Flick Picks 5/21/13: Stand Up Guys, Side Effects, Parker, The Last Stand

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT: An all-star cast featuring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin makes the caper comedy Stand Up Guys a movie that you'll want to see just for the performances. In Stand Up Guys, three aging thieves get together for one last job though one of them may have to betray one of the others. Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects is another critically acclaimed film from this eclectic director. It stars Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara as a successful couple whose world starts to turn upside down when they experience side effects from the new drug that their psychiatrist (Jude Law) has prescribed.

You've got your choice of action flicks this week. The Last Stand brings governor Ah-nold back to the silver screen in the tale of a sheriff in a tiny Arizona town who must protect try to stop a Mexican drug kingpin who is headed right towards him. A group of misfits including Johnny Knoxville are around to give him a hand. Also, Donald Westlake's professional thief Parker (written under the pen name Richard Stark) comes to your living room as portrayed by action star Jason Stratham. After being double-crossed and left for dead, Parker teams with Jennifer Lopez to track down the team that betrayed him.

Fans of Twilight, True Blood and other paranormal indulgences will want to see Beautiful Creatures, an adaptation of a best-selling young adult novel. A young woman with strange powers arrives in a small town and becomes involved with a young man who is anxious to leave. Finally, Glee star Chris Colfer wrote and stars in Struck by Lightning, the story of a young man who recounts the last few weeks of his high school life after he is killed by a bolt of lightning. This high school comedy is about seizing the day (and getting revenge on the popular kids!)

SERIES: Sookie, Bill and the rest of the gang of supernatural denizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana return for a fifth season of HBO's True Blood. We've also got two new subtitled series for all of you mystery fans to check out. The French Blood of the Vine follows the adventures of an internationally known wine expert who is recruited to help investigate various crimes in the country's wine regions. Set the years 1938 to 1948 (from the height of Fascist power to post-World War II Italy), Detective De Luca gives us the title character who investigates crimes in Bologna and along the Adriatic coast and riles whomever happens to be in power.

SUBTITLED: Yossi is the sequel to the 2003 hit Israeli film Yossi and Jagger about the love between two men in the Israeli Defense Forces. This film follows Yossi's life as a closeted gay man in Tel Aviv in the years after Jagger's death. The Brazilian Neighbouring Sounds tackles class conflict in urban areas as a wealthy community hires a private security firm following a string of thefts.

DOCUMENTARIES: The PBS American Masters presentation of Mel Brooks: Make a Noise features interviews with Brooks as well as friends Matthew Broderick, Joan Rivers, Carl Reiner and more as it covers his career as well as his personal peaks and valleys.

You can find all of our new and upcoming releases in Bibliocommons.

Films for Memorial Day

If you're looking to pay tribute to those who gave their lives defending this country then we've got some excellent suggestions. The best war films are both provocative and entertaining with truth always peeking through. The films on the list below capture these qualities.

  • Directed by Clint Eastwood, Flags of Our Fathers recounts the Battle of Iwo Jima and features a cameo from the Glencoe Metra station.
  • Steven Spieberg's Saving Private Ryan is set during the Normandy invasion and follows a group of soldiers who are trying to rescue a paratrooper who is the last surviving sibling of a group of four.
  • The Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1986 was Oliver Stone's Platoon, which is a brutal look at the realities of Vietnam.
  • The Messenger tells the story of two Army officers who have the job of telling civilians when a loved one has died in combat.
  • The thrilling Black Hawk Down captures the intensity of combat in the retelling of the true story of a desperate battle in the streets of Somalia.
  • Three World War II veterans return to very different lives at home in Best Years of Our Lives.
  • One of the greatest films about returning to civilian life is All Quiet on the Western Front, though it's told from the perspective of post World War I Germans, rather than Americans.
  • One of the great films about the absurdity of war is Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory.

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