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The BBC strikes again

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

Time and time again BBC turns out superior miniseries. With a seemingly endless pool of classically trained talent from which to draw, multi award winning directors, and truly original storylines, they just have an excellent product. When you can't take the endless banality of Hollywood offerings, with their regurgitated plots and their cookie cutter actors and actresses, turn your attention across the pond.

Their latest is the excellent "The Hour". This BBC production is actually about a fictitious BBC show. Set in the mid 50's in the early days of television, it follows the launch of a new sixty minute long current events show. With the always excellent Dominic West acting as the show's anchor, it follows their struggles to strike the right balance between informing and entertaining their audience.

We have just recieved season two, and it is even better than the first, and that's saying something. Set aside 5 hours to watch season one. As I so often do, I went to watch episode one, and stayed up far too late devouring the whole show in one sitting.

Excellent acting, compelling three dimensional characters, several tight, well crafted intersecting plots running throughout the 5 hours, and amazing attention to period details. It was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for Best MiniSeries or Motion Picture made for Television.

Join us at Nosehill or Crowfoot Libraries

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

 

Are you one of the fortunate students off onThursday (14th) and Friday (15th)? Are you one of the frazzled parents wondering what to do with them? If so, pop into either of these locations for planned activies, including a movie.

Now, there are copyright restrictions that prevent me from naming the movies, but if you phone the Nosehill branch at 221-2030 or the Crowfoot branch at 221-4122 they'll be happy to tell you the titles.

 

CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY AND WEAR RED OR PINK!

CRAFTS, GAMES, COLOURING,

A MOVIE AND MORE!

 

WHEN: THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2013 (P.D. DAY!)

WHERE: NOSE HILL LIBRARY

TIME: 11:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

 

MOVIE STARTS at 1:00 P.M. in the Program Room

Rated “G”, 86 minutes.

Free popcorn!!

 

NEED SOME MORE CHOICES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY? TRY THE CROWFOOT BRANCH

 

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2013

10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

CRAFTS IN THE KIDS ZONE

MOVIE 1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. RATED PG

 

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15, 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

GAMING (WII) OR BOARD GAMES

 

And because movies are just better when shared with a crowd, on Feb 21st you can come to Crowfoot library for our movie night. We have been showing them once a month for over a year now and always have some fresh new titles on offer---and this month is no exception. Phone us at 221-4122 for our title. I can tell you it is also rated "G" and is third in a series based on some very popular kids books.

Great TV Part 3 - AMC

by Trevor - 0 Comment(s)

It was a while in the making but here's the third list of great shows you just can't find on cable. Just like HBO and FX, AMC produces television that is far better than the majority of shows the basic cable networks put out. Expect all of these shows to be gritty, realistic, and extremely entertaining.

Walking Dead – If you hadn’t noticed, we’re living in a bit of a Zombie renaissance. Like the infectious horde they are, they’ve taken over every media outlet whether it’s film, TV, videogames, or books. Walking dead is a perfect example of why this is a good thing. A Zombie show that is much more about the living survivors than the monsters trying to get them, The Walking Dead positively oozes drama and tension. In a world ruled by the dead, we’re finally forced to start living.

The Killing – I’m cheating a bit with this one as I’ve only seen the first few episodes but this one certainly seems to deserve the praise it’s recieving. The entire series revolves around the murder of a teenage girl and the show pulls no punches when showing the despair such a loss can cause. Far more realistic than the typical Law and Order crime procedural, The Killing looks to be something special.

 

Breaking Bad – Bryan Cranston has won 3 Emmys for his role as a Nobel prize nominee turned high school teacher turned cancer victim turned meth cook. To say that his acting is phenomenal is an understatement as this is one of the most complex TV characters I’ve ever seen. We root for him while at the same time cringing at the horrible things he does. We hold our breaths as he nearly gets caught, but we know that he deserves to. His motives are crystal clear one minute and inscrutable the next. As exciting as it is emotional, Breaking Bad deserves your attention.

Mad Men is a great show for the same reasons as Breaking Bad: characters that are complicated, nuanced, and realistic. Though the show undeniably belongs to the suave and chauvinistic Don Draper, the supporting characters are just as well developed and intriguing. So well are the characters developed that a single interaction or offhand comment may give insight into seasons worth of wondering. This one will get you hooked.

Check out Great TV Part 1: HBO and Great TV Part 2: FX for more suggestions.

