Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Flick Picks 11/25/2014: The Expendables 3, The November Man, The Giver

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: What action superstars can be found in The Expendables 3? It's probably easier to count the ones who AREN'T in The Expendables 3. You don't even have to see the full names to get a taste of what The Expendables films are all about - Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Gibson, Snipes, Lundgren, Banderas and Statham are all on board showing off their big guns. Even Harrison Ford got roped into this one. Anyway, the plot involves arms dealers and wisecracks, and you know you want to see it. A little more low-key but still exciting is the Pierce Brosnan offering The November Man, about an ex-CIA agent who is brought out of retirement for a final job and soon discovers that he can trust no one.

Lois Lowry's popular young adult novel The Giver, about a futuristic perfect world where a young man learns about sorrow and pain, is given a filmic adaptation starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Daniel Radcliffe continues to shed his Hogwarts uniform in the comedy What If, in which he plays a one of a pair of friends who must decide whether to test their friendship by becoming romantically involved. The late Robin Williams co-stars with Joel McHale in A Merry Friggin' Christmas, in which the duo plays a father and son who hit the road in order to rescue some forgotten presents. Finally, The Discoverers is a warm, goofy comedy about a history professor (Griffin Dunne) who reconnects with his family on a road trip.

SERIES: Inspector Morse spin-off Inspector Lewis is acquiring its own pedigree, hitting series 7 this week.

SUBTITLED: An Iranian author and former political prisoner attempts to protect his memoirs from being destroyed by authorities in Manuscripts Don't Burn. Set in former Soviet Union republic Georgia following its independence, In Bloom is the story of two teenage girls trying to find peace in chaos. A strong international cast that includes Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich and Isabelle Huppert are along to help Lines of Wellington tell the true story of a decisive victory by Portuguese/English forces over the French in 1810. Finally, Isabelle Huppert is a filmmaker who suffers a stroke and falls for a con man while trying to get her next movie made in Abuse of Weakness.

DOCUMENTARIES: Alive Inside features Bobby McFerrin and Oliver Sacks as it explores the possibility of music having a positive effect on Alzheimer's patients. The gripping Master of the Universe profiles former investment banker Rainer Voss as it explores the psychology behind the 2008 financial crisis.

Find all of our new and upcoming films in Enterprise.

Have You Tried Hoopla?
Looking for something to watch without having to leave your home? Hoopla is our great new service for watching movies on your iPad or other tablet computer or your home computer. It has a large selection of new and classic films as well as TV shows, exercise videos and more! It also offers audiobooks and new music. Give Hoopla a try!

Thanksgiving Films
Here are some titles that you might want to try on this Thanksgiving, including some that you probably forgot were set on the holiday!
  • The Band's farewell concert (which included guests like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young) was filmed on Thanksgiving of 1976 for The Last Waltz.
  • A quirky young woman tries to cook Thanksgiving dinner for her family in Pieces of April.
  • Thanksgiving dinner provides an important scene for the characters in the first of Sam Raimi's Spider-man series.
  • Thanksgiving provides various settings for both Rocky and Rocky II, with the sequel's fight falling on the holiday.
  • Home For Purim sounds too Jewish? Why not rename the film Home For Thanksgiving? For Your Consideration provides such typical Christopher Guest hilarity.
  • Two turkeys try to go back in time to change their fates in the animated Free Birds.
  • Revisit Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and the gang with the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
  • Finally, if you haven't planned your meal yet then pick up Jacques Pepin's Thanksgiving Celebration for some good ideas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flick Picks 11/18/2014: 22 Jump Street, And So It Goes, A Dame to Kill For

What's New on DVD at the Library?
ENTERTAINMENT: The recent reboot of 21 Jump Street was a surprisingly smart and entertaining hit and its sequel 22 Jump Street amazes in that it's just as enjoyable as its predecessor! This time, cops Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill go undercover at a college to bust a local drug supplier. But can their friendship survive? Writers/Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also gave us The Lego Movie this year so they are clearly comedic minds to be reckoned with. We've got 22 Jump Street on DVD and Blu-ray. Next, Rob Reiner's And So It Goes is a comedy/drama about a man (Michael Douglas) who enlists the help of neighbor Diane Keaton when his young granddaughter appears at his door.

The visually striking hit Sin City gets a long overdue sequel with A Dame to Kill For. This neo-noir comic book hybrid features Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson in some brutal intersecting stories. The teen melodrama If I Stay features Chloe Grace Moretz as a promising young musician who must decide whether to live following a car accident. Finally, animation great Hayao Miyazaki offers up his final film The Wind Rises, which tells the true story of a young man who became an innovative airplane designer.

SERIES: The much anticipated new Worricker series, returning Bill Nighy to the role of the MI5 agent of the title that he played in Page Eight, hits these shores with Salting the Battlefield and Turks and Caicos. Also this week brings us season 2 of The Paradise, which tells the story of the first English department store.

You can find all of our new and upcoming DVDs in Enterprise.

