The Couch Potato Report – April 30th, 2011
This week The Couch Potato Report strikes you with the truth, goes on a few dates, and takes in the human planet.
Mixed Martial Arts ñ or MMA – is a full, sometimes very violent contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills to be used in competitionsÖincluding Jiujitsu, Judo, Kickboxing, Boxing and Wrestling.
MMA is also known as cage fighting or ultimate fighting.
Georges St-Pierre ñ who is often referred to as GSP ñ is a Canadian mixed martial artist and the current Welterweight Champion of the UFC.
GSP is also one of two fighters from Montreal featured in the documentary THE STRIKING TRUTH, the other is David “The Crow” Loiseau and this film juxtaposes their two careers with St-Pierre’s meteoric rise and Loiseau facing personal challenges and not always doing so well.
Both GSP and ìThe Crowî are good people, very charismatic and their stories are interesting, but this film is lovingly produced, meaning on the rare occasions when it does focus on the negative, it only mentions it in passing and so while I did like it there is no getting around the fact that it is really only for people who are huge fans of these men or mixed martial arts.
So if that is you, enjoy!!
There is a lot of hard work involved in winning a championship, whether it is as an MMA fighter, or in the ongoing NHL playoffs.
Believe it or not, it can also take a lot of hard work to win the lotteryÖas you can see in the documentary LUCKY.
Hard work, guess workÖpraying, all of that and much more is on display in this film about the lottery in America and some the industry’s biggest winners.
Also on display are some big losers tooÖand I say that simply because they have never won the big bucksÖfor no other reason.
Winning, losing, winners, losersÖyou meet all sorts of people and hear all sorts of stories in this film!
LUCKY is a very entertaining documentary, and so it isnít much of a gamble if you pick it up. Odds are youíll enjoy it.
The lead character in this next film also gambles.
Two-time Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey stars in CASINO JACK as a Washington lobbyist. He is a man who wants everything that life offersÖmostly for himself, but sometimes for others as wellÖand he doesnít care who gets in the way as he cons, schemes and commits fraudulent acts to get it.
He even enlists the help of a less than credible lawyer, played by former Saturday Night Live liar Jon Lovitz.
CASINO JACK is based on the true story of Jack Abramoff, who was convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy. He was as the centre of a corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials, a U.S. Representative, nine other lobbyists and Congressional aides.
In real life, this story is completely fascinatingÖon filmÖin this filmÖit isnít. The acting is top notch and the movie is well made, but it isnít all that intriguing. The true story is, the movie story is not and as a result CASINO JACK is not a movie I recommend.
Although it was great to see Jon Lovitz working again!!
Another swinging bachelor is the title character of the Canadian-made animated comedy series THE DATING GUY.
THE DATING GUY is an adult cartoonÖone for grown-upsÖabout four twenty-something friends ñ Mark, Woody, Sam and VJ ñ and their weekly adventures as they hunt for love.
The show also offers up insightful and informative conversations between the friends about the ins and outs of dating a werewolf to the subtleties of seduction.
It isnít the greatest show I have ever seen, but it is fun and funny and I was very entertained by it and now you can enjoy all thirteen episodes of SEASON ONE of THE DATING GUY yourself because they are available now in a three disc set.
THE DATING GUY is an animated show set in Toronto, SOUTH PARK is one set in ColoradoÖbut you might know that as the show began airing itís fifteenth season this weekÖyes, SOUTH PARK has been on the air for fifteen seasons now and THE COMPLETE FOURTEENTH SEASON is now available to own!!
As I watched this three disc set this week, I laughed out loudÖrepeatedlyÖand I had seen all of the episodes at least a couple of times before, yet I was still laughing because the show is still great!
In this FOURTEENTH SEASON Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny plug into social networking, fight the state of New Jersey, and we learn the secret identity of MysterionÖand so much more!!
I have highly recommended the previous thirteen seasons of SOUTH PARK, and so ñ yes ñ I also do that for THE COMPLETE FOURTEENTH SEASON.
I love this show and all of its characters!!
SOUTH PARK continues to be a fantastically entertaining show, and had it not been for a comedian named Ernie KovacsÖit might now have ever existedÖand I always find it hard to say ìThere would have been no this, if it wasnít for this.î, because who knowsÖmaybe there would have been. Maybe someone else would have provided the necessary inspiration.
But in this case, I say it without issueÖthere would have been no SOUTH PARK, no David Letterman, Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, or most of the other legendary comedy showsÖhad it not been for a man named Ernie Kovacs.
