Thursday, December 23, 2010

New this week:

Citizen X (1995)
This acclaimed drama, starring Irish actor Stephen Rea, tells the true story of one Soviet policeman's crusasde to capture a serial killer. But Detective Burakov has a problem: according to the government bureaucrats, communist Russia doesn't spawn such murderers -- that distinction belongs solely to the capitalist west. So they hinder every one of Burakov's efforts, which include contacting FBI experts who have worked extensively on such cases. Meanwhile, even as the frustrated detective continues to fight the entrenched powers, victims -- often youngsters -- continue to die...

Harper (1966)
Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband. “Lew Harper is a private eye in the best tradition of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, and the story could easily have been written by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. Paul Newman is perfect for the role: he plays his cards close to the chest and has a way of exuding toughness and vulnerability at the same time.”—At-a-glance film reviews.

Kids are All Right
Nic and Jules are in a long term, committed, loving but by no means perfect relationship. Nic, a physician, needs to wield what she believes is control, whereas Jules, under that control, is less self-assured. They have two teen-aged children, Joni, who is Nic's biological child, and Laser, who is Jules' biological child. A big-hearted, sexy and uproariously funny movie that combines comedic surprise with poignant emotional truth.

Night Moves (1975)
A self-styled detective scrounging a living out of divorce actions, missing persons, and runaway kids finally gets his first big case. Unraveling his mystery, he's always one step behind. “Night Moves is one of the best psychological thrillers in a long time… It has an ending that comes not only as a complete surprise -- which would be easy enough -- but that also pulls everything together in a new way, one we hadn't thought of before, one that's almost unbearably poignant.”—Roger Ebert

Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend, a sumptuous six-hour adaption of Charles Dickens' last novel, easily establishes itself among the very best of the long-form British adaptations. Visually stunning, with an opulent budget, no other series more accurately captures the feeling of Dickens' England, from the waterfront sets to the huge ensemble cast of oddballs, scum, slime, and heroes.”—

As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Her efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues.

The Town
Doug MacRay, leader of a Boston bank robber gang, decides he wants to leave town and the life of crime behind when he falls in love with the bank manager briefly taken hostage in their last heist, but he finds the choices he has to make more difficult than he imagined.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Following a lengthy prison term, Gordon Gekko finds himself on the outside looking in at a world he once commanded. Hoping to repair his relationship with his daughter, Winnie, Gekko forges an alliance with her fiance, Jake. But Winnie and Jake learn the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator who will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place at the top of Wall Street.

Returns with Wallander in the next set of thrilling tales set in the beautiful landscape of southern Sweden. These stories follow Kurt Wallander, a sensitive but brilliant detective, a man who takes each murder case he works on personally and will stop at nothing in his search for the truth, even at the expense of his health and his family life. Beautifully filmed, Wallander is a compelling series featuring an extremely likeable and entirely believable character and bold, powerful stories. Includes the titles: Faceless killer -- The man who smiled -- The fifth woman.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New this week:

Mademoiselle Chambon (French)
Jean is a burly and happily married housing contractor. One fateful afternoon, he picks up his son from school and meets the teacher, a willowy beauty named Mademoiselle Chambon. Their flirtation slowly builds over lingering glances and an impromptu violin solo in Chambon's apartment. Jean soon comes to a crossroads, having to choose between the intensity of his bond with Chambon or the responsibility and care he feels for his wife and child.

You may have noticed the name of the blog has changed to Film Beat. We did this to match the blog with the film articles I write for the Bookworm. Don't let this name change fool you--it's still the same Voorheesville Library movie blog!

Friday, December 10, 2010

New this week:

A Dog Year
Jon Katz is a writer at a mid-life crossroads who decides to adopt and train a high-strung border collie named Devon, only to discover it's he himself who has the real lessons to learn. Based on a true story.

The Twilight Saga. Eclipse
It all begins with a choice. In the third chapter of Stephanie Meyer's phenomenal Twilight series, Bella Swan is surrounded by danger as Seattle is hit by a string of murders and an evil vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, Bella is forced to choose between her love, Edward Cullen, and her friend, Jacob Black, knowing that her decision may ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf.

Dom Cobb is the best there is at extraction; stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the minds’ vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage, but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly. Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible; inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one. If they succeed, Cobb and his team could pull off the perfect crime.

