The Couch Potato Report

The TWIN PEAKS set is amazing!!

The Couch Potato Report – August 2nd, 2014

I’m absolutely saving the best for last this week. In just a few minutes I’ll tell you all about the superb new ten disc box set for the 1990s television series TWIN PEAKS, but first we head aboard the Snowpiercer, a massive train that travels around the globe in the year 2031 with the planet’s only survivors.

Once an experiment to counteract global warming causes an ice age that kills nearly all life on Earth the planet’s survivors move onto a massive train, called the Snowpiercer.

A class system is installed on the train, with the elites inhabiting the front and the poor relegated to the tail.

The elites have clean, spacious cabins, the poor live in dirty quarters and are only fed protein blocks for food, and periodically guards take some of their children

In the year 2031, the tail inhabitants continue to fight the class system, and they are lead by Chris Evans, who is Captain America in the Marvel Universe. Here he is just an everyman, struggling for a better life for himself and the oppressed around him.

SNOWPIERCER is well made and acted and very, very interesting. It’s an ambitious first English language film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. Admittedly, the movie does slow down a lot in the middle, but it picks up again and is well worth your time.

I highly recommend it.

I’m not going to spend much time talking about this next film, and I certainly won’t recommend the art-house-sci-fi flick UNDER THE SKIN starring Scarlett Johansson as a mysterious woman who seduces lonely men in Scotland.

This movie is so boring that I honestly can’t believe that I sat through the whole thing.

Scarlett Johansson has been great in films like LOST IN TRANSLATION and as Black Widow in THE AVENGERS films…along with Chris Evans…so it is safe to say that she will be in great films again.

But UNDER THE SKIN is not a great film. I was curious to see how it ended, and I was glad when it did end, so you shouldn’t bother with it. I only include it here as Scarlett Johansson is such a popular actress, and I don’t want you to waste your time.

Skip this one at all costs.

As I sat in a darkened theatre in Cincinnati earlier this year watching director Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH – about the man who is chosen by his world’s creator to build an ark and save the animals before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world – I kept asking why?

Why did he choose to make this film as the follow up to BLACK SWAN and THE WRESTLER? Why did the studio pay to finance it? Why did Academy Award winners Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, along with Emma Watson of the HARRY POTTER FILMS agree to star in it?

The one “why” question I didn’t ask, not once either that night or this week as I re-watched it was, “Why am I watching this?”

There have been many Biblical epics made over the years, and from a technical standpoint NOAH is one of the best made of all of them. But that’s not to say it’s one of the greatest. It is too long and too artsy at times for that to be true,

But the cast is great and the story continues to be interesting, so that is why I can mildly recommend NOAH to those who think they might enjoy it.

If a two hour and seventeen minute Biblical epic is something that sounds interesting to you, then don’t miss NOAH.

Otherwise, you should skip it. It is very good, but it’s not for everyone.

Another movie I’ve seen twice now is the comedy THE OTHER WOMAN.

Cameron Diaz from THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and the SHREK films stars in this one as a high powered lawyer in New York City who discovers that her boyfriend is married, so she breaks up with him.

Much to her surprise, the man’s wife – played by Leslie Mann of KNOCKED UP and THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN – comes to her office looking for answers to questions she has never thought she’d ever have to ask.

As happens in films like this, the two become fast friends and soon there is a third member of their group as they meet the other woman the man is having an affair with. She is played by swimsuit model Kate Upton and the three of them decide to team up to punish the three-timing cheater.

I had little to no expectations for this film either time I watched it, and so I actually enjoyed THE OTHER WOMAN. It is never great, and it really comes across as just a younger version of THE FIRST WIVES CLUB most of the time, but the actresses are fun together and so I liked it and can mildly recommend it.

Finally this week, I said I was saving the best for last and I did, this is TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY.

TWIN PEAKS was a quirky television series that was first broadcast in April of 1990 and ran for two seasons. It was followed by the 1992 feature film, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, that was both a prequel and an epilogue to the television series.

TWIN PEAKS is named after the small town in Washington state where it’s set and the show follows the investigation of the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and the local police force.

TWIN PEAKS is about the search for Laura Palmer’s killer, but it is also about so much more and this blu-ray box set has all of it! All the show’s signature strangeness, plus, an incredible amount of making-ofs, deleted scenes, and retrospective features.

Even though the series still veers way of it’s initial course by the time it gets late into the second season, TWIN PEAKS is still one of the most interesting television shows of all time, has a fantastic cast, and it looks and sounds amazing in this new HD version.

Do not miss it, this is one of the greatest releases of the year!
The fantastic 10 Disc Blu-ray set TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY; the fun at times but never great comedy THE OTHER WOMAN, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton; the would-be Bible epic NOAH, starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly; and the awful art-house-sci-fi flick UNDER THE SKIN starring Scarlett Johansson are available now, either on disc or on demand.

The very interesting action thriller SNOWPIERCER, starring Chris Evans and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton 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!