The Couch Potato Report

THEY CAME TOGETHER is great, but the real find this week is THE LUNCHBOX.

The Couch Potato Report – July 5th, 2014

I’ve got some science fiction to start with this week – the made-in-Montreal television series HELIX.

Helix primarily takes place in a bioresearch station in the Arctic. A team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention near much warmer Atlanta travel to the station to investigate a potential outbreak of disease.

However, once they arrive they find themselves stuck in life-or-death situations that not only put their lives in jeopardy, but all of humankind.

HELIX is sci-fi that is part medical conspiracy, part grotesque horror story, and mostly above average.

The thirteen episodes in SEASON ONE give the story the room it needs to expand and play out, and what starts as possibly just another sci-fi horror story eventually leads down an engaging road of secrets, plots twists, and power plays.

Some of the special effects aren’t great, but the show itself features well-written characters and I liked it.

I can easily recommend HELIX to my fellow sci-fi fans.

I do not – at any price – recommend the absolute bore that is the wannabe supernatural drama WINTER’S TALE.

Even with a cast that includes Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, William Hurt, Jessica Brown Findlay from DOWNTON ABBEY, Will Smith and Jennifer Connelly, you should skip this one.

The film opens in 1895 as we meet a young immigrant couple who are refused entry into Manhattan because they have consumption, a common, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease of the day.

Their infant son is also not allowed entry to the country, so they place him in a model sailboat to float there safely. He grows up to be a thief who is being raised by a demon posing as a gangster.

Yes, you heard that right, he was raised by a demon posing as a gangster.

After that, the young man decides to leave the gang, is rescued by a mysterious white horse – who turns out to be his guardian angel, meets a beautiful dying woman named Beverly who he falls in love with and wants to save, because – you see – he believes that saving her is his “miracle”.

Then, the gangster asks the devil, who is played by Will Smith, for access to where the young man is so he can kill him before he pulls off his ”miracle”, but his request is denied.

Obviously, since the gangster is a demon, he doesn’t listen to the devil and does what he wants…but that leads to the young man becoming immortal, but he has amnesia and so he wanders the streets of New York City for a century…and I’ve told you enough because it doesn’t matter.

I sat through WINTER’S TALE and I highly suggest that you don’t. There are some nice sentiments in the movie, and the cast is tremendous, but the movie is a bore and a snore.

Skip it. It is a complete waste of your time.

One of the great things for me about movies today is the fact that we can sometimes watch new films at home On Demand at the same time they are playing in theatres.

For instance, the romantic comedy THEY CAME TOGETHER starring Paul Rudd from ANCHORMAN and Amy Poehler of PARKS & RECREATION – two actors I really like – is only playing in a few select theatres across North America, but you and I can still now watch it in our homes whenever we want.

I watched it last Monday morning and quite enjoyed it.

Paul and Amy play a couple who meet outside a party, yet arrive together, and it’s hate at first sight as his big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie candy shop.

It might seem that THEY CAME TOGETHER is a regular Hollywood romantic comedy, and it sort of is.

But in reality, the film is a parody of romantic comedies, as the cast helps us navigate our way through this relationship that seems perfect, at least in the movies.

THEY CAME TOGETHER is not a perfect romantic comedy, at times it is very hit and miss, and some of the misses are huge and even uncomfortable, but it hit more than it missed for me and I was even laughing out loud at times, all while appreciating the parody and hoping that Paul and Amy could somehow manage to find a way to stay together.

It’s not perfect, but I can still easily recommend it.

I also easily recommend the beautiful made-in-India film THE LUNCHBOX.

In Mumbai, India, you can hire people to collect hot food in lunch boxes from your residence in the late morning, deliver the lunches, and then collect and return the empty boxes back to your residence that afternoon.

A mistaken delivery of one of those food containers is at the centre of a very good film called THE LUNCHBOX.

A young neglected and lonely housewife decides to try and get her husband’s attention through food and so she cooks him something special and sends it to him.

But her lunchbox ends up going to to someone else…a lonely accountant who is about to retire from his job. They start to communicate as the lunchbox goes back and forth and end up building a nice fantasy world together.

One that could conceivably come true through mutual admiration and loneliness.

I really liked THE LUNCHBOX. It showed me things I had never seen on screen before, and the characters all seemed real. If you’re looking for something interesting and entertaining to watch, I recommend you search it out.
The very good made-in-India romantic drama THE LUNCHBOX; the snore of a movie WINTER’S TALE that should be skipped at all costs; and SEASON ONE of the above average made-in-Montreal sci-fi series HELIX are available now, either on disc or on demand.

And the very funny romantic comedy parody THEY CAME TOGETHER, starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler is available now 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!