What We Are Listening To: Zoey

I feel as though my music taste changes with the seasons. In the summer I tend to listen to more alternative music. But, in the colder months it seems as though I become more mellow and listen to softer music.

Here’s a playlist of what I’ve been listening to. Stop by the library to pick up some of your favorites.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

New Releases 2/2

Movies the visit
The Visit
The Green Inferno
Truth
Bridge of Spies
Our Brand is Crisis
Ladrones
The Last Witch Hunter
Visions
Shelterfalling skies
Meadowland
The Keeping Room
Effie Gray

T.V. Series
Mercy Street
Falling Skies, Season 5

Music
This is Acting by Siathis is acting
Nine Track Mind by Charlie Puth
Promise Everything by Basement
Better by Brian McKnight
Let Me Get By by Tedeschi Trucks Band
Ultra Dance 17
Sensuous Chill by Yanni

Leave a comment

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

Zoey’s Staff Picks for February

Here’s what I picked for this month, including short reviews:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl me and earl and the dying girl
dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon ft. Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, and Nick Offerman

“A uniquely funny and moving story about Greg, a high school senior who avoids deep human relationships as a way to safely navigate the social mine field that is teenage life. In fact, he describes his best friend Earl, with whom he makes short-film parodies of classic movies, as being ‘more like a co-worker’. But when Greg’s mom insists he spends time with Rachel, a girl in his class who has just been diagnosed with cancer, Greg discovers just how powerful and important true friendship can be.”

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is, unfortunately, often compared to The Fault in Our Stars. I did enjoy the movie adaptation of John Green’s best seller, but the two just simply can not be compared. While they both explore childhood cancer and how it can affect relationships; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was written differently, filmed differently, and explores other relationships than just the cliched teenage romance. Whenever I try to quickly describe the movie, I always wind up saying: it’s got some sad bits, funny bits, it’s creative, and it’s realistic enough that anyone can relate to it. I think what really drew me into the film was the cinematography. There were brilliant shots, and at some points it seemed as though Gomez-Rejon was taking risks, but, in my opinion, they all worked out for the best. The film is based off of the novel of the same name*, and Jesse Andrews wrote the book in a way the main character, Greg, would. It is interspersed with script writing, stage directions, and then typical fiction prose with dialog; which sets up the story in a very unique and creative way. I feel as though, and this may be attributed to the author’s involvement on the film, the style of the novel was captured perfectly within the adaptation. Granted, things were omitted or changed, but I would still put Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on my very short list of best book to movie adaptations. If you enjoyed movies like It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Perks of Being a Wallflower, or The Spectacular Now (which are all book to movie adaptations as well) then definitely give Me and Earl a shot.

*I highly recommend reading the book first to capture Jesse Andrew’s creative work before enjoying the movie adaptation.

 

Not to Disappearnot to disappear
by Daughter

I loved Daughter ever since  they released His Young Heart EP in 2011. Not to Disappear is their newest album, following the 2013 release, If You Leave. Their sound has definitely changed but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. There are a lot more up-beat tracks, for the lack of a better term, on their new album that adds a refreshing taste to their original sound. A couple of slow ballads, which Daughter is known for, are intermixed within the album as well. I would compare Daughter to Of Monsters and Men, Bon Iver, or Birdy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies, Music

2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Winners

The Screen Actors Guild Award Ceremony for 2016 took place on January 30th. The winners are listed below:

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role
Brie Larson, Room

Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture
Spotlight

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture mad max
Mad Max: Fury Road

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Idris Elba, Luther

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Queen Latifah, Bessie

Outstanding Actor in a Cooistbmedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent 

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Orange is the New Black

HouseofCardsOutstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey

Outstanding Supporting Achow to get away with murdertor
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation 

Outstanding Supporting Actress
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Game of Thrones

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards, Movies, TV

New Releases 1/26

Movies burnt
Burnt
Meet the Patels
Goosebumps
Chi-Raq
The Wannabe
The New Girlfriend
America’s National Parks: Yosemite and Olympic

T.V. Series da vincis demons 3
Da Vinci’s Demons, Season 3
Downton Abbey, Season 6
Doctor Who, Series 9 Part 2

Music
Coasts by Coasts
Dystopia by Megadeath
Adore Life by Savages
Emotional Mugger by Ty Segall
New View by Eleanor Friedberger
2016 Grammy Nominees
Now That’s What I Call Rock bands of mourning

