Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Last Week:

Battle for Terra
Battle for Terra is a fantastic journey to worlds we have only dreamed of. It is a story of friendship, family, sacrifice and most importantly, the realization that our survival relies on our earth's precious natural resources.

Easy Virtue
John Whittaker is a young Englishman who falls madly in love with Larita, a sexy, glamorous American woman. The two impulsively decide to get married. He takes her home to meet his family where she arrives like a blast from the future. John's mother takes an instant disliking to Larita and undermines her every move. But Larita will blow their entrenched British stuffiness right out the window.

Small-town boy and counterfeiter Shawn MacArthur knows firsthand that every day in New York City is a struggle to survive. So when scam artist Harvey Boarden gives him a chance to be something more in the brutal underground world of bare-knuckle street-fighting, Shawn decides he has something worth fighting for and puts everything on the line to win.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Connor Mead is the kind of guy who dumps three girlfriends - at one time and by teleconference. So when he goes home to attend his brother's wedding, he has a singular goal in mind: score with the only bridesmaid he has somehow managed to miss. But the ghost of his departed Uncle Wayne - who taught him to love 'em and then leave 'em - has another goal in mind: restore Connor's lost faith in true love. This will be a tough assignment, one that will require many past girlfriends and the ghosts of his past, present and future.

Kramer vs. Kramer
A man deals with the problems of single parenthood when his wife leaves him and his son, and then the problems which arise when she returns and wants her son back.

True Blood
Based on the novels of Charlaine Harris, True Blood takes place in the not-too-distant future. It's been two years since the world got a shock it never expected: vampires came "out of the coffin" as a race. We suspected they always lived - and fed - amongst us, but now its official and the reaction across the board is: fear of change and fear of the unknown. And it doesn't seem to matter much that vamps now opt for finding nourishment from a bottled beverage made of synthetic plasma called "Tru Blood" rather than from humans.

Discover Tai Chi for Weight Loss
Increased strength, better balance, improved flexibility, and natural healthy weight loss can be yours as you return to organic principles of movement inspired by the martial art of Tai Chi. Feel exhilarated, not exhausted.

Tai Chi for Beginners
Features an energizing Qi Gong practice, plus a stress-relieving Tai Chi practice to enhance flexibility and promote wellness.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New to the library:

We have 2 new titles this week:

Next Day Air
A deliveryman who is delivering packages while being high on weed accidentally deliverers a package containing 10 bricks of high quality cocaine to the wrong apartment number. Two smalltime hoods open the box and find a gift from heaven. This accidental delivery sets in motion a desperate search and battle for the coke between the furious dealer that sent it, the fearful intended recipients that missed it, and the conniving accidental recipients that plan to flip it. Time is running out and everyone's trying to get their hands on the package that's been sent.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
This film gives the audience a solid back story to the character's mutation, his code name, and his lifelong pledge of solitude. There's plenty of action to gorge on too, along with a few surprises for die-hard fans.

We also added some oldies but goodies. If you’ve already seen them—watch them again, they’re still fun. All of them are films based on classic fiction.

Clueless—1995 (Emma)
Alicia Silverstone stars in this 1995 teen comedy hit, an adaptation of "Emma", but this time, the heroine is a Beverly Hills teen named Cher who hangs out with her best friend Dionne. There's a sweet nature to the film that most of the newer teen films that have been released in the past couple of years can't seem to come up with. It's that sweetness that makes Silverstone's self-absorbed teen sympathetic and enjoyable.

Forbidden Planet--1956 (The Tempest)
The far-off star Altair-IV, occupied by two lone inhabitants and Robby the Robot, is visited by a search party from Earth. The studio’s goal was “to inspire a sense of awe and wonder … [It] has proven to be one of the most enduring and influential films the genre has produced.”—DVDtalk.com

O--2001 (Othello)
In this modern version of Shakespeare's 'Othello', Odin James is the black star of the basketball team at an otherwise white boarding school. He is headed for big time with his sport and is in love with Desi, the most popular girl in school. Meanwhile, Hugo is the coach's son, but he is outshone on court by Odin, and his father says he thinks of Odin as a son as well. Hugo's feelings of envy and neglect lead him to construct a plot to make Odin doubt Desi's love for him, a plot which Hugo is willing to take to its most extreme consequences.

