Staff Picks DVDs for October

Featuring rom-coms, thrillers, recent film festival entries, highly regarded tv series and a film by a blacklisted director, this month’s picks should contain something for everyone.

Cover image10 Cloverfield Lane.
Tense thriller that takes place in the ‘Cloverfield’ universe but is not a sequel to that film from 2008. The film opens with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in a car leaving her boyfriend. When the car is hit in an accident she crashes and blacks out, only to wake up in a bunker chained to the wall. She soon discovers that she was pulled from the car wreck by Howard (John Goodman), a survivalist who has built a shelter meant to withstand any apocalyptic event. He tells her that the world is in chaos above ground due to some sort of chemical or nuclear attack, and that he has saved her and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), the other bunker-mate. Certain things happen to lead credence to his story, and the three settle in to their confined surroundings. After a while however she begins to think that Howard might not have been entirely truthful about who he is & why he made the bunker in the first place…Fantastically claustrophobic, and full of plot twists, the film proves that you can still make edgy entertaining films with just small locations and a minimum of players. Some may feel the end sequence a little over the top, but it doesn’t really take away from what has come before. (Mark)

Cover imageMahana.
Adapted from Witi Ihimaera’s novel, Bulibasha and set in Gisborne in the 1950’s, Mahana tells a beautifully, haunting and tragic story of two warring families, The Mahanas and the Poatas, who are forever at each throats and competing for work, sport and engaging in the odd thrilling car chase. However the dynamic shifts when Simeon, idealistic, optimistic and bent on change, starts to question family expectations; uncover hidden secrets and even starts to make peace with sworn enemies, which threatens the tyrannical rule of patriarch Tamihana (a fine performance by Temuera Morrison), who rules the Mahana whanau with an iron and militant fist; and who will not be challenged in anyway. So a battle of wills irrupts between grandfather and grandson, where on the odd occasion the unquiet spirit of Jake the Muss is awakened. Overall I thought the film was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes, especially with regard to the on-going, but silent struggle that the grandmother, Ramona, (Nancy Brunning) goes through until the truth is finally revealed near the end. Both Temuera Morrison and Nancy Brunning owned and brought justice to the roles of the grandparents, Tamihana and Ramona. This film does indeed does justice to Ihimaera’s novel and beautifully showcases Aotearoa in its essence and culture. (Katie)

Cover imageParks and recreation. Season seven, the farewell season.
While the last season is perhaps not as consistent as what has come before, and perhaps a bit rushed in places given the need to round out the characters arcs and relationships, it is still a great wrap up to what was one of the most consistently funny comedy shows on TV. The show may be over but the wisdom of Ron Swanson will live forever. (Mark)

Cover image2 guns.
This is an action/thriller starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. This is a movie where the 2 men go undercover to try and get into a Mexican drug Lord’s cartel. Unbeknown to the other they both work for different crime fighting organisations (Denzel for the DEA) and Mark for (Naval Intelligence). They both get disowned by their own agencies and have everyone after them. Great pace and lots of action. Keeps you guessing. Not as violent as ‘Man on Fire’. (Brigid)

Cover imageBosch. Season two.
Season 2 of the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series if a lot more consistent than the first season. All the rough edges have been smoothed over, all the actors now seem far more comfortable in their characters, the writing is a lot more consistent, and the changes in some of the characters in updating the show to a more modern period seem less jarring. Season 2 takes inspiration from Connelly’s novels Trunk Music, The Drop, and The Last Coyote, and while the plot line of ‘The Last Coyote’ is the most truncated and differs from the book, the rest of the story draws enough of Connelly’s plotlines to satisfy fans of the books. Renewed for a third season which will supposedly adapt Connelly’s novel The Black Echo and elements of A Darkness More Than Night. (Mark)

Cover imageLove, Rosie.
‘Love Rosie’ tells the story over the course of twelve years, through letters, emails and instant messaging about the ever changing relationship between the two main characters Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart. The question that will hang on your lips throughout the film is are they always meant to be more than friends or will they risk everything including their friendship on love? This question can only be answered by watching the film. This movie is an enjoyable romantic comedy that is suitable for a girls night in. It has everything you can expect: laughter, tears and a little romance. I’m not usually a fan of chick flick movies, but I think this has been a great chick flick and romantic comedy movie I have seen since Love Actually. (Katie)

Cover imageOccupied. Series 1.
Excellent new Norwegian TV series, apparently the most expensive (and most watched) in the history of Norwegian television. Based on an idea by popular Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo the show is set in the near future, where a catastrophic hurricane fuelled by climate change, has led to the rise of the Norwegian Green Party into political power. Idealistic Prime Minister Jesper Berg, has plans for thorium-based nuclear energy, and cuts off all fossil fuel production. With the Middle East in turmoil, Europe is suffering an energy crisis, and in retaliation the EU asks Russia to initiate a ‘velvet glove’ invasion of Norway. Russian special forces kidnap Berg, insisting that he submit to EU demands or face a full-scale invasion. What follows is told from the perspective of several characters as the effects of a ‘non-violent’ occupation begin to insidiously colour the lives and undercut the political processes of the Norwegian people. Recommended. (Mark)

Cover image45 years.
A letter arrives a week before Geoff and Kate’s 45th wedding anniversary party and makes their long, harmonious marriage no longer the same. The England’s latest auteur, Andrew Haigh’s third feature ’45 years’ is a low-keyed, chamber piece but deeply affecting. It’s a simple setting drama like his breakthrough film Weekend, which portraits the devastating love affair of two young men, and subtly yet sharply exposes how fragile our love and relationships are. The film is shot in order from the first scene, and natural, wonderfully nuanced performances by Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay make every detail meaningful. They reach the height at the ending scene with the memorable song ‘Smoke gets in your Eyes’. A quiet triumph. (Shinji)

Cover imageKill your friends.
Mostly good adaptation of John Niven’s hilariously nihilistic satire set amongst dodgy A&R record men at the height of UK ‘Britpop’ madness. A&R man Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult) is slashing and burning his way through the music business, a world where ‘no one knows anything’ and where careers are made and broken by chance and the fickle tastes of the general public. Fuelled by greed, ambition and inhuman quantities of drugs, Stelfox searches for his next hit record, but a couple of bad missteps make it look like his career is all but done. Just how far will he go to get to the top…Stelfox is surely one of the most appalling Fictional creations ever put on paper, yet his narration makes the novels sordid nastiness so funny that you can’t help laughing. This, however, is a more difficult task to put over on film and while some of it works, other scenes could perhaps have used more of Hoult’s narration to undercut all the grim bits that hew a little too close to American Psycho. (Mark)

Cover imageLondon has fallen.
Starring Aaron Eckhart, Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman This movie is a sequel to Olympus has fallen. Many World Leaders have gathered in London for a Meeting and the Terrorists start to attack. Lots of explosions. If you enjoyed ‘Olympus has Fallen’ you should enjoy this one too. (Brigid)

CoverOrphan black. Series four.
After the somewhat convoluted third season ‘Orphan Black’ decided to do a bit of a ‘back to basics’ reset for the series, so the fourth season goes back to the beginning and follows the story of Beth, whose suicide set the whole story in motion for Sarah in Season one. Definitely an improvement over the previous season, which had gotten a little caught up in the complications of its mythology. (Mark)

Cover imageWhen Marnie was there.
This movie was screened at last week at the Thursday Night Film screening at the Central Library. This film tells the story of Anna, an introverted orphaned girl and a bit of a lost soul, who feels abandoned, unwanted and unlovable. However, while on holiday, a chance encounter with a mysterious blonde girl, Marnie, who in many ways is a reflection of Anna, changes Anna’s life forever. As the summer progresses, Anna spends more time with Marnie, and eventually Anna learns the truth about her family and foster care, which allows her to open up to possibilities all around her, mainly meaningful relationships with friends and her surrogate family. This film is hauntingly beautiful and truly captures the essence and beauty, you would in find in most Japanese animated films produced by the Company, Studio Ghibli, who also brought such Japanese animated films to life, such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro. Overall a great film that young girls will enjoy, that explores the true meaning of friendship and finding yourself. (Katie)

Cover imageThe nice guys.
Engagingly funny crime flick written & directed by buddy-movie maestro Shane Black. Set in Los Angeles in the late 70s, the film opens with a boy witnesses fading porn star Misty Mountains die in a car crash. Later that week, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is approached by the aunt of Misty Mountains who claims to have seen her niece alive. March is sceptical of her claim, but realizes that a missing girl named Amelia is somehow involved. However, Amelia does not wish to be found and hires enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) to intimidate March into staying away from her. Later that night, Healy is attacked at his home by two thugs who attempt to interrogate him about Amelia’s whereabouts. After escaping he then teams up with a reluctant March to find Amelia before the thugs do. Gosling & Crowe make a good pairing, and while it is not as sharp or consistent as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, nevertheless it’s an enjoyable melange of Black’s favourite techniques, dialogue and style. (Mark)

Cover imageA pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence.
Swedish one-of-a-kind auteur, Roy Andersson has a huge studio in Stockholm to build every kind of set for his works. It’s his holy ground where he established his idiosyncratic style; every scene is a single shot from a fixed camera position, meticulously composed painting-like milieu, deadpan style acting by non-professional actors, and so on. This latest work, the final chapter of ‘the living trilogy’, which explores what it means to be a human being, is no exception. It’s an utterly unique, absurd black comedy, which is dominated by a strange milky white colour, and slightly darker and heavier than its predecessors (Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living). This peculiar taste may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but no one makes films like Roy Andersson. That’s for sure. (Shinji)

Cover imageMidnight special.
A great little ‘Sci-Fi’ movie from writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud). The story revolves around Roy (Nichols regular Michael Shannon) and his biological son who are on the run from a cult that he has kidnapped the boy from, and also from some Government agencies who have an interest in the mysterious powers the boy apparently has. Shannon and his friend hook up with the boy’s biological mother (Kirsten Dunst) and together the four of them try to get the boy to a special place he feels he needs to go to to discover his purpose while trying to evade the forces after them. Endlessly intriguing, at times ‘Midnight Special’ feels somewhat retro, a homage to early Speilberg or Stephen King, and proves you need few CGI effects to create a modern ‘Sci-Fi’ film, just some good old fashioned character based story telling. (Mark)

Cover imageThe lady in the van.
Very unusual movie about an incident in the Author Alan Bennet’s life. He meets an eccentric lady (Maggie Smith) who lives in an old Van and moves from place to place in her Van. It is very sensitive in parts. ‘The Lady in the Van’ decides to live in his driveway for a period of time. It is a story about their interaction. Not a Comedy. (Brigid)

Cover imageBeauty and the beast.
A Walt Disney movie about a tough no nonsense heroine, named Belle (French word for Beauty), who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, and discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise. While the situation is anything than ideal, this Beauty and the Beast must learn, in very Pride and Prejudice-like to overcome their pride and stubbornness, in the hopes of falling in love and breaking the beast’s enchantment. This film is beautifully constructed and made! Filled with lots of quirky characters, in the form of Lumiere (a candle stick), Cogsworth (a cynical clock), Mrs Potts (a mother-hen teapot) and many musical numbers. A film that the entire family can enjoy – especially on a Saturday night! (Katie)

Cover imageTehran taxi.
In 2010, Iranian master director Jafar Panahi (This is not a Film, Crimson Gold) was baselessly convicted of crimes against national security and banned from making films. However, he is somehow still making films and ‘Tehran Taxi’ is his third feature since his conviction. This time, the director himself drives a taxi through the city of Tehran and picks up various passengers. At first, this simple set-up gives an impression similar to documentary shot by iPhone, but Pnahi’s ingenious hands turn the taxi into a mirror of Iranian society, social morals and politics. The message implied in the film is powerful and serious but he does it with a droll, playful manner. This film won the Golden Bear (best film) at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2015, and Panahi’s niece, who appears in the film and is adorable, received the honour on his behalf because he has been banned from travelling. A genius work. (Shinji)

Cover imageEye in the sky.
Extremely tense ‘real-time’ thriller about a drone mission. Helen Mirren, a UK-based Colonel is in command of a top-secret drone operation to capture a high level English target in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as an American pilot (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute reaching the highest levels of US and British government as to the moral & political implications of ‘collateral damage’. Gripping, intelligent film-making that is entertaining without shying away from posing some difficult questions. Features one of the last performances from the greatly missed Alan Rickman. (Mark)

