The Couch Potato Report

I could connect them…if I wanted to!! :D

The Couch Potato Report – October 5th, 2013

The films I have for you this week don’t have a connecting thread. I do like to connect things, but one of them came out this Summer, another in 1989, and the third in 1953. I could find a way to connect them, after all two of them did win Academy Awards, but instead I’ll just tell you about them individually and start with the end…of the world.

THIS IS THE END was co-written, co-directed and co-stars Vancouver’s Seth Rogen from PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and KNOCKED UP. He plays himself in this film, well…he plays an exaggeration of himself, or at least who we perceive him to be.

In fact, the whole film is full of famous people playing exaggerated versions of themselves as they get together for a party at James Franco’s house just as the end of the world begins.

In addition to James Franco and Seth Rogen, some of the other people who play a variation of themselves in THIS IS THE END are Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Mindy Kaling and Emma Watson…from the Harry Potter films.

It’s the end of the world in this film, and some friends are locked in a house together, and making the best of it while they are trying to survive the worst. The difference in THIS IS THE END is that we know all of these friends because they are movie stars.

That is what also what makes it one of the funniest films of the year. When these guys make fun of each other, they rip apart each other’s filmography and public personas and it is hilarious.

Due to the amount of profanity in the film and the fact that a good portion of the humour is exceptionally sophomoric and childish, THIS IS THE END isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. I can easily recommend it to anyone who likes their humour profane and their mocking merciless.

This is a flick I’ll watch again. Even the bonus materials are entertaining and insightful!!

The 1989 Walt Disney animated film THE LITTLE MERMAID is a film I’ve watched again, many times. I enjoyed it when it was originally released, and I enjoyed it again this week when it was released on blu-ray for the first time!

This still beautiful film is about a teenage mermaid princess named Ariel who makes a deal with a sea-witch to enable her to spend time with a human prince…on land.

But as Ariel gets close to making her dreams come true, the sea-witch changes the rules, and THE LITTLE MERMAID could lose everything.

The new DIAMOND EDITION of THE LITTLE MERMAID features the film looking and sounding better than ever, and it also comes with a wealth of old and Brand New Special Features.

But mostly it features the film, the very beautiful and entertaining film, and its Academy Award winning music.

I love THE LITTLE MERMAID, and I highly recommend it, to boys and girls of all ages.

Here’s a trio of new releases now about families.

Starting with a MODERN FAMILY.

MODERN FAMILY is a show about Jay Pritchett, his second wife, their infant son and his stepson, and Jay’s two grown up children and their families.

The show is told mockumentary style with the camera sometimes acting as a confessional, but mostly it is an observer.

THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of MODERN FAMILY was the fourth – of four – to win the Emmy Award for Best Comedy. Yes it has won every year it’s been eligible, and it will probably keep winning for years.

It is just heads above any other comedy on television right now, and if you have yet to see an episode…see an episode. See them all!!

It is fun and funny and even very beautiful at times. Watching THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of MODERN FAMILY could be some of the most fun you have this year.

Some folks will also have a lot of fun watching VOLUME 11 of the series FAMILY GUY, but not as many folks because there aren’t as many laughs.

There are some laughs, okay a lot of them, and many of them are laugh out loud, but FAMILY GUY continues to be lazy, going for an easy laugh when a well-crafted one could have worked better, and continuing to be borderline racist at times…another sign of lazy humour.

That said, the show does still provide some huge laughs!!

There are twenty-three uncensored FAMILY GUY episodes in VOLUME 11. Peter has another painful encounter with the angry Giant Chicken, Quagmire tries to get giggity with Meg, and Brian and Stewie are beside themselves when they travel back in time to the show’s pilot episode.

Admittedly, that trip back to the Pilot is one of the series’ best!

FAMILY GUY is still on the air because people watch it and love it and it is to those people – and the show’s casual fans – that I recommend this release. Highly.

Everyone else should just skip it.

This final family oriented release is an Israeli film that won seven statues at that country’s Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, and it is easy to see why as FILL THE VOID is a deeply moving and beautiful film that asks the question: “Why do you love me?”

This is a movie about a devout 18-year-old Israeli woman is being pressured to marry the husband of her late sister.

She can’t understand why he wants to marry her and feels that the marriage is not right. But declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv’s ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi’s word are absolute.

FILL THE VOID is an interesting film that takes place in a world that many of us will never see. That, and some great questions and performances, add up to a movie that I can easily recommend.

Finally this week, let’s head back to 1953 to a film that won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

Set in 1941 Hawaii Montgomery Clift is a young soldier who refuses to box for his squadron, no matter how much punishment his Captain threatens him with.

That same Captain is unfaithful to his wife, and she to him as she falls for a Sergeant played by Burt Lancaster.

Frank Sinatra is another member of the company and Ol Blue Eyes was awarded a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY features all of those characters and stories – and several others – all heading toward the date December 7th, 1941.

They may all survive each other, but will they survive Pearl Harbour?

The new blu-ray for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY allows the film to look better than it ever has, and it comes with some great Special Features, old and new.

This movie is a true classic, and I easily recommend it.

The eight time Academy Award winning classic FROM HERE TO ETERNITY; the very good seven time Israeli Film Academy Award winning drama FILL THE VOID; VOLUME 11 of the still occasionally laugh out loud funny series FAMILY GUY; THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of the still funny and touching show MODERN FAMILY; the still amazing Disney animated classic THE LITTLE MERMAID; and the incredibly stupid, but also incredibly funny THIS IS THE END, co-written, co-directed and co-starring Vancouver’s Seth Rogen are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Hey, coming up next week in The Couch Potato Report a onetime great comedy trilogy comes to a close in THE HANGOVER – PART III

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!