The Couch Potato Report

Sure, it is a couple of days late…but the writing is spectacular!!

The Couch Potato Report – December 3rd, 2011

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is some rock em sock em hockey, The Smurfs, and another re-release of EVIL DEAD 2.

He loves doing them, I – and many, many others – like watching them and – much like numbers 1 through 22 – DON CHERRY’s ROCK EM SOCK EM 23 features the best plays, goals, saves, bloopers, hits and fights from the 2010-2011 NHL Season, as well as highlights from Coach’s Corner – as seen on CBC Television’s Hockey Night in Canada.

Plus, as has become the tradition, DON CHERRY ROCK EM SOCK EM 23 is also a season recap…and a look back at last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As has also become a tradition, DON CHERRY ROCK EM SOCK EM 23 is full of bad techno music, which plays under the highlights.

Bad music aside, ROCK EM SOCK EM 23 delivers exactly what it is supposed to…hockey, NHL hockey, and one Donald S. Cherry.

I have enjoyed the first 23, and look forward to number 24 next year!!

One movie from this past Summer Movie Season that I wasn’t looking forward to – was absolutely not looking forward to – was the big screen – mostly live-action film featuring those beloved cartoon characters THE SMURFS.

But after watching it, I must admit…that I really enjoyed it!!

THE SMURFS is a blast!!

Now hold on…if you are sitting there right now thinking – or saying “Seriously?!?! Seriously, Dan?!?! You liked THE SMURFS?!?!”, believe you me I did not expect to!!

Oh sure, I love the characters, and I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid…but I just wasn’t interested in a film where the evil wizard Gargamel was played by a real person, and the tiny blue Smurfs were animated.

And when I heard that the Smurfs were chased out of out of their village, and ended up in New York City surrounded by other real live actors…I had my doubts that it would work…but it works.

THE SMURFS is not a classic, but it is fun and funny, even cute at times, has a great cast, and it even offers up a history lesson on the characters when co-star Neil Patrick Harris looks them up on Google.

Yes, I liked THE SMURFS, really liked it in fact…it is Smurftastic!!

I also liked FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, the first time I saw it.

When I watched it again this week…I still enjoyed it, just not as much.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS stars Justin Timberlake from THE SOCIAL NETWORK and Mila Kunis from BLACK SWAN as two very good looking friends who don’t want the commitment of a relationship, just the benefits.

When I saw it in theatres this Summer, I was able to do what you need to do in the Summer…shut your brain off, leave it at home even sometimes, and just watch and enjoy…but when I had my brain on this week, I noticed that the film is predictable from start to finish, didn’t really offer anything we hadn’t seen before in a romantic comedy, and neither of the friends would have the jobs in real life they have in the film.

However, I also laughed out loud more than a few times, and I really like the cast…even the supporting cast – which includes Woody Harrelson and Jenna Elfman, among others…and so while I didn’t enjoy it as much the second time I saw it…I did still enjoy FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.

Turn off your brain, and enjoy!

Earlier this week, when I Tweeted that I was watching this next film, Shirley from Regina replied – Dan if OUR IDIOT BROTHER doesn’t crack you up, I’ll never trust your Couch Potato Reports again!! I saw it with MY IDIOT SISTERS and we thought it was hilarious!!

Well, Shirley, I appreciate the message…and I am glad you found it hilarious…but I didn’t enjoy it as much as you did, and I’ll tell you why, after this charming and entertaining clip.

OUR IDIOT BROTHER stars the great Paul Rudd from I LOVE YOU MAN and ANCHORMAN as a man who looks for the good in everyone…even when a uniformed police officer asks to buy marijuana he believes that the guy has just had a tough day and needs a pick-me-up, but his trust gets him arrested. Ned is an idealist who – after getting out of prison – needs the hospitality and support of his Mother and three sisters to survive.

The idealistic side of the film…with Rudd giving a calm, relaxed performance…really worked for me.

However, what doesn’t work is that his sisters – who aren’t trusting or idealistic at all – know that he repeats everything…they know that he can’t be trusted to stay quiet as he has repeatedly burned them…and yet they all still tell him their most intimate secrets.

Shirley – who posted a reply to my Tweet that I was watching it – loved OUR IDIOT BROTHER, and found it hilarious.

As for me, I can only mildly recommend it because – while I enjoyed parts of it, and loved the cast – it doesn’t all work.

Shirley, thank you again for the reply…and if you would like to receive my Tweets as well…you can follow me on Twitter, I am @DanReynishCBC, and my comments and updates are also posted on Facebook, just friend Saskatchewan Weekend at

Earlier this year, while compiling my list of the films I was most looking forward to this Summer, the adaptation of David Nicholls’ bestselling book ONE DAY – starring Anne Hathaway – was near the top of my list.

After seeing it, it quickly moved to a place near the top of another list – The Most Disappointing Films Of The Year.

This one is a stinker!!

ONE DAY is about two friends from University who we see on the same one day every year. On some July 15ths they are together, and on others apart…but they are mostly together…and you won’t care!!

The book ONE DAY is incredible, it is a great read with fleshed out characters that seem real. You will actually worry about them and care for them.

The movie is dull and boring, storylines are cut short and left to the imagination, and Anne Hathaway’s British accent is all over the place!! She is an actress I usually enjoy, but not this time.

I am done with it, and ONE DAY is a film you should skip. Read the book…skip the movie, at all costs!!

Man that movie was disappointing, luckily a made-in-Montreal film restored my faith in love stories this week.

