Friday, July 29, 2011

New this week:

Are You Being Served? The Movie. (1977)
The staff of Grace Brothers is sent on a European holiday, while the store is being remodeled. Based on the BBC television series of the same name.

Life During Wartime
With her ex-husband Bill a convicted pedophile and in jail, Trish is happy to remarry and provide a normal father figure for her two sons, but when Bill is released, Trish and the boys must decide whether or not to forgive him.

Mao’s Last Dancer
Based on an inspiring true story, this emotionally powerful crowd-pleaser emerged as one of the year's most talked-about independent films. It's the fascinating and epic tale of Li Cunxin, a peasant boy from rural China who beats impossible odds to become a world-renowned ballet dancer. Through breathtaking talent and sheer determination, Li makes his way to the United States; but when he falls in love with an American woman, he must risk everything to remain in the land of the free.

My Dog Tulip
The story of a man who rescues a German shepherd and how the two become fast friends. “Cordially constructed, witty, and surprisingly insightful, "My Dog Tulip" is an odd picture, but one of immense personality, seizing a tone of companionship that's honest and real. It's a film that drops the coos and the sweetness to present dogs as they typically stand: filled with barks, waste matter, and protection for their beloved masters.”—DVD Talk

Small Act
When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She never imagined her quarterly donation of $15 would pave the way for Chris Mburu's journey to Harvard Law School. Years later, Chris has become a United Nations human rights lawyer working to combat genocide and discrimination. He decides to seek out the stranger who dramatically transformed his life and is astonished to learn his benefactor, Hilde, is a Holocaust survivor.

Source Code
When Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he's part of an experimental government program called the 'Source Code' that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last eight minutes of his life. Armed with the task of identifying the bomber of a Chicago commuter train, Colter must relive the incident over and over again, gathering clues until he can solve the mystery and prevent an even deadlier second terrorist attack.

300 Spartans (1962)
[The] true story of how Spartan king Leonidas led an extremely small army of Greek Soldiers (300 of them his personal body guards from Sparta) to hold off an invading Persian army now thought to have numbered 250,000. The actual heroism of those who stood (and ultimately died) with Leonidas helped shape the course of Western Civilization, allowing the Greek city states time to organize an army which repelled the Persians. Set in 480 BC.

When a young girl is assaulted by an older man she meets on the Internet, her family's bonds are ripped apart as her father searches across the country in an effort to track down her attacker and exact revenge.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Donations added to the collection:

(Yes, we always take donated DVDs. If we want them, we keep them for the collection. If we don't want them they go to the booksale. Just bring them to the Reference desk. We take CDs too!)

Beat the Devil
1953. Directed by John Huston. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollabrigida and Peter Lorre. Screenplay by Truman Capote.
Beat the Devil is a witty, dry-humored, and well-plotted spoof of the classic capers popular at the time. The film, written by famed author Truman Capote, is centered on a group of four crooks, all of whom are traveling to Africa under the guise of selling vacuum cleaners. Their true motivation for the trip is to get rich off uranium by smuggling it out of East Africa.

1999. Directed by Jon Amiel. Starring Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ving Rhames.
When a priceless Rembrandt is stolen in New York, the evidence points to a solitary master thief (Connery), who is about to meet the insurance company's most cunning - and seductive - investigator (Zeta-Jones). Following a nerve-racking game of cat and mouse, the two join forces, or so it seems, to attempt a daring multibillion-dollar heist tied to the dawn of the new millennium.

The Fifth Element
1997. Directed by Luc Besson. Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, and Milla Jovovich.
Ancient curses, all-powerful monsters, shape-changing assassins, scantily-clad stewardesses, laser battles, huge explosions, a perfect woman, a malcontent hero--what more can you ask of a big-budget science fiction movie? Luc Besson's high-octane film incorporates presidents, rock stars, and cab drivers into its peculiar plot, traversing worlds and encountering some pretty wild aliens. Bruce Willis stars as a down-and-out cabbie who must win the love of Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) to save Earth from destruction by Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) and a dark, unearthly force that makes Darth Vader look like an Ewok.

Grand Canyon
1991. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Starring Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell, Mary-Louise Parker and Alfre Woodard.
When a lawyer's (Kevin Kline) car breaks down in a dangerous Los Angeles neighborhood, a tow-truck driver (Danny Glover) arrives just in time to save his life. The two men begin a deep friendship that sets off a chain of unsettling and surprising events involving their families and friends for years to come. Lawrence Kasdan's powerful, uplifting film about the harsh realities of contemporary urban life co-stars Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell, Mary-Louise Parker and Alfre Woodard.

Guilty Conscience
1985. Directed by David Greene. Starring Blythe Danner, Anthony Hopkins and Swoosie Kurtz.
Anthony Hopkins stars in this mystery revolving around a successful criminal lawyer who decides to bump off his wife due to the sizable alimony demands she made in their divorce proceedings.

