Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30




...An aspiring young writer in London and Paris, a spy during WWII, Logan s was a life touched by everything and everyone from the Spanish Civil War, Joan Miró, and Ian Fleming to Earnest Hemingway, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the Baader-Meinhof Gang. But despite his many brushes with history, it is the women of his life who ultimately define Logan his ill-matched first wife, Lottie; the wives of his best friend, Peter; Freya, the love of his life; or anyone else on the long list of women who ve shared his days and nights...
--amazon--


Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.              --amazon--





Explore the life, loves, and work of a remarkable photographer.
Known for her powerful images from the Great Depression, including the haunting Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange bore witness as young America matured into a world power. For more than five decades of the 20th century, her lens brought subjects alive, transmitting raw emotions and capturing the human condition.      --amazon--        






... Four months after DC Morse s brush with death, he is reunited with DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) to investigate an apparent suicide. ... When a man is murdered, Morse s investigation leads him to a dreary school for girls, where he learns of a series of murders that took place almost 100 years ago to the day. ...Morse investigates the cases of a missing boy, a dead journalist, and a prison escapee, drawing him into a chain reaction of troubling events that could reveal horrors of the past.  --amazon--




An orphan boy meets an escaped convict, a crazed rich woman, a bewitching girl, and grows up to have great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron, in Great Expectations, Charles Dickens remarkable tale of rags to riches to self-knowledge.              
There isn't an adaptation around that can compete with David Lean's definitive version of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, but this BBC-PBS coproduction has its pleasures.  --amazon--



Hobbit: battle of the five armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies concludes the epic journey of Bilbo Baggins of the Shire and his legion of Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, under the guidance of Gandalf the Wizard, with a powerful, emotional finish.  --amazon--








Jerusalem: Center of the World tells the epic story of the world s most incredible city, capturing the rich mosaic of the city s Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. Covering a sweeping history of over 4,000 years, the film explores the founding of the city; the birth and convergence of the world s three major monotheistic religions; and the key events in Jerusalem s history as described in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, the Talmud, the Hagaddah, the Koran, and the Hadith. Highlights include: Mount Moriah, the site of the First and Second Temples;...  --amazon--



...The movie is an uncommonly knowledgeable portrait of the way musical gifts could lift people of ordinary backgrounds into high circles. We hear Papa in a letter complaining about the humiliations his family experienced by tight-fisted royals... Leopold was a publicist, a promoter, a coach, a producer. ... The film focuses most closely on Nannerl, a grave-eyed beauty, whose face speaks volumes. She aspires, she dreams, she hopes, but for the most part, she is obedient to the role society has assigned her...--amazon--




Night at the museum: secret tomb

The museum has been turned into a night time show, one that goes awry. Larry (Ben Stiller) travels with a crate full of characters to the London Museum in order to unravel the secret and restore order.  --amazon--








British combat nurse Claire Randall is reunited with her husband after returning from the battlefields of World War II. While on their second honeymoon, she walks through one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles and is suddenly transported to 1743 Scotland, torn by war and rogue Highland clans. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigue and danger when she is accused of being a spy. Forced by circumstance to marry an outlawed Highlander, she finds herself falling in love and torn by her loyalties to two men in vastly different times...   --amazon--


NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful. From cameras that can capture every detail of an entire city at a glance, to swarming robots that can make decisions on their own, to giant air frames that can stay aloft for days on end, drones are changing our relationship to war, surveillance and each other. Discover the cutting-edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history.        --amazon--       






Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passion of its celebrated hosts Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant to tell the story behind the stories of Shakespeare's greatest plays.               
  --amazon--





In December, 2013, in a small village in West Africa, a young boy died from the dreaded disease, ... As the epidemic threatens to spiral out of control, NOVA reports from the hot zone, where courageous medical teams struggle to cope with a flood of victims, to labs where scientists are racing to test vaccines and find a cure. Surviving Ebola includes chilling first-hand interviews of what it's like to catch-and-survive this terrible affliction.   --amazom--           













Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23





 Amidst real life-and-death situations, McGarry follows a dedicated team of charismatic, young doctors-in-training as they wrestle openly with both their ideals and with the realities of saving lives in a complex and overburdened system... The" CODE BLACK offers a tense, doctor's-eye view, right into the heart of the healthcare debate - bringing us face to face with America's only 24/7 safety net. (c) Long Shot Factory --rotten tomatoes--



.. a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. ... Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. - and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life. 



Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with Rosewater, a drama based on a memoir by the Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari. As the film opens, Bahari returns to his home country in order to report on the 2009 presidential elections there. When the results lead to large public protests, Bahari (Gael García Bernal) videotapes the civil unrest. This brings him to the attention of authorities, who apprehend him and keep him in solitary confinement in hopes of getting him to confess to crimes against Iran. However, his international celebrity leads to help from powerful and unexpected places. Rosewater screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.-- amazon--


Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling - where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.  --amazon--



























Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17






     
Dracula untold

The origin story of the man who became the enduring legend of Dracula is told in Dracula Untold, an epic action-adventure starring Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, The Hobbit series) in the title role. Gary Shore directs, and Michael De Luca produces.









Mark Twain

Considered the funniest man of his time, Mark Twain was a critic of human nature who used his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed, and racism. As America's best-loved author, he created some of its most memorable characters and quoted sayings. Director Ken Burns digs beneath the legend to discover the true Twain and reveals his extraordinary life.   --amazon--








London 1940.As the Luftwaffe drop bombs from above, below people are getting away with murder. When young women are found murdered amid the chaos of the London Blitz of World War II, brilliant Home Office Pathologist Dr. Lennox Collins (Patrick Kennedy), on his first murder case, and his newly recruited assistant Molly Cooper (Tamzin Merchant) clash with the police over just who the main suspect is. Employing groundbreaking forensic techniques, can Lennox and Molly save a seemingly innocent man from the gallows and prove there may be more to these murders than meets the eye?  --amazon--



...  The Luminous Years" tells the epic story of Paris from an unprecedented point of view not as the familiar glamorous backdrop for the revolutions that exploded there but as active protagonist catalyst and midwife to modernity. The film spotlights now-famous key figures in the art world's first international avant-garde tracing who came to Paris and why whom they met what they made there and how being in Paris transformed them and their work. --amazon--




Robin Williams remembered

This one-hour special features highlights from Robin Williams' last full-length television interview, tributes from those who knew and worked with him closely, and clips from iconic moments throughout his career. Williams shares stories about his first stand-up act, his desire to be a serious dramatic actor, and his efforts to entertain U.S. troops overseas. ...    --amazon--








Secrets of Underground London Unearth over 2000 years of history deep below the streets of London On the surface, London is a buzzing, modern metropolis-but underneath lies a secret, hidden world, all but forgotten by the millions of people above. Secrets of Underground London uncovers 2000 years of subterranean history: a world of ancient caves and perfectly preserved Roman remains; mysterious rivers and gruesome plague pits; impenetrable vaults and top-secret bunkers. As we dig deep, we'll unearth some of the most extraordinary stories of the darkest side of the city.  --amazon--



Hunger games Mocking jay Pt. 1

This film picks up where the last one leaves off. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is recruited to be the face of the rebellion. She is reluctant until it becomes personal. Happy content people don't pick fights. The film consists of a propaganda war between Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and the government and Katniss and the rebels/terrorists/anarchists/freedom fighters. It finishes on an up note...sort of.
--amazon--





The rise of ISIS

In The Rise of ISIS, Martin Smith (Gangs of Iraq; Beyond Baghdad) draws on in-depth interviews with Iraqi politicians, and American policymakers and military leaders to explore and explain how the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) became a major force so quickly... The film traces how they gained strength in Syria, how they're funded, how they operate, and how, city by city, from Ramadi to Fallujah to Mosul, ISIS swept across Iraq seizing territory, recording and broadcasting mass executions, and drawing recruits from an estimated 80 countries. ...  --amazon--





This animated tale is produced by Studio Ghibli, and directed and co-written by Isao Takahata, based on the folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.  --amazon--






All aboard for a roaring good time with Thomas and his friends! The engines are filled with wonder at the fantastical new sights and sounds on Sodor. Volcanoes sizzle and dinosaurs roar as the engines help the Earl with a special surprise. Marion experiences some dino daydreams, as Bill and Ben send Timothy on an expedition for a rainbow-colored car. Samson discovers his slip-ups cause confusion and delay, while Emily marvels at her giant and worldly Special. It’s time for big adventure and dino-sized fun with Thomas & Friends!  --amazon--



Trashed 

Trashed - No Place For Waste. Starring Jeremy Irons, looks at the risks to the food chain and the environment through pollution of our air, land and sea by waste. The film reveals surprising truths about very immediate and potent dangers to our health. ...Visually and emotionally the film is both horrific and beautiful: an interplay of human interest and political wake-up call. But it ends on a message of hope: showing how the risks to our survival can easily be averted through sustainable approaches that provide far more employment than the current 'waste industry'.  --amazon--




