What would it be like to be a kid in the future? Amy Zuckerman and James Daly attempt to answer that question.
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
How many times do you have just a few crafts left after story time or make-it take-it crafts? How about putting them out in the Craft Box? We've got some Presidents' Day masks out right now.
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+
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown From Miss Angie at Crestview and Plymouth Branches
“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+
Today we celebrate the 2015 Youth Media Award Winners, including the Caldecott and Newbery Medals.
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+
Blizzard by John Rocco From Miss Melia at Main Library
Having thoroughly enjoyed Dolphin Tale (the true story of Winter, a rescued dolphin who receives a prosthetic tail), I was excited to watch her continuing story in Dolphin Tale 2, which starred the original cast members Nathan Gamble as Sawyer (the boy who bonded with Winter) and Harry Connick Jr. as Dr. Clay Haskett (who heads the rescue and rehab team at Clearwater Marina). In this adventure, we find the marina thriving as a tourist attraction and animal rehab facility with Winter as the main exhibit, but sadly when Winter loses her pool companion, she becomes depressed and refuses to interact with others or even wear her prosthetic tail. USDA regulations state that a dolphin must have a companion, which means she will be moved to another marina if one cannot be found for her, and this is very troubling to Sawyer, who is also facing personal issues of his own. While I found the sequel to be as enjoyable as the original with its wholesome, inspiring storyline, and lessons about determination after set-back and doing the right thing, the film spends a lot of time showing the minute details of the job of a marine biologist and I think this causes the movie to move a little slowly. The animal antics are really fun to watch though and I especially enjoyed the pelican named Rufus. Overall Rating: A-
Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is a thriller centered around a seemingly perfect love between Nick and Amy Dunne (played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) that turned hostile, toxic, and possibly murderous. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears from their home in Missouri, leaving behind a suspicious looking “crime scene” and enough bizarre clues to paint her husband Nick as the prime suspect in her disappearance and possible murder. Nick insists he is innocent, but as the days pass with no sign of Amy, information surfaces that Nick has been unfaithful and short-tempered in their marriage, adding to the appearance of his guilt. Just when you think you have it figured out, the plot takes another turn, adding to the suspense, and keeping you engaged all the way to the end. While I feel that the book provided more details about the story and the relationships between the characters than the movie did, the cast and the acting brought the story to life for me and had me hooked from the beginning. Overall Rating: A
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
Being a die-hard Denzel Washington fan, I was anticipating seeing him star in this 2014 film version of The Equalizer, which is a re-vamp of the T.V. series from the late 1980’s. The movie starts out a little slow showing McCall (Denzel Washington) as a mysterious man living a normal quiet life until he meets Teri, a teenage girl that is being mishandled by Russian gangsters, and he decides that he cannot sit by any longer. With his set of formidable skills, McCall’s desire for justice is awakened. I really enjoyed the movie for the action, but beware: there are quite a few violent, bloody, and gory parts in this film. Although I did like the movie, I can say there were also a few corny, predictable parts that they could have left out of an action-packed, thriller movie. I would recommend this to anyone who loves action-thriller films, and, even though it was not one of the best movies of Denzel Washington’s career, it still gets my thumbs up. Overall Rating: B+
Nature lovers, bird lovers and bird watchers across the country annually celebrate National Bird Day on January 5th.
Dylan O'Brien stars as Thomas, an amnesiac youth who awakens in a green valley surrounded by a band of boys. An impenetrable, menacing, immense, towering, maze encircles the youth who live in a dystopian society, a way of life that Thomas soon rebels against. The film, although based on a teen novel, appeals to all ages, due to its intriguing developments. The pace of the story and the audio effects were very good, while the special effects were okay. The Maze Runner’s closing needed an overhaul; however, the rest of the film was flawless. Overall Rating: B+
Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root From Miss Carole at Main Library
Cuban Fury is the story of Bruce Garrett, a mild-mannered engineer who was once a salsa-dancing child prodigy until a run-in with a group of bullies convinced him to burn his dancing shoes. When Bruce discovers the fact that his beautiful new boss, Julia, loves salsa dancing, he decides to slip on his dancing heels and sequined shirts once again in an effort to win her affections and defeat his slimy co-worker who has also set his sights on Julia. Some of the highlights of this film are the actors involved – Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, and Kayvan Novak are real standouts, while Rashida Jones, Ian McShane, and Olivia Colman are wonderful but sadly under-utilized. The dance sequences are flashy and fun and the dance-off between Bruce and his rival, played by O’Dowd, which takes place in the office parking garage is downright hilarious. This is a feel-good story about an overweight underdog who finds his “corazon” or heart, gets the girl, and sets the dance floor on fire in the process. Overall Rating: B
'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
When I sat down to watch The Guardians of the Galaxy, I had high expectations for the film considering all of the great reviews I had heard, but I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with my level of enjoyment. The movie did have some humorous parts, I admit, and there were a few moments that were especially touching, but I never got as engaged in the storyline as I hoped I would, possibly because I wasn’t familiar with any of the Marvel characters in the film or because I typically don’t watch science fiction. However, I did appreciate the repeated theme of what true friendship is and means. One of my very favorite parts of the film, though, was the inclusion of music in the actual storyline: Unlike many films that use their soundtracks as merely background music, Guardians of the Galaxy allows its soundtrack (“Awesome Mix Vol. 1”) to weave in and out of the storyline, adding another layer of interest to the film, especially for those who enjoy music from the 1960s and 70s. In the end, I will probably watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 when it is released in 2017, but I’m not sure if I will need a repeat of Guardians until that time. Overall Rating: B-
It's December, which means our annual Gingerbread Houses program is back!
Book Review: Baking Day at Grandma's by Anika Denise
Today we celebrate the birthday of a true master of mystery & suspense, Mary Downing Hahn!
With all of the hype surrounding the release of country duo Florida Georgia Line’s second album Anything Goes, I must admit that I was underwhelmed and disappointed after listening to it. There is only one song on the album that I like enough to listen to multiple times, and that is “Dirt”, which is already being played on country radio. Most of the other songs sounded very similar musically, and I had to fight the urge to skip tracks without hearing them all the way through because of the monotony. In my opinion they rely too much on lyrics that don’t make sense, as well as unnecessary clichés throughout (including the track titled “Angel” during which they actually sing the line “Did it hurt when you fell from the sky?”). It appears that with all of their recent success and popularity in the modern country music world, Florida Georgia Line may have been too rushed to release their next album, resulting in an overall boring and repetitive collection of songs that surely will not be as popular as their first album. Overall rating: D