The Couch Potato Report

Hello, Dan here. I wrote these reviews just for you!!

The Couch Potato Report – September 28th, 2013

Here we are in the final weekend in September, well on our way to the end of 2013. There are still dozens of films to be released in theatres between now and the end of the year, but it’s unlikely that any of them will make enough money at the box office to challenge the highest money makers so far this year.

So it looks like the Top Five films of the year will be 5) FAST & FURIOUS 6 ($238,679,850); 4) MONSTERS UNIVERSITY ($265,840,988); 3) MAN OF STEEL ($291,045,518); 2) DESPICABLE ME 2 ($360,796,080) and the Number One film of the year will be IRON MAN 3, which has made almost $410 million ($409,013,994 4,253).

The rest of the Top Five will be available for home viewing soon, and I’ll cover them all in detail when they’re released, but IRON MAN 3 is available now so…here we go!!

IRON MAN 3 picks up not long after the events that took place in last year’s number one film, THE AVENGERS. Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark is not sleeping as he continues to flashback to almost dying while trying to save the planet and so he works to modify his metallic outerwear.

When a terrorist named the Mandarin successfully unleashes a plot for world domination, Iron Man is soundly defeated and Tony Stark has to pick up the pieces, personally and professionally..

Truth be told, IRON MAN 3 is nowhere near as good as THE AVENGERS or the first IRON MAN movie, but it is better than IRON MAN 2. I have so many problems with this third installment…so, so, so many…unless I shut off my brain and focus on the fact that it is a Summer Movie about a superhero named Iron Man.

As a Summer Movie, full of shiny things that bow up real good, IRON MAN 3 is a success. As a part of the continuing cinematic story being told around characters who first appeared in Marvel comics, it is a huge success!

As a fan of movies like this, I don’t consider it that much of a success, but I do still recommend it as I will watch it again and I’m still looking forward to IRON MAN 4 and THE AVENGERS 2.

Up next is not a Summer Movie, but a television biography that features movie stars – and Academy Award winners – Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, along with Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh. They have teamed up for a picture called BEHIND THE CANDELABRA and it is amazing!!

This Emmy Award winning film focusses on the last decade of the legendary pianist Liberace’s life and the secret affair he had with a much younger man named Scott Thorson.

It is based on Thorson’s 1988 memoir, “Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace” and the young man is played by Matt Damon, and Michael Douglas is Liberace.

There isn’t anything about BEHIND THE CANDELABRA that I didn’t enjoy. The writing is great, the sets fantastic, and the performances by the lead and supporting actors are all tremendous.

This movie is entertaining and fun and funny and I highly recommend it.

The new television season officially began this week, and so there is a wide array of box sets available now featuring last year’s episodes. I had a blast not doing much else this week but watching these five sets!

I started with THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of the still great comedy THE BIG BANG THEORY.

This is the show about two geeky and socially awkward professors and their circle of friends and lovers. There’s Leonard and Sheldon; Penny – who lives across the hall and is dating Leonard; Amy – who is spending time with Sheldon; new married couple Howard and Bernadette; and Raj. Poor, lonely Raj who spends most of Season Six looking for love.

The geekiness and intellect of the guys continues to be mined for comic effect with Penny’s social skills and common sense and the fantastic timing of the entire cast.

THE BIG BANG THEORY continues to be one of the most entertaining shows on television and I highly recommend THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON and all of the seasons!!! Check them out and enjoy!!

Oh, and a bonus in this season is the appearance of the legendary Bob Newhart, who won an Emmy Award for his appearance!!

Last year at this time I spoke about the release of the Box Set for SEASON ONE of 2 BROKE GIRLS. I said that the premise and the lead actress – Kat Dennings from THOR – all appealed to me, but I concluded by saying that I didn’t really like the show.

Well, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of 2 BROKE GIRLS is now out and the show is starting to lose me because it doesn’t seem based in any sort of reality at all.

2 BROKE GIRLS is about two women in their twenties who find themselves working together at a small diner. They forge an unlikely friendship based on their dream of quitting and raising enough money to have their own business.

The show has a television sitcom premise, but as its gone on they succeed and fail merely at the whim of the writing. Why they succeed and fail doesn’t seem real life real, it feels television sitcom real and I am losing interest in it.