Audiobooks 
The Bands of Morning by Brandon Sanderson
The Happiness Track by Emma Seppala

Leave a comment

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

New Releases 1/19

Movies the intern
Learning to Drive
The Intern
Pawn Sacrifice
Woodlawn
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Samba
Gilda
A Girl Like Her
Inside Assad’s Syria
Making North Americacontinuum
Wild Yellowstone
Little White Lie

T.V. Series
Continuum, Season 4
Shetland, Seasons 1 & 2

Music not to disappear
Destiny by Celtic Woman
Not to Disappear by Daughter
Pawn Shop by Brothers Osborne
Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At the Disco
It’s About Time by Hank Williams Jr.
Vocalosity by Vocalosity
Blackbird: The Beatles Album by Milos
Let It Echo by Jesus Culture

Audiobooks even dogs in the wild
Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
Blue by Danielle Steel
The 30-Day Sobriety Solution by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews
Presence by Amy Cuddy

Leave a comment

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

2016 Golden Globe Winners

Best Motion Picture- Drama
The Revenantmartian

Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy
The Martian

Best Actress- Drama
Brie Larson, Room

Best Actor- Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress- Musical or Comedy 
Jennifer Lawrence, Joysteve jobs

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Matt Damon, The Martian

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Supporting Actor
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Director
Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant inside out

Best Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

Best Animated Motion Picture 
Inside Out

Best Foreign Film
Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Original Score
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Best Original Songmr robot
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Sam Smith, Spectre

Best Television Series- Drama
Mr. Robot

Best Television Series- Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle

Best Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Wolf Hall

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotelmad men

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero

Best Actress in a Television Series- Drama
Taraji Henson, Empire 

Best Actor in a Television Series- Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Best Actress in a Television Series- Comedy or Musical
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend affair

Best Actor in a Television Series- Comedy or Musical
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Maura Tierney, The Affair

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards, Movies, TV

New Releases 1/12

Movies ted 2
Ted 2
Irrational Man
Hotel Transylvania 2
The Martian
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Howl
The American Friend
The Look of Silence
Bitter Rice
In the Basement mr robot
The Second Mother

T.V. Series
Maison Close, Season 2
Mr. Robot, Season 1
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Music blackstar
Blackstar by David Bowie
Straight Outta Compton: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

The Myth of MGM

The answer:  Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, James  Cagney, Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler,  Edward G.  Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Boris Karloff, Paulette Goddard, Ronald Colman, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Jean Arthur, Gary Cooper, Irene Dunne, Joan Fontaine, Glenn Ford, William Holden, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Gene Tierney, Jeanne Crain, Abbott & Costello, Dana Andrews, Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Betty Grable, Richard Widmark, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, John Wayne, Jennifer Jones, Fredric March, Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott, Cary Grant.

The question:  what Hollywood luminaries did not regularly work for or have a contract with MGM during Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s?

 

The answer:   Frankenstein,citizen kane 2 Dracula, King Kong, The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, You Can’t Take It with You, It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gilda, Wuthering Heights, It’s a Wonderful Life, Gunga Din, The Letter, Kings Row, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Beau Geste, Sergeant York, Swing Time, Top Hat, 42nd Street, Trouble in Paradise, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Citizen Kane, The More the Merrier, The Pride of the Yankees, The Best Years of Our Lives, Laura, Lost Horizon, How Green Was My Valley, Stagecoach, Duel in the Sun, Mildred Pierce, Sullivan’s Travels, The Story of G.I. Joe, The Lady Eve, White Heat, The Maltese Falcon, The Grapes of Wrath, Twelve O’Clock High, The Big Sleep, Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Killers, Out of the Past, All the King’s Men, Red River, All Quiet on the Western Front, Casablanca, Dark Victory, Notorious, The Heiress, Sands of Iwo Jima, Shanghai Express, and Now, Voyager.

The question:  What classic movies were not made by MGM?

 

Common wisdom mandates Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as the greatest of all film studios during Hollywood’s heyday.  MGM did have a gigantic backlot and a sterling talent pool of performers and behind-the-scenes personnel.  However, as actress Marsha Hunt told Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention attendees in 2010, her home studio Paramount was looked upon as just as prestigious during that era.  Recall that director Cecil B. DeMille directed his splashy spectacles for Paramount.  Alfred Hitchcock worked for Selznick International, Paramount and Universal. Quiet Man Director John Ford won three Best Director Academy Awards during the golden age, none for MGM.  They Were Expendable was his only MGM feature in that era and his 4th Oscar came for 1952’s The Quiet Man from Republic Pictures.

