The Couch Potato Report

If you’d like to see a movie – at home – this weekend, here are some ideas.

The Couch Potato Report – March 10th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report are a bunch of kings playing a game of thrones. Plus, we’ll get footloose.

We start this week on the gritty streets of Toronto where Homicide Detective Jessica King is the head of the Major Crimes Task Force – or MCTF.

She and her team work crime scenes searching through evidence, looking for things that no one else sees.

Admittedly, this is just another police procedural show…albeit one with a female lead. What the producers think makes this show different is that their female doesn’t need to be liked, so she focuses on her work. But that work is putting a strain on her third marriage, and her attempts to get pregnant.

That personal story line could have made this show interesting, but once the season shifts to the husband – who is also a police officer – maybe not being an honest cop, and throws in a love triangle with a member of her squad, it lost me as it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.

Also, the supporting cast didn’t make an impression on me whatsoever, everyone in it seems like a person on a television show and not a real person at all, and the cases that KING and her team are working on have very predictable outcomes.

In SEASON ONE of KING the show tries to be fresh and new, but it doesn’t add up to much. It isn’t awful, but it is never great, and it certainly isn’t worthy of a recommendation from me.

One television series I did enjoy watching this week is the adventure-drama- fantasy GAME OF THRONES.

This is a show has great twists in the season arc, offers up plenty of surprises, and features tremendous acting from a great cast of strong men and women.

Since it debuted last April, GAME OF THRONES has been nominated for several awards, including Outstanding Drama Series at the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards and Best Television Series – Drama at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

It didn’t win either of those awards, but actor Peter Dinklage was named Best Supporting Actor at both ceremonies, and that is an honour of which he is well deserving.

THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of GAME OF THRONES is primarily about what happens surrounding a civil war in a sprawling fantasy kingdom. But it is also about family, honour and friends.

Plus, not unlike the SPARTACUS and TUDORS shows, there is plenty of good – old fashioned – battles, sword fights and love making to keep your attention.

GAME OF THRONES is a great show, and I really enjoyed watching it.

Back in 1984 when the film FOOTLOOSE came out, I really enjoyed watching it too. I was a sixteen year old kid and in the days before the internet and owning a library of movies on Beta, VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, or Blu-ray was even possible, I saw it in the theatre seventeen times.

But times have changed.

I understand why they have done a remake of this story about a city kid who moves to a small town where rock and roll and dancing have been banned, so he decides he wants to fight city hall…I get why: To make money.

Since I get it, I won’t call the new version useless or pointless…but I do find it unnecessary, since the original is still a great movie.

The original FOOTLOOSE – starring Kevin Bacon – is dramatic and fun, full of great music, and twenty-eight years after its release, I still watch it – and enjoy it – at least a couple of times a year.

The remake – starring some guy from Massachusetts who has the worst sounding Boston accent I have ever heard – is a movie that I’ll never watch again.

However, if any sixteen year old kid today sees the new FOOTLOOSE and enjoys it as much as I did the original, then that is another reason I get why it was made…it is always a special feeling when a movie connects with someone.

Okay, when I first saw the trailer for this next film, I thought – “There is no way they actually made that movie!!” I just did not believe it would be possible for a film to exist where Adam Sandler would dress up and play his own twin sister.

Yet…it is true.

Also true – JACK AND JILL is worse – absolutely 100 times worse than you think it will be!!

The only thing – and I mean the absolute only thing – about JACK AND JILL that isn’t absolute trash is the performance given by Al Pacino…yes THE Al Pacino co-stars as a version of himself, who falls in love with the female Adam Sandler.

The fact that he loves her isn’t funny, those scenes are awful too, but the joke he makes about only having one Academy Award is fantastic…and his reaction at the end of the movie after seeing a commercial that he agreed to star in is superb!

Simply put, JACK AND JILL is one of the worst films I have ever seen…ever!! It is worse than you can even imagine…so skip it all costs!!!

I have three releases for you now that will be loved, owned, and cherished…but by different people. Very few film lovers will love and need to own all three.

Personally, I loved the first one, liked the second, and thought the third one was only okay.

The one I love is a documentary called SENNA about the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna.

Ayrton Senna was a three-time Formula One world champion who is regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers to ever have raced.

He was killed in a crash while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix and this documentary uses television coverage of races, home videos provided by the Senna family, and interviews with people that had known him to give us an impression of who he was…including racing legend Jackie Stewart.

Senna is presented in the film – warts and all – as a spiritual and private man, who wants to win above all costs at times. We also see his patriotic side as his is proud of his homeland and donates millions of dollars to make Brazil a better place.

Toward the end of his life, Senna also contemplates a life outside motor racing.

SENNA is a tremendous film about a fascinating person who died too young. Even if you don’t like motor sports and F1 racing, this is a documentary that I highly recommend!

LIKE CRAZY is a film that I only liked, but teenagers and anyone who is recently heartbroken – or missing a long distance love – will love it!! Absolutely love it and proclaim it a masterpiece.

LIKE CRAZY is about a young British college student in America who falls for a classmate and decides – with his full support – to overstay her immigration visa to be with him.

When they realize that they want to spend the rest of their lives together, in Los Angeles where his booming furniture business is located, she can’t get back into the country because of the visa violation.

Forced to spend the majority of the time apart…they have to decide whether they truly love each other…and the pressure of the distance between them continues to get in the way.

This is a true and honest story about first love and true love, and that is what I really liked about LIKE CRAZY, and the young cast is very good too. It isn’t perfect, and I didn’t completely buy into the film’s conclusion, but I liked it, and I others will love it, LIKE CRAZY.

This third one is one that gamers, fans of Joss Whedon and people known as “Fanboys” will love!

Felicia Day of Whedon’s fantastic DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG co-stars in DRAGON AGE – REDEMPTION.

Originally DRAGON AGE – REDEMPTION was a six-part webseries based on the video game series of the same name.

Now those episodes have been edited together to tell the tale of an Elven assassin hired by the Qunari to capture a rogue mage intent on wreaking havoc throughout the world.

Should you have understood any of that, and been excited by it because you love the game, then do not miss DRAGON AGE – REDEMPTION!!

Personally, I had never heard of the game, but I like Felicia…so I thought it was only okay.

I’ll never watch it again…it wasn’t a waste of time…it was just okay.

Finally this week is a blu-ray for tremendous film from 1955 starring Cary Grant and the exquisite Grace Kelly.

He plays a reformed jewel thief who is suspected of a new rash of gem thefts in the luxury hotels of the French Riviera, and she is a pampered heiress who wants to catch him in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller TO CATCH A THIEF.

TO CATCH A THIEF won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and the film looks amazing in HD. IT is possibly Hitchcock’s best made movie and the story is interesting from beginning to end.

Plus, Grace Kelly offers a timeless performance that is both the work of a skilled actress, and of a director and his crew capturing a woman at her most glamorous.

TO CATCH A THIEF is a great film, one I easily recommend!!

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic TO CATCH A THIEF, the okay web series DRAGON AGE – REDEMPTION, the love story LIKE CRAZY, the great documentary SENNA, the absolutely awful Adam Sandler film JACK AND JILL, the remake of FOOTLOOSE that isn’t as good as the original, THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the great adventure-drama-fantasy series GAME OF THRONES, and SEASON ONE of the made-in-Toronto television series KING are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the made-in-Nova Scotia series CALL ME FITZ; the Academy Award nominated films THE DESCENDANTS with George Clooney and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN starring Michelle Williams; and the AMERICAN PIE films debut 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!