Category: Recent picks

New DVDs in November

The highlights of new arrival DVDs include the long-awaited Wolf Hall, Woman in Gold and Jurassic World. Exciting new DVDs keep coming. Check out our new DVDs here and reserve the items you like.

cover imageWolf Hall.
“It is 1529 and Henry has been married to Katherine of Aragon for 20 years without producing a male heir. Requests to the Pope for an annulment have gone unheeded. The King’s link to Rome, Cardinal Wolsey, has failed his sovereign in only this one matter and as a result his life hangs in the balance. Enter Cromwell – a pragmatic and accomplished negotiator, from humble beginnings and with an enigmatic past. As he walks the corridors of power at the Tudor court, Cromwell must navigate deadly political intrigue, the King’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageWoman in gold.
“Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSpy.
“Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global crisis.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageA royal night out.
A Royal Night Out is a film about one perfect, glorious evening in the lives of two real-life princesses. They are Elizabeth and Margaret Windsor and the night is 8 May 1945, V-E Night. The whole of London is on the streets to celebrate the official end of World War II in Europe. It is known the young princesses, aged 19 and 14, slipped out of the palace to join the communal euphoria and went dancing at the Ritz. They apparently returned to Buckingham Palace just after midnight. Directed by acclaimed UK director Julian Jarrold, A Royal Night Out is an affectionate ‘what-if’ story about the adventures Elizabeth and Margaret might have had on the joyous night that brought the whole of London together.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageJurassic World.
“Twenty-two years following the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now includes a completely functioning dinosaur theme park, as once envisioned by John Hammond. After ten years of operation and decline in visitors, a unique attraction is designed to ignite visitor’s interest, which fails horribly.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBosch. Season one.
“Bosch is relentless, stopping at nothing to bring justice to his victims – even in the face of danger to himself and those he loves. But behind his tireless momentum is a man haunted by his past and struggling to remain loyal to his personal codes. This all comes to a head when the remains of a 13-year-old boy are discovered in the Hollywood Hills. As Bosch becomes consumed with tracking down the murderer, he is forced to confront his own painful childhood, all the while dealing with departmental politics, the prying eyes of the media, and finding himself in court after being accused of wrongfully killing a murder suspect.” (Container)

cover imageThe guest.
“A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageIndian summers.
“Set against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, this epic drama tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India, from both sides of the experience.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBeloved sisters.
“The story of an unconventional romance between two aristocratic sisters and rebellious poet, Friedrich Schiller, who took the European literary world by storm in the late eighteenth century. As the German Enlightenment flourishes in Weimar, vibrant Caroline von Beulwitz finds herself in an unhappy marriage to provide for her mother and shy younger sister Charlotte von Lengefeld. When both sisters fall for an outspoken writer, their desire ignites a journey of shared passion and creativity.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageListen up Philip.
“Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLove is strange.
“After nearly four decades together, Ben and George finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when George loses his job, the couple must sell their apartment and temporarily live apart until they can find an affordable new home. George moves in with two cops who live down stairs while Ben lands in Brooklyn with his nephew, his wife, and their teenage son. While struggling with the pain of separation, they are challenged by the tensions and capricious family dynamics of their new living arrangements.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe heavy water war.
“A six part dramatization of one of the most exciting stories from the Second World War – the Nazis’ efforts to develop an atom bomb and the Allies’ desperate struggle to prevent it from happening. The series starts in Stockholm in 1933 when German scientist Werner Heisenberg is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and is congratulated by his mentor Niels Bohr – a previous Nobel Prize winner. One of the dramatic high points is the daring sabotage mission to blow up the heavy water factory in the Norwegian mountains in 1943. Leading English, Norwegian and German actors portray real life characters and we get to understand their dilemmas and challenges in this epic story, the outcome of which will determine the future of democracy.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLove & mercy.
“An unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era-defining catalog of Wilson’s music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in October

Some movies showcased in this year’s international film festival have already arrived at the library. They are A Most Violent Year, Inherent Vice and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. From last year’s festival, two fantastic documentaries (Dior and I, The Salt of the Earth) and the acclaimed Russian film Leviathan are also available now. Finally, check out the new series of popular TV programmes such as Orphan Black and The Walking Dead.

cover imageMad Max. Fury road.
“A return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky. Haunted by his turbulent past, he believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord with his gangs pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageOrphan black. Series three.
“Two-time Critics Choice Award-winner Tatiana Maslany returns in the pulse-racing third season of Orphan Black. After the shocking discovery of Project Castor, Sarah and her sister clones are left to battle the top-secret military project producing these lethal male clones. At the same time, Sarah tries to track down her missing twin Helena and an ailing Cosima searches for the key to the synthetic sequences that may keep them all alive. But how far are they willing to go to protect each other and their families, and who can they really trust? Orphan Black is back with more adrenaline-charged action, intrigue and suspense than ever before!” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageDior and I.
“A thrilling behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’s highly anticipated first Haute Couture collection as Christian Dior’s new Artistic Director. Beautifully melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with an elegant reverence for the history of Dior, Tcheng’s colorful homage is nothing short of magical.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe walking dead. The complete fifth season.
“Season 5 of The Walking Dead picks up shortly after Season 4 left off, and we follow the people of Terminus as they attempt to find a cure in Washington, D.C. As they begin to lose comrades, the fate of the group becomes unclear. Even more so when they gain new locales and, with them, new conflicts.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLeviathan.
“Kolya lives in a small fishing town near the stunning Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya and his son Roma. The town’s corrupt mayor is determined to take away his business, his house, and his land.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imagePitch perfect. 2.
“The Barden Bellas are back to pitch slap the world. It’s been three years since the Bellas brought their signature vocals, style and attitude to become the first all-female group to win a national title. But when they get banned after a scandal that threatens to derail their last year at Barden, the three-time defending champs worry that this time they’ve lost their harmony for good. The Bellas must fight for their right to win the World Championships of A Cappella in Copenhagen.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageTestament of youth.
“1914. Vera – youthful, free-minded and irrepressible, is determined to sit exams for Oxford, against her conservative parents’ wishes. She is encouraged and inspired by her brother and friends, particularly the brilliant Roland Leighton. Her hopes for Oxford with Roland turn to dust as war is declared and all the young men enlist. Vera gives up her dreams of writing to become a nurse, and as those closest to her perish on the frontlines, she experiences the futility of war… a powerful story of love, war, loss and remembrance.” (Container)

