Movies for Spring

The weather is finally warming up! Let’s get out of the winter doldrums with some colorful, (mostly) happy movies for spring.

about timeAbout Time — “The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life, so he decides to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend. But as his unusual life progresses, Tim discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.”

Babe — “A piglet destined for eventual butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheep dog, and discovers a special secret to success.”

Bride and Prejudice — “Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, with a Bride-and-prejudiceBollywood twist. In Ammritsar, the determined Mrs. Bakshi sets out to find matches for her four daughters. Second sister, Lalita, meets American Will Darcy – is it love?”

A Bug’s Life — “Journey inside the miniature world of bugs where an ant named Flik hires warrior bugs to defend his colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers.”

Emma — “Emma Woodhouse is a young woman who, having engineered the marriage of her companion, turns her attention toward making a match for the local vicar and her new protegée, Harriet Smith. Her one voice of reason and restraint is Mr. Knightley, who has known her since she was a child and who watches her behaviour with wry amusement and sometimes with real anger. Emma presides over the small provincial world of Highbury with enthusiasm, but she will find it is all too easy to confuse good intentions with self-gratification.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — “A high school student is determined to get a day off with his friends by outwitting his principal.”

happy_go_luckyHappy Go Lucky — “Poppy is a life-loving and irrepressibly cheerful primary school teacher.
She is thirty years old, single, and infinitely optimistic and accepting. She lives with her best friend and flatmate Zoe in London. She is tested by a repressed driving instructor with anger problems, and, in turn, she decides to test him. She has exciting flamenco lessons, an encounter with a homeless man, an argument with her pregnant sister, and a love-affair with the social worker guiding one of her students.”

House of Flying Daggers — “During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” rises and opposes the government. Leo is a police officer who sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the “Flying Daggers” organization. Leo ends up arresting Mei, only to have Jin break her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem.”

The Lorax — “In a place where the brown Bar-ba-loots frisk and the Humming-Fish splash around, you will find the Lorax. The Lorax speaks of the trees, which the Once-ler is chopping down as fast as he pleases. Will the Once-ler change his destructive ways and heed the wise warnings of the Lorax?”

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — “In 1939 London, Miss Guinevere Pettigrew is a middle-aged miss pettigrew lives for a daygoverness who finds herself once again unfairly dismissed from her job. Now she must seize the day if she wants a job. She does this by intercepting an employment assignment outside of her comfort level as social secretary. Arriving at a penthouse apartment for the interview, Miss Pettigrew is catapulted into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse. Suddenly, Miss Pettigrew finds herself swept into the world of high society.”

Moonrise Kingdom — “Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore, and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle.”

philadelphia storyThe Philadelphia Story — “A sophisticated romantic comedy about a rich, spoiled socialite who learns some things about who she is and what she really wants on the eve of her second marriage.”

The Secret Garden — “A young orphan named Mary is sent to live at the dark and foreboding English estate of her widowed uncle. She discovers a secret garden which was abandoned after a tragic accident. With the help of her crippled cousin Colin, and Dickon the country boy, her spirit is gradually reawakened as they bring the garden back to life.”

The Sound of Music — “Julie Andrews lights up the screen as Maria, the spirited young woman who leaves the convent to become a governess to the seven young children of Captain von Trapp, an autocratic widower whose strict household rules leave no room for music or merriment.”

All summaries from




Leave a comment

Filed under DVDs, Movies

New Releases 3/21

Miss Sloane
Assassin’s Creed
Live By Night
Nocturnal Animals
A Kind of Murder
A Parting Gift
Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip 

T.V. Series
The Brokenwood Mysteries, Season 3
Master of None, Season 1
Insecure, Season 1

Climate Change by Pitbull 
You’re Not As _ As You Think by Sorority Noise
Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band by Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band
Hot Thoughts by Spoon
Salutations by Conor Oberst
Score by 2Cellos
Blossom by Milky Chance
Room 29 by Chilly Gonzales & Jarvis Cocker 
In Mind by Real Estate
Spirit by Depeche Mode
So Good by Zara Larsson

Man Overboard by J.A. Jance
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
Vicious Circle by C.J. Box

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases 3/14

The Edge of Seventeen
Bleed for This
Collateral Beauty
Canoa: A Shameful Memory 
Earth Day
For the Love of Spock

T.V. Series
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 2
Z Nation, Season 3
Six, Season 1

W:/2016 Album/ by Deadmau5
The Order of Time by Valeria June 
Project Freedom by Joey Defrancesco & The People
Vivere by Fernando Varela
Semper Femina by Laura Marling
The Navigator by Hurray for the Riff Raff
Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
Front Porch Sessions by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Trophy by Sunny Sweeney
Heartworms by The Shins
Deep South by Josh Turner
Black  and White Rainbows by Bush 

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison
In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

Jamie’s Staff Picks for March


“‘Roseanne’ is the story of a working class family struggling with life’s essential problems: marriage, children, money, and parents-in-law.”