Cover imageINXS : never tear us apart.
“I was standing. You were there. Two worlds collided and they can never tear us apart.” It’s amazing how sixteen simple worlds can have such a huge impact and really touch your soul. While it’s been two years exactly since this mini-series aired on television in New Zealand, in my opinion it’s still a goodie and is worth watching, especially as the 16th of August is band member’s (and unofficial leader of the band), Tim Farris’ birthday and INXS is hosting an event called Platinum Award Success… in Sydney that marks their achievement, success and contribution to the Australian and international music industry! “Never Tear Us Apart” is a two-part, 4 hour television event that tells the uncensored story of Australia’s most successful 80’s Rock band – INXS. It’s a story of mateship, success and excess. It’s the ultimate sex, drugs and rock’n’roll story that ends in tragedy. This movie portrays an honest and raw account of the rise and fall of one of my favourite bands, who decided to take an innovative approach to breaking the international music market overseas which paid off, at the price of alienating the Australian music industry. In watching this movie, you will get insight and details of their personal lives, their rise to fame from Australian pubs to stadiums around the world- Wembley as a major impact of their career! Features famous chart breaking songs such as New Sensation, Original Sin, What You Need, Need You Tonight and the chilling, heart breaking love ballad: Never Tear Us Apart. Also shows some archived footage of the original concerts and earlier tracks of their greatest hits – MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!, near the end you will here an earlier recording that Michael Hutchence made of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. Overall this mini-series is in a word –AWESOME! Luke Arnold owned the role of Michael Hutchence and pretty much stole the limelight. This miniseries made me laugh, made me cry and entertained me from start to finish. (Katie)

Cover imageWhat we did on our holiday.
Starring David Tennant, Billy Connelly Rosamond Pike, Annette Crosby and Celia Imrie. This was a really good movie. Watched it with three generations and they all enjoyed it. The story starts with a family which is going through a separation process and they are going back to Scotland to see their Father (Billy Connelly)/Grandfather. Who is having a big 75th birthday which is possibly his last. They are trying to keep the separation from the rest of the family but the process is rocky. They give the kids a list of lies they have to tell. Some very moving and funny parts to this movie as the young children have to cope with the eccentric extended family. Really worth a watch. It is a Comedy and very funny in parts. (Brigid)

New DVDs in October

This month’s new DVD additions include the blockbuster ‘Captain America : civil war’, the inspirational biopic of Michael Edwards or ‘Eddie the Eagle’, Britain’s most famous ski jumper, the new Shane Black buddy crime comedy ‘The Nice Guys’, and the tense military drama ‘Eye in the Sky’, helmed by Helen Mirren. New TV includes the ‘American Crime Story’ series focusing on the trial of O.J. Simpson, the Anthony Trollope historical drama ‘Doctor Thorne’, mysterious action with ‘Blindspot’, and the 2nd season of the acclaimed Showtime series ‘The Affair’.

cover imageEye in the sky.
“London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The mission suddenly escalates from a “capture” to a “kill” operation as Powell realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission. From his base in Nevada, American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine year old girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation, the impossible decision of when to strike gets passed up the “kill chain” of politicians and lawyers as the seconds tick down.” (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe jungle book / Disney presents ; a Fairview Entertainment production ; a Jon Favreau film.
“An epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self discovery, guided by panther turned stern mentor Bagheera, and the free spirited bear Baloo.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageEddie the eagle.
“Comedy sports drama directed by Dexter Fletcher and inspired by the true life story of Michael Edwards or ‘Eddie the Eagle’, Britain’s most famous ski jumper. Taron Egerton stars as the title character, who, with the support of his trainer Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) trains for and competes in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. The first British skier to qualify for the Winter Olympics, the entirely self-funded far-sighted plasterer became an emblem for the British ability to heroically fail. The story follows Eddie on his Olympic journey which famously saw him finish last in both of the events he competed in.” (Production description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageCaptain America : civil war.
“Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.” (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageAmerican crime story. The people v. O. J. Simpson.
All ten episodes from the first season of the ‘American Crime Story’ series. Focusing on the trial of O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.), the series follows the trial from discovery of the crime scene right through to verdict. The episodes are: ‘From the Ashes of Tragedy’, ‘The Run of His Life’, ‘The Dream Team’, ‘100% Not Guilty’, ‘The Race Card’, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’, ‘Conspiracy Theories’, ‘A Jury in Jail’, ‘Manna from Heaven’ and ‘The Verdict’. (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe nice guys.
“Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe team up to investigate the case of a missing girl in this thriller co-written and directed by Shane Black. After becoming involved with the Mob, Amelia (Margaret Qualley) mysteriously disappears. Enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) and down-on-his-luck private investigator Holland March (Gosling) are recruited to find her and set out on a complex and high-profile investigation which leads them all over 1970s Los Angeles. With media interest increasing and their own personal safety called into doubt, the duo come across the seemingly unconnected death of a porn star, a discovery which sheds new light on a conspiracy that leads right to the highest echelons of power. The cast also includes Kim Basinger, Angourie Rice and Matt Bomer.” (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageDoctor Thorne.
“Mary Thorne, penniless and with undisclosed parentage, grows up under the guardianship of her uncle Doctor Thorne. She spends much of her formative years in the company of the Gresham family at Greshamsbury Park estate. As they close on the world of adult cares and responsibilities, the past starts to impinge and the financial woes of the Gresham family threaten to tear relationships apart.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBlindspot. The complete first season.
“Sullivan Stapleton stars as hardened FBI agent Kurt Weller, who is drawn into a complex conspiracy when a mysterious woman (Jaime Alexander), is found in Times Square covered in a series of cryptic tattoos … including his name on her back. As Weller and his teammates at the FBI — among them, wartime vet Edgar Reed, the secretive Tasha Zapata and Assistant Director Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) — begin to investigate Jane Doe’s tattoos, they are drawn into a high-stakes underworld that twists and turns through a labyrinth of secrets and revelations — and the information they uncover might ultimately change the world.” (Synopsis, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageBetter call Saul. Season two.
“Before he was Saul, he was small-time, hustling attorney Jimmy McGill (Golden Globe® nominee Bob Odenkirk). Season 2 finds Jimmy leaving shortcuts behind for his budding romance with Kim (Rhea Seehorn). With his stern brother Chuck (Michael McKean) keeping watch and fixer Mike (Jonathan Banks) drawn into a menacing cartel web, how long can “Slippin’ Jimmy” stay on the straight and narrow?” (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageDad’s army.
“It is 1944 and World War II is reaching its climax. The Allies are poised to invade France and fnally defeat the German army. But in Walmington-on-Sea morale amongst the Home Guard is low. Their new mission then to patrol the Dover army base is a great chance to revive spirits and reputation, that is until glamorous journalist Rose Winters arrives to write about their exploits, setting the pulses racing and putting the local women on red alert. MI5 then discover a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea. There’s a spy on the loose! The outcome of the war is suddenly at stake, and it falls to our unlikely heroes to stand up and be counted.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe affair. Season two.
“With a murder unsolved and a betrayal exposed, the truth is suspect and shifting between the perspectives of Noah, Alison, Helen and Cole. The story now reveals the complex family ties, passionate betrayals and vengeful emotions that have resulted from the illicit summer liaison. And as the two estranged couples try individually to plan for the future, a new series of deceptions will once again force them to question everything they believed.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in September

