Science Fair is beyond fun for Middle Schoolers and beyond

Science FairScience Fair

What a hilarious book! Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson bring science fairs to a whole new level in this comedy-thriller of a novel. Science Fair: a story of mystery, danger, international suspense, and a very nervous frog, features Toby and his best buds, Micah and Tamara. They battle, suffer, endure, and enjoy(?) the usual middle school happenings. Meanwhile, Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government and destroy America, and plans to secretly use the kids of Hubble Middle School to activate the plan by using their Science Fair projects in an elaborate scheme.

The rich kids at Hubble cheat on their science project year after year and are able to get away with it because of who their parents are. This year’s prize is $5,000 and Toby and his friends are determined to win, not only for the money, but to stick it to the rich Manor Estate kids. Oh, and there’s that whole matter of Toby needing the money to pay off the two guys he’s being chased by, Vader and Wookie, to whom he sold some of his dad’s Star Wars memorabilia to via Ebay. Needless to say this is one fun and bumpy road to the Science Fair. Watch out for the attack robot owl!

Burn vs. Bruges

In BrugesIn Bruges

A weekend adventure involving movies that you file under B, but not in that way: Burn After Reading and In Bruges. Which B will be for you? I really wanted to like Burn After Reading as I really enjoy the Coen Bros. films, everything from Fargo to The Big Lebowski to Miller’s Crossing. But this one just didn’t do it for me and I even watched it twice. The characters were fun, the acting was good, the action was okay, but the plot just wasn’t as kooky as I’d have liked it to be for the Coen Bros. even though it was indeed kooky. Hardbodies employees Linda (involved in online dating and desires plastic surgery) and Chad (the high energy goofball) find a disc containing the memoir of ex-CIA agent Osbourne Cox. They decide they are going to blackmail him but the plan is foiled and he fights back, Linda starts dating the treasury agent that is married to the woman Osbourne is having an affair with, the Russian embassy gets involved, and murder ensues. (Starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich, France McDormand, Tilda Swinton.)

On the other hand, I didn’t think I’d like In Bruges, and I ended up really enjoying it. It has irony and humor to soften the darkness and violence two hit men encounter while “vacationing” in Bruges, Belgium. (This may have something to do with the fact that I like gangster films and even more-so humorous gangster films.) Ray and Ken are sent to Bruges to wait for “the call” from their man Henry with further instructions. When the call comes it is with news that they weren’t expecting. All the while the two men spend time in Bruges sight seeing, having fun on a set of a film being made, complaining, and drinking, while waiting for a life and death situation to be resolved. (Starring Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell.)

Son of Rambow on DVD


The Son of Rambow is young Will Proudfoot, who is living in early 80s England in a tight religious household where music and television viewing are not permitted. He gets caught up in a mini-caper with the “bad boy” of the school, Lee Carter, and he ends up accidentally seeing part of a bootleg copy of Rambo: First Blood, which ends up turning his world upside down in the most delightful way. Will is a quiet, quirky boy who sits and draws in his notebooks, and after seeing the action-packed Rambo, his imagination runs wild. He also finds himself owing Carter “a favor”, which is to help him make a film to be entered in a film contest. Will is intrigued and quickly agrees to this chance to make a friend and be creative.

The film ends up being Will’s screenplay taken from his sketch pad, is inspired by the original Rambo, and is full of fun antics. As Will and Carter make the film they both have family issues to deal with that tests their unlikely, yet budding, friendship. The tagline on the DVD says “Make believe. Not war”, Which is what this charming and funny film encompasses. It’s about being young and carefree and lost in your own little world.

Countdown to Nerdfighting!

Instead of organs and bones are you made of awesome? Do you know what Nerdfighter means? Do you know what jokes means in the sentence "that is so jokes!"? Soon you will be able to find out! Printz Award Winning and New York Times Bestselling author John Green and his brother Hank Green will be desending on the library with their loyal nerdfighting fans Nov 14th 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM.

