I knew that Captain America: Civil War would bring action to the screen; I was not disappointed. One thing I appreciated about this action film, was seeing some of the minor superheroes, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in meatier roles. Of course, Captain America (Chris Evans) drove the story, when he went to the assistance of his old friend Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) who became a wanted man, because of devastating deeds he had committed. The division in the superheroes ranks exploded into an epic battle, when Tony Starks (Robert Downey Jr.), influenced by both political pressure and his own guilt over past events, agreed to help arrest the Winter Soldier. The climax of the film happened unexpectedly, and made you wonder if the team could overcome their differences. The story was well written, and moved forward at a steady pace. Overall Rating: A
Dog stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for a pawesome story time!
September is National Children's Good Manners Month!
The movie â€śThe Bossâ€ť had a talented cast of actors: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, and Kathy Bates. The plot line follows Michelle Darnell (played by Melissa), from the height of her successful business career to her quick fall from grace after she is sent to prison for insider trading. Once released from prison Michelle has to rebuild her life, and the only person who will give her a chance is Claire, her former assistant played by Kristen Bell. Tired of supporting Michelle, Claire forces her to take on some responsibilities, namely helping out with Claireâ€™s tween aged daughter, Rachel. Michelle ends up going to a Dandelion meeting where the idea of her future business occurs. The Dandelions have cookies; Michelle has brownies. The recipe for the brownies belongs to Claire, and the two of them begin to rebuild Michelle Darnellâ€™s climb up the corporate ladder. Turf war breaks out between the two groups; with physical battles, and F bombs flying. This type of humor continues throughout the movie and with tween aged kids involved, I thought it missed the mark of being funny. The end of the movie was just as silly, Michelle sold her rights to the company to her former lover/business partner Renault, played by Peter Dinklage, after she misinterprets Claireâ€™s meeting with Renault. A plot to get the secret recipe back from Renault results in a ninja style fight that just seemed so out of place for this movie. The Boss had great potential but missed the mark for me. Overall Rating: C
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan
A Hologram for the King centers around failed salesman Alan Clay â€“ played by Tom Hanks â€“ who goes to Saudi Arabia to try to sell his companyâ€™s new holographic telecommunication system to the monarch. While the premise of the story focuses around the business deal, the movie itself largely focuses on Clay, his experiences with the Saudi Arabian culture, and how life doesnâ€™t always go according to plan. Comedic elements are dispersed throughout the film, and the story has a feel-good ending despite the numerous challenges Alan faces. From beginning to end, I enjoyed the film: The acting was excellent, the set and scenery were authentic-looking, and the attention to detail was impressive. (One of the special features on the DVD expounds on this attention to detail and is worth watching as well.) All in all, A Hologram for the King was a job well done. Overall Rating: A-
Saturday was the Heart of the City Cruise-In downtown at Central Park in Mansfield. Here's the craft we made!
Dreams Rewired is a German and Austrian produced, award-winning essay documentary that uses rare, pre-1940 archival film footage to show how our current cultural obsession with technology and communication isnâ€™t so new. Before Facebook and Twitter there was the telephone, wireless radios, early cinemas and television. The film shows how the nostalgia some feel for the â€śdisconnectednessâ€ť of the past is misplaced. Feelings of fear and anxiety over how technology changes the way we communicate happen with each generation. Tilda Swinton provides the narration of the essay. The film is worth watching solely for her ethereal and hypnotic voiceover. History fans and lovers of old films will enjoy the hundreds of archival footage clips. My main criticism of the film is that the clips are shown in rapid succession, and I found that to be a bit jarring. Overall, I enjoyed this documentary. It certainly left me with a lot to think about. Overall Rating : A
We love pigs and we want to share some fun books and activities for story time!
By accident, I came across some music by Muse a few years ago and quickly became a fan. As purchaser of music for the library at the time, I added albums that seemed appropriate. I had not heard anything new from this British rock band for quite some time, so I was pleased when "Drones" came out recently. It is their 7th album, and our copy includes a DVD video with the CD. "Drones" won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, and it has been #1 or in the top 5 of music charts worldwide. So is it that good? Well, if you like solid rock & roll, an appealing voice from the lead singer (Matt Bellamy), and a variety of selections from intense to smooth, yes, this is a very good, listenable album. Overall Rating: A
Alphaprints: ABC by Roger Priddy
It's National Tell a Joke Day!
Computers are amazing machines but how do they work? What tells them what to do?
The Library has several databases that will help students learn more about the world and complete assignments. Take a look at our database page for students and homework at: http://www.mrcpl.org/research/subjects/students-and-homework
What is your best tip for teachers at the beginning of the school year? What do you do to start the year off right?
Puppy Pool Party! : An Underwater Dogs Adventure by Seth Casteel
Miracles from Heaven is a true inspiring story about having hope and faith of the Beam Family. Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) is a young, 10 year old girl who is diagnosed with a rare, incurable stomach disease that leaves her unable to digest food. Despite the odds, her mother Christy Beam (played by Jennifer Garner) relentlessly searches for medical expertise far away from home to save her daughterâ€™s life. With unanswered questions, and little hope left after much time, Anna returns home to be with her loving family and unfortunately has a freak accident. After her dramatic rescue and recovery, Anna unfolds an amazing story to her family and community about her visit to heaven and her amazing experience. During this story, you will be filled with an array of emotions and by the end you will know where there is hope there is faith, and where there is faith MIRACLES do happen!! This was an amazing story and I recommend everyone to see it! It is now on my favorite movies list! Overall Rating: A+
Help us wish a happy birthday to Sherri Rinker!
Another wonderful review from Miss Melanie
Hail, Caesar! starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, as well as appearances by several other big names, is a new comedy-drama by the Coen brothers. This film was very hard to review because itâ€™s one of those movies that leaves you scratching your head. I canâ€™t say whether I liked or disliked this movie. The story follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix (Brolin) who works as a â€śfixerâ€ť for a major studio during Hollywoodâ€™s golden age. When one of his movie stars goes missing (Clooney) he must deal with that, as well as a host of other unrelated issues such as a singing cowboy who canâ€™t speak; an unwed, pregnant actress; and an uptight, testy director. Heâ€™s also dealing with his own guilt over whether or not to change jobs to have more time with his family. There is a lot going on in this movie which makes the story a bit hard to follow and, to some, may feel pointless. The characters are likable however, which saved it for me, and there are a few quite bizarre and unexpected scenes that were really hilarious. Overall Rating: C
A wrap-up of SLP 2016
Not too long ago, bikers, military veterans, and prisoners were associated with tattoos. But today, many people from other walks of life sport tattoos proudly. Why did tattoos become so popular, and who is responsible for bringing tattoos to the mainstream? This documentary answers those questions and covers the history of tattoos in the United States from the 1960s to the first two decades of the 21st century. Rivalries and camaraderie, custom work to flash work, black and grey to color, and Japanese style to Chicano style are some of the topics that will be explained in this enlightening film. Tattoo competition winners, Edward â€śChucoâ€ť Caballero and David Oropeza, and prominent Tattooists, Jack Rudy, Freddy Negrete, and Charlie Cartwright gave revealing interviews about their experiences in the tattoo world. This historical, tattoo culture film is informative and entertaining. Overall Rating: A+
Books, rhymes, music, and crafts that make you want to dance!
The Olympics are coming, and we have some great crafts and activities for you!
Lily and the Octopus - written by Steven Rowley, narrated by Michael Urie I wasnâ€™t sure what this book was about other than a dog that had an octopus on its head, but the title was so intriguing that I couldnâ€™t resist listening to it. The story that unfolded was an insightful look at life through the eyes of a devoted pet owner, Ted, and his elderly dog, Lily. A bit of whimsy is included as the dog speaks English and so does the octopus. Ted, Lilyâ€™s owner, must grapple with the difficult decisions that come with an aging pet. As he makes these decisions about Lily, Ted also examines the difficulties in his own relationships with humans. Once the options for Lily become clear, so do some of the solutions for Tedâ€™s personal dilemmas. Life decisions are difficult and, for anyone who has owned a beloved pet, this book with its unique title will suck you in and remind you why people love and fight to hold onto those they donâ€™t want to lose. While the narration was a bit lacking in variation between characters, and at first I did not like the voice of Lily, by the middle of the book the narration was much improved. I enjoyed listening to this debut novel and would read the next available book by this author. For digital resource users, this title is available through 3M Cloud and Overdrive as e-audio and e-books. Overall Rating: A
Miss Melanie shares a touching biography about Vincent Van Gogh
Produced by the legendary J. J. Abrams, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a topsy-turvy film that keeps viewers guessing until the very end. Michelle, the filmâ€™s leading lady (portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), wakes up after a car accident to find herself in an underground bunker with two men, Howard and Emmett (played by John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., respectively). Howard has told Michelle that she cannot leave due to chemical and/or nuclear attacks that have been happening in the area, and she spends the majority of the movie trying to figure out whether or not she trusts him. (I must admit, I also spent the majority of the film trying to figure out the same thing.) There were so many twists and turns that, by the end, I was tired of trying to guess what was coming next. In addition, the film left several of my questions unanswered and abandoned any closure by setting up a potential sequel during the closing scene. On the positive side, the acting was very good, and the soundtrack fulfilled its role by complementing the storyline well. Overall, I think the film will appeal to Sci-Fi lovers and J. J. Abrams fans, but I have no desire to ever see it again. Overall Rating: C+
Meet the man who made our SLP theme!
Race recounts the true story of legendary athlete Jesse Owensâ€™ journey to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. While there, he won four Olympic Gold medals and broke several world records. The film begins with Jesse (Stephan James) leaving Cleveland, Ohio to attend college at Ohio State University. There he meets Coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis). After a rather intense first conversation, Jesse and Coach Snyder get on with the business of training Jesse to be the best athlete that he can beâ€”the Buckeye Bullet, the fastest man in the world. Jesse almost did not attend the 1936 Olympics. Because of the Nazisâ€™ treatment of the Jews & non-Aryan races, there was a question whether or not the United States would even send athletes to Berlin. In the end the American Olympic Committee voted by a narrow margin to attend the games in Berlin. Then a representative from the N.A.A.C.P. met with Jesse and his family trying to dissuade him from attending the Games. The conversation between the man from the N.A.A.C.P and Jesse is one of my favorite parts of the film. Jesse asked the man from the N.A.A.C. P. if he was a runner. The man answers, "Not competitively." Jesse replies, â€śOut there, there ainâ€™t no black and white, thereâ€™s only fast and slow. Nothing matters, not color, not money, not even hate. For those 10 seconds you are completely free.â€ť Race portrays what life was like in the 1930â€™s for blacks. It is a celebration of determination and perseverance. If you are looking for an inspiring, feel-good movie, I would suggest watching Race. Overall Rating: B++
SLP is halfway over, and Discover Tech is only here for 1 more week!