New DVDs for September include an animated version of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, acclaimed German films’ Phoenix’ & ‘Victoria’, and poignant drama with ’45 Years’. New TV includes the return of ‘Happy Valley’, acclaimed new TV show ‘The Last Man on Earth’, the latest season of ‘Un Village Français’ and the Stephen King adaptation ‘11.22.63’.

cover image25 April.
“The 1915 Gallipoli Campaign as you’ve never seen it before The tragic 1915 Gallipoli Campaign of WW1 is told through the perspective of six New Zealanders. Utilizing state of the art animation to dramatize actual letters written by soldier and medical personnel while they were at Gallipoli. 25 April sketches a gripping and profoundly moving picture of a battlefront whose name has become synonymous with failure and needless carnage.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageAllegiant.
“Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSupergirl. The complete first season.
“Born Kara Zor-El on the doomed planet Krypton, the preteen Kara escaped at the same time as the infant Kal-El, but didn’t arrive on Earth until many years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Protected and raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be…” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe last man on Earth. The complete first season.
“The year is 2020, and after a deadly virus has swept the planet, only one man is left on earth: PHIL MILLER (Forte). He used to be just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job. Now, in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, every town and every outpost in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and has found no one. As he returns to his hometown of Tucson, Phil comes to the painful realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth. All he wants is for someone – anyone – to find him in Tucson – preferably a woman.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageHappy Valley. Series 2.
“Sarah Lancashire returns in the acclaimed BBC thriller written by Sally Wainwright. No-nonsense police sergeant Catherine Cawood is back heading up her team of dedicated police officers in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. While on duty, she makes a gruesome discovery – a body. The victim’s injuries bear a striking similarity to a string of other murders over the previous few months, suggesting a serial killer is on the loose. But the case becomes even more shocking when it emerges that Catherine knows the victim – something that could have serious repercussions for both herself and her family.” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imagePhoenix.
“June, 1945. Badly injured, her face destroyed, Auschwitz survivor Nelly returns to Berlin. Having barely recovered from facial surgery, she sets out to find her husband Johnny. Nelly’s family has been murdered in the Holocaust – Johnny is convinced that his wife, too, is dead. When Nelly finally tracks him down he doesn’t recognise her, but seeing a resemblance Johnny asks her to take on the identity of his ‘late’ wife in order to access her inherited fortune. Nelly agrees: she becomes her own imposter. She wants to know if he loved her – and whether he betrayed her. She wants her old life back.” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageUn village français. Vol. 4.
“Summer 1943. The announcement of the STO, an order for all young French men to be taken into forced labour in Germany shakes Villeneuve and all of France to its core. Avoiding capture, Antoine and Claude and a small band of others head into the forest to live in freedom but soon find the hunger, cold and boredom overwhelming. In the village the Resistance grow bolder and bolder, but the new mayor, Chassagne, makes every effort to support the STO and hunt the guerrillas and repression in the village increases day by day.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageVictoria.
“This film is not a movie; it’s not about a bank robbery. It is bank robbery. Victoria was shot in one single take. Two hours and eighteen minutes. No cuts. No CGI. No cheap tricks. No expensive ones, either. Just one shot. Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four local Berliners outside a nightclub. Sonne and his friends promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these lads have gotten themselves into hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favor that requires repaying that evening. As Victoria’s flirtation with Sonne deepens into something more, he convinces her to come along for the ride. And later, when things become more ominous and possibly lethally dangerous for Sonne, she insists on coming along. As the night takes on an ever more menacing character, what started out as a good time, quickly spirals out of control. As dawn approaches, Victoria and Sonne address the inevitable: it s all or nothing and they abandon themselves to a heart-stopping race into the depths of hell.” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageA bigger splash.
“Directed by the Academy Award-nominated Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love), and starring Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts and Tilda Swinton. Rock legend Marianne Lane is recuperating on the volcanic island of Pantelleria with her partner Paul when iconoclast record producer and old flame Harry unexpectedly arrives with his daughter Penelope and interrupts their holiday, bringing with him an A-bomb blast of nostalgia from which there can be no rescue. A Bigger Splash is a sensuous portrait of desire, jealousy and rock and roll, under the Mediterranean sun.” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover image11.22.63.
11.22.63 hurtles viewers deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. But Jake’s mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie, a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself… which doesn’t want to be changed. And if the Past doesn’t want to be changed, it will push back — often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride.” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover image45 years.
“Kate Mercer is planning a party to celebrate her 45th wedding anniversary. One week before the celebration a letter arrives for her husband, Geoff, containing news that the body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. Kate continues to prepare for the party, but she becomes increasingly concerned by Geoff’s preoccupation with the letter and the startling revelations about his former life. As their anniversary gets closer, and they delve further into the past, their future is left in question.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs for August

New DVDs for August include: the blockbuster Batman v Superman: dawn of justice a new Coen Brothers comedy set in Hollywood’s Golden Age; a sequel to the 2002 hit My big fat Greek wedding; a new HBO show set in the music scene in 1970s New York; an acclaimed feature documentary on the stories of students who have been sexually assaulted on American university campuses; the latest season of House of Cards and more….

