The Couch Potato Report – February 12th, 2011
This week The Couch Potato Report will frighten you with a truly scary movie, and introduce you to The Two Escobars.
Scary moviesÖmovies that make every hair on your body stand on edgeÖfilms that give you a thrill as you jump and maybe even worry about your safety a bitÖI love scary movies!!
Over the past couple of years the scary movie that gave me the most enjoyable scares was the low budget thriller PARANORMAL ACTIVITYÖabout a young couple who are haunted by what appears to be a supernatural presence in their home.
It is presented as if the footage was found after the events in the film took place, and edited together for all to see.
And what we saw was thrilling!!!
Last year saw the release of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 and while I was initially leery of a follow-up, after seeing itÖI loved it as well!!!
As far as the storyline is concerned, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is actually a prequel ñ setting up the haunting in the first film, all while providing some new thrills of itís own.
I have seen it three times now, and it has given me the creeps every time! It is one of those movies that the less you know about it going in, the better, and so that is all I will say about it, other than this: If you enjoy a good scare, do not miss this one!! It is great!!
It has been almost four years since I have said ìÖdo not miss this one!!î about a film starring Katherine HeiglÖKNOCKED UP in 2007 was the last time.
Since then ñ in addition to finishing up her work on the television show GREYíS ANATOMY ñ she has starred in the films 27 DRESSES, THE UGLY TRUTH, KILLERS and now LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, all unforgettable romantic comedies where she plays a successful and confident woman ñ in one field or another ñ who just canít seem to find love. But then she meets a man ñ an imperfect lout usually ñ who might just be perfect for her, but his flaws ñ and her inability to relax and change ñ inevitably pushes them apartÖuntil late in the story when she realizes that maybe she can love the guy after allÖwarts and allÖthe music swells and a happy ending ensues.
I guess what I am saying is that the films Katherine Heigl chooses to star in are as formulaic and predictable as movies get and that is true as well with her latest ñ an uninspired film called LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.
No, Iíll admit it, it isnít awful, and it certainly isnít the worst film I have ever seen, but it is absolutely nothing special.
Should you love Katherine Heiglís movies, donít miss it.
YOU AGAIN is also nothing specialÖthe cast is, but the film is notÖand how about this cast?!?
Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristin Chenoweth and the still great Betty White!!
Kristin Bell plays a character who finds out that her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, and so she sets out to expose the fiancÈe’s for who she really isÖor, at least, let everyone know who she really was.
Jamie Lee Curtis is Bellís mother, and Sigourney Weaver is the mother of the bride, and when they went to high school, they also had an uneasy relationship.
YOU AGAIN has some very funny, and even a few nice moments, but it isnít a very good movie and ultimately it is for fans of the members of the cast ONLY.
I am a huge fan of the cast of the television series HOT IN CLEVELAND ñ it stars television veterans Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and once again the great Betty White ñ so I had a blast this week watching every episode in SEASON ONE.
HOT IN CLEVELAND is about three friends from Los Angeles who unexpectedly find themselves in Cleveland, and are thrilled to discover ñ THEYíRE HOT. They are desired, and in demand, professionally and personallyÖ.so they rent a home together, a home they share with a quick-witted caretakerÖplayed by Betty White.
The actresses look like they are having a blast making this show, and that makes HOT IN CLEVELAND a lot more fun than it should be. I enjoyed SEASON ONE, and easily recommend it!!
Yes, I liked HOT IN CLEVELAND and I also like GLEE, 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.
The first ten episodes of GLEEís second season are now available on DVD in the three-disc set GLEE ñ SEASON TWO ñ VOLUME ONE.
GLEE features far too much teenage melodrama for it to be a show I loveÖbut I do love parts of it, the musical numbers are spectacular!!
GLEE is a fun show that features a great young cast, and a wide array of great musical numbers ñ including the Britney Spears episode and their take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW ñ and the first part of SEASON TWO featuring guest appearances from Britney Spears, Meat Loaf and even Gwenyth Paltrow – is available to own now.
