"Gonzo" on "Gonzo"

If you're familiar with the writings of journalist Hunter S. Thompson, you'll want to see "Gonzo", a new documentary film by Alex Gibney. Coincidentally, today is Thompson's birthday. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1937. He was known as a troublemaker in high school and arrested for robbery and vandalism. After time in the Air Force, he was asked to write an article about the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang which when expanded became his first book. He went on to describe his hallucinogenic experiences in Las Vegas (both drug and city induced) in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He also wrote articles for Rolling Stone Magazine, most of which were scathing portraits of American political figures. No one, Republican or Democrat, could escape his poison pen. Known for his irreverance and ego-centered approach to journalism, i.e., having no fear of inserting his own opinion, Thompson became increasingly disenchanted with American politics and culture and basically dropped out of public view for the last twenty years of his life. He committed suicide in 2005.

He cooks, but does he read?


You know who I am talking about, don't you? He's been sighted feasting at a picnic table at Zingerman's, rubbing shoulders with Michael Moore at the Traverse City Film Festival, and never without his signature orange crocs.

That's right - celebrity chef Mario Batali - that's who - who, bless his heart, has made Northern Michigan his summer home for many years, and had the good sense to marry a Michigan grad. On top of that, he READS!. Here is a list of Mario's Summer Reads. (Frankly, I am impressed!)

Speaking of the Michigan connection - you will also see a list of Ruth Reichl's Summer Reads, cookbooks she is cooking from, and her audio books of choice.

BTW - Madonna's movie, I Am Because We Are is a new documentary that she wrote, produced, and narrates. It will be shown as part of the fourth annual Traverse City Film Festival on August 2, at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theatre. Madonna will introduce the film (we'd been told).

Bee Movie

Bee Movie is a candy-colored animated fable with an awkward mix of corny bee puns, clever sight gags, kid-friendly action and adult-oriented workplace humor, where a recent graduate bee Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) isn't thrilled at having just one option for a career, namely honey. After he befriends a human named Vanessa (Renée Zellweger) who saves his life, he finds out that humans eat lots of honey and decides to sue humanity for stealing from bees. I really enjoyed watching this extremely funny kids animated movie, which I believe to be entertaining to people of all ages. Watch scenes from "Bee Movie".

Broken English on DVD


Parker Posey stars in Broken English as a witty Manhattanite in her thirties, stuck at a job she no longer wants and strikes out in love at every chance/ date she gets. She is stuck in a rut and going crazy and her overly helpful (nagging?) mother constantly reminds her of this. Don’t call her a spinster, no! She finds herself in a bit of freak-out time of her life, and then, by chance, she meets Julien. This charming Frenchmen adores Nora and she him, and they share a whirlwind weekend, but then he leaves for France. What is Nora to do? Do what any smitten girl would, do: try to find him. Please join Nora on her adventure to find peace of mind and someone to love. If you’re an overall fan of the adorable Ms. Posey- Party Girl, Best in Show and Fay Grim are must sees.

He Lost Control

Ian Curtis, frontman for the seminal '70s New Wave band, Joy Division, committed suicide at age 23, just as his band was peaking in popularity and nearing their first tour in the United States. Despite being a gifted lyricist and an electric performer, Curtis was wracked by guilt and depression, the latter being exacerbated by periodic epileptic seizures. Control, released in theatres in 2007, is the taut and unflinching biopic of the lead singer, based on the biography by Deborah Curtis, his wife. Filmed in stark black and white, Anton Corbijn's debut film will satisfy dedicated fans of Joy Division, while intriguing those less familiar with the band to give their minimalist sound a first listen. The AADL owns copies of this film, its soundtrack, and several of Joy Division's finest albums.

Book to Film in Washtenaw County

Drew Barrymore's movie Whip It! is set to be filmed around here this summer, so local people are needed as extras, according to The Ann Arbor News. The movie is based on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, who wrote the screenplay, and who also belongs to the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. I'm thinking strong roller-skating skills might be in demand here. Just a guess.

Iron Man

Iron Man is an action-packed take on the tale of wealthy philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who develops an invulnerable robotic suit to fight the throes of evil. In addition to being filthy rich, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark is also a genius inventor. When Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a diabolical weapon, he instead uses his intelligence and ingenuity to construct an indestructible suit of armor and escape his captors. Once free, Stark discovers a deadly conspiracy that could destabilize the entire globe, and dons his powerful new suit on a mission to stop the villains and save the world. Gwyneth Paltrow co-stars as his secretary, Virginia "Pepper" Potts, while Terrence Howard fills the role of Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, one of Stark's colleagues, whose military background leads him to help in the formation of the suit. Click on the link to watch the Iron Man Trailer and reserve your copy through our catalog.

The journey of a lifetime...

Next month the latest retelling of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth will hit the big screens. Fortunately, you don't have to wait that long to experience this wonderful story. In fact, we own the 1959 release starring Pat Boone and James Mason. The movie is one of my all time favorites. You should also check out the book and for much younger readers, we have the Wishbone version. Enjoy!

Top of the Park


Have you been to Top of the Park this year? If not, this week is a perfect opportunity to come on down and support the Ann Arbor Summer Festival!

This week's entertainment includes performances from The Dream Engine (Wednesday -Saturday this week only), enchanting aerialist performers that suspend themselves from a larger-than-life helium balloon, wonderful musical performances, and an ecclectic collaboration of movies at dusk for all to enjoy...and it's all for free!!!

You can view the entertainment schedule at the Festival Website.

Top of the Park is located at Ingalls Mall, directly in front of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies on Washington Street near the Burton Memorial Tower.

The Festival runs till July 6th, so come prepared to dance, sing along and have a good time!

Books to Movies


The Spiderwick Chronicles is an adaptation of the book series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, that is full of wonder, magic and drama. Two kids are caught up in a parental divorce and find themselves in a spooky new residence where they soon discover surprising and strange things are happening in and around the house which eventually lead to danger and adventure.

Another “book to movie” is Cranford, starring Judi Dench, which is based on the 1851 novel of the same name, by Elizabeth Gaskell. The five episode BBC miniseries interweaves storylines featuring a few gossipy ladies through their daily dramas and happenings on life and love in a small British town in the 1800s. Judi Dench stated that the writing was "inspired" and "extraordinary".

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