These DVDs have just recently been added to our catalog. Put them on hold today!
The month of October always brings up memories of fall, family birthdays, and Halloween. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Apple cider, carving pumpkins, chocolate, and a combination of store bought and homemade costumes–is there anything better than that? Some of my more memorable costumes include dressing up in kimonos, a butterfly, and the occasional princess. However, the costume that I remember the most was She-Ra, Princess of Power. She-Ra had everything a little girl could want: superpowers, sidekicks and a twin brother.
Don’t be surprised if you see She-Ra at the library one Halloween. For the honor of Greyskull! I am She-Ra!
Since we are talking about Doctor Who… I will admit it, I am a Whovian. (It is a real word; you can find it in the Oxford English Dictionary) I have been a fan of the Series since I was a child. The first Doctor Who I remember watching was Tom Baker, the Doctor with the really long scarf. Now this was in the late 70’s early 80’s. The show’s special effects were cheesy, but that was ok because other than that it was smart, humorous, full of adventure and just downright fun to watch. But what I remember most about that Doctor Who was it was a show that my mother and I watched together, and shared the experience. Even though I was on the cusp of becoming a surly teenager it was something we enjoyed doing together.
Now some 30 odd years later I am watching the new Doctor Who with my 9 year old son. The series has been through some rocky times. (If you want to learn more the library has histories, guides and more!) It is still a little cheesy but the special effects are much better, it is still smart, humorous and downright fun to watch, and we love it. And I hope sometime in the far distant future, he will look back with fond memories of watching the show with me.
The first full episode featuring the new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, will premier tonight at 7 p.m. on BBC America. If you are not already a fan, this would be the perfect opportunity to start watching!
– Laura Douglas
Librarian at Emily Fowler Central Library
I can’t decide if I like Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. Granted, he was on screen for 5 seconds during the last episode, but that doesn’t decrease my scepticism. I know my judgement is unfair, so I’ve decided to take the high road and look into some of the things he has done in the past. There are many options when trying to decide if you like an actor and mine is usually to go the library catalog and look to see if I have seen anything they have been in. The only thing that came up that I knew was the last Doctor Who episode. There were other things, but I haven’t seen them. I know he has been in more than that, so I went to his Internet Movie Database (IMDB) page located here. There are many things he has been in that I have seen and that we have at the library, he just had such a minor role it didn’t show up in the library record.
The first one I came across is The Fifth Estate. It also has Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock. The reviews I have seen on this movie were mixed. It should be noted that the acting was never in question, but it was the content that was controversial. The movie is about the infamous WikiLeaks and the very interesting Julian Assange. It is based on a true story, but I don’t know enough about WikiLeaks to have an opinion on if it was really more on the true side or more on the made up side of storytelling.
The next movie is World War Z with Brad Pitt. Peter Capaldi played a W.H.O doctor. I vaguely remember him in this role. The story is about a man who, for some reason is important enough to be rescued during the zombie apocalypse and his family is taken to a secure location while he goes to figure out why the zombies are there and how to stop them. I hated this movie and I try to forget it ever existed. The book was AMAZING. The book is World War Z: The Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. Every chapter is a different perspective of a survivor of the war. There are refugees, fighter pilots, regular people, generals, and anyone else you can think of. It is storytelling at it’s best. As a matter of fact, I’m not even going to post a picture of the movie, just the book.
Torchwood: Children of Earth is another show he was in. This is a spinoff of Doctor Who. Captain Jack, who is just adorable and knows it, leads his supernatural fighting team through 5 days of terror when the children of Earth all stop and start saying the same thing all at once. It’s very creepy. If you like Doctor Who and haven’t seen Torchwood, you are missing out. It’s much darker and edgier than Doctor Who. Okay, it’s not for everyone. I really like it.
The one thing I noticed is these are all serious parts. Where is the comedy? The Doctor has always had humor. Can he do comedy? Looking at the list of his acting credentials I see a few comedy things, but none that I have actually seen. One of them is Peep Show, which, of course, we have. The next is Skins. It’s more of a teen dramaty. Not funny ha ha, more funny awkward. I’m not sure if I will watch it, but the library has it, so I will most likely try it before the new season of Doctor Who starts.
I guess I should give Peter Capaldi a chance. After all, I didn’t think I would like David Tennant and I did. I didn’t think I would like Matt Smith and I did. I didn’t think I could ever like someone as much as I liked Rose. Okay, I never found anyone that I liked as a companion as much as I liked Rose, but that’s a post for another time.
WyLaina Polk is the manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and might have a bias for one Doctor over another.
I love Joss Whedon. Some of you are asking who he is. That’s understandable. For the simple answer, here is a link to his Internet Movie Database page. In my mind, he is the man, no, genius who brought me Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and made The Avengers possible.