cover imageGeorge Gently. Series 7.
“Inspector George Gently in these feature-length mysteries set in the North East of England during the social upheaval of the 1960s. These episodes follow Gently and his partner as they solve four grisly murders.” (Syndetics summary)

film21159A most violent year.
“The tale of an immigrant and his family trying to live the American Dream and expand their business amidst rampant violence, urban decay, and corrupt city officials during one of the most dangerous years in the city’s history.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe salt of the earth : a journey with Sebastião Salgado.
“For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBetter call Saul. Season one
“From the creators of Breaking Bad comes the critically acclaimed prequel to one of TV’s most successful shows, a dramedy of cinematic quality full of complex, witty dark humor. Set six years before Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) became Walter White’s lawyer, he is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny and more immediately hustling to make ends meet.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageA girl walks home alone at night.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is set in the fictitious locale of Bad City, a stunningly crafted black-and-white world riddled with random events and flawed people that takes its visual cues from Sin City (2005) and the early films of Jim Jarmusch. Sheila Vand stars as The Girl, a sassy loner who roams the streets on a skateboard she stole from a kid. The unsuspecting object of her affections is Arash, a handsome James Dean-type who is dealing with his own family issues. In the off-kilter world they inhabit, a touching and unconventional relationship develops.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageAvengers. Age of Ultron.
“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth₂s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe falling.
“Lydia and Abbie are best friends experiencing a sexual awakening at an English girls’ school. Following a tragedy, a mysterious fainting epidemic threatens the stability of all involved.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageInherent vice.
“Private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin.” (Syndetics summary)

Our pick of the new DVDs in August

Some new DVDs for September include the next entry in the ‘Divergent’ franchise, Noah Baumbach’s new indie comedy ‘While We’re Young’, Steven Soderbergh’s period medical show ‘The Knick’, critically acclaimed UK drama ‘Still Life’, and spooky new TV thriller series ‘Wayward Pines’.

cover imageInsurgent.
“Insurgent, the next gripping action-adventure in the blockbuster Divergent franchise, raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world…”
(adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWhile we’re young.
“Noah Baumbach writes and directs this comedy starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a childless married couple living in New York who befriend a younger and more exciting couple. Fed up of their friends who pressure them into beginning a family of their own, documentary film-maker Josh (Stiller) and wife Cornelia (Watts) meet hipster couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) and start to enjoy the new and refreshing experiences that come with the territory. However, are Jamie and Darby’s motivations for spending time with the older couple as harmless as they seem?” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageSomeone you love.
“World famous singer-songwriter Thomas Jacob is based in Los Angeles. He is a very successful man who has burned a lot of bridges. He lives and breathes music and very little else. When Thomas travels back to Denmark to record a new album with his regular producer, Molly Moe, his grown-up daughter, Julie, shows up with his 11 year-old grandson, Noa, whom Thomas has never met. Soon – and much against his will – Thomas is forced to take care of Noa. Against all odds the two of them slowly begin to connect through music. Then disaster strikes forcing Thomas to realize, that he now has to make a choice that will change his life forever.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageTrash.
“When two trash-picking boys from Rio’s slums find a wallet in amongst the daily detritus of their local dump, little do they imagine that their lives are about to change forever. But when the local police show up, offering a handsome reward for the wallet’s return, the boys realise that what they’ve found must be important. Based on Andy Mulligan’s best-selling novel, Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Wagner Moura and Selton Mello star in this thrilling adventure directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Richard Curtis.” (Rewiews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageAlex of Venice.
“In Chris Messina’s directorial debut, a workaholic attorney, Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is forced to reinvent her life after her husband (Chris Messina) suddenly leaves. While juggling a career case, a young son, and a father (Don Johnson) struggling with the effects of aging, Alex discovers both a vulnerability and inner strength she had not yet tapped into, all while holding her family together.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageCake.
“Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends – even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out. The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper-cum-caretaker, Silvana (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza), who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina (Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick), one of Claire’s fellow chronic-pain group members, prompts another fixation. In pursuing questions about the death of a woman she barely knew, Claire explores the boundaries between life and death, abandonment and heartbreak, danger and salvation. As she inserts herself into the lives of Nina’s husband (Sam Worthington) and the son Nina left behind, Claire just might find salvation.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageThe knick. The complete first season.
“Set in downtown New York in 1900 – The Knick is a groundbreaking new scripted drama from Oscar and Emmy-winning director Steven Soderbergh starring Oscar nominee Clive Owen, who also received a Golden Globe nomination for this series. The Knick centers on the Knickerbocker Hospital (dubbed The Knick), which faces a major upheaval due to poor finances and an exodus of wealthy patients. The one remaining star is Dr. Thackery (played by Clive Owen) who along with the hospital staff of surgeons, nurses and other personnel must struggle to keep both themselves and the hospital going.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageStill life.
“A poignant tale of life, love and the afterlife, Still Life is a tender and witty new drama from Uberto Pasolini, the Oscar-nominated producer of The Full Monty, starring Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur, Happy-Go-Lucky) and Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey). Meticulous and organised to the point of obsession, John May (Marsan) is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized and he is given his final case, John finds himself on a liberating journey of self-discovery that will make him question everything and start living life at last.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageHemlock Grove. Season 1 / created by Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman.
“From executive producer Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) comes the darkly poetic, moving and terrifying hit US series Hemlock Grove. Set deep in the heart of Pennsylvania, a gruesome murder sends shockwaves through the eccentric residents of the mysterious suburb. Whispers follow Roman Godfrey, (Bill Skarsgård), the brooding scion of an aristocratic family headed by the beautiful but formidable Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen, X-Men), and Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron), an enigmatic teenager from the gypsy community who lingers on the edges of the Grove. As the mystery unfolds, the residents are led into the darkest shadows and deepest secrets of the town, their families and themselves where they must confront unspeakable truths and discover why Hemlock Grove is not all that it appears.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageMaggie.
“As a viral pandemic spreads across America, Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) searches for his runaway daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) and finds her in the quarantine wing of a hospital. Wade brings his daughter back home to his family for the short time before the teenager begins a painful metamorphosis. Determined to hold onto his precious daughter as long as he can and refusing to hand her over to the local police Wade edges ever closer to a time where he will have to take matters into his own hands.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWayward Pines.
“Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. What’s wrong with Wayward Pines? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the life he knew, from the husband and father he was, until he must face the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in July

