-Toronto-based-on-the-great-graphic-novel-series film, SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD!!
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 – November 6th, 2010