Movies & TV

In the Workplace

Comedies have been a part of television from the beginning.  And while the earliest sitcoms focused on home and family life, workplace comedies were common, too.  In the 1950s, shows like Our Miss Brooks and Mr.

Vroom, Vroom...

deloreanTwo weeks ago Furious 7, the highly anticipated addition to The Fast & The Furious movie franchise, released in theaters to huge box office numbers. Much of this box office success is, of course, generated by fans of the series. But a far more solemn reason behind Furious 7’s success is that it was the last movie filmed by Paul Walker before he passed away in a tragic accident last year. The success of this movie stands as a testament not only to the draw of action movies in general, but to Walker’s enduring legacy as a respected and beloved actor.

Movies revolving around cars had long been a staple in Hollywood before The Fast & The Furious premiered in 2001. That franchise is, perhaps, unique in its success, but it is not unique in its portrayal of the culture of cars and the people who drive them. However, a movie doesn’t necessarily have to be about cars for it to feature a recognizable vehicle. In fact, some movie cars are so iconic, like the DeLorean in Back to the Future, that, even though they are not the central plot of the film, they almost become an extra character in the movie.

Below, I have listed a few movies that prominently feature cars. Some of these are firmly entrenched in car culture, while others simply feature an iconic car. Which is your favorite?

Made in Canada

On April 18, the third season of Orphan Black premieres on BBC America.  As a fan, I’m excited enough for two or three

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)

Senior Class 2: The Americans at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This past weekend, I went to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to one of my favorite movies in recent years, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  (which I wrote about two years ago under the title Senior

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!

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

Wow.  This obit is a tough one to write.  Because this actor is one I grew up watching on a series and in the movies I will always enjoy.

Leonard Nimoy.

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.

2015 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

It’s finally here!  Of all the awards given out every year for movies, this is the big one.  The one we place bets on.  The one where we compete against friends and family to see if our choices match those of the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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!

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