This month’s DVDs include the sequel to the hugely popular comedy ‘The best exotic Marigold Hotel’, and Will Smith con-man thriller ‘Focus’; an adaptation of J.K Rowling’s first novel for adults, the strange but true story of artists Margaret and Walter Keane and the story of ‘The Lost Boys’ from the Sudanese Civil War. Documentaries see the acclaimed zeitgeist story of Edward Snowden ‘CitzenFour’, and TV shows include Afghanistan war drama ‘Our Girl’, and the 2nd season of acclaimed historical crime show ‘Peaky Blinders’.

cover imageThe second best exotic Marigold Hotel.
“Check in again for more love and laughter as new arrival Richard Gere joins an all-star ensemble cast – including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel -returning for this heartwarming sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! Now that his first venture has been proven successful, ever-confident Sonny (Patel) is busy juggling plans for a second resort…as well as his own wedding. But his efforts are constantly hampered by hilarious complications, and in order to pull it all together, he’ll need a little help and encouragement from his resident friends.” (Amazon Reviews, amazon.co.uk)

cover imageCitizenfour.
“2014’s Academy Award winning documentary CITIZENFOUR is a real life international thriller that unfolds by the minute. With unprecedented access, this gripping behind-the-scenes chronicle follows award winning director Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country) and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s remarkable encounters with whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). The documentary not only shows the dangers of governmental surveillance, but makes audiences feel them. After seeing the film, viewers will never think the same way about their phone, e-mail, credit cards, web browser or digital footprint again.” (Editorial review from Amazon.com)

cover imageJupiter ascending.
“Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.” (Synopsis, Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageBig eyes.
“From the Academy Award® winning team that brought you Ed Woods, Big Eyes focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret (Amy Adams) and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Walter Keane became a worldwide celebrity and talk show fixture in the 1950s after he pioneered the mass production of prints of big-eyed kids, and used his marketing savvy to sell them cheaply in hardware stores and gas stations across the country. Unfortunately, he claimed to be the artist. That role was played by Margaret, his shy wife. She generated the paintings from their basement and Walter’s contribution was adding his signature to the bottom. The ruse broke up their marriage and led to a divorce and a dramatic courtroom battle to prove authorship of the paintings.” (Editorial Review from Amazon.com)

cover imageChappie.
“‘Chappie’ is a robot, and the first true artificial intelligence, able to learn and develop as a human does. Some want to study him, and others want to destroy him. Kidnapped from the scientist who created him, Chappie becomes part of a street gang’s dysfunctional surrogate family, who decide that he is too innocent and needs to be toughened up. Meanwhile, there are people hunting for him who believe that artificial intelligence is too unpredictable to be allowed to exist. The latest film from Neill Blomkamp, director of ‘District 9′ and ‘Elysium’, ‘Chappie’ stars Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver.” (Review from Amazon.co.uk)

civer imageFocus.
“Will Smith and Margot Robbie star in this romantic crime comedy. Experienced conman Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) has an affair with the beautiful Jess Barrett (Robbie), an intern he is teaching how to pull off small tricks. After going their separate ways, they meet again three years later and find themselves on opposite sides of the same big con, with Jess now a skilled confidence trickster herself. As they each try to successfully carry out the risky scheme, Nicky’s plans go awry due to the involvement of his former flame. How will they both fare? The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney and BD Wong.” (Rewiew from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe casual vacancy.
“Thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is a dark and moving drama with elements of both comedy and tragedy. When Parish Councilman Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. An English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, Pagford is not what it first seems. What lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war–rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest battle the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Find out in this big series about a small town.” (Review from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe good lie.
“They were known simply as “The Lost Boys”. Orphaned during the Sudanese Civil War, a group of young refugees are given the opportunity to leave their camp and resettle in America. Encountering the modern world for the first time, they develop an unlikely friendship with an employment counsellor (Reese Witherspoon), but they struggle to adjust to their new life and their feelings of guilt about those they left behind.” (Amazon Review Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageOur girl. Series one.
“Following the hit one-off drama which set up the story of one young woman who finds meaning in life by joining the army, Lacey Turner (EastEnders) returns in the role of Molly Dawes in the new five-part series: Our Girl. Hot off the helicopter, Molly finds herself dropped into battle in unpredictable and explosive Afghanistan. Trying to make friends with the hardened soldiers around her and reaching out to the locals some of whom are suspicious, some open and some not to be trusted – but which are which? – Molly faces challenges unlike any she has known before. Life and death situations that are literally life or death for her and her companions. Unexpected and extraordinary, Our Girl takes TV drama into a new world where anything can happen, through the life of one girl, to whom everything will.” (Amazon reviews: Amazon.co.uk)

cover imagePeaky Blinders. Season two.
“Birmingham crime boss Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy, Inception) heads into perilous territory in the second series of Steven Knight’s acclaimed gangster epic. As the 1920s begin to roar, business is booming for the Peaky Blinders gang. Shelby starts to expand his legal and illegal operations. He has his sights set firmly on wider horizons, and the race tracks of the South are calling out for new management. Shelby’s meteoric rise brings him into contact with both the upper echelons of society and astonishing new adversaries from London’s criminal enterprises. All will test him to the core. Featuring a spectacular cast that includes Helen McCrory (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Peaky Blinders – Series 2 is an enthralling tale of ambition, corruption, violence, desire, and above all an extraordinary family living through extraordinary times.” (Amazon Reviews Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageKingsman. The secret service.
“Based upon the acclaimed comic book, the movie tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe homesman.
“Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank), lives a solitary existence in a God-fearing mid-western town. She is designated by members of her church to take back East three women who have lost their minds. On the way from Nebraska to Iowa, where those women will at last find refuge, Mary Bee saves the life of Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), a claim-jumper and outlaw. He agrees to help in her mission through snowstorms and perilous encounters with settlers, Indians and the harshness of the Frontier territory.” (Amazon reviews: Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageEsio Trot.
“Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) lives a quiet retiree’s life, tending to his balcony garden, pottering to the shops and back and secretly being passionately, hopelessly in love with his downstairs neighbour, Mrs Silver (Judi Dench). From their first meeting in a cramped lift he is utterly captivated by her sparkle and warmth, but he regularly fails to tell her this during their neighbourly chats over the balcony. When he finds she is distraught that her beloved tortoise, Alfie, doesn’t appear to be growing, Mr Hoppy spots a chance to make his true love happy, and maybe even get closer to her in the process. When Mr Pringle (Richard Cordery), another neighbour, sets his more lascivious sights on Mrs Silver, Mr Hoppy’s world crumbles. Stoically, he continues with his cunning plan to make Alfie miraculously grow and finally wins his way into Mrs Silver’s heart…” (Adapted from Amazon reviews, amazon.co.uk)

