Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 9/24/13: Iron Man 3, Redemption, Unfinished Song

New on DVD at the Library This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Robert Downey once again dons the metal suit and takes on the baddies in Iron Man 3. This time, Downey must fight international terrorist The Mandarin who has targeted Tony Stark for elimination. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle return to once again bring us nonstop action interspersed with wisecracks (or is it the other way around?) We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. If that's not enough action for you, Jason Statham plays an ex-Special Forces officer who is out for revenge when he learns the identity of his friend's murderer in Redemption.

We also have some quieter options as well. The incredible Terence Stamp stars in the sweet and sentimental Unfinished Song, about a curmudgeon whose discovery of his love of music changes his life. Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Eccleston and Gemma Arterton round up the cast. Opera fans are sure to enjoy 1st Night, which features Richard E. Grant as a wealthy businessman who decides to stage an opera while romancing Sarah Brightman (playing an orchestra conductor). Our indie pic this week is The Kings of Summer, a quirky look at three teenagers who decide to build a house and live off the land. It was a hit at the Sundance festival and has a supporting cast that includes Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman and Alison Brie.

SERIES: Everyone's favorite cannibal is the focus of the series Hannibal, which follows the relationship between psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and a young FBI profiler (Hugh Dancy). Also arriving this week are season 7 of Foyle's War and season 4 of Modern Family.

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Flick Picks 9/17/13: World War Z, Behind the Candelabra, The Bling Ring

New at the Library on DVD and Blu-ray!

ENTERTAINMENT: There are LOTS of new DVDs for you to enjoy this week! Don't forget to ask us for recommendations! Leading off the list is big budget loose adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie novel World War Z. Brad Pitt stars as a retired United Nations investigator who must bring the zombie epidemic under control before we all become food. Don't be scared off by its horror origins as it's really just an action film (and rated PG-13). We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. A little more intimate is the Michael Douglas and Matt Damon Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, which probably could have gone to the theaters but ended up as a high profile HBO flick. Also this week, Emma Watson expands her acting chops in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring. Beautifully shot like all of Coppola's flicks, The Bling Ring is based on the true story of teens who rob from Hollywood celebrities. A Crash for the iPhone generation, Disconnect features Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Alexander Skarsgard and many other talented actors in a number of interconnected stories about the issues surrounding the way we communicate in our constantly wired life.

Skarsgard has been busy as he also stars in The East, a spy flick in which Brit Marling finds herself developing romantic feelings for the leader of the anarchist group that she has been tasked to infiltrate. Director Carl Franklin, who brought us Devil in a Blue Dress and One False Move, makes a welcome return with Bless Me, Ultima, the gorgeously shot adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya's novel in which a young boy in the 1940s must wrestle with good magic, bad magic and religion in small town New Mexico. Rock music lovers aren't neglected this week as it brings us Greetings From Tim Buckley in which the now deceased Jeff Buckley must deal with his rise to stardom while coming to terms with his father's legacy. Finally, we've got a wacky little comic indie pick with Somebody Up There Likes Me, starring Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman as half of a pair of longtime slacker friends who are in love with the same woman.

SERIES: New this week is The Hollow Crown, an adaptation of four Shakespeare plays (Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V) made for the BBC by director Sam Mendes. Originally released as part of the celebration surrounding the British Summer Olympics, it went on to win two BAFTA awards (the British Emmys). From closer to home we get the new hit Nashville, about competing country singers, and Bates Motel, which tells the story of a young Norman Bates. They're both good choices particularly since the female leads of these two shows, Connie Britton (Nashville) and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), are competing against each other for Lead Actress Emmys this year! Also this week is season 5 of the Timothy Hutton comedy-drama Leverage.

