Movie and Music Reviews

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The Royals - The Complete First Season

By Jill - AV   |  August 28, 2015

The Royals is the first scripted series produced by E! Television, the station that gives you the latest news about celebrity scandals and the continuing adventures of the Kardashians. It seems fitting then that this new series about a fictional British royal family is filled with characters who lie, drink, hook up with strangers, do drugs, plot murders, blackmail each other and the servants, and generally carry on like rock stars who can’t quite escape being caught on film as they misbehave. The queen (Elizabeth Hurley) and her younger children (William Moseley and Alexandra Park) are such a disappointment to the king (Vincent Regan), that he asks Parliament to dissolve the monarchy after the sudden death of his older son. King Simon is trying to save his family, but he throws their entire lives into chaos, and the queen aided by the king’s evil brother (Jake Maskall) plot to keep their royal lifestyle intact. This series combine camp and over-the-top drama for a fun rollercoaster ride of a show. Elizabeth Hurley is brilliant as the scheming queen and the casting of Joan Collins as her equally ambitious mother is the cherry on top of this royal sundae.Overall Rating: B

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

By Allison - AV   |  August 21, 2015

Before sitting down to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, featuring Kevin James in the lead role, a friend said to me, “Hopefully, this is a good, old-fashioned, funny movie.” When the same friend leaned over later and whispered “Only 15 more minutes left!”, I realized I wasn’t the only person who felt a little let down by the film. Throughout the movie, James’ character could only be described as “over the top”. Every action and interaction was exaggerated to be funny, which actually made it less funny and more annoying. The storyline was too coincidental for my tastes (What are the chances that art thieves would be at the same casino at the same time as a Security Officers convention?) and there were enough gaps and inconsistencies to make me wonder how much the producers were really paying attention as the film came together. However, in spite of it all, the film did have underlying themes of loyalty and the importance of family, and the thoroughly PG humor would probably appeal to pre-teens. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 isn’t necessarily a movie I would recommend, but it might be a good choice for a family pizza night.Overall Rating: C-

5 Flights Up

By Pam - AV   |  August 14, 2015

Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton play Alex and Ruth Carver, an elderly couple who have decided at the urging of their niece, Lily (Cynthia Nixon), a real estate agent to list their apartment and move to another location with an elevator. Through the use of flashbacks, viewers get a look at life events that have shaped Alex and Ruth’s relationship. Claire van der Boom and Korey Jackson deliver a solid performance portraying a young Ruth and Alex. The chemistry between Freeman and Keaton is superb. Cynthia Nixon’s character, Lily is annoying as are many of the people who come through their open house. Zoe, a young girl whose mother drags her to all of the open houses in the area is played by Sterling Jerins and is the one bright spot in the parade of people. I expected more from a movie starring Freeman and Keaton, and was disappointed by the slow movement of the film. Overall Rating: C

Home

By Amy - AV   |  August 7, 2015

Home, the newest animated feature from DreamWorks Entertainment, is an adventure tale about a lovable misfit alien named Oh, (Jim Parsons) and his friendship with the lonely and courageous Tip, (Rihanna). Oh finds himself on the run from his own people, the Boovs, purple aliens who have taken over the Earth, while Tip, who managed to escape the invasion, is desperately trying to find her mother, Lucy, (Jennifer Lopez). The Boovs are led by the arrogant Captain Smek, (Steve Martin), who thinks the best way to solve any problem is to run away! The Gorgs, the aliens the Boovs are hiding from, are now threatening the Earth and only Oh can save the planet from destruction. The movie includes great music and teaches important lessons about loyalty, family, and being yourself. Kids will enjoy it, but I didn’t feel it was the kind of film that would draw in adults. Jim Parsons is great as Oh, his character is a lot like his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper but sweeter, and the character of Tip is refreshing, as she is much more realistic than your average animated heroin. All in all, it’s a fun family movie, not really memorable, but worth bringing home for the kids. Overall Rating: B

