The Couch Potato Report – November 20th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report has some great goals, another Avatar, and weíll head to The Pacific.
For many Canadians, Paul Henderson’s goal against the Russians on September 28, 1972, to ice a victory in the eighth and final game of the Summit Series. is the greatest goal in our nationís hockey history.
It was and remains a great goal, and it continues to stirs up some great memories to this day of where they were and what they were doing when the puck went past Vladislav Tretiak.
As for me, I was four years old at the time, so the memories I have of that goal are from other people.
HoweverÖI do have memories of my ownÖanother Team Canada goal that I loveÖ, from another Canada Russia Series. This one took place on September 15th, 1987, at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
Where were you in í72? Well, I was in heaven in 1987!
I mean absolutely no disrespect to the 1972 goal, but since I was old enough to watch the series and remember it ñ that is THE GOALÖGretzky to Lemieux, giving our team the 1987 Canada Cup.
If you remember that goal as fondly as I do, a great new six-disc set called CANADA CUP 87 is available and it includes all nine of Team Canadaís games ñ many not seen since their original telecast ñ including the thrilling three game final featuring Canada vs. Russia.
Plus, the set also has some great Bonus Features, including the very insightful documentary produced about Canada Cup 1987, a film called MARIO, MIKE AND THE GREAT GRETZKY.
CANADA CUP 87 is a release that I am so happy to own, and it is one that I will keep in my collection foreverÖbecause it features one of the greatest goals in our nationís historyÖand so much more!
Now if hockey tournaments arenít your style, if you prefer NHL hockey, this next release is for you!
This is DON CHERRYíS ROCK EM SOCK EM 22!!
ROCK EM SOCK EM 22 features all the great goals, hits, saves and bloopers from the 2009-2010 NHL season, plus Don takes a look back at the surprising Stanley Cup win by Chicago, and there is also the best of last year’s Coach’s Corner from CBC Televisionís Hockey Night In Canada.
If you are a fan of hockey, Don Cherry Style, donít miss it!
Weíre done with hockey for this week, but we stay Canadian with a movie from an Ontario born writer and directorÖin fact, this man ñ this Canadian ñ is responsible for the two highest grossing films of all time ñ TITANIC and AVATAR.
And back in April ñ when James Cameronís AVATAR was first released on DVD and Blu-ray ñ I mentioned that there would be another edition of the film coming out in November.
Well, November is here and so is the three-disc extended collectorís edition, featuring three movie versions: the original theatrical release, the special edition re-release, and an extended cut only found here.
Plus, there are over 45 minutes of deleted scenes and more than eight hours of Bonus Materials, including a ninety-minute documentary on the making of the film.
If you are a fan of AVATAR, then this EXTENDED COLLECTORíS EDITION is a must ownÖHoweverÖthat said, AVATAR was filmed and released, and was primarily the huge success it was because it was shot in 3DÖand since neither of the two releases that have come out so far have featured that extra dimensionÖknow that there will be at least one more release of this film on DVD and Blu-ray, a 3D version of itÖsomewhere down the road.
But if you canít wait, this set is the one you should pick up because it is a fantastic way to look at the film, and see how it was created.
Well done, Canadian James Cameron!!
Yes, well done Canadian JamesÖand I mean Cameron, not James CarreyÖor Jim, as most people know him.
To you, Newmarket, Ontario Born Canadian Jim Carrey, I say Bah Humbug to your latest releaseÖalthough I donít blame you for itís failure. I blame director Robert Zemeckis, although I still admire and respect him for the films BACK TO THE FUTURE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and FOREST GUMP.
But for his version of Charles Dickens A CHRISTMAS CAROL I have no admiration or respect, as I said, Bah Humbug!
Both AVATAR and this version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL were filmed using motion-capture or mo-cap technology, where you have actors on a virtual set with their every motion recorded into a computer, and then the films are animated from those performances.
In AVATAR, Cameron got it right on the first try. The characters and settings all look very real.
Zemeckis has now done three mo-cap films: THE POLAR EXPRESS, BEOWOLF and A CHRISTMAS CAROL and he continues to make movies featuring jerky animation and non-realistic sets and locations.
In fact, as I was watching itÖI kept wondering, hasnít he seen AVATAR?!?
The characters are not believable, they donít look real, and this motion capture style of animation that Robert Zemeckis continues to try and have success with is producing duds.
The story of A CHRISTMAS CAROL remains a classic, and it is one that is worth reading and seeing, just donít bother with this latest cinematic versionÖit is a waste of your time, even though I continue to respect and admire the people who made it.
And that is why, to it, I continue to say BAH HUMUG!!!
The Muppets version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and Bill Murryís SCROOGED continue to be my favourite versions of Dickensí immortal story. Those films are all-right!
Also all-right? THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.
Academy Award nominees Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT as a couple raising two teenagers.
But when the kids secretly track down their ìdonor dad,î everything changes, at first for the betterÖbut not for long.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is a very, very good film that is garnering lots of Academy Award buzz in Hollywood, and so it will likely get several nominations, especially for Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.
If you are in the mood for a film about grown-ups, made for grown-ups, by grown-ups, this is one I can easily recommend.
