Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oct 15



have you seen....



When the sun strikes an alter, hidden within the ancient Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, it creates a beacon that triggers an alien blitzkrieg. Within hours, their ships destroy all the military infrastructure on earth. One anthropologist knows how to repel the invaders, but this secret is buried under the ruins of the Pyramid of the Moon--directly underneath the mothership.  --amazon--   







Blood Ties is a muscular and old-fashioned drama of crime and family. It is the first English-language film ...
This new film bears a strong resemblance to We Own Night: the focus is once again on brothers, one an honest detective (Billy Crudup) and the other a career criminal (Clive Owen), and their painful bid to understand and forgive one another amidst escalating tension and violence.  --amazon--





  May 5, 1993. West Memphis, Arkansas. Three young boys playing in the nearby woods never come home for dinner. In the rush to find and convict the killers, police focus on a trio of teenagers suspected of devil worship. As the mother of one of the murdered boys (Witherspoon) tries to come to grips with this unspeakable tragedy, she is desperate to believe that the killers have been found and will be brought to justice. It is only when an investigator (Firth) reveals that the evidence doesn’t all add up, that the community is forced to face the reality that the true killer might still be out there.    --amazon--   

    

This slow burning thriller follows a depressed history professor named Adam (Gyllenhaal) who unexpectedly, while watching a movie, discovers an actor who could be his twin. On a mission to meet this man, he stalks, and eventually finds him. We see their lives quickly become intertwined, even if it may not be in the greatest of ways. Intriguing and ultimately fascinating, this is one of the most interesting and odd movies of the year.
--amazon--



Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is the most talented pianist of his generation, but has stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public for a long awaited concert in Chicago. In a packed theater, in front of an expectant audience, Tom finds a message written on the score: "Play one wrong note and you die." In the sights of an anonymous sniper (John Cusack), Tom must get through the most difficult performance of his life and look for help without being detected.            --amazon--  




Shadow Recruit is a modern day reboot of the Jack Ryan stories which are based on Tom Clancy's books. If you're new to the world of Jack Ryan, then Shadow Recruit may be a halfway decent spy thriller. However, my first exposure to Jack Ryan was the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October (with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin), and in comparison Shadow Recruit feels like a made-for-TV movie.
--amazon--



300 Rise of an empire

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, knew right from the start exactly what it wanted to accomplish, and did so with a minimum of substance and a maximum of style. Now, for some viewers, this will be completely satisfying...and other viewers may find the film lacking in key areas. It's time to find where you lie.  --amazon--






Woman in white

A timeless gothic story, it is told from the perspective of Marian (Tara Fitzgerald), who's staying at a villa with her cousin Laura (Justine Waddell). The women become involved with a sympathetic painter and a slew of duplicitous aristocrats, including one played by James Wilby. Then there's that woman (who looks a lot like Laura), cloaked in white, who keeps running around the garden grounds at night. Fitzgerald is far too gorgeous to be the plain Marian, heroine of the novel, but costumers make a valiant--if unsuccessful--attempt to make her look dowdy and less attractive than Waddell.  -- amazon--

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oct 09






After I'm gone

When Felix Brewer meets Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative—if not all legal—businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes...
...Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same. --amazon--


The Chase

...A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.  --amazon-





Circle of wives
When Dr. John Taylor turns up dead in a hotel room, the local police uncover enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers petty crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile case that is more complicated than any she has faced before. A renowned reconstructive surgeon and a respected family man, Dr. Taylor was beloved and admired. But beneath his perfect façade was a hidden life—in fact, multiple lives. Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. As the circumstances surrounding his death emerge, Detective Adams finds herself tracking down a murderer through a tangled web of marital deception and revenge.   --amazon--



Concealed in death
...The victims are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.
Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart  --amazon--
Forever girl

...Through the lives of Clover and James, and Amanda and David, acclaimed storyteller Alexander McCall Smith tells a tale full of love and heartbreak, humor and melancholy, that beautifully demonstrates the myriad ways in which love shapes our lives.  --amazon--





Girl with a clock for a heart

...Bold and masterful, full of malicious foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop thriller—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that grips you right up to the end.   --amazon--





Lincoln's boys

...In their biography of Lincoln, Hay and Nicolay fought to establish Lincoln’s heroic legacy and to preserve a narrative that saw slavery—not states’ rights—as the sole cause of the Civil War. As Joshua Zeitz shows, the image of a humble man with uncommon intellect who rose from obscurity to become a storied wartime leader and emancipator is very much their creation....  --amazon--