The Screen Actor's Guild Awards

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The 19th annual SAG's (Screen Actor's Guild Awards) were this past weekend and a lot of the people making a trip up to the podium were just up there for the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Mis, Claire Danes for Homeland, Kevin Costner for Hatfields and McCoys.

Once again Argo got top honours under the category 'Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture'. Now I guess that isn't quite the same as winning for best picture, but it certainly is gathering momentum leading up to the Oscars. If you read my earlier post you know that I thought that Argo was marginal at best as a movie, and as anything closely resembling history, sadly lacking. There is a very interesting article in the January 28th Maclean's magazine about the movie, called Movies That Make History (Volume 126 issue 3). There is a quote from the real Ken Taylor (former Canadian ambassador to Iran), who says "the filmmakers stole a good story and gave CIA spy Tony Mendez the credit of Canada's role in engineering the escape of 6 US diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis." Affleck has been insisting that his movie is 'extremely accurate and relevant' but when he heard this he went into damage control mode, made Taylor the guest of honour at a Washington premiere and hailed him as a hero. Then Victor Garber who played Taylor in the movie weighed in, more words were exchanged and on and on.

As I mentioned, the article is very good and well worth the read. Do you know that you don't have to buy the magazine on the newsstand, or even look for it on our shelves. You can get it free on-line with your handy dandy library card. Just go to E-Library from our homepage, then Newspapers and Magazines. Now click on Academic Search Elite (an EbscoHost database). At the top go into Publications, and then click on "M" for Maclean's. Click on Maclean's and then click on "+Jan 2013" on the right, under "All Issues", and there it is: Volume 126, Issue 3, and all the articles from that issue, including Movies That Make History.

Have a read of this very well written article — and now that you know how to find magazines, spend some more time in this great database — one of hundreds that come free with your library card.

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6 Degrees of Separation...With a Twist

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Thanks to guest blogger ALEX, who always gives us these great 6 degree posts. She's come up with a real mind bender this time...

It’s been a while since we've done a 6° of Separation, and who better to get us back in the swing of things than the man of the hour, Benedict Cumberbatch! But since it’s a new year, let’s put a new twist on this game… instead of following just Benedict through filmdom, we’re going to follow famous pairings – people who collaborate on flicks with each other again and again – or, for our purposes, Dynamic Duos!

Now I know that Moe just posted about BC a couple of weeks ago, but it's a testament to how popular this guy is that here we are with him again. You won’t be able to turn on a TV or go to the movies in 2013 without seeing him EVERYWHERE. We’d be remiss to mention his popularity without also mentioning his partner-in-crime[solving], Martin Freeman. While both have been heavy on the Brit set for years, they’re enjoying new-found recognition on this side of the pond thanks to the success of their hit BBC serial “Sherlock”. If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, don’t let knock-off CBS “Elementary” throw you off the scent… it is absolutely worth your time, especially if you’re not necessarily a fan of other recent offerings like the Robert Downey Jr redux.

Cumberbatch’s success in Sherlock no doubt had a hand in his casting in the upcoming “Star Trek: Into Darkness” flick, set for release in May. The movie comes out in five months, and after months and months of rumours about who he'd be playing, we only found out just very recently. Brilliant marketing ploy?! Look to the genius of J.J. Abrams, who’s mastery of suspense has provided such gems as “Lost”, Fringe”, Super 8” and of course, “Heroes”. (AND NEW UPDATE! J.J. has just signed on to do the new Star Wars! BOTH of the Star franchises?? If anyone can mend the rift between Trekkies and Warsies, it would be him...)

Duos

Which brings us to our next dynamic duo:

While coupling Cumberbatch with Abrams is an out-of-this-world combo, there is a more fitting Jelly to Abram’s Peanut Butter. I’m talking about Zachary Quinto, who played the horrifying Sylar in “Heroes”, and the wonderful “Spock” in the new Star Treks. These two are friends off-set, and Quinto is reported as having said that returning to Star Trek without Abrams would be unimaginable. Quinto appears in the Star Trek movies with half of another dynamic duo, Simon Pegg (the hilarious Scotty).

It is difficult to think of Simon Pegg without also picturing buddy Nick Frost hovering somewhere nearby. The pair seem to be inseparable when working on comedies, with titles such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” being perennial favourites. They have also voice-acted together in “Tintin” and “Ice Age: Continental Drift”. For my next jump I’ll use the rather insignificant “Snow White and the Huntsman” to link Nick Frost with good ol’ Toby Jones, as they both played dwarves.

