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  • 90s rom coms

     

    The 1990’s were a golden age for the romantic comedy. There were so many quotable lines, great couples and first kisses. These are some of my favorite romance movies that I could watch over and over again. Whether you’re spending this Valentine’s Day with your special someone or snuggled up on the couch by yourself, these movies are sure to get you in the mood for love.

    Sleepless

     

    SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
    (1993) PG
    Directed by Nora Ephron Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks    

    Annie Reed falls in love with a total stranger after hearing him confess his love for his recently deceased wife on a radio call-in show. This normally level-headed woman has the crazy impulse to travel across the country to meet him.

     

     

    IQ

     

    I.Q.
    (1994) PG
    Directed by Fred Schepisi Starring Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins

    This warm-hearted romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Walter Matthau. We all know that Einstein is a scientific genius but could he be a matchmaker too?

     

     

    Only You

    ONLY YOU
    (1994) PG
    Directed by Norman Jewison Starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.

    Faith lives her life believing that she is destined to marry someone named Damon, but he never appears, until she is about to marry someone else. 

     

     

    While You Were Sleeping

    WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
    (1995) PG
    Directed by Jon Turteltaub Starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman

    A lonely young subway employee is in love with a stranger she only sees from a distance. When she saves his life but is he is knocked into a coma, his family mistakes her for his fiancée and she doesn’t correct the mistake. The mix-up escalates when she meets and falls in love with the stranger’s charming brother. 

     

     

    Emma

     

    EMMA
    (1996) PG
    Directed by Douglas McGrath Starring Gwyneth Paltrow

    Emma Woodhouse imagines that she presides over the small town of Highbury but her incompetent matchmaking creates problems for herself and others. 

     

     

    My Best Friends Wedding

     

    MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING
    (1997) PG-13
    Directed by P.J. Hogan Starring Julia Roberts and Durmot Mulroney

    Jules has always been shy of making commitments but she finally realizes she is in love with her best friend Michael when he tells her that he is about to marry someone else. She will do just about anything to try to steal him back. 

     

     

    10 Things I Hate About You

     

    10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
    (1999) PG-13
    Directed by Gil Junger Starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger

    This adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew takes place in a modern day high school. A popular teenager girl is forbidden to go on a date until her ill-tempered older sister goes out too. 

     

     

    Never Been Kissed

     

    NEVER BEEN KISSED
    (1999) PG-13
    Directed by Raja Gosnell Starring Drew Barrymore and David Arquette

    A newspaper reporter goes undercover as a student to learn about today’s teens. She’s hoping this time she won’t be the geeky nerd who trips over her own feet. She never expects to fall for one of the teachers. 

     

     

    Notting Hill

     

    NOTTING HILL
    (1999) PG-13
    Directed by Roger Michell Starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant

    A small-time bookstore owner’s life is completely changed when he crosses paths with one of the most famous movie stars in the world.

     

     

    Youve Got Mail

     

    YOU’VE GOT MAIL
    (1999) PG
    Directed by Nora Ephron Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks

    Two business enemies, who loathe each other in real life, unknowingly fall in love through anonymous e-mails. 

     

     

     

  • back to school

    Last year we "back-to-schooled" in the 80s with big hair and neon colors. This year we are going to put on our grungy flannel, rock to Nirvana, and party like it is 1999. (There are three films on this list that came out that year).

    8.25ENCINO MAN
    Directed by Les Mayfield
    (1992)

    After two high school outcasts dig up a frozen caveman and thaw him out, they decide to teach him the ways of the 20th Century by bringing him to school and introducing him to the cool kids in hopes they will be included. This is back when Pauley Shore was funny and Brendan Fraser was good looking.

     

     

    8.25 CluelessCLUELESS
    Directed by Amy Heckerling
    (1995)

    In this modern retelling of Jane Austen’s EMMA, Beverly Hills teen Cher (Alicia Silverstone) befriends the new girl at school. She decides to give her a makeover to help her fit in, but inevitably Cher realizes that she needs to give herself a makeover on the inside. The quintessential 90's high school movie with its soundtrack, fashion, and catch phrases.

     

     

    8.25 Drive Me CrazyDRIVE ME CRAZY
    Directed by John Schultz
    (1999)

    Long time neighbors and once childhood friends come up with a plan to date each other in hopes of making their exes jealous. But as Nicole (Melissa Joan Hart) and Chase (Adrian Grenier) reconnect, they find they have more in common than they remembered and might not be too interested in their exes after all.

