The Couch Potato Report

It’s time for some horror, in the middle of the Summer!!

The Couch Potato Report – July 27th, 2013

There are scares and frights inside this week’s Couch Potato Report and a very good film about Jackie Robinson.

We’ll begin with the number 13 this week, and end with the number 42. We’ll also begin in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where the low budget horror flick 13 EERIE was shot in just twenty days.

13 EERIE is about six forensic undergrads who must complete a university field examination of staged murdered corpses on a remote and deserted island prison. What they don’t know – what they can’t know – is that the island had been used for illegal biological experiments on life-term prisoners…experiments that now bring the dead back to life as zombies.

13 EERIE is the feature length debut of Regina director Lowell Dean, whose next project will be a movie called WOLFCOP, and I hope that movie is as entertaining as this one.

13 EERIE is not a spectacular movie, but it is entertaining as it knows what it is – it knows that it is a zombie movie – and so fans of this kind of film should not miss it.

I enjoyed it and can easily recommend it to horror fans.

I can also easily recommend the remake of the 1981 horror classic THE EVIL DEAD…and make no mistake; I’m referring to the original as a classic. This 2013 remake slash reimagining is not a classic, but I can recommend it…to fans of the genre.

The story here is that five friends head to a remote cabin in the woods, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads the group to unknowingly summoning up demons living in the nearby woods.

The evil dead then possesses them until only one is left to fight for their life.

What made the original a classic was the fact that when I saw it I was a teenager and hadn’t seen anything like it before, and that is the target audience for the remake: teenagers who haven’t seen anything like it before.

But whereas the original was funny and campy – thanks primarily to the performance of Bruce Campbell – and was produced with a less is more attitude – since they didn’t have the money to include more – this remake was made backed by plenty of money, so there is an abundance of everything, especially blood and gore.

I didn’t think it needed it all, so I did not love the 2013 version of EVIL DEAD, but to fans of the genre I do recommend it.

You will love it, and to you I say enjoy!!

Time for some great advice now: Live every week like it’s Shark Week!

Advice told, here’s the history: Shark Week was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 1987. Held each year since then in July or August Shark Week is a week-long series of television programs dedicated to sharks that was originally developed to raise awareness and respect for sharks.

There have been some great compilations of SHARK WEEK shows over the past few years, but this new one – SHARK WEEK: FINS OF FURY – is perhaps the best.

SHARK WEEK: FINS OF FURY is a two disc set that features seven programs and over five hours of footage about sharks and the people who photograph and study them. There are some great stories featured here!

I look forward to SHARK WEEK every year and I also look forward to watching these compilations. They are informative, entertaining and educational.

And this year, SHARK WEEK: FINS OF FURY even features an episode where they go to the real life area where the fish in the movie JAWS attacked.

This is awesome stuff!!

Not as awesome as a Shark Week documentary, but still very good is Danny Boyle’s latest film TRANCE.

Boyle has given us such great films as TRAINSPOTTING, 28 DAYS LATER, 127 HOURS, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and now TRANCE.

This one stars James McAvoy from X-MEN FIRST CLASS as an art auctioneer who starts working with a group of criminals. They are partners in a plot to steal a priceless painting, but due to amnesia he can’t remember where he hid it.

Rosario Dawson from SIN CITY plays a hypnotherapist who is trying to help them find it…or is she?

TRANCE is a bit too loud, noisy and high concept at times, as most Danny Boyle films are, but the majority of it is an entertaining and smart thriller…especially at the start. It starts off very, very strong.

The other reason I can recommend TRANCE – and I do recommend it – is because of the Danny Boyle career retrospective included in the bonus materials. In it the man himself spends looks back on most of his films.

There is a television series that aired last year that was utterly forgettable. Oddly enough, the show is called UNFORGETTABLE.

In it, the lovely and talented Poppy Montgomery from WITHOUT A TRACE stars as a former police detective who suffers from a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything.

She can remember absolutely everything and – because the series’ plot needs her to – she rejoins the force and uses her ability to solve crimes.

THE FIRST SEASON of the show is the complete opposite of UNFORGETTABLE.

Poppy and the cast of UNFORGETTABLE are okay, and the idea isn’t the worst one I’ve ever heard of when it comes to police procedural shows as she also struggles to remember who killed her sister…but when it gets to the point where she is remembering something, the show just stops and her memories are mostly in slow motion. Plus the cases are never really that hard to figure out. The show is so unexceptional that I was actually quite surprised to find out that there will be a Second Season of it.

THE FIRST SEASON of UNFORGETTABLE is now available in a 6 disc set, but you have better things to do with your time, so my unforgettable suggestion is that you skip it.

And don’t forget that I said that.

Finally this week is a movie about a man who stood tall, didn’t fight back against racists and – as a result – changed the world.

42 is the story of Jackie Robinson and how he broke the colour bar and became the first African-American player to suit up for a major league baseball team.

42 is Jackie Robinson’s story, but it’s also partially the story of Branch Rickey, the man who broke a gentlemen’s agreement between the owners of the major league teams and decided to give Robinson a shot.

Branch Rickey is played by Harrison Ford.

Make no mistake, 42 is not a documentary about Jackie Robinson. Some facts and some people’s names have been changed in the name of good storytelling, but it is still a very entertaining film about a courageous and historic person.

I love baseball and baseball movies, and I have the utmost respect for Jackie Robinson and his accomplishments on and off the field, so I can easily recommend 42…the number Robinson wore…even to non-baseball loving fans.

First and foremost, this is a story about people and how their actions changed race relations for the better.

And in addition to the film, I also recommend you go deeper into Jackie’s story and how he changed the game of baseball. You can do that through his blunt and honest autobiography called “I Never Had It Made”.

The very good baseball biopic 42; the forgettable FIRST SEASON of the television series UNFORGETTABLE; the pretty good heist flick TRANCE; the very entertaining SHARK WEEK: FINS OF FURY collection; the for-genre-fans only remake of EVIL DEAD; and the not bad made-in-Moose Jaw low budget horror flick 13 EERIE are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

SEASON ONE of the Award winning made-in-Toronto series ORPHAN BLACK; SEASON FOUR of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION on Blu-ray, and the action flick G.I. JOE – RETALIATION, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum.

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!