The Couch Potato Report

These releases don’t really inspire me to think of a great headline. Sorry!!

The Couch Potato Report – September 7th, 2013

Buried deep within the ground outside of North Bay, Ontario is a decommissioned NORAD base.

NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command – no longer needed the facility located sixty stories underground when they built a newer one above ground.

The original was put there to protect us from those who would do us harm during the Cold War and the people responsible for the first movie ever shot there – the would be thriller THE COLONY – use it very effectively.

Set in a post 2045 ice world where humans are forced underground after the weather machines we created to control the warming climate malfunction. Unable to turn them off, the planet freezes and people are forced underground searching for warmth.

THE COLONY stars Laurence Fishburne from THE MATRIX TRILOGY, Bill Paxton of ALIENS and TITANIC, and Canadian actor Kevin Zegers.

They are all members of Colony 7 who travel to nearby Colony 5 to look for survivors after receiving a distress signal.

What they find when they arrive is a place covered in blood, but upon further inspection, they also discover that the secret to making the weather machines stop can be found in this colony.

If only they can survive long enough to find it, and get back home.

Someday, some filmmaker is going to use this old NORAD base to make an incredible film, as it is amazing to look at, but THE COLONY is not that film as it is far too predictable, you can tell right from the get go who will survive and who won’t.

But, it is above average for movies like this, of which there have been many, so I will mildy – very mildly – recommend it by saying that while it doesn’t deserve to be buried sixty stories underground in an old NORAD bunker, THE COLONY is ultimately nothing special.

To a real thrilling thriller now that I can highly recommend. This one is both thrilling, entertaining and fun…well, most of it is anyway, it doesn’t have the strongest ending, but I will still highly recommend NOW YOU SEE ME.

NOW YOU SEE ME was released during the Summer Movie Season and so you do have to remember to turn off your brain and not think too much as you watch a group of illusionists who pull off bank heists from across the world during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

In a Summer Movie, that is totally possible!!


The illusionists are pursued by an FBI agent and an Interpol detective, who just can’t manage to figure any of the tricks out.

The cast here is top notch, NOW YOU SEE ME stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman and they are completely committed to their roles, which will make you buy into what they are doing as well…even as it all starts to unravel towards the end, but stop thinking about that!! This is a Summer Movie and there is no thinking allowed.

Just focus on this: NOW YOU SEE ME has a great cast and is a very entertaining action thriller.

I have four quick reviews for you now:

PAIN & GAIN is the latest from director Michael Bay, who also gave us the TRANSFORMERS films. This action comedy stars pumped up stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark “Marky Mark” Walhberg.

They play bodybuilders in Florida who decide to kidnap and steal from a rich businessman, but everything goes wrong because…well, basically they are idiots.

Because it is a Michael Bay film, PAIN & GAIN features some great action scenes…and the press release says it is also a comedy, but I didn’t laugh once, I laughed at how stupid some of the characters were, but I didn’t laugh/laugh…and I certainly didn’t laugh out loud.

I didn’t dislike PAIN & GAIN, but it didn’t really hold my attention. The action was really great though, so let me give it a mild recommendation.

Not a lot happens in this next film, but SHADOW DANCER did hold my attention right until the end, I love the cast, it features great writing, and even though not a lot happens it is still an above average film.

SHADOW DANCER stars Clive Owen Andrea Riseborough and Gillian Anderson and its set in Belfast in the 1990s.

Riseborough – from the recent sci-fi flick OBLIVION – stars as an active member of the IRA who becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son.

But in order to save her son, she is putting the lives of the rest of her family in jeopardy.

Like I said, not a lot happens in SHADOW DANCER, but when it does it is powerful. I really enjoyed this movie!

I thought that I might enjoy a film called THE STRANGER WITHIN, primarily because it stars the lovely and talented Canadian actress Estella Warren as a woman who survives a kidnapping and goes away on a vacation to rest with her husband, but soon after arriving is forced to welcome a stranger into her home…a woman who may just come between her and her husband.

I thought I might enjoy it, but I didn’t.

THE STRANGER WITHIN is a low budget film, with a less than stellar cast, and while you root for the woman, you won’t really care what happens to her. PLUS, the ending is horrible!! The whole thing adds up to an uninteresting psychological thriller, and you don’t need to waste your time with it.

The final quick review is for SEASON FIVE of the television series SONS OF ANARCHY, the show starring Charlie Hunnam – who made headlines this week when he was cast as Christian in the film version of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – this is his day job though, playing a man in his thirties who continues to search for a balance in his life as the father of two babies who is also the head of a violent motorcycle gang

SONS OF ANARCHY continues to be an exceptionally violent, but incredibly well made television show, even five seasons in.

Due to the violence – the extreme violence – that takes place, this is not a show for everyone…but if violence doesn’t bother you, and you aren’t watching SONS OF ANARCHY, pick up SEASONS FIVE through ONE and enjoy!!

The final title I have for you this week doesn’t feature the best season of THE OFFICE, or even one of the top seven seasons, but it does feature the final one.

This is the first time in a decade that a new television season will begin without this show on the air, and even though it stayed on the air two years too long, I will miss the show.

THE OFFICE is the workplace comedy about a group of people at the fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Steve Carell left two years ago to focus on movies, and the show only recovered toward the end of this NINTH and final season. Once it gained it’s footage it all wrapped up with some great episodes and a beautiful finale featuring some fantastic cameos…some of which you’ll hear about from me.


SEASON NINE of THE OFFICE gave the show a perfect ending, one worthy of the best seasons of this show that lasted a lot longer than anyone ever thought it would, and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it…and every season except the EIGHTH one. That one was not good at all.

THE NINTH AND FINAL SEASON of THE OFFICE; SEASON FIVE of the still great series SONS OF ANARCHY; the useless would be thriller THE STRANGER WITHIN; the above average thriller SHADOW DANCER; the non-attention holding action-comedy PAIN & GAIN starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson; the very good heist flick NOW YOU SEE ME; and not awful, but not great made-in-Ontario sci-fi thriller THE COLONY are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

And that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.

Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!