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 11


Spring Forward







This year's Downton Abbey treat takes us to 1924 and is set against the background of the UK's first socialist government having just been elected and Lord Grantham rightly suspects that they have no sympathy for him and his ilk. Many of the story lines of Series 4 and earlier are immediately picked up and Downton certainly hits the ground running.  --amazon--







... this uplifting story bursts with flavor, passion and heart. When the chilly chef proprietress of a Michelin-starred French restaurant in southern France (Mirren) gets wind of a culinary immigrant opening an Indian restaurant just 100 feet from her own, her icy protests escalate to all-out war between the two establishments. It's a celebration of triumph over exile as these two worlds collide and one young man tries to find the comfort of home in every pot -- wherever he may be.  --amazon--





"Jersey Boys" ... is the big screen adaptation of the Broadway show "Jersey Boys", itself loosely based on the life and times of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons...we get to know the other guys who would make up the group that would eventually name itself the Four Seasons... and how slowly but surely the band is working towards success. The second half of the movie deals with less music-oriented themes, but focuses more on the tensions within the band and the personal sufferings and even tragedies they experience. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.  --amazon--





... this critically acclaimed film, ...unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies ...The film details the meteoric rise of the Experience, the creation of his groundbreaking music, the building of Electric Lady Studios, his state of the art recording facility in Greenwich Village and concludes with poignant footage from his final performance in Germany in September 1970, just 12 days before his death at age 27. --amazon--









Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a cocky self-assured attorney who defends rich criminals and he is good at it, i.e. the Tony Stark character shines through. His father is a hard nosed judge in a small Indiana town. He hasn't been home in 20 years because of him. When his mother dies, Hank goes home and must face his father (Robert Duvall) and two brothers (Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong). Family friction heats up, but when his father needs an attorney, Hank stays.  --amazon--



A pampered housewife (Jennifer Aniston) is kidnapped by a pair of blundering ex-cons in an effort to extort money from her sleazy real-estate tycoon husband (Tim Robbins). This seems like the perfect schemeuntil the housewife decides to even the score.  --amazon--












van Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.     --amazon--










In this sexy and smart romantic comedy, Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup find themselves entangled in an exhilarating love triangle. The longest week of Conrad Valmont... aimless and affluent life starts when hes suddenly cut off from his allowance following his wealthy parents messy divorce. Suddenly broke and evicted, Conrads forced to move in with his friend Dylan ... But innocent flirtation leads to fateful infatuation and Conrad soon finds himself trying to seduce Dylans gorgeous girlfriend Beatrice ... As the sparks fly, both men vie for her affectionbut which one will win her heart?  --amazon--



Taken from a 2006 BBC 2-part mini-series. The aforementioned Mark Strong and Lennie James play Detroit cops Frank Andrews and Joe Geddes. Mr. Strong's credentials include everything from "Sherlock Holmes" to "Kick-Ass" while no less impressive, Mr. James is likely best known to US audiences for his 2-year stint on "Jericho".  --amazon--









"In this heart-pounding survival thriller based on the best-selling novel, Thomas (Dylan OBrien of MTVs Teen Wolf) wakes up trapped in a massive, ever-changing maze with a group of boys who have no memory of the outside world. Facing dangerous obstacles at every turn especially the deadly Grievers that roam the concrete corridors at night Thomas and the others must race to piece together clues in order to discover their true purpose and find a way out before its too late!"  --amazon--





Medieval lives birth, marriage, death

In Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death, historian and author Dr. Helen Castor ... examines how the people of the Middle Ages handled three of life's great rites of passage-birth, marriage, and death. Why were physicians of no help to women enduring the pains of labor and the dangers of childbirth? Why were newly married couples put to bed by the priest on their wedding night? What did it mean to die well and why was death such a communal affair, both before and after it happened?



 ...After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.   --amazon--





When a half-Chechen, half-Russian, brutally tortured immigrant turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill-gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity - oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist?  --rotten tomatos--


Mr. Peabody,... boy Sherman, use their time machine ...to go on the most outrageous adventures... But when Sherman takes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe,...  ... Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era:   --amazon--



... In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king's newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is "visually arresting, brilliantly designed" ..amazon--




Monday, March 2, 2015

march 02





Black Sails

The highly anticipated pirate adventure, Black Sails, centers on the tales of Captain Flint and his men and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.” Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day – a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality. --amazon--

