Flick Picks 5/20/14: Monuments Men, 3 Days to Kill, Pompeii

New this week on DVD at the library

ENTERTAINMENT: This week's Flick Picks stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin...and unbelievably all in the same movie! Monuments Men tells the true story of soldiers in World War II tasked with finding invaluable works of art and returning them to their rightful owners before they are destroyed. Clooney directed the film and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, Kevin Costner is a spy trying to retire settle down to a quiet, normal family life when he is pulled into one last job in the tense thriller 3 Days to Kill. It was directed by action specialist McG (the Charlie's Angels movies) and produced by Luc Besson.

Thrills, destruction and romance are the name of the game in Pompeii, in which former slave and current gladiator Kit Harington (of Game of Thrones) must save his love before his town is smothered in lava. Grand Piano is a tense little thriller that received excellent reviews and features Elijah Wood as a stage fright-plagued pianist who is threatened by a sniper during his return to public performance. Elizabeth Olsen might be the hottest actress in film these days and in the adaptation of In Secret, an adaptation of Emile Zola's Therese Raquin, she plays a woman who escapes her dead end life by launching an affair, only to have it all end badly. Jessica Lange also helps fill the screen in this gothic romance.

SERIES: The BBC's post-war drama Call the Midwife returns for a third season.

SUBTITLED: The Jewish Cardinal tells the remarkable true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger who, despite converting to Catholicism at a young age, maintained his Jewish identity, eventually using both of his religious backgrounds when Carmelite nuns decide to build a convent at Auschwitz. Celebrated Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's set-in-Tokyo Like Someone in Love tells about the interactions between a call girl, her boyfriend, and an elderly professor.

DOCUMENTARIES: After Tiller looks at the few remaining doctors who provide late-term abortions as well as some of the women pursuing these procedures. The history, politics and controversies behind the creation of the new World Trade Center are the focus of the fascinating 16 Acres.

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

Movies for Memorial Day

There are a number of great war films that recognize the sacrifice of the soldier as well as the futility of war. Memorial Day weekend is a great time to take out of these movies and recognize all that the members of our military have done for us.

  • Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson work for the Casualty Notification Office of the U.S. Army, and must handle the emotions of distraught spouses while trying to adjust to their own challenges in The Messenger.
  • Oliver Stone's Platoon is a look at the common soldier's experience in Vietnam and is based on Stone's own service.
  • Elite soldiers join a brutal battle in the streets of Mogadishu in the frantic Black Hawk Down.
  • Steven Spielberg tells the story of a group of World War II soldiers tasked with rescuing a sole remaining brother in Saving Private Ryan.
  • Beyond the cameo of Glencoe's Metra station, Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is worth seeing for the story of the six men who raised the flag in the famous photo at The Battle of Iwo Jima.
  • Three World War II veterans return to their small towns only to discover that their whole world has changed in The Best Years of Our Lives.
  • The realities of the brutality of war in World War I for German soldiers is vividly captured in one of the most famous early anti-war films, All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Stanley Kubrick brings us the of war in Paths of Glory, in which soldiers rebel when asked to participate in an impossible charge.

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