Flick Picks 12/17/13: The Lone Ranger, Elysium, Prisoners

New at the library this week on DVD and Blu-ray

ENTERTAINMENT: They call him The Lone Ranger but he actually has a sidekick so maybe he's not so lonely after all! Gore Verbinski, the director of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, brings us a new version of the Lone Ranger tale, complete with explosions, special effects and Johnny Depp as native American partner Tonto. In this version, we learn the origin of The Lone Ranger (played by Armie Hammer) and follow him as he seeks revenge. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray. Meanwhile, the rich aren't like other people...because they live in a massive spaceship! Matt Damon is a man from a ravaged earth who must break into the orbiting satellite in order to cure a fast-moving disease in Elysium, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Jodie Foster is trying to keep him from succeeding. Hugh Jackman is a father who takes the law into his own hands when his daughter and her friend go missing in the morally complex Prisoners, available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Another week, another Robert De Niro movie (or so it seems) as he joins Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones in The Family, a comedy about a mafia boss, his wife and kids, who move to France while under the witness protection program. They soon end up reverting to their old ways. It took a while for the second Percy Jackson movie to be made but Sea of Monsters is finally here. In this adaptation of the popular young adult fantasy series, the son of Poseidon and friends set off after The Golden Fleece and its healing powers. The thriller Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a throwback to some of the smaller, gritty films of the seventies. It stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster in the story of Texas outlaws on the run. The HBO dramatization Muhammed Ali's Greatest Fight takes a look at Ali's attempt to be classified as Conscientious Objector to the Vietnam War and features a great cast that includes Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella and Ed Begley Jr. Some Girl(s) is an adaptation of a Neil LaBute play and features Adam Brody as a writer who drives cross country to meet up with ex-lovers. Our indie pick of the week is Museum Hours which is about two strangers who connect in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Art Museum.

SERIES: We have new seasons of some of our more popular TV series arriving this week, with season 7 of the sly action series Burn Notice, season 4 of the Kentucky cop show Justified and season 3 of the Chicago-based family comedy-drama Shameless.

PERFORMING ARTS: Will The Sound of Music Live! make you forget the Julie Andrews film version? Possibly not, but kudos to Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer and the rest of the crew for trying something new by bringing the stage adaptation to television!

DOCUMENTARIES: One Direction is one of the hottest music groups around. Find out what makes them tick while also enjoying concert footage in the Morgan Spurlock directed One Direction: This is Us! For something a little darker, learn more about the concussion crisis in profession sports in the Frontline special League of Denial.

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

Best DVDs of 2013:
Looking for something interesting to watch over the holidays? One of the things that I enjoy most about my job is the ability to bring interesting feature films, foreign films, documentaries, etc. to the community. You might have missed them in the theatre, or they may not have been widely released, but the library is a great chance to find a hidden gem for free or a very low cost. And don't forget that every film that is shown at our Monday at the Movies program is available on DVD as well. I can't guarantee that they'll all be Oscar winners but who knows what kind of pleasant surprise might be awaiting you in some obscure little feature! - Mike

Here are the feature film and documentary (D) and subtitled (S) DVDs that I enjoyed most over the year:
The Central Park Five (D)
Clear History
Django Unchained
The East
Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (D)
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (S)
Game Change
Happy People (D)
Hara-Kiri (S)
Holy Motors (S)
How to Survive a Plague (D)
The Last Gladiators (D)
Last Ride
The Master
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (D)
Nobody Else But You (PouPouPiDou) (S)
Oslo, August 31st (S)
The Other Dream Team (D)
The Place Beyond the Pines
A Separation (S)
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Sound City (D)
Spring Breakers
Teddy Bear (S)
This is the End
The Well-Digger's Daughter (S)
What Maisie Knew

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