'71

By Angie - AV   |  July 31, 2015

’71 stars Jack O’Connell as young British soldier Gary Hook who is accidentally abandoned by his unit during some intense, violent riots in Belfast in 1971. The movie takes place over the course of one night as you follow the soldier’s journey alone through the streets of Belfast, trying to figure out who he can trust – who is friend versus enemy, even among his so-called comrades. This action-thriller is intense at times, and depicts the real struggle between the Catholic and Protestant forces in Northern Ireland during a very troubled period in their history. (The storyline never picks a side though – it just shows the devastation caused when 2 groups are at war within the same town.) The movie can be a bit confusing at times though, as you try to keep characters straight and you yourself try to figure out who Hook’s friends and foes are. I would also recommend watching this with the subtitles turned on, as the dialogue can be difficult to understand at times. Overall Rating: B

Project Almanac

By Melinda - AV   |  July 24, 2015

This sci-fi, thriller stars Jonny Weston who plays David Raskin, a high school senior who loves science and whose dream is to attend MIT. As he awaits for his dream to un-fold, David comes across an odd instance that he can’t explain from an old video camera in his attic. While trying to make sense of all this, him and his friends discover in his basement the blueprints to a secret time machine that his late father had been constructing but did not get a chance to complete. David and his friends have this genius idea to finish what David’s father had started. As the group begins to experiment with this mysterious time machine that they believe is amazingly going to change their pasts for the better, it inadvertently ends up making them fear the future. If you enjoy sci-fi, action, suspense, and romance this is a great movie to see! Overall Rating: B

Black or White

By Darla - AV   |  July 17, 2015

In this provocative film, Kevin Costner stars as Elliot - a white, Los Angeles, maternal grandfather and recent widower - embroiled in a custody battle with a black, paternal grandmother, Rowena - played by Octavia Spencer - over his charming granddaughter that he has raised from birth. In the custody hearings, the granddaughter Eloise’s (Jillian Estell) opposing family members conspire to viciously air each other’s dirty laundry. Alcohol abuse, substance abuse, class differences, and stereotypes of people are brought to the limelight, both inside and outside the courtroom; not a soul comes out smelling like roses. Key family members face off, hours before the family court judge’s final decision. The early events in the movie were realistic; however, the ending was Hollywood.Overall Rating: B-

Seventh Son

By Jill - AV   |  July 10, 2015

A century after she was imprisoned by the witch hunter Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), the evil Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) has regained her powers thanks to the rising Blood Moon. When she kills his apprentice, Gregory must begin training Tom (Ben Barnes), a farm boy, who has inherited certain powers as the seventh son of a seventh son. Together they will have to defeat not only a coven of shape-shifting witches who follow Malkin, but her half-human niece, Alice, who has fallen in love with Tom. This film has some great visual effects and gorgeous costumes, but the story, loosely based on a young adult book series, is rather predictable and flat. It’s still worth watching for the campy performance of Oscar winner Moore as Malkin, but her reunion with Bridges, her Big Lebowski co-star, is spoiled by his ridiculous accent (think drunken Gandalf with a mouthful of marbles).Overall grade: B-

Get Hard

By Allison - AV   |  July 3, 2015

I thought that Get Hard, a prison comedy starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell, looked like a funny movie, but all of my good humor was lost very early in the film. From the onset, I didn’t appreciate the sex, stereotyping, and various racist and homophobic remarks that the film seemed to showcase and, because the storyline was predictable, I found myself losing interest as the movie progressed. Throughout the film, Hart and Ferrell tried too hard to be funny, and I was disappointed to note that many of the funniest parts were shown in the two official trailers. In an effort to find a redeeming feature of the film, I searched the internet for someone with a higher opinion of Get Hard, but, somewhat unsurprisingly, I was unable to find anyone with a positive opinion of the movie’s content. All-in-all, I’m sure there is an audience for this film, but I’m glad I didn’t waste my money to see it in theaters. Overall Rating: D

McFarland, USA

By Pam - AV   |  June 26, 2015

Kevin Costner and cast do not disappoint in McFarland USA, a movie based on a true story about Jim White (Kevin Costner) a high school teacher & coach who takes a job at a predominately Latino high school in McFarland, CA. Hired as a PE teacher and Assistant Football Coach, he soon realizes the football team won’t amount to much, but sees potential in a handful of students who can run like the wind. One of the challenges facing Coach White is how to reach his students and their families. His wife and daughters face their own challenge in adjusting to life in a town where one of his daughters asks on moving day, “Are we in Mexico?” One of my favorite scenes in the movie takes place at the starting line of an invitational meet, when one of the competitors said to McFarland’s top runner Thomas, “Nice shorts Dude”. Thomas replied, “You play golf?” Competitor said, “Yes” to which Thomas replied, “This ain’t golf!” Be sure to watch the bonus features where Kevin Costner is joined by Coach Jim White and the men who were part of the first McFarland Cross Country Team. Overall Rating: A+

