The Couch Potato Report

Are you in the mood for a film? Well here are some ideas!!

The Couch Potato Report – October 22nd, 2011

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report are the Trailer Park Boys, a bad, wannabe comedy about a teacher…and Pee Wee!!

This week’s edition of The Report may be the most fun one that I’ve put together since I started it in 1991…and the majority of that fun comes courtesy of a bunch of Trailer Park Boys…named Julian, Ricky and Bubbles.

TRAILER PARK BOYS was a television show about a group of people living in the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

It ran from 2001to 2007, and was followed by some specials, and a pair of films.

You can now own every TRAILER PARK BOYS episode, both specials, and both feature films, in the Limited Edition Official Cheeseburger Locker…a hard plastic case in the shape of one of the character’s – in the shape of Randy’s stomach.

I have to admit, that I have never been the biggest fan or supporter of TRAILER PARK BOYS. I always found it too profane, and thought the characters were too stupid and idiotic to spend much time with.

I also just wasn’t entertained by it. But over the years I have come to appreciate the show, and the friendship and bond between the Boys.

And this week – while watching THE TRAILER PARK BOYS – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION I really had fun…and I laughed out loud repeatedly!

This will never be a show I call one of my favourites, but I will now openly state that I am a fan and this collection – all housed in Randy’s stomach – is a must have for all fans of the show!

One show I liked right from the get-go is BEING ERICA, about Erica Strange, a young woman who decides to see a therapist because she wants to start dealing with the regrets she has in her life, and discovers that the therapist has the ability to send her back in time to actually relive these events and even change them.

In SEASON THREE, everything in Erica’s life – her job, her love life, even her therapy with Dr. Tom – is starting anew…and she isn’t always able to keep up with what’s going on, and the result is a show that is very entertaining at times…but heartbreaking at others.

Unfortunately, BEING ERICA is too hit and miss for me to ever be a huge fan, it misses far too often, but I like Erica, and I like her group of family and friends, and so, I like the show and can easily recommend SEASON THREE to you.

Oh, and don’t miss all-new episodes of BEING ERICA on CBC Television, Monday nights at 9!!

To the movies now for a film that wants to be a comedy…but gets a failing mark from me – an easy “F” – because it isn’t all that funny.

BAD TEACHER stars Cameron Diaz – from THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and the SHREK films – as a self-centered, foul-mouthed, junior high teacher who is looking for a sugar daddy, so she never has to work again.

Justin Timberlake plays a substitute teacher who is the heir to a Wrist Watch empire, and Diaz is willing to do whatever it takes to land him…and isn’t shy about letting him know it.

Yes, the character is willing to do anything…but the filmmakers aren’t. Unlike the much better comedy BAD SANTA – starring Billy Bob Thornton – BAD TEACHER doesn’t push the comedy envelope far enough, and the few times it does get close to the edge…it pulls back and stops short of doing something outrageous that could have provided us with some laughs.

BAD TEACHER has a great cast, that also includes Jason Segal from FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, and it could have been great, but as is, it is a movie that isn’t all that funny or entertaining and just isn’t worthy of your time.

I have HORRIBLE BOSSES…in my hand, a DVD of HORRIBLE BOSSES, a comedy starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as employees who work for bosses who are…horrible.

And so they decide to kill them…well, to try and kill them

Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston play the HORRIBLE BOSSES and they are all great, you can fully see how working for any of them would result in a murder plot.

HORRIBLE BOSSES is not the greatest comedy that has come out this year, but it has that great cast, some huge laughs, and I really enjoyed it.

It is a very entertaining movie…about HORRIBLE BOSSES…which I have, on DVD, in my hand.

I have a pair of documentaries to tell you about now…and I will begin on Page One…or with PAGE ONE a film that takes us INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES.

PAGE ONE takes us behind the scenes at The Times during a year when everything changes…there are layoffs, more and more people are reading newspapers online, and then there is the introduction of the iPad…and the scene where the long time newspapermen are using an iPad for the first time is interesting and compelling…but they continue their efforts, because they believe in what they are doing.

PAGE ONE – INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES is fascinating and a must watch for all news – and newspaper junkies.

It isn’t compelling enough that you need to see it if you don’t love news, or newspapers, and that is why I don’t recommend it to everyone, but I will give it a mild recommendation because it is very good.

The documentary LIFE IN A DAY is also very good, and I do fully recommend this one!!

LIFE IN A DAY was shot by people and filmmakers all over the world. A request was sent out on YouTube for people to film themselves on July 24th of last year, and the footage was intended to serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive that day.

The producers of the movie received over 4500 hours of films, from 192 countries around the world and there is some fantastic footage, and some amazing this to see.

LIFE IN A DAY is a documentary that I easily recommend!!

I couldn’t get enough of the footage in LIFE IN A DAY…that movie could have been another hour and I expect that I would have enjoyed it all!

On the other hand, at an hour and forty-five minutes into the latest PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film – called ON STRANGER TIDES – I’d had enough, yet there was still another thirty minutes to go!

I couldn’t wait for this thing to end…and when it did, I was so pleased!! Not with the movie, but with the fact that it was over!!

The only reason, the only reason I made it through the film is because I kept singing the Saturday Night Live parody song JACK SPARROW.

I thought this series had given us more than enough when the third film in the series – AT WORLD’S END – came out back in 2007, but there was money to be made, so a story was fashioned about Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa setting out to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Ian McShane’s Blackbeard and his daughter – played by Penelope Cruz – are after it too.