A cursory examination of films from the 1930s and 1940s reveals that the “Big Five” (aka “The Majors”) studios (MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO, 20th Century-Fox) were equals in terms of classics and quality of product.  Even the “Little Three” majors (Columbia, Universal, United Artists) had their superstars and exceptional movies.  In short, when identifying classic films MGM’s do not exceed those from other major studios.

One can make a case that this was due to the premature death (age 37)

Irving Thalberg and Norma Shearer

Irving Thalberg and Norma Shearer

in 1936 from pneumonia of producer Irving Thalberg.  Married to Norma “The First Lady of the Screen”  Shearer (one of MGM’s biggest stars), he was the guiding hand behind  Anna Christie, Freaks, The Champ, Tarzan the Ape Man, Grand Hotel, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Good Earth, and many others.  After Thalberg’s demise, the studio reins fell to Louis B. Mayer.  More’s the pity.  Mayer’s modus operandi was to ensure that every movie was suitable for every citizen.  You can therefore guess that the Mickey Rooney Andy Hardy series came from MGM.  In short, the movies that pushed the envelope and have left a more lasting impression in specific genres and subgenres were not made and released by MGM.  In film noir, The Postman Always Rings Twice was practically the only important noir film from that studio.  Noir received its fullest expression at RKO, Fox and Columbia.  Screwball comedy was also not MGM’s forte.  It reached its pinnacle at RKO and Paramount.  Gritty crime films from The Public Enemy (1931) to White Heat (1949) were a staple at Warner Bros.  At Fox, studio head Darryl Zanuck championed “social consciousness” in such films as The Grapes of Wrath, Pinky, and Gentleman’s Agreement.  Universal was the kingdom of horror, Disney of animation.

To conclude, as far as the movies themselves, one should take with a grain of salt the often made contention that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the greatest studio of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  “The Majors” were equals in that respect.

By Kim

Leave a comment

by | January 12, 2016 · 4:15 pm

If You Enjoyed…

homelandHomeland’s most recent season (season 5) ended this past December, and many are looking forward to the DVD release. If you already had a marathon of the show in preparation and feel a little lost on what to watch next, check out the list below. The list includes movies, t.v. shows, and audiobooks that are similar to the Showtime series.

T.V. Series
Prisoners of War– Follow the story of three Israeli soldiers attempting to return to their lives after being captured and held as prisoners of war for 17 years. The writers of Homeland were inspired by the Israeli drama Prisoners of War; watch and compare the two series side-by-side.

The Americans– Secrets can be deadly in this suspenseful thriller about undercover Russian spies in 1980s Washington D.C. As the Cold War escalates, a seemingly typical suburban couple must take extreme measures to continue their mission to keep their true identities hidden. But when an FBI agent moves in across the street, they become ensnared in a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse.

Covert Affairs– The CIA’s newest field operative is suddenly summoned for active duty one month before training is over, and she is quickly thrown into a shadowy world full of cons, killers, and international crime rings. What she does not know is there is something – or someone – from her past that her bosses want badly enough to put her in harm’s way.

Movies
Zero Dark Thirty– Follow along as Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden following the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of Navy SEAL Team 6.

Hunt for Red October– A new Soviet sub, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast. Government experts think it is planning to attack- that is, all the experts but one. CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, thinks the sub’s commander is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find the sub and prove his theory. The movie was adapted from the Tom Clancy novel, check out the audiobook too!

Hurt Locker– 39 days before the end of his deployment, Sergeant Will James is assigned to an army bomb squad stationed in Baghdad. He is put at odds with his squad mates due to his radical way of handling his work.

Audiobooks
The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer– Milo Weaver has retired from his days as an undercover agent for the CIA, but new details arise from his old cases that bring him back to his investigations.

The Shadow Factory by James Bamford– Bamford’s focus is a bit tangential from Homeland’s driving plot, but nevertheless, the audiobook focuses on the effects of 9/11 via the NSA.

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth– The list, for the most part, included all American intelligence agencies either post-9/11 or during the Cold War. Explore how England is involved with the American government post 9/11 with Forsyth’s novel. British and American intelligence are pitted against the nearly impenetrable Al Qaeda terrorism network.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, TV