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.

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!

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.