The Couch Potato Report

The weekend is here, why not watch something?

The Couch Potato Report – October 20th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report – Neil Young takes us on a journey, a Moonrise Kingdom and Pete’s Dragon turns thirty-five.

Everybody is from somewhere, everybody has a place where they grew up, even music superstars like Neil Young.

Young was born in Toronto and shortly after his family moved to the rural town of Omemee, Ontario, where he lived until the age of twelve.

In the concert documentary NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS he returns to the place he refers to as a “…nice little town.”

Neil visits his childhood home and other places in Omemee with his brother and shares stories of his past and his family.

I mentioned that NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS is a concert documentary and in addition to the time spent driving around Omemee, Neil also performs a solo show live at Massey Hall in Toronto.

I couldn’t get enough of NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS, and when it was over I wanted more. The time he spends telling us about where he grew up is amazing, and the concert is great as well. This film offers a unique look at a Canadian music icon and I absolutely loved it.

I also loved the latest film from director Wes Anderson, who has previously given us the movies RUSHMORE, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS and FANTASTIC MR. FOX.

This one is called MOONRISE KINGDOM and it is a beautiful film.

Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Harvey Keitel and tells the story of a pair of teenagers in love who decide to run away from the confines of their town, and as a result the adults – and a group of Khaki Scouts – set out to find them.

Like all of Wes Anderson’s films, MOONRISE KINGDOM is quirky and even odd at times, but the sets and script are pitch perfect and the result is something that I not only liked and enjoyed, but admired.

Admittedly, due to how quirky they are, Anderson’s films aren’t for everyone, but they certainly are for me. I highly recommend MOONRISE KINGDOM. It is one of my favourite films of the year.

On the other hand…is one of the worst films of 2012. Adam Sandler’s THAT’S MY BOY is not only awful, it is complete garbage and a total waste of your time!

Sandler stars here as a man who – when he was a teenager – fathered a child with his teacher. She went to jail, and he became a celebrity, all while raising the boy as an immature single parent.

The main part of the movie centres on the two – now as men and very estranged and Sandler – needing money to stay out of prison – crashes his son’s high society wedding looking for a payday.

The son hates him, while everyone else seems to enjoy his crass and blunt outlook on life.

Simply put, THAT’S MY BOY isn’t funny and that is its ultimate downfall. It is a two hour comedy that isn’t funny, isn’t populated with anyone you will care about and you should avoid it at all costs.

This is one of those movies that is as bad as it looks.

Hey remember the 1980s, specifically the music of the 80s? Rock and roll, performed by bands who all had big hair and made fun, enjoyable music full of big hooks?

I remember the 80s well, and when I heard there was a musical based on the songs of the decade I was very excited, after all I was in high school at the time and the music of that eighth decade was my life!

But even though that musical, called ROCK OF AGES, has the music, it is devoid of one thing that music was – fun.

ROCK OF AGES just isn’t any fun.

The story here of a small town girl and a city boy who meet on the Sunset Strip of Los Angeles as they both pursue their dreams, and several other storylines, all take a back seat most of the time to the well-choreographed production numbers and the music.

But none of it is any fun…check out this overly dramatic reading of Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero.

ROCK OF AGES just takes itself too seriously, it is so serious at times that I actually laughed out loud at it and how earnest it thinks it is. That is the main reason I didn’t care for it…they missed a tremendous opportunity to do a grown up version of the television show GLEE, but instead of a Grown-Up Glee this is just a waste of time…with the exception of the bonus materials.

The bonuses include some of the actual stars from the eighties – including members of Night Ranger, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot and Styx – talking about the era and their songs.

ROCK OF AGES isn’t the worst film I’ve sat through this year, but with the music it features and a cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise it is certainly one of the most disappointing.

I will say this about Tom Cruise though, the guy can sing.

With the clock ticking away, and the October days falling by the wayside, we get closer and closer to Halloween and the studios continue to release horror films and thrillers to garner your attention and entertainment dollars.

The one that has come out this week is called CHERNOBYL DIARIES and – of all of the ones that have come out, and are on their way – this one has one of the most interesting concepts…unfortunately a bad ending gets in the way of the whole thing paying off.

Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide to takes them to the abandoned city that was the home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

As they explore, they soon discover they are not alone.

CHERNOBYL DIARIES has a good young cast, and a great premise, but because of the ending it is not great.

Because it is Halloween time of the year, I do mildly recommend it to those who enjoy horror thrillers, but only to them.

Everyone else should just skip it.

Let’s head to Indian Head, Saskatchewan, now…or as it is known in the Canadian television series LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, Mercy, Saskatchewan.

In THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of this entertaining, informative and educational show Amaar and Rayyan settle into married life, and changes are afoot…not just in their home but all around Mercy.

This is the final set for LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, as they are no longer filming new episodes, and that is okay with me as both during this season and THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON the show started to become less engaging.

The show 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.

Another new TV ON DVD set that is now available is THE COMPLETE SEASON SEVEN of the sitcom 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 latest season isn’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…even when they have fun at Canada’s expense.

From time to time, the show FAMILY GUY is still fun, and I do laugh because of it…although not as often as I used to.

But it does make me laugh…occasionally even out loud. Yes, I did laugh at VOLUME 10 of FAMILY GUY when I watched it this week.

This FAMILY GUY set contains 14 episodes, and even though FAMILY GUY is a show that has been well past its prime for years…with decent episodes few and far between…I do still laugh at it, occasionally.

So, allow me to recommend FAMILY GUY – VOLUME 10 to those who love the show, always have, and always will!!

We go back to 1977 now, to conclude this week’s edition of The Report, for it was in 1977 when a movie was released about an orphan boy and his magical dragon.

PETE’S DRAGON is a live-action film but its title character, a dragon named Elliott, is animated.

It is also a musical.

PETE’S DRAGON was nominated for two Academy Awards – Best Original Song and Best Original Score – and the music all sounds great on the new 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION blu-ray, but I mostly continue to love this film because of how much it struck a chord with me when I was a kid…and how it makes me feel when I watch it to this day…it always makes me want a dragon of my own.

The 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of PETE’S DRAGON comes with a wealth of special features and if you loved it as a kid, don’t miss it!

The 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the still fun PETE’S DRAGON, VOLUME 10 of the past its prime FAMILY GUY, THE COMPLETE SEASON SEVEN of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of the made-in-Saskatchewan series LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, the okay but never great horror thriller CHERNOBYL DIARIES, the awful eighties musical ROCK OF AGES, Adam Sandler’s THAT’S MY BOY – which is a complete waste of time, the beautiful and entertaining film MOONRISE KINGDOM, and the great concert documentary NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The British Columbia made horror thriller BARRICADE, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, MAGIC MIKE and THE BEATLES – MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR debuts on blu-ray featuring an all-new commentary from Paul McCartney.

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!