I’ve been on maternity leave for the last few months and during the long days that I spent trapped under a sleeping infant, I discovered that Roseanne reruns were on for half the day every weekday. I hadn’t watched the show in years, but I still found it to be so funny and relevant. I particularly love the relationship between Roseanne and Dan and the way that they find humor in every day challenges, and are able to make even the most mundane life details entertaining. I think a lot of families can relate to their brand of sarcastic, sardonic humor. The writing on the show is punchy and the jokes are fresh– is it any surprise that Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, got her start writing on Roseanne? I highly recommend putting this show on as a backdrop to your spring cleaning, or whatever other chores you’ve been putting off– it will make it a lot more fun.


Hunt for the WilderpeopleHunt_for_the_Wilderpeople

“Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options.”

This was one of my favorite movies of 2016. Made by the director of another favorite movie of mine, What We Do in the Shadows, this movie features Taika Waititi’s oddball humor in an endearing buddy adventure.Sam Neill basically plays the same character that he plays in Jurassic Park— the grumpy adult who isn’t that into kids, but finds himself stuck with one anyway, and grows to enjoy his company– a role at which he excels. I also really liked Julian Dennison, who plays Ricky, a down-and-out kid with an attitude who starts to turn himself around when shown a little kindness and respect. A super funny and heartwarming tale!

All summaries taken from

Leave a comment

Filed under DVDs, Movies, Movies. TV, television, TV, TV review

The Oh-So-Few Hollywood Feminist Films of the 1960s

For a 2016 film display I was asked to identify feminist films made in the 1960s.  As I began my investigation I realized there were very few such items from the Hollywood studios, at least those with overt feminist leanings.  This seemed odd in light of what transpired on-screen and off during that decade of turmoil.  Societal protests were at their peak during the Vietnam war years.  Among the protesters were women seeking equal rights and peace.  However, their protests came late in the 60s and in the early 70s:  the Miss America Protest (September 1968), the New York Abortion Speakout (March 1969), the Ladies’ Home Journal Sit-In (March 1970), and the Women’s Strike for Peace and Equality (August 1970).

Likewise, the feminist-oriented movie did not gather steam until the 1970s, with such films as Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970), Play It As It Lays (1972), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), and An Unmarried Woman (1978).  In a backwards, anti-feminist or possibly satirical way, 1975’s The Stepford Wives might deserve inclusion.

Perhaps we can surmise that there were some 1960s films with a feminist subtext:   The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), The Ballad of Josie (1967), Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Happy Ending (1969), and Sweet Charity (1969).  Molly Brown might be ignored on the grounds that it appeared before the Vietnam conflict became a quagmire, with the resulting minority, student, and women’s protests.

The Ballad of Josie was on the cusp of the revolution.  In the guise of a western, this was Doris Day’s fourth from last film.  She played a woman who accidentally kills her husband and is put on trial.  Acquitted, she nevertheless fuels male anger by herding sheep, not cattle, and launching a women’s suffrage movement.

The following year, Rachel, Rachel starred Joanne Woodward as an increasingly dissatisfied small-town school teacher living with her belittling mother.  During the summer break, Rachel has a fling with a former classmate, attends a revival meeting, and rebuffs her friend Calla’s possibly amorous advances.  In the end she plans to leave Connecticut, with or without her mother, for a new life in Oregon.  Her husband Paul Newman directed Woodward to an Academy Award nomination, and the film received a Best Picture nomination as well.

The Happy Ending (1969) was the story of a marriage gone south.  Mary, a disillusioned and alcoholic wife of 16 years (Jean Simmons, who received an Academy Award nomination) flees her home and husband (John Forsythe) for the Bahamas.  On the way she meets her old friend Flo (Shirley Jones), who decides to chaperone her.  In Nassau Mary meets Franco, who believes she is rich and exits when he finds she is anything but.  Mary recalls her husband’s philandering, her overdose and hospital stay, and ensuing drinking binges.  Returning home, she moves out of the house and takes university night courses.  Husband Fred (John Forsythe) finds her and wonders what went wrong with their marriage.

At first glance, 1969’s Sweet Charity seems an unlikely candidate for prime feminist film of the decade.  It’s a big, splashy musical based on the stage play which was itself spawned by Italian director Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957).  Shirley MacLaine plays Charity Hope Valentine, a so-called dancehall hostess, code for prostitute, a term never used in the movie that tried to have it both ways:  musical for everybody, pseudo-cutting edge social commentary for others.  After the disappointing roadshow release, the newspaper ads for the general release promoted the salacious nature of the characters:  “When she’s good, she’s very very good…but when she’s bad…she’s great!” and “They dig the way they live!” and “Swingers All…Men Were Their Business.”

I saw Sweet Charity for the first time as a reserved seat engagement at the Stanley Theater in Philadelphia.  I was surrounded by middle-aged women with Wanamaker bags outraged by the ostensible sacrilegious nature of Sammy Davis, Jr.’s “Rhythm of Life,” sung in a parking garage to his hippie acolytes.  Maybe negative word of mouth from this audience segment was a another reason for the movie’s less than sterling grosses despite the glowing Variety review and immense hoopla of the televised premiere which many celebrities attended, including Gregory Peck and Ronald Reagan.  (The others were the huge production cost and an audience possibly weary of giant musicals despite the great success of the previous year’s Oliver!)

