by Beth Fisher on January 6th, 2013
Do you ever find yourself standing in front of the DVD collection completely unable to find something “good” to watch? You’re in the mood for a movie, but just can’t think of a particular title, and nothing seems to pique your interest?
Well according to Rob Christopher’s new book “Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie” finding a good movie spontaneously is really a crap shoot. Just like most other things in life, it takes a bit of thought or planning to find a good movie – if “good” is really what you’re in the mood for.
This book is by no means a “Best List.” Christopher and his 10 guest contributors (including comedian Julia Sweeney, author Barry Gifford, and jazz musician Ken Vandermark) have come up with 24 themed lists that will hopefully help you create your own list of movies you want to watch – your own personal queue.
What do Psycho (1960), The Thin Man (1934) and Die Hard (1988) have in common?
Psycho and Other Surprising Christmastime Movies
How about: Seven Samurai (1954), Mad Max (1979) and Outland (1981) ?
“Nine Westerns That Aren’t Westerns”
Or Reefer Madness (1938), Logan’s Run (1976) and Showgirls (1995) ?
“Ten Movies So Bad They’re Good”
The lists in this book just might surprise you: “Better Than the Book”, “Movies Guaranteed To Make you Cry,” “Flops That Actually Aren’t Half Bad” and my two favorites “Bettter Than The Book!” and “Favorite Late-Night Spooky Films.” This book is definitely worth getting in the queue for.
by Brian Visser on November 26th, 2012
I’m going to be honest with you, I was initially drawn to “Safety Not Guaranteed” due to the involvement of the lovely Aubrey Plaza (from my favorite show, Parks & Rec). I was rewarded with an off-beat, heartfelt indie that won me over despite its misfire of an ending.
The movie follows Darius (Plaza), an intern at a Seattle magazine, who is disinterested and disconnected with her life. Darius and two other co-workers see a potential story in an odd classified ad from someone who claims to have traveled through time and is looking for a partner to embark on another trip. They discover that the ad was placed by an intense, but likable, supermarket clerk named Kenneth (played by Mark Duplass).
Darius finds a kindred spirit in Kenneth and soon befriends him. She’s unsure of his claims, just as the audience is, but you just can’t help but be disarmed by how earnest he is. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t a fan of the ending (and a quick check on Rotten Tomatoes tells me that it was divisive), but the overall charm of the movie makes it worth watching.
by Maeve Clark on October 4th, 2012
October 5th marks the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film, Dr. No. Take a trip through the Bond filmography at ICPL. We have 20 of the Bond films, from the earliest, Dr. No, to the most recent, Quantum of Solace. The newest Bond film, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig debuts in theaters on November 9. Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories served as the inspiration for Bond and you can borrow all of them from the library. Other authors have penned 007 works from Kingsley Amis , (writing under the pseudonym of Robert Markham) to Jeffery Deaver.
Friendships have been lost arguing over who is the best Bond, I am torn between Connery and Craig. How about you? Take the “Which James Bond are You?” quiz to see if you are a classic Bond or one of those pretenders. Let’s not neglect the toys. Morning Edition interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson on which gadgets might really work and some just might. And last but not least, let’s all raise a toast to 007, and remember, the martini is shaken, not stirred.
by Brian Visser on April 2nd, 2012
Full disclosure: I have not read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo nor have I seen the Swedish language film. This either makes me the best person to review the 2011 remake or the worst. So what made me want to watch the remake after I had passed up the book and the original film? Director David Fincher. He’s the mastermind behind such films as “Seven,” “Fight Club” and “The Social Network.” I’m a huge fan of his movies, and I even enjoyed the ones that others considered duds like “The Game,” “Panic Room” and “Zodiac.” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is definitely in his wheelhouse.
For the three people who have not consumed the story: Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig) is hired by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), an aging industrialist, to figure out who killed his niece 40 years earlier. Everyone in Vanger’s eccentric family, including a handful of Nazis, is a suspect. Lisbeth Salander is the titular “Girl,” a gifted hacker who helps Blomkvist piece together the mystery. Salander is played (inhabited is a better word) by Rooney Mara whose regular girl-next-door look is subverted into the pierced, alt icon. Mara is 100% devoted to the role, and she owns the movie because of it.
Fincher’s take is bleak and beautiful with atmosphere to spare. Every shot is purposeful and builds tension. The movie looks, for the lack of a better word, expensive. Which also might be a bit of a problem, because the movie didn’t perform quite up to expectations. So, Fincher led sequels are up in the air. In the meantime, I’m going to devour the books, which is something I obviously should’ve done a long time ago.