New DVDs for June

As always, a wide variety of DVDs have been added to our collection lately. They include Oscar winner Birdman, and Selma as well as ones based on popular books such as Wild, Fifty Shades of Grey and Still Alice. Movies showcased in last year’s film festival including National Gallery and Force Majeure are also back. Enjoy!

cover image National Gallery.
“Documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman providing the audience with a look inside London’s famous National Gallery. With more than 2000 paintings from the 13th to the 19th century, the National Gallery is the fourth most visited art museum in the world and this documentary gives an insight into the goings-on behind the scenes.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBirdman, or, (the unexpected virtue of ignorance).
“A black comedy story of an actor famous for portraying an iconic superhero as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageFoxcatcher.
“Based on true events, the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageWild.
“After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLilyhammer. Season 2.
“Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a former member of New York’s Italian Mafia, is put in the witness protection programme after testifying in a trial in the United States. Tagliano chooses to start his new life as Norwegian-American immigrant Giovanni Henriksen in the town of Lillyhammer, Norway because he was intrigued by television images of the town during the 1994 Winter Olympics! In season 2, Frank is a successful nightclub owner and more recently, a father of two. His adoption of a Norwegian paternal role is riddled with challenges, which he has to juggle while running his criminal operation. To make matters worse, Frank’s entire past threatens to catch up with him, when his former mob associates learn that he is still alive. The problem is, the more attached Frank grows to Lilyhammer, the more he has to lose.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe one I love.
“The highly anticipated debut feature from acclaimed author Charlie McDowell, The One I Love is an original tale that continues to showcase McDowell’s keen observations of human relationships with a distinct and comedic voice. The One I Love centres on Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), a married couple on the brink of separation. At the urging of their therapist (Ted Danson), they escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to salvage what’s left of their relationship. What starts off as a relaxing and tranquil retreat soon spirals into a dizzyingly bizarre experience that forces the couple to reflect upon the complexities of their troubled partnership. Over the course of a few days, Ethan and Sophie work diligently to rediscover their better selves and embrace the unexpected as everything they once thought was real becomes more and more surreal.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageFifty shades of Grey.
“Ana is an inexperienced college student tasked with interviewing enigmatic billionaire Christian Grey. But what starts as business quickly becomes an unconventional romance. Swept up in Christian’s glamorous lifestyle, Ana soon finds another side to him as she discovers his secrets and explores her own dark desires. What results is a thrilling, all-consuming romance as Christian and Ana test the limits they will go to for their relationship.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageMasters of sex. Season two.
“Having been dismissed by Maternity Hospital, Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) needs a place where he and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) can resume their work. But thanks to their study’s controversial topic – sex – they are forced out of two more hospitals before deciding to open their own clinic. With the seeds of the sexual revolution being sown and the simmering civil rights movement exploding around them, the intimate relationship they started under the guise of their research unravels as the result of Masters’ sudden impotence. With the prospect of treating sexual dysfunction becoming increasingly important to their patients and themselves, at home Masters confronts his wife’s growing disaffection and the unexpected return of his estranged brother, while Johnson faces a crisis of her own when the publicity surrounding their work places the custody of her two children in doubt.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageOrange is the new black. Season two.
“A fierce and funny series that follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) when a crime she committed in her past sends her to an all-women’s prison with an unforgettable and irreverent group of fellow inmates.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageStill Alice.
“Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageSelma.
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s historical struggle to secure voting rights for all people. A dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1964.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageCobain : montage of heck.
“This documentary presents an illuminating and honest portrait of the Nirvana frontman that captures the contradictions that made up his character. With unparalleled insight into the world of the late Nirvana frontman, this documentary will forever change the way fans view Kurt Cobain.” (Syndetics summary)

Popular new DVDs in June

New DVDs for June include biographies of cryptanalyst Alan Turing, British painter J.M.W. Turner & Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini. Also featured are Bill Murray’s hit comedy ‘St. Vincent’ & acclaimed Foreign films ‘Two Days, One Night’ & ‘Winter Sleep’, and for TV junkies we have the latest season of espionage thriller ‘Homeland’.

cover imageThe imitation game.
“During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of “gross indecency”, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.” (Container)