     

     

    8.25 10 Things I Hate About You10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
    Directed by Gil Junger
    (1999)

    In this modern remake of Shakespeare’s "Taming of the Shrew," younger, more popular sister, Bianca, is not allowed to date until her ill-tempered older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) does. Solution: pay school bad boy Patrick (Heath Ledger) to take Kat out on a date. What Patrick doesn't expect is to fall in love. Great movie soundtrack.

     

     

    8.25 Never Been KissedNEVER BEEN KISSED
    Directed by Raja Gosnell
    (1999)

    A newspaper reporter (Drew Barrymore) goes undercover at a high school for a story but is more excited for a do over since she was an outcast during high school. Things get complicated when she is attracted to her English teacher (Michael Vartan) who gets her intellectually, but she doesn’t want to blow her cover.

     

     

  • dvd collection 01

  •  Eliza

    May 20th is a special day for me. No, it’s not because it’s World Metrology Day or the feast day of Saint Ivo of Chartres. It’s because it’s Eliza Doolittle Day!

    As any musical or classic film fan knows, Eliza Doolittle is the aspiring “lady in a flower shop” and star of Lerner and Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY. The original 1956 Broadway production won seven Tonys, with the 1964 film going on to garner eight Academy Awards, and a current revival is up for 10 more possible Tonys. It’s an almost guaranteed critic and crowd pleaser.

    MY FAIR LADY has been my favorite film for nearly 20 years now, and as an Audrey Hepburn obsessive, I have a soft spot in my heart for the song “Just You Wait.” Unlike most of the songs, which were dubbed by Marni Nixon, it features Hepburn’s actual singing voice with only a small section of dubbing. Skip to 1:31 for the establishment of this important international holiday.

     

    So here are a few options for celebrating Eliza Doolittle Day:

    Watch the film

    5.17 My Fair LadyMY FAIR LADY
    Directed by George Cukor
    (1964)

    Number 8 on the American Film Institute’s list of the Greatest Movie Musicals, Number 12 on their 100 Years … 100 Passions list, and number 91 on their list of the 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time. It’s just that good. 

     

    Listen to the original cast recording

    5.17 SoundtrackMY FAIR LADY: ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING
    Music by Frederick Loewe
    Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
    (1956)

    Even half a century later, there’s still a surprising amount of controversy over the casting of Audrey Hepburn in the film over Julie Andrews, who originated the role. Luckily, you can still listen to the original Broadway cast recording in all its undubbed glory. 

     

    Play or sing along

    5.17 Piano VocalMY FAIR LADY PIANO/VOCAL/CHORD SELECTIONS
    Music by Frederick Loewe
    Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
    (2007)

    Why not try your own hand (or voice) at classic tunes like “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” I’d argue that Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrics for MY FAIR LADY are some of the cleverest ever written for Broadway, and Loewe’s gorgeous, sweeping score stands the test of time. 

     

    Read the original

    5.17 PygmalionPYGMALION
    By George Bernard Shaw
    (1913)

    MY FAIR LADY is based on this classic play, inspired by Greek mythology. Nearly every clever line from the musical comes straight from George Bernard Shaw’s original, but be prepared for a very different ending. 

     

    Read about the Elizas

    Though many women have played Eliza, Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn are inarguably the women who defined the role. They are fortunately both exemplary role models in their own rights, and these biographies will give you wonderful insight into the women behind the role.

    5.17 HomeHOME: A MEMOIR OF MY EARLY YEARS
    By Julie Andrews
    (2008)

     

    5.17 Audrey HepburnAUDREY HEPBURN: AN ELEGANT SPIRIT
    By Sean Hepburn Ferrer
    (2003)

     
  • classicfilmsforkids 01

     

    In a recent conversation with a patron about films, I mentioned that I LOVE Classic Hollywood films; she responded, “Me, too! I love films from the ‘80s and ‘90s.” Chuckling internally—and feeling a bit old—I went to explain that the films I was talking about were made in the ‘40s-‘60s. This got me thinking about how so many great films have not been viewed because they are considered old and parents think their children being raised in the high-tech age would not enjoy them. Here are a few films I think will change your mind. I even made sure to pick films in color, so you can take baby steps to introduce kids or even adults who have missed out on these treasures.

    court jesterTHE COURT JESTER
    (1956)
    Directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama
    Starring: Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, and Glynis Johns

    In 12th century England, the infant king is usurped by the wicked King Roderick. Black Fox and his band attempt to restore the rightful king to the throne by having a member of their group infiltrate the court by posing as the jester. Danny Kaye, playing the jester, is at his comedic best. The supporting cast is really who’s who in character actors of the day and they all come together for a hilarious adventure that will have the family rolling in their seats.

    Singing in the rain posterSINGING IN THE RAIN
    (1951)  
    Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
    Starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor

    A group of actors who have only done silent films before are caught in the very bumpy transition to talking pictures. Don’t shy away because this is a musical, remember Disney Animations are musicals, so your kids are used to people breaking out in song. Gene Kelly’s and Donald O’Connor’s physical dancing, using props and comedic style, will have you jumping out of your seats to join them in dancing—that is, if you’re not laughing too hard. Here’s a fun fact to share: they used diluted milk in the famous “Singing in the Rain” scene so the camera would pick up the raindrops better. Yeah, I felt kinda bad for Gene after hearing about that. 

    robin hoodTHE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD
    (1938)  
    Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley
    Starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, and Olivia de Havilland

    Rebel outlaw Robin Hood outwits the Sheriff of Nottingham and saves the throne for the absent King Richard I. This has something for everyone—action/adventure, comedy, a little bit of romance, and sword fights! This is the sword fighting film, the one that all the other films have tried to match but it was not until THE PRINCESS BRIDE (in my opinion) that another film achieved it. You do not want to miss this classic.

  • dance movies 1

    I’m a sucker for cheesy chick flicks, and dance movies are no exception. They are in their own category of favorite for me, probably because deep down inside I wish I was more of a dancer. I took a little here and there growing up, and even tried to get into it again in college, but to no avail. Unfortunately ballerinas don’t come in the 5’10” variety. When I took the accelerated advanced ballet class at BYU, I had a zeal that rarely emerged for coursework. My teacher saw this and really tried to mentor me. I was the same size as the two boys in the class (most of the girls barely passed the 5’ or 100 lbs mark) and because of my athletic background I could keep up with the boys with the bigger and double-time jumps. That bit was fun but I never felt like I could quite fit in with the other little dancers, no matter how graceful or accurately I moved. Watching dance movies gives me that little taste of a dancer’s life that I never had. I go to almost all of Ballet West’s major performances and listen to Tchaikovsky when I want to mellow out, but dance movies are a favorite because it combines chick flick rom-com with dance.  Here are a few that the library owns:

    Untitled 1STEP UP 
    Directed by Anne Fletcher
    (2006)

    Ballet meets the streets, traditional classical meets contemporary hip hop, and love unfolds as prejudices give way. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan are a perfect pair because their chemistry is 100% real- they are now married and have a daughter! Even though the plot seems a bit unbelievable at times, a great soundtrack and awesome dancing make for an epic dance film. The step up franchise has continued with 4 other Step up movies, varying in acting ability, dance skills and chemistry between the main actors. My personal ranking of the 5 movies goes as follows: 1, 2, 4, 5, 3.

    Untitled 2TAKE THE LEAD 
    Directed by Liz Friedlander
    (2006).

    Antonio Banderas ballroom dancing...need I say more? That alone makes this movie worth watching. TAKE THE LEAD has an endearing plot where the friendship and love seem to grow organically as ballroom dance and ballroom etiquette becomes integrated into their lives. This has a nice take home message and entertaining, classy dancing.

     

    Untitled 3SAVE THE LAST DANCE 
    Directed by Thomas Carter
    (2006)

    There seems to be a trend of good dance movies coming out in 2006. I’m not sure why, but it’s interesting. This is another ballet meets hip hop movie in the streets of Chicago. Ballerina Kat has suffered a tremendous loss, and a new friend helps in the healing process as she strives to accomplish her dreams. This film gets into deeper things with divorce, race, death, gang violence and inner city culture all while telling the tale of a dancer as she grows up.

     

    Untitled 4FOOTLOOSE
    Directed by Craig Brewer
    (2011)

    This is the remake of the original FOOTLOOSE from 1984, also found here at the library, showing how dancing is a very good thing despite some rigid city rules. I think I like the new one better because I don’t see any chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, whereas with Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, there is plenty of chemistry despite their relatively new acting chops. This is a fun movie showing teens' lives can be enhanced by good clean dancing and new friends.