cover imageMahana.
“In the 1960s on the east coast of New Zealand, two Maori sheep-shearing families – the Mahanas and the Poatas – are longstanding enemies and commercial rivals. 14-year-old Simeon Mahana, the youngest son, is in conflict with his traditionalist grandfather, Tamihana. As Simeon unravels the truth behind the longstanding family vendetta, he risks not just his own future prospects, but the cohesion of the entire tight-knit society.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe hunting ground.
The Hunting Ground is a critically acclaimed feature documentary that chronicles the personal stories of students who have been sexually assaulted on American university campuses. Interweaving observational footage, expert insights and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors pursuing both their education and justice in the face of institutional failure to respond effectively and appropriately to their reports. This confronting expose of sexual assault on American university campuses has sparked a national debate in the United States about rape culture, sexual consent and victim support.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBatman v Superman : dawn of justice.
“From director Zack Snyder (Man of Steel) comes Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Oscar-winner Ben Affleck (Argo) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing. Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageHail, Caesar!
“Four-time Oscar®-winning* filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Ceasar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Ceasar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.” (Description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageMy big fat Greek wedding. 2.
“The Portokalos Family is back as the original cast of the 2002 blockbuster hit reunite in this hilarious sequel. This time, Nia Vardalos (Toula) and John Corbett (Ian) are joined by new cast members, Rita Wilson and John Stamos. After spending most of their time focusing on their troubling teenage daughter, Toula and Ian are facing marital problems while also having to deal with yet another Greek wedding – this time, even bigger and fatter.” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageThe last panthers.
“A thrilling six-part crime drama series, based on real events. At the beginning of the millennium, major cities across Europe were targeted in a series of daring jewellery robberies carried out by the ‘Pink Panthers’ – a gang famed for their bold daylight raids and movie-style getaways. But after terrorising Europe’s jewellers for a decade, they suddenly disappeared. Now, a heist in the south of France bears all the hallmarks of the Panthers. What starts with diamonds, leads to guns, drugs, high-finance and involves the corridors of power in the EU, the City of London and the murky world of Europe’s criminal underworld, uncovering a new breed of criminal – the ‘Banksters’.” (Adapted from description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageHouse of cards. The complete fourth season.
“Season 4 begins Commander-in-Chief Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) fighting for his political life with principled insurgent Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) threatening to wrest the Democratic Party presidential nomination from him. Yet the biggest menace to his Presidency is posed by someone closer, First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) who has disappeared since her bombshell announcement at the end of season 3. But it soon becomes apparent that Claire is merely the start of his difficulties as unhappy ghosts of his past re-emerge to haunt him.” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

cover imageVinyl. The complete first season.
“The music scene in 1970s New York is still awash in sex and drugs, but rock ‘n’ roll is giving way to an era of punk, disco and hip-hop. Desperately trying to navigate the changing landscape is American Century Records founder and president Richie Finestra, whose passion for music and discovering talent has gone by the wayside. With American Century on the verge of being sold, a life-altering event rekindles Finestra’s pro­fessional fire, but it may leave his personal life in ruins.” (Description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageScandal. The complete fourth season
“After the shocking events surrounding President Grant’s re-election, a newly fragile Olivia has gone off the grid. But her plan to “stand in the sun” with Jake is derailed when Quinn tracks her down with news of Harrison’s death. Once back in D.C., Olivia struggles to reconnect with her embittered “gladiators”. There, she’s finally forced to confront the unspeakable evil her father has wrought. And once she chooses sides against him, there’s no turning back.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLove, Rosie.
“A heart-warming, modern and romantic comedy-of-errors. Since the age five, Rosie and Alex have been best friends, facing the highs and lows of growing up side by side. A fleeting shared moment, one missed opportunity, and the decisions that follow send their lives in completely different directions. As each navigates the complexities of life, love, and everything in between, they always find their way back to each other, but is it just friendship, or something more?” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs for July

New DVDs for July include a fascinating doco on art collecting socialite Peggy Guggenheim; a new TV adaptation of ‘War & Peace’; critically acclaimed films such as ‘Song of Saul’ & ‘The Revenant’; Alan Bennett’s story of ‘The Lady in The Van’; a gripping look at the financial crisis of 2008 in ‘The Big Short’; and the latest Quentin Tarantino.

cover imagePeggy Guggenheim : art addict.
“Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland examines the life of Peggy Guggenheim, the wealthy socialite who amassed a world-class collection of modern European and American art. Vreeland does a good job of examining the different sides to Guggenheim’s life and cohering them into some sort of whole by the end of this cradle-to-grave account. She was blessed by a stroke of incredible good fortune: the discovery of audio tapes, thought lost, of interviews between Guggenheim and her biographer Jacqueline Weld.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageWar & peace.
“Russia 1805. When we first meet Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, their youthful ambition, despite their privileged circumstances, is to find meaning in their lives. Kind-hearted but awkward Pierre, the illegitimate son of Russia’s richest man, wants to change the world for the better. The beautiful and spirited Natasha is searching for true love, while handsome and gallant Andrei, frustrated with the superficiality of society, seeks a higher purpose. At the same time Napoleon’s army edges ever closer to Russia’s borders. As everthing they thought they knew is thrown into question, Pierre, Andrei, and Natasha find themselves in a time when Russian lives are about to change forever.” (Container)

cover imageSon of Saul.
“October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe revenant.
“Inspired by true events, an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald. Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe lady in the van.
“The film tells the true story of the relationship between Alan Bennett and the singular Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who “temporarily” parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for fifteen years.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe Danish girl.
“The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe big short.
“The financial meltdown from the perspective of a number of players: Michael Burry, a bizarre autistic-like stock-picking genius, and the first to realize that the market’s housing boom is based on a “house of cards” sham; Mark Baum, self-loathing fictional character whose firm picks up insider trading information from a wrong number phone call; Jared Vennet, a smart-aleck broker who confirms the ominous suspicion; and Charlie Gellar and Jamie Shipley, small-time players who hit it big.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageOrange is the new black. Season three.
“A new regime has arrived at Litchfield and with it comes new business interests, spiritual movements, and parental problems that turn life behind bars upside down and ignite power struggles among Litchfield’s residents and guards.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSteve Jobs.
“A biopic of Steve Jobs that takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution in order to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe h8ful eight.
“A stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy race toward the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Losing their lead on the blizzard, they seek refuge at Minnie’s, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageDeadpool.
“Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, the film tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in the Libraries in June

New DVDs for June feature Biographies & real life dramas with the Jennifer Lawrence biopic ‘Joy’; the Catholic Church investigative drama ‘Spotlight’; and the life of ‘blacklisted’ 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Other films include adaptations of books by Patricia Highsmith & Colm Tóibín, and new TV shows include the second season of the anthology crime drama inspired by the 1996 film ‘Fargo’ & an update of Agatha Christie’s famed sleuthing duo Tommy and Tuppence Beresford…

cover imageJoy.
“A wild story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSpotlight.
“Led by Walter “Robby” Robinson the team of investigative journalists at The Boston Globe known as ‘Spotlight’ pride themselves on their relentless dedication to exposing the truth of society’s ills and bringing the guilty to account. Under the direction of new editor Marty Baron the team begin to uncover a scandal revolving around allegations of child abuse within the Catholic Church and the wilful ignorance of those in power who have done nothing to stop it. Facing political opposition and resistance from the far-reaching influences of the Church, the reporters put together an explosive exposé revealing that the truth is much darker than they could have ever imagined.” (Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageTrumbo.
“The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.” (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageFargo. Year two.
“The complete second season of the anthology crime drama inspired by the 1996 film directed by the Coen brothers. Set in the town of Fargo, North Dakota, the series follows beautician Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst) and her butcher husband Ed (Jesse Plemons) as they endeavour to cover up a fatal hit-and-run that killed Rye Gerhardt (Kieran Culkin), the son of organised crime family matriarch Floyd Gerhardt (Jean Smart).” (adapted from Product description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageCarol.
“When Carol (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth) walks into a New York City department store and meets Therese (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara, Her, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) an unlikely friendship sparks. Carol is an elegant socialite going through a bitter divorce while Therese is just starting out in life; unsure of who she wants to be. Mesmerized by each other, they face a choice: deny their hearts desires or defy society’s conventions but in doing so, risk life as they know it. From director Todd Haynes (I’m Not There, Far From Heaven) and based on the best-selling novel, Carol is a powerful romance fueled by the danger and exhilaration of forbidden love.” (Product description. amazon.co.uk)

MyLibDVDs6Brooklyn.
Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson star in this romantic drama adapted from the novel by Colm Tóibín. Set in the 1950s, the story follows young Irish woman Ellis Lacey (Ronan) as she travels to New York City in search of a better life. Initially homesick, she begins to adjust to her new surroundings with the help of Italian-American Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) with whom she becomes romantically involved. After news of a family crisis, Ellis returns to Ireland where she enjoys spending time back in her hometown and becomes acquainted with a young man, Jim Farrell (Gleeson), finding herself torn between two very different paths. The cast also includes Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Picture and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film. (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageNina forever.
“Holly wants to save Rob and has fallen in love with him. She is training to be a paramedic and works a dead end job in a supermarket where Rob is the only remarkable thing; lost and angry since the death of his girlfriend Nina. Drawn into a relationship, the first time they’re in bed together so is Nina. A tangled and bloody mess of broken limbs, she is very much dead but still here, still talking, still angry… However Holly doesn’t freak out and run – she is determined to be the one who heals Rob’s wounds. She can deal with the dead girl sharing their bed, their lives, their minds. If it’s what Rob needs, it’s what Holly will do, whatever the consequences…” (Syndetics summery)

cover imagePartners in crime / an Endor Production in association with Agatha Christie Productions, an RLJ Entertainment, Inc. Company for BBC ; w.
“Agatha Christie’s famed sleuthing duo come to the screen in an exciting all-new BBC T V adaptation starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine as Partners in Crime. Set in the leafy suburbs of 1950s London, Partners in Crime finds Tommy and Tuppence Beresford in need of some adventure in their lives. With Tommy undertaking a variety of business opportunities, and Tuppence trying to dissuade him, the couple find themselves in the wrong place at the right time to solve a mystery – or two – and perhaps save someone’s life. They are about to enter a world of espionage and skulduggery guided by Tommy’s mysterious Uncle, Major Carter. It is a world which will prove easier to enter than to leave. This six part drama draws on two classic novels by Agatha Christie: The Secret Adversary and N or M?” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageUnforgotten. Series one.
“You can bury a body. You can’t hide the truth. This crime drama focuses on a cold case reopened after 39 years. When the body of a young man is discovered in a derelict building, DCI Cassie Stuart — one of the Met’s smartest detectives — is called in to investigate. There are four suspects: a clergyman, an eminent entrepreneur, a community worker and a wheelchair-bound husband caring for his wife. Each has a secret to hide. As their lies unravel, the people they love most begin to wonder what else they might be capable of. Nothing in this case is black and white. Can you ever really know the people closest to you? What secrets have they buried?” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBlack work.
“Leeds police constable Jo Gillespie (Sheridan Smith) is devastated when her husband, undercover officer Ryan (Kenny Doughty), is killed in suspicious circumstances. As she battles to stay strong for the benefit of daughter Melly (Honor Kneafsey) and stepson Hal (Oliver Woollford), Jo is urged by her bosses, DCI Will Hepburn (Douglas Henshall) and Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki (Geraldine James), to leave it to her fellow officers to find the killer. But when the murder enquiry starts to uncover some dangerous secrets about Ryan, Jo’s faith in the police family of which she has been a part for so long is severely tested. No longer sure who to trust, Jo embarks on her own investigation with the help of friend and colleague Jack Clark (Matthew McNulty), but as they close in on the identity of Ryan’s killer, Jo’s hunt for the truth will put her own life in danger.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

New DVDs for May

A lot of fantastic DVDs have been added to our extensive collection. They include the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Dressmaker and Suffragette. The long awaited Scandinavian production The Bridge Series Three is also here now. You can find more new arrival DVDs here. Check them out!

cover imageThe lobster / an unconvential love story by Yorgos Lanthimos.
“In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe bridge. The complete series three.
“The critically acclaimed Danish-Swedish crime drama delivers a spectacular Series 3 with Sofia Helin returning as the iconic Swedish police detective Saga Noren. When a famous Danish gender activist and owner of Copenhagen’s first gender-neutral children’s nursery is found murdered in Malmo, Saga is assigned to the case, together with a new colleague. The murder sparks the beginning of a series of spectacular crimes reaching back into Saga’s own past. With her career at risk and the question of personal responsibility haunting her, it looks as if she might be pulled from the case. When her mother unexpectedly re-enters her life, Saga must also cope with unforeseen–and unwanted–demands from her.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe dressmaker.
“The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950’s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (Judy Davis) and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in doing so gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSuffragette / Pathé, Film4 and BFI present in association with Ingenious Media ; a Ruby Films production.
“Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageYouth / Nicola Giuliano Francesca Cima and Medfusa Film present ; a film by Paolo Sorrentino.
“Two longtime friends are vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Fred, an acclaimed composer and conductor, who brings along his daughter and best friend Mick, a renowned filmmaker. The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe end of the tour.
“The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter (and novelist) David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, after the publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking novel, Infinite Jest. As the days go on, a tenuous yet intense relationship seems to develop between journalist and subject. Ironically, the interview was never published, and five days of audio tapes were packed away in Lipsky’s closet. The two men did not meet again. The film is based on Lipsky’s critically acclaimed memoir about this unforgettable encounter, written following Wallace’s 2008 suicide.” (Adapted from Editorial Reviews, amazon.com)

