Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 5/27/14: The Bridge season 1, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries season 2

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: Colin Firth recruits Cameron Diaz to help steal a valuable statue from Alan Rickman in this comedic remake of the 1966 crime flick Gambit. You may or may not be surprised to hear that it does not all proceed smoothly. The film is also a rarity in that it was scripted but not directed by the Coen Brothers. A coming-of-age film is viewed through a birder's binoculars in A Birder's Guide to Everything, in which a group of teenage friends hunt for a rare bird on the eve of one of their father's remarriage. Ben Kingsley shows up as their birder mentor. Former SNL'er Will Forte made a big impression in Nebraska and he's back in another semi-serious role in Run and Jump. Forte plays a neurologist who becomes involved with a family while studying the father's frustrating recovery from frontal lobe damage.

SERIES: The eagerly anticipated Danish series The Bridge finally arrives, following Danish and Swedish police who must work together to track a killer who has left a single corpse composed of two separate body halves. Another popular Scandinavian thriller arrives this week in the third season of Wallander (not the English language Kenneth Branagh version), which is composed of six episodes featuring Henning Mankell's veteran detective.

We also have imports from Australia in season 2 of the noirish Guy Pearce series Jack Irish and season 2 of the charming Jazz Age Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The USA (both country and network) is also represented with season 4 of spy thriller Covert Affairs and season 3 of snappy lawyer show Suits.

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Flick Picks 5/20/14: Monuments Men, 3 Days to Kill, Pompeii

New this week on DVD at the library

ENTERTAINMENT: This week's Flick Picks stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin...and unbelievably all in the same movie! Monuments Men tells the true story of soldiers in World War II tasked with finding invaluable works of art and returning them to their rightful owners before they are destroyed. Clooney directed the film and we've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, Kevin Costner is a spy trying to retire settle down to a quiet, normal family life when he is pulled into one last job in the tense thriller 3 Days to Kill. It was directed by action specialist McG (the Charlie's Angels movies) and produced by Luc Besson.

Thrills, destruction and romance are the name of the game in Pompeii, in which former slave and current gladiator Kit Harington (of Game of Thrones) must save his love before his town is smothered in lava. Grand Piano is a tense little thriller that received excellent reviews and features Elijah Wood as a stage fright-plagued pianist who is threatened by a sniper during his return to public performance. Elizabeth Olsen might be the hottest actress in film these days and in the adaptation of In Secret, an adaptation of Emile Zola's Therese Raquin, she plays a woman who escapes her dead end life by launching an affair, only to have it all end badly. Jessica Lange also helps fill the screen in this gothic romance.

SERIES: The BBC's post-war drama Call the Midwife returns for a third season.

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Flick Picks 5/13/14: Her, Orange is the New Black

New on DVD at the library this week

ENTERTAINMENT: There are many terms that people use to label director Spike Jonze's work in film: visionary, original and genius are a few. Most importantly for a moviegoer, Jonze's films like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are can be called entertaining. His latest cinematic venture Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as a shy writer who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Ultimately, once you get beyond its strange premise the film is a sweet love story. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

SERIES: The made-for-Netflix series Orange is the New Black is loosely based on the women's prison memoir of the same name and has been hailed as one of the most entertaining series in recent years. Also this week we've got season 4 of the rude and crude Danny McBride series Eastbound and Down and season 2 of the adventures of Wyoming sheriff Longmire.

DOCUMENTARIES: Another visionary director, Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), gives us Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?, an animated version of a series of conversations with Noam Chomsky. Animation allows Gondry to help explain some of Chomsky's more complex ideas about the emergence of language. Also this week, in 2009 Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen co-starred in a hit West End production of Waiting for Godot. The candid Theatreland brings us the entire process of this play's creation, from planning to production.

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Flick Picks 5/6/04: The Veronica Mars Movie, The Art of the Steal

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: The fans were begging for more Veronica Mars and now they've got it! Kristin Bell's modern-day Nancy Drew made the move from the TV to the big screen in 2014 thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $6 million from eager devotees. Fortunately, The Veronica Mars Movie also serves as an excellent introduction for new fans, as it returns young sleuth Veronica to her high school reunion where she must help her former boyfriend Logan to extract himself from a murder charge. If you feel the need to get caught up on the TV series on which the movie was based we also have it as part of our collection. Also this week, Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Terence Stamp team up in the fun and funny caper flick The Art of the Steal, in which Russell plays a motorcyclist/thief who is brought back in for one last job. Things go wrong.

SERIES: Republic of Doyle is a new lightweight crime show based in seaside Newfoundland that features a rule-breaking detective and his ex-cop father.

SUBTITLED: Simon and the Oaks is the moving drama about the relationship between two families - one working class and one wealthy and Jewish - in Germany during and after World War II. Also, originally screened as a German miniseries, Generation War brings together five young friends who are forced to deal with the consequences of Hitler's ascendance in different ways.

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