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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.

Looking a lot like Christmas- but after

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We posted this a while back, but thought you might enjoy it again. Hey you've seen It's a Wonderful Life a few times, right? This post lists some films that the holiday movie lover can sneak past the co-habitants with seasonal burnout. Speaking of bah humbug, I was previewing a new gadget and the tech told me that its bonus feature is that you can text and watch a show at the same time. "What if you disagree with that in principle?" I asked. To his credit, he didnt' back away slowly. One of the great joys of the season is going out and catching the new releases. Let's leave our holiday lights on the tree and out of the theatres. Please turn off your smart devices. Okay, that's enough grinch for now. Happy Holidays Everyone!

You can't get enough of the holiday's but your family is fed up...Try these non-Christmas movies with snowy Decembers and holiday settings...

The Holiday: Two couples, a house exchange, and unrequited love. Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law star.

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason starring Renee Zellweger ends in the wintry English countryside, especially timely since there's actually been snow there in recent Decembers.

Love, Actually a huge cast of British actors star in this charming look at relationships from multiple perspectives. Hugh Grant stars as the British Prime Minister. If you're not a fan, don't worry, this is a "vignettes" film.

Trading Places: For those who prefer a belly laugh, Dan Ackroyd and Eddy Murphy in their 1980s heyday star, and they are great together. Corporate sabotage forces Ackroyd's character out of his executive role and homeless Murphy into the big kahuna position.

Your family won't notice the holiday themes...Besides, Ukrainian Christmas is not until the 6th!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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For many it is, for others it's just the most hectic, busy and even dreaded time of the year. Whether you want to fully particpate in the season or you would rather just watch it, check out what CPL has to offer. I did a list of my faves in 2008, so just click on this link for these previous recommendations. And to see what is new this year- and there is a lot- use Christmas DVD as your search term. There are close to 300 titles available! If Christmas is not your thing click on any of our tags on the left and bring up hundreds of other themes, directors, actors, and titles, all viewed by your bloggers and all good bets.

Christmas time at CPL

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You know what this means folks---it's getting close! I did a comprehensive list this time last year, so to check out those recommendations go to Tags on the left side of the blog and click on Christmas. To search our entire catalogue including all the new additions of the last 12 months, from our homepage enter Christmas DVD in the Enter Catalogue Search here box and it will bring up 217 titles. There is something for everyone in this list. But my favorites from last year are still my favorites this year.

In conjunction with Casablanca Video CPL is showing "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on December 17th from 1:00-3:30 in the John Dutton Theatre at the Central Library. No registration required, but everyone attending must have a valid library card; and of course there is no charge for a card for children12 and under. What a deal! It's also not too early to start picking up your children's holiday books. Demand gets high this time of year.

Christmas at CPL

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Well, that most wonderful time of the year (and also the most hectic) is almost upon us and while there will certainly be no shortage of offerings on television, why not watch movies according to your schedule, and commercial free?

A quick keyword search of- dvd christmas - yields over 140 titles, with new selections arriving almost daily. We have all the perennial favorites like White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street (both the 1947and 1994version). Almost all the children's favorite characters appear in their own Christmas shows --Diego, Max & Ruby, Hannah Montana, Baby Einstein, Garfield, Alvin, Arthur, Dragon, and Franklin, to name a few. As well over the years many series such as Little House, Avonlea, Vicar of Dibley and Doctor Quinn aired their own specials. There's even a Hercule Poirot's Christmas.

And how could the season be complete without Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol? There have been many incarnations of this beloved tale, with everyone from Bill Murray to Patrick Stewart donning the black chapeau and the sour face.

My two favorite renditions are the 1951 black and white version with Alastair Sim,and from 1993, A Muppet Christmas Carol. I've always been a huge Muppet fan, and this one with Michael Caine as Scrooge is great fun. Caine strikes just the right chord and of course, all those wonderfully insane Muppets add great value.

A new favorite of mine is Elfstarring Will Ferrell. Ferrell has done some pretty off the wall stuff, and I was prepared not to like this but it was really enjoyable. He plays an oversized elf that leaves the North Pole to travel to New York City in search of his birth father. Parents can watch this without being bored and the kids, and even teens, will find this light hearted and fun.

We have both versions of How the Grinch stole Christmas- the wonderfully animated 1966,as well as the Jim Carrey version from 2001. I am used to my Grinch being the slippery, sly, and sneaky character that I grew up with, so at times I found Jim Carrey's manic portrayal--well, a little manic.

But Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Grinch.

Along the same vein is The Original Television Christmas Classics with 4 well-loved favorites--Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman and Little Drummer Boy. Also worth a look is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and a Child's Christmas in Wales.

One of my fellow bloggers introduced me to A Christmas Story from 1983-- it had managed to escape my attention all these years and I am glad I now know about it--lots of laughs. Another good bet for your money is any of the The Santa Clause (with Tim Allen).

If another cartoon, Scrooge, or sentimental story isn't your cup of hot chocolate, try out some of these titles: for the armchair traveler, Rick Steve's European Christmas; for those who are looking for baking/cooking ideas,Jacques Pepin's Christmas Celebration, or Two Fat Ladies;and for you opera lovers, try Christmas with Kiri Te Kanawa.