Ran—1985 (Japanese) (King Lear)
An aging warlord decides to split his kingdom between his three sons, who will live in three separate castles. The two eldest sons are quite happy, but the youngest thinks his father has gone mad, and predicts that it won't be long until the two older brothers are fighting with each other. “Ran is a great, glorious achievement.”—Roger Ebert

Roxanne--1987 (Cyrano de Bergerac)
This is a gentle, whimsical comedy starring Steve Martin as a man who knows he has the love of the whole town, because he is such a nice guy, but fears he will never have the love of a woman, because his nose is too big.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New to the library:

Crank 2: High Voltage
“He was dead...But he got better” Chev Chelios returns to track down a ruthless Chinese mobster who has stolen his most prized possession: his heart. As he hunts down his enemy in Los Angeles, his battery-operated ticker requires regular jolts of electricity in order to work. Chev is determined to get his real heart back and wreak vengeance on whoever stole it. With Jason Statham.

Horatio Hornblower
Follows the adventures of British Naval hero Horatio Hornblower as he climbs from midshipman to commander during the Napoleonic Wars. “A fine collection of rousing, swashbuckling action stories of heroism, duty, and sacrifice, these stories will satisfy those looking for adventure and attention to historical detail.”—dvdverdict.com

In Treatment
Paul is a therapist who exhibits great insight and confidence when treating his patients. But Paul suffers crippling insecurities and is counseled by his own therapist, Gina. Adding to his list of growing concerns is his wife, Kate, who is overcome with feelings of neglect and resents competing for his attention. Paul's patients undergoing treatment include: a young doctor who is in love with Paul; a Navy pilot who is reevaluating his life after a failed mission in Iraq; a teenage gymnast with suicidal tendencies; and a passionate couple who are troubled in all other areas of their lives. “This is a fascinating and superbly crafted program that deserves recognition.”—dvdverdict.com

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The film follows Mma Ramotste as she sets up the only woman-run Private Detective Agency in Botswana and her attempts to get it off the ground. She gets help from Mma Makutsi, her new secretary, and Mr. JLB Matekoni, the owner and super mechanic of the wonderful Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotste takes on cases and meets many new people who need her help: from a woman who thinks the man who has turned up at her door is not her father, to another lady who has a boyfriend who may or may not be faithful to her. I, Julie Stump, say that this was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in ages! Based on the novel of the same name by Alexander McCall Smith, it was charming, entertaining, engaging and completely enjoyable! The landscapes were spectacular as was the acting. Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were both involved in the film but died during filming. They did themselves proud though, this is a superb piece of filmmaking!

Reilly Ace of Spies
At the turn of the 20th century, one remarkable man single-handedly tried to alter the course of history. Sidney Reilly was a Russian-born British agent who radically transformed modern espionage techniques and set the mold for the super spy. From one heart-pulsing mission after another, from stealing top-secret Russian oil information to a near overthrow of the Bolshevik Revolution to his final capture by Stalin's forces in 1918, Reilly's exploits are at times so daring, it's hard to believe they are actual history. “…viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as the deft crime solver undertakes some jaw dropping feats of bravery during his missions. The original inspiration for the James Bond character, REILLY: ACE OF SPIES is a glowing testament to one of the all-time great spies.”—cduniverse.com

Miguel 'Sugar' Santos is a talented Dominican baseball player who longs to break into the American big league and earn the money needed to support his impoverished family. He is a talented pitcher who might just have what it takes to earn a prized spot on a Major League Baseball team. Before that happens he'll have to prove his worth in the minor leagues. Advancing in baseball's minor league system at the tender age of 19, Miguel is warmly welcomed into the small-town Iowa home of his host family. He struggles with language and cultural barriers despite the kindness of strangers. He is forced to reevaluate his life's ambition after his once-trusty arm becomes unreliable. The previously single-minded pitcher gradually begins to question both the world he lives in and the role he has chosen to play in it. “This is a wonderful film.”—Roger Ebert

Sick Around America
In the United States, more than 2.5 million people lost their jobs last year. Along with losing their livelihood, they lost their health insurance. As the economy continues to spiral downward, the new administration promises to deliver comprehensive health care reform. This film investigates the failures and future of the private insurance industry, examining the best and worst of U.S. healthcare by telling the gripping and sometimes tragic stories of ordinary Americans. As the national debate intensifies, the program lays bare the flaws in the system and examines the critical choices Americans face in changing a system that all sides agree needs a fundamental overhaul.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New to the library:

Brian is a mattress salesman who gets swept up into a romance with Harriet when she falls asleep on one of the beds in his store. To win her over, he must compete with her father, an art-collecting loudmouth with a bad back and deep pockets.