The Jackal
1997. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Starring Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier and Diane Venora.
Russian mobster Terek Murad has declared open season on the Russian militia and the United States FBI over the shooting of his brother in a Moscow nightclub. He hires "The Jackal" -- an elusive, nasty assassin -- to kill FBI Director Donald Brown. Present at the shooting of Murad's brother were FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston and Major Valentina Koslova of the Russian militia. Nearly no one has ever seen The Jackal, save for Declan Mulqueen, an imprisoned IRA sniper. Upon learning that the Director Brown is a target, Preston and Koslova enlist the services of the reluctant Mulqueen to track down the Jackal before he can assassinate Brown.

Murder on the Orient Express
1974. Directed by Sidney Lumet. Starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
Just the name "Orient Express" conjures images of a bygone era. Add an all-star cast (including Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, and Lauren Bacall, to name a few) and Agatha Christie's delicious plot and how can you go wrong? Particularly if you add in Albert Finney as Christie's delightfully persnickety sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Someone has knocked off nasty Richard Widmark on this train trip and, to Poirot's puzzlement, everyone seems to have a motive--just the setup for a terrific whodunit. Though it seems like an ensemble film, director Sidney Lumet gives each of his stars their own solo and each makes the most of it. Bergman went so far as to win an Oscar for her role. But the real scene-stealer is the ever-reliable Finney as the eccentric detective who never misses a trick.

The Peacemaker
1997. Directed by Mimi Leder. Starring George Clooney, Nicole Kidman and Armin Mueller-Stahl.
Two trains crash somewhere in Russia, one carrying a nuclear payload. A nuclear explosion follows the crash and the world is on alert... However, White House nuclear expert Dr. Julia Kelly doesn't think it was an accident... Special Operations Intelligence Officer Colonel Thomas Devoe doesn't think so either... Together they must unravel a conspiracy that goes from Europe to New York, to stop a terrorist who has no demands...

Presumed Innocent
1990. Directed by Alan J. Pakula. Starring Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy and Raul Julia.
After his former girlfriend is killed and he becomes the prime suspect, D.A. Rusty Sabich goes on a search to find the real killer and finds out he/she may be closer to him than he thinks.

Ramblin’ Man
1979. Directed by Burt Kennedy. Starring Tom Selleck, Jerry Reed, Morgan Fairchild, Barbara Mandrell and Claude Akins.
Two adventure-seeking Montana cowboys find themselves in Nashville. To make some extra money, they pose as private investigators and accept a case searching for a woman's missing sister. The case becomes more than they bargained for when they are caught in the middle of murder, blackmail, and extortion.

The Thomas Crown Affair
1999. Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo and Denis Leary.
Thrill-seeking billionaire Thomas Crown (Brosnan) loves nothing more than courting disaster and winning! So when his world becomes too stiflingly safe, he pulls off his boldest stunt ever: stealing a priceless painting in broad daylight from one of Manhattan's most heavily guarded museums. But his post-heist excitement soon pales beside an even greater challenge: Catherine Banning (Russo). A beautiful insurance investigator hired to retrieve the artwork, Catherine's every bit as intelligent, cunning and hungry for adventure as he is. And just when Thomas realizes he's finally met his match, she skillfully leads him into a daring game of cat and mouse that's more intoxicating and dangerous than anything either of them has ever experienced before!

A View to a Kill
1985. Directed by John Glen. Starring Roger Moore, Grace Jones and Christopher Walken.
An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New this week:

Lovable billionaire Arthur Bach has always relied on his limitless fortune and nanny Hobson to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge. He must choose between an arranged marriage that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future with the one thing money can't buy, Naomi, the only woman he has ever loved. With Naomi's inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will finally learn what it means to become a man.

George Gently, Series 2
Bringing an air of world-weary dignity to his role, Martin Shaw returns as Inspector George Gently, a former Scotland Yard sleuth now tracking murderers in Britain’s North Country. Far from London, these once-quiet counties are just beginning to feel the social and political changes of the 1960s. The menacing crimes test even Gently’s big-city experience and hard-won wisdom. And his impulsive young protégé, Sergeant John Bacchus, tests nearly all of his patience.

Eddie Morra, a burnt-out writer, discovers a top-secret pill that unlocks 100% of his brain's capacity. He instantly acquires mind-bending talents and mesmerizing visions that bring him big money, beautiful women, and limitless success. But his dream life soon becomes a waking nightmare, as the drug's brutal side effects take their toll and Eddie finds himself entangled with a cunning Wall Street power broker who wants everything Eddie has, and more.

A housebound trophy housewife steps in to manage the umbrella factory run by her tyrannical husband after the workers go on strike. To everyone's surprise, Suzanne proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action.

