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Flick Picks 12/23/2014: The Trip to Italy, The Equalizer

New on DVD at the Library This Week
It's the end of the year so the new releases are sparse, though the studios certainly saved some good ones for last.

Release date 12/23/14:

ENTERTAINMENT: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's gutbusting impression showcase (disguised as a restaurant tour) The Trip has its sequel arriving this week in The Trip to Italy. Michael Winterbottom is back behind the camera. Based on a true story, the funny and uplifting Pride tells the story of British gay and lesbian activists who raised money to support striking mine workers in a tiny Welsh town in the 1980s. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine star. Juliette Binoche is a war photographer whose husband asks her to quit the job that gives her life meaning in 1,000 Times Goodnight.

Release date 12/30/14:

ENTERTAINMENT: Denzel Washington stars in a violent new reboot of the 1980s TV series The Equalizer, as a man with a mysterious past who must help a young prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) escape Russian gangsters. Antoine Fuqua, the director of Training Day, takes the reins. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Elsa & Fred brings us Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine as two people who discover love late in their life. The indie Kelly & Cal features Juliette Lewis as a former rock musician who moves to the suburbs and bonds with the 17-year old boy who lives next door.

SERIES: Season 4 of Chicago-based William Macy series Shameless and season 2 of Amish country action show Banshee arrive this week.

Some Gems From 2014
If you're looking for a great film that fell outside of the mainstream last year, check out this list. All of these films were smart, entertaining and worth your while, despite possibly being overlooked when browsing for blockbusters. Take some of these for a look at some of the best that 2014 had to offer!

Alan Partridge - A hilarious big screen look at Steve Coogan's arrogant television (now radio) host.
The Armstrong Lie - A documentary that began filming before Lance Armstrong was busted for drug use and wrapped up after Armstrong came clean.
Blue Ruin - An unlikely hero goes out for vengeance when a killer is released from prison. Dark but surprisingly humorous in parts.
Casting By - Some of the unsung heroes of Hollywood - the casting directors - are profiled, with contributions from many Hollywood stars.
Enemy - Bizarre but entertaining little film about professor Jake Gyllenhaal stumbling across his doppelganger.
Fruitvale Station - Powerful dramatization of the last day of a former convict's life, as he heads towards a conflict with transit police in San Francisco that will leave him dead.
The Great Beauty - It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film but I've heard from people who were not entertained by its dreamlike celebration of Rome. I would have been happy if it had gone on for another two hours.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Anyone interested in film from the 1960s - 1980s should enjoy this documentary.
The Hunt - A devastating look at what a false accusation does to a close-knit community.
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete - Both charming and devastating story of two boys left alone for a summer in the big city.
Let The Fire Burn - The 1985 conflict between Philadelphia police and MOVE that resulted in 11 deaths and the destruction of 61 homes, told through archive footage.
Our Nixon - Newly released home movies trace Richard Nixon from his election to his fall.
16 Acres - Fascinating documentary about the challenges faced by attempting to rebuild on the World Trade Center site.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali - A strong look at racism, religion and Muhammad Ali's attempt to avoid prison while avoiding the Vietnam draft.
Under the Skin - Gorgeous, hypnotic film about an alien's journey through a world she doesn't know.
The Unknown Known - An interview with Donald Rumsfeld that has been criticized for not revealing enough but which is worth watching for what it does show.

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