Monday, August 11, 2014

Flick Picks 8/12/14: Muppets Most Wanted, The Railway Man, Locke, Hateship Loveship

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Continuing their massive comeback, America's favorite movie star puppets find themselves embroiled in an international crime caper in Muppets Most Wanted. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ray Liotta take second billing behind Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the team. Based on the lead character's autobiography, The Railway Man tells the story of a man imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese during World War II. Years later, he and his lover (Nicole Kidman) discover that the lead tormenter is still alive and set out to confront him. The intense Locke is literally a one-man show that follows Tom Hardy during a single car ride during which he attempts to make potentially life-changing decisions about work and family.

Based on the appropriately named book by Irvine Welsh, Filth's James McAvoy portrays a corrupt, drug-addicted policeman who sets his colleagues against each other in order to pursue his own ambitions. Kristen Wiig takes a different kind of role in the drama Hateship Loveship, in which she plays a shy woman who is hired by Nick Nolte as a housekeeper. The household's granddaughter attempts to manipulate their relationship with unforeseen conequences. Fans of picturesque British soaps such as Downton Abbey won't want to miss Summer in February, about lovers in a pre-war art colony on England's coast. Finally, Felicity Jones is an exchange student who moves stays (and becomes romantically involved) with Guy Pearce in Breathe In.

SERIES: James Spader's new series The Blacklist arrives this week and it's a good one. Spader is a criminal on the FBI's Most Wanted list who turns himself in in order to partner with a profiler on terrorist cases.

DOCUMENTARIES: Dancing in Jaffa introduces us to a ballroom dancing instructor who moves back to the city of his birth in order to teach Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli students his art.

You can find all of our new and upcoming documentaries in Bibliocommons.

Monday Night at the Movies
DUE TO THE DEMOLITION OF THE WOMEN'S LIBRARY CLUB BUILDING, ALL MONDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES FILMS WILL NOW SCREEN IN THE HAMMOND ROOM OF THE LIBRARY. Finding Vivian Maier, which we will screen on Monday, August 18th at 1:00 and 7:00,  is a portrait of the long-time nanny whose posthumous reputation continues to move her towards consideration among the best American street photographers of the 20th century. "More connect-the-dots detective thriller than traditional doc, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel's revelatory riddle of a film unmasks a brilliant photographer who hid in plain sight for decades." - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly. The film runs 84 minutes and is not rated.

Quirky Lives, Interesting Documentaries
Some of our favorite documentaries focus on fascinating, quirky people who you may have not heard of. Give one of these a shot and you may find that truth is stranger (and sometimes more interesting) than fiction!
  • The Queen of Versailles looks at the changes that a billionaire family must go through following the popping of the real estate bubble.
  • A man builds a miniature World War II town and is accepted into the world of artists in Marwencol.
  • Stanley Kubrick's The Shining has spawned all kinds of crazy theories. Learn about a number of them in Room 237.
  • I'm Carolyn Parker tells the story of a woman who was the last to leave her Hurricane Katrina-threatened New Orleans neighborhood, as well as the first to return.
  • If you're not familiar with eccentric Cream drummer Ginger Baker, Beware of Mr. Baker takes a look at his career and inspired lunacy.
  • Errol Morris's Tabloid tells the strange story of the crazy world of a woman who pursued her man around the world and became a newspaper headline.
  • Learn about five bizarre homes and the people who inhabit them in Home Movie.
  • The Woodmans looks at artist Francesca's Woodman's whose photographs live on despite her tragic young death.
  • The various denizens of Southern California's Salton Sea are the profile of the dreamlike Bombay Beach.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Flick Picks 8/5/14: Divergent, Need for Speed

New This Week on DVD at the Library
ENTERTAINMENT: A futuristic Chicago is the setting for the film version of Veronica Roth sci-fi novel Divergent. In Divergent, newcomer Shailene Woodley portrays a young woman who discovers that she doesn't belong to any of the factions that the human race is divided into. This ends up being an issue when she finds that she is being targeted for assassination. What is it about her uniqueness that makes her so dangerous? Find out by taking out the DVD or Blu-ray! Kate Winslet costars and The Illusionist and Limitless director Neil Burger is at the helm. Also this week, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul gets a starring role in the video game adaptation Need for Speed. Paul plays a street racer who drives in a cross country race in a quest for revenge. Lots of cars move fast and get smashed.