It all started for me with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is a movie and it’s amazing! It’s supposed to be a funny gory teen comedy / drama, but the critics hated it. The TV show is much darker. It still has it’s moments of hilarity and it is filled with teen angst and drama, but it’s really different from that first movie. Buffy is a girl who was moved to Sunnydale because she burned down her school gym in the town they lived in before. It turns out, Buffy is the chosen one and is the one and only vampire slayer on the planet. She has two loyal friends, Willow and Xander, and some enemies, mainly Cordelia and the vampires, and she relies heavily on the school librarian, Giles, who is also her Watcher. It is an amazing series and when it was cancelled, viewers were very sad. Joss decided to make a graphic novel series chronicling what happens next. This is one reason why I love him. He doesn’t let the story end just because some higher-up told him it was over. It is over when Joss is finished telling the story.
Angel came next. This TV series started in the middle of Buffy and it is a spin-off. Angel, Buffy’s true love, moves to Los Angeles. It is a very long story, but it turns out Buffy and Angel just can’t be together. Angel becomes a private detective. He brings along Wesley, another Watcher, and somehow Cordelia is in the show as well. It is a decent spin-off with a satisfying ending. It also has a series of graphic novels that go with it.
During this time, Joss tried to make a western show about pirates that was set in space. Firefly is a fantastic show about a space captain who takes on a crew of misfits and they go around helping people and trying to make money. We destroyed Earth and humans had to terraform other planets so we can live. There is a war as not all the planets want to be ruled by one government. Mal, the Captain, fought for the Independents, who lost. He tries to stay away from the government as much as possible as he does not agree with anything they do. This show was canceled in the middle of the first season. Fans were livid. Because of the fans and Joss, they made the movie Serenity, which is the story of what happens next to the crew. It is my all time favorite show, right next to Doctor Who. The storytelling is wonderful and he really brings this world to life. He also has graphic novels that continue the story, for those interested.
Next was Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog staring Neil Patrick Harris. NPH is amazing in this. It’s a vlog about a man who loves a girl and just wants to be a supervillain. He just can’t seem to get past Captain Hammer, the superhero. What’s a poor supervillain to do? It is funny, smart, and really entertaining
Joss also did a series called Dollhouse. People sign an agreement and lose all memories, judgement, and any part of their own will. That makes it easy for them to implanted with different personalities. Want to go into the jungle with an expert? Hire one of them. Need someone to be a hostage negotiator, but don’t want to go to the police? Here is an expert. For a huge amount of money, you can have any personality you want to accompany you anywhere and do pretty much anything you need. This show was cancelled after two seasons. It was thought provoking and there is a mystery which is never really solved. I enjoyed it, but it’s not one of his best.
In 2012, Joss Whedon did something amazing. He did a movie called Cabin in the Woods. At first, I was apprehensive about this film. I don’t generally like scarey films and this one looked like the typical teen slasher film. Then I found out it was Joss Whedon. I immediately put it on hold from the library. It is old school Joss. Funny, smart, dark, and weird. I love d it. This movie was another reason I love him. He knows who his fans are and how to tell and story they will love.
Then there was The Avengers. I’m sure you have all seen it. When I heard they were going to do The Avengers I was very excited and then I remembered all the other horrible movies people have made about superheros and I was sad. I just knew they were going to ruin this one. Joss is the reason the movie felt as amazing as it did. He knows comedy, he knows production, he knows his audience, and he knows how to make people love what he does. He has a vision and he knows how to make it into reality.
Joss Whedon has also done Much Ado About Nothing, which he filmed at his house. It is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, although the premise is a bit ridiculous. But it works.
Anything Joss comes out with, I will watch. Anything he publishes, I will read. I am a Joss Whedon superfan and I’m not afraid to let my geekiness shine through. All of these things are at the library, except for the Buffy movie, which I will ask to have ordered soon.
WyLaina Polk is the Manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and is a loyal Browncoat.
I just got back from vacation. Despite my longing to go to Brazil for the World Cup, my husband and I stayed at home and did things around the DFW area. We also watched movies. Even though going to the movies is great, there is something about being at home with a big bowl of popcorn and a soda. Plus, you don’t have to step over anyone to go to the restroom. Here are my reviews of the movies we watched on vacation. They are all available at the library, of course.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Overall, I found the characters despicable and disgusting. They had no morals, no sense of decency, and some of them ended up in jail. That being said, I can tell why it was up for an Academy Award. The grandeur and the audacity shown on film was brilliant. DiCaprio really takes it to the next level. He’s manic one minute and sensible the next. He has a child-like joy about him when he is talking to his employees and he is ruthless when selling stocks. The only people I liked in this movie was Jordan Belfort’s ex-wife and Steve Madden, the shoe designer. I really do miss my chunky heels of the 90s. I wish those would come back in style. Anyway, Scorsese is always controversial and has an excellent way of making the audience hate his characters. Casino is an excellent example of this. I don’t think I would ever elect to watch this movie again, although I thought some of it was amusing, in it’s own way. If you want a great Scorsese movie, try The Color of Money with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise or Gangs of New York with Leonardo DiCaprio. Be forewarned, Gangs of New York is pretty violent and gory, but visually, it’s an amazing movie.
