The Couch Potato Report – February 5th, 2011
This week The Couch Potato Report lets you in, never lets you go, and kicks a hornetís nest!
Since I was away last week, there are a number of releases for me to tell you about this week, so let me get right to them, starting with the three disc Box Set for the complete fourth season of the made-in-Indian Head, Saskatchewan television series LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE.
In this fourth season, the friendly relationship between the Muslims and the Christians is challenged when a new Reverend takes over Mercy Anglican and tries to evict them at every turn, all while the showís regular cast reacts, yet continue in their sometimes comedic ways.
LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE works best when it is educational, informative, as well as entertaining and during THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, it continues to succeed more than it fails…so enjoy!
Oh, and donít miss all-new episodes of LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, Mondayís at 8 pm, only on CBC Television.
The first movie I have for you this week, is one of my favourites of last yearÖit is a thrilling, methodical, spectacular horror film about a bullied 12-year-old boy who finds love and revenge through the new girl who moves in next doorÖwho just happens to be a vampire.
LET ME IN is the Hollywood remake of the superb Swedish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and when I heard they were remaking it, I was disappointedÖhow can you improve on the original, I thought.
But improve they did, and as much as I love the first one, I actually now prefer the remake. The cast is great, the fact that you hear some of the goings on, but donít see them, and the uniqueness of the story all adds up to a fantastic film.
Invite LET ME IN inÖand enjoy!! I sure did!!
Now, as you are searching for a film to watch this weekend, donít confuse LET ME IN with NEVER LET ME GO.
LET ME IN is a horror thriller, while NEVER LET ME GO is a sci-fi romance.
NEVER LET ME GO stars Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan from AN EDUCATION, Keira Knightly of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films and Andrew Garfield of THE SOCIAL NETWORK as three teenagers living life and falling in love while attending a seemingly idyllic English boarding school.
However, one day they find out that they will never grow old, because their purpose in life is to help othersÖtheir purpose is to be organ donors.
Due to the fact that it crosses several genres ñ mainly science fiction and romance ñ NEVER LET ME GO is one of those films that is never quite what it seems to be. It is mostly interesting at all times, however, and so I can say that I liked it enough to recommend it.
Yes, it is very, very slow moving at times, but even during those moments, it is still interesting.
If you are looking for something football related this Super Bowl weekend, something to watch either before, during ñ or even after ñ the endless hours of pre and post-game analysis and hype, I have a very good documentary for you.
THE TILLMAN STORY is about Pat Tillman who turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million to play football in the NFL, instead choosing to enlist in the United States Army in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
When he died in the line of duty by friendly fire, the Military tried to cover-up the truth and turn his death into a testimony to patriotism, but his family just wanted to know the truthÖand as they searched for answers to what really happened, they encountered roadblocks every step of the way.
THE TILLMAN STORY is a very good documentary, about a close family who just wanted to know the truth, and I easily recommend itÖeven to people who donít like football.
Release number five this February morning is about former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer ñ CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER looks at his careerís ups and downís, and includes interviews with the scandalized, former politician himself, and many of the people he met ñ and dated ñ along the way.
CLIENT 9 is a well made documentary that offers a lot of insight into Spitzerís career and decisions, but even though there is a sex scandal at itís coreÖthe film is not very compelling.
This was a man who many think would have become President one dayÖwho lost that chance because he couldnít stop spending time with call girls, yet the documentary about all of that isnít compellingÖand this next doc, isnít compelling either.
The facts, figures and information contained in FREAKONOMICS are very interesting, but it isnít compelling either.
FREAKANOMICS is the film version of the bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Like the book, the film examines human behaviour, using case studies, and most of them are presented in humorous fashionÖbut I donít remember anything from it.
Interesting yesÖcompelling and memorable, no.
As indicated by my positive review of LET ME IN a few minutes ago, I love a good horror film. Like many people, I enjoy being scared sometimes.
I love a good horror film, and sometimes even a mediocre one will do.
Nope, I did not love CHAIN LETTERÖbut there were some very good horrific moments in it!
CHAIN LETTER is about six high school friends who are connected by a sinister chain letter that lives through e-mails and text messages.
Delete it and dieÖpass it on, and maybe you live.
Like I said, CHAIN LETTER isnít a classic horror film, but it does have some unique stuff.
CHAIN LETTER co-stars Nikki Reed from THE TWLIGHT FILMS, and her co-stars in those movies is Kristen Stewart.
Kristin also appears in WELCOME TO THE RILEYíS, a depressing movie about a grief stricken couple whose teenage daughter has diedÖbut they just might have found a pseudo replacement when the husband meets a wayward teenager while on a business trip.
James Gandolfini from THE SOPRANOS, and Melissa Leo ñ who will soon win an Oscar for her work in THE FIGHTER ñ star in WELCOME TO THE RILEYíS as the parents, and while the film is not completely awful, it is not great by any stretch of the imagination.
This one is for fans of the cast only.
SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLLÖthat is where we are right now, at SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL a biopic of Ian Dury ñ a man who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.
Andy Serkis from THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY stars and received a British Film And Television Arts Award nomination as Best Actor for his work and he is great in this unapologetic portrait of DuryÖa man who was very self centered and not always likeable.
I always enjoy biopics, especially the ones about musicians, so I enjoyed and SEX DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLLÖbut unless you know who Ian Dury and The Blockheads are, you should probably skip this one.
We have arrived at Blu-Ray Beacon time now, featuring a pair of epic films that come just ahead of Lisbeth Salander ës latest adventures and the conclusion of this weekís Report.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA was partially filmed in Montreal and was originally released in 1984. Directed by Sergio Leone, Robert DeNiro stars as a former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster who returns to Brooklyn over 30 years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
Joe Pesci, DeNiroís co-star from RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS also makes an appearance here.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA is not a film I consider a classic, but I do admire and respect it enough to sit and watch every second of itís 3 hour and 49 minute running time again this week.
And it looks great in High Definition.
This epic is one that I do consider a classicÖI love every minute of DANCES WITH WOLVES!!
DANCES WITH WOLVES is the Academy Award winning Best Picture from 1990 which tells the story of a Civil War-era officer who travels to the frontier to find a military post, and then finds a new life with some Sioux Indians.
In 2007, DANCES WITH WOLVES was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
It is all of that ñ and so much more ñ and the new Blu-ray looks amazing and features a wealth of special features and an hour-long retrospective documentary.
It is an epic, it is a classic, it is a masterpiece!!
Finally this week is the concluding cinematic chapter of the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larssonís MILLENNIUM TRILOGYÖwhich started with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, included THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and now ends with THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETíS NEST.
For the uninitiated, the primary characters in this series 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.
In this film Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders and Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court…something she seems reluctant to do.
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETíS NEST is not the strongest movie ñ or book – in the series, but it still has some 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 missÖin fact see all of the films, AND read the books! This is entertainment at itís finest!!!
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETíS NEST, DANCES WITH WOLVES, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL, WELCOME TO THE RILEYíS, CHAIN LETTER, FREAKANOMICS, CLIENT 9, THE TILLMAN STORY, the sci-fi romance NEVER LET ME GO, the horror thriller LET ME IN, and THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of CBC Televisionís LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
YOU AGAIN, ITíS KIND OF A FUNNY STORY, A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLe SHOP, THE TWO ESCOBARS and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in
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 – February 5th, 2011