cover imageJimmy’s hall.
“1932. Jimmy Gralton is back home in the Irish countryside after ten years of forced exile in the USA. His widowed mother Alice is happy, Jimmy’s friends are happy, all the young people who enjoy dancing and singing are happy. Which is not the case of Father Sheridan, the local priest, nor of the village squire, nor of Dennis O’Keefe, the chief of the fascists. The reason is simple: Jimmy is a socialist activist. So when the “intruder” reopens the village hall, thus enabling the villagers to gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box, they take a dim view of the whole thing. People who think and unite are difficult to manipulate, aren’t they? From that moment on they will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his “dangerous” hall.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageMr. Turner.
“Explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageUnbroken.
“Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII—only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe interview.
“Action comedy directed by and starring Seth Rogen. When talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) celebrate their 1000th episode of ‘Skylark Tonight’ Aaron voices his concerns over the seemingly trivial content of their programme. When they are informed that the President of North Korea Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is a fan of the show they prepare themselves for the interview of their lives. Before they can board the plane however, CIA Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) knocks on their door requesting their assistance in a current operation that aims to assassinate Kim Jong-un. When they get to North Korea will Dave and Aaron be able to simply ask their questions or will the thrill of being set an assignment by the CIA be too much to resist?” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageExodus : Gods and kings.
“From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageSt. Vincent.
“Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy star in this comedy drama written and directed by Theodore Melfi. Murray plays Vincent, a misanthropic and curmudgeonly old man who becomes responsible for his neighbour Maggie (McCarthy)’s son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Maggie, who has enough on her mind with starting her new job at the hospital while going through divorce proceedings from Oliver’s father, employs Vincent to take care of Oliver after school. Unbeknown to Maggie, Vincent is a heavy drinker and smoker and likes to hang around bars and racetracks in his spare time. But is there more to Vincent than meets the eye?” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageTwo days, one night / a film by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne.
“Academy Award®-winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) is Sandra, a married woman with two children who plans to return to her factory job after a breakdown. However she’s told that she is to be made redundant, while her co-workers will receive a bonus. In order to help her, Sandra’s best friend at work has convinced their boss to hold a vote – do the workers want to save Sandra’s job, or keep their bonus? It is Friday and the vote will be held on Monday – Sandra has the weekend to persuade her workmates to keep her employed, or to sacrifice their bonus they need to make ends meet. Written and directed by two-time Palme d’Or-winning filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and with a commanding performance by Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night is an emotionally resonant drama.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageYou’re not you.
“When an accomplished pianist is diagnosed with the devastating and incurable disease ALS, she hires a directionless young woman who becomes her full-time caregiver. Complete opposites, the strangers form a life changing bond inspiring each other to live life to fullest, while being brought together by the most challenging of circumstances.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe water diviner.
“Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, is an epic adventure set four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey in 1919 to discover the fate of his three sons, reported missing in action. Initially blocked by military bureaucracy, his determination unwavering, he is helped first by the beautiful Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) who owns the hotel he takes in Istanbul, and then by a Turkish Officer who had fought against Connor’s sons. Holding on to hope, Connor and Major Hasan must travel across the war-torn landscape to find the truth, and for Joshua to find his own peace.” (Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWinter sleep.
“Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes, the new film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) is an immersive and provocative drama. Set in the picturesque and striking landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Winter Sleep focuses on a small village, half-empty, in the wintry off-season. The film follows a local celebrity, Aydin, an actor who runs a small hotel with his wife, writes a column for the local newspaper, and is toying with the idea of producing a book on Turkish theatre. With a steady, penetrating gaze reminiscent of that which Ingmar Bergman brought to his chamber pieces, Ceylan cuts through the smug self-image of a man who considers himself of elevated stature, but is ultimately brought face-to-face with who and what he truly is. Awarded the International Critics Prize in Cannes in addition to the Palme d’Or, Winter Sleep is a compelling and hypnotic study of human frailty.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageHomeland. The complete fourth season.
Homeland tells the story of Carrie a bi-polar CIA officer who plays by her own rules. As last season drew to a close, Carrie, pregnant with the late Brody’s baby, got promoted to a new post overseas, while Saul contemplated his future outside of the CIA. Season Four finds Carrie assigned to one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the world, where she is back on the front lines in the war on terror.” (Syndetics summary)

Our pick of new DVDs for May

New TV shows for May include the second season of ‘Broadchurch’, an exciting adaptation of the popular Diana Gabaldon ‘Outlander’ books, the 3rd season of ‘Scandal’ & the landmark drama ‘Gallipoli’ on the centenary year of the battle that shaped the ANZAC legend.
New movies include the final instalment in the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, James Gandolfini’s last role in crime thriller ‘The Drop’, a Cilla Black biopic, singer Stuart Murdoch’s musical feature film ‘God help the girl’, and popular comedy ‘What we did on our holiday’…

