Some new DVDs to arrive at Wellington City Libraries include the latest in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series; more duelling robots in the latest ‘Transformers’ movie; the smash hit comedy ‘Bridesmaids’; a look at the impact of the financial crisis in ‘The Company Men’; the finale in the ‘Harry Potter’ series; and the second part of the latest season of Doctor Who….
Pirates of the Caribbean. On stranger tides.
”Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. A tale of truth, betrayal, youth, demise and mermaids! When Jack crosses paths with a woman from his past, he’s not sure if it’s love, or if she’s a ruthless con artist using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. Forced aboard the ship of the most feared pirate ever, Jack doesn’t know who to fear more – Blackbeard or the woman from his past.” (Syndetics summary)
Transformers. Dark of the moon.
”Shia LaBeouf returns, armed with a new and improbably bodacious girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley); although initially unemployed, he’s drawn back into protecting the planet from giant outer-space robots, as the Decepticons menace the Earth once again. John Turturro and Josh Duhamel return to help, and Frances McDormand and John Malkovich join the club… Throw in Hangover funnyman Ken Jeong, computer nerd Alan Tudyk doing a German accent, and the voice of Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime, and you’ve got yourself a three-ring circus of extremely spirited nonsense. Just how Michael Bay wants it.” (Description from Amazon.com)
“The publication of a book accusing him of murder leads schlock television producer Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) to reflect on his tumultuous life–from his troubled first marriage to his best friend sleeping with his second wife to his one true love… and how he destroyed the happiest time in his life. By turns comic and self-lacerating, Panofsky is a richly drawn character given vivid life by Giamatti… Regrettably, the women in his life aren’t as fully realized, but the strong performances from the actresses playing them (Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver, and Rosamund Pike) do a lot to make up for the thinness of how they’re written… Adapted from an award-winning Canadian book, Barney’s Version feels, in the best sense, like a novel; small details and incidents build up to the picture of a man’s life…(Adapted from Amazon.com)
“The delightful Kristen Wiig, who’s shone in dozens of supporting roles and on Saturday Night Live, hits a bull’s-eye with her first lead role in Bridesmaids. Annie (Wiig) isn’t doing so well; her bakery failed and she keeps sleeping with a good-looking louse (Jon Hamm, Mad Men), but she’s always had her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph, Away We Go) to buoy her up… until Lillian gets engaged. Annie becomes maid of honor, but another friend of Lillian’s–the rich and lovely Helen (Rose Byrne, Get Him to the Greek)–wants to take over that position. Misadventures with bad Brazilian food, dress fittings, an unfortunate flight to Vegas, and a sympathetic traffic cop (Chris O’Dowd from British TV comedy The IT Crowd) follow, with increasingly hilarious results. Bridesmaids successfully balances raunchy comedy and character portrait…” (Adapted from Amazon.com description)
My afternoons with Margueritte.
“A story of one of those improbable encounters that can change one’s life. In a small public garden, Germain (Gerard Depardieu) meets Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus) a little old lady who is passionate about reading. Germain discovers new life as Margueritte introduces him to the magic of books…” (Description from Real Groovy)
The company men.
“When times get tough, Boston shipping conglomerate GTX sheds employees–while CEO James Salinger (Craig T. Nelson) retains his $22 million salary. HR director Sally Wilcox (Maria Bello), the companion of married cofounder Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones, the standout in a strong cast), fires sales manager Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) during the first round of cuts. Though Bobby’s wife, Maggie (Mad Men’s Rosemarie DeWitt), doesn’t think any less of him, her husband feels like a failure. She returns to work, while Bobby enters a job placement program, but he only meets with rejection. During the next round, Sally fires Gene and Phil (Chris Cooper). While the former has a financial cushion, Phil’s situation mirrors Bobby’s, except he’s 23 years older, making the situation more difficult…The Company Men charts the path of those who fail to adapt to a changing landscape, and those who do, making for a film that’s far more sobering than depressing…” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)
X-men: first class.
“When Bryan Singer brought Marvel’s X-Men to the big screen, Magneto and Professor X were elder statesmen, but Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) travels back in time to present an origin story–and an alternate version of history. While Charles Xavier (Laurence Belcher) grows up privileged in New York, Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner) grows up underprivileged in Poland. As children, the mind-reading Charles finds a friend in the shape-shifting Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Erik finds an enemy in Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), an energy-absorbing Nazi scientist who treats the metal-bending lad like a lab rat. By 1962, Charles (James McAvoy) has become a swaggering genetics professor and Erik (Michael Fassbender, McAvoy’s Band of Brothers costar) has become a brooding agent of revenge. CIA agent Moira (Rose Byrne) brings the two together to work for Division X. With the help of MIB (Oliver Platt) and Hank (A Single Man’s Nicholas Hoult), they seek out other mutants, while fending off Shaw and Emma Frost (Mad Men’s January Jones), who try to recruit them for more nefarious ends…” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)
Harry Potter and the deathly hallows. Part 2.
“The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the film all Harry Potter fans have waited 10 years to see, and the good news is that it’s worth the hype–visually stunning, action packed, faithful to the book, and mature not just in its themes and emotion but in the acting by its cast, some of whom had spent half their lives making Harry Potter movies. Part 2 cuts right to the chase: Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has stolen the Elder Wand, one of the three objects required to give someone power over death (a.k.a. the Deathly Hallows), with the intent to hunt and kill Harry. Meanwhile, Harry’s quest to destroy the rest of the Horcruxes (each containing a bit of Voldemort’s soul) leads him first to a thrilling (and hilarious–love that Polyjuice Potion!) trip to Gringotts Bank, then back to Hogwarts, where a spectacular battle pitting the young students and professors…against a dark army.. As predicted all throughout the saga, Harry also has his final showdown with Voldemort–neither can live while the other survives… (Adapted from Amazon.com review)
Doctor Who . Series 6, Part 2 [videorecording].
“The second half of Doctor Who’s sixth series, which stars Matt Smith as the United Kingdom’s venerable time-traveling hero, answers the question that left fans breathless for most of 2011–how will the Doctor die?…To reveal the fate of the Doctor would be tantamount to high treason among Who fans, but suffice it to say that the conclusion does pull together all the threads of the sixth series in a way that may work for some fans but not at all for others. The most notable polarizing element is undoubtedly the Teselecta, a shape-shifting humanoid robot operated by miniaturized humans that also appears in the part-two opener, “Let’s Kill Hitler,”..One’s appreciation for such a complete game-changing character will largely define how Series Six, Part Two is viewed, since the outcome of the Doctor’s death is the key story line of the entire series. However, there are also a handful of solid secondary episodes buttressing the main story arc… (Adapted from Amazon.com review)