Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What We're Watching: Jan

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Rupert Wyatt. Starring James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto and John Lithgow.

Now on DVD, Rise is a current day prequel to the Planet of the Apes franchise begun in the 1960s and 70s. It's science fiction basis is complemented by modern day moral dilemmas like gene and animal experimentation. It is also a tale of family love and emotion. The story revolves around Caesar, an orphan chimp who has inherited his mother's genetically engineered intelligence. Caesar is adopted by scientist Will (Franco) who is hopeful the genetics testing developed by he and his team will result in a drug to help his ailing father (Lithgow) with dementia. Caesar learns to love Will's family and develops caring and empathy. Unfortunately, Caesar aggressively defends Will's father against a neighbor and is sent to a brutal primate shelter. He develops rage and convinces the other apes to go on a rampage against humans that is larger -than-life and frightening onscreen. It is an interesting up-to-date story of primate in a human world-both good and bad. Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis and enhanced by amazing computer graphics, shows the viewer every emotion with his expressive face and movements.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What We're Watching: Laurie

United States Of Tara. Starring Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt, Keir Gilchrist and Brie Larson.

Toni Collette
gives an amazing performance as Tara Gregson, a woman who struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Tara spends her time working as an artist, trying to keep her dysfunctional family together, and searching to find answers as to what traumatic experience in her life caused her to splinter into alter personalities.
While the content can be very dark, depressing and confusing, the actors bring bits of light and love into this show. The writers did extensive research on this disorder and the actors treated the content with extreme care and compassion. Dark humor is used to portray the human struggle of understanding and coping with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Phenomenal performances and an incredible storyline. DVD TV-United

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Caveat Emptor: a novel of the Roman Empire

By Ruth Downie

Physician Gaius Petreius Ruso is back in Roman Britiannia. His is looking for a job with the Roman Army or as a private physician. His investigative skills land him a job that he does not want. The tax collector from a nearby town has gone missing with the tax money. Then the tax collector and his assistant are both found dead in different places. Ruso is asked by the Roman Governor to find the missing money. Ruso's nemesis, Metellus, is also looking for the money and keeping an eye on Ruso. Ruso and his wife, Tilla, take in the tax collector's pregnant wife. They help her through the birth of her child and the funeral for her husband. Will Ruso find the missing tax money or will the Roman Governor have to call out the army to punish the town?

Great addition to the series!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Very Bad Men

by Harry Dolan

Ann Arbor magazine editor David Loogan arrives at work and finds a manuscript. It begins with "I killed Henry Korman". David soon learns that Korman has indeed been murdered. Seventeen years ago, Korman was one of three men involved in a robbery from a bank in the UP. There is an attempt on the life of one of the other robbers. David finds himself working with and against his love interest, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey. David also learns of a connection to a candidate for the U.S. Senate. The candidate's father was a police officer at the scene of the robbery. The third robber is still in prison in the UP. He is killed while out of prison for his father's funeral. Why are these men being targeted? Who is behind the murders? David brings his Swiss Army knife to this gunfight. But he still manages to figure it all out before the police. Another great read by Dolan.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Series: Grimm Graphic Novels

We've recently added a new Grimm Graphic Novel series, a set of fresh new retellings of classic fairy tales done in a contemporary comic book style. Titles include:

The Elves and the Shoemaker j398 Powell
The Bremen Town Musicians j398.2 Simonson
The Golden Goose j398.2 Tulien
Tom Thumb j398.2 Sonneborn

Friday, January 6, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Mozart Conspiracy: a novel

by Scott Mariani

Ben Hope left the British SAS and now works as a private emergency response team. Ben gets a call from the sister of his late friend, Oliver. Oliver died under mysterious circumstances while he was working on a biography of Mozart. Oliver's sister, Leigh is an opera star and an old flame of Ben's. When Ben arrives at Leigh's English country home, they are almost killed by a group of masked gunmen. Were the assassins after a letter written by Mozart just before he died? The letter, owned by Leigh's father, detailed the existence of the Order of Ra. The Order works behind the scenes to control the world. Leigh receives a video taken by Oliver that shows that the deadly cabal is still in existence today. The Order of Ra will kill to maintain their secrecy. Will Ben and Leigh be able to survive the group's assassins and reveal the secrets of the Order of Ra?

Ben's adventures may be the start of a great series.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Series: Fairy Tale Superstars

If you like fairy tales, you'll enjoy learning the truth behind their classic characters in the new series, Fairy Tale Superstars. Each book examines the facts and folklore behind a different fairy tale character. Titles include:

The Truth About Dragons j398.2454 Troupe
The Truth About Elves j398.45 Troupe
The Truth About Fairies j398.21 Johnson
The Truth About Trolls j398.45 Troupe

What We're Watching: Laurie

The Apartment directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Jack Lemon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray and Ray Walston.

C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Lemon) is a lonely clerk who is employed by a huge corporation in NYC. Baxter lives alone and soon comes to realize that the quickest way up the company ladder is to loan out his Upper West Side apartment to his philandering bosses for their extramarital affairs. Baxter is rapidly promoted and enjoying his success until he falls for the company's lovely elevator operator Fran Kubelik (MacLaine). Baxter hopes to begin romancing Kubelik until he makes the unfortunate discovery that she has been romantically involved with his big boss Mr. Sheldrake (MacMurry). Will Baxter be able to win over the woman he has loved from afar? Will his newfound success last?