The Couch Potato Report

Here’s a slew of new reviews!!!

The Couch Potato Report – October 1st, 2011

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report are Transformers, a Quebecois coming of age story, and we’ll get footloose.

Up first this week – courtesy of the French film FRISSONS DES COLLINES – we head to rural Quebec in 1969 where a twelve year old boy who loves Jimi Hendrix has a dream…to travel with his Father to see the guitar legend play at Woodstock.

Much to his delight and surprise, his Father agrees that they should go!

After an accident kills his Father, the boy still wants to see his idol perform and he is willing to do anything to get to the legendary concert, including lying and stealing, among other things.

I like coming of age stories…and I also like movies about people having a passion for music…so when you add the two together, as is the case in FRISSONS DES COLLINES, the result is a film that I really enjoyed.

Now this isn’t a perfect film, it does have its flaws…namely too many side stories that take away from the boy and his love of music…but I did really enjoy it.

FRISSONS DES COLLINES might not be a film you find in every store, or locate easily online…but it is worth looking for.

One film you will have no problems finding in stores or On Demand is the second highest grossing film of the year…the third film in the TRANSFORMERS series…this one is called DARK OF THE MOON.

I must admit that I didn’t think much of the first two films in this series from director Michael Bay about robots able to transform into everyday vehicles, electronic items or weapons.

I know they made billions of dollars around the world, but I didn’t care for them…they weren’t clever, or interesting, they were action films made with an unlimited budget from a director that nobody would say no to…it seemed that no one – not even producer Steven Spielberg would tell him that some of the things in the films – like giving one of the robots male body parts in the second one – might have sounded like good ideas on set, but didn’t do anything to make the movie better.

But with this third one…it seems as if Bay has learned a little from the over bloated, too long, complete waste of my time second film, and has delivered a Summer Action film that works!!

I left my brain at the door, both times I’ve seen it, and just enjoyed this popcorn picture about robots fighting robots, and the humans they meet along the way.

Yes…at 157 minutes, or two hours and thirty-seven minutes…TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is still a bit bloated itself – primarily because the fighting scenes between the robots go on and on and on and on and on sometimes – making it difficult to even see who is who on occasion – but I enjoyed it anyway!!

It won’t make my Top Ten list of 2011, but it was one of the best Summer movies this year.

Turn off your brain and enjoy!!

Oh, and be warned, the version of DARK OF THE MOON that came out this week is a bare bones release, with absolutely no Special Features…meaning there will be another DVD and Blu-ray of the film coming out down the road.

One film you probably won’t enjoy this week – I know I sure didn’t – is the wannabe thriller THE LEDGE – about a man who climbs up on – wait for it – a ledge after he is given one hour to make a decision about who should live and who should die: him, or the woman he has fallen in love with.

Her husband is holding all the cards, with the woman at gunpoint, and a policeman is getting all the sordid details and back story as he tries to talk the man down.

Will he jump, or won’t he…and will his story help the officer get through his own personal crisis? I wanted to see how it all played out…but I don’t recommend that you spend any of your time on it.

THE LEDGE has a great cast – including Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Charlie Hunnam and Terrence Howard – but it doesn’t add up to a movie that you need to see.

Stay away from – and off of – THE LEDGE. You have better things to do.

One thriller that continues to work – that continues to offer thrills and be thrilling – is the television series FRINGE.

FRINGE is sort of a cross between The X-Files and The Twilight Zone, combined with the film Altered States. It was co-created by J.J. Abrams, who also gave us ALIAS and LOST.

It is about an unorthodox team, lead by a female FBI agent who works with a once institutionalized scientist and his son in order to solve cases that are all connected to a series of unexplained events, and in THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON we get more answers to just what is going on…and even more questions are posed as the battle between the two worlds on the show heats up.

FRINGE is a very entertaining show that has a great cast, including Canadian Joshua Jackson from DAWSON’S CREEK, and it is kooky, creepy, odd and interesting…and sometimes it is even all of those things at the same time.

The stand-alone episodes aren’t always as good as the ones that are part of the series’ ongoing mythology, but the majority of them are still above average.

FRINGE continues to be a show that I really enjoy and THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is something I easily recommend.

Yes, the new television season is upon us, and that means that – in addition to THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of FRINGE, there are other Box Sets out there from some other shows too…including THE COMPLETE SEASON SIX of the great comedy HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, about a guy named Ted who continues to search for the woman of his dreams in New York City…with the help of his four best friends.

This sixth season of the show wasn’t its strongest…at times it seems as if the writers are running out of ways to keep the show going…instead of just letting us meet the woman Ted falls for…but even a weak season of this show is better than the best of some of the other shows on the air.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is good TV!! I like hanging out with these people!!

COMMUNITY is also good TV…this show is smart, hip, funny, always fresh and I love hanging out with these folks too!!

COMMUNITY is about a group of people who meet when they join a study group at Community College in Colorado who – over the course of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – became a pseudo family, and during the newly released COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, they continue to have their ups and downs…and we get to enjoy it all!!

COMMUNITY isn’t the greatest show on TV, but it is fun and has a great ensemble cast.

If you are looking for some laughs, you will definitely find some in THE COMPLETE SECOND – and FIRST – SEASONS of COMMUNITY!!

Now, the best television show that is out this week – with no disrespect intended toward those other great shows – is the comedy MODERN FAMILY about a multinational, multisexual and exceedingly complicated extended family and their hilarious antics, and it is all filmed in a pseudo-documentary style – the same format that is used for the show THE OFFICE.

MODERN FAMILY is a fantastic show that it both very funny and involving and THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON was completely deserving of the Emmys Award it recently won – including the one for Outstanding Comedy Series.

If you have never seen it, see it!! It is a very funny view of what it means to be in, be a part of, and raise a family in this day and age.

I LOVE this show!!

It is Blu-ray beacon time now, with a trio of films from the eighties now available in High Definition…including two great horror films – BOTH on one disc!!

Yes, Freddy Kruger is coming for you…in your dreams!!

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge was released in 1985 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors followed closely in 1987…and that latter film featured some young stars who would go onto careers in film and television, namely Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne.

This Horror double feature of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2 & 3 looks great on blu-ray, these were low budget films and I didn’t expect them to look so good, but they do! Plus, the disc comes with a wealth of retrospective features and interviews.

I enjoyed these films when they were first released, and I enjoyed them again this week in High Definition!!

Pick it up…but make sure you stay awake!!!

The final title I have for you this week allows me to cut loose and get a little loose…FOOTLOOSE.

Kevin Bacon stars in this 1984 film as a big city kid who moves to a small town…a town that has outlawed music and dancing.

He decides to fight city hall to try and change their minds, and he falls in love with the Preacher’s Daughter along the way.

The DELUXE EDITION of FOOTLOOSE offers up the movie in High Definition – looking and sounding great – and also has some brand new retrospective features, including one with Kevin Bacon looking back on the movie.

I loved FOOTLOSE when it came out, and I love it now!! This blu-ray will stay in my library forever…and if you have never seen it, check it out, and enjoy.

The DELUXE EDITION of FOOTLOOSE, the Freddy Kruger Double Feature of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2 & 3, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the great comedies MODERN FAMILY and COMMUNITY, THE COMPLETE SEASON SIX of the entertaining HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of the thrilling sci-fi show FRINGE, the entertaining Summer action film TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and the very good Quebec-made coming-of-age film FRISSONS DES COLLINES are all available now in stores and online.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The Canadian film THE ENTITLED, SCREAM 4, KEN BURNS’ latest documentary PROHIBITION, THE LION KING – on Blu-ray – and the Summer action flick FAST FIVE.

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!