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Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 14

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Okay - here we go with some fresh titles for the whole family- kids, parents, grandparents- all ages can sit down and enjoy these together. Check out the numerous other recommendations by clicking on the tag of the same name over on the left.

Meet the Robinsons---Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine. Animated.

Rio---when Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams. Lots of holds on this, so be patient. Animated.

Kit Kittredge An American Girl---set in Cincinnati at the height of the Great Depression, Kit Kittredge, a resourceful young girl, helps her mother run a boardinghouse after her father loses his job. This features the talented young Abigail Breslin, who was so good in Little Miss Sunshine. (Little Miss is definitely not an embarrassment free movie- but def worth a look. It is hard to describe this one other than to say you will seldom meet a more incredibly weird but wonderful family. I think I would like to know these people).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:Rodrick Rules- the sequel to the very popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this one is as good or better than the first. Both of these are available in Blu-Ray.

Howl's Moving Castle---when an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions.

Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. With the vocal talents of Johnny Depp and...Abigail Breslin. Have some fun trying to get all the other voices---there are lots you will recognize.

We have just received a bunch of Charlie Brown specials- these are sweet, funny and gentle fare for the whole family. Snoppy Come Home, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Peanuts 1970'2 Collection Vol. 2., with 6 remastered TV specials.

by Moe

Live From Wembley Stadium

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We all know that CPL has an amazing collection of CD's. Everything from Slayer to Shostakovich-Justin Bieber to Alice Cooper! But do you know that we also have a huge collection of performances/concerts on dvd? In fact, my recent search brought up over 200! These are concerts performed around the world at international venues by a huge and diverse group of performers. For example:

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles

Eagles: Farewell tour live from Melbourne

Queen: Live at Wembley Stadium

Simon and Garfunkel; the concert in Central Park

U2: Live at Red Rocks

This just barely begins to scratch the surface of some of my own faves. Music--performance as a search term will bring up everything and show you the depth of the collection; my above mentioned faves came by searching Rock Concerts dvd;

by Moe

Back to School

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Some of you have already gone back to school, or will go back in the next few weeks. If you're not and you're envious, skip the school supplies section and come to the library for some Continuing Education by way of these teacher-themed dvds:

Here's a question for your film studies prof...why are no women represented as educators on film, except Bad Teacher, which you probably know about, so I won't review it here, but click the title to place a hold.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips: Not a dry eye in the house as an inexperienced and clumsy schoolmaster learns that the key to good teaching is to relate to your pupils as people in this 1939 classic.

Educating Rita: Michael Caine stars as a jaded professor and Julie Walters as his adult student who didn't share his privileged upbringing.

Dead Poet's society stars Robin Williams as the teacher who encourages a love of literature, with mixed results, and a too-often cited latin phrase.

To Sir with Love: Sidney Poitier stars in this old chestnut about a young teacher sent to a working class neighbourhood in London to convince rebellious high schoolers to take an interest in learning and their own futures (while he also cuts a mean figure in suits). This movie is followed by a whole raft of similarly themed films set in contemporary America, including Up the Down Staircase (1967)--set in inner-city New York--come to think of it, many of the rest feature coaches or music conductors, so we'll leave it at that.

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Free Movie Passes

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ONE DAY starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess is opening on August 19th. Movie Maniacs and Alliance has an opportunity for you to win double passes to attend an advanced screening on August 18th. We are using e-tickets again and it couldn't be easier.

The first 100 people to visit https://secure1.gettickets.ca/Redeem/Regular/SelectTickets.aspx?id=caf12e51-fb17-4dab-9426-2a7b13bff125&locale=en-CA and enter ONEDAYCAL5 as your PIN code will each be able to print off an admit-2 pass to the Aug 18 screening at Scotiabank Chinook.

By Moe

One Billion Dollars !!

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The last few months have seen some really big summer releases- Transformers 3, Cars 2, Super 8, Captain America, the finale of Harry Potter. Trsf3 and HP have just recently passed the billion dollar mark in world wide revenue. Trsf 3 took about 6 1/2 weeks and Harry got there in just under 3. What an amazing amount---one billion dollars in ticket sales! Each! No telling how high they can and will still go. What will JK Rowling do with all that money!? CPL has all 7 previous HP's and Transformers 1 and 2 if you need a refresher course.

Another big release is The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I just saw it this week and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I do like this kind of movie- near future/ humankind at the mercy of their own technology/ how did we get in this mess/ kind of movies, and this did not disappoint. I am also a big fan of the 1968 Charlton Heston original Planet of the Apes and I am happy to say that CPL has finally got it. There were 5 releases in this series, and to my mind they got progressively worse, but there is no denying the strong appeal of the first, with one of the greatest 'gotchas' in the history of cinema. Holds are starting to build, so get your request on now.

by Moe

Desert Island Classics: The Sweet Smell of Success

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I try not to put too many films into this category but The Sweet Smell of Success (1957) is a unique movie. Burt Lancaster stars as J.J. Hunsecker, the sinister editor of a newspaper entertainment column and Tony Curtis as his Iago-like undlerling, Sydney Falco. Known for his terrifying smear campaigns, Hunsecker is weirdly obsessed with his adult sister Susie and controls her every move. When she falls in love with (gasp!) a jazz musician, Hunsecker will go to any length to destroy the relationship and convinces Falco to frame the boyfriend. The movie follows Falco's own love of power and how it entangles him in the quest to destroy the couple. What fascinated me the most about the movie was the use of jargon in the script. A translator is almost needed in some scenes where the two newspapermen quip back and forth in the language of the trade. There's a sense of zeitgeist in the film, in Susie's decision, and its condemnation of the "gutter press." Also available on blu-ray

Red and Purple, Black and Green

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Mel recommended many excellent titles in two earlier posts which you can find under the tagline numbers colours and letters on the left. She observed how many films there were with numbers in the titles, and when I started this one I was struck with the same thought---gobs of movies with colours in the titles. Here in no particular order are colour movies, all which I've seen and enjoyed.

The Color Purple---Spielberg brings you Woopie and Oprah in the story based on Alice Walkers popular novel. Bit of trivia here- although nominated for 11 Academy Awards, it won--- zero! This ties with a movie called The Turning Point, that people are hard pressed to remember. I actually like them both.

Black Swan- this movie which had 2011's Best Actress winner will not be everybodies cup of tea. Melodramatic, on times bordering on incomprehensible, it is still worth seeing just for Natalie Portman's stunning performance. Yes- she did her own dancing.

Reds- this is Warren Beatty's 1981 story of a radical American journalist who becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia. This is long folks---194 minutes. Not to be confused with the far inferior Helen Mirren/Bruce Willis spy offering called Red-although John Malcovich's performance almost makes it worthwhile-nobody does nutjob as well as John.

Solyent Green---from 1972, futuristic dystopia with Charlton Heston.

Green Mile---from the fertile mind of Stephen King, this is one of his stories that translates very well from book to the big screen. A really good performance by Tom Hanks, and lots of other recognizable faces, even if you can't get all the names. Can you spot the actor who played Ned Pepper in the True Grit remake? This guy is a real chameleon and a talented actor.

The Purple Rose of Cairo- ignore his sordid personal life and just pay tribute to the film maker, and there is no denying that Woody Allen makes some really good movies. This is a charming offering from 1985 starring Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels.

The Scarlet and the Black- the Vatican, the Nazi's, Christopher Plummer and Gregory Peck.

The Red Shoes---A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. A must see.

It isn't easy being green- Kermit the frog of course, and the irrepressible Muppets---several Movies and the series 1, 2 and 3. Anybody who was anybody used to line up to get on this weekly show.

by Moe