Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 7:57pm
View this item in the catalog. (Season One)
Parks and Recreation is a “mockumentary”-style comedy featuring the staff of the parks and recreation department of the (fictional) town of Pawnee, Indiana. The first season of Parks and Rec might not hook you, but the second and third season are well worth it: the characters, especially Deputy Director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), improve, becoming both more likable and funnier, and their interactions and relationships are more believable as the actors develop a rapport. Parks and Rec is an amusing window into small-town government; most viewers will quickly identify a favorite character, from optimistic Leslie to work-averse Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) to office clown Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari).
Posted on Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 4:14pm
The HBO series Treme is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. The show focuses on how residents are coping with the aftermath of the storm and the difficulties they face from destroyed homes, lack of basic utilities and city services that are in disarray. The characters represent a wide cross-section of the population and provide an interesting tableau. It may take a few episodes to get a feel for the many characters but the time spent is well worth it. In all the episodes there is music and plenty of it. If you enjoy the sounds of New Orleans jazz and funk, this show will not disappoint. The show’s creators first worked together on the hit series The Wire and many actors from that series appear in Treme.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 1:47pm
What does a wife do when she finds out her husband, who is also the Illinois State Attorney General, cheated on her with a prostitute? Thus begins the story of Alicia Florrick, who has to pick up the pieces when her husband is sentenced to prison for his part in the sexual and political corruption scandal. Thanks to an old friend, Will Gardner, she is able to land a job at the law office of Lockhart and Gardner, a prestigious firm in downtown Chicago. Here her new life begins to take shape, and Alicia must weigh her duties as a wife and mother against new possibilities that are open to her, including beginning a romantic relationship with Will, who had been an old college flame. The resulting tension is the basis of the first season. Julianna Margulies won an Emmy for her role as Alicia Florrick.
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 - 2:51pm
This documentary is about the life of Buck Brannaman, who was the inspiration for the film The Horse Whisperer. Today Buck spends the majority of his time on the road giving clinics around the country sharing his gentle style of horse training. What gives his story another dimension is his early upbringing. Buck and his older brother, Smokey, were star trick ropers on the rodeo circuit as children. They were taught by their abusive father who demanded the best in the boys and regularly beat them. After the death of their mother when the boys were young, the beatings escalated. The turning point came in high school when the football coach saw evidence of the physical abuse and called the sheriff. The boys were moved to a foster home where they found safety and love. Buck went on to study horse training with Ray Hunt, one of the founders of the natural horsemanship movement, finding his calling and becoming an inspiration to many.
Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 3:14pm
You do not have to like football to enjoy this great TV series about a high school football team from the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Friday Night Lights, which ran for five seasons on NBC, is an adaptation of the book and the film by the same name. Coach Eric Taylor is central to the story, as is his relationship with his wife Tami and his daughter Julie. This TV series covers gritty, emotional themes (rape, murder, racism, infidelity, steroid use, life-changing injuries, etc.) in a dramatic and effective way.
After the first episode, I was hooked when the star quarterback gets hurt and the inexperienced shy sophomore backup quarterback has to take his place. All the characters ring true and feel real as we see them face life’s challenges, make difficult decisions, and deal with the consequences. The superb writing gives these characters some great lines that will make you laugh and cry. Borrow this TV series from the library, pop the popcorn and get ready to meet Coach Taylor, his family and the people of Dillon, Texas.
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 12:13pm
Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese is based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It is an enchanting film set in a railway station in 1930s Paris. Hugo is a young orphan boy whose father, a clock maker, was working on restoring an automation (mechanical man) when he was killed in a museum fire. After his father’s death, Hugo is taken in by his alcoholic uncle who takes care of the clocks in the railway station. When his uncle goes missing, Hugo takes over the care of the clocks unknown to management. Hugo must learn to fend for himself and takes to stealing food all the while dodging the station policeman. The young boy desperately wants to fix the automation as he believes it will reveal a message from his father. In trying to gets parts for repairs, Hugo steals toys from the toy shop owner, a former film maker whose best days have passed him by, and is caught. The meeting of these two individuals is pivotal to the rest of the story. They help each other in unexpected ways and learn that it is possible to rediscover and follow ones dreams.
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 9:22am
Downton Abbey, a British period drama, is a masterpiece. The first season begins with the news of the Titanic’s sinking, and ends with the announcement that Britain has been drawn into World War I; season two takes place during the war and in the immediate postwar years, up to 1920. (Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of the series, owes a debt to an earlier British TV drama, Upstairs Downstairs (1971-1975), which also featured a rich family and its servants.) Downton Abbey’s cast of characters also spans the class spectrum, from the Dowager Countess (played by Maggie Smith, whose one-liners may be the best part of the show) and Lord and Lady Grantham and their three daughters, all the way down to Daisy the kitchen maid. The acting is superb, the relationships between the characters intricate, and the costumes and sets lush and perfect: the show is filmed partly at Highclere Castle and partly at Ealing Studios in London. Season three is in production – and eagerly awaited by many.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 2:56pm
This movie is based on the book of the same name written by Colin Clark, who as a young man spent time as an assistant on the movie The Prince and the Show Girl starring Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier. He chronicles the friction between the two stars—Marilyn was insecure and dependent on pills, Sir Laurence was punctual and obsessive. As the production became more chaotic, Marilyn turns to Colin as a confidant and the two wind up spending a week palling around seeing the sights together. The movie is a gem and the acting is superb. Michelle Williams received an academy award nomination as best actress and it is easy to see why. She embodies Marilyn exuding the charisma and vulnerability of the late actress.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:08pm
This is a delightful romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen starring Owen Wilson (Gil) and Rachel McAdams (Inez) who play a California couple engaged to be married. They take a trip to Paris with the bride-to-be’s parents providing plenty of opportunity for both to reflect on what they want out of life. Adding another dimension to the film is at midnight, Gil is magically transported to 1920s Paris where he meets and mingles with stars from the art scene: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Picasso and more. This experience makes Gil yearn for a different life and further enamors him to the City of Love.
Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 4:14pm
The Other Guys with Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg as a couple of NYPD detectives is full of laughs. They hate their jobs and they hate each other. Will Farrell is at his best and Mark Wahlberg is excellent as his over-the-edge partner. Even Michael Keaton shines as the chief. I gave it a definite thumbs up!
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