The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – October 27th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is Magic Mike, another trip to Madagascar and we’re off on a mystery tour.

It is the final weekend before Halloween, the final opportunity for the studios to release some cinematic scares, and I have a made-in-British Columbia horror thriller to let you know about this morning starring Toronto born actor Eric McCormack from the television series WILL & GRACE.

Yes, in BARRICADE the guy known around the world as a comedian now plays a father who takes his kids to a cabin in the woods to help them get away from it all…but what starts as a quiet retreat turns into a fight for survival!!

BARRICADE is not the scariest film you will see this pre-Halloween Weekend, but it does have some pretty good frights and scary delights as it tells a tale of things that go bump in the night.

Call that a mild recommendation…and for my reviews of other recent horror thrillers for All Hallow’s Eve, including AMERICAN HORROR STORY, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS and HALLOWEEN 4 go to

Channing Tatum is an actor who has appeared in the films G.I. JOE, DEAR JOHN, THE VOW, 21 JUMP STREET and HAYWIRE. While making that latter film with Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh Tatum brought him an idea he had, loosely based on his own life. Before he became an actor, Tatum was a male exotic dancer in Florida, and that is how MAGIC MIKE was born.

And the result is a very entertaining movie!

MAGIC MIKE stars Channing Tatum as an experienced dancer who teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.

Matthew McConaughey from DAZED AND CONFUSED and A TIME TO KILL is their boss, a man who also spends time on stage, but behind the scenes might not be the trustworthy buddy he seems to be.

Yes, as I said, MAGIC MIKE is a very entertaining movie fun of characters you will have fun hanging out with…and all of them – men and women – are exceptionally beautiful to look at.

Admittedly, it does get a bit predictable in the middle because what goes up in movies like this absolutely has to have a tragic fall, but I still enjoyed it and can easily recommend it.

I can also easily recommend the kids film MADAGASCAR 3 – EUROPE’S MOST WANTED…and not just to kids, but to everyone.

Gloria the hippo, Melman the giraffe, Marty the zebra and Alex the lion are still trying to get back to the New York Zoo – after ending up in Madagascar – and in this adventure they end up in Europe where they join a traveling circus that just might get them home.

MADAGASCAR 3 – EUROPE’S MOST WANTED is bright and colourful and fun for the kids, and for us adults are some great characters and the always entertaining penguins.

I really enjoyed this movie, and I’m already looking forward to MADAGASCAR 4!!

Imagine this…a seventy-mile-wide asteroid that can’t be stopped asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. There are three weeks until impact, at which time all of humanity will be wiped out.

What would you do in a situation such as that? Would you party and have fun, in an attempt to spend your final weeks having a good time? Or would you decide to sit around alone and watch television, feeling sorry for yourself because everyone around you is out having fun?

Let me put that to you another way…what is more interesting to you, a movie about those people having fun, or the sad sack who just wants to be left alone.

I want the fun one…that sounds great with endless possibilities!! Unfortunately we have one with the other story. SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD stars Steve Carell as a Sad Sack…snore!!

Keira Knightley from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films is horribly miscast here as a neighbour who convinces him to leave his house and seek out his high school sweetheart. But guess what, along the way they fall for each other and you won’t care.

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD is a movie with some nice moments but as a whole it just doesn’t work. Along the way they meet people who are enjoying themselves in preparation for the end, and I wanted to stay with them.

Just skip this film…it isn’t worth your time.

There are two releases that centre around historical figures this week. One is a fantastical history thriller, with a few actual facts thrown in for good measure, and the other is an out and out documentary.

I’m starting with the one that is a movie, because it is just so darn entertaining.


This action fantasy horror film is based on the 2010 mashup novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith and features the real-life 16th President of the United States as having a secret identity as a hunter of vampires.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is what it is and if you buy the premise then you will be highly rewarded by a very creative film that weaves history with some really inventive action scenes and it is all done with just the right tone. This is a film that definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is not an Academy Award winner, but it is very entertaining!!

I really, really enjoyed it!!

The second release this week that centres around a historical figure is the two part documentary APOCALYPSE – HITLER.

Adolf Hitler is infamous for his crimes against humanity and this film examines his rise to power, a rise that was completely unexpected and devastating.

It is important for everyone to know how he was able to get the power he had – because those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it – and that – combined with some very interesting historical footage – is what makes APOCALYPSE – HITLER something that I recommend everyone see.

This is a very good documentary about an awful human being.

Finally this week is a release that some see as misunderstood, while others revere it as a classic.

Come along for a ride now, won’t you? With THE BEATLES and their MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR is an hour-long film starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr that originally aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day 1967.

The story here is that The Beatles charter a special bus for a mystery tour from the city to the shore.

Along the way the passengers meet some interesting characters…and the band plays songs.

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR wasn’t well received when it first aired, and the recently released blu-ray for the film includes some an all-new Director’s Commentary Track from Paul McCartney, who addresses some of the criticism.

THE BEATLES’ MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR might not be as much a classic as some of the other things the band did, but it remains an important part of the legacy of the band.

It is too quirky and odd for me to recommend it to everyone, but I continue to enjoy it every time I see it – and this blu-ray looks and sounds amazing – and so I do ultimately recommend it. Everyone should see it at least once in their life.

THE BEATLES – MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, the documentary APOCALYPSE – HITLER, the very entertaining fantastical history thriller ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, the less than entertaining comedic romance wannabe SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, the very entertaining – for the whole family – MADAGASCAR 3 – EUROPE’S MOST WANTED, the very entertaining – for grown-ups – MAGIC MIKE, and the made-in-British-Columbia only okay horror thriller BARRICADE are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star in the election year comedy THE CAMPAIGN and we’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of the modern day classic, THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

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!