The main reason that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – ON STRANGER TIDES is so long is that there is sword fight after sword fight after sword fight. Had there been one, two or even three fewer fight scenes the movie might have moved along at a faster pace and been a better movie.

As it is, Depp is still great as Captain Jack, and Penelope Cruz is a nice addition to the cast, but the rest of it is for fans of the series only!!

Casual fans should sit this one out…and just sing the song about the films instead!!

The television show BORED TO DEATH is up next, and this show features a fantastic cast – Jason Schwartzman from RUSHMORE, Zach Galifianakis of THE HANGOVER films and Ted Danson from CHEERS – I love this cast!! – and the show follows a writer based in Brooklyn who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective, his rich dope loving friend and sometimes boss, and his comic book creating friend.

I didn’t care for SEASON ONE of this show…it thought it was too clever, unique, smart and bright for me…I was never bored by it, when the three main stars were together in scenes the show was great…but there wasn’t enough of those scenes in SEASON ONE.

It seems that the people behind the show realized that because in THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of BORED TO DEATH, they are all together more often and the result is a show that is quirky, funny and fun.

I really enjoyed this second season!!

And I really enjoyed the sixth season of BONES, about a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent who work – along with their team – to investigate unique deaths…and quite often, there isn’t more to examine than flesh and bones.

In SEASON SIX of BONES, the team deals with pregnancy, new relationships, and a caseload of gruesome crimes that includes facing a murderous Chupacabra, a trip to the Jersey Shore, the final return of the Gravedigger, and a vigilante sniper with a deadly link to Booth’s past.

If you enjoy police procedural dramas s much as I do, especially ones that are a little bit different, then make sure you don’t miss THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of BONES!!

One film you don’t need to see this week is the latest telling of the birth of Christ…a film called THE NATIVITY.

Originally a four-part CBC series, THE NATIVITY has now been edited together as one film…following the three intertwining stories about the birth of Jesus Christ – and the courtship of Joseph and Mary – a shepherd Thomas, and Three Magi who gather to discuss the signs of a great event they see foretold in the stars.

All their lives are brought together when Mary is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to the son of God.

THE NATIVITY is never good, it is only an okay film, and the acting is very wooden at times. It just isn’t a movie that you need to see.

I suggest that you skip it.

On July 28th, 1976 there was an earthquake near Tangshan in the People’s Republic of China which is believed to be the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. The epicenter was an industrial city with approximately one million inhabitants and the number of deaths initially reported by the Chinese government was 655,000.

The Chinese government gave it a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, although some sources listed it as high as 8.2.

It was followed by a major 7.1 magnitude aftershock some 16 hours later, increasing the death toll.

The film AFTERSHOCK was written about the events in Tangshan, and tells the story of two seven-year-old twins who are buried under the rubble.

Once they are found, the rescue team explains to their mother that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. Forced to make the most difficult decision of her life, she finally chooses to save her son.

Left behind as dead, the girl survives, unbeknownst to her brother and mother, and the film follows them on their separate journeys over the course of the next 32 years,

AFTERSHOCK is a slow moving, very good movie that could have been shorter. At 2 hours and 15 minutes it seems very, very long, but I do think that it is a very good film.

If you are looking for something that did not come from Hollywood this weekend, search this one out.

Comic book fans, have I got something special for you now…the animated movie BATMAN: YEAR ONE!!!

BATMAN: YEAR ONE is universally regarded as one of the finest examples of comic book writing of the late 1980s and early 1990s and it has now been turned into a great animated film!

Written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, colored by Richmond Lewis, and lettered by Todd Klein BATMAN: YEAR ONE originally appeared in issues #404 to #407 of DC Comics’ Batman comic title in 1987.

The story recounts the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s career as Batman and Jim Gordon’s with the Gotham City Police Department.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE is a great representation of the comics…or graphic novel, if you prefer. The drawings are strong, the characters believable, and I really, really enjoyed it!!

Sadly, it is only 64 minutes long…which is waaaay too short…but with something this good, I will happily take what I can get.

I highly recommend it!!

I mentioned fun at the start of this week’s Report, and there has been some of that so far, but the rest of it will be all fun…courtesy of Pee Wee Herman!!

The 1985 comedy PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE was the first film directed by Tim Burton – who would go on to make BEETLEJUICE, BATMAN, ED WOOD, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and many other great films!

PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE starred Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman – who would go on to win an Emmy Award for his adult loving children’s series that ran from 1986-1991.

The script for PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE was co-written by Paul Reubens, along with the late, great Canadian performer, Mr. Phil Hartman!

PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE is about the cross country road trip Pee Wee goes on to find his stolen bicycle is now available in high definition on Blu-ray, and while it doesn’t look pristine, and features no new special features, the film itself is still exactly what it set out to be – a whole lot of fun!!

Oh, and if you are a fan of Pee Wee Herman, don’t miss THE PEE WEE HERMAN SHOW ON BROADWAY, featuring many laughs, a great time, and almost all of the original characters from the television show live on stage in a fantastically entertaining stage show!!

It is lots of fun as well!!


Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The made-in-Winnipeg horror-thriller FACES IN THE CROWD, the Summer action film CAPTAIN AMERICA – THE FIRST AVENGER, and THE JURASSIC PARK TRILOGY debuts on Blu-ray!!

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!