The Promotion on DVD


The Promotion is a new hilarious workplace comedy. Doug (Seann William Scott) works as an assistant manager at a corporate grocery store and, according to his boss (Fred Armisen), is a “shoe in” to manage the new store that’s being built. That is until a do-gooder from Canada named Richard (John C. Reilly) shows up and gives Doug a run for his money. Loads of in-store antics take place as they compete for the promotion, while their eager wives (Jenna Fischer & Lili Taylor) look on, each convinced that their husband will take the prize in the end. Throughout the film both men are tested by corporate and by each other to play the game to come out ahead, with only minor tater tot throwing. A poignant line from the film is when Richard says to Doug, "We're all just out here trying to get food. Sometimes we bump into each other."

John Candy

John Candy is one of my favorite actors. Maybe he wasn't the most versatile performer, and perhaps the roles he chose did not lend themselves to much complexity. But every movie the man made was a classic. And what made them classic was a combination of three factors:

1) The characters he played were extremely relatable and likeable. Who wouldn't want to go on a trip up north with him and the 'fam to The Great Outdoors?

2) It is fun to live vicariously through his roles. How great would it be to creep out "Bug" at the local teenager hideout or make giant pancakes as in Uncle Buck, and how fun would it be to spend an entire summer learning to sail with Scully like he did in Summer Rental?

3) His films remind you of what is truly important in life. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Brewster's Millions are two among many movies he starred in that point out the importance of friendship, charity, and honesty.

John Candy passed away on March 4, 1994 at only 44 years old, but he left us with dozens of movies to enjoy over and over again.

King Corn on DVD

king cornking corn

If you don’t already have a hold on a copy of the documentary King Corn: You are What You Eat, then, well, you should. As in the style of Super Size Me, it is both funny and educational. Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis, two best buds from college, decide to answer the question “how did corn get in my hair?” Not literally corn, but how did corn come up so high in the test results when a strand of hair was tested. Wondering how they were unknowingly taking in so much corn, Ian and Curtis head out to Iowa to grow their own acre of corn and learn from finding out where their self-grown corn ends up in the food chain. The results they found were a little more than they expected. Grab this DVD and a snack (perhaps challenge yourself to find one that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup) and enjoy the film's flavor. Sidenote: Halfway through watching the film I realized the irony of me doing so while gobbling a bowl of popcorn.
FYI: On September 25, AADL will present this as a Film and Discussion.

The Conchords Have Taken Flight!

Flight of the Conchords is now available on DVD at the library! This HBO series "flew" under the radar during its first season, but the show has slowly gained a cult following after HBO began airing reruns. Bret and Jemaine will continue to "Rock the party" when Season Two begins in January of 2009.

Fearless Vampire Killers... on DVD


In the tradition of old-school capers and sleuths let me present to you a chestnut from 1967- Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, Or Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck. Professor Abronsius and his bumbling Assistant Alfred (played by Roman Polanski himself) are off to a remote Transylvanian village to prove their theory that vampires really exist. Soon Alfred falls for the innkeeper’s daughter Sarah (played by Sharon Tate), who of course ends up being kidnapped by a vampire count. (The film marks the beginning of the real-life Polanski-Tate romance.) Abronsius and Alfred set off to rescue her and prove their theory at the same time. In doing so… they move into the count’s castle, freeze up when trying to kill him, chase vampires on skis, lose the cherished suitcase containing their supply of garlic and crucifixes, and the count’s son falls in love with Alfred. Talk about fun. Do they get to prove their theory? Do they get out of Transylvania with their necks intact? There’s only one way to find out…

Feeling "Spaced" Out? British Comedy is the Cure!

Over the weekend a friend came by with a DVD set of the British comedy Spaced, and it made me excited to watch classics from across the pond all over again. The library carries comedic gems such as Absolutely Fabulous, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Little Britain, The Office, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. What is your favorite british show and/or movie?

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