You are here: Home > Blogs > Movie Maniacs

Latest Posts

On Line

Blu-rays are here!

- 0 Comment(s)

We just received a shipment of blu-ray discs. Search for a complete list by typing "blu ray". You can also search by title adding the word "blu." For example type "Alice in Wonderland blu".  Dvds and blu-ray format will be catalogued as different categories. Both dvds and blu rays may be shelved separately or together by title, depending on the branch library. Our current collection shows 119 different titles. Many of these are more recent releases and already have customer holds on them, so get in on the action!

Midsomer Murders

- 0 Comment(s)

We are working our way through the 1990s British TV series Midsomer Murders. According to some, this is proof we were born old. Regardless of one's age, this series a good choice if you want to watch a one-hour whodunnit rather than a feature-length show. The bonus is the beautiful scenery around the fictional Midsomer villages.

Like Inspector Morse, Detective Barnaby solves an improbable number of small town murders with his assistant's help. Midsomer Murders is a bit lighter, with humour provided by Detective Barnaby's family dynamic. Because there's over 80 episodes to sign out and titles are similar, here's a list of episodes. Cross off and enjoy!

Killings at Badger's Drift, Written in Blood, Death of a Hollow Man, Faithful until Death, Death in Disguise, Death's Shadow, Strangler's Wood, Dead Man's Eleven, Blood will Out, Death of a Stranger, Blue Herrings, Judgement Day, Beyond the Grave, Garden of Death, Destroying Angel, Electric Vendetta, Who Killed Cock Robin?, Dark Autumn, Tainted Fruit, Market for Murder, A Worm in the Bud, Ring Out your Dead, Murder on St. Malley's Day, A Talent for Life, Death and Dreams, Painted in Blood, A Tale of Two Hamlets, Birds of Prey, The Green Man, Bad Tidings, The Fisher King, Sins of Commission, The Maid in Splendour, The Straw Woman, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Things that go bump in the Night, Dead in the Water, Orchis Fatalis, Bantling Boy, Second Sight, Hidden Depths, Sauce for the Goose, Midsomer Rhapsody, The House in the Woods, Dead Letters, Vixen's Run, Down among the Dead Men, Death in Chorus, Country Matters, Last Year's Model, Four Funeral's and a Wedding, Dance with the Dead, The Animal Within, King's Crystal, The Axeman Cometh, Death and Dust, Picture of Innocence, They Seek Him Here, Death in a Chocolate Box, Shot at Dawn, Blood Wedding, Midsomer Life, Left for Dead, The Magician's Nephew, Talking to the Dead, Days of Misrule, The Dogleg Murders, Secrets and Spies, The Black Book, The Glitch, Small Mercies, The Creeper, The Great and The Good, The Sword of Guillame, the Made -to-measure Murders, Blood on the Saddle, The Silent Land, Master Class The Noble Art, Not in my Backyard, Mourning has Broken, and The Echoing Green.

Sorry for not linking all of these titles, folks! For a hilarious parody of murder-ridden English village life, don't miss Hot Fuzz.

Gregory Peck

- 0 Comment(s)

My previous Guaranteed Embarrassment Free post (The Yearling) got me thinking about Gregory Peck---not a bad way to while away a few hours! He started making movies in the 40's, remained very popular for the 50's and 60's and then hit a dry spell after his oscar win. He saw a resurgence of his career with the unexpected 1977 hit, The Omen. More roles appeared after this and he did several turns on television. He was the recipient of many awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor, the Academy's Jean Hershold Humanitarian Award and the Medal of Freedom. On June 12, 2003 just days after the AFI named him as the screen's greatest hero for his role as Atticus Finch, Peck died at the age of 87. Tall, rugged, handsome and by all accounts a very decent human being, he played many a heroic character over the years.

To Kill a Mockingbird---Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. Depending on the age of your own children, say about 12 and up, it's one for the whole family to watch and discuss. This won Peck the best actor Oscar and was his own personal favourite from his many roles.

Captain Horatio Hornblower---if you've been reading our blog over the past months you know that we have recommended the Hornblower series from A&E. This film predates it by several years-decades actually, and Peck does an excellent job playing the swashbuckling hero.

Roman Holiday---with Peck and Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar winning role. A lovely, charming movie. Interesting bit of trivia here. The on-screen credit and Academy award for best Screen Writing were originally credited and given to Ian McLellan Hunter. Hunter was the 'beard' for Dalton Trumbo, who was one of several Hollywood writers blacklisted during the infamous McCarthy era. In December 1992 the Academy decided to change the records and to credit Trumbo for his achievment. Ian Hunter was removed from the Motion Picture Story category and the Oscar was posthumously present to Trumbo's widow on May 10 1993.

Boys From Brazil---one of his very few outings as a villian---and what a villian! He plays an aged Doctor Josef Mengele to Lawrence Olivier's equally aged Nazi hunter. I particularly like the scene with the telephone encounter between the two. This is based on the book of the same name by Ira Levin---who wrote many good stories adapted for theatrical release, including Rosemary's Baby.

Cape Fear--- the styish film noir original from 1962 (not the abysmal Robert De Niro remake). He plays another small town lawyer---this time one being stalked by a truly terrifying Robert Mitchum. (This makes the second time we have recommended a movie in which Mitchum is the heavy---the other being Night of the Hunter. One of our regular followers suggested a 'who's afraid of Robert Mitchum' post. After seeing this movie I'm sure you'll agree we ALL are).

Moby Dick---he is riveting as the maniacal, obsessed Captain Ahab. I once heard the book described as 600 pages of how to boil whale blubber, and after two failed attempts at reading it I just gave up. This movie will fair you much better.

On the Beach-based on Aussie writer Nevile Shute's story of the same name. In 1964 after atomic war has wiped out the northerrn hemisphere, all that remains of civilization is to be found in Australia. With the growing realization that their days are numbered as well, people struggle to carry on with a normal life. This is not your typical post apocalpytic movie.

Guns of Navarone--- the plot is so convincing that for years many believed that this movie was a retelling of an actual war time event. It is entirely fictitious and is an above average war/adventure movie.

The Big Country---Peck was no stranger to westerns, and this is a solid offering even though having a fairly well-worn 'fighting over water rights' plot. With Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives.