Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Flick Picks 10/14/2014: X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Venus in Fur

New on DVD at the library this week!
ENTERTAINMENT: The X-Men of today meet the X-Men of yesterday (and who knows, maybe there are some X-Men of tomorrow thrown in as well) in the latest installment of the franchise, X-Men:Days of Future Past. In Bryan Singer's film, Wolverine must travel into the past to save the present (does that meant that it's the future?) and many new mutants are introduced along the way. James McEvoy plays a young Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender plays a young Ian McKellan and Hugh Jackman is, well, timeless! We've got this on DVD and Blu-ray. Also concerned with the subject of time travel is the animated Mr. Peabody and Sherman, a rethink of the old Saturday morning cartoon concerning a brilliant dog and his boy. Like the old series, this film is both fun for the kids and clever for the adults. Finally, single mother and Army medic Michelle Monaghan tries to reclaim her life when she returns from Afghanistan in Fort Bliss.

SERIES: There are some substantial changes from the film (no Margie!) but season 1 of Fargo received some great reviews as it uses the tone of its namesake Coen Brothers film to tell some new stories. The Honourable Woman is a BBC political drama about a woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inherits her father's arms business and attempts to bring reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians.

SUBTITLED: Roman Polanski's latest is Venus in Fur, which is based on a Tony Award-winning show about a director (Mathieu Amalric) who is unable to find the right actress for his new play until Emmanuelle Seigner shows up, with the role seemingly made for her. The audition then becomes a perverse power struggle. Also, the true story of the relationship between writers Simone de Beauvoir and Violette Leduc is recounted in Violette.

DOCUMENTARIES: Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger takes a look at corruption on both the part of criminals and our government as it tells the story of the prosecution of Boston's infamous gangster.

Find all of our new and upcoming DVDs on Enterprise.

Monday Night at the Movies
Join on Monday, October 20th at 1:00 and 7:00 for a screening of Ida. In 1960s Poland, 18-year-old Ida is instructed by her mother superior to seek out her one living relative before she takes her vows to become a nun. The relative is Anna’s decidedly worldly aunt, Wanda. The two embark on an odyssey that reveals not only family history, but a dark episode of World War II Poland. The film is 80 minutes long and is rated PG-13. All of our films are screened in the library's Hammond Room and are open to everyone, free of charge.

Opera on DVD
Did you get to enjoy our recent lecture on the opera Il Trovatore at the library? We've got some more talks coming up, with Anna Bolena on December 2nd and The Passenger on February 17th. In the meantime, if you're not going to be able to attend one of the operas at Lyric Opera, or if you just want to catch your favorites again in the comfort of your home, we've got them on DVD.

  • Don Giovanni - Available as a 2008 performance at the Royal Opera House.
  • Capriccio - 2010 performance with Renee Fleming that's part of the Metropolitan Opera HD Live series.
  • Il Trovatore (1978 or 2011) - We've got both a 1978 Placido Domingo performance or Marcelo Álvarez and Sondra Radvanovsky in a Metropolitan Opera HD Live DVD.
  • Porgy and Bess - An adaptation of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera stage production.
  • Anna Bolena - Vienna State Opera performance with Anna Netrebko.
  • Tosca (2000 or 2013) - Both the older Francesca Patané and José Cura version and the more recent Metropolitan Opera HD Live versions are available.
  • Tannhauser - Richard Cassilly and Eva Marton in a classic Metropolitan Opera performance. 
  • The Passenger - 2010 performance from the Bregenzer Festspiele, in Blu-ray only.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flick Picks 10/7/14: Edge of Tomorrow, Million Dollar Arm

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Many films are released in extended cuts but this week we get a film with an extended title, in the critically acclaimed Tom Cruise flick Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. This action-packed sci-fi extravaganza brings us earth-invading aliens and inexperienced combat soldier Cruise who discovers that he can keep going back in time until he gets everything right. Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton are also around and Doug Limon, whose career includes gems like Swingers, The Bourne Ultimatum and Fair Game, directs with an eye towards both action and humor. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, is Jon Hamm a mad man in importing cricket players to try to make it in baseball's bigs? Find out in the inspirational true story Million Dollar Arm.

Seth MacFarlane brings us his follow-up to Ted in A Million Ways to Die in the West, a cowboy comedy. Besides MacFarlane in the lead, the cast offers up Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson. The bitingly funny Obvious Child is an honest look at an unwed stand-up comic who must decide what to do about her unwanted pregnancy. Newbie writer/director Gillian Robespierre is a talent to keep your eye on. The charming Grand Seduction tells the story of a small Canadian fishing village that tries to keep a big city doctor in town. Taylor Kitsch is the doc and Brendan Gleeson is one of the scheming townsfolk. Fans of Louise Penny will want to pick up Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery, an adaptation of one of her books set in Quebec.

SERIES: The History Channel offers up the two-part miniseries Houdini, based on the life of the famous magician and featuring Adrien Brody in the title role. Another new miniseries this week is The Great Train Robbery, featuring Luke Evans and Jim Broadbent in a retelling of the infamous 1963 event. The newest season of American Horror Story (subtitled Coven) arrives this week and focuses on a pack of witches, while seasons 2 of Norman Bates origin story Bates Motel, Kevin Bacon psychothriller The Following, Canadian P.I. comedy-drama Republic of Doyle and The History Channel's Vikings all arrive this week.

You can find all of our new DVDs in Enterprise.

Talking Pictures
Our next Talking Pictures screening is Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the true story of a woman who decides to search for the son whom she gave up for adoption years earlier. The film will be shown in the library's Hammond Room at 1:00 on Friday, October 10th and will be followed by a discussion led by Susan Benjamin. All of our film screenings are free and open to the public.

Teen Movie Double Feature
In town for Columbus Day - Monday, October 13th - and looking for something fun to do? We have just the ticket: screenings of Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, both based on popular YA novels! We’re kicking things off with Divergent at 4:00, followed immediately by pizza and TFIOS at 6:30. Join us for one movie (or two) or just pizza. See you at the movies at the library! Please note that this program is only for those in 6th-12th grade and that both movies are rated PG-13.

Columbus Day Films
Columbus Day has turned into a celebration of Native Americans as well as our country's discovery by Europe. Here's a selection of films on both subjects!
  • Columbus: The Lost Voyage tells the story of Columbus years after he landed in America.
  • The New World is based on the story of another Native American - Pocahantas - and her romance with Captain John Smith.
  • The animated Pocahantas tells the same story for a younger audience.
  • The American Experience documentary The Way West takes a look at the frontier, from the early days up to Wounded Knee.
  • You might not realize how much impact The French and Indian War had on America but after watching The War That Made America you will!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flick Picks 9/30/14: Chef, Transformers: Age of Extinction

What's New on DVD at the Library This Week?
ENTERTAINMENT: Jon Favreau gets fed up with his restaurant job and decides to go food truckin' in the feel-good comedy Chef. Favreau also wrote and directed the film and went through his rolodex to fill a cast with names such as Dustin Hoffman, Iron Man costars Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr., Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo and Oliver Platt. Also this week, those toys turned movie stars are back in another epic adventure with Transformers: Age of Extinction. Their human colleagues are played by Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

Crash director Paul Haggis returns with Third Person, another film featuring intertwining stories, this time focusing on three couples in Rome, Paris and New York. Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger and Adrien Brody are all on board. Up-and-coming director Jim Mickle serves up the seedy thriller Cold in July, about a man (Dexter's Michael C. Hall) who gets involved with some very dangerous people while trying to protect his family. Sam Shepard and Don Johnson co-star. Toni Collette is a journalist who teams with documentary filmmaker Thomas Haden Church in order to find out what happened to her rock star ex-boyfriend in Lucky Them. Finally, Decoding Annie Parker features Samantha Morton as the cancer surviving title character and Helen Hunt in the true story of the doctor who discovered the breast cancer BRCA gene mutation.

SERIES: Jack Bauer proves that you can't keep a good man (or series) down in 24: Live Another Day. New this week is the BBC's set-in-Glasgow crime drama The Field of Blood, about a young female reporter investigating murders. Also this week is season 4 of the Melissa McCarthy showcase Mike and Molly.

