The Couch Potato Report


The Couch Potato Report – October 4th, 2014

Back in 2003 there was a really nice little Quebecois film released called LA GRANDE SEDUCTION about a small, dying fishing village in Quebec that dreams of being great again.

That opportunity presents itself when a company considers building a factory nearby, but first, the village needs to have a Doctor.

Thus, LA GRANDE SEDUCTION, the grand seduction begins as every resident in the village – young and old alike – conspire to get a doctor who has been coerced into working in the community for a month, to move there permanently.

An English version was put into production in 2012, with the setting changed from Quebec, to Newfoundland.

THE GRAND SEDUCTION stars Taylor Kitsch of the television series FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and once again, the residents must convince the young doctor to take up residence in their small fishing village, by any means necessary.

I really like both versions of this film, and easily recommend them both, but I must admit that the French version is the better of the two.

Yes, Newfoundland looks great on film, and the local actors in the movie – like the legendary Gordon Pinsent – give it extra charm, but the characters in the English version aren’t as fully formed. For instance, there is no reason to believe that the Doctor would be attracted to the woman who becomes his love interest as she just isn’t nice to him…at all.

Flaws aside, THE GRAND SEDUCTION is a very entertaining film, one of two that I highly recommend this weekend.

The other release I highly recommend this week is Jon Favreau’s CHEF.

After making the big budget flicks IRON MAN I & II and COWBOYS and ALIENS, Favreau returns to making smaller movies with CHEF, about a disillusioned chef who loses his restaurant job and decides to open a food truck to rediscover what he loves about food and cooking.

The truck also helps him get closer to his son and ex-wife, although not right away.

CHEF is a really entertaining movie, that doesn’t have a villain, and that is refreshing. It’s just full of characters that all bring something to the story, and you hope things work out in the end.

Plus, the cast…what a cast! In addition to Jon Favreau, CHEF stars Sofía Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr.

I really enjoyed CHEF, and am sure you will to. A warning though…do not watch it on an empty stomach as you will be starving as soon as the Chef starts cooking.

Four years after it went off the air, the action series 24 returned to television this year with the limited run series 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY.

24 originally ran for eight seasons, from 2001 to 2010. Each 24-episode season covered 24 hours – one day – in the life of Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer, played by Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland.

This version of 24 – 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY – is only 12 hours, its a 12 part series that sees Jack Bauer come out of hiding in London to head off a massive terrorist attack.

He is also trying to avoid being caught by the British, the American forces dispatched by President James Heller, and the Russians he had angered the last time we saw him.

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY isn’t a classic season of the show, but it is better than the last couple. Plus, it is great to have Jack Bauer back, trying to save the world, no matter what.

I didn’t love 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, but I can recommend it, and it does have me hoping that it will lead to at least another series, whether it is 12 or 24 episodes long.

If you’re a fan of Japanese Animation, or Anime, one of the greatest films ever released in that style is now available on blu-ray in a 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.

Unfortunately, this version of GHOST IN THE SHELL doesn’t come with any retrospective or bonus features at all.

Not a single one.

GHOST IN THE SHELL is about a female cyborg cop and her partner who are hunting for a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

With the assistance of her team, she tracks and finds their suspect, only to be drawn into a complex sequence of political intrigue and a cover-up.

As it was when it was first released, GHOST IN THE SHELL Is amazing to look at, the animation style is still great, and the story is involving and always interesting.

And it is for those reasons that I can easily recommend the 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of GHOST IN THE SHELL.

I recommend it for the movie.

The fact that they are marketing it as an anniversary release without any extras is a huge surprise, but the movie is still so good that I think you should pick up this release anyway.

Finally this week, a warning: Stay away from TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION at all costs.

This is the fourth big budget action film based on the Transformers toy series and it stars Mark Wahlberg in the lead role, instead of Shia LaBeouf, who had been in the first three.

Even though he’s been great in a lot of films, he can’t save this one, nothing can save it, it is a 144 minute waste of your time.

Yes, okay, the special effects and CGI in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION are amazing, it all looks sort of real, and if that is all you need from a movie, then enjoy.

But if you want a story, interesting characters, or to feel like you’re not completely wasting your time, skip this mess.

It is even a waste of time as a meaningless Summer Action Flick where you’re supposed to shut off your brain and just enjoy.

Man, it is awful!!

The completely useless sequel TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION; the 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the classic Japanese Anime GHOST IN THE SHELL; the very good return of Jack Bauer – played by Canadian Kiefer Sutherland – in 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY; the great food film CHEF; and the great made-in-Newfoundland comedy THE GRAND SEDUCTION 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!