Boy Hood

In case you haven't heard by now, "Boyhood"...  brings the story of Mason, a 6 yr. old boy somewhere in Texas, and his family: he's got a sister 2 years older, and his divorced-and-struggling mom. His dad lives in Alaska (although eventually returns to Texas). As the next 2 1/2 hours of the movie unfolds, we get to live with these people as they grow up and deal with life's average (and not so average) struggles. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.  --amazon--



Chef
Jon Favreau...  ... leads a hilarious all-star cast including Sofía Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr. and young actor Emjay Anthony in this deliciously entertaining comedy about starting from scratch. When gifted chef Carl Casper (Favreau) suddenly quits his demanding job at a trendy LA restaurant, he's on his own to pick up the pieces of his once promising career. Finding himself in Miami, he decides to team up with his successful ex-wife (Vergara), best friend (Leguizamo) and son (Anthony) to launch a no-frills food truck business. Taking to the road, Carl reignites his passion for the kitchen and, along the way, discovers a renewed zest for life and love. --amazon--


Dolphin Tale 2

This time the story revolves around Winter and her need for a companion. Clearwater Marine Hospital has now become a full fledged Aquarium and is attracting thousands of visitors. After a painful loss to the staff, and their only hope for a companion is healed and released, she becomes the only bottle nosed dolphin in their captivity. All the while Winter's best friend, Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), gets the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a college credited voyage at sea.  --amazon--




The manners of Downton Abbey 
...What goes on behind-the-scenes to get the manners of 1900s Britain exactly right on Downton Abbey? Enter the world of Edwardian manners with host Alastair Bruce, historian, expert on royal ceremony and custom, and the historical advisor to the hit drama series....  Discover the secrets of how the aristocratic set dined and dressed, how they married and made money, how they interacted with the servants (and the servants interacted with each other), and above all why they behaved as they did. Illustrated with memorable moments from Downton Abbey, the program is a treat for fans and anyone fascinated with the customs of early 1900s Britain.  --amazon---


The Drop
Bob Saginowski is a quiet kind of guy, working as bartender at a neighborhood bar in Brooklyn called Cousin Marv's. The bar is run by the titular Marv (James Gandolfini in his final role), who actually is Bob's cousin, but while the bar bears his name and he runs the place, he apparently no longer owns it, the reasons for which get revealed later. In addition to its usual business, the bar also serves as a "drop bar" for the local mob - in this case a Chechen group - one of many they use as collection points for money from their various operations, with a different bar being used each week to make it hard for anyone else to know where the money is going to be.  --amazon--




 Edge of tomorrow live, die, repeat

An alien race, undefeatable by any existing military unit, has launched a relentless attack on Earth, and Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) finds himself dropped into a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage is thrown into a time loop, forced to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again. Training alongside warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), his skills slowly evolve, and each battle moves them one step closer to defeating the enemy in this fun action thriller. --amazon--







Fury

... This film that brings WWII closest to the reality of horror more than any other film that I have seen. There is no glory here, simply a sense of despair and imminent death in more horrible ways that can be imagined. You don't live, you don't survive, you just exist in a war. That is what kept going through my mind. FURY is an experience.... --amazon--





Giver
The Giver centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment.  Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most.  At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all.   ...The Giver is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal.  --amazon--


Goldsburg

Reagan was in the White House, the malls were filled with New Wave fashionistas and the Goldbergs were living large in the ‘80s. Documenting his hilariously combative, yet loving family with a video camera nearly as big as he is, 11-year-old geek Adam (Sean Giambrone) is witness to all kinds of insanity from his over-protective, over-the-top mom (Wendi McLendon-Covey), quick-tempered dad (Jeff Garlin), rebellious sister (Hayley Orrantia), high-strung brother (Troy Gentile) and super suave grandfather (George Segal).
--amazon--


Gone girl
 One of the best movies of 2014, this multi-layered, wickedly brilliant film is a great adaptation of the 2012 novel.
  It was directed by David Fincher. He collaborated with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross again for the smoothly foreboding soundtrack. Fincher has developed a unique cinematic style, and this movie is a showcase of it.
 The heart of the movie is a mystery - a wife disappears from her home on the morning of her anniversary. But not only do we not know who did it, we don’t even really know what happened.
 The movie flips back and forth between the husband’s perspective and the wife’s, slowly unfolding its secrets like a black, poisonous flower. --amazon--


 The guest

A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.   --amazon--
How to train your dragon 2

""From the Academy Award nominated film How to Train Your Dragon comes the next chapter in the epic trilogy. When Hiccup and Toothless discover a secret ice cave filled with hundreds of wild dragons and a mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of an epic battle to save the future of men and dragons!""  --amazon--