Titanic: Blood and Steel

Friday, June 6, 2014
3 part DVD
Titanic: Blood and Steel

The movie “Titanic: Blood & steel” is a 3 part dramatic rendition of the events prior to the Titanic’s  demise.  You get to examine the workers, administrators, & the financial backers that could have been accountable for the sinking incident. The “blood” part of the movie is in reference to the number of people that died because of the political & religious conflicts that took place in Ireland where the ship was built. The steel part of the title refers to the possibility that the steel wasn’t tempered hot enough and that there was a steel strike in effect during the construction of the Titanic. Watching this movie encouraged me to learn more about this tragic incident. One of the books that I read was “Gilded lives, fatal voyage.” Narratives of the “rich and famous” were “scrupulously” researched and very fascinating to read. One such passenger, named Elinor Glyn wrote the book, “Three weeks” which launched a new publishing genre—the erotic romance novel.  

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Geralyn B. Technical Services

The Book Thief (DVD)

Friday, June 6, 2014

I usually try to stay away from films made from books that I love…too much disappointment.  Either the story changes significantly (My Sister’s Keeper) or the cast is just a mismatch (think Russell Crowe in Les Mis).  However, I was most pleasantly surprised by The Book Thief.  The film is about a young girl living with a German family during the Nazi era. Taught to read by her kind-hearted foster father (played by the incomparable Goeffrey Rush), the girl begins "borrowing" books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee (played exquisitely by Ben Schnetzer) being sheltered by her foster parents in their basement.  But the star, the absolute star of the movie is Sophie Nelisse - Liesel Meminger herself. Whoever cast this young French Canadian saved this movie from obscurity.  If you read The Book Thief, give the movie a try – and if you haven’t, and just want to see a sad but beautiful and understated movie - that’s okay too. Check our Catalog

Kathleen M., Administration

Breaking Bad

Monday, May 19, 2014
TV Series DVD
Breaking Bad

Don’t have cable or satellite TV at home? Then you might want to check the library’s catalog for the shows your friends are talking about. One I’d heard buzz about was Breaking Bad, and I wasn’t disappointed with either finding it at the library—or the show itself. Walter White is a well-liked, mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher. He leads a typical suburban lifestyle. He has a wife, teenage son, and baby on the way. Then comes a cancer diagnosis, and Walter wonders how his son will be able to go to college, let alone his family live comfortably without his salary. What does a decent man who’s dying do? He makes a plan. Only in this situation the plan is indecent. The acting and writing are so spot-on in this drama series you can’t help but empathize with Walter. But beware—aberrant and fantastic circumstances abound in every episode! Check our Catalog

Doris M., Reference


Amazing Stories DVD

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Steven Spielberg's foray into television, Amazing Stories, was based loosely on a pulpy sci-fi magazine from the '40s and '50s. Yet despite the retro concept, Amazing Stories brought high gloss and state-of-the-art production values to their yarns of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Spielberg directed many episodes and wrote most. Part of the fun of this collection is seeing if you can recognize the stars under all that 80's hair and big glasses!  Many "names" worked either in front of or behind the camera, including Martin Scorsese, Sam Waterston, Tim Robbins, Clint Eastwood, Harvey Keitel, Brad Bird, Burt Reynolds, Kyra Sedgwick, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Jon Cryer and John Lithgow. The storytelling is crackerjack, and the trip down TV memory lane priceless.  Check our Catalog.

Diane, Admin

Adventures of the Penguin King

Friday, April 25, 2014
Adventures of the Penguin King

Adventures of the Penguin King traces the life and adventures of a King Penguin, beginning just as he ends three years of swimming in the sea as a youth.  Rex and his cousins, Larry and Moe return to Penguin City on South Georgia Island, not far from frozen Antarctica, to find a mate and raise a family. The photography is beautiful and Tim Allen does a great job pf narrating his adventures. Along the way we learn about the life cycle of King Penguins and have fun at the same time.  This was a great DVD. I enjoyed it even though it is a jDVD.  I like anything involving nature! Check our Catalog

Betsy H., Reference

The Way, Way Back (DVD)

Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Way, Way Back (DVD)

I’ve noticed that not too many movies have made their way onto the staff blog, so I’m here to change things around a little.

In a way, the plot of this film is very simple. A shy boy named Duncan goes with his mother to her boyfriend’s beach house for the summer. By coincidence, Duncan meets an unlikely friend named Owen who steps in right when Duncan has no one. Those sentences can sum up the plot, but it’s the characters that make this movie so completely nostalgic and wonderful. In particular, Sam Rockwell pulls off the charming and hilarious Owen who sees humor in everything, and Steve Carell convincingly plays a villain (not his usual choice in character) who deserves a well-aimed punch to the face in the very first scene.

It’s hard to explain why this film is hilarious, quirky, and relatable when it needs to be watched to be experienced. All I can say is if you like heart-warming comedies, or like cheering for the underdog, or even if you just really miss summer, this movie should bring a smile to your face. 

Check our catalog for this DVD!

Jada B., Circulation

Legends of the Fall DVD

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
TriStar Pictures
Legends of the Fall DVD

I really enjoyed this story of 3 brothers and one woman who is loved by all 3 of them.  The movie takes place during WWI and part of it is very graphic scenes of the war.  The Montana scenery is beautiful.  The characters are excellent and the story line is compelling.  I strongly recommend this fascinating DVD.

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Sue N. Youth Services

Transformers DVD

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Transformers DVD

Since some of the Transformer movies will be filmed in Detroit and I saw the setting near Comertica Park, I decided to step out of the box and watch the first Transformer DVD. It was definitely not my kind of movie but I enjoyed the action, the amazing transformers, and the actors and actress. If you plan to see the one filmed in Detroit, you might want to see this first one as I did. Check our catalog

Sue N. Youth Services

Optimizing Brain Fitness - The Great Courses DVD

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Professor Richard Rustak
Optimizing Brain Fitness

There are two DVDs plus a 65 page booklet. I enjoyed learning about the brain and how to keep mine functioning at its maximum. Some of the things I learned are that there is no such thing as multitasking. (Therefore don’t drive and talk on the phone and/or text at the same time) Naps are a good thing and it reinforced how important a good night’s sleep is to your memory. Various mental games are suggested to help keep us mentally sharp and it also included the importance of physical exercise and eating healthfully.

The Dvds are divided into 12 thirty minute lectures:
1. How Your Brain Works
2. How Your Brain Changes
3. Care and Feeding of the Brain
4. Creativity and the Playful Brain
5. Focusing Your Attention
6. Enhancing Your Memory
7. Exercising Your Working Memory
8. Putting Your Senses to Work
9. Enlisting Your Emotional Memory
10. Practicing for Peak Performance
11. Taking Advantage of Technology
12. Building Your Cognitive Reserve

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Betsy H., Reference

In Darkness

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
In Darkness

This is a beautiful film.  It is based on the true story of a small group of Jews that survived the liquidiation of the ghetto by the Germans in Poland.  Leopold Socha is a the sewer inspector with a dubious moral character that begins a business relationship with the Jews.  He will protect them and provide food for a daily fee.  As the story progresses there are daily decisions to be made about whether or not he will abandon them, turn them in for a reward, or continue to care for them.  The Jews spend 14 months living in the labyrinth of the sewers.  Unique to this film, love and sex are portrayed in a way that shows the Jews not just surviving, but living.  The film was nominated in 2011 for Best Foreign Language Film.  Hearing the characters speak in the languages of the time brought an even richer depth to the film.  For example, Socha spoke in a Polish dialect of the lower class of the time.  Check our catalog

Cindy A., Circ.


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