SERIES: Season two of the charming Last Tango in Halifax, which follows the relationship between two elderly widowers, arrives this week. Also out are season five of wacky Community and season seven of David Duchovny's Californication

SUBTITLED: Two competitive actor pals bicker while trying to launch a production of The Misanthrope in the French comedy Bicycling With Moliere.

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

Movies on the Green
The hit Lego Movie is the next and final film in the Movies on the Green series. The film will screen at dusk on Friday, August 8th on Wyman Green. In case of inclement weather, the movie will move into the Council Chambers at Village Hall.

Israel and Palestine
The relationship between Israelis and Palestinians has been the subject of many enjoyable and moving films. Take a look at some of these movies which attempt to explore the complexity of the situation and the humanity of those involved.
  • Based on a true story, The Lemon Tree explores the relationship between a Palestinian woman and an Israeli defense minister who moves next door and insists that the woman's lemon grove be destroyed in the name of security.
  • A Palestinian woman refuses to believe that war is the answer and slips a message of peace into a bottle that is retrieved by a recent immigrant to Israel in A Bottle in the Gaza Sea.
  • The thoughts of two young Palestinian suicide bombers are explored in Paradise Now.
  • Strangers follows a love affair between an Israeli man and Palestinian woman who meet in Berlin.
  • An Israeli-Palestinian finds out that his wife was a suicide bomber in The Attack.
  • Inch'allah follows a Canadian doctor who lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah.
  • Ajami is a religiously mixed community in Tel Aviv and the film of the same name follows various characters who attempt to coexist.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flick Picks 7/29/14: Noah, The Other Woman, Dom Hemingway, Cuban Fury

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: If you think this has been a rainy spring and summer, at least you haven't had to build a boat and fill it with animals. In Darren Aronofsky's Noah Russell Crowe plays the man with the plan, Jennifer Connelly is his wife and Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson fill out the cast in a retelling of the biblical story of the flood that wiped out (most of) humanity. Aronofsky's films are both visually and intellectually stunning and you should expect no different from this one. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Cameron Diaz seems to be popping up everywhere these days, and in The Other Woman she shares the screen with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton in the comedic story of three women who team up to plot revenge on their cheating man.

Jude Law is the rude and crude title character in Dom Hemingway, about a criminal who is released from prison and reenters the criminal world he knows best, while trying to reconnect with his daughter. Cuban Fury pairs the hilarious Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd in the story of an out-of-shape former salsa dancer who decides to reenter the dance floor and win the love of his beautiful boss. Robert Duvall fans will want to catch A Night in Old Mexico, which follows a rancher who heads for Mexico for one last thrill before he retires to a trailer park. Finally, the charismatic pair of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton star in an adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel about a love affair during the Nigerian-Biafran War during the late 1960s.

SERIES Gabriel Byrne plays the British Deputy Prime Minister who tries to discover the truth behind the connection between and industrial accident and the plane crash of the Prime Minister in the conspiracy-laden miniseries Secret State. The Danish series The Eagle follows a half-Icelandic half-Danish police officer charged with investigating international crimes. Finally, another week, another Midsomer Murders, bringing us up to set 24.

SUBTITLED: The Amazing Catfish is the debut film by a Mexican author-director about two women who bond while they are in the hospital. One woman moves in with the other's family and becomes a surrogate mother when the other one becomes more ill. The absurd and crazy world of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs as he breaks in a new speechwriter is hilariously portrayed in The French Minister.