cover imageBroadchurch. Series 2.
“Broadchurch: a town in shock, after the revelation of the identity of Danny Latimer’s killer. Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller find themselves drawn back into the case as it goes to court. Ellie, estranged from family and friends, only has Hardy to turn to. But Hardy is a man still haunted by illness and the case he never could solve–Sandbrook… Lives will be thrown under the spotlight, and the deepest secrets laid bare for all to see…” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageOutlander. Season one, Volume one.
“Claire Randall is a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. She is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageHector and the search for happiness.
“…Featuring stunning performances from an all-star cast including Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard and Jean Reno. Hector (Simon Pegg – Shaun of the Dead, The Worlds End, Paul) is an eccentric yet loveable psychiatrist who finds himself at a crossroads in life; his patients just aren t getting any happier and his life is going nowhere. Feeling trapped between his mundane daily routine and his neurotic girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike – Made in Dagenham, Jack Reacher), Hector decides to break away from his sheltered London life and go on a global quest to find out whether happiness truly exists – and more importantly, whether it exists for Hector…” (adapted from Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe hobbit. The battle of the five armies.
“The last of three epic instalments in director Peter Jackson’s prequel to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. In this film, Bilbo, Thorin and the other Dwarves have unintentionally released Smaug from the Lonely Mountain and endangered the residents of Lake-town. Bilbo has to make a difficult decision when Thorin puts his desire to find the royal jewel Arkenstone before his loyalty to his friends. Meanwhile, Gandalf discovers that the evil Sauron has returned, commanding a horde of Orcs to attack the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo and his friends must fight for their survival as five armies meet in battle. The rest of the cast includes Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Christopher Lee.” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageGallipoli.
“The spirit of our nation was forged on the shores of Gallipoli…and in the centenary year of the battle that shaped the ANZAC legend, comes a landmark drama event for every Australian. …As dawn breaks on April 25, 1915, ANZAC troops launch into battle on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. Landing in the dark chaos is 17-year-old Thomas ‘Tolly’ Johnson, who has lied about his age to enlist, his older brother Bevan and their loyal mates. Thrown into the heart of a war they know little about, in a land utterly foreign to them, these brave yet frightened boys endure the next eight months simply trying to stay alive. By the time of the final evacuation, each will have learnt about courage, sacrifice and the importance of mateship.” (adapted from Editorial Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageScandal. The complete third season.
“Forget everything you thought you knew about who to trust… and who to fear. The suspense ratchets up as secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested, and dark truths come to light in ABC’s Scandal. The complete third season. Now, the seemingly invincible “fixer” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) must confront the ultimate challenge: fixing herself. After sifting through her mysterious father’s labyrinth of lies, Olivia’s search for answers about her mother threatens not just national security, but the entire world. Meanwhile, the lives of her “gladiators” — as well as those of the president, his wife and key White House staffers — take sinister, unexpected turns…” (adapted from Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageHinterland. Series 1.
“Richard Harrington (Bleak House) is DCI Tom Mathias, a brilliant, brooding loner newly arrived in this isolated land of mountainous terrain and close-knit villages after 10 years with London’s Metropolitan Police. Mali Harries (Foyle’s War) is smart, hard-working DI Mared Rhys, a local girl who knows Aberystwyth society inside out. Together they confront a series of mystifying murders that ultimately push Mathias to the edge.” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageCilla.
“Priscilla White is a typist from a working class area of Liverpool who dreams of stardom; Bobby Willis is the chancer who ignores the city’s Protestant-Catholic divide to pursue her; Brian Epstein is the young genius who will later guide The Beatles to superstardom. Starring Sheridan Smith Cilla tells the true story of how the lives of these three intertwine to propel Cilla to the top of the charts and beyond… but at a cost… Set to an explosion of 60s music as the ‘Merseybeat’ sounds grips the country, Cilla explores the humble beginnings and little-known early years of a woman who went on to become an iconic TV star and household name.” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe drop.
THE DROP is a crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of Bullhead. Based on a short story from Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageGod help the girl.
“Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the film is about a girl called Eve who is in the hospital dealing with some emotional problems and starts writing songs as a way of getting better. Songwriting becomes her way forward, leading her to the City where she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own. What follows is a story of renaissance over the course of a long, dream-like Summer. God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel [The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore] and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageMy old lady.
“When Mathias Gold arrives at the sumptuous Parisian apartment he inherited from his father, he’s surprised that the property comes with two stubborn live-in tenants who are not required to leave according to an ancient French real estate law. Unable to sell the place, Mathias moves in with the feisty Englishwoman Mathilde and her daughter, Chloe. But as Mathias and Chloe draw increasingly closer, Mathilde unveils a complex labyrinth of secrets that unites the trio in unexpected ways.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBig Hero 6.
“With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, BIG HERO 6 is an action-packed comedy adventure that introduces Baymax, a lovable, personal companion robot, who forms a special bond with robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to Baymax and his diverse group of friends… who transform into a band of unlikely heroes.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageWhat we did on our holiday.
“David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly star in this family comedy written and directed by Andy Hamilton. As Doug, his wife Abi and their three children prepare to travel up to the Scottish Highlands for Doug’s father Gordie’s 75th birthday, they give their children a list of things that are to be kept secret, including the fact that daddy lives in a different house to mummy. While their offspring set about telling Grandpa the ins and outs of their lives down in London, including intimate details of arguments their parents have had, Doug and Abi try to put aside their differences and have an enjoyable weekend.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in April

Our pick of the new DVDs in April include the latest season of ‘Game Of Thrones’; new TV with ‘Mom’, ‘The Honourable Woman’ & ‘Penny Dreadful’; Oscar winning dramas ‘Boyhood’ & ‘Whiplash’; heart-warming English comedy ‘Pride’; and critically acclaimed Foreign films ‘The Lunchbox’ & ‘In Bloom’.

cover imageGame of thrones. The complete fourth season.
“As Season 4 begins, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact in the wake of the Red Wedding slaughter that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses. But can they survive their own egos as well as new and ongoing threats? Meanwhile, an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army; the Lannister-loathing ‘Red Viper of Dorne,’ Oberyn Martell, arrives at King’s Landing for Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell; Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons and unsullied force aim to liberate the largest Slavery City in the east…with long-range plans to take back the Iron Throne; and a depleted Night’s Watch faces the advance of Mance Rayder’s wildling army, who are in turn running from the undead White Walkers.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe lunchbox.
“Trying to add some spice to her marriage, Ila prepares a special lunchbox for her husband at work. Unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another worker, Saajan. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a note in the next day’s lunchbox. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the communication soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their lives.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBoyhood.
“Groundbreaking, award-winning drama directed by Richard Linklater and starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. Filmed over a period of 12 years with the same cast members, the film begins as Olivia (Arquette) moves to Houston, Texas, with her son Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and daughter Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) after the disintegration of her marriage to the children’s father (Hawke). From then on we follow Mason as he progresses from a child to a young man while dealing with his parents’ divorce and the numerous other difficulties of growing up. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, with Arquette taking home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress, and also won three Golden Globes and three BAFTAs.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWhiplash.
“Andrew is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe honourable woman.
“…As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the armed wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Now in her late thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. Ennobled for her campaigning work, the newly made Baroness must fight forces that are conspiring against her as she awards a highly lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman. When he is subsequently killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, The Honourable Woman tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe best of me.
“The story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after twenty years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imagePenny dreadful. The complete first season.
“An erotically charged, profoundly unsettling new saga that completely reinvents literature’s most iconic and terrifying characters. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, and timeless figures from Dracula join a core of original characters in a dark and brutal quest to save a soul, even as they grapple with their own monstrous temptations.” (Syndetics summary)