cover imageThe program.
“Ben Foster and Chris O’Dowd star in this sports drama about the Lance Armstrong doping scandal which was the subject of David Walsh’s book ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. Irish sports journalist David Walsh (O’Dowd) grows suspicious of professional cyclist Lance Armstrong (Foster)’s success, certain that he has been taking performance-enhancing drugs. As Walsh investigates, looking for evidence to prove his theory, Armstrong continues to deny his consumption of banned substances. The cast also includes Lee Pace, Dustin Hoffman and Guillaume Canet.” (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageUn village français. Vol. 3
“Since June 1941, and the opening of the Russian front in WW2, paranoias have increased about Communists in the village of Villeneuve. Arrests are made by mistake at the school, the mayor is having difficulties with supply, and the townspeople are cutting their own deals with the Nazis.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageYoung Montalbano. Volume 2.
“Inspector Montalbano is back with six all new, richly Sicilian episodes drawing on the novels and short stories of Andrea Camilleri. Operating in his childhood home of Vigata, the young Inspector is joined by the characters that will support him all his life: Fazio Senior and Fazio Junior, Domenico Mimi Augello and the young and exceedingly eager Officer Catarella. In a Sicilian world of close-knit families, deception, great passion and cool-minded murder, Michele Riondino stars as Young Montalbano in the second series of this acclaimed TV drama.” (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageCreed.
“Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of deceased world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, has boxing in his blood. Looking to win his own title, Adonis heads to Philadelphia and convinces his father’s rival-turned-friend, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), to train him – even as Rocky battles his own deadly opponent outside the ring. Now Adonis has a shot, but first he must develop the heart of a true fighter in this new chapter of the Rocky story from critically acclaimed director Ryan Coogler.” (Product Description, synopsis, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageIn the heart of the sea.
“In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. This story reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBorn to dance.
“Tu Kaea has the chance to audition for K-Crew, the best hip hop crew in the country, but he has to go behind the backs of his home crew and his best friend Benjy. Things get even more complicated when he starts falling for Sasha, the girlfriend of K-Crews leader. When Tus old crew and new crew clash, he has to make a decision that will change his life forever. Caught between who he is and who he wants to be, Tu must find the strength to make his own breaks.”(Container)

cover imageStar wars. The Force awakens.
“As Kylo Ren and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing when the galaxy needs him most. It’s up to Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe Wrecking Crew!
“Profiles the group of Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, who played on many rock and pop hits during the sixties. Gifted, versatile, and possessing the knack for turning a simple tune into something memorable, the Wrecking Crew were the players who turned the Wall of Sound in Phil Spector’s head into a reality, and helped Brian Wilson create the musical vision that would redefine California pop. The Wrecking Crew also backed up everyone from Sonny and Cher and the Monkees to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, but while they became legends in the music business, they were all but unknown to the millions of people who made their records some of the biggest hits of the day.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Our choice of new DVDs in April

New movies for April include the smash new Bond film ‘Spectre’, popular Spielberg historical drama ‘Bridge Of Spies’, the final chapter in the Hunger Games franchise, and John Boorman’s sequel to ‘Hope and Glory’, ‘Queen & country’; while new TV shows include the latest seasons of UK crime drama ‘Luther’, enigmatic French supernatural series ‘The Returned’, popular period piece ‘The Village’, and the latest instalment in the on-going ‘Game Of Thrones’ saga.

cover imageBridge of spies.
“Directed by three-time Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg BRIDGE OF SPIES is the story of James Donovan (Two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks), an insurance claims lawyer from Brooklyn who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War when the CIA enlists his support to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe hunger games. Mockingjay, Part 2.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings the franchise to its powerful final chapter in which Katniss Everdeen realises the stakes are no longer just for survival–they are for the future. With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends–including Gale, Finnick and Peeta –Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her… ” (Adapted from product description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageGrandma.
“Elle has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle’s granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets. Grandma was nominated for a Golden Globe (Lily Tomlin, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy)” (Product description, Amazon.uk)

cover imageLearning to drive.
“Wendy is a fiery Manhattan author whose husband has just left her for another woman; Darwan is a soft-spoken taxi driver from India on the verge of an arranged marriage. As Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she runs into a barrier common to many lifelong New Yorkers: she’s never learned to drive. When Wendy hires Darwan to teach her, their unlikely friendship awakens them to the joy, humour, and love in starting life anew.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

cover imageLuther. Series 4.
“Still reeling from Ripley’s death, John Luther has left the force and retired to a remote clifftop. When he discovers the one person he still loves might be dead, Luther has one aim – find whoever’s responsible and make them pay. Meanwhile, a savagely intelligent killer is leaving a trail of bodies but no trace of his identity. Luther realises he must return to the job – only he can immerse himself in the killer’s complex psychosis and anticipate his next move. But John’s personal problems are stacking up too, and he will need to compromise his moral code once more.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageQueen & country.
“The sequel to Hope and glory, Bill Rohan is grown up and drafted into the army where he and his best mate battle their snooty superiors on the base and look for love in town.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe returned. Series two.
“Six months have passed since the Returned disappeared into the mountains – Since then, nothing has been heard of them… What the living don’t know is that the Returned have not gone away. Rumours are circulating about the return of the dead, but the authorities don’t take this seriously. A stranger arrives in town; his name is Berg, and he seems to know much more than he lets on. That is when a new wave of resurrections occurs… Featuring original music by cult Scottish band Mogwai…” (adapted from Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe village. Series two.
The Village is a timeless coming-of-age story, told through the nostalgic eyes of one man, Bert Middleton. From lustful first-love and the dramas of war, to a father’s hard lessons and a mother’s love; Bert has seen it all. The Great War is over but what kind of England has won? Now in a world of boom and bust, motor cars and the Charleston, the twenties bring a blast of energy and freedom to the village; as the outside world continues to break down barriers, bringing with it big dramas and change.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageDoctor Foster. Series 1 / created by Mike Bartlett
“From the producers of The Honourable Woman. DOCTOR FOSTER is about a small-town doctor, Jenny Foster, a pillar of the community and devoted mother whose life is about to explode. A thrilling roller-coaster journey, the show will examine what it feels like to be betrayed and have your heart broken and – if you threw all caution to the wind – just how far you would go to get your own back?” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageGame of thrones. The complete fifth season.
“Season Five has more ‘water cooler’ moments than any of the previous seasons, with three pivotal episodes at the end of the season that left book-readers guessing.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSpectre.
“A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

Our pick of the new DVDs in March

New DVDs for March include new biopics on hip-hop band N.W.A, gangsters James “Whitey” Bulger & the Kray twins, and aerial athlete Philippe Petit; generation spanning comedy with Robert De Niro & Anne Hathaway; the latest Shakespeare adaptation with Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard; Ridley Scott & Matt Damon’s popular space epic The Martian; and the latest HBO TV series from David Simon, creator of Treme and The Wire.

