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Not the Movie About the Doctor

by Melanie

The Awakening is a 2011 ghost story/suspense feature. It is set in England, post World War I , in a manor house converted to a school. Naturally, there are unexplained deaths and an extra student body who appears blurrily in the yearly group portait.

Enter Florence Cathcart, played by hot ticket actress Rebecca Hall (The Prestige) a non-believing ghosthunter hired to expose fakes and chicanery. Lucky for her, and us, one of the teachers is played by Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour) and romance ensues! Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Cranford) plays the over-friendly schoolmistress.

There's plenty of make-you-jump-scenes, but be forewarned, this is a psychological thriller for those who enjoyed The Woman in Black, and The Village and movies of that ilk, not horror movies like Saw. The "awakening" in the movie is downright psychiatric, but I'll leave it at that. Fans of Midsomer Murders and period British fare such as Downtown Abbey might enjoy this one, too.

Daniel Day-Lewis

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

LincolnDaniel Day Lewis as LincolnI took another look at Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis recently. He was so good (he received his third Oscar for Best Actor) I wanted to savour his acting skills a second time round.

Roger Ebert called him the best actor of his generation, bar none. Sir John Guilguld said of him: "He has what every American actor wishes for: talent; and what every British actor wishes for: looks." He is considered by many to be the British Robert de Niro, but to me that is not an apt comparison. I like de Niro (especially the earlier years) but DDL to my mind is far superior.

A method actor extraordinaire he is well known for his total immersion into a character. For the role of Christy Brown (his first Oscar win) in My Left Foot he learned about his paralyzed character by taking up residence in a wheelchair, even off-camera,requiring the crew to move him around.

For the role of one of the most memorable and heinous of villains, Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York, he rarely got out of character and took actual lessons as an apprentice butcher. He could even be seen sharpening his knives at lunch. Yikes!

My Left FootDuring The Last of the Mohicans (1992) he built a canoe, learned to track and skin animals, and perfected the use of a 12-pound flintlock gun, which he took everywhere he went, including a Christmas dinner.

For the eight month shoot for Unbearable Lightness of Being, he learned to speak Czech.

In preparing for his role in The Boxer, he sparred a total of 350 rounds, acquiring a broken nose in the process. The consultant for the fight scenes was alarmed and told him, "Daniel, it doesn't have to be this tough." DDL replied "I want to understand what a fighter goes through. I want to in some way simulate what it has to be like." Along with the amazing boxing scenes watch for the scene where he is jumping rope.

Gangs of New York

He was repeatedly offered the role of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and repeatedly turned it down. Much as I love Viggo Mortenson in the role I would have loved to see DDL's perspective.

Following The Boxer, Day-Lewis took a leave of absence from acting by going into "semi-retirement" and returning to his old passion of woodworking. He moved to Florence, Italy, where he became intrigued by the craft of shoemaking, eventually apprenticing as a shoemaker. So if this whole acting thing doesn't work out for him, he's got a fall back career. But being the only person to ever win three Oscars for Best Actor I think his career is safe.

Watch him also in There will be Blood, his second Best Acting Oscar and a truly amazing performance. My Beautiful Laundrette, The Name of the Father, The Crucible are three more worth seeing. Well, actually everything he does is worth seeing.

 

There Will Be BloodThe Boxer

 

 

Crowfoot's Monthly Film Night

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Did you know that Crowfoot shows a movie on the third Thursday of every month? We started this in January of 2012 and have shown some really excellent films in the past 16 months. We typically showcase items that are brand new releases to DVD/Blu-Ray and very often have a high number of holds on them already. So this is a great way to get around the potential wait.

No registration is required so go ahead and set the following dates down now---all Thursdays---May 16, June 20, July 18 and Aug 15th. We typically start at 6:30 p.m. UNLESS the film is extra long and we need to start earlier to be out by closing time of 9:00 p.m. If that is the case we'll tell you the correct time when you call the branch. Why do you need to call the branch you ask? Why not just put it here?