     

    Untitled 5DIRTY DANCING 
    Directed by Emile Ardolino
    (1987)

    This is an old classic when it comes to dance movies. Try to ignore the age difference and sketchy relationships and focus on the fun latin dance moves. I admit the whole setup is odd with the family vacation summer camp vibe, but nevertheless this film is very entertaining. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” come from, or wondered what ‘the lift’ is that’s mentioned in so many rom-coms, then you need to watch this. Like #4 there was also a remake done, found here, but it’s not nearly as good as the original in my opinion.

     

    As far as dance movies are concerned there are definitely more than 5 good ones, so this list is just the tip of the iceberg. A few that the library doesn’t own that I also love include: CENTER STAGE, STREETDANCE, HONEY 2, A BALLERINA'S TALE, FIRST POSITION, and HIGH STRUNG. Enjoy and keep dancing!

    The library hosts various dance related activities that you can come to no matter your dance ability. Seriously any level, we don’t judge! We have a Learn It series with zumba and bollywood classes. It’s a great way to get some exercise and move to some good beats! September through May on first and third Mondays of each month, we host cultural performances which often include dance, theater and music groups- Wasatch ballet, legacy dance studio, WOFA afro fusion dance, and more!  Be sure to look out for and attend these events.

  • DSC 0355edit

     

    This is the time of year when the nation gears up to celebrate the 4th of July. In preparation, I thought it might be fun to share some popular patriotic movies the whole family can enjoy.

     

    Independence DayINDEPENDENCE DAY
    dir. Roland Emmerich
    (1996)

    This blockbuster is always high on any July 4th movie list. It tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth on July 4th and the ragtag group of humans trying to stop it. Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.

     

     

     
    yankeedoodledandeeYANKEE DOODLE DANDY
    dir. Michael Curtiz
    (1942)

     

    This is a great family movie about the patriotic career of Broadway star and composer George M. Cohen. Jim Cagney gives a brilliant performance with songs and dance that will have you feeling very patriotic and ready to wave your flag.

     

     

    Apollo 13APOLLO 13
    dir. Ron Howard
    (1995)

    This biopic tells the story of NASA mission Apollo 13. It was America’s third attempt to land on the moon but an explosion on-board starts to deplete the ship of its oxygen and power and soon the only focus of the mission is trying to get the astronauts home. The film showcases the American spirit of discovery and the creed of never-leave-a-person-behind. Starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon and Gary Sinise.

     

     

     

    mr smith goes to washingtonMR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
    dir. Frank Capra
    (1939)

    America at its best, this movie is a great example of how Big Government will not crush the human spirit. This film is as relevant now as it was 75 years ago. Starring Jimmy Stewart.

     

     

     

    national treasure
    NATIONAL TREASURE
    dir. Jon Turteltaub
    (2004)

    Benjamin Franklin Gates is a historian and amateur cryptologist searching for a lost treasure. A lot of history is covered in this movie from Ancient Egypt, to the Knight Templar, to the American Freemasons, to the Founding Fathers and the American Revolutionary War. At one point he even sets out to steal the Declaration of Independence to get to the hidden map on the back. This fun, entertaining movie is great for the whole family. Starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer.

     

  • kidsdvds

    Are you looking for a fantastic movie for the entire family? Here's a list of my favorite too-often-forgotten DVDs that your entire family can enjoy!

    1THE IRON GIANT
    dir. Brad Bird
    (1999)

    Hogarth Hughes just rescued an enormous robot that fell from the stars to Earth. Now young Hogarth has one very big friend and an even bigger problem: how do you keep a 50-foot-tall, steel-eating giant a secret?  

    2JUMANJI 
    dir. Joe Johnston
    (1995)

    When Alan Parrish discovers a mysterious board game, he doesn't realize its unimaginable powers until he is magically transported into the untamed jungles of Jumanji! There he remains for 26 years until he is freed from the game's spell by two unsuspecting children. Now a grown man, Alan tries to outwit the game's powerful forces.    