cover imageDownton Abbey
“Final episode of the award-winning ITV costume drama following the lives and loves of those above and below stairs in an English stately home. In this special, set in late 1925 and early 1926, everyone reunites for Edith and Bertie’s wedding on New Year’s Eve while Anna prepares to give birth. Elsewhere, Carson reveals to his wife that he suffers from a hereditary illness known as the palsy, which makes him question his role at Downton, and Lord Merton tells Isobel about his own illness but retains his desire to marry her. However, his daughter-in-law Amelia keeps Isobel from seeing him. Will the year end happily for those at Downton Abbey?” (amazon.co.uk)

cover imageStraight outta Compton.
“In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. Taking viewers back to where it all began, the film tells the true story of how these cultural rebels-armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent-stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBlack mass.
“In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.” (Amazon.com)

cover imageMacbeth.
“Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. After three witches foretell that Scottish nobleman Macbeth (Fassbender) will be king he becomes obssessed by the idea. Encouraged by his wife Lady Macbeth (Cotillard), his ambition becomes all-consuming and he kills the reigning monarch, King Duncan (David Thewlis). But Macbeth becomes a tyrannical ruler, filled with anxiety over who he can trust… The cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Sean Harris, Paddy Considine and David Hayman.” (amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe intern.
“Ben Whittaker is a 70-year-old widower who has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe Duke of Burgundy.
“In an unnamed European town, in an unspecified year, live Cynthia and Evelyn. Every day Evelyn cycles to Cynthia’s mansion to work as a lowly maid and every day the cruel, vindictive Cynthia inflicts countless sadistic humiliations upon her. But as the days go by and the pair begin to reveal themselves, it soon becomes clear that the humiliation may not all be of Cynthia’s design…Startling, stylish and heady with atmosphere, The Duke of Burgundy is a dazzling exploration of romance, relationships and desire from the multi-award winning director of Berberian Sound Studio.” (amazon.co.uk)

cover imageShow me a hero.
“In an America generations removed from the greatest civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the young mayor of a mid-sized American city is faced with a federal court order that says he must build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his town. His attempt to do so tears the entire city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and, ultimately, destroys the mayor and his political future. From creator David Simon (HBO’s Treme and The Wire) and director Paul Haggis (Crash), the six-part HBO Miniseries presentation Show Me a Hero explores notions of home, race and community through the lives of elected officials, bureaucrats, activists and ordinary citizens in Yonkers, NY.” (amazon.com)

cover imageThe Martian.
“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission.” (amazon.com)

cover imageCrimson Peak.
“When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay— a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) comes a gothic romance masterpiece starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.” (amazon.com)

cover imageLegend.
“Brian Helgeland writes and directs this crime thriller starring Tom Hardy in the dual role of infamous gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray. The film chronicles the Kray twins’ career during the 1950s and ’60s as they tighten their tyrannical rule over London. With Ronnie’s mental stability in question Reggie attempts to keep him under control while embarking on a romance with the beautiful Frances Shea (Emily Browning). Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read (Christopher Eccleston) tries to bring the Krays down.” (amazon.co.uk)

cover imageTangerine.
“It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone, STARLET, “Generation Kill”) hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles.” (amazon.com)

cover imageThe walk.
“Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever walked in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension, and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. THE WALK is a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, but most of all, to the Towers of the World Trade Center.” (amazon.com)

New DVDs for January

Exciting new DVDs include hit movies such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible Rogue Nation and Mr. Holmes. New series of popular TV dramas including The Legacy and Downton Abbey also have been added. Check them out.

cover imageMr. Holmes / a film by Bill Condon.
“In 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe legacy. Season 2 / series creator, Maya Illsøe
“Internationally renowned artist Veronika Gronnegard has lived an eccentric and colourful life since the sixties. The series follows Veronika’s four adult children whose free and chaotic childhood has left its mark on them in very different ways. They live separated from one another until Veronika dies and they gather to wind up the estate. Just before she dies, Veronika leaves the manor to her daughter Signe, who was given up for adoption.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe maze runner. The scorch trials / a Temple Hill/Gotham Group production.
“They may have escaped the maze but Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageDope / a Rick Famuyiwa film.
Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.

119535008Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell. [Season 1]
“JS and MN tells the alternative history of 19th-centruy England, where magic once existed and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norell and Jonathan Strange, who pit their skills against the might of Napoleon, the mythical Raven King and death itself.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageDeathgasm / a film by Jason Lei Howden.
“Brodie is the new kid in town. With a crack-addicted mum and an obsession with all things metal, he doesn’t fit in to his white-bread neighbourhood or with his religious relatives. But when he meets fellow metalhead Zakk while picking through vinyls at the local record store he knows he’s found a mate for life. Together they form a band, Deathgasm, and when they find a mysterious piece of sheet music at the house of their metal hero Rikki Daggers they dedicate themselves to learning to play it…Little did they know, the mystical music is actually a spell to summon malevolent forces, and very soon everyone in the town has been infected by the demon curse. With shades of early Peter Jackson and schlock-horror classics Evil dead and Shaun of the dead, Deathgasm is a blood-soaked, hilarious trip set to killer guitar riffs.” (Container)

cover imageThe man from U.N.C.L.E. / a Guy Ritchie film.
“CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageMission: Impossible. Rogue nation / a Tom Cruise/Bad Robot production.
“With their elite organization shut down by the CIA, agent Ethan Hunt and his team must race against time to stop The Syndicate, a deadly network of rogue operatives turned traitors. To stop this global threat, Ethan must join forces with an elusive, disavowed agent whose loyalty is suspect as he faces his most impossible mission ever.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageEden / a film by Mia Hansen-Løve.
“Paul, a teenager in the underground scene of early-nineties Paris, forms a DJ collective with his friends and together they plunge into the nightlife of sex, drugs, and endless music.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageAnt-Man / Marvel Studios presents.
“Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.” (Syndetics summary)

127174628Downton Abbey. Season six / [created by Julian Fellowes].
“As our time with the Crawleys begins to draw to a close and we see what will finally become of them all, the family, and the servants who work for them, remain inseparably interlinked as they face new challenges and begin forging different paths in a rapidly changing world. Secrets and rifts threaten the unity of the family, while those below stairs continue to naviagte social changes which put their futures in jeopardy.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLast cab to Darwin.
“Michael Caton gives the performance of a lifetime as Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver who when told he doesn’t have long to live, sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms. Along the way he discovers that before you can end your life you have to live it, and to live it, you have to share it. Filled with hope, humour and heart, Last Cab To Darwin takes us on a journey, reminding us that it’s never too late to start living.” (Syndetics summary)