The Couch Potato Report

This edition is early, WAY early!!

The Couch Potato Report – December 8th, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report a great genre picture, a great superhero movie, and a great animated family film.

Not all post-apocalyptic horror thrillers are created equal. Some are worthy of the time of the casual movie fan, some are not…but if you love the genre above all others, then most of the films created within it will work for you.

THE DAY is one such film that will definitely work and please all fans of the genre, but casual fans probably won’t get into it – even though it does has some great story twists – primarily because it has an overabundance of violence.

Made in Ottawa, THE DAY is about a group of five people – who were once a group of twelve – fighting to stay alive. They wander the countryside after an unexplained past and stumble upon an abandoned farmhouse, where they decide to rest and stay the night. All is not what it seems in this quiet, restful place and soon their numbers begin to dwindle once again when they are attacked.

THE DAY has some great twists and turns that you won’t see coming, and it is very good post-apocalyptic genre picture. Because of the fact that it is very, very violent, profane and gory – and due to the fact that you won’t want some of the people in the movie to survive – that all prevents me from recommending it to everyone.

But if this is the type of movie you love and tend to enjoy…do not miss THE DAY!!

Back in 2005, director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale re-invented the Batman franchise on the silver screen with the great origin story BATMAN BEGINS, and then in 2008 they took it to a whole other level as THE DARK KNIGHT – co-starring Heath Ledger as The Joker – was the biggest movie of the year, and some would argue, the best comic book superhero movie ever made.

Nolan had always said that he wanted to make a trilogy, and this Summer the concluding chapter was released…and even though it wasn’t quite as good as the one that came before it, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is still a tremendous movie on its own.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES picks up eight years after the fight that took away the love of Bruce Wayne’s life, made Harvey Dent a hero, and forced Batman to become known as an enemy and not a caped crusader.

When a new villain – known only as Bane – arrives to terrorize Gotham, the Dark Knight rises to try and save the city…but after an eight year layoff, he may no longer have what it takes.

Tom Hardy from INCEPTION stars as Bane and he does a tremendous job, but the best performance in the film comes from Anne Hathaway of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. She plays Selina Kyle…also known as Catwoman.

I am both a huge fan of Batman, and Christopher Nolan’s Work, and I really enjoyed THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. It is my favourite film of 2012…so far.

Even though it isn’t perfect…there are more than a few plot holes and things that happen only to move said plot along…it is still both a great movie and a very satisfying conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy…a trilogy that I continue to recommend highly.

As I’ve been saying since 2005, even people who don’t normally like movies based on comic book superheroes should watch these films.

Adults and kids can watch and enjoy THE DARK KNIGHT RISES…but only adults will be able to enjoy the drama HOPE SPRINGS, and so only adults should watch it.

HOPE SPRINGS stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a middle-aged married couple who decide after thirty years of marriage to attend a week-long counseling session to work on their relationship.

She suggests is and really wants to go…he really does not.

Eventually he does agree to go – or there would be no movie – and the couple arrive in small-town Maine to work with a marriage counsellor played by Steve Carrell from THE OFFICE.

Although he usually is, Carrell is not funny here, in fact the entire movie is not funny. It is dramatic and actually uncomfortable at times as you imagine Tommy Lee and Meryl as a married couple…and that was the biggest problem I had with HOPE SPRINGS. These two are tremendous actors, but they just didn’t pull off these roles. It always seemed like it was Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones…I never once felt that they became Kay and Arnold Soames. I wanted them to disappear into the roles…and I felt bad for the people in the story…but I never once believed in them.

HOPE SPRINGS has a great cast and a premise I bought into, and I never once disliked it, but I could only recommend this to my mother, and some other couples in her age bracket, but not to anyone younger.

This is a movie starring and made by adults for adults.

Finally this week is a movie I could, would, and do recommend to absolutely everyone…young and old alike!!

If you’ve seen it, you can enjoy it again and again in HD, and if you haven’t…if you have never seen this movie, you should…you must!! You must see FINDING NEMO!!

FINDING NEMO is the animated 2003 Academy Award winning film about a scared clownfish – voiced by the great Albert Brooks – who leaves his safe home to travel the ocean to bring his captured son home.

The great Ellen DeGeneres voices Dory, an optimistic fish with short-term memory loss who helps the father in his search.

FINDING NEMO is new on blu-ray – with a wealth of new and old special features – and all I can say is WOW!! The colours are amazing, the sounds superb, and the film comes alive in the format. I absolutely love this movie, and seeing it in high definition enabled me to enjoy it and perhaps even love it more.

Pick this one up…and enjoy, either for the first time, or – if you have kids – the one-hundredth?

The Pixar classic FINDING NEMO, the made for adults drama HOPE SPRINGS, Christopher Nolan’s fantastic Batman finale THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and the very good made in Ottawa post-apocalyptic thriller THE DAY are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The Quebec made love story LAURENCE ANYWAYS, Jeremy Renner takes over from Matt Damon in THE BOURNE LEGACY, and one of the silliest, stupidest and most entertaining comedies of the year – Seth MacFarlane’s TED starring Mark Wahlberg as a grown up man whose best friend is a talking teddy bear.

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!