Reliving 1987 (ish)

This week some of my old childhood favorites are being released and re-released on DVD. You're never too old to watch David Bowie in all of his make-up and glam-rock-splendor in Labyrinth. And if puppets are your thing, The Muppet Show Season Two has just been released in addition to Fraggle Rock Season Three. Check out the children’s DVD collection at AADL, and don’t ever apologize for checking out an item labeled “Youth.” Kermit and Gobo are funny no matter what age you are.

"In Bloom" at Toronto Film Festival

It’s a big weekend for Laura Kasischke, the Chelsea author and U-M faculty member whose 2002 novel The Life Before Her Eyes is now a film to be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, “In Bloom," starring Uma Thurman, may soon be in wide distribution. A Michigan Radio broadcast is here.

He's Not There

Todd Haynes new biopic of Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There”, debuted Tuesday at the Venice Film Festival to general praise, with critics giving some of the most favorable reviews to actress Cate Blanchett who, along with several other stars (including Heath Ledger, Richard Gere), channels the chameleon-like Mr. Zimmerman during one of the many phases of his career. If the idea of multiple actors playing Dylan is a bit too surreal for you, consider that both D. A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back and Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home—both excellent documentaries—also had trouble pinning down the changling Dylan. In his long and brilliant career Dylan created and abandoned musical styles, looks, even his voice, captivating or alienating his audience along the way but always taking us into new territory.

Amazon dvd picks for 2006

Following are a few titles of dvd's on Amazon's Best Dvd's of 2006 list (their choices) that we own at the Library. Check them out.

Little Britain, according to Amazon is "the reigning king of UK comedy." We have the first series and the second is out. Full of quirky, endearing characters like Vicky who is adept at butchering the English language and Andy who sits in a whellchair but can really walk just fine. Amazon says,"Little Britain presents the breathtaking debris of modern life in all its glory."

Thank You for Smoking is an irreverent look at the tobacco industry. Aaron Eckhart stars as the spin doctor for Big Tobacco while also trying to be a role model for his twelve year old son. William H. Macy plays a self-righteous senator bent on destroying the tobacco industry. Hilarious, off-beat and thought provoking, it's one of those movies you'll either love or hate.

Henry and Fay ride again

Fay Grim is Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool ten years later. Here we have Fay Grim, played perfectly by Parker Posey, who is caught up in conspiracy and espionage as she is tracking down the "lost" notebooks of her ex-husband, Henry Fool. CIA agents (led charmingly by Jeff Goldblum) rope Fay into heading off to Paris to retrieve the notebooks that may contain information that compromises national security. It’s an adventurous joyride with mystery, intrigue and wit. Who knew espionage could be so fun.

He's still "singin' in the rain," on screen, that is

Mum may or may not be the word

Do you know a three letter word for "the sound of water hitting a hot pan" or "what both Humpty Dumpty and Miss Muffet did?" If you're dying to find out the strategies of some of the most most adept and lovable crossword puzzle addicts, come to the Downtown branch tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. to watch Wordplay, the movie about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament run by New York Times crossword master, Will Shortz. The film will be introduced by Firefly Club owner, jazz singer and fellow word lover, Susan Chastain who welcomes people to the club every Wednesday to play Scrabble.

Hairspray is in again

A new film version of Hairspray, which is also an award winning Broadway musical, was released last week in theaters. Before heading out to see it why not check out the original film version by John Waters. The original cast, featuring Sonny Bono, Divine, Debbie Harry, and Ricki Lake, is sure to please. Watch Tracy Turnblad as she takes the Baltimore dance scene by storm with her hip moves and her wild hair-do. Don’t feel like watching a movie? The Broadway cast sound recording will get your feet tapping as well.

Criticism of the 5th Harry Potter Movie (Order of the Phoenix)

The fifth installment of the Harry Potter movie series comes to theaters this week, and is facing harsh criticism from critics. The Associated Press gives it only two and a half stars out of four, while NPR describes it as just another episode that is building towards the final film. The New York Times is slightly kinder with their review. I, for one, still plan on checking it out, no matter what the reviewers say!

Choosing classy cheeses and fawning over fantastic foods... with a rat?

Ratatouille RemeyRatatouille Remey

If you consider yourself a foodie who loves to discuss the intricacies of a fine cheese or the layers of flavour in a well prepared dish, then I have the movie for you! Pixar's latest film, Ratatouille, is about a talented rat who aspires to become a great chef. The film is getting rave reviews from the New York Times and NPR, amongst others, and begins playing in town today! So grab the kids, some good cheese and head for the theater!

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