Moving target

Lance Tucker, an incarcerated juvenile offender doing time for expertly hacking into the San Leandro School District’s computer system, is set on fire and severely burned one night while hanging Christmas decorations in a lockup rec room. The police say that he did it to himself, but B. Simpson, Ali Reynolds’s fiancé and the man who helped put Lance in jail, feels obligated to get to the bottom of what really happened.     --amazon--







Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oct 1


  16 October 1859




The  Art of Neil Gaiman

The Art of Neil Gaiman is the first book to tell the full story of his amazing creative life. Never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, cartoons, drawings, and personal photographs from Neil's own archive are complemented by artwork and sketches from all of his major works and his own intimate recollections. Each project is examined in turn, from genesis to fruition, and positioned in the wider narrative of Gaiman's creative life, affording unparalleled access to the inner workings of the writer's mind. -- amazon--




The care and management of lies

Published to coincide with the centennial of the Great War, The Care and Management of Lies paints a poignant picture of love and friendship strained by the pain of separation and the brutal chaos of battle. Ultimately, it raises profound questions about conflict, belief, and love that echo in our own time.   -- amazon--
City of devils: A novel

Turin, Italy 1887. When James Murray, a young Scottish doctor fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind, travels to the vibrant city of Turin, it is to study with Cesare Lombroso, the world-renowned criminologist. But just hours after his introduction to the unconventional Lombroso, the discovery of a horrifically mutilated body in the nearby Piazza Statuto—and a note that appears to implicate the celebrated criminologist himself—changes everything.     -- amazon--


Deserves to die

n Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are struggling with a new commander and a department in the midst of upheaval. It's the worst possible time for a homicide. A body has been found, missing a finger. Alvarez hopes this means a murderer with a personal grudge, not a madman. But then a second body turns up. . .

  -- amazon--


The Night Searchers

When new clients Jay and Camilla Givens come to Sharon McCone with Camilla's stories of devil worshippers performing human sacrifices in San Francisco, the detective is skeptical, to say the least. However, when she discovers that Jay is involved with the treasure hunting group The Night Searchers, she starts looking into what exactly he and the other participants are up to after dark. As she digs deeper into the Searchers, Sharon joins their ranks in order to find out more-while someone is searching for her.    -- amazon--



Nines lives to die


Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with an all-new mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, intrepid kitty sleuths Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker, the ever-faithful crime-solving corgi. This time around, Harry and her animal friends track a killer whose trail has gone as cold as the weather in December.    -- amazon--


 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sept 26

                                                               


Please check the  Max, Library Catalog for availability of all items


Cosmos

The cinematography is jaw dropping. 3D renderings of galaxies, nebulae, asteroid fields, atoms, storms on Jupiter, etc are scattered throughout each show...and they look 100% real. There are moments where animated cartoons are used, usually representing a story about past scientists or philosophers...I thought the cartoon animations would detract from the shows grandeur, but that doesn't seem to be the case - the animations are beautiful and tasteful.  --amazon--




 Death in Paradise Season one

Sent to the tiny island of Saint-Marie to solve a mysterious murder, quintessentially British cop Richard Poole is a complete fish out of water. Awaiting Richard is a ramshackle station and a very different type of policing. His new partner, Camille Bordey, is instinctive, feisty, and brilliant, and the rest of the team certainly has its own unique way of doing things. Though Richard would never admit it, they make a perfect team, and with a new mind-boggling mystery to solve in every episode, Death in Paradise will intrigue and tantalize.  --amazon--




Grand Budapest hotel


The story is beautifully framed, with an old man recollecting his past to an interested writer. The images are typical Anderson, with the usual explosion of colors and storybook settings. This feeling is heightened by the use of title cards to denote the chapters and the familiar style of music used in previous efforts. The story takes place in three different time periods, but we spend most of our time in 1932.   --amazon--





Joe

An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.   --amazon--










Kill your darlings

The path of a struggling screenwriter and a mysterious free spirit intersects with that of a transvestite, a housewife, and a hapless mobster on their way to Las Vegas to see a celebrity psychiatrist in this darkly comic take on suicidal tendencies and the all-American road trip. Based on the writer/director's shocking real life road trip with a charming stranger turned psychopath, Kill Your Darlings presents a darkly humorous world where a writer's search for art and fulfillment becomes intertwined with a host of quirky characters seeking love and adventure.  --amazon--





