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Flick Picks 12/9/2014: Guardians of the Galaxy, Frank

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: This summer's surprise superhero blockbuster featured a group of misfits that most casual comic readers hadn't heard of. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy hits the right balance of action, humor and futuristic effects, which makes it the rare action flick that works well for audiences who want a little bit more. Chris Pratt is given the spotlight and the rest of the cast is filled with cast members who fit their roles perfectly, as well as a talking squirrel and an anthropomorphic tree. It's available on both DVD and Blu-ray. Our other big film release this week is the funny and off-the-wall Frank, which features Michael Fassbinder as a rock musician who wears a large fake head and Maggie Gyllenhaal as his bandmate. It's a little bit different but surprisingly clever and engaging.

SERIES: Woo hoo! There's a new Who for you as season 8 of Doctor Who brings Peter Capaldi aboard as the newest regeneration of the title character. Season 2 of the Stephen King series Under the Dome also arrives this week.

DOCUMENTARIES: Bahman Mohassess - the "Persian Picasso" - is profiled in Fifi Howls From Happiness. The film shows the challenges that Mohasses faced as a gay artist in pre-revolutionary Iran, and his eventual escape to Italy. A number of nursing home residents are profiled as they take a bus tour of Israel in Next Year Jerusalem.

You can find all of our new and upcoming DVDs in Enterprise.

Monday Night at the Movies
On December 15th at 1:00 and 7:00 we will be screening Calvary in the library's Hammond Room. Father James is a good priest made to answer not only for the transgressions of his church, but seemingly all the pent-up outrage of Ireland in the early 21st century. Carried by the rich performance Brendan Gleeson, Calvary faces its many serious issues with a uniquely Irish mix of candor, gallows humor and a reverence for the spoken (and written) word. The film runs 100 minutes and is rated R. All of our film screenings are free of charge and open to everyone.

Talking Pictures
Susan Benjamin hosts another screening of The Jewish Cardinal on Wednesday, December 17th at 1:00 p.m. The Jewish Cardinal tells the true story of the son of Jewish immigrants who converted to Catholicism while still maintaining elements of his Jewish identity. Eventually he became involved with a controversy involving Carmelite nuns who desired to build a convent within the walls of Auschwitz. The film runs 90 minutes and is free and open to everyone.

Trains, Not in Vain

Have you ever noticed how many great films are set on trains? Well we have! Here's a list of films for you to choo choo on.

  • Two recent action films are worth a look: Last Passenger, in which a man takes control of a London commuter train in order to crash it, and the futuristic Snowpiercer, about a train that carries the remainder of society, which is divided into two classes.
  • The Denzel Washington and Chris Pine thriller Unstoppable is nonstop fun as the pair tries to stop a runaway train. Director Tony Scott also made the Denzel Washington/John Travolta remake of the hostage drama The Taking of Pelham 123 (the original is available as well).
  • Wes Anderson's dreamlike The Darjeeling Limited follows three brothers on a journey across India.
  • Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer are an American couple who encounter a mysterious couple while travelling to Moscow in Transsiberian.
  • Is it or isn't it Tom Hanks in the animated The Polar Express? Well it's some version of him in this new Christmas classic.
  • The Lady Vanishes and Night Train to Munich are two very similar thrillers (with the same pair of comic supporting characters appearing in both), though the fact that Alfred Hitchcock directed the former probably makes it better known.
  • Buster Keaton's The General is memorable not only for being hilarious but for some brilliant stunts as well
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