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The Charming Insanity That is The Muppets

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

I have always been a huge Muppet fan and during the 70's I went out of my way to make sure I caught the Muppet Show. I even have an original Fozzie and Gonzo coffee mug. Each week they brought on a new headliner, and put them in very silly skits into which they threw their heart and soul. Anybody who was anybody appeared on this show over the next five seasons.

The names of the headliners are a little faded now, but in todays terms it would be like having Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth as your fall line up — on a televison show — with puppets! It ran from 1976-81 and won many, many awards.

Although cancelled from syndication there were almost two dozen television specials plus theatrical releases in 1979, 1981, 1984, 1992, 1996, and 1999. This was followed by a serious dry spell until funny man Jason Segel, himself raised on the Muppets, decided to ressurect lovable Kermit and company. He wrote a tremendous script and introduced a whole new generation to the charming insanity that is the Muppets. For all things Muppet at the Library click here.

The newest offering is Muppets Most Wanted, and I have to say it has lost none of its charm over the years. Of course it helps that the characters don't age and you can just pop in your A-listers de jour, but the writing itself remains faithful to the original themes and gags we love—like Gonzo and his chickens, ways to explode Beaker and Miss Piggie's unwavering love for her Kermie.

On Thursday September 18th for our regular film night at Crowfoot we will be showing this absolutely delightful movie in the open area in the Kids Zone. No registration required, the movie runs 107 minutes and is rated Family.

Orphan Black

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

In my recent Emmys post I mentioned the series Orphan Black. This Canadian offering first hit the airwaves in March of 2013 and we have seasons one and two---and it has been renewed for a third season. Filmed in Toronto and populated almost exclusively with Canadian talent, it does not necessarily take place in Toronto. Although it makes no effort to disguise its Ontario locales, Toronto is mostly intended to stand in as 'Generica'- any large modern city.


It has already been nominated for and won numerous awards but inexplicably isn't up for any Emmys. This is a head scratcher for me because Tatiana Maslany is easily as good as Claire Danes (Homeland) and Michelle Dockery (Downton), and way better than Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife), both of whom put me to sleep with their performances. And the series itself far surpasses Mad Men and House of Cards, and is as good as Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey (although the one to beat in the Outstanding Drama category still remains for me, True Detective). Now having said this, it won't appeal to as broad a base as some of the above mentioned, but I still strongly maintain it deserves some nods.

I can't tell you too much about Maslany's performance without giving stuff away, but if and when you do watch it you'll know why I choose hers as the best performance. This is a near-future Sci-Fi/ Thriller combo, with great pacing, lots of plot twists and very compelling characters. Many things here to keep even the most seasoned or jaded viewers guessing.

Speaking of Costume Dramas...

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

 

 

There is no denying the huge popular and critical appeal of the granddaddy of all costume dramas, Downton Abbey. And with good reason: a tremendous cast, a glorious real life manor for a location, attention to period detail like you can't believe, costumes that leave you drooling, love, death, revenge, war, plague — I ask you, what's not to like!

For all those of you eagerly awaiting the start of Season Four on January 5, 2014 why not take the opportunity to catch up on the first 3 seasons. Haven't seen it yet? What on earth are you waiting for? Find out why people have been talking about this series for the past three years.

And because we here at CPL know how tremendously popular this series is, even though it has not yet aired, we have it on order and you can place your holds on Season 4 already! How's that for proactive?

The Screen Actor's Guild Awards

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The 19th annual SAG's (Screen Actor's Guild Awards) were this past weekend and a lot of the people making a trip up to the podium were just up there for the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Mis, Claire Danes for Homeland, Kevin Costner for Hatfields and McCoys.

Once again Argo got top honours under the category 'Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture'. Now I guess that isn't quite the same as winning for best picture, but it certainly is gathering momentum leading up to the Oscars. If you read my earlier post you know that I thought that Argo was marginal at best as a movie, and as anything closely resembling history, sadly lacking. There is a very interesting article in the January 28th Maclean's magazine about the movie, called Movies That Make History (Volume 126 issue 3). There is a quote from the real Ken Taylor (former Canadian ambassador to Iran), who says "the filmmakers stole a good story and gave CIA spy Tony Mendez the credit of Canada's role in engineering the escape of 6 US diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis." Affleck has been insisting that his movie is 'extremely accurate and relevant' but when he heard this he went into damage control mode, made Taylor the guest of honour at a Washington premiere and hailed him as a hero. Then Victor Garber who played Taylor in the movie weighed in, more words were exchanged and on and on.

As I mentioned, the article is very good and well worth the read. Do you know that you don't have to buy the magazine on the newsstand, or even look for it on our shelves. You can get it free on-line with your handy dandy library card. Just go to E-Library from our homepage, then Newspapers and Magazines. Now click on Academic Search Elite (an EbscoHost database). At the top go into Publications, and then click on "M" for Maclean's. Click on Maclean's and then click on "+Jan 2013" on the right, under "All Issues", and there it is: Volume 126, Issue 3, and all the articles from that issue, including Movies That Make History.

Have a read of this very well written article — and now that you know how to find magazines, spend some more time in this great database — one of hundreds that come free with your library card.

Tags:

Golden Globes Gowns Gawking

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

I have to agree with Moe. I'm not sure about this award show. I mean, Ben Affleck for best director over Ang Lee and Spielberg? Come on! Good thing the real business of the show is to show off all those great dresses. Even so, there's so much chat and a big rush to seat everyone, that we miss a lot of them. We can't show them here, but here's a list of my favorites:

Best black and gold:

Kate Hudson and Helen Mirren looked like super-heroines in Alexander McQueen and Badgley Mischka respectively.

Best reds (Isn't red a neutral?):

Jennifer Garner in sparkling strapless Vivienne Westwood

Claire Danes in plunging Versace

Naomi Watts' 1940s style crepe and satin gown was lovely but few commented on it sadly.

Best white:

Anne Hathaway in 2 piece Chanel corset with skirt looked great

Best Colour:

Tracey Pollan was classically elegant in fuschia silk one shouldered Ralph Lauren

Jessica Alba was fresh in peach Oscar de la Renta. Anyone who can pull off peach, taffetta and a ruffle deserves an award.

You couldn't argue with Jodie Foster in her knockout blue beaded gown.

Best Nude:

Helen Hunt in Dolce and Cabana. The column style and horizontal beading made this one a little different.

Best showing lots:

Juliana Margulies in sheer black Pucci.

Best showing little:

Adelle in a black Burberry floor length with 3/4 sleeves suited to her 1960s style.

Best short:

For sure Rachel Weiss' short sleeve long sheer polka dot over black was the best.

Best Black:

Rosie Huntington Whitely's Saint Laurent bow tied sleeveless was super cool.

All of Tina Fey's dresses were sensational on her. Nobody can pull off a 3/4 length and she looked great in L'Wren Scott. Plus she's smart and hilarious.

You can view all 100 dresses at:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/100-golden-globe-gowns-411984

Here are just a few topical library books to go with the outfits: Bossypants, The Party Dress, The Naked and the Dressed: 20 years of Versace, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Ralph Lauren, Chanel: Collections and Creations, Dolce and Gabbana Fashion Album, and Couture Techniques, in case you want to try this at home...