Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 10/28/13: Monsters University, R.I.P.D., Byzantium

New on DVD at the library this week

ENTERTAINMENT: If you left Monsters, Inc. wishing that you had more of the backstory about the lead characters Mike and Sulley then you'll definitely want to enroll in Monsters University. This Pixar-made prequel to the 2001 blockbuster brings back the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman as it tells the story of how the leads moved from being rivals to friends while enrolled in enrolled in the prestigious title college. Also this week, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are undead police officers who must spoil the dastardly plot of a villain determined to bring the dead back to life in R.I.P.D. A third supernatural tale this week is Byzantium, in which Interview With the Vampire director Neil Jordan returns to the subject of the undead and tells the tale of a mother and daughter pair of vampires who are just trying to get by in a world filled with mortals. This stylish film features Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan and Jonny Lee Miller.

SERIES: Christopher Guest's funny new semi-improvised HBO series Family Tree stars Chris O'Dowd as a young man investigating his family history. For something a little darker, the BBC cop drama Line of Duty follows an officer in an anti-corruption unit as he investigates an award-winning detective.

SUBTITLED: Jean Reno and Melanie Laurent star in Le Rafle, about the infamous Paris raid of 1942 that sent 13,000 Jews to concentration camps.



Flick Picks 10/21/13: Before Midnight, The Conjuring, The Internship

New on DVD at the library this week

ENTERTAINMENT: Richard Linklater continues the tale of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), the couple who first met in Vienna, later reunited in Paris and, after the events of the second film, remained a couple and had twin girls together. Before Midnight, which takes the couple to a friend's house in Greece, once again follows the two as they try to deal with the struggles of family and love. Some people have called the Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight trilogy one of the best film trilogies of all time. The Conjuring was both a surprise box office hit and a well reviewed horror film, coming just in time for Halloween! Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Ron Livingston star in this spooky tale of paranormal investigators trying to figure out why a farmhouse is haunted.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson bring the laughs in The Internship, which follows the two as they try to prove that they are not too old to succeed in the digital workplace of Google. The touching The Way, Way Back follows an unhappy 14-year old who bonds with the owner of a nearby waterpark. A fantastic cast of Steve Carell, Maya Rudolph, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Amanda Peet make this a can't miss comedy. If you enjoy the Four Weddings and a Funeral brand of British romantic comedy then you'll want to take home I Give it a Year, which features Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall as a married couple approaching their one year anniversary. Simon Baker, Anna Faris, Stephen Merchant and Minnie Driver round out the cast. Finally, fans of Drive won't want to miss the similarly ultraviolent neon-lit Only God Forgives which reunites director Nicolas Winding Refn with Ryan Gosling, while bringing Kristin Scott Thomas along for the story of a man trying to avenge his brother's murder in Bangkok.

SUBTITLED: The mysterious The Wall shows us a woman who must survive when the sudden appearance of a wall locks her in the Austrian countryside, cutting her off from the rest of civilization.



Flick Picks 10/14/13: Pacific Rim, The Heat

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: If giant monsters fighting massive robots isn't your idea of entertainment, then Pacific Rim is probably not for you! On the other hand, those of you who realize that it's the BEST form of entertainment will want to watch this epic visual treat on the largest screen possible. Sci-fi stylist Guillermo del Toro brings us the story of robot jockeys (including Charlie Hunnam) fighting to keep our world safe from invaders. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are also fighting bad guys in The Heat. The director of Bridesmaids brings us a buddy cop flick in which two mismatched police officers must work together to bring down a drug lord. It's also available in both DVD and Blu-ray. Finally, fans of previous collaborations of actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom (which include Tristram Shandy and The Trip) will definitely want to check out The Look of Love, about Paul Raymond who opened the UK's first strip club in 1958.

SERIES: Gillian Anderson is back on tv in the BBC crime drama The Fall, in which she plays a British detective hunting a serial killer in Belfast. History Channel's first scripted series Vikings follows the head of a Norse clan who rises to King.