Kingsman: The Secret Service

By Amy - AV   |  June 19, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service is an action-packed spy thriller based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar, which stars Colin Firth as Galahad/Harry and Taron Egerton as Eggsy as part of an all-star cast that also includes Michael Cain, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Hamill. The movie is about a super-secret gentleman's spy organization and it's recruitment of a young delinquent who, along with the other characters, must foil the plot of the evil Richmond Valentine (Jackson) and save the world. This movie had a lot of potential and I was very excited to see it, thinking it would be similar to a James Bond film, but with Colin Firth's cool demeanor and dark humor, but I was actually quite disappointed because the film played more like an ultra-violent, unrealistic video game. I will say the movie is laugh-out-loud funny at times and I really enjoyed Samuel L. Jackson as the villain, but it is definitely not family-friendly due to the over-the-top violence and very strong language. This is one of those movies that's really a matter of personal taste; it was entertaining enough, but I was not wowed. Overall Rating: C+

Focus

By Angie - AV   |  June 12, 2015

Focus, Will Smith’s latest feature film, centers around veteran con-man, Nicky, and his female counterpart, Jess (played by Margot Robbie) as they swindle their way through New Orleans and beyond. Although Smith plays in both comedies and dramas, Focus really encompasses the best of both worlds: I went back and forth between sitting on the edge of my seat and laughing out loud several times during the feature. I also enjoyed trying to figure out which characters were conning each other before the storyline gave it away! Throughout, the acting was fantastic, the costumes were beautiful, and the storyline was engaging, albeit a bit unbelievable at times. Certainly worth a second viewing, this film would appeal to anyone who enjoys a twisting plot and a good laugh. Overall Rating: A-

The Boy Next Door

By Melinda - AV   |  June 5, 2015

“The Boy Next Door” stars Jennifer Lopez who plays Claire Peterson, a lonely, separated, high-school English teacher that becomes intrigued by her handsome and charming new neighbor Noah (Ryan Guzman). Claire encourages Noah and her teenage son’s friendship, while she also engages in a harmless flirtation with Noah in the beginning. Well, one night, Claire and Noah’s harmless relationship spirals into a steamy, seductive affair, and Claire wakes up the next morning realizing that she has made a horrible mistake and wants to end her relationship with Noah, but unfortunately Noah does not see it her way. Noah then becomes obsessed with Claire and his obsession turns violent and escalates to destroying Claire’s life if it’s the last thing he does! All in all, I enjoyed this movie, despite a few over the top scenes, but, if you enjoy thrillers as much as I do, this film is for you. Overall Rating: B

Strange Magic

By Darla - AV   |  May 29, 2015

Strange Magic is a family, animated, musical film that takes place in a magical forest, full of singing fairies, all manner of goblins, affable elves, a rascally imp, and talking mushrooms. I expected the story line, penned by George Lucas to be solid, instead I found the plot simple, and was surprised instead to find this Glee-like motion picture to be one long karaoke, full of songs from the last several decades. Two fairy princesses, Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood), and Dawn (voiced by Meredith Anne Bull), have misadventures in their quest to discover true love in this film that is loosely based on Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." The kaleidoscopic animation detail is striking in one of the singing sequences. I recommend this film to the young at heart, to children, to lovers of fairies, and to musical fans; however, if you are looking for Shakespeare, you should skip this film. Overall Rating: C

The Rewrite

By Jill - AV   |  May 23, 2015

The Rewrite stars Hugh Grant as Keith Michaels, a one-hit wonder of a Hollywood screenwriter who reluctantly accepts a teaching position in New York when no one will hire him any longer in L.A. As soon as he arrives on campus, Mr. Michaels begins an inappropriate relationship with a student, gets drunk at a faculty party, and offends the resident Jane Austen expert and head of the ethics committee played by the brilliant Allison Janney. This role is a very familiar one for Hugh Grant – he seems to always play a loveable cad with a twinkle in his eye, and the audience knows that it will just take the affection of a good woman to redeem him. That woman, played here by Marisa Tomei, is a single mother who has gone back to school to rewrite her own story and that of her two daughters. The ending is a foregone conclusion as the script never offers more than a few very funny moments and no surprises, but the excellent cast (including a hilariously sentimental J.K. Simmons) saves the film from being truly awful.Overall Rating: C