The Lightkeepers
The year is 1912. Vowing to swear off women for good, curmudgeonly Seth Atkins takes refuge tending a remote Cape Cod lighthouse. Then, a mysterious stranger literally washes up in Seth's life, with a past full of secrets and a similar aversion to females. But the arrival of two beautiful, spirited women will test the men's resolve, and send all four of them sailing into uncharted romantic waters!

My Family and Other Animals
When the dreary English weather of 1935 gets to be too much for the eccentric Durrell family, they set off for the rustic, sun-drenched Greek island of Corfu, and the unknown. Based on on Gerald Durrell's childhood memoir.

What About Bob?
Bob Wiley, a troubled but lovable therapy patient, seeks help from noted psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin. When the doctor leaves town to go on a quiet family vacation, Bob, afraid of being alone, follows--showing up unexpectedly at the therapist's lakeside retreat. Bob becomes the houseguest that just won't leave.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New this week:

Going the Distance
Erin's wry wit and unfiltered frankness charms newly single Garrett over beer, bar trivia and breakfast the next morning. Their chemistry sparks a full-fledged summer fling, but neither expects it to last once Erin heads home to San Francisco and Garrett stays behind for his job in New York City. But when six weeks of romping through the city inadvertently become meaningful, neither is sure they want it to end.

Handful of Dust
Tony and Brenda Last and their son, John Andrew, live an idyllic life in the huge Victorian house that is the symbol of Tony's family pride. The chance arrival of a penniless scrounger irrevocably shatters the gentle balance of their lives.

Lover Come Back
Madison Avenue is the hard-hit target in this satiric comedy. Hudson and Day are rival advertising account executives competing for the right to represent VIP, a product Hudson dreams up and Day doesn't know is nonexistent.

Pickwick Papers
The high-spirited work of a young Dickens, The Pickwick Papers is the remarkable first novel that made its author famous and that has remained one of the best-known books in the world. In it the inimitable Samuel Pickwick, his well-fed body and unsinkable good spirits clad in tights and gaiters, sallies forth through the noisy streets of London and into the colorful country inns of rural England for a series of sparkling encounters with love and misadventure. From the wit of cockney bootblack Sam Weller to the unforgettable Fat Boy and rascals like the amorous Mr. Jingle and the unscrupulous lawyers Dodson and Fogg, The Pickwick Papers reels with joyous fantasy, infectious good humor, and a touch of the macabre--a classic work that G. K. Chesterton called "the great example of everything that made Dickens great... [a] supreme masterpiece."

Pillow Talk
A carefree bachelor and a carefree career girl share a party line over which they develop an intense dislike for one another. But when Brad eventually matches Jan's voice to her face and figure, the events that follow give a new meaning to the phrase "All's fair in love and war".

Send Me No Flowers
When he overhears a doctor discussing the imminent death of a patient, hypochondriac George believes the doctor is referring to him. Convinced he's living on borrowed time, he enlists his best friend Arnold to help him find a new husband for his soon-to-be-widowed wife Judy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Documentary Films at Voorheesville Public Library

