May 14

Still Alice

still aliceWe are nearing the end of the DVD release dates for Oscar winners. Still Alice was released last week. American Sniper – the final big film gets released on Tuesday, May 19th. Julianne Moore won the coveted Best Actress award for her portrayal of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s at age 50. Based on the novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice is Moore’s tour de force. She is reflective, nuanced, and brave as we watch her mind and world diminish. Alec Baldwin and Kristin Stewart play Moore’s husband and youngest child. Stewart in particular holds her own beautifully next to a powerhouse Moore. A beautiful, tragic film that will linger with you for days.

Find Still Alice in our library catalog.
Read Lisa Genova’s book also in our library catalog.

Apr 23

Throwback Thursday: Mad Max

mad max thunderdome

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome fan art:

The new Mad Max movie comes out May 15, 2015. Until then, catch up on the original franchise starring Mel Gibson. We have Max Max, Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome in the library’s movie collection.

Check out Mad Max, Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome in our library catalog.

Apr 13

Borgen: S1

Borgen S1Danish television focused on the government and media? Are you serious? Yes, we are. Borgen is one of the best television shows released in any country in the past five years. Based on historical facts, Borgen begins with the election of the first female Prime Minister. Featuring powerhouse performances from Sidse Babett Knudsen as Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen and featuring Pilou Asbæk as spin doctor Kasper Juul, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as news anchor Katrine Fønsmark, Mikael Birkkjær as Birgitte’s husband Phillip Christensen and Søren Malling as Torben Friis, editor-in-chief for TV1 News, Borgen has you on the edge of your seat. You’re certain to finish Borgen wishing our political system worked a little more like Denmark’s – who knew politicians and political parties could actually work towards common good? Inspiring, exciting, full of intrigue and suspense, Borgen is sure to please anyone interested in contemporary international politics and the media’s role in our society. Oh, and it just happens to be author Stephen King’s favorite television series.

Find Borgen in our library catalog.

Apr 09

Throwback Thursday: Nine Queens

nine queensArgentine cinema began exporting some remarkable films in the 1970’s starting with 1974’s The Truce and continuing over the next 40 years including the 1985 Oscar winning film The Official Story, nominated film Son of the Bride, second winner The Secret in Their Eyes, and last year’s nominated Wild Tales. In 2000, Argentina sent us the delectable con artist film Nine Queens. From Rotten Tomatoes,

Early one morning Juan is pulling a bill-switching scheme in an all-night deli when Marcos, an apparently innocent bystander, pretends to whisk him off to the police. But Marcos is a con artist, just helping out a new recruit, and he enlists Juan in a plot that he claims will set them up for early retirement. Juan is skeptical at first, but agrees to work with Marcos after he impresses him with a few sophisticated cons. A once-in-a-lifetime scheme then seemingly falls in their laps–an old time con man enlists Juan and Marcos to sell a forged set of extremely valuable rare stamps–The Nine Queens. The tricky negotiations that ensue bring into the picture a cast of suspicious characters including Marcos’ beautiful sister Valeria, their innocent younger brother, Frederico who idolizes Marcus–as well as a slew of thieves, con men and pickpockets. As the action moves from humble barrios to luxury hotels, it soon appears that the city itself is part of an elaborate plot.

Find Nine Queens in our library catalog.
Find The Official Story in our library catalog.
Find The Secret in Our Eyes in our library catalog.

Apr 07


grantchesterEnter the post-WWII world of Grantchester, a bucolic village in England pairing a detective and a vicar who solve murders. From PBS,

Set in the English countryside’s most idyllic village, Grantchester follows two unlikely allies as they solve a series of cases that reveal the dark side of early 1950s England.

Handsome, young vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) shares his spiritual duties with a love of jazz, complicated relationships with women, and an enthusiasm for amateur sleuthing. When the concern of a parishioner compels him to dig deeper into a grisly suicide, he gets on the nerve of a tired, local law enforcement officer—Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). Fortunately, the cleric and the cop bond over their war service, their love of a good pub, and their competitive instincts—in this case, for backgammon.

Grantchester is based on the acclaimed novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, which was called “the coziest of cozy murder mysteries” by the New York Times Book Review. Runcie styled Sidney after his late father, Lord Runcie, who was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s. Like Sidney, the elder Runcie was a war hero before he entered the ministry, and he was a compassionate and amiable parish priest. Unfortunately, he never took up crime-solving. Grantchester corrects that oversight.

The series stars James Norton (Chambers), who recently appeared on MASTERPIECE’s Death Comes to Pemberley as the underdog defense lawyer, and was also seen as the psychopathic villain in Happy Valley. Co-star Robson Green (Keating) is already revered for a number of MASTERPIECE starring roles, including the seductive hero opposite Francesca Annis in the runaway hit Reckless. Also featured are Morven Christie (Case Histories) as Amanda Kendall, Sidney’s first love and soul mate; Tessa Peake-Jones (Poirot) as Mrs. Maguire, the vicar’s morally judgmental landlady; Al Weaver (Sherlock) as Leonard Finch, the church’s new assistant curate; and German actress Pheline Roggan as Hildegard Staunton, the strikingly beautiful widow of the series’ first victim.

Find Grantchester at both locations in our library catalog.

Mar 31

Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You

ormanWith the Income Tax deadline looming, you might want to take some time to look at your financial situation. We have a great book selection at both branches. We also just received the new money DVD Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You. From WVPT,

We all have financial issues and problems. Suze Orman’s latest special sharply focuses on her helping individual viewers “find financial solutions for you.” As always, Suze’s advice is based not just on numbers, but on a critical understanding of ourselves and our emotional needs.

The special’s central theme is that our financial decision-making should be guided by an understanding of “the goal of money.” As Suze perceptively defines it: “The goal of money is to make you feel secure.” Our financial solutions should work to fulfill that goal. In addition, Suze stresses the importance of making financial decisions that you feel comfortable with. Financial problems are caused when you do things with money that do not seem “right” to you, despite pressures and advice from others.

In the show, taped in Washington, DC at American University’s beautiful Greenberg Theatre, Suze gives her up-to-date advice on a broad set of financial issues – and responds with savvy, humor and empathy to specific questions from the enthusiastic audience. She insightfully covers a wide range of topics that will resonate with television viewers including: how to invest; whether to buy a home or rent; saving for retirement; what kind of life insurance to buy; reverse mortgages; wills and trusts; student loans; and more.

Find Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You in our library catalog.

Mar 24


rosewaterJohn Stewart’s (The Daily Show) feature film directorial debut is finally out on DVD. From Open Road Films,

Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by Maziar Bahari. The film marks the directorial debut of “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. Bahari was arrested by police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who tortured and interrogated him over the next 118 days. With Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets keeping the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.

Find Rosewater in our library catalog.
Read the book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari in our library catalog.


Mar 12

Throwback Thursday: My So-Called Life

my so-called lifeBefore Claire Danes starred in the outstanding Homeland. Before Jared Leto won the Oscar last year for Dallas Buyers Club, there was My So-Called Life. The series debuted in 1994. It lasted only one season. 20 years later it’s considered a modern classic paving the way for more realistic portrayals of teenagers in television. From Wikipedia,

It was the first teen drama that didn’t feel like an after-school special. No one ever learned a very important lesson or uttered the phrase ‘I love you, Dad.’ Angela acted like a real 15-year-old, with all the crying jags and Buffalo Tom concerts that implies. What’s even more impressive is that anyone who watched the show back in the ’90s, when angst and Manic Panic felt totally of the moment, can now enjoy it on a very different level. Suddenly, Angela’s parents are relatable.

Find My So-Called Life at both library locations in our catalog.