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 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"

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