THE RHYTHM IN ME doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before…but this story – about a young woman who has to choose between her passion for dance and her parent’s desire for her to have an education – has a nice young cast, moves at a fast pace, and is just a darn entertaining film!!

As I said, THE RHYTHM IN ME doesn’t put a new twist on this type of love story, and an argument could be made that the woman doesn’t really have to choose between the two…she could probably be both a dancer and a student…but I still enjoyed it.

You won’t find this one everywhere, but if you do see it…give it a shot.

Let me quickly go through these next four films before ending with a pair of classics.

ANOTHER EARTH starts off interestingly enough, with the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system…another earth…but that is only a side story in the film.

Instead of just focussing on that, it offers up the tale of an ambitious young student whose life becomes intertwined with an accomplished composer when she crashes into his car killing his wife and young child.

ANOTHER EARTH is not awful, but it is a bit too artsy, and quite boring at times. I give it credit for trying, but ultimately I don’t recommend it.

I also don’t recommend FIVE DAYS OF WAR…this is one of those films that is actually about something, but I never felt emotionally connected to it, or the characters in it.

FIVE DAYS OF WAR was inspired by the real events of the devastating five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 and the film centers around an American journalist and his cameraman who are caught in the combat zone and are trying to rescue a young Georgian schoolteacher, played by Montreal-born actress Emmanuelle Chriqui from ENTOURAGE.

Directed by Renny Harlin – who also made DIE HARD 2 and CLIFFHANGER – FIVE DAYS OF WAR looks great, and the action scenes are very well done…but there is no tension, and the film is too slow too often, so it plays as just another movie about war.

One you just don’t need to see.

THE SYLVAIN EXPERIMENT is also a movie to skip…this is a Japanese horror film that isn’t that scary, isn’t mysterious, and certainly isn’t clever. Plus, the acting is stiff and wooden.

The only reason I even mention it…the only reason…is to make sure you ignore it.

Yes, sure, I will watch almost any and every horror film that comes out…so you don’t always have to.

THE SYLVAIN EXPERIMENT is one you don’t have to see.


Ultimately I also have to suggest you skip CHILLERAMA too…but I was hoping I wouldn’t have to say that…and after a very strong start, I didn’t think I would.

That start is wasted, though, and by the end this thing is a mess…a great idea, poorly executed.

CHILLERAMA is done in the anthology style of CREEPSHOW and THE TWLIGHT ZONE and takes place on the closing night at the last drive-in theater in America and the owner has planned the ultimate marathon of four seemingly lost film prints to unleash upon his faithful cinephile and horror loving patrons.

That is what we – the actual audience – get too…four different comedy horror films from four different directors…none of whom you’ll know, and none of whom you’ll seek out, should you ever see CHILLERAMA.

You see, no one who ever made a bad film, the types of laughable horror films that used to run at the drive-in theatres, none of those filmmakers set out to make a bad film…they were simply doing the best they could, and many of them – to this day – will say that they were doing great work.

The filmmakers here are trying to make bad movies, as a tribute to those older ones…and most of it doesn’t work.

I wanted to like CHILLERAMA, and hoped I could watch it over and over again…but I didn’t, and I won’t ever watch it again.

Even if you LOVE anthology or horror films skip CHILLERAMA!!

Okay, I have a couple of classic to conclude with now…and the first one was released on October 18, 1961, yes, that is when the film version of the Broadway musical WEST SIDE STORY debuted.

Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins it stars Natalie Wood and won ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Adapted from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet WEST SIDE STORY is a musical about a man and a woman from two rival New York City gangs who fall in love.

The new 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION of WEST SIDE STORY looks amazing in High Definition…I was constantly overwhelmed by how great it looks!! Plus, the songs sound beautiful, and there are a wealth of special features that take us inside the film, the making of it, it’s success and so much more!!

WEST SIDE STORY is a classic musical, and this new blu-ray is the ultimate way to watch it!!

They just do not make them like this anymore!!

Finally this week is a re-release of the Sam Raimi comedy horror classic EVIL DEAD 2…yes, ANOTHER re-release of EVIL DEAD 2.

This is the 25th Anniversary Edition!!

EVIL DEAD 2 stars Bruce Campbell as the lone survivor of a demon attack from the first film who – once again – heads to a secluded cabin in the woods…and that has always been the conversation about this one, is it a sequel or a remake?

Has he been through this before, or is this the first time?! Whatever side you come down on in that conversation, the result is still the funniest horror film ever made!!

Plus, the 25th Anniversary Edition comes with a brand new making of documentary featuring the main cast and many of the behind-the-scenes artists looking back at the making of the film.

I have lost count of how many times I have owned this film…on video, laserdisc, DVD, and even blu-ray once already, but I can honestly say that I have never seen the film look this good before.

EVIL DEAD 2 is still a blast, and this version is a must have…until they re-release it again, of course.

The still fantastic horror-comedy classic EVIL DEAD 2, the musical classic WEST SIDE STORY, the drive-in theatre tribute CHILLERAMA, the failed Japanese horror film THE SYLVAIN EXPERIMENT, FIVE DAYS OF WAR, ANOTHER EARTH, the Montreal-made-dance-drama THE RHYTHM IN ME, the failed ONE DAY, the likeable OUR IDIOT BROTHER, the predictable, but okay FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, the very fun THE SMURFS and DON CHERRY’s ROCK EM SOCK EM 23 are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

Jim Carrey stars in MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS, the Wolf Pack are back in THE HANGOVER – PART 2, and COWBOYS & ALIENS features Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and…cowboys and aliens.


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!