Flick Picks 11/5/13: The Hobbit, White House Down, Grown Ups 2

New on DVD at the library this week!

ENTERTAINMENT: This week brings us a cornucopia of new movie choices - if you don't check one of these out it must be because your DVD player is broken! To start, Peter Jackson returns to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which offers the adventures of a young Bilbo Baggins as he's swept into a quest to help the dwarves and battle a nasty dragon. If you loved the Lord of the Rings series then you definitely need to get started on The Hobbit trilogy before the second film of the trilogy comes to theaters next month! The film stars Martin Freeman and returns Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm and more to their Lord of the Rings roles. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, police officer Channing Tatum and U.S. President Jamie Foxx must take matters into their own hands when a paramilitary group attacks the title building in White House Down, available on DVD and Blu-ray. Finally, the low-brow comic dream team of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade return to relive their youth in Grown Ups 2.

Other new entertainment releases:

  • Parkland takes a behind the scenes look at the events that unfolded on the day that John F. Kennedy was shot and features Zach Efron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden.
  • Amanda Seyfried has received raves for her portrayal of the title character in Lovelace, the story of the woman who either willingly or under coercion portrayed the starring role in the infamous porn film Deep Throat.
  • In the comedy-drama Girl Most Likely, Kristen Wiig plays a failed playright forced to move back in with her mother (Annette Bening) after she fakes a suicide attempt. 
  • Larry David's Clear History is a made-for-HBO movie about a former marketing director who plots revenge against his former boss (Jon Hamm) who cheated him out of millions. It is a must-see for Curb Your Enthusiasm addicts. 
  • The always stylish Brian DePalma also offers up a corporate revenge story with Passion, a remake of the French Love Crime, which focuses on the competition between an advertising executive (Rachel McAdams) and her protege (Noomi Rapace). 
  • The coming-of-age film Broken focuses on an 11 year-old English girl who tries to manipulate through various neighborhood dramas. Cillian Murphy and Tim Roth are the big names in this little film. 
  • Finally, our indie pick for the week is the surprisingly humorous Computer Chess, which does a fantastic job tackling the early days of technology as it focuses on computer nerds trying to build the ultimate chess machine.

SERIES: Don Draper and the rest of the crew return for season 6 of Mad Men. Also this week, Stephen King brings us the adaptation of his novel about a town trapped under a transparent roof in Under the Dome. The eagerly anticipated second season of the highly regarded French cop thriller Spiral also arrives this week.

SUBTITLED: In 1915, the son of elderly painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir returns home after being wounded in World War I in the impressionistic feeling Renoir. Also, a great Swedish trilogy of tv movies makes its way to the U.S. as the Johan Falk trilogy follows a tough Swedish cop across Europe.

DOCUMENTARY: Deceptive Practice takes a look at magician/actor/raconteur Ricky Jay and includes lots of rare early footage. The HBO documentary An Apology to Elephants shines a light on abuse and poor living conditions in zoos and circuses. Another HBO documentary, Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden, serves as a nice companion to Zero Dark ThirtyMasters of Money is a three part film that lets a BBC economist explain the global economic crisis of 2008 by focusing on the theories of Keynes, Hayek and Marx.

Talking Pictures
Our next Talking Pictures program with Susan Benjamin is the Woody Allen drama Match Point. This film will be screened in the library's Hammond Room on Thursday, November 7th at 1:00 and will be followed by a discussion. All of our movie programs are free and open to everyone.

The best films are on Criterion!

Are you familiar with The Criterion Collection of films? Criterion takes some of the best classic, foreign and new films and offers pristine transfers as well as fascinating commentaries and informative booklets. The library has a large collection of Criterion films and they're almost always worth checking out! Here are a few titles:

  • Jack Benny's peak as a film star was To Be Or Not To Be (later remade by Mel Brooks) which is both hilarious and subversive as it takes on the Nazis in the early years of World War II. Also be sure to check out director Ernst Lubitsch's Design for Living and Trouble in Paradise.
  • If you enjoy the show Girls then you'll want to watch Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham's feature film debut.
  • Filmed in 1953, Tokyo Story is the timeless story of elderly parents visiting their children who live a very different lifestyle.
  • The Ruling Class is the bizarre and hilarious story of a man (played by Peter O'Toole) who believes that he's god, only to be "cured" to become convinced that he is Jack the Ripper.
  • Pina is Wim Wenders' creative and colorful look at modern dance original Pina Bausch.
  • Reconnect with indie filmmaking pioneer John Cassavetes' classics Faces and A Woman Under the Influence.
  • Before Robert Redford was trapped on a boat he was an Olympic skiing hopeful in 1969's Downhill Racer.
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