There are a couple of other TV On DVD sets for me to let you know about this week, starting with the collection of short films made for the Will Ferrellís comedy website FUNNY OR DIE.
FUNNY OR DIE PRESENTS ñ THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is a two-disc set which features some very funny skits and mini-movies. Admittedly, is also features some that arenít funny at allÖbut since what is funny to me, might not be funny to you, and vice versa, I can easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good laugh.
They arenít always politically correct laughs, but you will laugh.
You will also laugh at THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the animated RICKY GERVAIS SHOW. Personally I laughed a lot!!
THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW is a thirteen episode series that uses material from the fantastic podcasts that Gervais and his long time partner Stephen Merchant host, along with the surprisingly uneducated Karl Pilkington.
The podcasts ñ and now this show ñ are designed around Karíls always unique view of the world, and the stories he tells.
The animation here is not great, but the humour is and there are plenty of HUGE laughs to be had while listening to these three guys talking.
My friend, enjoy THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOWÖI sure did!!
THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOWÖfunny!! FUNNY OR DIE PRESENTSÖfunny!! ITíS KIND OF A FUNNY STORYÖnot funny.
I think the filmmakers think their film is funny, but it isnítÖinstead it is sort of a modern day retelling of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOíS NEST, with teenagers, about a clinically depressed teenager who finds a new life and new friends after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.
ITíS KIND OF A FUNNY STORY is a well made and well acted movie, but I didnít care what happened to anyone in the film. As I said, I get the impression through the special features that the people responsible for the film think they have made an entertaining black comedy, full of characters you will root forÖbut you wonít.
ITíS KIND OF A MOVIE YOU SHOULD SKIP.
And that is true for THE ROMANTICS as wellÖthis one ñ about seven close friends who reunite for the wedding of two of those friends ñ wants to be a modern day BIG CHILL or ST. ELMOíS FIRE, but it is not. Instead, it is a snorefest!!!
Even right now, as I am starting to think about it againÖall I can think of is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzÖ.
THE ROMANTICS stars Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Malin Akerman, Candice Bergen, Adam Brody, Elijah Wood and Dianna Agron from GLEE, but you wonít care.
It is just soooooo boring!!!! ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzÖ
You probably also wonít care about the made-in-Vancouver television movie THE CLIENT LIST, but at least this movie ñ a fictionalized dramatization of a 2004 prostitution scandal in Odessa, Texas, that focuses on a mother of three who turns to prostitution to make ends meet during tough economic times ñ wonít put you to sleep.
THE CLIENT LIST is not a classic, but it isnít a complete waste of time, andÖin the very listÖthe cast ñ featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Cybill Shepherd and Teddy Sears from ONE LIFE TO LIVE ñ are nice to look at.
WILD TARGET is the next new release I have for you this week, it is about an aging hit man who is revered as the best at what he does, who is hired to kill a con-artist.
But he decides no to, and instead they go on the run together, and are accompanied by a hapless young man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
WILD TARGET stars the great British actors Bill Nighy, Rupert Everett, and Martin Freeman, along with Rupert Grint from the HARRY POTTER films, and the gorgeous Emily Blunt, from THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and it all adds up to a movie I really enjoyed!!
It isnít an action-comedy classic, but I really enjoyed it!!
We are heading to France now, as that is where the action revenge flick 22 BULLETS takes place.
Jean Reno from LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL and LA FEMME NIKITA is a retired mobster who is left for dead with 22 bullets shot into his body by his former childhood friendÖand heís not happy about it.
22 BULLETS is a great revenge flick, and Jean Reno is his usual reliable selfÖso donít miss it!!
In fact, you might think about watching it as part of a double feature with the revenge themed movie RED.
Based loosely on the graphic novel series of the same name, Bruce Willis plays a former black-ops CIA agent living a quiet life alone… until the day a hit squad shows up to kill him.
With his identity compromised, he reassembles his old team and they sets out to prove that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Most of RED is a by-the-book action movie, but what sets it apart ñ and what makes me easily recommend it – is itís cast, which in addition to Bruce Willis features Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and Morgan Freeman.
