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The 66th Annual Emmys

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The 66th annual Emmys nominations came out last week, and while there really aren't too many surprises, there are a few glaring omissions. Many of the nominees have been up before and many are previous winners from established series like Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, Homeland, Big Bang Theory, Luther, Orange is the New Black, Veep. We have blogged all of these excellent offerings more than once and there is something in here for everybody.

New this year is True Detective, (12 nominations) which I recommended in a Matthew McConaughey post a while back. This is dark, darker, darkest, but if there were better performances this year than Matthew and Woody Harrelson I don't know whose they were. They are both nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and are up against a lot of the usual suspects—Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Daniels. Jon Hamm keeps getting nominated but has never won, Bryan Cranston has already won three, Kevin Spacey has two Oscars, and Jeff Daniels won last year for The Newsroom. Harrelson won for supporting actor way back in 1989 for Cheers and I wouldn't mind at all if he took it home—he also was riveting in True Detective. But my money is on Matthew as his really is a brilliant performance and he is hot off his Oscar win earlier this year.

As far as omissions, to my mind the most egregious was Canadian Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black. This is a powerful series and deserves its own post, so watch for this in the next few weeks.

The ceremony will be held on Monday August 25. The ceremony is one month earlier than usual due to NBC's conflicts with the broadcast of Sunday Night Football and the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Comedian and late-night talk show host Seth Meyers will host the show for the first time.



by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

If you haven't started watching Borgen yet, you're missing out on an excellent series. This first aired on Danish television in 2010 and CPL now carries all three seasons. It follows the rise to power of the first female prime minister and her struggles to keep her feet on the shifting sands of a barely stable coalition government. The episodes revolve around the PM and her spin doctor as they try to navigate through the corruption, changing allegiances, scandals and political dilemmas. Counter this with a relentless female reporter who digs deep to get to the truth behind all the spin. A third recurring story line includes a former MP who has turned into a truly reptilian tabloid editor. Machiavellian political machinations abound, there's plenty of sex and scandal and fine, fine acting! The PM, Birgitte Nyborg, is one of the most finely crafted female characters I have seen in years.

One of the things I have always loved about British, European, and Australian television, is that their series tend to be populated with 'real' people. They are not all cookie-cutter perfect like the characters in North American television, with an overabundance of white teeth, chiseled physiques and just-returned-from-the-hair-dresser hair. Although having said this, all the main characters in Borgen are pretty fine looking—plus they can show you really great ways to wear big scarves! But it's not their looks that are going to keep you coming back for more. It's the great acting, the au courant storylines and a look at a political system that makes me so glad we don't have six parties from which to choose.

Unless you speak Danish you will be watching Borgen with sub-titles, but it's worth the effort. This is a BAFTA award winner for the Best International T.V. series, a win for Mrs. PM in the best actress category plus numerous other international awards. I wish it was more than three seasons long and I hope that the U.S. networks leave it alone and don't try to re-imagine it for a North American audience, as they did with the fine British series, House of Cards. The Kevin Spacey version has proved popular but falls far short of the original.

Thanks Sue for bringing this one to my attention.

Monuments Men

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

So the movie night has come and gone and thanks to those who attended. If you didn't make it, make sure to put it on hold.

Join us at 6:30 on July 17th at the Crowfoot branch for the very good 'The Monuments Men'.

Based on a true story, this flm features a tremendous cast of A-listers including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jean DuJardin, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett. It tells the story of an unlikely WW2 platoon, tasked with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces that the Nazis have stolen from private collections, museums and historical buildings.

There are lots of holds on this at the moment, so this is a really good way to avoid the wait. The film is rated PG 13 and runs 118 minutes.

What's all the Hoopla?

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

I've been meaning to screen shows on my TV via my phone, and Hoopla, the library's new provider of downloadable movies and music finally pushed me to get it done. All I needed was my smartphone, an HDMI cable, and an adaptor that allows the phone to connect to the cable and charge at the same time so the battery doesn't run down. If you are using a portable device, you will access Hoopla from the app which is a free download from the usual places.

Hoopla has a wide offering of movies, TV shows and documentaries. I was thrilled to see that a movie I'd seen a trailer for years ago but couldn't find anywhere, Grace of My Heart, was right there on the main page. Grace of my Heart has a cast of 90s all-stars (watch Bridget Fonda sing!) and features the always great Ileana Douglas as an aspiring 60s songwriter and the musical movements she influenced.

Almost everything you can imagine appears in the movie selection, and the documentaries offer everything from Lewis and Clark to Kim Kardashian. I checked out West Coast Modern, which had great architect and artist interviews.

Access Hoopla from the Featured Digital Content link on our main library page or via the Hoopla website or app.

I know, I know, there are other sources, but Hoopla is free with your library card and legal! Consider me hooked!