Spare Parts (2015)

By Allison - AV   |  May 15, 2015

Based on a true story, Spare Parts describes the journey of four undocumented Mexican boys who, with the help of their substitute teacher (George Lopez), enter an underwater robotics competition. Despite overwhelming odds and an underwhelming budget, Oscar, Christian, Lorenzo, Luis, and “Stinky” (the robot) defeat the reigning champion MIT in this remarkable underdog story. Throughout the film, the boys are faced with numerous hardships, including the difficulties of attending a poverty-stricken high school, being part of families faced with the danger of deportation, and the issues that come from not having an American birth certificate. However, the film also highlights the themes of hope, teamwork, and the importance of doing your best, even if the odds are against you. Overall, Spare Parts was an exceptional, family-friendly film that I would recommend to viewers of all ages. (Also available at the library is Underwater Dreams, a documentary directed by Mary Mazzio that tells the real story of these boys who accomplish what no one thought was possible.) Overall Rating: A

Jekyll + Hyde by Zac Brown Band **

By Pam - AV   |  May 8, 2015

My initial reaction to Zac Brown Band’s newest album Jekyll + Hyde was disappointment. The album is a showcase for what is clearly a versatile group of musicians; but going from the country sound of “Homegrown” to the big band sound of “Mango Tree” to the hard rock sound of “Heavy is the Head” was disconcerting. However “Beautiful Drug”, “Loving You Easy”, “Homegrown”, “Bittersweet” and “Tomorrow Never Comes (Acoustic version)” are a few favorites. Zac Brown Band always includes one song on an album that they didn’t write, and “Dress Blues” written by Jason Isbell about a young husband, father and Marine who was killed in the Middle East was their choice. There is something for everyone on this album, and perhaps after a few more listens, it will grow on me. Overall Rating: B-

Big Eyes

By Amy - AV   |  May 1, 2015

Big Eyes is based on the true story of artist Margaret Keane, played by Amy Adams, and depicts the events of one of the biggest art frauds in history. After leaving her husband, Margaret struggles as a single mother until she meets Walter Keane, (Christoph Waltz) a slick salesman and wannabe artist, whom she marries and subsequently allows to take credit for her much-loved paintings of children with large eerie eyes. In that time period, the 1950s and 1960s, woman were taken less seriously in the art world and struggled in general in the workforce, (this is evident when Margaret goes on a job interview and the man behind the desk asks her if her husband has given her permission to work.) Margaret must deal with the lie that has taken over her life and its consequences, which include a troubled relationship with her daughter, and eventually a widely-publicized legal battle. The movies pace is a little slow and from a modern-day perspective Margaret’s meek behavior can be annoying at times, however, it is an entertaining film and worth watching. Overall Rating: B-

Unbroken

By Angie - AV   |  April 24, 2015

Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, follows the life of Louis Zamperini (played by Jack O’Connell) from troublesome child, to high school track star, to Olympic athlete, to a soldier fighting in Japan during World War II. After a near fatal plane crash, Louis and his surviving crew members manage to survive on a raft in the middle of the ocean for an astounding 47 days, only to be captured by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. As to be expected during a time of war, the conditions of the camp are brutal and deplorable, making it difficult to watch at times knowing that this is completely based on real-life events. Louis Zamperini is a fighter and hero in every sense of the word, never giving up regardless of his situation, and consistently putting the well-being of others ahead of himself. He lived by the motto “If I can take it, I can make it,” and he certainly proved himself to be a resilient man who truly could not be broken, even among the most terrible of circumstances. Overall Rating: A

Annie (2014)

By Melinda - AV   |  April 17, 2015

The 2014 comedy-musical rendition of “Annie” is a modernized version about 10-year-old Annie Bennett (played by Quvenzhané Wallis). Annie is a foster child that lives with her calculating foster mother Colleen Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) in Harlem. Annie’s dream is to find her biological parents, but in the meantime, she crosses paths with a hard-nosed billionaire and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who has been coaxed by his campaign advisors to befriend Annie and let her move in with him to help him win the mayoral election. Well, during their time together, Annie steals the heart of Will Stacks and the happily-ever-after story unfolds for foster child Annie after all. This movie had great actors in it that could sing, dance, make you laugh and even tear up from time to time. I really enjoyed this movie and I would recommend this movie to people of all ages. Overall Rating: A-