He is tame by todayís standards, yes, but back thenÖhe did it long before anyone else. Ernie Kovacs was a visionary and between 1951 and 1962 he broke rules that hadnít even been made yet and created a way of doing things that is taken for granted by most people who watch comedies today.
THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION is a six disc box set that has over 15 hours of shows from the brilliant television career of this hugely influential comic artist, showing his offbeat humour and creative experimentation with the medium of television.
Kovacs is a man who died young ñ he was only 42 years old when he died in a car crash in 1962 ñ and THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION is a fantastic look at his work, along with the early days of television, and comedy as we know it todayÖwhen they were both just starting.
I highlyÖvery highly recommend it!!
Ernie Kovacs is a comedy icon, and I adore him and his work!! I have also showed adoration in the past for a film from writer director Sofia Coppola called LOST IN TRANSLATION. That Academy Award winner is beloved in my world!
Sofiaís latest will not get such praise or adorationÖinstead, in just a few moments I will label it as boring.
Interesting, but boring.
The intent of the SOMEWHERE is to be a look at the life of a lonely and bored Hollywood star who feels empty inside and is going through the motions in everythingÖbut learns to love again after he spends time with his daughter.
Yes, it is a film about someone who learns to love againÖbut most people wonít love it because it is boring.
This is a very boring movieÖbut, at times, it is also goodÖnot often, but on occasion.
Elle Fanning ñ Dakotaís sister ñ plays the daughter and forgotten talent Stephen Dorff is the father and since I love LOST IN TRANSLATION, I thought I would like SOMEWHERE as they are very similar, but ultimately I did not becauseÖdid I mention that it is boringÖslow and boring? Plus, I didnít like the ending at allÖso you should skip this oneÖeven if you also loved LOST IN TRANSLATION.
HeyÖhow about a bad movie nowÖbut a good bad movieÖone that is so awful, that as long as you know going it that it is going to be awful, you might enjoy itÖthat kind of bad movie?
How about that nowÖcourtesy of a project called DINOSHARK?!?!
Yes, the DINOSHARK was frozen in glacial ice over 150 million years ago and now it has traveled to Puerto Vallarta to eat anything in its pathÖand to suffer through some bad acting.
DINOSHARK is an awful movie, with wooden acting, horrible special effects and even the continuity is badÖpeople are in the water one minute, and their hair is completely dry the nextÖbut all that saidÖI LOVED IT!!!
It is an awful, awful movie, but it is also awfully fun!!
On the other hand is the film DALYLIGHTÖthe 1996 Sylvester Stallone disaster film set in the Holland Tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
Explosions have collapsed both ends of it and Sly plays a hero who is trying to lead people trapped inside to safety and this film ñ which ñ as I mentioned is on the other hand ñ is a bad movie that thinks it is good.
DAYLIGHT has a few good action movie sequences, but for the most part it is just another one of those films about people who are trapped inside something and are trying desperately to get out.
DAYLIGHT is new on Blu-ray this week, and the disc comes with all of the old DVD bonus features and the transfer is very goodÖbut even though I am a HUGE fan of Sylvester Stallone and action movies ñ good and bad ñ this movie has never been one that I would recommend.
Finally this week, the Blu-Ray Beacon shines on a fantastic piece of workÖthe eight part BBC series HUMAN PLANET.
HUMAN PLANET is the latest series from the same documentary unit that also gave us PLANET EARTH, BLUE PLANET and LIFE and it is a fantastic look at the relationship between humankind and nature.
If you enjoy nature documentaries ñ as I do ñ you will thoroughly enjoy the trips this series lets us take from the frozen Arctic to steamy rainforests, and from tiny islands in vast oceans to parched deserts, and so much more!!
Donít miss HUMAN PLANET and you chance to see and hear some of the remarkable ways that people have found to adapt and survive.
It is another home run from the BBC Documentary Unit and on blu-ray it all looks and sounds amazing!!!
HUMAN PLANET, DAYLIGHT, DINOSHARK, Sofia Coppolaís SOMEWHERE, the exceptional ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION, THE COMPLETE FOURTEENTH SEASON of SOUTH PARK, SEASON ONE of the Canadian animated comedy show THE DATING GUY, the not great political pseudo comedy CASINO JACK, the lottery documentary LUCKY, and the documentary THE STRIKING TRUTH about Georges St-Pierre and David “The Crow” Loiseau are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
The Canadian film CURLING about a father and his daughter, Vancouverís Seth Rogan stars in the wannabe action adventure THE GREEN HORNET, and Ron Howard ñ the man who has given us so many great films over the years ñ now offers up the unwatchable film THE DIMEMMA.
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 – April 30th, 2011