All of our new and upcoming releases can be found in Bibliocommons.

Talking Pictures
Susan Benjamin hosts a screening of The Jewish Cardinal on Monday, August 4th at 1:00 p.m. The Jewish Cardinal tells the true story of the son of Jewish immigrants who converted to Catholicism while still maintaining elements of his Jewish identity. Eventually he became involved with a controversy involving Carmelite nuns who desired to build a convent within the walls of Auschwitz. The film runs 90 minutes and is free and open to everyone.

Bible Films
Noah is just the latest epic film based on the Bible to hit the big screen. Should you want to see more, the library will not let you down!
  • Charlton Heston carries the tablets and demands his people's freedom in The Ten Commandments.
  • Gregory Peck's King David enters into an affair with Susan Hayward's Bathsheba with tragic results in David and Bathsheba.
  • Director Mel Gibson takes on the final hours of Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ.
  • Though perhaps a little more melodic than the original story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat takes a fun and unique look at Joseph.
  • If you want the best of the Bible, The Bible: The Epic Miniseries, made for The History Channel, is a good bet.
  • Though not based on the Bible itself, the epic Ben-Hur tells of the life of a Jewish merchant turned slave during the time of Jesus.
  • The conflict between early Christians and the Roman Empire form the story of Quo Vadis.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flick Picks 7/22/14: Transcendence, Heaven is for Real

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Johnny Depp continues to show off his versatility as an actor by appearing both in the flesh and on a computer screen in the techno-thriller Transcendence. In this film, Depp is a scientist studying artificial intelligence who is targeted by a radical anti-technology group. His quest for his consciousness to move beyond his physical body raises ethical dilemmas that only becomes deeper as he begins to assimilate the world's knowledge. Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman costar. Also this week, Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church star in the adaptation of the bestselling book Heaven is for Real, about a boy's trip to the afterlife. Our indie pick this week is the low budget noirish thriller Blue Ruin which follows a homeless man who returns to his hometown to avenge the death of his parents.

DOCUMENTARIES: If you like the idea of sitting down for a meal with great Hollywood comedy writers and directors like Sid Caesar, Monty Hall and Carl Reiner then you'll want to grab Lunch, which tags along for this very event! Eric Clapton, Bono and Carlos Santana are featured in the B.B. King: The Life of Riley, which illuminates King's long, successful career in music. For those of you who still have soccer fever, Next Goal Wins is a heartwarming look at an Dutch coach's attempt to create a competitive soccer team in American Samoa.

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

Blockbuster Teen Movies (With Pizza!)
Join us on Monday, July 28 for our first ever blockbuster double feature as we screen Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in the movie lounge of the library (aka The Hammond Room). Thor starts at 3:00, pizza will be served at 5:00, and Catching Fire shows promptly at 5:30. Please note that both movies are rated PG-13 and that this program is ONLY for those in 6th-12th grades. Enjoy the show(s)!

Elaine Stritch RIP
Broadway legend Elaine Stritch recently passed away at the age of 89. She won one Tony award and three Emmy awards and despite being recognized largely for her stage work she carved out a nice career in film and television as well. Here are some ways to get caught up on her work:
  • Shoot Me is a brand new documentary, with interviews from colleagues and friends who include Tina Fey and Nathan Lane.
  • At age 77 Stritch was still performing in a one woman show, captured in At Liberty From the Old Vic Theatre.
  • Woody Allen's casting of Stritch as a former movie star in September brought her critical acclaim.
  • Sondheim! The Birthday Concert brings together Stritch and many other Sondheim interpreters in a celebration of the man's 80th birthday.
  • Many people these days mainly know Stritch from her hilarious turns as Jack's mother in 30 Rock.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flick Picks 7/15/14: Rio 2, Under the Skin

New on DVD This Week at the Library
ENTERTAINMENT: The World Cup is over and if it has helped stir your quest for all things Brazilian, you'll want to visit with the colorful avian denizens of Dreamworks' Rio 2. This sequel to the 2011 hit returns Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway as the happy couple who decide to take their family on a trip to find some endangered macaws. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson gives a breakthrough performance in the visually stunning Under the Skin, which follows an alien as she travels through Scotland. A widow (Annette Bening) meets a man who resembles her late husband (Ed Harris) and rediscovers passion in The Face of Love. Finally, the made-for-BBC movie The Wipers Times stars Ben Chaplin in the true story of British soldiers who produced a satirical newspaper while on the front lines in the First World War.

