The Couch Potato Report

Here are some suggestions if you need something to watch this long Canada Day weekend!!

The Couch Potato Report – June 30th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report: this year’s Academy Award winning Best Picture and a great box set for a long weekend.

It is the Canada Day Long weekend…Happy Canada Day, everyone!! Whether plan to be outdoors enjoying our home and native land, or indoors watching DVDs, blu-rays or enjoying a digital download with family and friends, I hope you are able to enjoy Canada’s 145th birthday. She sure looks good, for 145, doesn’t she?!

And you know what else looks good? Indian Head, Saskatchewan, as seen on screen during THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON of the Canadian television series LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE!

In the fifth season of this entertaining, informative and educational show Amaar finally proposes to Rayyan, but life – and the people they share their small town with – continually get in the way of their happy ever after.

However, by the end of the thirteen episode season, the whole gang is back together – including Reverend Magee and Yasir – and life is good in fictional Mercy, Saskatchewan.

LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE finished it’s run earlier this year, and it came just in the nick of time as toward the end of the series – and during THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON – the show started to become less engaging. But, in this two-disc set it does succeed – and make me laugh – more than it fails…so I will continue to recommend it, whether you go to a Mosque, Church, Temple, or Synagogue.

Back in February, at the end of the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Tom Cruise walked to the microphone and made the announcement that THE ARTIST would forever be known as the Best Picture of 2011.

THE ARTIST is a black and white, mostly silent movie…meaning no dialogue…about a huge movie star who thinks that the talkies are a passing fad and doesn’t want anything to do with them.

Yes…the film just has music, because it is a silent film…Now, as the movie star shuns the talkies, his career fades…just as a new actress named Peppy Miller, who loves the actor, begins her meteoric rise to success.

For a silent film, the THE ARTIST is surprisingly fast paced, and very entertaining. I have seen some of the original ones that move very slowly, but this tribute to them – and to the movies in general – is charming, fun and funny and features some great performances from Best Actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and the entire cast.

I really, really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to everyone!!

Somehow, for some unknown reason, 2012 has become the year that features not one, but two movies about the well known fairy tale SNOW WHITE.

In theatres right now is the action fantasy film SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, starring Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, and Chris Hemsworth.

And now available on disc and for download is the comedic fantasy film MIRROR MIRROR starring Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, and Sean Bean.

Sadly, neither one is great, neither one can be labelled the fairest of them all.

MIRROR MIRROR stars Julia Roberts as an evil Queen who uses her charm and magic to take control of a kingdom, exiling Snow White to the forest, where she meets seven…ummm, resourceful rebels.

There is also a prince, love, and maybe even a poisonous apple…yes, if you know the fairy tale, you know most of the film’s tale.

MIRROR MIRROR has a lot of style, but very little substance, and the sets that it was filmed on always looks like it is a movie set and never the real world.

It just isn’t anything special at all, and so you should just skip it.

Another film you should skip is the wannabe dramatic thriller GONE.

Amanda Seyfried from MAMMA MIA! plays a woman who believes that she was kidnapped and left in a well, and now – years after she escaped and it trying to put her life back together, she believes that the kidnapper has returned because her sister has gone missing.

She believes all that, problem is…very few people believe her.

GONE doesn’t work because there are literally dozens of red herrings that never pan out, and there is too much back story that is left untold. Once it ended, I had no problem with the conclusion, but the execution of the story didn’t work for me.

I remain a fan of Amanda Seyfried…but I am glad that I am now finished with GONE.

Finally this week is a keeper!! I am about to highly praise the seven disc box set CHRISTOPHER NOLAN DIRECTOR’S COLLECTION with MEMENTO, INSOMNIA, INCEPTION, BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT.

I love Nolan’s Batman films, and can’t wait for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – in theatres on July 20th – but the best film in this set is still MEMENTO, the told backwards tale of a man, suffering from short-term memory loss who uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

It co-stars Burnaby, British Columbia’s Carrie-Ann Moss from THE MATRIX films.

And I absolutely can’t forget INCEPTION, the partially filmed in Alberta thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio about a team of people who plant ideas in your mind while you dream. This movie is literally mind blowing!!

The weakest film in the set is INSOMNIA – starring Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank – but even it is worth at least one viewing if you have never seen it.

If you are looking for a series of above average films to watch this long weekend, do not miss the CHRISTOPHER NOLAN DIRECTOR’S COLLECTION!!

The fantastic CHRISTOPHER NOLAN DIRECTOR’S COLLECTION BOX SET, the okay rental GONE, the full of style – but little else – MIRROR MIRROR, the spectacular Academy Award winning Best Picture THE ARTIST, and THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON of LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up in inside the next Couch Potato Report

Willem Dafoe stars as THE HUNTER as a man on hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger, the 1968 science fiction camp classic BARBARELLA debuts on blu-ray, and the eighties television show 21 JUMP STREET gets a modern day update.

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 – HAPPY CANADA DAY!! – and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!