Movies & TV

Rainy Days and Nights

I love the rain.  Not a heavy downpour, of course.  No, I’m talking about when there’s a soft, steady rain and it’s kind of cool out and it’s possible to stay home and read or watch old movies and sip cocoa and listen to the rain on the roof and windows – well, what’s not to love?  Okay, I confess that I do tend to enjoy thunderstorms, too.  I even like to watch the lightning streak across the sky and hear the thunder – from safe inside and not too close, that is.

Touchdown!

yard linesWe’re now partway through the NFL preseason and football fever is well and truly in the air. If I’m being honest, I’m a pretty terrible example of a football fan. My football knowledge is pretty basic, watching games live gives me anxiety (Will my team win? Why are we losing at the half?! That was a terrible call!), and I am really only invested in one or two teams at a time (the Houston Texans and, in college football, my beloved Texas Aggies). Despite all that, each year I find myself more and more caught up by the football fervor that sweeps over the country.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a super fan to enjoy a football movie. I say fortunately because, as you’ve no doubt noticed, there are an awful lot of football movies coming out of Hollywood. It would be a shame to miss them when most feature actors popular with both critics and audiences (i.e., Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side and Mark Wahlberg in Invincible), and many are based on inspiring true stories. Some football movies add humor to the game, while others, like We are Marshall inspire viewers to rise above and persevere.

Whether you’re playing football, fantasy football or armchair football this season, check out one of these movies for a little bit of inspiration!

Who? What? Where? When? Why? And maybe How?

There’s nothing like a good mystery movie.  I love them.  I like observing and putting together the clues and trying to figure out whodunit. 

But what if a character in a movie has the daunting task of trying to figure out “Who am I?”

The Western

west texas stormLast weekend, I went on a road trip to West Texas to visit family. If you have ever made that trip yourself, you know that driving across Texas is always a crazy experience. First, it takes a really long time to get anywhere by car because Texas is just that big. Not even the 80 mph speed limits make that much of a dent. Second, the scenery outside the car window is always changing as you travel across the state. From cityscapes and flatlands to the green trees of hill country and the brown expanse of West Texas, it is hard to believe it all belongs in one state.

Cooling Off

It’s summertime in Houston.  And that means one thing: it’s hot.

It’s REALLY hot!

I’ve lived in Texas a long time.  Every year I'm probably like a lot of people who think, “I'll never get used to this!”  And, yet, we do seem to adjust – however little bit – to summer temps.

Of course, it’s nice to just get somewhere with air conditioning and have a cold drink and think cool thoughts.

67th Primetime Emmy Nominations

emmyLast week, the nominations for the Primetime Emmys were announced. Honoring excellence in primetime television, the Emmys are highly anticipated by those in the field and those of us who simply love television. As a self-professed lover of all things TV, the Emmys align perfectly with my interests.

Like most years at the Emmys, there are many familiar titles and faces nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Because of the multi-season nature of most television shows, this makes sense. This sort of repetitive nomination pattern is less likely to happen at, for example, the Oscars, where new movies are released in theaters each year, starring different actors and actresses, and written, directed and produced by different people. In television, a show might be nominated every year it runs, like Modern Family, or it might receive a nomination its first season, only to be replaced in future years by the next big show.

This year, however, there are a number of new names amongst the nominations. The Lead Actress in a Drama category is a prime example of this, with three new faces including Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson, both strong, talented actresses who made the switch from movies to television, and Tatiana Maslany, who is finally nominated for her third season of incredible work on Orphan Black. This year also sees an increase in television produced by streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon. It will be interesting to see how this new format of television continues to impact the field in years to come.

With such an eclectic group of nominees, I, for one, am curious how the votes might fall this year. Will the Emmys go to the familiar faces in television, or will the new shows and faces be recognized for their addition to Primetime television?

Below, I have listed the nominees in the drama and comedy categories for Outstanding Series, Lead Actor and Actress, and Supporting Actor and Actress. Who would you like to see win an Emmy this year?

Omar Sharif (1932-2015)

Last week saw the passing of fine actor.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

sharkHappy Shark Week! In 1988, the very first Shark Week, an annual event that offers movies and documentaries that promote shark awareness, premiered on the Discovery Channel. Now in its 28th year, Shark Week is more popular than ever.

Of course, this fascination with sharks didn’t start with Shark Week. Thirteen years previously in 1975, Jaws was released to massive critical and fan acclaim. With masterful direction by Steven Spielberg, a script co-written by Peter Benchley (who wrote the novel the film was based on) and Carl Gottlieb, an ominous main theme by John Williams, and memorable performances by stellar actors and an often-faulty mechanical shark, Jaws has become not only a cult classic, but one of the greatest movies of the twentieth century.

Since that time, sharks have repeatedly served as the inspiration for movies – often in a slightly campy, yet terrifying capacity. In fact, many a sci fi creature feature has starred an outrageously unrealistic shark terrorizing beachgoers. But that’s not to say that sharks can’t be friendly. In Pixar’s Finding Nemo, for example, the sharks are learning that “fish are friends, not food!” No matter the role, sharks remain a familiar feature in movies.

If you’re in the mood for a shark movie or two, but missed some of this year’s Shark Week programming, the library has you covered! Check out the list below and request a shark movie today!

TEEN MOVIE TIME

Teens join us Monday, July 13, at 2:30 p.m. for a movie featuring a band of high-tech superheroes.  And, of course, there will be plenty of snacks.  For ages 10 and up.

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.

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