SERIES: The Israeli series Prisoners of War, which was later adapted as the hit Showtime series Homeland, follows three soldiers released after being captured seventeen years earlier. The must-see BBC America sci-fi clone show Orphan Black returns for a second season as does the Kate Atkinson adaptation Case Histories, while western railroad drama Hell on Wheels is back for a third.

SUBTITLED: The complex relationship between an Israeli secret policeman and his young Palestinian informant is explored in Bethlehem.

All of our new and upcoming DVDs are available in Bibliocommons.

Monday Night at the Movies
We will be screening Tim's Vermeer on Monday, July 21st at the Glencoe Woman's Club at 325 Tudor Ct. Intrigued by theories that Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer used some sort of camera obscura device to achieve an almost photographic quality of detail and presentation of light, Texas-based inventor Tim Jenison sets out to replicate the work of the old master. This involves not only the incredibly exacting process of painting, but construction of the room in which Vermeer’s “The Music Lesson” is set. The amazing results of Jenison’s experiment lead to a reappraisal of the very nature of artistic genius. The film runs 80 minutes and is rated PG-13. All of our film screenings are free and open to everyone.

When the Rain Comes...
It seems like we can't go more than a couple of days without rain. Since we have the weather on our minds, we assembled a list of rain related movies, set in torrential downpours, light sprinkles or places in-between!
  • It would be impossible not to start this list without the classic Gene Kelly musical Singin' in the Rain leading the way!
  • It seems like nearly every romance must feature a passionate kiss in the rain and that wet kiss is certainly one of the key moments of the Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams flick The Notebook.
  • Humphrey Bogart finds himself trapped inside a hotel with gangsters and a hurricane approaching in John Huston's Key Largo.
  • Tim Robbins finally escapes from prison and walks out into the rain in The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Another great kissing in the rain scene happens in Breakfast at Tiffany's after Holly finds her cat (and George Peppard too).
  • The rain in the climactic battle scene in Seven Samurai turns a muddy village into a classic action setting.
  • The gorgeous French musical Umbrellas of Cherbourg doesn't actually feature very much rain (though there is some beautiful snowfall at the end) but it never hurts to be prepared!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flick Picks 7/8/14: Bad Words, Le Week-End, Nymphomaniac

New on DVD at the Library This Week
ENTERTAINMENT: Jason Bateman's career renaissance continues with Bad Words, a ribald new comedy that Bateman not only stars in but directs as well. In Bad Words, Bateman finds a way to enter a a teen spelling competition and causes chaos as he ruthlessly attempts to crush the competition. Kathryn Hahn, Philip Baker Hall and Allison Janney co-star. Also this week, Le Week-End features Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a married couple who revisit Paris in an attempt to breathe new life into their relationship. Provocateur Lars von Trier offers up Nymphomaniac, which actually consists of two complete films, as a first and second volume. The film, with a cast that includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Christian Slater and Stellan Starsgard, follows the title character as she explores the darker corners of her life. Finally, Wrinkles shows that animated films are not just for kids, as Martin Sheen and Matthew Modine voice the elderly characters who populate this made-in-Spain film's retiree home.

SERIES: Ian MacKellan and Derek Jacobi, who play a gay couple who have been together for nearly half a century, make the hilarious Vicious a must-see. Also arriving this week is season two of Inspector Morse's early years in Endeavour.

