While You're Waiting For...

... Grizzly Man, the new, heart-wrenching documentary by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog about grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, you might consider checking out what may well be its perfect antidote: Project Grizzly. This whimsical film documents Canadian Troy Hurtubise's seven-year quest to design a protective suit that will stand up to a Grizzly attack.

More Herzog films, including Signs of Life and Land of Silence and Darkness, are also on the way.

Ice Princess

I just watched Ice Princess, the film equivalent of eating a fluffernutter sandwich: sweet and enjoyable, but without nutritional value. Torn by the expectations of her mother and her true dreams, geeky Casey must choose between Harvard and a chance at a professional skating career. I'm sure we can all guess the outcome, but no one's watching this for the surprise ending, I assure you.

This film lacks the mature romance of The Cutting Edge and at times it feels like a big music video, but you weren't expecting The Seventh Seal, so just enjoy the ride, okay?

The Alamo

Remember The Alamo!! The Alamo tells the story of the infamous 13 day seige of the Alamo fortress by the Mexican Army in 1836 in which a group of Texan and Tejano men including Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Colonel William Travis lost their lives. The movie ends with Texan General Sam Houston's defeat of Mexican dictator Santa Anna giving Texas freedom from Mexico.

Stars Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric and Patrick Wilson. Directed by John Lee Hancock.

Legendary Korean filmmaker: Im Kwon-Taek

The library has recently added many new titles to its DVD Collection, including several recent standouts from South Korean film. Chi-hwa-seon, also known as Painted Fire, uses vibrant imagery and powerful acting to tell the story of a famous 19th century Korean painter. Legendary Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek won the award for best director at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for this film.

Im also directed Chunhyang, based on a famous Korean folk-tale. This film interestingly blends traditional film storytelling and a form of Korean singing known as Pansori.

Both films are worth checking out.

Are You Ready For Some Futbol!!! Er, Soccer!!!

Getting ready for the upcoming Fall soccer season? Whether young or old(er), check out the variety of soccer training DVDs in the collection. Titles such as Play Like Champions, All the Right Moves, and 110 Exercises for Conditioning, Agility and Ball Control have a wealth of material including moves to fake out your opponent, drills to make sure your header finds the back of the net, and conditioning drills so you're not sucking wind late in the game.

Where is Brazil?

According to legendary filmmaker Terry Gilliam, Brazil is less a place than a state-of-mind. This 3-disc Criterion Collection DVD offers both cuts of the film. Also featured is the astonishing tale of the movie's well-documented and difficult journey from post-production to theatrical release.

Ray Harryhausen Animation

We've all come to expect our sci-fi movies to have dazzling, computer-animated special effects. However, science fiction movies have been around since long before computer animation. Stop motion animation was one way of creating special effects in those days, and Ray Harryhausen is a legend in the field. During his career, he created everything from dinosaurs to flying saucers to a giant, six-armed (due to budget constraints) octopus.

The World of Television News

Longtime ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings has died at the age of 67. His death reminds us of the public's fascination with the world of television news and the men and women who inhabit it. There have been several quality films that have explored the high-pressured environment of television news. The library's collection includes: Network, Broadcast News, Control Room, Outfoxed, and The Insider. Of course, if you're in the mood for something much lighter, there's always Ron Burgundy.

The Yards

Every once in awhile a film slips through the cracks and goes unnoticed by the general public. The Yards, directed by James Gray and starring Mark "Don't Call Me Marky Mark" Wahlberg, is a prime example of a film that deserves an audience but never got one in its theatrical release in 2000. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert wrote that the film resembles both The Godfather and Mean Streets. Not bad company if you ask me.

The American Short Story Collection

Several titles from the original American Short Story Collection are finally available on DVD. First airing on PBS in the 1980s, this series features short story works by some of America's greatest authors, including Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Richard Wright and Willa Cather. Rappaccini's Daughter (left), by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is the creepy tale of an 18th century scholar who falls in love with a beautiful, yet forbidden, girl who tends her father's poison garden. And who can resist a title like Bernice Bobs Her Hair, a wicked tale by F. Scott Fitzgerald about the transformation of sweet-but-dull Bernice (Shelly Duvall) into a smooth-talking man-trap during a visit to her vampish kin in the summer of 1919?

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