You are here: Home > Blogs > Movie Maniacs

Latest Posts

Off Line

Above Suspicion Season 3

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

 

Season 3 of Above Suspicion has just hit our shelves. Written by the multi-talented Lynda La Plante, she has a string of hits to her credit, most famously the dark, gritty and completely addictive Prime Suspect starring the completely addictive Helen Mirren. She also created the long running Trial and Retribution series.

Above Suspicion is a little lighter, but only a little. It stars the highly recognizable Ciaran Hinds from — well, everything. He was Julius Caesar in the series Rome from a few years back, he was a baddy in the second Laura Croft, he was in The Debt, Deathly Hallows part 2, Game of Thrones, In Bruges, Mayor of Casterbridge, Jane Eyre, There will be Blood, Ivanhoe and on and on. Very busy man because he is very talented. Check out everything we have in our collection on the guy. His co-star is Kelly Reilly who also has a good resume although not nearly as long. You’ll know her as Jude Law’s wife in the Sherlock Holmes theatrical movies and from Flight opposite Denzel Washington.

There are only three episodes per season, but do watch series one and two first if you can, as they build on each other. If you watch any of the seasons as a stand alone they're fine and you're likely to enjoy them, but watching all nine episodes just gives you the complete experience of the character and plot developments.

Dystopian Sci-Fi Pick

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Love my dystopian sci-fi ! I’m a big sci-fi fan anyway and when you combine it with near-future elements and throw in a dystopian theme it can all add up to be not just entertaining but also thought provoking.

There are reams of films from which to choose in this category — dating all the way back to Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis.

Just watched Enders Game and I quite enjoyed it. Based on the hugely popular YA book of the same title by Orson Scott Card (yes he of the terrible racists rants) this is the first in the series. Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion. Heavy on the CGI, but that is a viewing hazard with anything futuristic, as the stuff hasn’t been invented yet and only exists in the minds of the artists so its not like the props department can run out and rent it.

Character development is pretty good and young Asa Butterfield turned in another good performance — you’ll know him from Hugo. Harrison Ford was pretty darn good in this as well. Don’t get me wrong — I like Ford, but he can be very wooden. This is the most emotion I’ve seen from him in quite a while. Round out the cast with a bunch of other solid young actors like Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Abigail Breslin, throw in some Oscar winners like Sir Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis (The Help) and it’s a pretty good way to spend two hours.

This certainly won’t be for everybody, but if you like the Hunger Games and Divergent chances are good you’ll like this. But do pay attention to the PG warning. There are some seriously harsh and disturbing scenes with the young people.

Matthew McConaughey Finally Launched

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

I wouldn't be lying if I said I've gone out of my way to avoid Matthew McConaughey movies. For many years all he seemed known for was getting his shirt off and cheesy Rom Coms. It wasn't always like this. Early in his career he turned in some very good performances in very good movies like Amistad and A time To Kill. Then there was a dry spell when he seemed just to be paying the rent with movies like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Wedding Planner and Failure to Launch. Even a very popular literary character turned into film, such as Dirk Pitt in Sahara didn't bring him any more credibility and it was hard to take him seriously as an actor.

However, seeing him in several recent performances has caused me to reconsider the man and his acting chops. You'll be aware he just won Best Actor for his role in The Dallas Buyers Club. I'm not sure if it was the best performance of the year but it was a very good performance of a very unsympathetic character. Anybody willing to lose 22% of their body weight to realistically portray somebody deserves a lot of kudos. Just prior to this role he had a very good turn as the title character in Mud. What started turning me around was 2011's The Lincoln Lawyer. I thought he was a great casting choice in this John Grisham book/film. Magic Mike I did not care for but I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority -- he got his shirt off in this one, and a whole lot more. This did so well there is a sequel planned.

But far and away the best performance of his long career is in television's True Detective which just finished airing on HBO and is scheduled for DVD release in early June. Woody Harrelson and he play two detectives trying to solve a gruesome crime over a seventeen year period. Everything about this show is superlative- the writing, the direction, the cinematography, and especially the acting. I can't stop thinking about what an amazing performance he turned in---best thing I've seen since Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad.

The Men Who Owned America

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

The fascinating period of American history after the Civil War seems to be foremost on a lot of TV minds recently as evidenced by popular Western series such as Deadwood and Hell on Wheels. The new-to-the-library documentary series The Men Who Built America (on DVD and blu-ray) casts its eye Eastward to the financiers who profited in the extreme from the technology innovations and discoveries of the time to the end of the Gilded Age.

Rockefeller, Carnegie and Frick, J.P. Morgan, Vanderbilt, and Ford are the focus of this interesting miniseries that follows their various monolopies of the rail lines, oil, steel and then gasoline production, the stock market, and even the White House when they set rivalries aside to ensure their president was elected. The castles they built for themselves, such as Frick's next to Central Park, and the billions of dollars they held led some to call them Robber Barons.

The Men Who Built America credits these larger-than-life investors for the automobile, skyscaper, and development of the West. At the same time, it records their exploitation of workers and the deaths ultimately resulting from their free reign over the marketplace.

The series' editing reflects its original TV broadcast, so there is quite a bit of repetition at the beginning of episodes and where ad breaks would have been. However, the historical content, visuals, and interviews with historians, investment gurus, and motivation speakers (who analyse the qualities that both made and broke the men) make for good watching.

 

Halston's Legacy

by Melanie - 1 Comment(s)

I promised to keep up with the fashion DVD reviews, and while searching to see what we had on Liza Minelli (how great was that blue streak at the Oscars?!), I came across the 2012 Tribeca film Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston.

