Blog: Flick Picks

flick picks

Flick Picks 8/27/13: The Great Gatsby, Epic

New DVDs and Blu-rays at the Library This Week
Early warning: Season 2 of Homeland comes out in two weeks. There are already lots of holds on it so please get your hold on it asap!

ENTERTAINMENT: Director Baz Luhrmann brings his unique touch to The Great Gatsby, a colorful adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Tobey Maguire is Nick Carraway, a writer who befriends Leonardo DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby in 1920s New York. If you are looking for a straightforward presentation of the novel then you will be shocked since this film's whirling, music-filled sensibility is more akin to Luhrmann's previous takes on Romeo and Juliet and his Moulin Rouge. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, the kids (and anyone else who loves a fun animated fantasy) will want to check out Epic, the story of a teenage girl who gets transported to a magical forest where she must band together with a crew of creatures to save the world. Our indie pick this week Mira Nair's adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's popular novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber star in the story of the attempt to find out how a young Pakistani professor could have become involved in a kidnapping plot in post-9/11 America.

SERIES: This week you've got a choice between the charming ladies and gentlemen of Seattle Grace Hospital in Grey's Anatomy (season 9), the rotting denizens of The Walking Dead (season 3), or the brilliant minds of the modern Sherlock Holmes mystery series Elementary.

DOCUMENTARIES: Fans of the iconic Bergdorf Goodman department store won't want to miss Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, which interviews designers and fans while allowing us to get a rare look behind the scenes.



Flick Picks 8/20/13: Amour, Boardwalk Empire Season 3, The Good Wife Season 4

New This Week on DVD at the Library:

SUBTITLED: One of the most powerful and well-reviewed movies of the year - Amour - arrives on DVD this week. This French language film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, and took home the award for best foreign language film. It's about an elderly couple that faces challenges when the wife suffers multiple strokes. Austrian Director Michael Haneke is known for powerful, challenging films and this one is no exception.

ENTERTAINMENT: The new entertainment film this week is an indie pick called Shadow Dancer which stars Clive Owen as an MI-5 officer who enlists a woman to spy on her IRA populated family in Belfast during the 1990s. Gillian Anderson is also on-board in this tense thriller.

SERIES: Lots of new episodes come out this week with season 3 of HBO's gangster drama Boardwalk Empire leading the pack. There's also a 4th season of the legal drama The Good Wife, a 4th season of the warm family comedy Parenthood, season 2 of primetime soaper Revenge, season 3 of the Melissa McCarthy showcase Mike and Molly, and a 5th season of the BBC supernatural drama Being Human.



Flick Picks 8/13/13: Olympus Has Fallen, Emperor, The Company You Keep

New on DVD This Week at the Library

ENTERTAINMENT: The first of the year's attack on the White House films comes to DVD this week. For those playing at home, Olympus Has Fallen is the one starring Gerard Butler as the Secret Service agent intent on stopping the North Koreans from killing the president (Aaron Eckhart) and threatening our way of life. Antoine Fuqua, who also directed Training Day and Brooklyn's Finest, helms this one. If your adrenaline is not already maxed out, this week also sees the release of The Company You Keep, with Robert Redford directing and starring as a former 60s radical forced to go underground when outed by reporter Shia LaBeouf. Fans of historical dramas will want to pick up Emperor, which follows General MacArthur (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones) in the days following the Japanese surrender in World War II as he tries to decide the best way for the country to move forward.

On the lighter side this week, The Big Wedding might not win any Oscars but with a cast that features Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried and Robin Williams it's certainly worth checking out. It's a romantic comedy in which various family members must try to get along when the kids decide to get hitched. The Hot Flashes brings together a group of middle-aged former high school basketball champions to try to take on the current champions, in the name of charity. It stars Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Wanda Sykes and New Trier graduate Virginia Madsen.

SERIES: The hilarious Mindy Kaling's Emmy-nominated Fox series The Mindy Project comes to DVD this week. Also out this week are season 2 of the always headline-grabbing Girls, season 2 of the made-in-Britain and shown-on-Cinemax military action show Strike Back, season 2 of the Laura Dern HBO comedy-drama Enlightened and the 5th and final season of the cop drama Southland.



Flick Picks 8/6/13: Oblivion, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Sapphires

New on DVD at the library this week!

ENTERTAINMENT: There's something for everyone in this week's batch of feature film releases! The Tom Cruise sci-fi extravaganza Oblivion leads the pack of new releases in DVD and Blu-ray. Set in 2077, after the Moon has been destroyed and Earth has been rendered uninhabitable, Cruise has two weeks left to patrol the skies before he can settle down with the remaining earthling settlers on a base on Saturn's moon Titan. However, he soon meets up with a woman who challenges everything he knows about Earth's past. Meanwhile, the atmospheric and ambitious The Place Beyond the Pines features Ryan Gosling as a bank robber who crosses paths with cop Bradley Cooper. Their conflict leads to repercussions that span generations. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.  For something a little lighter, try The Sapphires, which follows an Australian aboriginal girl group trying to make it big in the 60s with help from their manager Chris O'Dowd. The combination of great music, a good-time vibe and the always entertaining O'Dowd makes this one a winner.

You read the book when you were a teen so why not catch the movie now? On the Road stars Kristen Stewart and features cameos by the likes of Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams as it follows Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty on their trip across America. Despite a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem, To the Wonder did not garner anywhere near the attention that director Terence Malick's previous film The Tree of Life received. In this film, a couple moves to Oklahoma after meeting in France and struggles with their relationship. The Scapegoat is a made-for-BBC film starring Matthew Rhys in the adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel about a man who takes the place of his doppelganger, a troubled businessman.

Finally, in our indie pick for the week, 1976 Wales is the setting for the heartwarming Hunky Dory, a film that follows a teacher (Minnie Driver) as she tries to create the best school musical ever. This delightful film from the producers of Billy Elliot features the music of David Bowie, ELO, The Beach Boys and many other great bands.



Flick Picks 7/30/13: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

New on DVD at the Library

ENTERTAINMENT: Once again proving the rule that any movie franchise can be enhanced by the addition of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), G.I. Joe: Retaliation brings the Joes back to fight the Cobra organization as well as members of the U.S. government who want to bring them down. Channing Tatum returns while Bruce Willis enlists for this ride and we've got it in both DVD and Blu-ray.

DOCUMENTARIES: Wimbledon has ended so you have time to watch the movie about the sisters whom you can recognize even without seeing the last name: Venus and Serena.

SUBTITLED: The leisurely paced Old Dog feels like a documentary as it tells the story of a Tibetan man who sells his mastiff in mainland China (where mastiffs have become trendy), which his outraged father then retrieves.