The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – June 29th, 2013

A documentary about a well-known Canadian musician is inside this week’s Couch Potato Report and well go deep under the sea.

Bruce Cockburn is an Ontario raised singer/songwriter and activist who is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame.

His hit songs include “Wondering Where the Lions Are”, “Coldest Night of the Year”, “If a Tree Falls” “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” and “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”, among others.

The documentary BRUCE COCKBURN: PACING THE CAGE features the man looking back on his life and career, along with others – famous and otherwise – singing his praises.

The best part of PACING THE CAGE are the more candid moments when Cockburn is relaxed and just talking.

PACING THE CAGE isn’t a definitive Bruce Cockburn documentary, it does go back to the beginning of his career a few times but it primarily focusses on his more recent efforts, but it is still a very good look at an artist who has created some music that will stand the test of time, and can be called Canadian Classic, and he is also a person who has worked tirelessly in Canada and elsewhere to try and make the world a better place.

I can easily recommend it.

I can’t easily recommend THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE, primarily because it is a comedy that really isn’t that funny…but it does have a few laughs…and a cast that includes Steve Carell from THE OFFICE, STEVE BUSCEMI of THE BIG LEBOWSKI, the late James Gandolfini from THE SOPRANOS, Olivia Wilde from HOUSE and the one and only Jim Carrey!!

THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE stars Carrey as a pain loving magician who is making the more traditional pair of Carell and Busemi look stale. Trying to keep pace, they try their own dangerous stunt…which fails…and so they break up.

Eventually the story brings them back together, and fade to semi-happy ending…but if only THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE was funnier, then it would be something I could recommend.

As it is, I say check it out if you like the cast, especially if you are a fan of James Gandolfini, as this is one of his last on camera roles.

May he rest in peace.

Hey DOCTOR WHO FANS…Whovians…THE SNOWMEN and PART TWO of SERIES SEVEN are now available on blu-ray, and they are amazing!!

Doctor Who is the fifty year old BBC series about a time traveling time lord and if you haven’t been watching this show over the past few years, you have been missing some exceptional television!!

The only complaints I have about these releases of DOCTOR WHO – THE SNOWMEN and SERIES 7, PART TWO… SERIES 7, PART ONE for that matter…is that one day, down the road, these will all be released – like the other seasons – in one big box set with a wealth of extras. These releases have little in the way of extras…and that is a complaint.

But they do still have some great DOCTOR WHO action, adventure, time traveling fun, and new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman, so I will recommend them to old and new fans alike…but maybe rent or borrow THE SNOWMEN and SERIES 7, PART TWO, so you don’t have to buy them twice.

Finally this week is the blu-ray release of one of the greatest documentary series of all time…and one of the most disappointing blu-ray releases of all time.

The BBC’s THE BLUE PLANET has been upconverted for High Definition – because it was made in Standard Definition – and it doesn’t look great.

Since the release of THE BLUE PLANET in 2001 the spectacular BBC Natural History Unit crew have pioneered the use of high definition cameras for their unequaled nature films, and that is why it took so long for this one to come to blu-ray, because it wasn’t produced this way.

But, the content still holds up…I am always impressed when I see the footage here of thousands of baby turtles trying to reach the ocean, shrimps fighting a much bigger starfish, dolphins playing with leaves, sharks on the hunt and whales fighting whales.

That content is why I easily and highly recommend THE BLUE PLANET.

The blu-ray may not be as pristine as the ones for PLANET EARTH, LIFE and FROZEN PLANET, and that is truly disappointing, but I am still glad that I have it on my shelf now anyway.

The spectacular BBC documentary series THE BLUE PLANET…which doesn’t look great on blu-ray…SERIES 7, PART TWO and THE SNOWMEN episodes of the great DOCTOR WHO; the not great comedy THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE, featuring Canadian Jim Carrey and the late great James Gandolfini; and the very good documentary BRUCE COCKBURN: PACING THE CAGE are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The classic Mel Brooks film THE PRODUCERS starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel debuts on blu-ray; Halle Berry stars in the wannabe thriller THE CALL, and the made-in-Montreal fantasy romance film UPSIDE DOWN tries to put a new twist on the age old tale of people who were meant to be together, against all odds.

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!