Two reasons: because we are always trying to get the latest and greatest new releases we sometimes don't have the title in our hands until the first of the new month. Also public viewing licensing agreements limit CPL to what we can put down here, but a quick phone call to Crowfoot at 221-4122 and we will be happy to tell you the actual title of the film.

But I can give you a great hint for this month's choice. The movie won the Oscar for Best Actress. It is rated 14A for language and some sexual content. Doors open at 6:00, show starts at 6:30 p.m.

More from PBS and ITV

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

I know your Sunday nights are likely already full with Mad Men, Game of Thrones and the Good Wife, but that's what a DVR is for. Don't have a DVR, or didn't get it live streamed in time? That's what the library is for.

Here are a couple of very decent British mystery mini-series, including one airing on Sunday night, that might not be on your radar yet.

Currently on PBS is a beaut of a mystery called The Bletchley Circle. A three episode series, if you have missed the first two episodes shown, we have it on order and coming soon. Great period piece about four former WWII code breakers, trying to solve a string of murders. If you're a fan of Foyle's War you'll love this one. If you haven't seen Foyle yet, don't wait any longer—it's great.

Next up we have Exile, starring John Simm from the popular Life on Mars series and Jim Broadbent from everything else. Exile is a compelling story of a man who returns home after an eighteen year absence determined to unravel the mystery that drove him away in the first place. Another short watch at only 180 minutes.

Enjoy.

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Will a Super Hero Movie Ever Win Best Picture?

by Trevor - 0 Comment(s)

Like any film fan, I watch the Academy Awards. The pomp, the prestige, and the pageantry usually makes for a good time. That’s not to say I always agree with the awards however. For instance, where was the best picture nomination for The Avengers? Surely I must jest. A super hero summer blockbuster standing amongst Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln? It’s loud! It has special effects! It has an angry green giant tearing stuff apart! It was also far and above the most entertaining movie I saw in 2012. Just because it made heaps of money doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be recognized as an amazing film.

If Avengers doesn’t ring of best picture material to you, what about The Dark Knight. Gritty and thoughtful, with expert plotting and captivating performances, The Dark Knight wasn’t dissimilar to previous thrillers The Hurt Locker, The Departed, and No Country for Old Men which took home the statue. Yet was it nominated for the category? Was it even considered?It seems the Academy is too quick to dismiss the caped crusaders for best picture contenders. Even if the Academy has yet to realize it, The Dark Knight has shown us that super heroes have come a long way from the campy lampoonery of yesteryear.

The Man of Steel is hitting theatres in a few short months and looks to continue the trend. It stars Henry Cavil, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Lawrence Fishburne, and Michael Shannon (everyone but the newcomer Cavil is an Academy Award nominee and/or winner). You can find all of the films that CPL carries for any of these, or other stars by doing the following: in the Search the Catalogue box on our home page enter the person's name and dvd as in, Russell Crowe dvd. Up pops all their titles!

With a heavy hitting cast, a dark and realistic tone said to echo The Dark Knight, and extremely positive buzz surrounding the film, we may very well see a super hero flick sneaking into the coveted category next award season. I for one, am eagerly awaiting a super hero film that can not only appease the masses, but convince the academy voters as well.


Do you think The Avengers or The Dark Knight deserved a best picture nom? Are there other super hero films that should have received more recognition? What about science fiction in general, a category that is traditionally ignored by the Academy? Sound off with your comments below.

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James McAvoy

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

Earlier in the month MM gave away tickets to see the new Danny Boyle movie Trance. Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassell, I really enjoyed this film. Nice mix of thriller, heist and drama. If you were one of the people we sent last week, we'd love to hear from you. Reach us through Comments.