DOCUMENTARIES: Soaring student loan debt is getting to be a major problem and Ivory Tower studies this problem while questioning how higher education can be improved. Doc Martin is nowhere in sight in exotic animal series Martin Clune's Wild Life.

Check out Enterprise for all of our new DVDs.

The Road to Us
Wondering about how we got where we are as a society or species? We have all the answers in our informational and documentary DVD collections! Try these on for size...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Flick Picks 9/23/14: Neighbors, Scandal season 3

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: What would you do if a raucous college fraternity moved in next door? Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne must answer that question in the hilarious comedy Neighbors. Zac Efron and Dave Franco are among the partygoers in this huge hit. Director Nicholas Stoller has a pedigree of The Five-Year Engagement, Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall so you know that you're in for a good time! We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, The Rover is a rough film set in a future in which a loner (Guy Pearce) forces another man (Robert Pattinson) to help him track the gang that stole his car.

SERIES: There are two new hilarious series for you to get hooked on this week. Mom features Anna Faris as a single mother whose mother (Allison Janney) returns home. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the Golden Globe winning cop comedy that features Andy Samberg as a New York cop who frequently butts heads with his superior, played by Andre Braugher.

Back for more are seasons 2 of Nashville and Hannibal, season 3 of Scandal, season 5 of Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother ends its run with season 9.

DOCUMENTARY: In Last of the Unjust, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann revisits his 1975 interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, a rabbi who had, under Nazi supervision, helped administer ghettos and concentration camps. It's a powerful, nearly 3.5 hour long piece.

All of our new DVDs can be found in Enterprise.

Frank Lloyd Wright and More!
The Glencoe Historical Society starts its year-long celebration of 100 years of Ravine Bluffs this Sunday the 28th at 5:00 with a program at the library about Frank Lloyd Wright in Glencoe. We've got some cool videos on FLW and other architecture greats to get you in the mood!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Flick Picks 9/16/14: Godzilla, The Fault in Our Stars

New at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: They say he's got to go go go Godzilla! The rubber suit is closeted but the big lizard is back in a big budget blockbuster starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen. In this new origin story Godzilla helps out humanity by fighting off some radioactive baddies while trying not to step on anything too important. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray! Also this week, The Fault in Our Stars is the newest John Green adaptation, telling the story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer (Shailene Woodley) who falls in love with a young man at her cancer support group. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray.

SERIES: We are OVERWHELMED with new series this week! Take some out so our shelves don't collapse under their weight! We'll start out with some British imports. Based on the G.K. Chesterton novels, Father Brown is about a priest in a small 1950s English village who enjoys solving crimes. The miniseries 37 Days brings us the events following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as the world powers attempted to avoid going to war. Also this week are the second seasons of Caribbean cop drama Death in Paradise, police procedural DCI Banks and the female cop story Scott and Bailey. Our other import this week is season 2 of Prisoners of War, the Israeli series that served as the inspiration for Homeland.

If you're a Garry Trudeau fan you've probably been wondering what he's been up to as Doonesbury remains on vacation. The answer is that he's been creating the John Goodman-fronted political comedy Alpha House, about four U.S. senators sharing a house in Washington DC. It's also interesting in that the show was produced specifically for Amazon's video service rather than an established network. A variety of chestnuts including season 6 of Castle, season 9 of Bones and season 7 of Big Bang Theory also appear this week.

DOCUMENTARIES: Ken Burns offers up another comprehensive piece of history with The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, a 14-hour study of one of our fascinating American families. Also this week, The Galapagos Affair tells the story of a 1930s murder mystery involving a doctor, his mistress and an uninhabited island.

SUBTITLED: An Argentine family welcomes a German doctor into their home, not realizing that he is a war criminal being hunted by Israeli agents in The German Doctor. Polish filmmaking great Agnieszka Holland directed Burning Bush, which shows the political turmoil of Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s. A Filipino housekeeper bonds with a Singapore family's child while facing an uncertain economy in Ilo Ilo.