Elementary, My Dear Watson...
There are very few characters who have been adapted in as many different filmic situations as Sherlock Holmes. From classic to contemporary, we've got many versions of the great detective for you to try!
  • Basil Rathbone portrayed Holmes in a number of movies between 1939 and 1944, collected on DVD.
  • Jeremy Brett is often considered one of the best Sherlocks, and made a number of series for British television.
  • Classic film director Billy Wilder took an unusual look at Holmes and his relationship with Watson in 1970's Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Another interesting take on Sherlock Holmes is 1976's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which envisions Holmes meeting Sigmund Freud.
  • Robert Downey Jr. is the highest profile Sherlock Holmes in some years in his two films.
  • Two well-reviewed contemporary versions are available on TV with the British Sherlock and the CBS show Elementary.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Flick Picks 11/11/2014: Jersey Boys, Tammy, How to Train Your Dragon 2

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Clint Eastwood once again shows off the breadth of his directing skills in choosing to adapt the hit musical Jersey Boys for the big screen. The film tells the story of four young guys who form the musical group The Four Seasons and while there's plenty of drama you know you want to see it for the music. The Four Seasons are played by four unknowns while Christopher Walken is the cast's big name. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Tammy is Melissa McCarthy's latest attempt to rule the world of comedy film. In this film, she tries to escape her troubled life with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) by roadtripping to Niagara Falls.

The second installment of the hit DreamWorks franchise comes to the small screen this week with How to Train Your Dragon 2, a sequel that captures the same highs as its predecessor. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray. The best-selling novel Mr. Pip sees itself adapted this week in a film starring Hugh Laurie as an Englishman on a Pacific island that is being torn apart by civil war. Finally, indie director Joe Swanberg is back again with Happy Christmas, starring Anna Kendrick as a woman who moves in with Melanie Lynskey and family and proceeds to shake up their life.

SERIES: Based on the British series of the same name, HBO's dark comedy Getting On follows nurses at an extended care facility, as well as a doctor played by Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf. This week also brings us the newest installment of the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse and her supernatural friends with season 7 of True Blood.

DOCUMENTARIES: Apparently Titanic director James Cameron loves spending time in the ocean and in Deepsea Challenge he films a  breathtaking solo submarine journey that he took deep into the Mariana Trench.

You can find all of our new and upcoming DVDs in Enterprise.

Monday Night at the Movies
Our next Monday Night at the Movies screening is the Indian romantic drama The Lunchbox, which we will show at 1:00 and 7:00 on November 17th. Ila attempts to spice up her marriage by preparing a special lunchbox for her indifferent husband.  When the lunchbox is mistakenly delivered to another man, an unexpected relationship develops between the two strangers through a series of notes and further lunchboxes. The film will be shown in the library's Hammond Room. All of our films are free and are open to everyone. Please note that this film has been changed from the one originally announced in Excerpts.

Talking Pictures
We will be screening Nebraska as part of Susan Benjamin's Talking Pictures program on Thursday November 13th at 1:00. The film will be shown in the library's Hammond Room and will be followed by a discussion. All of our films are free and are open to everyone.

Veteran's Day Films
Pay tribute to those who have fought for our country with an appropriate viewing choice.
  • Saving Private Ryan is Steven Spielberg's brutal look at a World War II Army division's attempt to rescue a soldier.
  • The classic Patton takes a look at the divisive World War II general in combat.
  • In the moving The Messenger, two soldiers are charged with letting families know that their children have died in battle.
  • Flags of Our Fathers was Clint Eastwood's film of the lives of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima.
  • The Hurt Locker brings us the intensity of the work of the bomb disposal units in during the Iraq War, eventually showing us the difficulty in returning to civilian life.
  • Michael Cimino's classic The Deer Hunter follows three men from a steel town who head to Vietnam, including their eventual return.
  • The Best Years of Our Lives remains one of the greats in its portrayal of World War II veterans returning home.
  • It's a miniseries rather than a movie but the Band of Brothers story of an Army division in World War II is well worth revisiting.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Flick Picks 11/4/2014: Maleficent, Hercules, A Most Wanted Man

New on DVD This Week at the Library
ENTERTAINMENT: Have you ever wondered just what would cause a perfectly normal fairy to become evil? Maleficent offers the back story behind Sleeping Beauty and it turns out that there was a good reason for the title character's black heart. Angelina Jolie eats up the scenery as Maleficent herself while Elle Fanning is the coma-cursed beauty. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Next, we've got another new look at an iconic tale as one of Hollywood's biggest (in size and name) stars, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), labors through the tale of Hercules. Action expert Brett Ratner directs while Ian McShane and John Hurt costar. Philip Seymour Hoffman's final lead role is in the well-reviewed adaptation of John Le Carre's espionage thriller A Most Wanted Man, in which Germans and Americans race to discover the true identity of a Chechen/Russian immigrant.

