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
...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
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 Ad┼ále 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--

Friday, May 9, 2014

may 9



                                                          Seneca Rocks, WV


The bling ring 

Based on Actual Events: THE BLING RING is a "scandalously thrilling" (THE VILLAGE VOICE) heist flick written/directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Katie Chang, Isreal Broussard, Leslie Mann & Emma Watson (HARRY POTTER franchise, PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER)  --amazon--





Blue Jasmine

Poignant, romantic, and mesmerizing, writer/director Woody Allen's latest masterpiece centers around Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), a former New York socialite teetering on an emotional tightrope, balancing between her troubled east coast past and a fresh start in San Francisco. Having moved into her sister's humble apartment, Jasmine ricochets between the tumultuous acceptance of her new limitations, and the dreams of reclaiming her past life's glamour. Join a powerful cast for an intimate portrayal of the battle between fantasy and reality which rages within us all.  --amazon--



Captain Phillips

Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips is the story of a 2009 incident that most people probably still remember, when a group of Somali pirates boarded an American cargo freighter, the Maersk Alabama, and after failing to gain control of the ship, took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage, resulting in the US Navy mounting an intense rescue operation to recover Captain Phillips. . .  --amazon--






Go-hyang-i, kook-eum-eul bo-neun doo gae-eui noon (Motion picture)The cat
So-yeon (Park Min-yeong), suffers from claustrophobia, the result of a childhood trauma. But she has a nice life as a pet groomer - that is, until the cops give her a cat to look after. Its owner was just murdered in the elevator. That's when the nightmares start. A little girl, haunting her sleep. So-yeon needs answers. But now, her best friend is dead too, and she doesn't know what to believe. It can't be true. Curses aren't real. Are they? --anazon--





Contest

A bullied high school student is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor and together they face challenges that will change their lives forever.
  --anazon--









Dead man down

Victor (Farrell), a professional killer and the right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York City (Howard), is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Rapace), a crime victim seeking retribution. Their chemistry and intense relationship leads them to execute a violent and cathartic plan for revenge.  --amazon--







Elementary

ELEMENTARY, a contemporary take on the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes who investigates crimes in modern-day New York City as a consultant to the NYPD and is assisted by Joan Watson, a former surgeon, who is hired by Holmes' wealthy father to help keep the eccentric detective sober.  --amazon--







Elysium

In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn't stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.  --amazon--

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

april 29

                                                               Black Water Falls,  WV

         Books


be careful what you wish for

...The series is well written with excellent characters, highly believable plots and will hold the interest of many readers. One suggestion ... if you are interested in reading this well-crafted series, you should start with the first book in the series (Only Time), then work your way through the second, third, then this the fourth book. The
finale, volume five, is scheduled to release at the end of 2014.   --amazon--





blackberry pie murder

A New York Times Bestselling Author Life is never really quiet for Hannah Swensen. Her mother's wedding is a month away and guess who's in charge of the planning? Yet just when her biggest challenge seems to be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, Hannah accidentally hits a stranger with her cookie truck on a winding country road in a raging storm. Hannah is wracked with guilt, but things get even worse when she's arrested . . . for murder!
 --amazon--


blind justice

Blind Justice presents a rich and lively panorama of London life, from the teeming Thames docks to the wealthy West End, while unfolding a magnificent courtroom drama. And while justice, law, and morality hang in the balance, Hester and Monk race to save their distinguished friend Rathbone from disgrace. The incomparable art of Anne Perry grips us fast until the final, unforgettable scene.    --amazon--





bones of the lost

When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse, police find an airline club card bearing the name of prominent local businessman John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific fire months earlier. How did Story and the girl know each other? Was she an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered? Was he?   --amazon--



command authority

There’s a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.   --amazon--






cross my heart

CROSS MY HEART is the most powerful Alex Cross novel ever, propelled by the ever-ingenious mind of James Patterson, the world's #1 bestselling writer.  --amazon--






evil eye : four novellas of love gone wrong 

Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most prominent writers of her generation, and she is fearless when exploring the most disturbing corners of human nature. In Evil Eye, Oates offers four chilling tales of love gone horribly wrong, showing the lengths people will go to find love, keep it, and sometimes end it.  --amazon--





first love

Axi Moore is a "good girl": She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn't tell anyone that what she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson--who she also happens to be madly in love with.

--amazon--




forget me not

... Lucy receives a call that her parents have been killed in a car crash. While settling their affairs in Florida, Lucy begins to realize how little she really knew about their lives. She has no way to explain the mysterious safe in their bedroom, with its cache of fake passports, cash, and weapons. What secrets were the Brightons keeping? Were they even who they claimed to be? The answers will shatter everything she once believed about her parents - and about herself.    --amazon--




heirs of the body

The Daisy Dalrymple series continues in Heirs of the Body—when one of four potential claimants to the title of Lord Dalrymple dies a sudden, nasty death, the question on everyone’s mind is, “was it murder”?






Hundred days : the campaign that ended World War I 

In Hundred Days, acclaimed military historian Nick Lloyd leads readers into the endgame of World War I, showing how the timely arrival of American men and materiel—as well as the bravery of French, British, and Commonwealth soldiers—helped to turn the tide on the Western Front. Many of these battle-hardened troops had endured years of terror in the trenches, clinging to their resolve through poison-gas attacks and fruitless assaults across no man’s land...  --amazon--

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21

                                                          HEVETIA, WV  settled in 1874

More action film than comedy, R.I.P.D. feels like you're watching a good video game, thanks to a blend of live action and computer-generated images. Based on the Dark Horse comic, the premise of the story is that precincts full of undead police officers, who were corrupt during their living years, roam the earth as part of the Rest in Peace Department, rounding up dead people and keeping the living safe in exchange for a good word put in with "eternal affairs."  --amazon--




...It is 1841, and Northup , an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps and must find the strength within to survive.  12 Years A Slave is both an unflinching account of slavery in American history and a celebration of the indomitable power of hope.     --amazon--




Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg lead an all-star cast in the explosive action hit 2 Guns. When an attempt to take down a drug cartel blows up in their faces, two undercover operatives are forced to go on the run together, though neither knows that the other is a federal agent. Suddenly, everyone on both sides of the law wants them dead, and their only hope is to trust each other. Filled with non-stop action and suspense, critics are raving “Washington and Wahlberg are at their very best.” – Pete Hammond, Movieline         --amazon  --

A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock America, AMERICAN HUSTLE tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser  is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso . DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.  --amazon--
  





Arthur Newman
 ... ARTHUR NEWMAN follows the mid-life travails of sad sack Wallace Avery (Colin Firth). Refusing to face a life he hates, he stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur s road trip towards a new life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike (Emily Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners. Through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey begins.  --amazon--


Behind the candelabra
 The story focuses on Liberace's tempestuous relationship with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) in Las Vegas from 1977 to 1982 - a time when Liberace was at the peak of his popularity but remained closeted as a homosexual. Featuring a pair of electrifying performances by Douglas and Damon (the first time either has starred in an HBO production), Behind the Candelabra captures the essence of Liberace's appeal while reminding viewers how different attitudes were at the time, as few high-profile entertainers (including Liberace) could admit they were gay, at least in front of the public which made them stars.  --amazon--



Bless me, Ultima

Based on acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya's novel, BLESS ME, ULTIMA is a turbulent coming-of-age story about a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II, grappling with questions about his destiny, and the powers of a mystical woman.         --amazon--