This movie got me thinking how much I enjoy McAvoy and how the guy has a great knack for picking really diverse roles. He started out on the small screen and if you are paying attention you can see him in small character roles in Foyle's War, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Band of Brothers. He had a starring role in the very well done BBC mini-series State of Play, along with other British perennial fave Bill Nighy. Far superior to the American theatrical remake with Russell Crowe. Then he made the jump to the big screen with The Chronicle's of Narnia playing Mr. Tumnus, a Pan-like creature. Next up was The Last King of Scotland playing against Forrest Whitaker, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his tremendous portrayal of Idi Amin. This is a strange and often brutal movie, but well worth a look. Atonement, based on the popular novel by Ian McEwan, showed us more of the depth of his acting skills. After this was The Last Station where he held his own against heavyweights Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. Fast forward a few years and he takes on the role of a young Charles Xavier in the popular franchise X-Men First Class. He really nailed this performance, completely channeling a young Patrick Stewart.

He currently has three more films in post-production and I am sure the offers are flowing.

Crowfoot's Monthly Film Night

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Join us at 6:30 p.m. on April 18th at Crowfoot Library for another great film. Due to copyright restrictions I can not put the title in this post, but here's some great hints for you. The movie won Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Music -Original Score at this year's Academy Awards . It really is a wonderful movie and if you are one of the nearly 1000 people currently on hold, this is a great way to avoid the wait. No registration is required, but seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., showtime 6:30 p.m.

If you wish to find out the title or need directions to Crowfoot call as at 221-4122 and we'll be happy to tell you.The movie is rated PG for emotional thematic content and some scary action sequences and peril. See you on the 18th!

So long Roger Ebert

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The great film critic Roger Ebert died last week at the age of 70. With 50 plus years in the business he will be a tough act to replace—if in fact he can be. First and foremost a newspaperman, he is the only film critic to have received a Pulitzer Prize. Syndicated in more than 200 newspapers, with over 20 books to his credit and tens of thousands of reviews, the man "spent much of his time sitting through bad movies, so we didn't have to."

He was not a fan of top 10 lists, preferring instead to compile "best of the year." You can see the logic in this—it does not pigeon-hole you into a specific list that leaves no room for revisions. He did say his favourite actor was Robert Mitchum and actress was Ingrid Bergman. You can find the complete list on line, but here are his choices for best of the year from 2000-2012:

2000- Almost Famous: 2001- Monsters Ball: 2002- Minority Report: 2003- Monster: 2004- Million Dollar Baby: 2005- Crash: 2006- Pan's Labyrinth:

2007- Juno: 2008- Synecdoche, New York: 2009- The Hurt Locker: 2010- The Social Network: 2011- A Separation: 2012- Argo. We have all but one of these available.

10th Annual Calgary Underground Film Festival

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Tickets and festival information are available on their site.

The event runs from April 15th – 21st and tickets are very reasonable with a $40.00 for five films punch card or $140.00 for a festival pass.

And if a movie called Big A** Spider doesn't peak your interest, they have dozens more from which to choose.

Calgary Public Library is the place to look for information on festivals. Using film festivals as your keyword search, you will be impressed with the titles you can bring up. Everything from how to launch your film on the festival circuit, to government pamphlets detailing other provincial and national film festivals, including the Banff International Film Festival and the 1988 Olympics Film Festival archives.

Disruptions to the Space Time Continuum

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

I do love anything to do with the bending of the space time continuum- even if it doesn't always make sense and often leaves me scratching my head. And the really bad ones have been known to leave me yelling at my tv that just wouldn't work!!! In fact I enjoy them so much I've devoted entire posts to just such movies.

Now fellow movie maniac Mat introduced me to this little gem from Spain---Los cronocrimenes---Timecrimes, and I must say it lived up to everything he said about it. Done without a bunch of CGI that leaves you looking for a quiet place to rest your eyes, this movie is lean, even sparse. No fancy sets, no high profile actors, just a nice tight sci-fi thriller. You aren't here to watch the special effects, you are here to try to figure out what happened and more importantly, could it work.

It won't be everyone's cup of tea but it sure worked for me. Even with English sub-titles.

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