Cover imageFinding Vivian Maier.
“Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageThe hunger games. Mockingjay, Part 1.
“The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageKill the messenger.
“Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageMom. The complete first season.
“Anna Faris and Emmy® winner Allison Janney star in a new comedy from Chuck Lorre. Anna Faris plays Christy, a single mom whose newly found sobriety has given her the ability to see her life clearly… and she does not like the view. Now she must try to untangle years of reckless decisions in order to make a better life for her and her kids. But she discovers that just because you want to be a better person doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Everywhere she looks there are challenges: She is trying to stop drinking in wine country, have a healthy romance with her unavailable boss, raise her young son to be a good man despite his father’s influence, convince her troubled teenage daughter to make better choices than she did, and, perhaps the most difficult task – forgive her estranged mother, Bonnie, played by Allison Janney, for not giving her any of the tools she needed to handle life in the first place…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imagePride.
“Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageIn bloom.
“Like a bomb triggered to go off, In Bloom builds in the viewer’s gut, a drama coiled to attack. Something is happening in the filmmaking world of Georgia, which hasn’t previously qualified as even a backwater, and this movie is some kind of ultimate statement by writer-director partners Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross (she’s Georgian, he’s German). Its triumph exactly a year ago at the Berlin Film Festival was a bolt out of the blue, with a finely chiseled narrative of tween pals Eka (Lika Babluani) and Natia (Mariam Bokeria) trying to keep the wolves of the 1992 Georgian civil war away from their previously peaceful Tblisi doorsteps. But the movie shows how impossible this is, and that wolves will have their way. The childhood innocence in the eyes of Babluani and Bokeria melts away as they’re forced to make terrible choices, the bubble of girlhood punctured by huge social forces. The movie never, ever makes a wrong move, and many sequences are as good as anything in recent cinema…” (Adapted from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageOlive Kitteridge.
“Frances McDormand stars as the eponymous character in this miniseries adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s novel. Set in the fictional town of Crosby, Maine, the story takes place over 25 years and follows Olive Kitteridge, a depressed high school maths teacher, who has good intentions despite her harsh exterior. She is supported by her husband Henry (Richard Jenkins), a kindhearted pharmacist, while their son Christopher (Devin Druid/John Gallagher, Jr.) grows resentful towards his mother. The series captures different periods of Olive’s life and her interactions with the other townspeople. The cast includes Zoe Kazan, Bill Murray, Rosemarie DeWitt and Martha Wainwright…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Our pick of the new DVDs in March

This month we feature the third season of Golden Globe-winning HBO comedy drama ‘Girls’; the heart warming New Zealand doco ‘Hip hop-eration’ – in which 24 nonagenarians perform in Las Vegas – and film adaptations of best selling novels with Jonas Jonasson’s hilarious Swedish comedy ‘The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window & Disappeared’, Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ & S.J Watson’s ‘Before I Go To Sleep’.

cover imageGone girl.
“On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behaviour have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? Based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn.” (from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageHip hop-eration.
“These senior citizens may each be almost a century young, but for Kara, (94) Maynie, (95) and Terri (93), the journey to Las Vegas and the World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life’s journey. Along with twenty-four other nonagenarians they defy the odds and hip-hop their way into the hearts and minds of thousands of young fans from around the world. Led by their exuberant and ‘I must have been mad’, manager Billie Jordan they learn to throw away their wheelchairs and walking sticks and push their bodies and artificial joints to the absolute limits of old age. “You’re all going …even if it’s in an urn,” she tells them. Their stories are a reminder of our history as a nation and the joy of living life to the fullest.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe equalizer.
“McCall (Denzel Washington) has put his mysterious past behind him and is dedicated to living a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.” (from Editorial Reviews, www.amazon.com)

cover imageGet on up : the James Brown story.
“Nobody ever taught him the rules. So he was destined from the start to break them. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of James Brown (Chadwick Boseman),taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.” (from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageGirls. The complete third season.
“All 12 episodes from the third season of the Golden Globe-winning HBO comedy drama following a group of 20-something women in New York. In this season, Hannah receives some disappointing news regarding her book deal and has a fall out with Adam’s sarcastic sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffmann); Jessa attempts to get over her drug addiction in rehab; Marnie struggles to cope after breaking up with her ex for the second time; and Shoshanna and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) go their separate ways.” (from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageA long way down.
“Adapted from the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby (About A Boy), the heartwarming A Long Way Down follows four strangers who meet by chance on New Year’s Eve when they are each facing the same life changing decision. When Martin (Pierce Brosnan; Mama Mia!), Maureen (Toni Collette; The Way Way Back), J.J. (Aaron Paul; TV’s Breaking Bad) and Jess (Imogen Poots; Filth) find themselves at a desperate crossroads, they form an unlikely friendship in order to help one another weather the difficulties of life.” (from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageVera. Series four.
“The indomitable DCI Vera Stanhope, assisted by her trusted colleague, DS Joe Ashworth, steps up for another series of challenging cases. She investigates the mysterious death of a pensioner on a busy commuter train (On Harbour Street), unearths a thirty year mystery after a brutal murder on the sands of a seaside resort (Protected), unpicks the tragic last months of a failed novelist gunned down on a remote Northumberland moor (The Deer Hunters), and delves into the tangled life of a businessman found floating in the water under the Gateshead Millennium Bridge (Death of a Family Man).” (from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe hundred year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.
“Swedish adventure comedy based on Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling novel. Despite having reached his 100th birthday, Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) still has a sharp mind. Keen to avoid the party that his retirement home have organised for him, Allan climbs out of his bedroom window and begins an escapade featuring criminals and a stash of drug money. Allan, however, is not new to adventure – during his lifetime he was involved with many significant events which changed the course of history and became associated with world leaders and other notable figures along the way.” (from Reviews Amazon.co.uk.)

cover imageThe judge.
“David Dobkin directs this Academy Award-nominated comedy drama starring Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr as an estranged father and son. Hotshot lawyer Henry ‘Hank’ Palmer (Downey Jr) receives the devastating news that his mother has died. He returns to his home town in Indiana for her funeral, meaning he must also come face-to-face with his father Judge Joseph ‘Joe’ Palmer (Duvall), with whom he has a troubled relationship. The situation becomes even more difficult when Hank learns that his father is to be put on trial for murder. Hank searches for answers while defending the judge in court against prosecutor Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton). Through the course of the trial father and son reconnect but can Hank win the case and prevent Joe from going to prison?” (Product Description from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageBefore I go to sleep.
“Christine (Nicole Kidman, The Others) wakes up next to a man (Colin Firth, The King’s Speech) she does not recognise. Panic stricken, he slowly explains that he is her husband, and that she suffered a terrible accident that has given her amnesia. Every morning, Christine wakes up a stranger, and every night her memories fade into nothing. With the help of Dr Nasch (Mark Strong, The Imitation Game), Christine is trying to regain her memory. That is, until one day, when new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her, and what really happened to her on the day of her accident… (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imagePeaky Blinders. Season one.
“Peaky Blinders is an epic gangster drama set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s. Britain in 1919 is a tumultuous mix of despair and hedonism, a nation cleaned out by the extravagances of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly-minted revolutionaries and criminal gangs all fight for survival in an industrial landscape gripped by economic upheaval. Thomas Shelby and his family run the most feared and powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders. Named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, they make money from illegal betting, protection and the black market. But Tommy’s ambitions go beyond running the streets, and when a crate of guns goes missing from an arms factory, he recognises an opportunity to move up in the world…” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe fall. Series 2.
“BBC Two’s highest rated drama series in ten years, The Fall, returns for Series 2. Following Series 1′s gripping cliff-hanger, Gillian Anderson returns as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, on the trail of serial murderer Paul Spector played by Jamie Dornan. With Gibson still in pursuit of Spector, a personal link from Spector’s past opens up some clues for Gibson but provokes Spector in a way that threatens to jeopardise the whole investigation. Gibson is forced to take ever greater risks and the closer she comes to capturing him, the more Spector trespasses into her private world, delighting in taunting and provoking her. As the net gradually tightens around him he becomes psychologically ever more dangerous and destructive.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New DVDs in February

