Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 1/28/14: Rush, Last Vegas, Downton Abbey Season 4

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: Looking for a movie that will provide you with...a RUSH??? Luckily we've got the perfect movie for you this week! The Ron Howard directed Rush is the adrenaline-filled true story of the 1970s Formula 1 rivalry between an English and an Austrian. It stars Thor himself (Chris Hemsworth) and Olivia Wilde and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline get crazy in Sin City when one of their group finally decides to get married, in Last Vegas. In Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the crew from the original must deal with their legacy of food/animal hybrids in order to save humanity. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

Bad Grandpa, which features Jackass' Johnny Knoxville as an 86-year old man who travels across the country with his 8-year old grandson, was the surprise hit of the year, raking in over $100 million at the box office. It's gentler than the Jackass world though, as it serves up its comedy by having Knoxville and grandson prank unsuspecting bystanders. Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch portrays WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, which focuses on the dilemma of whether some secrets are too important to not let loose. Our indie pick this week is Concussion, about a married lesbian housewife who frees her urges when she leaves suburbia and moves to Manhattan.

SERIES: Season 4 of Downton Abbey sees some new characters joining the show while some are no longer with it...but we've already said too much! Check it out to find out more! The fourth and final season of HBO's New Orleans jazz-infused Treme also arrives this week as does season 3 of the Brenda Blethyn detective show Vera.

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Flick Picks 1/21/14: Captain Phillips, Blue Jasmine, In a World

New on DVD at the library this week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Nominated for 6 Oscars including best film, Captain Phillips stars Tom Hanks in the gripping story of an American cargo ship that is hijacked by Somali pirates. The film focuses on the relationship between Hanks' title character and the lead Somali pirate, played by Oscar-nominated newcomer Bakhard Abdi. Paul Greengrass, who directed two Bourne films, is behind the camera for this one and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Woody Allen received an Oscar nomination for screenplay while Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins were nominated for actress and supporting actress respectively, for Blue Jasmine, the story of a New York socialite trying to make a fresh start in San Francisco after her businessman husband is sent to prison for fraud. It has another great Allen cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard and Louis C.K. No Oscar nominations but a hilarious supporting cast that includes Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino and Nick Offerman for In a World, a romantic comedy featuring rising star Lake Bell as a woman trying to make it big in the movie-trailer voiceover business. Our indie pick this week is Sunlight Jr., which tells the story of the relationship between a working class store clerk, played by Naomi Watts, and her wheelchair-bound boyfriend Matt Dillon.

SERIES: If you'd like to see what has been referred to as one of the greatest political dramas of all time, you should pick up the Danish series Borgen, season 3 of which arrives this week.

SUBTITLED: The Prey, the newest white knuckle thriller to come out of France, arrives this week and tells the story of a bank robber who must break out of prison before his former cellmate commits crimes against his family.

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Flick Picks 1/14/14: Lee Daniels' The Butler, Enough Said, Riddick, Carrie

New at the Library This Week on DVD!

ENTERTAINMENT: One of the most highly acclaimed films of 2013 comes to DVD this week in the Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey vehicle Lee Daniels' The Butler. The Butler uses the tale of the title character, who serves eight presidents over three decades, to tell its real story of how American society changed between the 1950s and the 1980s. It also features Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Shreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan. Also this week, the late James Gandolfini shines alongside Julia Louis Dreyfus in the romantic comedy Enough Said. If action is your cup of tea then you'll want to see Vin Diesel's latest addition to his Riddick saga, which features the title character fighting off bounty hunters and alien creatures on a deserted planet. Horror fans will want to check out the remake of Carrie, which features the always interesting Chloe Grace Moretz as the telekinetic teenager who you don't want at your prom.

The powerful Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film at the Sundance film festival as it follows a day in the life of a 22-year-old African American who ends up getting shot by officers at a subway station. If that film isn't disturbing enough for you then we also have Blue Caprice, telling the true story of the relationship between the two men who became the Beltway snipers, killing 10 people in 2002. Our indie pick this week is Short Term 12, which features Brie Larson as a supervisor at a home for troubled children who tries to get a young girl to open up.

SUBTITLED: The colorful Pedro Almodovar returns with I'm So Excited, a hilarious look at flight attendants who must deal with a mid-air emergency. Terraferma is about an elderly Italian fisherman who takes in a family of illegal North African immigrants. Two disparate stories - one set in Paris and one in Montreal - are connected by the subject of love in the dizzying Cafe de Flore. The Austrian Paradise: Hope tells the story of an overweight 13 year old who is sent to a diet camp and experiences first love.

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Flick Picks 1/7/14: Runner Runner, Thanks for Sharing, Top of the Lake

New on DVD at the library this week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Justin Timberlake continues to follow his acting muse while cinematic Renaissance man (and future Batman) Ben Affleck returns from behind the camera in Runner Runner. Runner Runner is a thriller set in the online gambling world that tells the story of a young grad student (Timberlake) who heads to Costa Rica to confront the man whom he believes has swindled him (Affleck), only to be brought into his organization and later recruited by the FBI. If you're looking for a romantic comedy-drama about sex addiction then we just might just have your number. Thanks for Sharing follows a number of characters in different phases of their addiction, including Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins. If anything, this film is an excuse for superhero fans to see The Hulk (Ruffalo) become romantically involved with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

A pair of British lawyers who happen to be ex-lovers are appointed to defend a suspected terrorist but are soon drawn into a much bigger conspiracy in the thriller Closed Circuit. Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciaran Hinds, Julia Stiles and Jim Broadbent are just the tip of the iceberg of this film's great cast. Also this week, Michael Caine is a Paris-based professor who becomes involved with a young dance instructor in the lightweight Last Love. Our indie pick is The Vicious Kind, which stars comedic actor Adam Scott in a more serious role than is typical of him. He plays a misanthrope who becomes attracted to his brother's new girlfriend when he meets her over Thanksgiving.

SERIES: The much anticipated Jane Campion written Sundance miniseries Top of the Lake follows a New Zealand detective (Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss) as she tries to figure out why a young girl from a small town has disappeared. Also this week are season 2 of both the BBC America historical drama Copper and the Showtime consulting firm comedy House of Lies.

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