Toby Jones is memorable for his character-acting and the fact that he takes on a lot of bit roles in a lot of big movies. Also famous for this? Stanley Tucci. These two very talented actors keep taking relatively small roles, which continually surprise and delight me. I always want more of them, so I suppose they’re choosing their roles perfectly after all. Two movies I can use as examples that feature both of these actors are “The Hunger Games” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

Another surprising appearance in “Captain America” is Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger. Richard who? He was only on screen for about three minutes so he was easy to miss. But once you've found him, you'll just want more. For the next three years we’ll be inundated with his glorious, studly face as he plays Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit” trilogy.

And to wrap it all up with a nice little bow, Richard Armitage’s Thorin is the leader of the motley crew including Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins, all setting off to reclaim their loot from the desolation of Smaug—voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (There is Oscar Buzz for old' Benedict in this role... After studying Komodo dragons to research his role as Smaug, we've heard rumours that his voice-acting is brilliant and might get a nod!)

WHEW—that was exhausting!


All things Python

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

I had the pleasure of recently seeing FRC 's (Front Row Centre) production of Spamalot. Familiar as I am with Monty Pythons in general and The Holy Grail in particular, until now I had not seen this musical. I thought it was tremendous- cheeky, funny, just plain silly. To quote Eric Idle "it is lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Idle, a member of the original Monty Python troupe wrote the musical's book and lyrics and collaborated with John Du Prez on most of the music. If you are a MP fan you will no doubt recognize the "Always look on the bright side of Life"- one of the most hummable tunes ever.

CPL has a huge assortment of all things Python, including the original series, most all of their movies -Holy Grail- and many other productions once the original 6 disbanded, such as Fawlty Towers. We also have a collection of personal faves from all of the members: Terry Jones's Personal Best, Graham Chapman's PBest, Terry Gilliam's PBest, Michael Palin's PBest, John Cleese's PBest, Eric Idles PBEST.

I am reliably informed by FRC people that there are still some good seats left for Spamalot. If you can make it down, you won't be disappointed, but it only runs till the 26th.

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2012 Favourites

by Trevor - 3 Comment(s)

Hi guys. Trevor here, telling you about some of my favorite films over the past year. Despite a few disappointments (cough, cough, The Dark Knight Rises), 2012 was a pretty good year for film. Here are a few that stood out for me.

Looper is a smart and exciting time travel flick that stars the always excellent Bruce Willis and the up and coming Joseph Gordon Levitt…who both play the same character. With a tight plot and a concept as original as anything I’ve seen this year, Looper isn’t one to miss.

Or…if you like your time travel quirky and romantic rather than violent and gritty, give Safety Not Guaranteed a try. As much about nostalgia and regret as it is about time travel, this one is just as good as Looper but in completely different ways.

Argo – Ben Affleck once again proves his versatility by both directing and starring in this taut, tense, and true tale of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital. You’re guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat throughout this one. (I can't link to this one yet as we don't have it in yet, but check the catalogue in the coming weeks to be the first on the hold list).

Avengers – If you haven’t seen the Avengers yet, do so right now! This film set the bar for which all future super hero movies will be judged. And oh my…that bar has been set high. We are now living in a post-Avengers world. We’d better get used to it!

For a change of pace you could also try Chronicle. A super hero film that’s not a super hero film, Chronicle follows the found footage approach to tell the tale of three high school students who stumble upon super powers. Things quickly escalate from fun telekinetic pranks to super powered mayhem. This low budget film really is much better than it has any right to be.

Cabin in the Woods – If you’re a fan of the Avengers, this one might be right up your alley. Written and produced by Joss Whedon of Avengers fame (and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse, and others), Cabin in the woods is a scary, smart, and funny satire of the horror genre. If you liked Scream back in the day, chances are you’ll like this one.

Moonrise Kingdom – This tale of a 1960’s tween-age romance is so captivating, so heartfelt, and so whimsical that it could only have come from the mind of Wes Anderson. It’s poignant and unique in a way few movies can even aspire to. It also doesn’t hurt that you can pause the movie at any point, print off the screen, and frame it as a beautiful work of art!

Were there any of your favorites that didn’t make the list?

Golden Globes Gowns Gawking

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

I have to agree with Moe. I'm not sure about this award show. I mean, Ben Affleck for best director over Ang Lee and Spielberg? Come on! Good thing the real business of the show is to show off all those great dresses. Even so, there's so much chat and a big rush to seat everyone, that we miss a lot of them. We can't show them here, but here's a list of my favorites:

Best black and gold:

Kate Hudson and Helen Mirren looked like super-heroines in Alexander McQueen and Badgley Mischka respectively.