    3KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE
    dir. Hayao Miyazaki
    (1989)

    On her 13th birthday, a young witch named Kiki must fly away from home to a new city to find her niche in life. Accompanied by her chatty cat, Jiji, she starts a flying delivery service and discovers lots of fun-filled escapades and meets plenty of new friends.  

    4BABE
    dir. Chris Noonan
    (1995)

    An orphaned piglet, Babe, is cared for by a sheepdog and soon thinks he is one too. The farmer senses something special in Babe and enters him in the National Sheepdog Championships.  

    5A LITTLE PRINCESS
    dir. Alfonso Cuarón
    (1995)

    An imaginative young girl is forced to be a servant at a boarding school after her father is killed in WWII.

  • films that dont get old
    theholiday
    THE HOLIDAY
    dir. Nancy Meyers
    (2006)

    Even though the entire premise of THE HOLIDAY is that the two leading ladies swap homes because they don’t want to be in their hometowns for the holidays, while watching it again, I forget that it’s a Christmas movie. It’s a film played year-round because it really doesn’t have the Christmas vibe, and every time I come across it on TV, I find myself stopping to watch it. What makes it so engaging? I think it is a combo of the nod it gives Classic Hollywood (which I love), the idea of just getting away from it all and heading to England, and—let’s be honest—I wish Jude Law’s character existed in real life. Watching it again got me to thinking what other films will I stop and watch even though I’ve seen them dozens of times? (I have excluded John Wayne films from my list because he probably wins for the most watched, and I thought you would like a variety.)

    North by NorthwestNORTH BY NORTHWEST
    dir. Alfred Hitchcock
    (1959)

    An advertising man, played by Cary Grant, is mistaken for a government agent and is on the run for his life. I’m a fan of both Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock, so putting the two together is a perfect combination. I love the mistaken identity, the music, the humor in the moment of danger, the dialogue (so many great lines to quote!), and having the adventure travel across the U.S. When I went to Mount Rushmore on a holiday, I made my group eat at the cafeteria because of this film.

    Behind Enemy LinesBEHIND ENEMY LINES
    dir. John Moore
    (2001)

    Owen Wilson plays an American pilot shot down over Bosnia during a reconnaissance mission and it is up to his commander, played by Gene Hackman, to orchestrate his escape. This has got to be one of my favorite modern “war” films. It has the element that I love in my action films (and books): humor even in the moment of danger. I love when Wilson’s character is talking to Hackman’s character as he works on his escape and Wilson says, “You’re an optimist, Sir. I had you figured for a grouch.”

    Pride and Prejudice Kiera KnightlyPRIDE & PREJUDICE
    dir. Joe Wright
    (2005)

    I have a long saga to explain my experience with Pride & Prejudice, but to sum it up, when people found I was a librarian, they would talk about how great the book was and I would have to admit I have never read it, so I finally read it and found it frustrating. I even watched the Colin Firth film version and hated it. So when my friends all decided to go see the new Pride & Prejudice, I went along not thinking I would like it. I was so wrong. I LOVED IT! To this day anytime the Gazebo Scene comes on I stop whatever I am doing to watch it.

    Where Eagles DareWHERE EAGLES DARE
    dir. Brian G. Hutton
    (1968)

    Based on Alistair Maclean’s WWII novel by the same title, this is the story of an American general who is shot down over Germany and is captured; due to his knowledge of the D-Day invasion, the Allies have to go in to rescue him before the plans are compromised. This film was a vehicle to bring class to a young Clint Eastwood by pairing him up with Richard Burton and it gave Burton some brawn by teaming him with Eastwood. Great action sequences with lots of explosions.

  • backtoschool 

     

    It’s back to school time and to help you get into the mindset here are some classic 80s films that will help you get there. From the funny to the tearjerker, from inspirational to romance, school never had it so good as when the 80s brought it to the screen.

     

    FerrisBuellerFERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
    dir. John Hughes
    (1986)

     “Bueller? Bueller?” The most popular kid in high school calls in sick and drags his best friend and girlfriend on an adventure through Chicago all the while the principle tries to catch him on the act. The essential film for teaching any kid how to fake being sick to their parents (not that we are encouraging that or anything).

     

     

    PrettyPinkPRETTY IN PINK
    dir. Howard Deutsch
    (1986)

    Classic Romeo & Juliet story but with a good soundtrack, awesome 80s fashion, and no one dies! Plus everyone needs a best friend like Duckie to remind them how awesome they are.