Enjoy your double feature!!
As the Blu-Ray Beacon begins to shine, it is time for more revenge now, through the Academy Award winning film THELMA & LOIUSE.
Ridley Scott’s 1991 box-office hit stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as two best friends who embark on a life changing road trip, who find themselves hunted by police after a traumatic incident turns them both into fugitives.
Brad Pitt became an overnight star after his appearance in this film, and it would have been nice to see him, Geena and Susan sitting down for a conversation about the movie and itís impactÖbut even though this release has been branded a twentieth anniversary edition, there are no new features on the Blu-ray. All of the goodies are from the 2003 DVD release.
Oh well, at least we still have the film to enjoy, and THELMA & LOUISE ñ both the film and the women ñ all look great on Blu-ray!!
Also looking great in High Definition is the 1957 classic AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, which is now available on Blu-ray for the first time.
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as a couple who fall in love and agree to meet in six months at the Empire State BuildingÖand if that sounds like SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE it is because is was inspired by this classic.
The film looks and sounds great in HD and the supplements provided with it offer up a great source of background materials about it. Plus, the Blu-ray Book packaging gives us 24-pages of pictures, profiles, and an essay on the film.
Whether you believe in fate or destiny or not, if you have never seen AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, you should!!
It is a true classic!!
Another true classic is ALL ABOUT EVE.
ALL ABOUT EVE was released in 1950 and it stars Anne Baxter as Eve, an aspiring actress who manages to become an important part of the personal life of Broadway star Margo Channing, as embodied by Bette Davis.
Soon, Eve finds a way to become Margoís understudy, and before long she is trying to take over her life, on and off stage.
ALL ABOUT EVE features tremendous acting, fantastic dialogue, and was justly nominated for 14 Academy AwardsÖwinning six, including Best PictureÖand itís Blu-ray debut also comes with a wealth of Special Features, and it is all housed in a Book package that gives us 24-pages of pictures, profiles, and an essay on the film.
ALL ABOUT EVE was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered. It also appeared at Number 16 on the American Film Institute’s 1998 list of the 100 best American films.
It is a true classic!!
We are off to China now so The Blu-Ray Beacon can shine on A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP.
This is a remake of BLOOD SIMPLE, the Coen Brothers film from 1985, and it transports the original film’s plot from a town in Texas, to a noodle shop in a small desert townÖ.and the owner of that noodle shop schemes to murder his adulterous wife and her loverÖbut just as in the original, his plan goes awry.
The original film is still the original, and it remains a movie I love, but A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP has original moments all itís own as well. Plus, it features stunning scenery, some big laughs, and it is a great remake. This is a very enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes.
Finally this week is THE TWO ESCOBARS, a fantastic documentary that takes place in the nineties and introduces us to Pablo Escobar ñ one of the richest and most powerful drug kingpins in the world at the time, and Andres Escobar ñ the biggest soccer star of the time in Colombia.
The two were not related, but their fates were fatefully intertwined. Pablo’s drug money had turned Andres’ national team into South American champions, favoured to win the 1994 World Cup in Los Angeles.
It was in L.A. where Andres committed one of the most shocking mistakes in soccer history, scoring a goal into his teamís own net.
That goal eliminated his team from the competition and ultimately cost him his life.
THE TWO ESCOBARS is riveting from start to finish, and I highly, very highly recommend it, even to people who donít like sports.
It is a must see!!
THE TWO ESCOBARS, A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP, AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, ALL ABOUT EVE, THELMA & LOUISE, RED, 22 BULLETS, WILD TARGET, THE CLIENT LIST, THE ROMANTICS, ITíS KIND OF A FUNNY STORY, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of FUNNY OR DIE PRESENTS, SEASON TWO, VOLUME ONE of GLEE, SEASON ONE of HOT IN CLEVELAND, YOU AGAIN, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT and the creepily fantastic horror thriller PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian film 10 1/2 about a ten year old who is considered a danger to societyÖthe documentary WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, about the state of the education system in AmericaÖWoody Allenís YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, and the political classic ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN.
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 – February 12th, 2011