SUBTITLED: Fans of the movie Captain Phillips won't want to miss the similarly themed A Hijacking, about a Danish ship taken over by Somali pirates. The brilliant Luc Besson colorfully adapts a popular French adventure comic about an adventurous young woman in early 20th century Paris in the fun live action Adele Blanc-Sec. Finally, the gorgeously animated The Painting resembles art more than cartoons in the parable of the artist and his various creations. It's a French animated film that can be enjoyed by the entire family.



Flick Picks 10/7/13: Hangover Part III, Much Ado About Nothing, After Earth

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: This week, one of the most important and provocative movies of all time comes to DVD...oh, who are we kidding? The Hangover Part III continues the misadventures of the Wolfpack as they return to Las Vegas, the scene of the first Hangover movie. The team gets involved with gangsters and giraffes and see the return of Mr. Chow, who wreaks his own particular havoc. Director Todd Phillips once again directs and Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha all return to provide us with the usual dose of uneasy laughs. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. There's a slightly classier alternative this week, as Avengers director Joss Whedon brings us a modern adaptation of William Shakepeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Filmed in under two weeks in black and white, Whedon gives us a great young cast of Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg and Amy Acker in the tale of a pair of battling young lovers.

After Earth was publicized as a Will Smith film but it's pretty much his son Jaden's show, as the kid must survive a hostile planet in order to rescue both his father and himself. M. Night Shyamalan directs. Can you imagine a world in which there is very little crime excepting one night a year, when violence is encouraged? This is the premise of The Purge, which stars Ethan Hawke as the head of a family that makes the mistake of letting an injured man into their secure compound on the wrong night. For something a little lighter, Greg Kinnear plays a divorced novelist, Jennifer Connelly is his ex-wife and Kristen Bell is the neighbor offering him encouragement in the romantic comedy Stuck in Love. Finally, Salman Rushdie wrote the script for the adaptation of his novel Midnight's Children about two Indian kids who are switched at birth.

SERIES: A second season of American Horror Story is upon us just in time for Halloween, and while it has an entirely different setting and plot from the first season, a number of actors - including Jessica Lange - return. If you like your spooky series with an English accent then check out Secret of Crickley Hall, in which a family moves into a haunted house that is somehow connected to their missing son. We've also got new seasons of Bones (season 8), White Collar (season 4) and The Middle (season 3).



Flick Picks 9/30/13: This is The End, The Croods, The Frozen Ground

New on DVD this week at your library!

ENTERTAINMENT: Some of Hollywood's funniest young stars portray themselves as the apocalypse arrives in This is The End. Funnyman Seth Rogan co-wrote, co-directed and co-stars in this raunchy, star-studded comedic look at what happens when self-indulgent Hollywood actors are faced with the end of civilization as they know it. James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are the leads and there are cameos from Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum and more. Also this month, you might have missed the Nicholas Cage and John Cusack mystery The Frozen Ground when it was in the theaters so now you can get caught up! It's based on the true story of an Alaskan state trooper who tries to track a serial killer. Finally, kids will want to meet The Croods, a Stone Age family that is forced to explore the world after its cave is destroyed. Nicholas Cage's voice stars in this one, along with those of Emma Stone, Catherine Keener and Ryan Reynolds.

SERIES: Guy Pearce comes to the small screen in the Australian import Jack Irish, in which he plays an alcoholic criminal lawyer turned private investigator following his wife's murder. We've got the second of the classic Doctor Who specials The Doctors Revisited 5-8, which features a documentary about the second quartet of Doctors as well as a representative episode from each one. This week also brings us season 8 of How I Met Your Mother, season 4 of Glee and season 2 of New Girl.

DOCUMENTARIES: If you're interested in an overview of the evolution of the environmental movement you'll want to see A Fierce Green Fire, which is narrated by Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Ashley Judd.