Flick Picks 6/24/14: Winter's Tale, Enemy, Masters of Sex

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: Romantic and fantastical, the film adaptation of Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale arrives this week. Winter's Tale follows thief Colin Farrell through a century of New York as he attempts to save a dying woman with whom he has fallen in love. A fairytale with a love story at its core, Winter's Tale also features Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith. The director of the hard-hitting Prisoners reunites with the film's star Jake Gyllenhaal for Enemy. In Enemy, history professor Gyllenhaal meets his doppelganger (also played by Gyllenhaal) and their lives begin to intersect in strange ways. The follow-up to the Spartan blockbuster 300 is here, and 300: Rise of an Empire uses a similar bloody visual style to tell the story of a general who tries to unite Greece against the invading Persian army.

Clive Owen is a newly released prisoner, Billy Crudup is the upstanding brother who takes him in and James Caan is their father in the drama Blood Ties. Crudup hopes that Owen has cleaned up his act but unfortunately that path is never easy. The wonderful actress Shirley Knight leaves her retirement home to travel 80 miles by foot to attend her daughter's wedding (and see the ocean) in the heartwarming road movie Redwood Highway. Neil LaBute is back with another dark look at the relationship between men and women in Some Velvet Morning. This small film features Stanley Tucci as a man who shows up at the doorway of his mistress (Alice Eve), claiming to have finally left his wife.

The best man decides to make a documentary of everything that happens in the preparation for his brother's wedding in the British romantic comedy The Wedding Video. You will probably not be surprised to hear that nothing goes as planned. Rob the Mob is a crime comedy that features Andy Garcia, Ray Romano and Michael Pitt in the true story of a couple who decide to get rich by stealing from mob social clubs.

Finally, we have two indie picks this week, starting with A Short History of Decay, about a struggling thirtysomething New York writer who moves to Florida to be with his parents and get his life together. Linda Lavin makes a welcome return playing his mother. What Richard Did is a powerful film that tells the story of a privileged Dublin teen who makes a decision that ends up changing his life, as well as his relationships with his friends and family.

SERIES: The explicit, provocative and funny new Showtime series Masters of Sex features Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as sex researchers Dr. William Masters and Dr. Virginia Johnson, as they attempt to bring light to what typically happens behind closed doors. We just recently acquired the Danish series The Bridge and now we've got the American remake (also called The Bridge) for you to compare it with. In the American version body parts are found on the border between America and Mexico and cops from both sides must work together to solve the mystery.

We know that you can't get your fill of Scandinavian thriller series so we've got a couple more this week. From Norway comes a series based on the work of Unni Lindell and featuring a homicide detective in Oslo who must balance his home life with his difficult job. A Swedish series based on the works of Arne Dahl focuses on an elite team of Stockholm detectives trying to solve violent crimes. Finally, we've got season 2 of the adventures of Irish P.I. Jack Taylor.

SUBTITLED: A woman born to a Norwegian soldier and German occupier in World War II (a "war child") living peacefully in Norway comes to terms with her past and the lies of the government when she is asked to testify on behalf of other "war children" in Two Lives. A new Russian take on the story of Faust is a complex visual treat.

DOCUMENTARIES: Afternoon of a Faun looks at ballet dancer Tanaquil Le Clercq, one of the most brilliant dancers of her day who was struck down by polio at the age of 27. Revisit the Anita Hill testimony with Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, featuring new interviews with Hill herself.

You can find all of our new and upcoming films in Bibliocommons.

World Cup Fever

It seems like the Brazil World Cup has taken the nation by storm. But what are we to do when there's not soccer being played? We'll have to watch a soccer film!

  • The classic soccer flick Bend it Like Beckham tells the story of an English Sikh girl who goes behind her parents' backs to pursue her soccer passion.
  • Closer to home, the comedy Kicking and Screaming features Will Ferrell as a competitive father who decides to coach his kid's soccer team.
  • The Israeli film Strangers takes a look at the relationship between an Israeli and a Palestinian in Berlin as the World Cup finals approach.
  • Another Israeli film,Vasermil, follows a group of kids of different backgrounds who try to come together as a soccer team.
  • A Colombian boy loses his soccer ball in a minefield in The Colors of the Mountain.
  • In front of the background of a previous Brazil-hosted World Cup, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation is about a Jewish child in Brazil who is left alone when his parents must evacuate Brazil.
 
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