Happy Birthday, Ann M. Martin!
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
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 didnâ€™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, itâ€™s a fun family movie, not really memorable, but worth bringing home for the kids. Overall Rating: B
SLP has finished, but what else can you do this summer at the library? Find out here!
â€™71 stars Jack Oâ€™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 soldierâ€™s journey alone through the streets of Belfast, trying to figure out who he can trust â€“ 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 â€“ 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 Hookâ€™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
Where has the summer gone? It's been a great summer here at the library!
Jalani and the Lock by Lorenzo Pace From Miss Melanie at Main Library
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 canâ€™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 Davidâ€™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
Here is a great idea for making your own superhero comic!
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 Eloiseâ€™s (Jillian Estell) opposing family members conspire to viciously air each otherâ€™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 judgeâ€™s final decision. The early events in the movie were realistic; however, the ending was Hollywood.Overall Rating: B-
Community Helpers Story Time Starter
Happy Birthday, Patricia Polacco!
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. Itâ€™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-
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton and Don Tate
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...a super hero!
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 didnâ€™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 movieâ€™s content. All-in-all, Iâ€™m sure there is an audience for this film, but Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t waste my money to see it in theaters. Overall Rating: D
Florence Nightingale by Demi
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 wonâ€™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, â€śAre we in Mexico?â€ť 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 McFarlandâ€™s top runner Thomas, â€śNice shorts Dudeâ€ť. Thomas replied, â€śYou play golf?â€ť Competitor said, â€śYesâ€ť to which Thomas replied, â€śThis ainâ€™t golf!â€ť 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+
Celebrate Audiobook Appreciation Month by listening to an audiobook today!
Father's Day crafts for kids to make
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+
Superhero story time starter
Focus, Will Smithâ€™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-
In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
Author & Illustrator Spotlight: Jarret J. Krosoczka
â€śThe Boy Next Doorâ€ť 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 sonâ€™s friendship, while she also engages in a harmless flirtation with Noah in the beginning. Well, one night, Claire and Noahâ€™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 Claireâ€™s life if itâ€™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
Summer is here at the library! Join us for SLP 2015, "Every Hero Has a Story."
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 Shakespeareâ€™s "A Midsummer Nightâ€™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
Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
Happy Birthday, Candace Fleming!