DOCUMENTARIES: Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt to create a film of Frank Herbert's novel Dune in the mid-1970s is documented in Jodorowsky's Dune. It is a fascinating look at a filmmaker's single vision and the industry that he inhabited. Maidentrip is the story of a 14-year-old girl who battled Dutch authorities in order to launch a two-year solo sea voyage (accompanied by video camera). Finally, you can explore the relationship of humans around the world with water in the brilliantly shot Watermark.

You can find all of our new and upcoming releases in Bibliocommons.

Explore the Animal Kingdom
The best animal documentaries try to get inside the minds of creatures that we can never fully understand. Before you see the new Planet of the Apes film you should take home one of these great DVDs and get to know some cuddly, odd or dangerous animals!
  • Speaking of Planet of the Apes, Project Nim is the true story of a chimpanzee raised as a human.
  • One of Werner Herzog's best documentaries - Grizzly Man - follows a man who lived among grizzly bears, eventually meeting a tragic end.
  • Did you know that there's a yearly competition to crown the world's ugliest dog? Get all the details in Worst in Show.
  • French director Nicolas Philibert brings us a quiet, contemplative look at a 40-year-old orangutan in Nenette.
  • Academy Award winner The Cove is a difficult film to watch, as it follows activists trying to bring to light dolphin slaughter in Japan.
  • The plight of circus elephants is covered in the HBO documentary An Apology to Elephants.
  • Meet the people who are obsessed with Central Park's flying denizens in Birders.
  • The title character of Buck is a real life horse whisperer who trains horses using compassion.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flick Picks 7/1/14: A Young Doctor's Notebook, The Unknown Known

New on DVD at the Library This Week
SERIES: Take the autobiographical works of Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov and turn them into a miniseries starring two of our hottest actors and what do you get? The darkly comic British series A Young Doctor's Notebook, which features Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm as the younger and older versions of a doctor looking back on his early days in the profession while fighting with morphine addiction. Another new series this week is the dark Hinterland which follows a detective in Wales who investigates hate crimes.

DOCUMENTARIES: Errol Morris walks former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld through his long, controversial career in the intimate The Unknown Known.

SUBTITLED: Japanese parents discover that their six year old sons were accidentally switched at birth, raising questions of what it means to be a family in Like Father, Like Son.

PERFORMING ARTS: In case you were unable to make it to Las Vegas for Elton John's presentation of The Million Dollar Piano, you're in luck! This show features John performing songs from throughout his career on a very expensive musical instrument.

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

Talking Pictures
Our next Talking Pictures presentation, taking place on Monday, July 7 at 1:00, is the film Monsieur Lazhar, about an Algerian immigrant hired to teach elementary school in Montreal. Susan Benjamin will lead a discussion following the film. Our Talking Pictures films are screened in the Hammond Room and are open to everybody.

Some Red, White and Blue Movies
Had enough of fireworks? Spend your 4th of July watching one of these Independence Day worthy films, celebrating the creation of our nation and entertaining us along the way!
  • Mel Gibson is a farmer who joins the Revolution to get back at the Redcoat who murdered his son in The Patriot.
  • Perhaps the film is a metaphor for America's shot at independence or maybe it's best seen simply as an underdog story, but either way Rocky's fight against a stars-and-stripes clad champion in Philadelphia during the bicentennial is a fantastic choice for this holiday.
  • Why would you want to shut down the beach on 4th of July weekend? Because there's a massive shark in the water, that's why. See Jaws for more evidence!
  • Nearly half of the HBO series John Adams is set during the Revolution, as young lawyer Adams helps bring the country along the road to freedom from British rule.
  • John Ford directed Drums Along the Mohawk which features Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert and settlers who must survive attacks from both the British and Indians during the Revolutionary War.
  • The Disney kid flick Johnny Tremain follows the fictional title character's patriotic role in various events leading to the Revolution.
  • Pick up the documentaries in the Founding of America set to get the facts about the men and events behind the creation of this nation.