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  • Jul 19 - Borgen - "Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Jul 11 - Monuments Men - If you missed it at our showing, make sure to put a hold on it.
  • Jul 5 - What's all the Hoopla? - Check out the library's new source for downloadable movies
  • Jun 30 - Talking Westerns - Filmed in and around Calgary
Off Line

Armageddin' outta here

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Okay I know, I know---this is a cheesy title but it was just too much fun to resist. So lets take a look at end of the world movies and see if they can give us ideas on how fast we need to run, how long we have to tread water, what SPF sunscreen we need to use---or any other hints on how to survive when IT (whatever IT is) happens. Maniaical birds, the sun behaving badly, alien intervention, plagues, ecological disaster, war, using the planet as a giant garbage dump- just a few of the scenarios these movies address.

The Birds from Hitchcock---end of the world you ask? Well yes, actually. Without giving away any more than the title already does, these birds are quietly scary. Watch for the scene with the crows at the playground--- it is amazing.

Knowing---I can run hot and cold on Nic Cage, but this is one of his better. See Mels earlier post Nicolas Cage Reconsidered for more Nic. Watch this movie then ask yourself- if it were you, would you rather know or not?

12 Monkeys---also a repeat recommendation---from the Space-Time Continuum post. Only at the time of that post, we didn't yet have it at CPL. Now it is on order and I am delighted---I love this movie. Bruce Willis is very good and this is my favorite Brad Pitt role---one for which he got a nod from Oscar, but not a win (Kevin Spacey took it that year for the Usual Suspects). I think it should have gone to Brad.

The Day the Earth Stood Still--- the original from 1961. Although we also have the 2008 remake with Keanu Reeves, the Michael Renee is far superior.

2012- the complete and utter destruction of absolutely everything! Impressive, if not always believable F/X.

Sunshine---from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slum-Dog Millionaire). This should appeal to real hard core science fiction fans. And brainiacs- the film's science adviser was a particle physicist from CERN (Conseil Europeen Pour le Recherche Nucleaire [European Laboratory for Particle Physics]). He probably knows what he's talking about. I liked it a lot, even if I didn't understand all the science!

Of course there is always Schwarzengger's Terminator series (we have all 4---I only like 1 & 2), Gibson's Mad Max (dystopia populated by humanganoids), and Will Smith in I am Legend (very good).

And just to lighten things up a whole lot, try Wall-E from Disney. And invite the kids to join you- and also for the original Day the Earth Stood Still, but none of the others.

Tearing down to build up

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Ah Spring...When our thoughts turn inevitably to home improvement. If you are eating take-out and heating food in the microwave all of the time, your pets piling up with you in your bedroom, boxes of unsorted items shoved to the side, you either live at our house, or you are in the middle of a home renovation project.

Amidst our non-fiction dvds, you will find an assortment of items aimed at informing the do-it-yourself-er. See for yourself:

Holmes on Holmes: Shirtless but shod and service-oriented Mike Holmes is adored for his righteous rage at corrupt contractors and their incompetent handiwork. In the process of taking apart their work, he teaches the right (Holmes) way to build.

Dare to Repair Mag Ruffman of Road to Avonlea is the feisty host of this dvd based on the sleeper hit tv show "A Repair to Remember" which was aimed at timid, inexperienced handypeople. She leads you through various typical home fixits.

Remember Bob Villa? We have the This Old House series on videocassette, should you have a vcr. We also have a newer dvd series Ask This Old House.

On order for the collection are Floors and Ceilings and Plumbing and Electrical. and the So You're Renovating series, which covers a wide variety of topics, such as basements, kitchens, additions, and roofing.

Lastly, Build Green and Raging Renos. The titles say it all.

These don't cover local permits and structural engineering issues, which the borrower is responsible for researching.

More Film Festivals in a box

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The Turner Classic Movie boxed sets have proved very popular---so much so that CPL has a whole bunch more headed your way. Each set comes complete with four thematic based movies. TCM has done a great job putting these together---there are hours and hours of excellent viewing here. All these sets are on order at the moment, so they aren't ready to take out quite yet. But they are coming and once they do they will fly off the shelves so get your holds on now and sit back and enjoy the anticipation. I can't wait to revisit them---my holds are already on. How about yours?

Westerns: Ride the High Country, Stalking Moon, Chisum, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

War: Dawn Patrol, Gunga Din, Operation Pacific, Battle of the Bulge

Sci-FI: Them, Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Satellite in the Sky, World Without End

Romance: Splendor in the Grass, Mogambo, Now Voyager, Love in the Afternoon

Marx Brothers: A day at the Races, Room Service, At the Circus, A Night in Casablanca

Family :Lassie, Flipper, National Velvet, Incredible Mr. Limpet

Hitchcock Thrillers: Suspicion, Strangers on a Train, The Wrong man, I confess

Comedy: The Long Long Trailer, Father of the Bride, Night at the Opera, Arsenic and

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 10

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I was originaly going to call this post Dead Dog Movies, as this almost seems to qualify as a sub-genre of the classic animal movie. What is it about our faithful companion that we continually make movies about him only to bump him off ? I guess it is a testimate to how much we love our dogs that we mourn them so fiercely. After all, who would cry too much over the death of a pet tarantula? (and to anyone who has recently lost a pet tarantula, no offence intended!). But good taste has prevailed and I am reviewing live dog movies as well and throwing them all under the banner of Guaranteed Embarrasement Free.

Marley and Me

Shiloh

Where the Red Fern Grows

Sounder

Homeward Bound

Lady and the tramp

Benji

Eight Below Beethoven 1 & 2 102 Dalmations Shaggy Dog with either Fred McMurray 1956 or Robert Downey 2006.

Have a look at some previously recommended dog movies---My Dog Skip, Dog of Flanders and Old Yeller. Or check out the other 9 installments of this thread by clicking on Embarrassment Free on the left hand side of the page under TAGS. We also have many dvd's on dog training, grooming and tricks, including the popular DogWhisperer by Cesar Milan.

Director JJ

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Jim Jarmusch's movies are worth repeat viewings. Get going if you haven't seen these offbeat treasures with great soundtracks frequently including Tom Waits and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. They are among the best films of the 1990s world-wide.

Here are a few that are in, or coming, to the collection:

Down by Law: a man framed by the police goes on the road and takes up with a charming couple played by Italian comedy duo and spouses Roberto Benini and Nicholetta Braschi (of Life is Beautiful) fame. Tom Waits also stars.

Limits of Control-Jarmusch's latest-can't wait to see it!

Dead Man-starring Johnny Depp. See the Best Westerns summary

Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray. Murray plays a quiet man, searching for a son he may or may not have had as he revisits past relationships. It's an unusual and thoughtful road movie, featuring eastern American countryside.

Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai Forest Whitaker plays a lone enforcer devoted to the ways of ancient Japanese war but in hip-hop fashion. A must see, and not just for the scenes of the sailboat being built on the roof of an inner city apartment.

Night on Earth vignettes of life from inside several taxis in different cities around the wo