Oh yes, there is plenty of Oscar Buzz for Bening and Moore, and at one time there was also plenty of buzz, Oscar and otherwise, over M. Night ShyamalanÖin fact, in 2000 he received Academy Award nominations as Best Director and Best Screenplay for THE SIXTH SENSE.
Shyamalan followed up THE SIXTH SENSE with UNBREAKABLE and SIGNS and it seemed he could do no wrong.
But since 2004, he has done almost nothing but wrong, giving us THE VILLAGE, LADY IN THE WATER, THE HAPPENING and now THE LAST AIRBENDER.
This is a filmmaker who has completely lost his wayÖcompletely!!
THE LAST AIRBENDER is a wannabe adventure fantasy film that is a live-action film adaptation based on the first season of the animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The story focuses on Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, a spiritual figure that holds the world in balance through every incarnation. Aang must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations.
THE LAST AIRBENDER is a very entertaining TV show, but this film is awful, yet the latest failure from M. Night Shyamalan.
The action scenes donít have anything unique about them and arenít interesting to watch, the exposition dialogue scenes are all boring and the fights all go on way too long.
If you see THE LAST AIRBENDER on the shelf and are curious about it, skip the live-action film and just grab the animated series instead.
This movie is awful!!
I hope that M. Night Shyamalan can turn his career around and give us another great film one dayÖI believe he can, but weíll see what happens.
I am rooting for himÖjust like millions of teenagers continue to root for Zac EfronÖfor some reason.
Zac Efron is primarily known for his work in the High School Musical movies, but he has also appeared in the films 17 AGAIN, ME AND ORSON WELLES and now CHARLIE ST. CLOUD, an awful movie filmed in and around Vancouver about a guy overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother.
Yet, even though the brother is dead, Charlie can still see himÖand every night they get together to play catch and talk.
Once a woman enters Charlie’s life he must decide between keeping a promise he made to his dead brother or loveÖand youÖwonítÖcare.
CHARLIE ST. CLOUD is boring, not very good, and I couldnít find a single reason to care. I bought in to the premise, but the film isnít worthy of our time or emotions, so if you see it on the shelfÖskip it!!
After a couple of films not worthy of your movie time, here now is one that is ñ ACT OF DISHONOUR is primarily about a young, beautiful bride-to-be, who lives in a small village in northern Afghanistan, a village that is full of local customs and rulesÖrules that must be followed.
When she ventures out of her family compound with a stranger from a Canadian film crew, she dishonours her family and she must face the consequences.
ACT OF DISHONOUR is an interesting and engaging movie that features unique characters and foreign customs. Yes, it is very slow at times, but always interesting and so I recommend it. This is a very good movie!
There are a trio of television programs to conclude The Report with this week, and the third season of the series CALIFORNICATION is up first.
CALIFORNICATION stars David Duchovny from THE X-FILES as a sex addicted novelist with ìloose moralsî whose move to California from New York City, coupled with his writer’s block, complicates his relationships with his long time girlfriend and daughter.
Season Three pick sup right where Season Two left off as his girlfriend moves back to New York City. In her absence, with no interest in his latest novel, he becomes a Professor, surrounded by young women on a college campus, and the Deanís wife.
Duchovnyís character in CALIFORNICATION is utterly unlikeable, but as an actor Duchovny is so likeable that you do not dislike himÖyou sort of root for him, no matter what dirty deeds he gets done dirt cheap.
THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of CALIFORNICATION isnít as good as the second season, which wasnít as good as the first one, but when Season four comes out next year I will watch itÖI just like the characters, good and bad.
This next release is a tribute to one of the greatest, most entertaining and energetic stand up comedians of all timeÖthe one, the only, the late, the great Sam Kinison!
Sam Kinison was known for his intense, harsh, adult style ñ non politically-correct humour and as a former revival-style preacher, he knew how to communicate with an audience.
I loved his material on Saturday Night Live and in movies, and still do to this day. And I know Iím not alone since on BACK FROM HELL: A TRIBUTE TO SAM KINISON some of todayís best known comedians pay tribute to the manÖincluding Chris Rock.
BACK FROM HELL: A TRIBUTE TO SAM KINISON is a great television special and it is now a great DVD and a great tribute to the man. It can also serve as a great introduction to Kinison, if youíve never heard of him before.
Finally this week, THE BLU-RAY BEACON shines on the six-disc set for the Emmy Award winning show THE PACIFIC.
THE PACIFIC is a 10-part World War II miniseries that is a follow-up to the 2001 miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS.
It focuses on the United States Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific War and follows three Marines in separate combat actions.
THE PACIFIC could have been twice as long and it would still have been incredible. It is a very compelling series that is well written, acted and produced.
I highly, highly recommend it.
The Emmy Award winning series THE PACIFIC, BACK FROM HELL: A TRIBUTE TO SAM KINISON, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON of CALIFORNICATION, ACT OF DISHONOUR, CHARLIE ST. CLOUD, THE LAST AIRBENDER, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, the EXTENDED COLLECTORíS EDITION of James Cameronís AVATAR, DON CHERRYíS ROCK EM SOCK EM 22 and the six disc set featuring CANADA CUP 1987 are all available now for you to watch and own.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
We will EAT PRAY LOVE, fight with THE EXPENDABLES, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP and search for THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!