You can find all of our new DVDs in Enterprise!

BANNED Films
We will be celebrating the freedom to read as Banned Books Week approaches, with a return of Books on the Chopping Block on Sunday at 2:00. Of course books are not the only types of art that have been banned around the world. Check out this list of movies that have been banned around the world for various and sometimes surprising reasons.
  • Avatar - BANNED in China due to fear of the film inspiring revolt among its people (as well as hurting its own film industry due to its massive success).
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - BANNED in India due to a negative portrayal of Indians.
  • Da Vinci Code - BANNED in multiple countries, including Jordan and Pakistan, due to its negative portrayal of religion.
  • Noah - BANNED in multiple Muslim countries for its visual portrayal of a prophet.
  • 300 - BANNED in Iran as propaganda due to its portrayal of Persians.
  • The Exorcist - BANNED on home video and television in the UK until the late 90s.
  • The Tin Drum - BANNED as child pornography in Canada.
  • Life of Brian - BANNED by several British town councils due to blasphemy.
  • The Wild One - BANNED in the UK for 14 years due to its being a "spectacle of unbridled hooliganism".
  • All Quiet on the Western Front - BANNED by the Nazis due to its anti-war message.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Flick Picks 9/9/14: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Homeland season 3

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Captain America is just getting used to life in the 21st century but trouble cannot seem to leave him alone! Luckily Black Widow, Nick Fury and Falcon are there to help him learn the identity of the mysterious assassin winter soldier. And hey, it's got Robert Redford too! Captain America; Winter Soldier is available in DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, the casting of Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche are two prep school teachers who become involved with each other is enough to ensure that you will want to see Words and Pictures.

Based on the darkly humorous Nick Hornby book, A Long Way Down brings together four suicidal strangers who meet on the roof of a high rise on New Year's Eve. The four, who include Pierce Brosnan and Toni Collette, form a loose-knit family trying to find reasons to keep on living. Renaissance man James Franco's story collection Palo Alto, about troubled California teens, comes to life onscreen in a film starring Emma Roberts, with direction by the newest Coppola director, Gia. Finally, John Turturro and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman star in the black comedy/drama God's Pocket, set in the mean streets of Philadelphia. Directed by Mad Men's John Slattery, the film involves a dead body that just can't be buried and the people who want to know the truth behind it.

SERIES: If you can't get enough of that superhero fun then you should check out season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which follows Captain American and Iron Man's support staff. The eagerly awaited season 3 of Showtime's Homeland also arrives this week as does season 4 of Tom Selleck's cop drama Blue Bloods.

DOCUMENTARIES: The producer of An Inconvenient Truth brings us Fed Up, which takes a look at what it considers the food industry's war on nutrition. A follow-up to the intense Restrepo, Korengal takes an honest look at the Afghan War's effect on its soldiers. Finally, Teenage is a fun look at the invention of the concept of teenager.

You can find all of our new and upcoming DVDs on Enterprise!

Monday Night at the Movies
Our next Monday Night at the Movies film is Belle, a work of fiction imagined from the real life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of an English nobleman. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as the young woman born in the West Indies and raised by her father’s uncle and wife in London’s Kenwood House. The film runs 105 minutes and is rated PG. All of our Monday Night at the Movies films are open to everyone and free of charge.

Back to School
Can you believe that the kids are heading back to school already? Neither can we! Whether you are sad or excited about getting the kids out of the house, we've got a high school movie that you'll love!
  • Mean Girls is the set-in-Chicago modern classic of the high school comedies, and while you've probably seen it already there's no reason not to enjoy it again!
  • Jack Black runs a loud and unorthodox classroom in School of Rock.
  • The charming Emma Stone had her breakout role in Easy A, a modern take on The Scarlet Letter.
  • The importance of football in a Texas high school is the focus of Friday Night Lights, which went on to become a successful tv series.
  • Glee's Chris Coifer wrote and starred in Struck by Lightning, about a boy and his friends as he attempts to take down the popular kids.
  • The remake of 21 Jump Street was a surprise hysterical hit and its sequel 22 Jump Street will be here soon!
  • If you haven't seen the John Hughes clique classics The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles recently then come grab 'em!
  • Also on the north shore, Tom Cruise comes up with a business plan that just might get him into Harvard in Risky Business.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Flick Picks 9/2/14: Draft Day, Moms' Night Out, Night Moves

