The Couch Potato Report

Yes, rest in peace, Robin Williams.

The Couch Potato Report – August 16th, 2014

When I compile my list of the best films of 2014 in a mere four months, it is very likely that the documentary LIFE ITSELF about film critic Roger Ebert will be at or near the top of that list.

Roger Ebert was a film critic, newspaper journalist, and screenwriter who first gained fame in 1975 when he teamed up with Gene Siskel to do movie reviews on television.

LIFE ITSELF is a biographical documentary based on Ebert’s 2011 memoir of the same name. It looks back at his career and also features footage and interviews with friends, celebrities and Ebert himself.

LIFE ITSELF also shows us Ebert’s daily routine while in a hospital and rehabilitation center in the last few months of his life.

Some of those scenes are difficult to watch, but they help the film tell the whole story of Roger Ebert, and it tells it warts and all.

I have never said this about a movie before, because it is Siskel & Ebert’s trademarked phrase, but I’ll say it right now: LIFE ITSELF gets “Two Thumbs Up” from me. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it.

I continue now with some FILTH for you.

FILTH is a Scottish comedic crime drama based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name. It stars James McAvoy from the recent X-MEN films as a scheming, manipulative, misanthropic police detective who spends most of his time indulging in drugs, alcohol, and abusive relationships, all while trying to get a promotion and win back his wife and daughter.

I was interested in FILTH as I watched it play out. I haven’t read the book so I was curious to see what would happen next, what scheme the cop would launch to get what he wanted.

Ultimately, FILTH is never great, but McAvoy is at times, and so I can easily recommend the film to anyone who likes their movies raw, bleak and unhappy.

We found out a few weeks ago that even though NBC has cancelled the television series COMMUNITY, the show’s dream of six seasons and a movie is still alive as Yahoo! picked it up for a sixth season.

That was as great news this summer as the fact that NBC would do a fifth season last summer was!!

That Fifth Season was fun and it’s now available to watch and own on disc.

COMMUNITY is a smart, hip, funny, always fresh show that is full of characters that I always enjoy hanging out with!!

COMMUNITY is sitcom about a group of people who first met when they joined a study group at Community College in Colorado. Over the course of the show they’ve had their ups and downs…and the show has too.

After the third season, the show’s creator – Dan Harmon – was fired. But then the network re-hired him back for Season Five because the show wasn’t as good, or as funny, without him.

The newly released SEASON FIVE of COMMUNITY isn’t the series’ best, but it is still fun and still has an amazing ensemble cast.

If you are looking for some laughs, you will definitely find some in THE COMPLETE FIFTH – and FOURTH and THIRD and SECOND and FIRST seasons of COMMUNITY.

So enjoy!!

Right from the get-go, the people behind the family film MUPPETS MOST WANTED want us to know that sequels are rarely as good as the movies that precede them.

And MUPPETS MOST WANTED is definitely not as good as the 2011 reboot THE MUPPETS, but I still liked it. Full disclosure though, I am a lifelong Muppets fan.

This time around The Muppets – Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and the gang – are hot! They’re popular and a promoter wants them to go on a world tour to profit from their popularity.

While on their grand tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped up in a jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his sidekick.

MUPPETS MOST WANTED is a fun family film, it’s just not as fun as the last Muppets movie. It isn’t the worst of their films either…it sits somewhere in the middle of the great Muppet legacy and I can easily recommend it to young and old alike.

Finally this week, Robin Williams.

Over his five decade career in television and films, Robin Williams created several unforgettable characters and gave us some superb performances, especially in GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, DEAD POETS SOCIETY and GOOD WILL HUNTING, for which he won his only Academy Award.

Williams also appears in several great films the whole family can enjoy. POPEYE, JUMANJI, MRS. DOUBTFIRE and – especially – ALADDIN.

As many of us did, I loved Robin Williams and I’m still shocked that he’s gone. That’s why I wanted to take a moment this week to share the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If you – or someone you know – if you feel that you have no other option, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline serves Canada and the U.S., and they are there for you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The number is 1-800-273-TALK.

That is 1-800-273-TALK.

Rest In Peace, Robin Williams.

The many great films and television shows featuring Robin Williams; the fun, but not as fun as the last movie MUPPETS MOST WANTED; THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON of the still funny series COMMUNITY; the good but not great comedic crime drama FILTH are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

The exceptional documentary LIFE ITSELF – about film critic Roger Ebert – 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!