Ultrasuede positions Halston as the first American designer to be accepted in Europe as a major player. Travelling with an entourage of models, Halston was so influential, he ended up in song lyrics by Chic and Billy Joel. Halston was the first to entertain a mass market line in nation-wide department stores. Ultimately, the documentary shows, this was his undoing. Although common now, designer clients then saw it as brand dissolution and walked away, while the average consumer found the line too pricey and didn't buy. Coupled with a turbulent relationship and the AIDS epidemic, this career move led to Halston's decline which parallelled or perhaps even caused the end of the disco era. What really endures, as Ultrasuede points out, is Halston's minimalist, draped designs and their influence on American fashion design.

You might also enjoy the feature film The Last Days of Disco and for books, the biography Simply Halston: The Untold Story. We also have Studio 54.

Enjoy a Free Film—On Us!

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

SORRY FOLKS- ALL GONE

Check back often as tickets come up regularly and without notice

So here's the link to get free advanced screening passes to Jason Bateman's directorial debut — Bad Words.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 Show Time: 7:00 PM Eau Claire Market Cinemas

Your password/PIN code is MovieManiacsBadWordsCal

Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a 40-year old who finds a loophole in the rules of the National Quill Spelling Bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. Contest officials, outraged parents, and overly ambitious 8th graders are no match for Guy, as he ruthlessly crushes their dreams of victory and fame. As a reporter attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward 10-year old Chaitanya, who is completely unfazed by Guy's take-no-prisoners approach to life.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 81%, IMDB rates it at 8/10 and it was a popular entry at TIFF this year. Comments range from unapologetically dark and hilarious, to vulgar and unnecessary. Judge for yourself...

THOR: The Dark World

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

Join fellow movie lovers at Crowfoot library on Thursday March 20th at 6:30. This month we will be showing the new to DVD release THOR: The Dark World. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, and Tom Hiddleston. It is directed by Alan Taylor who up until now has mostly directed television series, but ones with good credentials like Mad Men, Nurse Jackie and Game of Thrones. They must think he can manage the job because he's also at the helm of Terminator: Genesis, due for release in 2015.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some minor suggestive content. Action-packed, cool looking bad guys, good CGI, tons of other-worldly gizmos and Tom Hiddleston once again stealing the show as Loki.

No registration required and doors open at 6:00. Do what our regulars do---stop for a slurpee on the way in, bring a bag of popcorn and beat the holds list which curently stands at around 500 plus!

See you on the 20th..............................

Tags:

The 86th Oscars Have Come and Gone

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The 86th Oscars are now in the record books and the awards season winds down for another year. If you were one of the tens of millions (I have always doubted their bloated world wide estimate of one billion viewers) who watched you by now have formulated your own opinions on wins, losses and near misses. I found the ceremony rather boring this year, but they may have been trying to gain back a little dignity after Seth McFarlane last year. Ellen is a fine host and there were some good but no great moments. I thought Glenn Close, Sally Field and Bette Midler very good---John Travolta, Goldie Hawn and Kim Novak scary and without exception all the major's speeches rambling and longgggggg.

Now on to what really matters which is what does CPL have and how can I get my hands on it? Here's a quick tutorial for you that will help you narrow your search in our catalogue.

From our home page go into either Catalogue or Search the Catalgoue and in the All Fields drop down menu choose Subject and then enter a category that you are looking for such as;

Academy Awards Best Actress; Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor; Academy Awards Best Cinematography; Academy Awards Nominations 1964 etc, etc etc. Any film that we carry that meets these search terms will be displayed.

So of course for this year you would look for Academy Award Nominations 2013. This is a dynamic list and changes as new fims are released to DVD and become available. Also the 's' on Award can be something of a moving target, so try it both with and without.

March movies Central

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Join fellow movie lovers every Thursday in March in the John Dutton Theatre at the Central Libray from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

MARCH 6th The King and Four Queens (1956, 86 min) Not Rated. Adventure, comedy, mystery

CAST: Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jean Willes, Barbara Nichols. PLOT: An opportunistic con man ingratiates himself with the cantankerous mother of four outlaws and their beautiful widows in order to find their hidden gold.

MARCH 13th Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, 93 min.) Rated PG-13. Drama, fantasy.

CAST: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly. PLOT: Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

MARCH 20th Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012, 105 min) Rated PG. Comedy, drama, fantasy

CAST: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, C. J. James. PLOT: A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.

MARCH 27th Reap the Wild Wind (1942, 123 min) Not Rated. Action, adventure

CAST: John Wayne, Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, Susan Hayward. PLOT: The captain of a salvage busines rescues valuables from the merchant ships wrecked by pirates.

NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED

.

Top Gear

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Not many series can stand the test of time like Top Gear has. This British series has remained at the top of its game for 21 seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. It is the most popular car show in the world.

Join the highly knowledgeable and thoroughly engaging hosts Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May as they explore 'everything car' and I do mean everything. Smart, fast paced, and often just hilarious, this BBC series has it all. They are joined by a steady stream of A-listers who drop by to try their luck on the test course and talk about their favorite cars.

Among some of their better stunts: contraptions they make themselves like a limo so long it requires a rope and pulley to get to the back end; their own versions of "Bond" cars with rocket launchers and flame throwers; being the only people to successfully drive to the magnetic North Pole.

You'll learn things you never thought you needed to know about cars, you'll gasp at some of the prices, and you'll laugh often at the absurdity of their stunts. What's not to like?

12345678910Showing 21 - 30 of 403 Record(s)