Goodbye Solo
On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol' boy with a lifetime of regrets. Solo's American dream is just beginning, while William's is quickly winding down. Despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit.

Los Angeles, 1980s. Centers on an array of characters who represent both the top of the heap - a Hollywood dream merchant, a dissolute rock star, an aging newscaster - and the very bottom (a voyeuristic doorman, an amoral ex-con). Connecting the intertwining strands are a group of beautiful, blonde young men and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs and one another with total abandon. They don't realize that they are dancing on the edge of a volcano.

Derek Charles is a successful asset manager who works for a small company. He has a beautiful wife, a wonderful marriage, and because of his hard work has just received a huge promotion. When an attractive temporary worker, who is both sexy and smart, gets hired, he finds himself physically drawn to her and everything he has worked so hard for is placed in jeopardy. She is desperate to get close to Derek and begins stalking him.

Rudo y Cursi
From the rural banana plantation where they play soccer for the village team to the big city stadiums, two brothers have become rivals and battle each other on opposing sides. When a talent scout gets stranded in their tiny town, brothers Beto and Tato are discovered. They are whisked away to Mexico City to play for the big leagues where they quickly achieve fame. Beto is nicknamed 'Rudo' for his hotheaded goalkeeper style and Tato is called 'Cursi' for his peculiar scoring technique. Success leads to excess. Rudo descends into a quagmire of gambling debt and drug abuse. Cursi is distracted by beautiful women and a second career as a pop singer. Having come so far, will the siblings remember their original goal to build a home for their mother?

Sin Nombre
Sayra is a beautiful young Honduran woman who joins her father and uncle on an odyssey to cross the gauntlet of the Latin American countryside en route to the United States. Along the way she crosses paths with El Casper, a teenage Mexican gang member, who is maneuvering to outrun his violent past and elude his unforgiving former associates.

State of Play
When D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey is assigned to investigate the murder of an assistant to an up-and-coming politician, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the nation's power structures. In a town of spin-doctors and wealthy power brokers, he will discover one truth: when fortunes are at stake, no one's integrity, love, or life is safe.

Unknown Woman
Irena is a mysterious Ukrainian woman with a secret who works her way into the lives of an Italian, affluent young family. She stops at nothing to become the couple's trusted maid and beloved nanny to their fragile young daughter. But deep cracks underneath Irena's dedication soon become apparent as her horrific past and chilling obsession are revealed.

Pandas in the Wild
Only about 1,600 Giant Pandas survive in the wild with 200 to 300 in China's mist-shrouded Quinling Mountains, which extend for thousands of miles and where few people gain permission to enter. Pandas in the wild captures the loving warmth between a mother panda and her newborn, the fierce competition among male pandas fighting for females as spring approaches and the harsh struggles pandas endure to survive the snow-buried winter. It's a journey into a remote and exotic locale and an up-close look at the secret lives of these rare mammals--an intimate portrait of one of the world's most treasured animals. Smithsonian Networks captures the panda in its natural habitat for the first time, behaving in ways you won't see at the zoo.

Drywall: Hanging and Taping
Watch veteran drywaller Myron Ferguson at work and learn all the tricks and techniques he uses to create smooth, unblemished walls and ceilings.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I've been watching: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Blow-Up, I Love You, Man, Soloist

Confessions of a Shopaholic
This is the story of a young woman journalist with a serious shopping problem. Instead of landing a job at a fashion magazine, she ends up working for a finance magazine, & surprise, surprise, she’s a huge success. I enjoyed this movie but it never ceases to amaze me that films can make you buy into the most unbelievable of plots.

Made in 1966, this was director Antonioni’s first non-Italian film and it is a great one. It’s very quiet: there is only music when necessary; it’s a bit stream-of-consciousness: we follow the photographer around not knowing what his intentions are but, it appears that he witnessed a murder. It’s an unusual film, very arty and very 1960’s mod-London. It is a classic and a definite must-see. Antonioni is a master at drawing you in to his films.

I Love You, Man

I’ve heard this called the funniest picture of the year. It may be…it was pretty funny. The story is: a man is in search of a friend. Paul Rudd’s hilarious as the totally stiff, out-of-date guy. It’s a lot of fun!

True story from a reporter who wrote a series of articles on a homeless man who was a Julliard trained cellist. I was pleased that they didn’t make this too sentimental, but it was also not very inspirational. It did give you an eye-opening look at the plight of the homeless. Downey and Foxx give great performances.