Interstellar

By Darla - AV   |  April 10, 2015

This intriguing film begins in the future, where an old woman disclosed the life of her affectionate father Coop (Matthew McConaughey), both an engineer and a pilot who became a farmer in an environmentally damaged, drab, dusty earth. Events catapulted Coop back into using his previous skills as a pilot, with some assistance from his ten year old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy). The scenes in this 168-minute science fiction film moved back and forth in time; in some scenes, Coop and Amelia Brand’s (Anne Hathaway) space exploring crew traveled through a wormhole to find a planet habitable to earthlings, and were met with obstacles, while other scenes occurred on the ruined earth. Themes of loss and regret flowed through the film; McConaughey particularly captured the disquiet of Coop. I was endeared with the interactions of the characters in the film, whether the interactions occurred between the explorers and their earthbound families, or between the explorers and their robotics. Overall Rating: B

Into the Woods

By Jill - AV   |  April 3, 2015

This film version of the Tony Award-winning musical, Into the Woods, reimagines the work of the talented Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine (who was born in Mansfield) in a slightly more Disney fashion. The story follows a childless baker and his wife who cross paths with several classic fairytale characters – Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack - as they try to undo the curse laid upon them by the evil Witch next door. Every character in the story longs for and receives a particular “happily ever after”, but the main theme of the story is to be careful what you wish for. Highlights of the film are the performances by the leads including Meryl Streep as the Witch, James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and his wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, and a surprisingly hilarious Chris Pine as her Prince who claims he was “raised to be charming, not sincere.” The gorgeous costumes and brilliant set designs compliment the terrific cast whose vocal skills are well up to the task of Sondheim’s tricky score. Overall Rating: A-(Once you have watched the Disney film version be sure to check out the live stage version filmed as an episode of American Playhouse with the original Broadway cast – it includes some great songs that were cut from the new film.)

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

By Pam - AV   |  March 20, 2015

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is the third and final film of the series. The ancient tablet of Ahkmenrah, which originally brought the museum exhibits to life, is corroding and is losing its power. Larry Daley, night guard at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History has Dr. McPhee arrange a trip for Larry, Ahkmenrah and the tablet to the British Museum to ask Ahkmenrah’s parents what can be done to save the magic. When Larry and his son Nick are smuggled into the British Museum by Ahkmenrah, they discover a few friends have made the journey as well and so the adventure begins! The movie has an interesting plot, funny dialogue, and memorable performances by Ben Stiller as caveman Laaa, Rebel Wilson as the British Museum night guard, and Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt in one of his last screen appearances. Overall Rating: B+

Birdman

By Amy - AV   |  March 13, 2015

This year’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture is Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson, an actor who is beyond his prime and is hoping to revive his career with a leading role in his own Broadway production. The movie, which is filmed in long, one-shot sequences, brings us into Thompson’s tortured world as he tries to deal with his past, his relationships, and the chaotic and frantic pace of the theater. In the film, Thompson is plagued by self-doubt (which literally follows him around in the form of Birdman, his past iconic superhero role), and also by his need to be loved by the public. The story, which at times is dark and confusing, and weaves in and out of reality, has its comedic moments and will keep you guessing and truly invested in its characters. The acting is superb (supporting actors Edward Norton and Emma Stone are amazing), and if you enjoy intense human drama, you will definitely like Birdman. Overall Rating: B

Lucy

By Angie - AV   |  March 6, 2015

In this Sci-Fi thriller, the title character Lucy (played by Scarlett Johansson) gets caught up in a drug deal that turns into a nightmare for her: a bag containing a powerful, synthetic drug is inserted into her abdomen and she is being used to smuggle the drug into a foreign country. The plan changes when the bag containing the drug bursts, leaking it directly into her body, and Lucy decides to get revenge on her captors. The story follows the effects of the drug on the human mind, and the unimaginable changes and super-human powers that occur to a person when their mind is unlocked beyond the standard 10 percent that the average person uses. While the storyline can definitely be seen as far-fetched, I have to admit that it is interesting to consider that there is an “unlocked” portion of our mind and explore the possibilities that come as this potential is reached. This film kept me interested to the very end, wanting to know what happened next as Lucy inched closer and closer to unlocking her mind’s full potential. Overall Rating: A-

