HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Arrival

arrivalArrival

When does your story begin? When does your story end? In Arrival, linguistics expert Louise Banks is called upon for the consultation of her life when 12 alien vessels mysteriously appear over different nations, all offering periodic access to their spacecraft and the opportunity to speak to the inhabitants within. What Louise discovers over the bucolic fields of Montana are beings with a physiology so different from humans and a language so complex that at any moment they could be one poor translation away from a world – or even intergalactic – war. As global powers jockey for advantage over one another, Louise races to understand the intentions of our strange visitors.

Arrival is based on the short story The Story of Your Life (in Stories of Your Life and Others) by Ted Chiang. Both are available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Captain Fantastic

captain fantasticBen and Leslie, disillusioned with American life, have eschewed capitalism and technology in favour of raising their six kids in the Washington wilderness teaching survival skills and philosophy. When Leslie suddenly dies, her family tries to keep Ben from attending her funeral and exercising his wife’s final wishes. The family travels to the city to crash the funeral – the children’s first exposure to the modern life that Ben and his late wife rejected. As the kids are wooed by the more enticing aspects of modern life, and Ben defends his parenting decisions, can the family withstand the forces that threaten to tear them apart?

Captain Fantastic stars Viggo Mortensen as Ben leading a talented ensemble cast. It is one of this year’s Those Other Movies selections and is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Money Monster

money-monsterFlamboyant TV financial analyst Lee Gates (George Clooney) is in the middle of filming his rapid-fire show Money Monster when a disgruntled investor Kyle (Jack O’Connell) arrives on the set with a gun and a vest laden with explosives. Now Gates is wearing that vest and having to explain to Kyle while his sure-thing investment advice failed spectacularly when the IBIS Clear Capital stock he recommended tanked, and the CEO of the company, Walt Camby (Dominic West) – due to have a softball interview on the show – is nowhere to be found. All this is happening on live television, and it’s up to Gates and his director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) to keep the cameras rolling and uncover the underhanded dealings of IBIS Clear Capital before Kyle makes an example of Gates in the ultimate episode of reality television.

Money Monster is available on DVD at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Ghostbusters (2016)

ghostbustersWhen physicist Erin Gilbert discovers a book she had co-authored about ghosts has been reprinted and might jeopardize her tenure at Columbia, she is reunited with Abby Yates who has continued her pursuit of the paranormal with eccentric engineer Jillian Holtzmann. The trio’s encounter with an apparition at a museum is recorded and goes viral, terminating Erin’s dreams of tenure but rekindling her passion in seeking out and studying ghosts. They are joined by transit worker Patty Tolan after her own close encounter with a ghost on the subway line, and begin to realize that New York City may have a bigger ghost problem than officials want to admit – and are determined to find out who is behind it.

With a stellar comic cast including Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, this reboot of the 1980’s favourite also features cameos by original Ghostbusters cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts. Ghostbusters is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Suffragette

suffragetteIt is 1912 and 24-year old Maud Watts is working in a laundry under grueling conditions, contending with dangerous machinery, scalding chemicals, and the leering advances of her boss. But the laundry has become a hotbed of the women’s suffrage movement and Maud soon quietly joins her coworkers in the effort to secure women’s right to vote. When the opportunity to speaking in front of Parliament arises, but fails to fulfill their goal, Maud’s determination is awakened and she joins the fight in earnest. But after being caught in a riot, is arrested, and subsequently outed publically as a suffragette, Maud loses her job and is estranged from her family. But Maud refuses to quit, and continues to fight for the cause despite the tragedy that looms.

Suffragette is a historical drama inspired by true events that took place during the women’s suffrage movement in the UK starring Cary Mulligan as Maud, and also featuring Helena Bonham Carter and Maryl Streep. It is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times.

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: The Little Prince

the-little-princeWhen an ambitious mother tries to get her daughter into the prestigious Werth Academy, her life plan leaves little time for play and imagination. When the little girl and her mother move into a new neighborhood to be closer to her prospective school, the little girl soon meets the mysterious old aviator who has an incredible story to tell. After crashing his plane in the Sahara desert, the aviator encountered the Little Prince, who lived on a planet scarcely bigger than himself and who was in need of a friend. The aviator regales the little girl with stories of the Little Prince, his adventures among the stars, his need for a sheep to stop the baobab trees from taking over his tiny home of Asteroid B612, and the rose that broke his heart. But when little girl’s mother finds out she has been shirking her studies, she forbids her from visiting the aviator. With the aviator losing hope that he will ever find the Little Prince again, and the little girl more convinced than ever that he can be found, she embarks on an adventure beyond her wildest imagination.

The Little Prince is an animated feature that pays homage to the classic tale by Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and reminds us why this story about growing up too fast and losing our imaginative spark is still relevant over 70 years later. The DVD and the book are available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo/Minden Times

HCPL’s DVD of the Month: Cake

cakeCake

Claire suffers from chronic pain, struggling with dependence on painkillers that keep her functional, and therapies that aren’t quite helping. When Nina, a member of her chronic pain support group, commits suicide Claire becomes obsessed with the details and insinuates herself into the life of Nina’s grieving husband, Roy. As the two get to know each other, Claire begins to confront the source of her incredible pain. With the help of Roy and Claire’s long suffering housekeeper, Silvana, it begins to look like Claire might find some form of healing.

Featuring a standout performance by Jennifer Aniston as Claire, Cake is an emotional dark comedy that sheds light on the physical and psychological impact of chronic pain and post-traumatic stress. It is available to reserve in DVD at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo on March 8th, 2016.