Plus, Kat Dennings character continues to be the most abrasive and sarcastic character on TV. She is rude and insulting to just about everyone, who absolutely no consequences whatsoever. She still has a job, dreams, and customers in the diner…and her boss puts up with it all, why? Because this is a TV sitcom.

Yes, okay, much like SEASON ONE, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of 2 BROKE GIRLS has a few laughs, and some nice moments between the two leads, but not enough. Ultimately I started watching it as a guilty pleasure, but as it goes on I am enjoying it less and less.

Unless you already watch it, you should skip 2 BROKE GIRLS. It isn’t real and they aren’t likeable.

Unless you already watch it, you should also skip SOUTH PARK. It isn’t real and the characters in it aren’t likeable either.

And that is what I continue to love about it!!

THE COMPLETE SIXTEENTH SEASON of SOUTH PARK is out now…and it puts a smile on my face that this show about four young profane characters and the people who live in their Colorado town has even lasted sixteen seasons!!

Yet it has, and it continues to make me laugh out loud, especially when each season comes out on DVD and blu-ray and creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone do short commentaries on every episode. They would always rather be doing anything else!!

SOUTH PARK – THE COMPLETE SIXTEENTH SEASON is full of laughs and I love it!! Here’s to the next sixteen seasons!!!

Some shows work, not only because of their content, but because they are content to be exactly what they are. The action adventure series SPARTACUS works because it knows what it is, a graphic, bloody, sword and sandals show with plenty of violence and nudity. It is what it is and what it is works.

In THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of SPARTACUS – called WAR OF THE DAMNED – he continues to amass victories over Rome, more determined than ever to bring down the entire Roman Republic.

But Rome continues to fight back!

SPARTACUS – WAR OF THE DAMNED – THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is also the series final season and it will never win any awards, but it is jam packed full of action and it – and me as a viewer – is content enough with that. I am totally content with the content of this show and can easily recommend it to all action fans, and fans of action.

The biggest surprise I had this week while watching TV Show Box Sets came from how much I enjoyed the made-in-Vancouver action adventure show ARROW. And I did, I really enjoyed it!!

Based on the fictional superhero Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter who appears in comic books published by DC Comics, ARROW is a surprisingly good show about a hooded vigilante armed with smarts, fighting expertise and a bow and arrows.

Arrows that do all sorts of things…including putting fear in the hearts and minds of villains.

THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of ARROW is very entertaining and has some great characters and villains. Even the drama here – and there is plenty of drama – but even it is entertaining. The season also ends with a tremendous cliffhanger

If you are looking for something new, and you enjoy shows based on comic books, do not miss ARROW.

I am so looking forward to SEASON TWO!!

Finally this week is a film that is much smaller in scope and audience awareness than either BEHIND THE CANDELABRA or IRON MAN 3, but for those who stumble upon it, it may just be the film of the year for you.

It is a coming of age film called THE KINGS OF SUMMER.

Here is a film about three teenage friends who just can’t get along with their parents and so they decide to run away from home and build their own house, with their own rules, in the woods. They are going to live there and live off the land, and enjoy life with no parental interference.

For a while their plan succeeds and they truly are THE KINGS OF SUMMER, but eventually they need things that can’t be found in the woods, like food and other friends.

That is when things fall apart.

The cast of THE KINGS OF SUMMER features some actors you’ll know – like Nick Offerman from PARKS AND RECREATION, Megan Mullally of WILL & GRACE and Alison Brie of COMMUNITY – but for the most part you won’t know who they are, but they all give very good performances.

I never loved the movie, but I did really, really like it.

Search this one out.

The nice little film THE KINGS OF SUMMER; THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON of the very entertaining made-in-Vancouver series ARROW; the very good sword and sandals series SPARTACUS – WAR OF THE DAMNED; THE COMPLETE SIXTEENTH SEASON of the still incredibly funny animated series SOUTH PARK; THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the once guilty pleasure that is losing me 2 BROKE GIRLS; THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON of the continually entertaining THE BIG BANG THEORY; the Emmy Award winning spectacular Liberace bio-pic BEHIND THE CANDELABRA; and the Number One film of the year, which isn’t great but can be entertaining if you turn off your brain, IRON MAN 3 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!