     

     

    DeadPoetsDEAD POET’S SOCIETY
    dir. Peter Weir
    (1989)

    “O Captain, my Captain.” Anyone who has seen the film will want to automatically jump on their desk with just those few words in tribute to English teacher John Keating, who teaches his students about life through poetry even to the chagrin of the stuffy leadership. One of Williams’s best films (you might want a hankie if you are a crier), and a very young Ethan Hawke makes this a film you don't want to miss.

     

    StandandDeliverSTAND AND DELIVER
    dir. Ramon Menendez
    (1988)

    Inspired by the true story of Jaime Escalante, a high school math teacher in inner city L.A., who helped his failing students achieve academic success. This is a great film to inspire students and teachers alike to not let other people dictate what their potential is. Plus, who can forget Lou Diamond Phillips wearing the stylish 80s hairnet!

     

     

  • baseball movies

    It’s that time of year again! The crack of the bat, the cheering crowd, the smell of the ballpark; it is baseball season. In tribute to our national pastime, here are 5 great baseball movies that you can check out from the library!

    The SandlotTHE SANDLOT  (PG)
    directed by David Mickey Evans
    (1993)

    I haven’t watched this movie for years, but I can still quote so many memorable lines. This movie takes place during one summer where a bunch of neighborhood boys play baseball in an empty dirt lot. They face challenges, try to figure out girls, and learn about life as they play ball together. The whole family can enjoy this one.  

     

     

    Field of DreamsFIELD OF DREAMS (PG)
    directed by Phil Alden Robinson
    (1989)

    Iowa famer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field in his cornfield. As crazy as that sounds, it is a voice that he can’t ignore. He meets some interesting people along the way of turning his dream into a reality. This is a heartwarming film that has been inspiring viewers for over 25 years.  

     

     

    The RookieTHE ROOKIE (G)
    directed by John Lee Hancock
    (2002)

    Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) always dreamed of making it to the big leagues, but a shoulder injury ended that dream. He did the next best thing and became a coach. Years down the road he made a bet with his losing baseball team that if they won the district championship, he would try out for the majors. The team shocked everyone and went from the very worst to the first and Jim had no other choiceother than to go after his dream one more time. This movie is based on a true story, and it just makes you feel good.  

    The Perfect GameTHE PERFECT GAME (PG)
    directed by William Dear
    (2011)

    This movie didn’t get a lot of attention, but my family loved it. It is about a rag-tag bunch of boys in poverty stricken Mexico. They love baseball and eventually convince a man who had once hoped to make it in the major leagues himself to be their coach. They have a dream of playing in the Little Leagues and end up defying the odds and having an unprecedented winning streak which leads to the Little League World Series in America. This is a feel-good movie that will leave you thinking anything is possible.  

    A League of Their OwnA LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (PG)
    directed by Penny Marshall
    (1992)

    Based on a true story, this movie tells of a time when most of the major league players were away at war. Tom Hanks stars as Jimmy Dugan, a washed-up ballplayer, who is hired to coach in the All-American Girls Baseball League of 1943. He is slowly drawn back into the game as he witnesses the heart and heroics of his all-girl team. Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell  also star in this fun movie about a little-known time in American sports history. 

     

  • christmas movies 1

    We all… well, at least I personally, have a list of Christmas Movies where it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them. I have many fond memories of movies recorded onto VHS tapes with the commercials in them and everything. It is crazy how nostalgic I can be over an old television commercial.

    Here is a list of my five favorite Christmas films. So have fun, snuggle up with a comfy blanket, pop your favorite style of popcorn, and enjoy.

    12.15 A Christmas CarolA CHRISTMAS CAROL
    Directed by David Jones
    (1999)

    This is my favorite version of A Christmas Carol. I love Patrick Stewart, I love the Ghosts, and I love the score. The only thing I like better on any other edition is the song “Thank you very much” from the musical Scrooge.

     
     

    12.15 The Santa ClauseTHE SANTA CLAUSE
    Directed by John Pasquin
    (1994)

    This is my favorite out of all the following sequels I loved Charlie and the line where he accuses his dad of killing Santa. I love when Tim Allen shaves and it immediately grows back and he looks in the mirror and just says “I’m in big trouble mmhmmm”. 

     
     

    12.15 Home AloneHOME ALONE
    Directed by Chris Columbus
    (1990)

    The first two in this series are my favorite; I actually watch them both every year. Three and four I pretend don’t exist.

