Kimberly C's blog

Holiday Hours This Weekend

easter eggsThe library will close at 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 2nd and will remain closed the rest of the weekend in honor of the Easter holiday. It will reopen normal hours on Monday, April 6th. Reminder: Since the library will be closed, there will be no AARP Tax Aide on Saturday, April 4th.

However you might be celebrating, we wish you a safe and happy weekend. Don’t forget to stock up on books and DVD’s for the long weekend!

For more information, call the library at 832-559-4200.

Flickr CC: easter eggs Photo by: lucymay6

Inconceivable!

ferris buellerThe Princess Bride, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Napoleon Dynamite, A Christmas Story, Mean Girls, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Mummy, Airplane!, Pitch Perfect and Clueless.

A seemingly random assortment of movies that all have one thing in common: They are all extremely quotable. They are so quotable that lines from these movies have made their way into everyday conversation. (In fact, one of my younger brothers still retorts, in true Napoleon fashion, “your mom goes to college” when provoked.)  Movie quotes are as important to the longevity of a movie as the acting, the plot, and the visual effects. They are so important, in fact, that the American Film Institute released a list in 2005 of the 100 best movie quotes.

Below, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite quotes from the AFI’s list, 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes. Which quote from the list is your favorite? Is there a quote you think should have been on the list?

  • I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. The Godfather (#2)
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  • Here’s looking at you, kid. Casablanca (#5)

AARP Tax Aide

taxesApril 15th will be here before you know it! Don’t let it sneak up on you this year. Let AARP help you get your taxes filed before the deadline!  Our dedicated AARP volunteers are at the library three times a week, helping individuals with simple tax returns. Assistance is on a first come first serve basis, so get here early to secure your spot. AARP Tax Aide will be provided on Mondays from 12:00-4:00pm, Wednesdays from 10:00am-2:00pm and Saturdays from 11:00am-3:00pm until April 15.

Please bring these items with you:

Teen Tech Week @ The Movies

robotEach year in March, libraries celebrate Teen Tech Week. Hosted by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the American Library Association, Teen Tech Week promotes technology services in the library through programming geared towards teenagers. At Harris County Public Library, we support our customers in their creative and technological endeavors with programming, books and materials, computers and equipment.

Movies have come a long way in the last 125 years, evolving from minute-long scenes filmed without sound and in black and white, to the feature-length movies of today enhanced digitally in post-production. But no matter how fast technology advances, our imaginations always see endless possibilities: time travel, flying cars, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. For years, filmmakers have explored these potential technological futures – whether positive or negative - through movies.

Just this past weekend Chappie, a film about a robot who can think and feel for himself and his implications for humanity, opened in theaters. Movies like Chappie and the ones on the list below allow us to envision a different future. They inspire audiences to think outside the box and take steps to bring some of those technological advances to pass.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of inspiration this Teen Tech Week, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie today!

87th Academy Awards

academy awardLast night, the movie award season came to a satisfying conclusion at the 87th Academy Awards, the biggest night of the year for Hollywood. Like always, the live telecast brought the glitz and the glam, the laughs and the tears. First time Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris kicked off the night with an appropriately musical tribute to movie magic. Joined by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, Harris’ song reminded audiences at home and in the Dolby Theatre why movies are so captivating. It was a charming beginning to a fun night of one-liners, bits, and one show-long magic trick.

Emotions were high throughout the ceremony as winners took to the stage with speeches that ran the gamut of funny (when one of the screenwriters for Birdman thanked his dog Larry), heartfelt (when The Imitation Game screenwriter, Graham Moore, told kids to “stay weird”) and impassioned (the many speeches that mentioned social and political activism). My personal favorite speech of the night was given by supporting actor winner J.K. Simmons, when, after saying his thanks, he closed his speech by strongly advising everyone listening to call their parents, if possible.