The LEGO movie 



An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied 'Special', is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.   --amazon--







Mad men season 6
Returning for its sixth season, MAD MEN, four-time Primetime Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series and winner of three consecutive Golden Globes, explores the glamorous and ego-driven "Golden Age" of advertising in the late 1960's New York City. Don Draper (Golden Glober - winner Jon Hamm) and the rest of the award-winning cast continue to captivate as they deal with the aftereffects of adultery, divorce, a merger, and an ever changing social climate.  -amazon-


Ray Donovan Season one


Set in the sprawling mecca of the rich and famous, Ray Donovan does the dirty work for L.A.’s top power players. The series stars Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominee Liev Schreiber in his first lead television role as the go-to guy who makes the problems of the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls disappear. This powerful family drama unfolds when his father, played by Oscar® winner Jon Voight, is unexpectedly released from prison, setting off a chain of events that shakes the Donovan family to its core.  -amazon-



13 Sins

Elliot is a bright but meek social services coordinator, drowning in debt and desperate because he's about to marry the love of his life . Upon receiving a cryptic phone call informing him that he's on a hidden camera game show where he must execute 13 tasks, Elliot learns he will be on his way to winning a multimillion dollar cash prize if he quickly follows through with his first two instructions: swat the fly that is currently bothering him and then eat the fly. Although thousands of dollars are suddenly appearing in his bank account, Elliot remains suspicious, though comforted by the knowledge that he can stop playing at any time if only to lose every penny that he's won. As he leaves a path of destruction behind him and runs away from the law, Elliot's need to complete the game escalates as the tasks grow increasingly sinister, to a devastating point of no return.                                                     --  amazon--



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16




Enough Said

James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener shine in this heartwarming comedy that A.O. Scott of The New York Times calls "a small miracle of a movie." Divorced mom Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) may be falling for Albert (Gandolfini), a sweet, funny, like-minded divorc‚. But as their relationship blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne (Keener), who's always complaining about her ex-husband. When Eva realizes that Albert is the target of Marianne's rants, she begins to question her own perceptions about first impressions and second chances.   --  Amazon  

 
Fruitvale Station
...FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident ...Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.    --Amazon--


Game of Thrones season 2
...As winter approaches, the cruel young Joffrey sits upon the Throne in King's Landing, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and his uncle Tyrion, who has been appointed the new Hand of the King. But the Lannister hold on power is under assault on many fronts, with two Baratheons donning crowns, and Robb Stark fighting as the King in the North. With tensions and treaties, animosity and alliances, Season Two is a thrilling journey through a riveting and unforgettable landscape.          --Amazon--


Grace Unplugged
Having just turned 18, Grace Trey (AJ Michalka) aspires to more than just singing at her church, where the worship leader is her father (James Denton), a former pop star. With the help of her dad's former manager, Grace runs away to Los Angeles and begins to taste the kind of stardom she's always dreamed about. Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values, further straining her relationship with her parents. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith.or rediscover it? With a star-studded cast, inspiring soundtrack and amazing musical performances, GRACE UNPLUGGED is a heartwarming film that "entertains while bringing families closer together"   --Amazon--


Homeland season 2
Homeland makes its triumphant return after winning six Emmyr Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actress for Claire Danes, Outstanding Lead Actor for Damian Lewis and Outstanding Drama Series. Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Lewis) is now a U.S. congressman, and former CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Danes) has returned to civilian life. But when a new and potentially devastating terrorist threat emerges, Brody and Carrie's lives become intertwined once again and they resume their delicate dance of suspicion, deceit and desire. Delve deeper into the edge-of-your-seat excitement with the thrilling second season of this "unmissable and gloriously suspenseful" (USA Today) hit show.