So how was Charity Hope Valentine, who wore a “Charlie” tattoo on her shoulder and kowtowed to men until the film’s finale, a feminist symbol?  A good but super straight Joe, Oscar (John McMartin), almost “saves” her but eventually can’t deal with her past and her floozy girlfriends.  She tries to assuage his fears, but he retorts that he’ll destroy her.  In a heartbreaking response, she says, “But that’s okay.  I’m not doing much now anyway.”  In the end she is where she was at the beginning:  in Central Park, alone.  Awakened on a bench by several “flower children” (including Bud Cort of the forthcoming Harold and Maude) who present her with a daisy and proclaim “Love,” she perks up.  She smiles at the new day, the pigeons overhead, and an aged couple on a bench.  Swinging her purse and shabby suitcase, she leaves the park to rejoin the human race, at peace with herself.  Scrawled across the screen:  AND SHE LIVED HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER.

By Kim

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies

New Releases 3/7

Almost Christmas
I am Michael
OCD and Me
The C Word
Oklahoma Cityamericans

T.V. Series
Wentworth, Season 2
The Americans, Season 4

Divide by Ed Sheran
Uyai by Ibibio Sound Machine
Universal Favorite by Noam Pikelny
The Juno Concerto by Bela Fleck
Spamilton bruises
Bruises by Dia Frampton
English Tapas by Sleaford Mods

Dangerous Games by Danielle Steel
Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson
We by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases 2/28

Movies moonlight
Doctor Strange
Shut In
Rules Don’t Apply
All We Had
The Student Body
The Business of Amateurs
Elizabeth at 90
Kate Plays Christine

T.V. Series
A Place to Call Home, Season 4 
Fuller House, Season 1the-breaker

The Breaker by Little Big Town
Five by Prince Royce
Crystal Fairy by Crystal Fairy
Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddnes
Graveyard Whistling by Old 97’s
Emmet Cahill’s Ireland by Celtic Thunder bone-box

Bone Box by Faye Kellerman
Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

2017 Oscar Winners

Below are the winners for the 89th Academy Awards!

Best Picture moonlight

Best Actress
Emma Stone in La La Land

Best Actor
Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis in Fences

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali in Moonlight

Best Director
Damien Chazelle for La La Land

Best Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them la-la-land

Best Make Up
Suicide Squad

Best Animated Short

Best Animated Movie

Best Visual Effects
The Jungle Book

Best Life Action Short Film

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets fences

Best Documentary Film
O.J.: Made in America

Best Foreign Language Film
The Salesman

Best Sound Mixing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Editing

Best Cinematography
La La Land

Best Editing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design zootopia
La La Land

Best Original Score
La La Land

Best Original Song
“City of Stars” from La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards, Movies

New Releases 2/21

Movies hacksaw-ridge
Hacksaw Ridge
I’m Not Ashamed
Manchester by the Sea
Bad Santa 2
Beauty and the Beast
Sophie and the Rising Sun
The Last Best Yeardw-return-of
The Garden Pantry
Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts
A Plastic Ocean 

T.V. Series
The Level
Grace and Frankie, Season 2
Nashville, Season 4windy-city
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio

I Decided by Big Sean
Terrible Human Beings by The Orwells
Prisoner by Ryan Adams
Got Soul by Robert Randolph & The Family Band
In It to Win It by Charlie Wilson death-of-a-ghost
Windy City by Alison Krauss

Star Wars: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig
Death of a Ghost by M.C. Beaton

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

2017 Grammy Winners

Below are the winners of the 2017 Grammy Awards and links to the albums you can check out from the library:

Album of the Year25-adele
25 by Adele

Record of the Year
“Hello” by Adele featured on 25

Song of the Year
“Hello” by Adele featured on 25

Best Rap Album
Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Lemonade by Beyonce

Best Rock Song lemonade
“Blackstar” by David Bowie featured on Blackstar

Best New Artist
Chance the Rapper

Best Pop Vocal Album
25 by Adele

Best R&B Song
“Lake by the Ocean” by Maxwell featured on Black Summers ‘ Night

Best R&B Album
Lalah Hathaway Live by Lalah Hathaway

Best Rap Song
“Hotline Bling” by Drake featured on Views blackstar

Best Dance/Electronic Album 
Skin by Flume

Best Music Video
“Formation” by Beyonce featured on Lemonade

Best Country Song
“Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw featured on Damn Country Music

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin by Willie Nelson

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Culcha Vulcha by Snarky Puppy views

Best Rock Album
Tell Me I’m Pretty by Cage the Elephant

Best Alternative Music Album
Blackstar by David Bowie

Best Country Album
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson

Best New Age Album
White Sun II by White Sun

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Take Me to the Alley by Gregory Porter tell-me-im-pretty

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Country for Old Men by John Scofield

*For the complete list of winners, visit the Grammy website!

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards, Music