Month: January 2012

Check It Out Blog

Classic Romantic Comedy

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer DVD coverWhen precocious teenager Susan (Shirley Temple) falls hard for a playboy artist (Cary Grant) who lectures at her school, it will take more than common sense to break the spell.  Hoping to be his model, she sneaks into his apartment and is discovered there by her sister Margaret (Myrna Loy), the judge who recognizes the wisecracking gent as someone who appeared before her in court.  Only in the movies would Susan’s family pressure Richard to “date” her until the phase passes, but the result is comic gold, especially when the judge herself isn’t completely immune to his charms.  The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a sparkler of a screwball comedy that will put a shine in your eyes.

LISTS: If You Like Nickel Creek…

This Side album coverNickel Creek was a band that started as straight bluegrass (or “newgrass,” as band members were wont to say) and developed into a heartfelt, Grammy-winning folk outfit.

For more albums in which mandolin, fiddle and Americana influences are evident, click here.

Kevin was a School Shooter

We Need to Talk About Kevin book coverEva and her husband separated after their son, Kevin, murdered nine people at his high school. In letters to her husband, Eva attempts to understand her relationship with Kevin. Did he become a monster because she did not love him enough – or, did she never bond with him because she knew he was a monster from the start? We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver, is a tense, intimate novel about motherhood. It won the 2005 Orange Prize and has been made into a psychological thriller starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly.

Colleen’s Pick: Horns

Colleen staff picks photoJoe Hill, Stephen King’s son, presents a horrifying mystery in Horns. Ig wakes up one morning to find horns protruding from his head that allow him to know a person’s darkest secrets. Ig then uses this ability to track down who brutally raped and murdered his girlfriend the year before.

Hard-Boiled with a Soft Spot

Mildred Pierce audiobook coverWhen she throws out her two-timing husband, Mildred Pierce is left alone to fend for her family.  She may not want to take any job that requires a uniform, but in 1931 there aren’t a lot of options.  She has great legs, questionable taste in men, and an overindulged daughter who is the both her greatest pride and her biggest adversary.  Recently adapted as an award-winning HBO miniseries, James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce is a riveting story of social commentary as evidenced in the life of one determined woman.  Reader Christine Williams navigates the emotional turmoil with an earthy haughtiness that shadows the noir influence while still bringing Mildred to life in vivid color.

LISTS: Samurai!

Throne of Blood DVD coverBlind swordsmen, historical drama, post-apocalyptic mayhem, vengeful women, baby carts, loyalty, honor and sacrifice – samurai films have it all!

For the best samurai movies MPPL has to offer, click here.

Almost All the Kids Died

The Sweet Hereafter DVD coverNearly all the children of a small, British Columbian town have been killed or injured in a school bus accident. The question is:  who is at fault? Did the bus driver cause the accident by speeding or was the bus manufactured improperly, thus giving liability to the bus company? A slick city lawyer pins his bets on the fault of the bus company and all he needs is one of the sole survivors, fourteen year old Nicole, to back him up by testifying for his class action lawsuit. But will she give the testimony he wants to hear? The Sweet Hereafter, based on the book by Russell Banks, is a movie about ethics, love, grief and secrets.

Life Won’t Be the Same

One Moment, One Morning book coverYou never know when it might happen.  You can go along in your normal routine, and without warning it’s here – that moment that will change your life.  For Karen, Anna, and Lou, it begins on a morning train to London.  Their heads are full of what the day will bring, and in a flash it hardly seems important anymore.  One Moment, One Morning is not only the story of a quietly dramatic event, but also of what it takes to go on in the days immediately afterward.  Sarah Rayner’s thoughtful novel celebrates the resilience in each of us and the strength that real friendships provide.