The Couch Potato Report

Rock and roll!!!

The Couch Potato Report – November 24th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report are the latest adventures of Jake Doyle, Hard Core Logo and LED ZEPPELIN reunite.

On December 10th, 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin took the stage at London’s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert. Founding members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were joined by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham, and I will tell you about the film of that night – CELEBRATION DAY – in just a few minutes to conclude The Report this week.

To start things off, we head to one of the greatest places in the world, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, because that is where the CBC series REBUBLIC OF DOYLE takes place.

REPUBLIC OF DOYLE centers around a father and son who are private investigators and the very colourful group of family and friends who help them and work with them as they travel the streets of St. John’s solving cases, and trying to stay out of jail themselves.

Allan Hawco stars as the son – Jake Doyle – and in the entertaining, engaging and action filled COMPLETE THIRD SEASON he is once again joined by a wealth of great Canadian guest stars, including Gordon Pinsent, Victor Garber, Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea and one well known non-Canadian, Academy Award winner Russell Crowe.

I enjoy REBUBLIC OF DOYLE and I can easily recommend the thirteen episodes in the three disc set for THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON!!

Oh, and don’t forget, SEASON FOUR of REPUBLIC OF DOYLE can be seen on its new night, Sundays at 9 pm, starting January 6th on CBC Television!!

Back in 1996 a mock documentary – a mockumentary – was released about a once great fictional Canadian punk rock band who reunite for a western Canadian tour and one more chance at success.

The tour could end before it even begins as egos, in-fighting and unresolved issues between the four members pop up again, but they somehow get back out there, taking their music to the people once again.

Director Bruce Macdonald’s HARD CORE LOGO succeeds because it loves the music and the musicians that were at its center and because of the performances of Hugh Dillon from the show FLASHPOINT and Callum Keith Rennie of MEMENTO and the reboot of BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA as the two leaders of the band.

They completely embody the punk singer who desperately needs the band because he doesn’t have much else and the guitarist who already has another opportunity lined up once the inevitable break up happens again.

HARD CORE LOGO is now available on blu-ray for the first time in an ALL ACCESS EDITION that is housed in Steelbook packaging – for a limited time – and comes with a wealth of Special Features…including the made-in-beautiful Watrous, Saskatchewan sequel HARD CORE LOGO 2, which is one of the worst films ever produced.

HARD CORE LOGO 2 has very little to do with the first film, and it is virtually unwatchable, but I do recommend the first film. The original HARD CORE LOGO isn’t always great, but due to some very good writing, music and performances it is always interesting…and it does have some amazing scenes and a great rock and roll attitude!!

It is “check your brain at the door” time now, for if you do that you will have a blast watching Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews and Randy Couture tear it up and shoot almost everything in sight in THE EXPENDABLES 2.

This sequel to the testosterone filled 2010 film is about a group of elite mercenaries even ups the ante by adding more former action superstars to the mix, namely Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and some young blood in the form of Liam Hemsworth from THE HUNGER GAMES.

All together, THE EXPENDABLES 2 adds up to something special…and it delivers what you want it to.

Check your brain at the door and you will completely enjoy THE EXPENDABLES 2…I certainly did!

The two films I have to tell you about right now had the chance to be very good, even great, but ultimately each one fails.

Especially THE WATCH, this mess fails miserably!!

THE WATCH puts Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn on screen together for the first time since DODGEBALL, a film that many – including myself – consider a modern day comedic classic.

The main problem with THE WATCH is that it is doesn’t really know what it wants to be – a profane and sex filled comedy made for adults? Or a science fiction style comedy that plays to teenagers? That inconsistent tone really works against it.

PLUS, with few exceptions, the jokes aren’t funny. Even with Stiller and Vaughn, plus Jonah Hill from 21 JUMP STREET and a script co-written by Canadian Seth Rogen and Even Goldberg, who gave us SUPERBAD, even with all that it is not funny.

THE WATCH is about a group of four men who form a neighborhood watch group and find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion and you won’t care.

This thing isn’t worthy of your time, so if you loved Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in DODGEBALL and want them to make you laugh again skip THE WATCH and just watch DODGEBALL again.

The next film that had the chance to be very good – but isn’t – is a foreign film from France called ELLES.

This movie stars Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche from THE ENGLISH PATIENT as a journalist in Paris for Elle magazine who is researching an article about female student prostitution.

The journalist meets two young women, and although they are not initially interested in speaking with her, she eventually persuades them into being part of her article.

The other side of the story in the film ELLES is the weakest one, the journalist’s home life. She has two sons and a husband and seems disconnected from all three of them.

Which is why you could see how she might start to get lost in the world the students are telling her about, or find a connection to the students themselves…and the film does have a few scenes where you can see that she is connecting to it, but they end and are never referenced again.

The journalist meets two women who have freedom, pride, and empowerment…something she doesn’t seem to have at all, but instead of chasing after change…she just goes for a walk.

Really…that is what she does…she goes for a walk and then goes back home.

Yes, ELLES has an awful ending.

The first half of the French film ELLES is great. It is smart, well written and very interesting.

The second half doesn’t hold up, which is why I just can’t recommend the film.

This movie also had the chance to be great, but in the end it fails, and so you should just skip it.

We have arrived at the celebration now. To conclude The Report this week is LED ZEPPELIN’s CELEBRATION DAY.

In December of 2007 The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert was held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegün at The O2 Arena in London. The headline act was Led Zeppelin, who performed their first full-length concert since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, in a one-off reunion.

Bonham’s son Jason Bonham played drums, sharing the stage with John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

The blu-ray and DVD for LED ZEPPELIN – CELEBRATION DAY doesn’t feature any backstage interviews or conversations with the band members, it just gives us the concert, and while I would have liked to hear what they were thinking as they took the stage together for the first time in thirty-two years, the concert is pretty good on its own!

I wouldn’t call myself the world’s biggest fan of the band, but I really enjoyed this concert. Zeppelin fans, this one is for you, and you need to get the blu-ray as the music sounds amazing!!

The amazing CELEBRATION DAY concert by Led Zeppelin, the okay but poorly concluded foreign film ELLES, the completely awful wannabe action comedy THE WATCH, the exceptionally entertaining retro action flick THE EXPENDABLES 2, the ALL ACCESS EDITION blu-ray of the Canadian rock and roll classic HARD CORE LOGO, and THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of the very entertaining made-in-St. John’s CBC series REBUBLIC OF DOYLE are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the made-in-the-Northwest Territories CBC series ARCTIC AIR, the made in Quebec movie LE TORRENT, and Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return for MEN IN BLACK III.

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!