Rango, a kooky pet chameleon, accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt, a lawless outpost populated by the desert's most wily and whimsical creatures. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt, until he starts to become the hero he once only pretended to be.

Sherlock, Season 1
A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain: they live at the same address, have the same names, and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed, and highly modern adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.

Take Me Home Tonight
When Matt Franklin's high-school crush Tori shows up at his dead-end mall job, he and his buddy Barry devise a wild scheme for Matt to finally win the girl of his dreams. But only time will tell if Matt can seduce this gorgeous goddess at a wild party and survive an outrageous night of seduction, destruction and debauchery.

Last Stand of the 300
It is almost impossible to understand how 300 Spartans managed to hold off the million-man Persian army, but with transporting dramatizations and incisive graphics that put you in the heat of battle, learn the strategies and more in this historic battle.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New last week:

Adjustment Bureau
A man glimpses the future fate has planned for him and chooses to fight for his own destiny. Battling the powerful Adjustment Bureau across, under, and through the streets of New York, he risks his destined greatness to be with the only woman he's ever loved.

Berkeley Square
Three young nannies grow to be close friends as they manage the unpredictable road to love and happiness in the posh world of turn-of-the-century, upper-crust London.

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca, Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem.

Josh and Renai have a happy family, until tragedy strikes their young son, and he begins to experience things that science cannot explain. Now they must try to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Lincoln Lawyer
Michael 'Mick' Haller is a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car. Having spent most of his career defending petty, gutter-variety criminals, Mick unexpectedly lands the case of a lifetime. However, what initially appears to be a straightforward case with a big money payoff swiftly develops into a deadly match between two masters of manipulation and a crisis of conscience for Haller.

Red Riding Hood
Valerie is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter, but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry. Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie's older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village.

Road to Coronation Street
"The Road to Coronation Street is the dramatized story of how Coronation Street, Britain's best-loved series, was created - and how it almost never made it on air. Set in Manchester's Granada TV Studios circa 1960, passionate young scriptwriter Tony Warren had a vision of bringing to life a program about real people and everyday situations on the streets of working-class Manchester. Portraying Tony's boardroom battles to convince network executives that his idea for a dramatic series would be both popular and commercially successful - and the gamble executives took to bring this show to the screen - this film marks the milestone 50 Year Anniversary of Coronation Street"

After college student Sara discovers that her roommate has become obsessed with her, things quickly take a violent turn.

A thrilling underwater adventure based on true events. Master diver Frank McGuire leads a team-including his 17-year-old son-to explore the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. But when a tropical storm cuts off their only escape route, the team must work together to find their way through an uncharted and dangerous underwater labyrinth to make it out alive. With time running out, can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Private detective films:

I love a good mystery. Whether it’s a book or a movie, it’s by far my favorite genre. I recently ran across a movie blog called Tipping My Fedora which gave a list of their choices for “the top 20 private eye movies” ( The library owns 4 of their picks they are definitely 4 good ones. Of course, there are also a couple of titles that I would have put on this list, for example, The Late Show with Art Carney and Lily Tomlin and the comedy TV series Bored to Death.

The Big Sleep (1946)
This is the classic adaptation of the Chandler novel even though the Michael Winner remake from 1978 is more literally faithful. produced on a bog budget, the second classic pairing of husband-and-wife team Bogart and Bacall works like a charm even if the original story and characters have been largely filleted and generally mucked around with. More of a comedy than a thriller, but great fun just the same. From the novel by Raymond Chandler.

Harper (1966)
The classic PI genre gets a glossy 60s makeover in this hugely entertaining movie with a cast to die for and some fine dialogue by William Goldman from the first of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer series.

Night Moves (1975)
Quite possibly the most oblique film on this list, and quite possibly the most powerful precisely because it is wants to be impenetrable. Gene Hackman is the detective investigating a missing person in the Hollywood community who gets involved in a deadly smuggling case – this is a highly sophisticated look at the genre which delights in not giving anything away – its closing image, of a boat going round and round in circles perfectly sums up a film full of questions and no easy answers, though everything you need is in fact all in plain sight.

Brick (2005)
It would easy and not entirely inaccurate to simply summarise this indie sleeper hit as a teenage slacker re-telling of The Maltese Falcon but this is also a beautifully made film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt truly impressive as the smart college student who sets out to solve the death of his girlfriend amongst the rich and wealthy California youth. Their tribal world of secret linguistic codes and brutally hierarchical cliques is just as enthralling, and potentially dangerous, as the mean 1930s streets of Hammett and Chandler – a minor classic.

If you haven’t seen these films stop by and pick them up. Check out the rest of the “Tipping My Fedora” list for more titles to request from another library.