Best reds (Isn't red a neutral?):

Jennifer Garner in sparkling strapless Vivienne Westwood

Claire Danes in plunging Versace

Naomi Watts' 1940s style crepe and satin gown was lovely but few commented on it sadly.

Best white:

Anne Hathaway in 2 piece Chanel corset with skirt looked great

Best Colour:

Tracey Pollan was classically elegant in fuschia silk one shouldered Ralph Lauren

Jessica Alba was fresh in peach Oscar de la Renta. Anyone who can pull off peach, taffetta and a ruffle deserves an award.

You couldn't argue with Jodie Foster in her knockout blue beaded gown.

Best Nude:

Helen Hunt in Dolce and Cabana. The column style and horizontal beading made this one a little different.

Best showing lots:

Juliana Margulies in sheer black Pucci.

Best showing little:

Adelle in a black Burberry floor length with 3/4 sleeves suited to her 1960s style.

Best short:

For sure Rachel Weiss' short sleeve long sheer polka dot over black was the best.

Best Black:

Rosie Huntington Whitely's Saint Laurent bow tied sleeveless was super cool.

All of Tina Fey's dresses were sensational on her. Nobody can pull off a 3/4 length and she looked great in L'Wren Scott. Plus she's smart and hilarious.

You can view all 100 dresses at:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/100-golden-globe-gowns-411984

Here are just a few topical library books to go with the outfits: Bossypants, The Party Dress, The Naked and the Dressed: 20 years of Versace, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Ralph Lauren, Chanel: Collections and Creations, Dolce and Gabbana Fashion Album, and Couture Techniques, in case you want to try this at home...

Coming Soon

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

We just finished the Golden Globes and for the most part, as an event I rate it as mediocre. I was not happy to see Argo get best picture nor Ben Affleck best director. I have a real problem with this typical Hollywood rewriting of an historical event, all done with far too much flag waving and the down playing of the important part that Canada played in the real story. Largely retold as a chase caper I thought it a disappointing choice given some of the other really remarkable films in this category. I'll hope for better from the Oscars.

The nominees for this years Oscars were just announced on January 10th. The 85th annual event airs on Sunday February 24th with Seth MacFarlane (creator Family Guy) and Emma Stone (The Help) acting as hosts.

Closer to the date we will have a more detailed post with links to titles that CPL carries. If you want to get a head start, pop in to the nominees link above, grab the titles and then cruise on back to our catalogue to see what we have available right now. As you know we constantly add new titles so remember to check back regularly.

And speaking of coming soon................................

Trevor has been guest blogging with us for awhile now, and Movie Maniacs is pleased to announce that he has agreed to be a regular contributor. I've popped in and had a peek at some of what he has ready to go for us and you won't be disappointed. If you want to catch up on some of his previous posts you can find them here, along with the always fun '6 degrees' by our other guest blogger, Alex. Or just jump in fresh and watch for his new insights and suggestions. Either way, we're happy to have him on board.

The Golden Globes kick off the awards season

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The Golden Globes air Sunday January 13th with funny ladies Amy Poehler and Tina Fey sharing hosting duties. Always more relaxed than the Oscars, they start off the awards season. Some people believe them to be precursors to nominations for Oscars, some find them entirely without merit, and some feel they heavily favour A-Listers, like when Angelina Jolie got a best director nod for the mediocre In the Valley of Elah. But this marks their 70th year, so they must be doing something right.

And with the Globes coming up, Oscar nominataions aren't far behind. In fact the nominees will be announced at 5:30 in the morning this Thursday. The actual event will air on Feb 24th with Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane sharing hosting duties.

Following is an abbreviated list of nominees, but for the full meal deal visit them at their official site. It is just loaded with all things past and present about the GG's. The nominations are for both feature films and television so it is quite a mixed bag. Many of the feature films nominated are still currently in theatres.

If it is in the CPL collection, either already on the shelves or on order and available to place on hold, it appears in bold.

Best Picture, Drama:
Argo, Django, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Moonrise Kindgom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Animated Feature Film:
Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians, Wreck-It Ralph

Best Television Series, Drama:
Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey: Season 2, Homeland, The Newsroom

Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical:
The Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Girls, Modern Family, Smash

Best Miniseries or Television Movie:
Game Change, The Girl, Hatfields & McCoys, The Hour, Political Animals

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