King Kong: A First Look

King Kong 2005

Although it's not scheduled for release until December 13 in New Zealand (December 14 in the United Sates), the first review of Peter Jackson's $207 million epic King Kong is in. In the upcoming December 5 issue, Newsweek's senior writer, Devin Gordon, who was flown to New Zealand for an exclusive screening, gushes over the "surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film" and claims Jackson has "proved once again that he might be the only guy whose films are worth getting on a plane and flying halfway around the planet to see." Click here for the full review and a trailer.

That Love Bug is Back

If you're looking for family entertainment, you could do a lot worse than Herbie Fully Loaded, the latest remake of the '60s movie The Love Bug. The new film is a lot like the old ones, as a fiesty VW comes alive and wins races against all odds. Ridiculous and fun.

Pat Morita 1932-2005

Actor Pat Morita, best known for his role as Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid series of movies, and as Arnold in the television series "Happy Days" died of natural causes yesterday in his home. He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1984 for his role in the first Karate Kid movie, and then went on to star in three sequels.

Morita originally wanted to become a comedian, but in the 1950's in California, he did not feel there was very much hope for a Japanese-American stand-up comedian. At the age of 30 he finally was able to enter show-business full time.

DVDs for Music Lovers

Films about musicians and their music always seem to fascinate audiences. The recent critical and box-office success of Walk the Line, the new film about Johnny Cash, is further evidence of this. The library has a number of great DVDs for music lovers, including Paul McCartney in Red Square, Ray, Bob Marley: the legend live, The Beatles in Washington D.C., Metallica: some kind of monster, Immortal Beloved, and a personal favorite, 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould. And let's not forget This is Spinal Tap. Did I miss any other good ones?

Beowulf: Coming to a theater near you in 2007!

Boy, just what we've been waiting for.

If memories of struggling through Old English epic poetry during your pimply adolescence aren't exactly causing paroxysms of anticipatory glee, consider this: A full-blown animated film about the struggle between Beowulf and the monster Grendel from a script written by Roger "Pulp Fiction" Avary and cult comic writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman), directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away), and starring--well at least the voices of--Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Crispin Glover, and John Malkovich. Does that help? Meanwhile, you might consider Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, left, by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, which includes both Old English and an English translation on facing pages. It's actually a ripping good yarn.

The 800-Pound Gorilla

Are you ready for King Kong? More to the point, is Peter Jackson? This week Entertainment Weekly features a behind-the-scenes look at Jackson as he races to fully and convincingly render his CGI Kong before the December 14 release. Much (including Adrien Brody's career) rides on Jackson's success, but after a little history-making trilogy known as Lord of the Rings, you can bet your banana he'll pull it off. Meanwhile, place your hold on the digitally-remastered 1933 version of King Kong, left, or 1998's Mighty Joe Young (both on order). The original 1949 version of Mighty Joe Young will be here in December.

Super Folk!

Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and Mrs. Cruise, is now available on DVD at the library. Could this be the best movie based off a comicbook ever made? Maybe, but here are some others that were pretty good too: Spider-man, Spider-man 2, The X-men, Hellboy, and The Crow. Of course, the best ever might be the man in blue tights, who'll return in 2006.

Five 5-star Films for Veterans Day

My choice for the all-time best Veterans Day film would have to be the Academy award-winning Best Years of our Lives starring Frederick March and Myrna Loy. Here are a few other films to consider watching tomorrow night: Coming Home from the Vietnam War was a different experience altogether for Jon Voigt and Bruce Dern. The Deer Hunter, starring Robert DeNiro, captures the war's effect on four friends from a working-class Pennsylvania town. In Random Harvest, Ronald Colman plays a WWI shell-shocked amnesia victim with nowhere to go until he meets Greer Garson, and Paul Muni's plans of becoming a master architect evaporate in the cold light of economic realities following WWI in I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang.

National Geographic Awareness Week

The third week in November is National Geographic Awareness Week. To celebrate, check out National Geographic's Most Amazing Moments. Other National Geographic videos in our collection include classic programs such as Tigers of the Snow and For All Mankind, and recent productions such as the Be the Creature series; Welcome to Mars and Guns, Germs and Steel, left, based on the book by Jared Diamond. Coming soon: Inside 9/11 and Strange Days on Planet Earth.

Before you see Aeon Flux...

November is upon us and that can only mean that Hollywood will soon be rolling out its holiday lineup. Personally, I'm looking forward to the live-action version of Aeon Flux. Originally a series of animated short films created for MTV's Liquid Television, Aeon Flux tells the story of an extremely acrobatic female secret agent from a futuristic universe. Charlize Theron will play the title character in the film to be released in early December. We'll see if she can do justice to her animated counterpart. Meanwhile, if you want to take a look at other works by the original series creator, Korean American animator Peter Chung, check out Reign: The Conqueror and "Matriculated" in The Animatrix.

Syndicate content