Achmed saves America
From the inventive mind of Jeff Dunham comes the first animated movie starring the world’s most beloved, failed bad guy. Get ready to see Achmed the Dead Terrorist like you’ve never seen him before! In Achmed Saves America, the Little Skeleton That Couldn’t unexpectedly finds himself in Americaville, USA. There, Achmed is mistaken as a French exchange student while he bumblingly plots to destroy the town and all its “infidels.” But when exposed to the sweet things in life, including all-you-can-eat buffets and frozen yogurt, Achmed’s campaign of hate turns into a patriotic all-American lovefest. For the first time, Jeff Dunham brings his unique brand of comedy to a whole new medium as creator and voice-star of Achmed Saves America.  --Amazon--

... There's historical value here, but Stern never finds a satisfying way to reconcile his subject's contradictory impulses, leading to a catalog of facts and figures without any underlying soul. --Kathleen C. Fennessy  --amazon--

       




Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 26


47 romin

This movie is based on a classic Japanese story (see "Chushingura") about the disgrace of a daimyo who must kill himself to retain his honor and what his now-masterless samurai (called ronin) do to avenge his death. Though this version has added Keanu Reeves as a "half-breed" and witches and demons, the movie is solid and says a lot about the centrality of the Japanese code of bushido to the nation.  --amazon--






about time

For more than three decades, filmmaker Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral) has crafted his signature voice in the world of movies and television, giving audiences unforgettable characters who have alternately allowed us to laugh at our ever-so-human foibles and to share a tear at the extraordinary journeys that accompany our ordinary lives.       --amazon--
                                   






after the dark

Faced with an impending nuclear apocalypse, a group of twenty college students must determine which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race. The decision quickly becomes deadly as each in the group turns against each other in a desperate fight for survival.    --amazon--





all is lost

Academy Awardr winner Robert Redford stars in ALL IS LOST, an open-water thriller about one man's battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.    --amazon--





amish shunned

Filmed over the course of twelve months, The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to leave one of the most closed and tightly-knit communities in the United States. Estranged from family, the ex-Amish find themselves struggling to understand and make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are the voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together, and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.    --amazon--



art of the steal


Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell), a third rate motorcycle daredevil and semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get back into the con game and pull off one last big art heist with his conniving brother, Nicky (Matt Dillon). Reassembling the old team, Crunch comes up with a plan to steal a priceless historical book, but the heist leads to another far riskier plan devised by Nicky. They fail to realize each other's separate agendas when their plan goes awry in this con movie about honor, revenge and the bonds of brotherhood.    --amazon--





at middleton

Academy Award nominees Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga  star as straight-laced, George and eccentric Edith, two strangers who meet on their children’s college tour at the idyllic Middleton University. Despite their opposing temperaments, George and Edith play hooky together, ditching the textbook tour for a carefree afternoon reminiscent of their youth. But what begins as an afternoon of fun soon becomes a revealing and enlightening experience that will change their lives forever. A light-hearted romance for adults on the surface, At Middleton is a deeply moving and enlightening portrait of the timelessness of romance and youth.    --amazon--


  august: osage county


Academy Award® Winners Meryl Streep* and Julia Roberts** star in the darkly hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives converge when a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional mother who raised them.     --amazon--





  best offer 

From the director of Cinema Paradiso comes a romantic thriller with a playful side that proves love is worth bidding on at any price. When a mysterious heiress asks famed but unscrupulous art appraiser and auctioneer Virgil Oldman (Academy Award® winner* Geoffrey Rush) to evaluate her late parents collection yet remains forever unseen behind closed doors, it ignites a spark of curiosity in the normally austere Virgil that soon grows into an all-out obsession. Before long everything in Virgil s carefully constructed life threatens to come apart as he delves ever further into the world of intrigue surrounding his enigmatic employer.
--amazon--


  
black nativity

Struggling to pay the bills, single mom Naima (Jennifer Hudson) sends her teenage son Langston (Jacob Latimore) to live with his estranged grandparents, Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) in New York City. At first Langston resents their strict household, but with the help of new friends - and a little divine intervention - he embarks on an inspirational journey of self-discovery that brings the whole family together.

--amazon--


blue is the warmest color

The colorful, electrifying romance that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm courageously dives into a young woman's experiences of first love and sexual awakening. Blue Is the Warmest Color stars the remarkable newcomer AdŠle Excharpoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by L‚a Seydoux (Midnight in Paris). Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain), this finely detailed, intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth. It has captivated international audiences and been widely embraced as a defining love story for the new century.  --amazon--


book thief

The story of The Book Thief begins with the narrator, Death (Roger Allam), providing a sort of overview/introduction. ...The protagonist in this film is Liesel (Sophie Nelisse in a ground-breaking performance), a young teenager who comes to live with her foster parents, Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) and his wife, the acid- tongued Rosa (Emily Watson). The setting at the beginning of the story is Germany in 1938 and the story goes on till the end of WW II. Liesel's mother is a Communist and has been packed off somewhere, presumably a camp, for this is after all Nazi Germany.  --amazon--