The newest entry in Disney's hit Planes series arrives this week in Planes. Fire and Rescue, the gripping story of a racing plane that makes a career shift into firefighting. Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss is starting to carve out an interesting film career while Mark Duplass continues his quest to appear in every single independent film. The One I Love stars both of them in a strange little film about a couple that goes on vacation in an attempt to save their marriage, after which things start to get weird... Exhibition is also a very different film but in a much quieter way. A couple decides to sell their beautiful modernist London house and the movie brings us their shared history, with the house featured as a third character.

SERIES: The second season of HBO's The Newsroom arrives this week, as Jeff Daniels tries to deliver all the news that's fit to view. Also available this week is season 5 of FBI con man show White Collar.

You can find all of our new and upcoming DVDs in Enterprise.

Let's Get Political!
How did your candidates do this week? Did they win big? Celebrate with a political film! Did they get sent home? Drown your sorrows with a film about politics!
  • Henry Fonda stars in Advise and Consent, a classic detailed look at a man's nomination to the post of Secretary of State.
  • The tale of the investigation that led to Richard Nixon's downfall unfolds in All the President's Men.
  • You think you had bad candidates to choose from? At least you didn't have The Manchurian Candidate on your ballot!
  • How do you succeed in life? Surround yourself with different personalities who have different goals, as Lincoln did.
  • Small-town innocent James Stewart gets elected U.S. Senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
  • Oscar winner for best picture All the King's Men tells the story of the political rise of self-made southern lawyer Willie Stark, 
  • In the Loop takes a profane look at English and U.S. politics, and is a spinoff of the British series The Thick of It.
  • Don't forget the great political TV series that are now available like House of Cards and Veep!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Flick Picks 10/28/2014: Begin Again, Wish I Was Here, Life of Crime

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Songwriter Keira Knightley is discovered by former record executive Mark Ruffalo and they set off together to launch both of their careers in director John Carney's Once follow-up Begin Again. Like Once, the film gently pulls together music and drama as it explores the relationship between the two leads. Zach Braff's second film as a director - Wish I Was Here - is another look at mid-thirties angst as a man (played by Braff) tries to get his life as a husband (to Kate Hudson) and father together. Elmore Leonard's books seem to consistently make good movies and Life of Crime is no exception. In this darkly comic adaptation of the book Switch, Jennifer Aniston is a kidnapped wife whose husband (Tim Robbins) refuses to pay the ransom. Finally, Child of God is the latest Cormac McCarthy book to be brought to film, with director James Franco telling the bleak story of a man trying to live outside of society.

SERIES: We've got a new Masterpiece Mystery this week in the P.D. James story Death Comes to Pemberley. In this unofficial sequel to Pride and Prejudice, a dinner party is interrupted by a dead body and the Darcys must investigate. Accused is an anthology series from England in which each episode tells the story behind a new defendant being led into a courtroom. Just in time for Halloween, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful brings together various fictional characters, like Dr. Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, into a spooky Victorian setting. Finally, the Canadian crime series Murdoch Mysteries is up to season 7 and Vera reaches season 4.

SUBTITLED: Isabelle Huppert stars in the Italian Dormant Beauty, a film that takes on the topic of euthanasia as it follows three groups of characters dealing with the subject.

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

Halloween Horror
There are lots of classic and recent scary flicks to be enjoyed this All Hallow's Eve. Revisit some of your favorites or find a new thrill!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Flick Picks 10/21/2014: Snowpiercer, Sex Tape, Mad Men Final Season

What's New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Korean director Joon-ho Bong's English-language debut Snowpiercer is a dystopian thriller where the remnants of humanity has been sentenced to life on a train in order to avoid climate change that has ravished the planet. An upper class and a lower class has developed and their inevitable conflict within this confined space makes for a unique action-packed film. Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and John Hurt star. Next, what comic hijinks occur when a married couple's private video gets into the wrong hands? Take home Sex Tape, starring Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz, and find out! Finally, Earth to Echo is a modern take on E.T., in which kids must try to help an alien get back home.

SERIES: All good things must come to and end and unfortunately Mad Men has reached that point, with part 1 of the final season arriving. Also this week, the Danish crime series Unit One, which follows an elite police task force that helps local police solve crimes, arrives on our shores.

PERFORMING ARTS: Billy Crystal's funny and moving one-man show 700 Sundays, in which he talks about his youth before his father passed away, arrives courtesy of HBO.

SUBTITLED: A young French woman's investigation into her parents' past following their release from a concentration camp leads her to some surprising places in For a Woman. Based on a true story, The Last Sentence tells the story of a Swedish journalist who challenged his country's nonchalance in the face of Nazism. A Coffee in Berlin is a German indie film that follows a young college dropout facing who is facing various challenges.

You can find all of our new and upcoming releases in Enterprise!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we have some videos for those of you who have been affected by this disease, or anyone else interested in learning more.
  • 1 a Minute follows a woman through the stages of breast cancer, with many celebrities recounting their own experiences as well.
  • Are the companies behind the pink ribbon cancer campaign actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic through their own products? Pink Ribbons, Inc. takes a look.
  • Decoding Annie Parker is a docudrama about the discovery of a specific type of gene mutation that causes breast cancer.

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.