Movies

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Hello, My Name is Doris (2016)

Can I just say, “You go, Doris!”? The always likeable Sally Field carries this sweet and sentimental film about a woman in her 60s who falls for a man half her age, played by New Girl’s John Fremont. Her quirky attire and attitude endears her to him and his millennial cohorts, but their budding relationship unsurprisingly rubs her friends and family the wrong way. While the majority of the film is light hearted, there is a more serious theme of loneliness in old(er) age and the universal struggles of finding a mate.

The Great Hypnotist (Cui mian da shi) (2014)

Just who's under whose spell here? Is it the psychiatrist or his latest client, a young woman who appears to be meek but harbors potentially harmful traumas that only a skilled hypnotist can uncover? This stylish mystery-thriller has many twists and turns as Xu (the psychiatrist) attempts to ferret out Ren's secrets through hypnosis. The tension in this film is palpable, and only dreams or flashbacks take the viewer beyond the claustrophic main setting. The Great Hypnotist borrows from other American thrillers to great effect.

Chi-Raq (2015)

One of Spike Lee's best films in years, Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago. (The title's portmanteau refers to Iraq and that Chicago's violence rivals the Middle East war zone.) You may recall the plot from literature class - the community's women refuse to have sex with the men until violence is stopped. In this case the impetus for this standoff is a child's death by stray bullet. The cast is stellar - Samuel L.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)

For rabid Sherlock fans (of which I am one), this one-off special was touted as a standalone episode. The series' contemporary actors are magically transported to the late 1890s, solving a series of crimes with a feminist slant. The encounters with the bride antagonist are genuinely creepy, and seeing our beloved Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (as Holmes and Watson, respectively) in period costume is a hoot. I won't give away the twist, but it enhances and furthers the narrative of the series as a whole.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

Movies about teenage girls’ sexual awakenings can be too cutesy or play it too safe. This movie, set in 1976 San Francisco, is having none of that. When 15-year-old Minnie begins having sexual urges, she takes care of things on her own - by having sex with her mother’s boyfriend. And when the adults in her life prove to be undependable, she learns hard lessons on her way to an independent life. This movie has gotten rave reviews; it’s genuine, fearless, and has a unique voice.

Spare Parts (2015)

I found myself talking about this inspiring movie in a couple different unrelated conversations recently. This past weekend I sat next to a retired statistics professor from ASU for a 3+ hour airplane flight. She was personally involved in the efforts to fund the education of the students whose story is told in this movie. George Lopez is the substitute teacher who connects with a rag-tag group of immigrant kids (most, if not all without documentation) who enter an underwater robotics competition.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Oh, Chris Pratt, you’re the most adorable superhero. As Peter Quill, a “Terran” making his way through the galaxy, he steals a powerful artifact precious to a fanatic named Ronan. After he teams up with a multi-species gang of misfits, he finds a sort of family and works to prevent Ronan from using this artifact to destroy planets. Like other Marvel comic book movies, this one is fast paced and action packed. The characters of Groot, a tree-like humanoid, and Rocket, a sentient raccoon, are particularly amusing and evocative. GotG 2 is in the works, scheduled for release in Spring 2017.

Jane the Virgin (Season 1- 2014)

This show is straight-up ridiculous, and I mean that in the best way possible. Styled as a parody of a far-fetched telenovela, the show follows Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), a 23 year old virgin who is artificially inseminated accidentally after a routine doctor’s appointment goes horribly awry. As the season progresses, Jane has to decide how to handle her surprise pregnancy, and struggles to balance and define her relationships with her police detective fiance and with her baby’s father (a married hotel owner).

Embrace Your Inner Grownup at TCPL

Beginning this month, TCPL is starting a brand new adult program series. Called Grownups 20/30s, these events are especially for newish adults living on the South Shore. We’re starting with Classic Film Saturdays at 1 p.m. This Saturday, we’ll be showing Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. If you’d like to learn more about film from the 1920s through the 1970s, this is the place to be. Love games? Stop by and play with like-minded gamers on Monday nights. We’ll have such games as GoldenEye 007, Mario Kart and Cards Against Humanity.

2016 Golden Globes

Many of the 2016 Golden Globe nominated films were shown here at the Thomas Crane Public Library. This list will be updated as more become available to borrow.

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