Flick Picks 2/20/2015: Life Itself, Birdman, Game of Thrones

Yes, Flicks Picks is back from a winter hiatus.  And it's spring now, right?  Almost time for baseball and other outdoor pursuits?  Shall we wheel out the grill?  Well...maybe not just yet.  Good thing we have some excellent DVDs to keep you entertained during these long nights of the cold, persistent winter.

Some of 2014's best films are now available or will soon be released on DVD.  And there's the Oscar contenders as well....

Feature Films

BIRDMAN
Best Picture nominee Birdman is now available. The normally very serious Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful) makes a welcome turn toward the comedic, if the darkly comedic with Birdman.  Michael Keaton, Golden Globe winner and Best Actor nominee at the Academy Awards, is excellent as the one-time superhero movie star trying to regain some artistic credibility on Broadway, in a film that both lampoons actors vanity and celebrates the courage it takes to bare one's soul on stage or screen.

Also available:  The much-heralded Boyhood, Richard Linklater's coming-of-age story, filmed with the same actors over an 11-year period.  Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy star in St. Vincent.  The film that caused an international incident,  The Interview, is now available.  Was it worth the fuss? Decide for yourself.  Keanu Reeves plays a hitman coming out of retirement in the well-reviewed John Wick, available in DVD and Blu-ray.   Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall star in The Judge.

COMING SOON:  Whiplash,  Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, Horrible Bosses 2, The Homesman, The Tale of Princess Kayuga.

Series news

GAME OF THRONES
It's time to return to the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos in the immensely popular HBO series, based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels.  Get the DVDs, order some food and barricade yourself in until season four has run its exciting course.

OLIVE KITTERIDGE
Yet another critically acclaimed HBO production, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout.  The ever-interesting Frances McDormand heads a strong cast.

Also available:  Edie Falco returns for season six of Nurse Jackie.

COMING SOON:  Foyles War, set 8.

Documentary


LIFE ITSELF
Snubbed by Oscar, Steve James documentary about the late, beloved Roger Ebert is now available.  If you would like to see the film on a larger screen than you have at home, join us on March 16 when Monday at the Movies screens Life Itself at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the library's Hammond Room.

LUNCH
For the past 40 years, a group of writers and directors has been meeting for lunch every other Wednesday. The members and their meeting places have changed over the years, but their appetites for the ties that nourish their friendships have remained. Lunch goes beyond a single meal, and into the lives and successes of each comedy legend.

 
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