Pretty in Pink 30th Anniversary!

Pretty in Pink will be back on the big screen in theaters next week! The movie will be shown in select theaters nationwide, including Ann Arbor, on February 14 and 17 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. How cool is that?! Yes, it’s been that long since the film’s release.

The 1986 film is a classic 80s flick directed by John Hughes. It stars Molly Ringwald in pink as Andie. Jon Cryer wonderfully portrays her male BFF Duckie, and her hunky crush Blaine is played by Andrew McCarthy. It’s a classic high school love triangle in classic 80s fashion -- just a bit more pink. Add in more quirky friends, a rich vs. poor social dynamic, a popular bully, and a stellar soundtrack… and you’re all set! The film version shown in theaters will include the alternate ending where Andie ends up with the other guy.

The End of the Tour

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of David Foster Wallace’s (1962-2008) magnum opus Infinite Jest, so it’s a great time to revisit the 1996 work.

At the time the book was published Rolling Stone Magazine sent reporter David Lipsky to follow Wallace on his book tour promoting the book.

The five-day interview didn’t get published in the magazine but became Lipsky's New York Times-bestselling book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace in 2010. The book was recently adapted for screen which resulted in the film The End of the Tour.

The End of the Tour stars Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky. Lipsky tags along on a road trip with Wallace and they have conversation after conversation on just about everything, with Lipsky getting it all on tape. It’s a striking look at how you view yourself, and then once you are well-known how others perceive you. It begs the question – does it really matter? I haven’t read Infinite Jest, but I’m super curious about the brain of David Foster Wallace, and found the movie provocative and thought provoking about what rests in the minds of those we label genius.

Golden Globe Award Winners

Last night the 73rd Golden Globe Award winners were announced in top categories for motion pictures and television from the past year. It’s always fun to see the winners and speculate who will also win at the Oscars.

Best Motion Picture – Drama went to The Revenant, which is in theaters now (also winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Director for Alejandro Iñárritu), Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy went to The Martian (also winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for Matt Damon), Best Motion Picture – Animated went to Inside Out, and Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language went to Son of Saul.

As for TV Series… Best Television Series – Drama went to Mr. Robot, Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy went to Mozart in the Jungle, and Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television went to Wolf Hall.

Be sure to check out the full list of winners to see who won in all categories.

Straight Outta Compton, the Movie

This time of year is full of “top tens” for best books, albums, movies and more. This summer’s bio-drama Straight Outta Compton was one of my favorite films of the year and will be released in a few weeks and the holds are already gathering for it.

The film chronicles the formation and rise of legendary rap group NWA in the mid-80s through their more turbulent years. The film gets emotional as it digs into the violence, drugs, racial tension, eventual fame, and the interpersonal relationships with each other and their manager and the role that these things played in their lives and music.

Unknown actors gave exceptional performances as the NWA members, with Ice Cube’s son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. playing his dad – and in looks and essence he knocked it outta the park. This film had me laughing and crying and cheering in ways I didn’t expect.

To keep things humming, check out Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, as well as the original Straight Outta Compton album from 1988.

New TV Shows @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new-to-AADL series:

Mr. Robot, Season 1
Follows a young computer programmer who suffers from social anxiety disorder and forms connections through hacking. He's recruited by a mysterious anarchist, who calls himself Mr. Robot.

12 Monkeys, Season 1
Follows the journey of Cole, a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race.

Marco Polo, Season 1
In a world replete with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry, the series is based on the famed explorer's adventures in Kublai Khan's court in thirteenth century China.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

Love and Mercy

The film Love and Mercy is a bit of a music biopic that sheds light on the story of Beach Boys’ singer and songwriter Brian Wilson. He is wonderfully portrayed by Paul Dano and John Cusack at two very different stages of Wilson’s life and the split storyline darts in and out, detailing Wilson’s workflow, anxiety, and musical genius. In the end it shows Wilson in the 1980s as a very broken man under the overbearing care of his therapist Eugene Landy, and then the inevitable release of this care which leads to where he is today. It’s a well done story and it was great to hear all the Beach Boys music throughout the film. Those boys sure can harmonize.

TV Spotlight: The Good Wife

A great court drama now in its sixth season is The Good Wife. The legal drama focuses on a politician's wife, Alicia Florrick, who pursues her own career as a defense attorney after her husband is sent to jail on charges of political corruption. Florrick not only deals with her career but also with keeping her family together as she provides a stable home for her two teenage children.

Each episode features new court cases with new court dramas, as well as overarching storylines that focus on a variety of regular characters, including lawyers, politicians and investigators. It’s such good drama with some really likeable, interesting, fun, and even enjoyably annoying characters! It's fast paced and addictive. Even if you’re not really into legal dramas The Good Wife is worth a try.

And the Oscar Goes To…

Last night at the star-studded 87th annual Academy Awards, Oscar winners were announced for the best in film for the past year. Top honors went to Birdman for Best Picture, Big Hero 6 for Best Animated Feature, Citizenfour for Best Documentary Feature, and Poland’s Ida for Best Foreign Language Film.

Individual Oscars went to Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Best Director for Birdman, Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, and Julianne Moore for Best Actress for Still Alice. Supporting nods going to J.K. Simmons for Whiplash and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

While Birdman won top prize in three of the top categories - The Grand Budapest Hotel also soared with nine nominations, taking home four Oscars, including: Achievement in costume design, Achievement in makeup and hairstyling, Achievement in production design, and Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original Score) .

Here is a full list of winners and nominees in all categories. What a year for film! Be sure to check out the other nominated films. (Of course here’s a quick list of AADL-owned titles.)

Did you watch? What were your favorite moments? What were the biggest surprises?

Birdman

Critically acclaimed and nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as Riggan, a washed up actor best known for playing the superhero Birdman a decade ago. He struggles in relationships with his ex-wife and daughter and is caught up in trying to revive his career by writing, directing and staring in a broadway production, which is a huge undertaking for him. Add the fact that Riggan is haunted by the voice of Birdman who taunts him for being washed up and no good, and it’s a huge weight upon Riggan’s shoulders, and he does not handle it well.

The film is very dark, but has its funny moments. Keaton’s performance is phenomenal and worth the viewing - he's at his best here. What I found most intriguing is the fact that the film is shot almost entirely as one continuous take. It sounds like it would be tedious, but it works really well in this film, and it allows us to get closer to Riggan and his fading stability.

Birdman received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and acting nominations for Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone. It was also nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards, where Keaton won Best Actor.

Skeleton Twins

The indie comedy-drama Skeleton Twins made its way through film festivals across the country last year with much acclaim. The film stars SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig with phenomenal performances as fraternal twins Maggie and Milo.

They are both in their 30s, live in different states, and haven’t talked to each other in ten years. Unbeknownst to each other, they both plan to end their lives on the same day, and they each end up foiling the others plan, which forces a reunion. They spend the film getting reacquainted and trying to sort out their messed up lives. The movie is darkly funny, and the characters are so deeply flawed and loveable.

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