The High School had an assignment to watch a documentary. Here is our response:
The Adirondacks (2008)
American Blackout (2006)
Examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence political dissent.
Anvil (2009) (***I've seen this one and it's really good)
Musical journey of Canadian band, Anvil, from 1980s to present
Babies (2010) (Fantastic!!!)
Follows 4 babies from around the globe
Bowling for Columbine (2003)
Gun control – Michael Moore
Broadway, the Golden Age: By the Legends Who Were There (2004)
History of NY Broadway Theatre
Capitalism (2009)
Michael Moore investigates capitalistic greed.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Justice, family and truth about a “typical” Long Island family
The Cartoonist (2009)
Jeff Smith and Bone
Children Underground (2002)
Documents a year in lives of 5 Romanian homeless children
Control Room (2004)
Iraq War
The Corporation (2005)
Michael Moore’s take on global conglomerates
The Cove (2009)
Follows animal rights activist Richard O’Barry
Crude (2009)
Legal drama set against environmentalism.
Deadline (2004)
Death penalty and clemency in Illinois
Death by Design (2005)
Microbiology – invisible world of cells
The Devil Came on Horseback (2007)
Darfur through an American witness
Emmanuel’s Gift (2006)
A deformed young man brings political and social change to Ghana.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006) Corporate greed
Every Little Step (2009)
Auditions for revival of “A Chorus Line”
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Michael Moore’s take on 9/11
The Farm (1998)
Louisiana State Penitentiary
The Fog of War (2003)
Robert McNamara and Vietnam War
Food, Inc. (2009)
What we eat and how it’s produced
The Forgetting (2004)
Alzheimer’s disease with David Hyde Pierce
Genghis Blues (2000) (***another personal favorite)
Russian Folk Music
Girlhood (2004)
Two coming-of-age stories of 2 girls from Baltimore’s juvenile justice system
Gonzo (2008)
Hunter S. Thompson
Harvard beats Yale 29-29 (2009)
Legendary football game
Henson’s Place (20100
Creative genius of Jim Henson and his muppets
Herb and Dorothy (2009) (***don't miss this one--it's great!)
Contemporary art collectors
Heroes of Iwo Jima (2001)
Battle of Iwo Jima and Marines who raised US flag
The Hunting of the President (2004)
Effort to discredit Bill Clinton
Imaginary Witness (2009)
American film and television industry’s response to WWII
In the Shadow of the Moon (2008)
NASA astronauts that walked on the moon
Into Great Silence (2007)
Monastery in the French Alps
It Might Get Loud (2008)
3 generations of electric guitar players
Jesus Camp (2006)
Born-again Christian children are recruited for political future
Lost Boys of Sudan (2004)
Sudanese orphans coping in USA
Lost in La Mancha (2001) (***another personal favorite)
Tracks the making of director terry Gilliams’ mission to film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”
Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) (this one was lots of fun)
Ballroom dancing for public school kids
Man on Wire (2008)
Philippe Petit; World Trade Center; tight-rope walker
March of the Penguins (2005)
Meerkat Manor (2008)
Mondovino (2004)
Globalization of the world’s wine regions.
More Than a Game (2010)
5 future NBA stars rewrite Ohio basketball history
A Mother’s Courage (2010)
Mur (The Wall) (2005)
The wall of separation between Israel and Palestinian territory
Murder on a Sunday Morning (2003)
15-year-old black male arrested for murder
Murderball (2005)
Quadriplegic rugby players
Muse of Fire (2007)
Operation homecoming; writing the wartime experience
My Architect (2004)
Louis Kahn and his families
Nanking (2007)
Japanese invasion of Nanking, china in early days of WWII
Of Time and City (2008)
Poignant memoir of Liverpool, England
One Bright Shining Moment (2004)
Summer of George McGovern-1972
Pandas in the Wild (2009)
The Rape of Europa (2007)
Saving the art masterpieces of Europe during WWII
Religulous (2009)
Questions about God and religion
Resolved (2009)
A quest to win the National Tournament of Champions
Return with Honor (2001)
Vietnam POWs
Rhino Rescue (2009)
Rivers and Tides (2004)
Artist who works from nature
Ryan (2005)
Hand-animated; explores life of Canadian animator Ryan Larkin
The September Issue (2010)
Vogue magazine
Shanghai Ghetto (2005)
Thousands of Jews escape Nazis to china during WWII
Shakespeare Behind Bars (2006)
Convicted felons put on “The Tempest”
Shut Up and Sing (2006)
Dixie Chicks’ anti-Bush comment and following consequences questions our right to freedom of speech. Sicko (2007)
Michael Moore’s take on US healthcare system
Sir! No Sir! (2006)
Rebellion of soldiers during Vietnam War
The Sixties (2005)
Spellbound (2002)
1999 National Spelling Bee
Step into Liquid (2003)
Stevie (2002)
Follows a troubled young man from rural southern Illinois
This Film is Not Rated (2006)
Secretive MPAA ratings
This is It! (2010)
Michael Jackson
This So-called Disaster (2004)
Sam Shepard play creates tensions between actors.
To Be and To Have (2004)
Devoted teacher
The US vs. John Lennon (2007)
Political activism of John Lennon
Valentino (2009)
World of fashion
The War Tapes (2007)
Iraq; National Guard
The Way We Get By (2009)
3 WWII vets greet and send off troops to Iraq
What I Want My Words to Do to You (2004)
Women inmates of a NY prison
When the Levees Broke (2006)
Hurricane Katrina
Who Killed the Electric Car (2006)
Renewable energy
Why we Fight? (2006)
Political divide in US regarding war/Iraq
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005)
Winged Migration (2003) (surprisingly enough this was quite interesting--not boring at all!)
Wordplay (2006)
Will Shortz and crossword puzzles
Young @ Heart (2008) (another one not to miss--it's great!)
Young at Heart chorus of Northampton, MA.; average age is 81.

This list does not include PBS series.