Movies & Television
The Bad News Bears — In the orignal version, Walter Matthau is a grumbling beer-guzzling former minor-league pitcher who gets roped into coaching a band of half-pint misfits somewhat loosely called a team.
Watching a television series on DVD is a great way to catch a TV show you may have missed out on. Plus, you get the added convenience of being able to watch as much or as little as you want — without any commercial interruptions! Here are some recommended titles to get you started:
Deadwood — The life and times of a group of men and women who set up camp in Deadwood, South Dakota during the gold rush of 1876
Veronica Mars — Follows Veronica Mars, an apprentice private investigator, as she solves the town of Neptune's toughest mysteries
White Collar [season 1 DVDs available here] is a procedural crime drama about FBI white collar crime expert Peter Burke and his former-art-forger-and-thief confidential informant Neal Caffrey, who in conjunction with his friend Mozzie (pictured) use unconventional tactics to bring criminals to justice. If you enjoy this fictionalization, try some of these true stories of brilliant theft and deception:
Gaming the game: the story behind the NBA betting scandal and the gambler who made it happen by Sean Patrick Griffin
Literary hoaxes: an eye-opening history of famous frauds by Melissa Katsoulis
Madoff with the money by Jerry Oppenheimer
Jane Eyre is a classic I love to revisit. I don't think I am alone, considering the oodles of sequels, adaptations, and movies based on the book. And [rapturous sigh] a new movie version is being released on March 11, 2011. If you are a fellow Eyre-head, browse the Jane-related works at CPL to pass the time as you wait breathlessly for the latest movie to premiere.
Jane Eyre — I love Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane, but, really, what were they thinking to cast William Hurt as Rochester?
It's Super Grover 2.0! This week on Sesame Street is all about the new and improved super monster, who is faster, braver, and cuter than ever! Can't get enough of the loveable, furry blue guy? Check out one of Canton Public Library's Sesame Street movies starring his alter ego. Have fun!
Note: Tickets for this event are sold out as of Thursday, April 7, 2011.
- Airplane! (1980)
- All the President's Men (1976)
- Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Front Page (1931)
- Grey Gardens (1976)
- It's a Gift (1934)
- Malcolm X (1992)
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
- Newark Athlete (1891)
- The Pink Panther (1964)
- Saturday Night Fever (1977)
- Star Wars. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
The complete list can be found here.
This is in contrast to Rocky, which shows Philadelphia in a mostly-neutral light; along with a glorious training montage that made the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps an icon and tourist attraction. Given the positive effect of Rocky on Philly tourism, the strong identification of that film with a particular filming location, demand for a statue for photography purposes, and the pre-existence of a bronze Rocky statue (which was created as a prop for Rocky III), the permanent installation of the prop statue seems natural.
Now, in Detroit, with the resurgence of civic pride and national recognition:
Some people have come forward to have a statue of Detroit film history erected.
But where? The Detroit in the film bears little resemblance to the rising-Phoenix-Detroit we see today. Additionally, no location in the film was particularly memorable above others. Maybe RoboCop isn't the right fictional Detroiter for a statue. Here are some films set in Detroit for your sculptural inspiration:
Start some family discussions by watching one of these five films.
Remember the Titans — The story of how school integration affects a football team and its coaches.
Akeelah and the bee — Akeelah overcomes a distracting home life to participate in the national spelling bee
The princess and the frog — New Orleans waitress Tiana's plans to own her own restaurant are sidelined by some unusual developments of an amphibian nature.
A call to remember notable events, especially surprise attacks and disasters, is a well-known trope in the cultural memory. As George Santayana quipped, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." So, in case you have forgotten, here are some resources for remembrance of things past:
Remember the Alamo
The Alamo: a cultural history by Frank Thompson
The Alamo [videodisc] by The History Channel
Remember the Maine
How the battleship Maine was destoyed by H.g. Rickover
Adam — A romantic character study examining the obstacles to intimacy and the compromises we make in the name of love, Adam stars Hugh Dancy as a man living with Asperger's syndrome who does his best to reach out to his pretty new upstairs neighbor.
Avatar — Jake Sully is a former Marine who uses a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth's energy crisis.
The blind side — Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama.
Saturday, January 15 would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 82nd birthday. We celebrate his life, his message, and the spirit of the Civil Rights movement on the third Monday of every January. For some, this means a day off of work or school; for many others it's a day of community service (Find volunteer opportunities on the All for Good site). Whether you choose to serve, attend special community events, or simply reflect, Canton Public Library has useful resources for you:
Martin Luther King — Books
Behind the dream: the making of the speech that transformed a nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly
What would Martin say? by Clarence B. Jones and Joel Engel
If you've seen The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in theaters and can't get enough of all things Narnian, here are some other fantasy voyages to check out:
The book of three by Lloyd Alexander — An Assistant Pigkeeper sets out on a quest to make a name for himself in the country of Prydain.
Tuck everlasting by Natalie Babbitt — The Tuck family discovers the source of the fountain of youth, but find that eternal youth isn't all it's cracked up to be.
These five movies are, in my opinion, some of the most overlooked and underrated Christmas movies of all time. Give them a shot this holiday season, and escape the films you've already seen hundreds and hundreds of times.
The Muppet Christmas carol — There have been plenty of Muppet movies, and even more versions of Dickens' Christmas Carol, but Michael Caine's Scrooge makes this my favorite movie in both categories.
Die hard — An often overlooked fact about Die Hard: it takes place during a Christmas Eve holiday party in Los Angeles. Maybe the lack of snow is what makes people forget this?
It seems like the holidays are also peak sickness time. After spending my Thanksgiving under the weather, I came up with my favorite holiday movies that I'm never too sick to enjoy.
Manhunt : the twelve-day chase for Lincoln's killer by James L. Swanson
Krakatoa : the day the world exploded, August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
Triangle : the fire that changed America by David Von Drehle