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Flick Picks 9/10/13: Star Trek Into Darkness, Homeland Season 2

New DVDs and Blu-rays at the Glencoe Public Library

ENTERTAINMENT: Who would have guessed that the new take on Star Trek would become one of the most entertaining science fiction film series in recent years? The second of the new big screen versions of the series comes to DVD and Blu-ray this week as Star Trek Into Darkness brings us a young Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew before they launch their five year mission. Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch is the villain and J.J. Abrams returns to the director's chair for this nonstop action fun. Our other major release available this week is Pain and Gain, Michael Bay's action-comedy in which Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson star as a pair of bodybuilders who get involved in theft, kidnapping and murder.

There are many of interesting little releases this week so if you're tired of the big budget Hollywood films there might be something for you here! The English Teacher is a heartwarming comedy about an unmarried literature-loving teacher (Julianne Moore) who decides to mount a former student's play. In the sweet Love is All You Need, Pierce Brosnan is an American living in Denmark who connects with the woman whose son is about to marry Brosnan's daughter. HBO's biopic about Phil Spector focuses on the relationship between Spector (played by Al Pacino) and his defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren) while he was being tried for murder. Also from HBO, Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn portray two very women from different backgrounds who work together to fight malaria in Africa in Mary and Martha. Finally, based on a TV series from the BBC, the thriller Blood features Paul Bettany, Mark Strong and Brian Cox in the story of two cop brothers who commit murder.

SERIES:  Here's one that you've been asking for ever since season 1 came out: season 2 of Showtime's Homeland is finally here! The aforementioned Mr. Cumberbatch stars with Rebecca Hall in the BBC and HBO co-produced miniseries Parade's End, an adaptation of the Ford Maddox Ford novels about a love triangle during World War I. Also out this week are season 3 of the dark BBC detective series Luther, season 5 of mystery novelist Richard Castle's adventures in Castle, season 6 of hilarious nerd comedy Big Bang Theory and season 3 of the Tom Selleck cop show Blue Bloods.

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Flick Picks 9/3/13: Now You See Me, The Iceman, From Up On Poppy Hill

New to DVD and Blu-ray at the library this week

ENTERTAINMENT: It's the FBI vs. bank robber magicians in the extravagantly entertaining Now You See Me. There are some fantastic names in this cast, with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine leading it up. Is Steppenwolf Theatre's Michael Shannon one of the greatest film actors working today? You can try to answer that question yourself with help from The Iceman, the based-on-a-true story of a former mob assassin now living with a family that is unaware of his former profession. Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and David Schwimmer co-star. Goro Miyazaki, the son of Japan's greatest living animator Hayao Miyazaki, shows that filmmaking skill can run in the family as his beautiful From Up On Poppy Hill captures 1963 Yokohama. This is an animated though not kid-targeted look at the budding relationship between two high school schoolmates. Our indie pick this week is At Any Price, which stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron as a farming father and his son who wishes to become a race car driver. Ramin Bahrani, the director of our 2009 Monday Night at the Movies pick Goodbye Solo, brings us this film about personal relationships and the plight of the modern farmer.

SERIES: Blandings, a new comedy series from the BBC, is perhaps the flipside of Downton Abbey, as Timothy Spall tries to find peace and privacy with his pet pig in 1929 Britain. It's based on the P.G. Wodehouse Blandings Castle series and also stars Absolutely Fabulous' Jennifer Saunders. A much more dramatic British import is DCI Banks: Aftermath, which kicks off the DCI Banks crime series about a police inspector who has seen it all. Canada sends us Bomb Girls, telling the story of women working in a munitions factory during World War II. We're also adding two new selections to our growing collection of quality subtitled imports. The Italian Inspector Vivaldi Mysteries, set in the city of Trieste, follows an old-school detective who teams up with his cop son to solve crimes. The 6 episode series Frank Riva stars French superstar Alain Delon as the title character, a retired undercover cop who is called back into action when his brother is found murdered.

We also have a number of returning series this week. This bloody and sexy Spartacus series returns with Spartacus: War of the Damned (season 3) and we've got season 2 of the political thriller Scandal as well as season 2 of the crime drama Person of Interest. On the lighter side, we see season 9 of The Office and season 5 of Parks and Recreation arrive this week.

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