Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 4/30/13: Silver Linings Playbook, The Guilt Trip, History of The Eagles

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ENTERTAINMENT: We're now received all of the the major Oscar winners, as Silver Linings Playbook finally arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her role as a depressed woman who becomes involved with the recently diagnosed as bipolar Bradley Cooper. Though advertised as a romantic comedy this movie is emotionally deep, dealing with serious issues related to mental health. Robert De Niro also stars while director David O. Russell also brought us the excellent Three Kings and The Fighter. Also this week, Seth Rogan is the son and Barbra Streisand is the mother in the road-trip comedy The Guilt Trip. This is Streisand's first starring role since 1996 and it's an essentially a vehicle for the two actors, who play characters who discover that they have more in common than they realized. In Broken City, Mark Wahlberg is a disgraced former cop who is hired by the mayor (Russell Crowe) to follow the wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who he believes is cheating on him. Sure enough, Wahlberg soon finds himself in a little too deep.
 
The comedy The Details stars Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks as a married suburban couple who become obsessed with eradicating a family of raccoons that wrecks their beautifully manicured yard. This one disappeared from the theaters quickly so it's a great time to pick it up on DVD! We've also got a couple of fun indie picks this week. David Chase, who created The Sopranos, brings us his first feature film, the coming-of-age music drama Not Fade Away. In Not Fade Away, three friends see the Rolling Stones in on tv in the mid-sixties and decide to form a rock band. It's a loosely based on Chase's adolescent years in New Jersey and co-stars his Sopranos compatriot James Gandolfini. Also this week, the always-enjoyable Colm Meaney stars in Parked, about a man living out of his car who forms a relationship with the carefree 21-year-old who lives in the car next door.

DOCUMENTARIES: One of the best-selling rock bands of all time gets their own DVD set, as History of the Eagles lands at the library. Originally produced for Showtime, this two-part documentary gives us many musical and personal details of the iconic 1970s rock band's history. It also includes a 1977 concert. Wagner & Me explores Stephen Fry's love of Richard Wagner's music, as well as the complexities of feeling this love as a Jew. Also, explore how the Texas State Board of Education is changing public education to fit their cultural and religious views in the chilling The Revisionaries.

SERIES: New from England is the drama The Syndicate, which follows five supermarket employees whose lives are changed after they win big in a lottery pool. Also this week you can finally find out who killed Rosie Larson as season 2 of AMC's The Killing arrives.

You can find all of our upcoming and recently released DVDs and Blu-rays in Bibliocommons.

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Flick Picks 4/23/13: Gangster Squad, Promised Land, Central Park Five

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ENTERTAINMENT:  Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling are members of The Gangster Squad, a post-World War II group of L.A. cops intent on bringing down crime lord Sean Penn. If you've enjoyed some of the more recent noirish takes on the crime film - think L.A. Confidential - then you'll want to take this one home. Also this week, the usage of the fracking technique to remove natural gas from the ground is explored in Gus Van Sant's Promised Land. The film stars Matt Damon as the natural gas company representative trying to convince members of a Pennsylvania town (including The Office's John Krasinski) to allow them to drill. Damon and Krasinski also wrote the script, from a short story by Dave Eggers and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

We've got a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights that changes the original story radically by making Heathcliff an escaped slave who becomes involved with farmer's daughter Catherine. Finally, our indie pick this week is the late 1970's set Any Day Now, featuring a powerful performance by Alan Cumming as half of a gay couple fighting to adopt a child with Down's syndrome.

SERIES: The BBC series Mr. Selfridge stars Jeremy Piven as the founder of the Selfridges department stores, where London consumers were able to shop in luxury.

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Flick Picks 4/16/13: Django Unchained, Spies of Warsaw, Women in Love

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ENTERTAINMENT: Quentin Tarantino takes on slavery and the Old West in his controversial Django Unchained. Former slave Jamie Foxx joins with bounty hunter Christoph Waltz to rescue his wife and take on evil plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio. Like most Tarantino films it's profane, violent and often funny. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. A bit on the milder side is the animated kid's flick A Monster in Paris. Filled with wonderful songs it tells the story of a giant singing flea and the police commissioner determined to rid the title city of the creature.

We've also got some indie picks for the week starting with Future Weather, a Sundance Film Festival entry that sensitively tells the story of a nature-loving teenage girl in southern Illinois who is abandoned by her mother. It stars Lili Taylor as the girl's teacher and Amy Madigan as her tough-as-nails grandmother. Also worth viewing is In Another Country, starring the wonderful French actress Isabelle Huppert in an English-language role. This is a fun comedy in which Huppert plays three very different women who visit a South Korean resort town.

SERIES: There a number of must-see miniseries arrivals from the BBC this week. Spies of Warsaw stars former Doctor Who David Tennant in an adaptation of the David Furst spy novel about the years leading up to World War II. Rosamund Pike and Rachael Stirling are the leads in the newest version of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, about two sisters and their passionate relationships with two men. Get caught up on the early works of Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis by picking up the five episode tv movie My Brother Jonathan about two very different brothers who, despite their differences, maintain a lifelong friendship.

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Flick Picks 4/9/13: Hyde Park on Hudson, Boss Season 2

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ENTERTAINMENT: The mercurial Bill Murray goes in an unexpected direction this week with Hyde Park on Hudson, in which he portrays Franklin D. Roosevelt, hosting the King and Queen of England on his New York estate on the eve of World War II. This romantic and humorous film also stars Laura Linney as FDR's cousin and confidante Daisy Suckley. Also this week, there's a great team-up of William Hurt and Isabelle Rossellini in the romantic comedy Late Bloomers, in which they play a long-married couple who try to come to grips with the fact that they are getting older. If you're looking for a quirky comedy/horror/science fiction hybrid then you might enjoy John Dies at the End. Paul Giamatti stars and director Don Coscarelli brought us the cult hit Bubba Ho-Tep a decade ago, so expect a similar sensibility.

SERIES: Season 2 of the set-in-Chicago Kelsey Grammer drama Boss comes to DVD this week.

SUBTITLED: Set in the slums of Buenos Aires, White Elephant tells the story of a priest whose faith is tested as drug-related violence grows. It stars Ricardo Darin who was magnetic in The Secret in Their Eyes.

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Flick Picks 4/2/13: The Impossible, Hemingway and Gellhorn, The Bible

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT It's a quiet week for theatrical feature films but there is one very good one available. The Impossible is based on a true story of a family's nightmare during the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004.  Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as parents who experience both terror and kindness in one the planet's worst natural catastrophes in recent history. Watts was nominated for an Academy Award and newcomer Tom Holland is also excellent as their son. Also this week, Hemingway and Gellhorn is the much anticipated HBO movie about journalist Martha Gellhorn and her husband Ernest Hemingway. It features Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman as the title characters.

SERIES: You've read the book - now see the miniseries! The Bible is the hit 10-part tv movie brought to us by The History Channel. The Australian-import Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is set in 1920's Melbourne and features a "thoroughly modern" female detective. Finally, if you enjoy droll British comedy you'll want to watch Dirk Gently, the BBC series based on the Douglas Adams book.

DOCUMENTARY: Hitler's Children tracks the descendants of many high-ranking Nazis and shows how they have dealt with their infamous last names and tainted family histories.

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