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Just in time for football season, Kevin Costner's Draft Day follows a team's general manager as he trades for the first draft pick in an attempt to bring a championship football team to Cleveland. Ivan Reitman directed the film, which is a must-see for any fantasy football lovers or anyone else interested in the ins and outs of the NFL. The top notch cast is rounded out by Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Ellen Burnstyn and Frank Langella. Maybe while dad is enjoying Draft Day in his man cave mom can catch the comedy Moms' Night Out, in which Patricia Heaton and friends attempt to find bliss in an evening's entertainment while their husbands manage the homestead.

Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard are three radical environmentalists from different backgrounds who must come to terms with the consequences of their motivations in Night MovesThey Came Together is a takeoff on the romantic comedy genre, with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler portraying a couple facing various challenges on the road to true love. Finally, our indie pick this week is the Coen Brothers-esque Canadian film Whitewash, which follows the consequences when a snowplow operator (Thomas Hayden Church) accidentally kills a man while driving drunk.

SERIES: It's a big week for new episodes of your faves, with Grey's Anatomy hitting season 10, season 3 of both Person of Interest and New Girl, season 2 of Chicago Fire and the British police drama Line of Duty and the brand new Chicago P.D., the Chicago Fire spinoff.

SUBTITLED: A young Palestinian boy in a Jordanian refugee camp decides to escape its confines with a similarly minded group of people in When I Saw You. Finally, Grigris brings us a dancer with a bum leg in Chad who hooks up with a prostitute with whom he finds himself on the run.

DOCUMENTARIES: The Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously, which picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, features celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Matt Damon and Arnold Schwarzenegger as it tackles the challenges of climate change. The financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees on 9/11 and Out of the Clear Blue Sky tells the story of this disaster as well as their attempts to rebuild in the years following. Who is Dayani Cristal? tries to find out the identity of an immigrant found dead in the Arizona desert, creatively interjecting dramatic reenactments starring Gael Garcia Bernal with documentary footage.

All of our new and upcoming DVDs can be found on Bibliocommons.

Download Movies With Hoopla
We are excited to offer a new service that will allow you to download up to 10 movies and tv shows per month (as well as music and audiobooks). Visit the Hoopla site and sign up for an account and check out their great selection of videos that can be checked out for 3 days. You can view them on your computer or mobile device (using the Hoopla app). If you have questions please contact the library or attend our September 16 Technology Tuesday class at 1:00 on Hoopla and other online video services and devices.

Talking Pictures
We will be screening Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Disney's attempt to adapt Mary Poppins to film, on Thursday, September 4th at 1:00. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson costar in this film that runs 120 minutes and is rated PG-13. Susan Benjamin will lead a discussion following the screening, which takes place in the Hammond Room of the library. All of our film screenings are free and open to everyone.

Labor Day Films
It's sometimes easy to forget the reason that Labor Day exists while we are enjoying our barbecues and last days of beautiful summer weather. Take a look at these films that focus on the working man and woman, some of which are more lighthearted than others!
  • Marlon Brando fights the corrupt union leaders and confronts his brudda Charlie in the classic On the Waterfront.
  • Who knew that the hilarious Office Space would end up a modern classic, in its tale of a man and his TPS Reports.
  • The Little Tramp rages against the industrialization of society in the nearly silent Modern Times.
  • Steinbeck's migration worker classic The Grapes of Wrath received its ultimate realization in its Henry Fonda-starring adaptation.
  • Set on the holiday weekend of its title, Labor Day features Josh Brolin as an escaped convict who hooks up with mother Kate Winslet.
  • Erin Brockovich is the true story of a woman who fought a large energy corporation.
  • Pursuit of Happyness follows a homeless salesman as he attempts to provide for his son.