Get On Up

By Melinda - AV   |  February 27, 2015

Get On Up is about the life story of James Brown (played by Chadwick Boseman), the legendary Godfather of Soul. This film tells us about Brown’s rise from extreme poverty, abandonment, abuse, and being in jail as a young adolescent and how he was able to overcome all of his life struggles and still follow his dream to be a singer. Brown began his music career joining an R& B group known as the “The Famous Flames”. From there, Brown’s music career took off with many twists and turns and he became known as one of the most loved, iconic, and influential entertainers of the 20th century. I really enjoyed this movie and it kept me entertained. The movie has great energy and music and it will make you want to “get on up” and dance. Overall Rating: A-

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

By Darla - AV   |  February 20, 2015

Isao Takahata directed the Tale of The Princess Kaguya, a Studio Ghibli film of the famous character, the beautiful and mysterious Kaguya; the film is based on the folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Princess Kaguya is voiced by Aki Asakura and Chloe Grace Moretz. This anime folktale relates the lives of a rural, elderly couple who strive to raise their adopted daughter, Kaguya to be a refined princess, in order to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. A morality theme runs through the story, when choices made by Kaguya affect many people in her life, for better or for worse. The dreamy animation is splashed with water colors from the Edo period, and the flying action sequences are mesmerizing. The entire family will enjoy this enchanting tale, but be aware there is brief nudity in the film (a nursing child and nude toddler.) Overall Rating: A

The Drop

By Jill - AV   |  February 14, 2015

The Drop is the story of Marv - a middle-aged, wannabe mobster - and his cousin Bob who works for him at a Brooklyn neighborhood bar that serves as a front or “drop” site for the Chechen mob. A series of seemingly random events including a late night robbery at the bar and the rescue of an abused puppy bring the two men some unwanted attention from Chechen mobsters and the puppy’s former owner turned stalker. Dennis Lehane, who wrote the screenplay based on his short story, Animal Rescue, clearly knows how to slowly ratchet up the simmering tension until a shocking revelation builds to an explosive climax. Fans of the late James Gandolfini will not want to miss his excellent final performance as Marv. The real star of the film, however, is Tom Hardy who brilliantly brings the quietly observant Bob to life and slowly reveals the character’s hidden depths. Overall Rating: B+

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling

By Fate - AV   |  February 6, 2015

“Shatter Me” is the second CD by this artist – following her self-titled “Lindsey Stirling” – and is a perfect example of her amazing talent. Lindsey is a violinist/fiddler who began her lessons at a very early age, and was classically trained. She also wanted to be a dancer, but her parents could only afford one or the other, and she chose the violin – dancing came later. She is also a composer and much of her music is of her creation. Listening to “Shatter Me” is unlike hearing anything you have heard from the violin before: It is enchanting, uplifting, catchy, and addicting. If you would like to take the Lindsey Stirling experience to another level, start up your computer and go to YouTube and enter her name: “Shatter Me” is there and showcases her abilities with the violin and her dancing both. And yes, she does play the instrument during her dancing. She worked long and hard to develop this talent, and it is so phenomenal that you are certain to watch her other videos for more fun and enjoyment. Look for this excellent 12 song CD at call number 787.2 S861. Overall Rating: A+

Greatest Hits So Far... by Zac Brown Band

By Pam - AV   |  January 30, 2015

Critics have described the music of the Zac Brown Band as a mix of mainstream country, easy going pop and jam band vibes. This album features 11 #1 hits including four songs from “Uncaged”, the album that won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Country Album. The album contains a great collection of songs from the soulful “Goodbye in Her Eyes”, to the Latin flavor of “Jump Right In”, to “As She’s Walking Away”, which won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals featuring Alan Jackson. If I had to choose my favorite songs on this album, I would choose “Chicken Fried”, a feel good song about the little things in life that make us happy; “Toes”, a song that has a Caribbean feel that makes me want to jump on a plane to a faraway island paradise; “Colder Weather” a song with beautiful harmony in the chorus; and “Goodbye in Her Eyes”. The title of the album suggests to me that the Zac Brown Band plans to be entertaining us for many years to come. Download or stream the album through Hoopla, our digital resource for music, movies, television and audiobooks, or check out the music cd. Overall rating: A+

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