The Couch Potato Report

There are a lot of mild recommendations this week.

The Couch Potato Report – November 9th, 2013

On the classic Canadian television show SCTV Joe Flaherty and John Candy played a pair of farmers, who were also movie reviewers, and their names were Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok.

There was nothing they enjoyed more on Farm Film Celebrity Blow-Up than to see people blown up, blown up real good.

Well Big Jim and Billy Sol would have loved the made-in-Montreal Summer Action Movie WHITE HOUSE DOWN, because it features things blowing up, blowing up real good.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN stars Channing Tatum from MAGIC MIKE as a policeman who wants to join the Secret Service. While he is on a tour of the White House with his daughter, he not only meets the President – played by Jaime Foxx of RAY and DJANGO UNCHAINED – but he has to save him when a heavily armed group attacks and takes his daughter hostage.

If you can imagine DIE HARD, in the WHITE HOUSE, directed by the man who also made INDEPENDENCE DAY, then you can appreciate what type of film this is.

There isn’t an original moment in WHITE HOUSE DOWN, in fact the ending is a direct copy of DIE HARD 2’s, and some of the green screen shots where they try to put the actors in Washington settings look really, really fake, but I still recommend it. I suggest that you turn of your brain, and just enjoy watching it all unfold, like Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok would.

The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, and you shouldn’t either.

When the Adam Sandler comedy GROWN UPS came out in 2010, it was dismissed by almost everyone, film goers and critics alike, and justifiably so as it wasn’t one of his best.

No, it was nowhere near as good as THE WEDDING SINGER, HAPPY GILMORE or BILLY MADISON, but I still liked it.

Yes, it was really just a thinly written story, wrapped around getting Sandler and his pals from Saturday Night Live – plus Kevin James – hanging out on screen, but I liked it.

And now we have a sequel, and I liked it too!

GROWN UPS 2 stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James, along with Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, and even Shaquille O’Neal.

I could tell you what the story is, but it doesn’t matter. The film merely goes from set piece to set piece and scene to scene featuring these friends and pals – on screen and in real life – hanging out, laughing, and reminiscing about the stupid stuff we all did when we were kids.

It’s not a classic, but it made me laugh and since I like everyone in it, I enjoyed it and can easily recommend it to anyone who also likes the cast.

Otherwise, stay away!!

When it aired this summer, I admit that I stayed away from the series UNDER THE DOME, which is based on the 2009 Stephen King book. After all, didn’t we already see what happened to a whole town forced to live under a dome in THE SIMPSONS MOVIE?

But as I watched it on disc, I actually enjoyed it.

UNDER THE DOME has a big cast that features Dean Norris, DEA agent Hank Schrader from BREAKING BAD, and Montreal actress Rachelle Lefevre from the first two TWILIGHT films.

The show is about an invisible and mysterious force field that drops over a small town one day, trapping everyone in the town inside, cut off from the rest of the world.

Over the course of the thirteen episodes they discover the secrets and purpose of the “dome” and its origins.

They also discover some secrets about each other.

UNDER THE DOME features some really bad acting, and isn’t always compelling, but I enjoyed it. I didn’t have to know, I didn’t have to stop everything and get through all of the episodes, but it made me curious enough to care.

And when it comes back on the air next summer, I’ll be watching!!

The final release I have for you this week is last, but certainly not least.

History may show that TERMS OF ENDEARMENT won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1984, but the best movie released in 1983 was actually THE RIGHT STUFF.

THE RIGHT STUFF was adapted from Tom Wolfe’s best-selling 1979 book of the same name. It’s about Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Gordon Cooper, Gus Grissom and the men who were selected to be the astronauts for Project Mercury, the first attempt at manned spaceflight by the United States.

The film did win four Academy Awards, but none of the big ones, however the films that did win the big awards that night haven’t just been released on blu-ray with digibook packaging.

THE RIGHT STUFF has. It is new in HD and looks and sounds amazing!!

Unfortunately the 30th Anniversary Edition of THE RIGHT STUFF doesn’t feature any new Bonus Features, not one. Sure it’s now available on blu-ray for the first time, and the packaging is great, but some new retrospective footage would have been nice.

However, the unforgettable scenes and iconic performances the film is known for are still intact, so that is enough for me.

THE RIGHT STUFF is an interesting, engaging and actually very funny film that is a must see, and I highly recommend it.

The classic 1983 film THE RIGHT STUFF, the surprisingly entertaining television series UNDER THE DOME, the funny if you like the cast – but not great – Adam Sandler flick GROWN UPS 2, and the mildly entertaining Summer Action Film WHITE HOUSE DOWN 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!