Movies & TV

American History and the Fourth of July

This weekend we Americans celebrate the birth of our country.  In fact, this is our 239th birthday.  I remember the excitement of the Bicentennial in 1976 and hope to be around for the Sestercentennial in 2026.  But, to tell the truth, I find every Independence Day to be exhilarating.

James Horner (1953-2015)

Music brings something special to movies.  Certain film scores bring memories of favorite movie scenes and the emotions those scenes evoked.  Think of Kevin Costner’s Ray Kinsella playing catch with his dad in Field of Dreams.  Or Sam Wort

Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Last week, we lost a fine actor with the passing of Sir Christopher Lee.  During his long career, he gave us one outstanding performance after another.  We probably know him best for his villainous roles, from

Undercover

secretsEarlier this week, I finished watching the first season of Graceland, a current television show about a group of undercover federal agents living and working out of a government-seized beach house in California. The show is addictive, suspenseful and smart, with secrets and lies in every storyline. By the end of the season, my opinions about each character had changed so many times that I wasn’t quite sure who to trust. 

The world of undercover cops and federal agents has long been a source of inspiration for filmmakers. Audiences are fascinated by the idea of cultivating an undercover identity and infiltrating the criminal underworld. There is danger at every turn, secrets to guard and to uncover, and even the smallest misstep can lead to the very real possibility of exposure. Movies about undercover work not only give us a sneak peek into the criminal world, but into the psychology of what it might be like to live a lie. In nearly every undercover movie, there is a point where viewers worry the character might have crossed over the line and is in danger of becoming the very person they are trying to catch. It is this delicate balance between good and evil that invites filmmakers and audiences to explore the world of undercover cops time and again.

Of course, not every movie about undercover cops is dark and suspenseful. Some of them, like Miss Congeniality and 21 Jump Street, take a funnier, more light-hearted approach to undercover work. These movies may not delve as deeply into the psychology of undercover, but they certainly have their place.

If you’re in the mood for an undercover movie this weekend, browse the HCPL catalog and request one today!

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

San AndreasIn my years enthusiastically discussing movies with everyone I meet, I have noticed that even when people have wildly different tastes in films, they always (and this is a blatant generalization) agree on one thing: The Rock. Everyone loves The Rock. He is effortlessly cool and charismatic, imposing in stature, but an overall nice guy with a strong work ethic and a healthy appreciation for his fans.

Despite his immense popularity as an actor, Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock) didn’t start out in movies. In college, he played football for the University of Miami and had dreams of eventually going pro. But after a series of injuries left him benched, he turned to professional wrestling, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. The first third-generation professional wrestler for the WWF, Johnson quickly made a name for himself in the ring. 

The Beauty of Horses

They have worked the fields and across the range. They have provided transportation. They have been part of sports and entertainment. They’ve been companions and part of our leisure time. They are one of humankind’s best animal friends.

Horses.

Kick off Your Sunday Shoes

dancing sculptureA high school dance is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Whether it is Spring Fling, the Homecoming Dance, a Winter Formal or Senior Prom, most people probably have a story or two from their own high school dance. These dances seem so important to the high school experience that they appear as turning points in many movies. In movies that feature a dance, relationships are made and broken on the dance floor, impassioned speeches are delivered, and the mean girls always learn their lesson.

Unfortunately, none of my high school dances involved spontaneous choreographed dancing, elaborately decorated ballrooms, or happily ever after like they do in the movies. But they also didn’t include buckets of blood, tears or murder, so I suppose I can handle the memories of uncoordinated dancing.

Below, I have put together a list of movies that feature a school dance. Although most of the movies don’t revolve around the dance, it does play a crucial part in the plot and the developing relationships of the characters. Which movie dance do you wish you could attend?

Suspense in Black & White

I don’t know about you, but I love a good suspense movie.  Not a horror film, though sometimes I watch those.  No, I like a wonderful psychological or crime thriller that borders on a good mystery and that leaves you on the edge of your seat, not really knowing what will happen next.  And usually without a lot of violence.

In Theaters This Friday—AND on your Apple or Android, Too!

This Friday, May 8, for the first time ever, your HCPL library card will let you stream a new movie to your Apple or Android device on the same day it opens in theaters--courtesy of Hoopla, HCPL’s streaming movie and music service.

That’s right. The comedy, Welcome to Me, produced by Will Ferrell and starring Kristen Wiig, will open in theaters and on your smart phone, tablet, or home computer at the same time, and it is free! No $8 popcorn. No trek across the mall parking lot. You don’t even have to silence your cell phone if you don’t want to.

Book Hunters in Brief #72: Happy Birthday, Orson!

The mass market wine ads and way too many appearances on the Tonight Show aside (not to mention the famously prodigious appetites and the girth to go with them), Orson Welles was not the peaked-by-thirty, riding-on-his-younger self's-coattails punch line that many seem to remember him as these days.

Or maybe he was...

Syndicate content