New DVDs in January include some book-to-screen adaptations, with James Dashner’s dystopian YA novel ‘The Maze Runner’; John Le Carre’s German spy drama ‘A most wanted man’, and Ann Cleeves’ ‘Shetland’. Also this month new movies with Scarlett Johansson as Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’, Marion Cotillard in ‘The Immigrant’, and Michael Douglas & Diane Keaton in the over-50’s crowd pleaser ‘And so it goes’. New TV shows include ‘The Goldbergs’ & the pirate drama ‘Black Sails’…

cover imageThe maze runner.
“When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a groups of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organisation known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based on the best-selling novel by James Dasnher.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk.)

cover imageA most wanted man.
“The city of Hamburg is in a state of high alert after numerous terrorist plots with all the key players locked in a tight battle. Into this complex game of international politics comes Karpov, a Chechnyan refugee suspected of being part of a terrorist organisation and Annabel Richter, a passionate human rights lawyer. Little do they know that they are simple pawns in a much deadlier game than they could have imagined in this tense thriller from the best-selling author John Le Carré.” (In Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageLucy.
“Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman star in this sci-fi action thriller written and directed by Luc Besson. Johansson stars as the titular heroine who finds herself caught up in the dodgy dealings of the Taiwanese mob while living in Taipei. Forced into becoming a smuggler, she is drugged before a package is inserted into her stomach for safe transit. Lucy is then severely beaten for protesting her situation which results in the package bursting inside her and leaking into her bloodstream. As the drug takes over her body, Lucy becomes capable of using a higher brain capacity than humans are naturally accustomed to which makes her able to use telekinesis and absorb knowledge rapidly. Meanwhile, neurological scientist Professor Norman (Freeman) takes an interest in Lucy’s evolution as she takes revenge on those responsible for her extraordinary transformation and evades those who wish to harness her powers for their own ends.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageShetland.
“Created from the novels by award winning crime writer Ann Cleeves (Vera), Shetland follows Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they investigate crime within the close knit island community. In this isolated and sometimes inhospitable environment, the team have to rely on a uniquely resourceful style of policing. Set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape, Shetland is based on the best selling books Red Bones, Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning.” (adapted from Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageThe immigrant.
“In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe Crimson field / a BBC Drama production.
“In a British base hospital near the front, a team of doctors, nurses and VADs are working together to heal the bodies and souls of the men in their care. This hospital on the coast of France is a frontier between two worlds: between the trenches and the home front, between the old rules, regulations, hierarchies, class distinctions and a new way of thinking. Written by Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist) and starring Oona Chaplin (The Hour), Hermione Norris (Spooks), Suranne Jones (Scott and Bailey), Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey), Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave) and Marianne Oldham (WPC 56) this is the story of World War One’s front line medics…” (adapted from Product Description Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverBlack sails. The complete first season / created by Jonathane Steinberg & Robert Levine.
“1715. New Providence Island is a lawless territory, controlled by notorious pirate captains. The most feared is Captain Flint. As the British Navy returns to exterminate Flint and his crew, another side of him emerges. He allies himself with Eleanor Guthrie, daughter of the local kingpin, to ensure their survival. Many opponents stand in their way: rival captains; Eleanor’s father; and John Silver, recently recruited onto Flint’s crew, who constantly undermines his captain’s agenda.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageInto the storm.
“In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe Goldbergs. The complete first season.
“Reagan was in the White House, the malls were filled with New Wave fashionistas, and the Goldbergs were living large in the ’80s. Documenting his hilariously combative, yet loving family with a video camera nearly as big as he is, eleven-year-old geek Adam is witness to all kinds of insanity from his over-protective, over-the-top mom, quick-tempered dad, rebellious sister, high-strung brother, and super suave grandfather.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe code. Season one.
“Stretching from the spectacular red desert of Australia’s outback to the cool corridors of power in Canberra, this series tells the story of two very different brothers who unearth information those at the highest levels of political power will kill to keep secret. Ned and Jesse Banks – one, a young internet journalist, the other a troubled hacker – are gifted a poisoned chalice when a phone video of an outback accident arrives in their inbox. The decision to dig deeper drags the brothers into the darkest heart of politics, and the web of black marketeers and the international agencies who monitor and manipulate them. The question is just how far those in authority will go to keep their explosive secret safe. And just how far the two brothers will go to reveal the truth.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageAnd so it goes.
“Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton star in this comedy directed by Rob Reiner. Selfish, egocentric real estate agent Oren (Douglas)’s whole life changes when he gets an unexpected knock at the door: his estranged son arrives at the house with a daughter he knew nothing about, and he unassumingly takes on the role of granddad. Realising he has no idea how to take care of a child, he accepts the help of his caring neighbour Leah (Keaton). As Oren slowly learns how to love and care for another human being, his self-centred lifestyle begins to take a backseat.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageFelony.
“Malcolm Toohey (35) is a committed husband and father and a smart detective who’s not afraid to put his body on the line. During a major drug bust he takes a shot in his bullet-proof vest. That night, his Drugs Squad rowdily celebrate their success and Malcolm’s courage, at the local pub, and although Malcolm has been drinking, he takes the chance of driving his car home. Then, everyone’s worst nightmare occurs. While driving on a quiet street near the break of dawn, he clips a young newspaper boy, knocking him from his bike and leaving him critically injured on the road. The little boy clings to life but when the police and ambulance arrive on the scene, Malcolm gives voice to the lie that will change the course of his life.” (Syndetics summary)


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