Starring: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal
This is my go-to, feel-good movie. I have seen this film thousands of times. I can quote lines, tell you background history on the filming, and so much more. I still have my VHS copy, it’s that good. It’s a girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl and boy become friends, boy ruins it, and they fall in love. The movie starts directly after college graduation when Harry and Sally share a car ride to New York. They don’t know each other and the have very different views on relationships. One of the most memorable lines is Harry stating that men and women can never be friends. That car ride sets the tone for the whole movie. It’s a really wonderful film about how men and women are different and how they can change and grow. Just for full disclosure, my husband didn’t watch this one with me. He elected to mow the lawn instead. It is a pretty girly movie, I suppose. In my defense, I am a girl.
Starring: Hugh Jackman
When we first started this movie, I thought it was the awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. It wasn’t, although they both start off in a POW camp, which I thought was weird. I’m not sure why Marvel keeps making movies about this one particular X-Men character. Yes, he’s cool, he’s a bad-boy, and Hugh Jackman is handsome, but there are other X-Men who deserve to have a movie about them and there are other plot lines to explore. It was interesting. There were lots of Japanese references, as some of the movie is in Japan. I liked it better than Origins, but it’s not a good as the other X-Men movies. Although, the movie X-Men: The Last Stand was not great either. If you really want to watch an X-Men movie and have seen the others, this one is okay. If you want a really interesting Hugh Jackman movie, try The Prestige. It’s a great movie that is completely underrated.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, and John Hurt
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
I think I am the only person in the United States who enjoyed this movie. Everyone I know thought the alien aspect was hard to swallow and I somewhat agree. However, when you think about all the other stuff he found in the other movies, this one isn’t so bad. For example, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he found 3 magic rocks from a magic stream that could made a village prosper. And someone had their heart ripped out with just a hand and didn’t die immediately. I don’t think that’s possible to do, but I let it go because it’s a movie. I thought it was a very interesting take on the theory that aliens helped build the Mayan pyramids. They even reference Egypt in the film to make the connection to both continents. I liked that the characters came full circle from the first film with Karen Allen. She was always my favorite and I’m glad to see what happened to her. I really enjoy all the Indiana Jones films and Steven Spielberg is an amazing storyteller. I also really enjoy any music John Williams composes.
Starring: Anna Maxwell Martin
This isn’t really a movie, it’s a British mini-series, but I watched it on vacation, so it still counts. It is about a group of women who worked at Bletchley during World War II cracking enemy codes and finding patterns in things the Germans were doing. After the war, they all went separate ways and couldn’t talk about the things they did during the war. One of them starts to notice a pattern in seemingly random murders. She enlists the help of her former co-workers to solve the mystery. These women are strong and smart and no one around them sees who they really are and what they can really do. If you like mysteries, this is a great one. I would also recommend Endeavor, which is the early years of Inspector Morse. It’s great stuff. I might also like PBS a little too much.
Starring: Chris Pine and Keira Knightley
This is a GREAT movie. I loved every minute of it! It was fast, smart, and exciting. Chris Pine is a great action star and really shows a wide range of emotions in this movie. It starts on 9/11 at Oxford University when Jack Ryan decides to join the Marines. He is in a helicopter crash and that’s how he meets his future girlfriend, Keira Knightley, as she is a physical therapist. The CIA recruits him to be a spy at a bank, looking at transactions for suspicious money that could lead to terrorism. He finds some and the race is on to stop the terrorists before they can get us! Chris Pine also stars in the new Star Trek movies, which are also great. Keira Knightley is in one of my favorite versions of Pride and Prejudice. The costumes in that version are my favorite.
Have thoughts on any of these movies? Leave it in the comments!
WyLaina Polk is the manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and loves most movies.
Is a little gem of a film from Aron Gaudet, 80 minutes long and a real perspective – changer. This documentary features the Maine Troop Greeters http://mainetroopgreeters.com/Site/Home-1.html in Bangor, Maine, the jumping off spot for troops headed to the Middle East or returning from the front. Three elderly greeters give viewers a glimpse into their lives as tireless volunteers who provide every single soldier a handshake, pat on the back or big thank you. This movie goes beyond the airport scenes to reveal some of the personal tribulations of growing old. One particularl poignant scene for pet lovers involves a final goodbye to a treasured friend. As the mom of a soldier, I expected to be touched by the scenes of soldiers leaving. What I didn’t expect was the immense compassion I felt for the greeters. I want to call them up, pat them on the back and tell them thanks. What an example.