Oscar Snubs in Movie History

north by northwest minimalist posterThe goal of the Academy Awards is to honor the best of the best in film and, the majority of the time, they do just that. But sometimes they might get it a little bit wrong. In retrospect, maybe the best picture winner wasn’t quite as outstanding as it seemed. Maybe one of the other nominated films has proven itself an enduring classic, a movie worth re-watching time and again. And sometimes, the best film of the year, the one that reaches classic movie status, wasn’t even nominated.

As happens every year, this year’s Oscar nominees have been met with mixed feelings. There can only be so many nominees in the best picture category and, each year, there are wonderful movies that are left off of the final ballot. This year’s favorite movies not up for a best picture nomination include, among others, a bestselling book made into a film (Gone Girl), a beloved stage musical made into a film (Into the Woods), an inspiring biographical account (Unbroken), and a science fiction epic (Interstellar). But perhaps one of the biggest mysteries of this year’s Oscars is, of course, the absence of The LEGO Movie from the best animated feature nominees. Maybe everything isn’t as awesome as it should be at the Oscars?

If you are suffering from awards season burnout, check out one of these classic films instead! They may not have received a best picture nomination, but they are more than worthy of a second (or third, or fourth…) look!

2015 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

academy awardIn just a few short weeks, the winners of this year’s Academy Awards will be announced in a live telecast. Of the ten actor nominees this year, half have previously received Academy Award nominations, but only one, Robert Duvall has won an Oscar. Also of note, half of the actors are nominated for their portrayal of real people, proving, yet again, that the Academy loves a biopic.

Some years the acting awards seem like a lock, with one person sweeping their category. This year J.K. Simmons seems like a sure bet for the supporting actor win, but there voting seems divided in the best actor category. It will be interesting to see who will take home the award at the end of the month. I have yet to see all of the nominated films, but I already have my favorites. Who would you like to see take home the Oscar this year?

Most of the nominated films are still in theaters so not yet available in HCPL’s catalog, but make sure to check out previous works by the actors!

Best Actor:

AARP Tax Aide

taxesApril 15th will be here before you know it! Have you filed your taxes yet? AARP is back at the library this year to help individuals with simple tax returns. Assistance is on a first come first serve basis, so get here early to secure your spot. AARP Tax Aide will be provided on Mondays from 12:00-4:00pm, Wednesdays from 10:00am-2:00pm and Saturdays from 11:00am-3:00pm until April 15.

Please bring these items with you:

Animated Films at the Oscars

snow white academy awardHistorically, animated feature films never quite received the recognition they deserved at the Academy Awards. Occasionally, animated films that broke technological barriers, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the 1930s, and Toy Story in the 1990s, were given special awards in recognition of their achievements. But it wasn’t until Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 1992, that an animated feature film was nominated for best picture.  Since then, only two other animated feature films, Up and Toy Story 3, have been nominated for best picture, both after the category was expanded to a possible ten nominees. It seemed that, no matter how beloved the movie and how outstanding the reviews, animated films simply did not receive the same level of critical acclaim during awards season as live-action films.

In 2001, however, all of that changed. Aided, in part, by the increasingly diverse selection of animated films released in theaters each year and the overwhelming popularity of some of these films, the Academy added the Best Animated Feature category. The very first Oscar in this category was awarded to the DreamWorks Pictures film Shrek in 2002 at the 64th Academy Awards. Since then, a diverse group of animated films have been recognized for their contribution to film.

Some of the current Oscar nominees in this category are not yet available on DVD, but I have included all of the previous winners at the end of this post. Remember: you’re never too old to love an animated film!

A Comparative Look at the 2015 Movie Awards Season

academy awardLast Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are highly anticipated by Hollywood and movie goers alike. This announcement was the last for the movie awards season, coming after nomination announcements for the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA Awards), the Critics Choice Awards, and the various guild awards (Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild).

Every year, I find it interesting to compare the lists of nominees in the major categories at these awards shows. Sometimes the nominations are strikingly similar (as with this year’s nominees for lead actress and supporting actor), and sometimes they are completely different (as with this year’s nominees for best film and best director). Below, I have listed all the nominees for film, director and the four major acting awards, along with the awards for which they were nominated. 

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