    Can you tell I am a 90’s child yet?

     
     

    12.15 How the Grinch Stole ChristmasHOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
    Ron Howard
    (2000)

    I love the story HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS by Dr. Seuss - it is one of my favorites.  I love both the animated version as well as the live action version.

     
     

    12.15 Miracle on 34th streetMIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
    Directed by Les Mayfield
    (1994)

    I like this story a lot. I love the relationship between Kris Kringle and all of the other characters. It is so much fun to watch the magic between them.

     
  • halloween films

    AcfrankBUD ABBOT & LOU COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
    Directed by Charles T. Barton
    (Universal, 1948)

    A comic horror film in which Abbott and Costello encounter Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and a mad scientist.      

     

     

     

     

    arsenicARSENIC AND OLD LACE
    Directed by Frank Capra
    (Warner Bros, 1944)

    An easy going drama critic (Cary Grant) discovers that his kind and gentle Aunts Abby and Martha have a bizarre habit of poisoning gentlemen callers and burying them in the cellar.      

     

     

     

     

    the uninvited movie posterTHE UNINVITED
    Directed by Lewis Allen
    (Paramount, 1944)

    A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.      

     

     

      

     

    House on Haunted HillHOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
    Directed by William Castle
    (William Castle Productions, 1959)

    Millionaire playboy (Vincent Price) hosts a party for his wife at the "House on Haunted Hill," a house that has seen seven murders. Fredrick invites five guests and will offer each of them $10,000 to spend a night.      

     

     

     

     

    hauntingTHE HAUNTING
    Directed by Robert Wise (Argyle Enterprises, 1963)

    Adapted from Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, this psychological thriller tells the story of four people who come to the house to study its supernatural phenomena. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  •  summer movies

    Summer is approaching, and while Utah weather makes you want to hold off on putting your jackets away just yet, you can check out some awesome movies to get you ready for a great summer. Here are some of my favorites:  

    Summer MagicSUMMER MAGIC
    directed by James Neilson
    (1963) 

    A widow (Dorothy McGuire) moves her family to a farm house in Maine only to find it’s not quite like she pictured. Hayley Mills shines as the teenage daughter and I rank this film right up there with Pollyanna and The Parent Trap

     

     

    State FairSTATE FAIR
    directed by Walter Lang
    (1945) 

    A family takes their annual trip to the Iowa State Fair, determined that this year it will be different and that they each will find what they are looking for. There are many renditions of this film, but this is my favorite, not only because it has Dana Andrews, who makes the perfect rugged leading man, but because the entire cast play their characters well, bringing out the subtle humor that just makes this film delightful.  

     

    Blue HawaiiBLUE HAWAII
    directed by Norman Taurog
    (1961) 

    Chad (Elvis Presley) returns home to Hawaii from the Army and decides to go into business for himself as a tour guide instead of working in the family’s pineapple business. You might think, really an Elvis film? But this film is at the peak of his career (and his looks) so there is actually plot and a great soundtrack that includes the hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Plus, you do not want to miss Angela Lansbury playing Elvis’s mother, which is hilarious.  

     

    Mr. Hobbs Takes a VacationMR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION
    directed by Henry Koster
    (1962) 

    Mr. Hobbs (James Stewart) decides to plan a quiet getaway with just his wife (Maureen O’Hara)--but she decides that it should be a family vacation with all the kids and grandkids. Mr. Hobbs will need a vacation from his vacation as things go wrong with so many people crammed into a rundown rental home. There are many memorable scenes, but my favorite is when the family goes to a community dance and Stewart figures out a way to get his shy teenage daughter dancing. 

     

    The Music ManTHE MUSIC MAN
    directed by Morton DaCosta
    (1962) 

    When Professor Harold Hill (Robert Preston) hears that no salesman can make a profit in Iowa he decides to take his con as a boys’ band leader to one of their small towns. What he doesn’t count on is falling in love with the town librarian (Shirley Jones) and having to account for himself. Great musical to get your feet stomping, and seeing Ron Howard so young is a plus.  What are some of your summer favorites?

  •  dance movies

    February 24th is National Dance Day! Whether you’ve got two left feet or you’re the twinkle toes of your squad, you can celebrate with these great dance flicks this weekend: 

    2.23 The Red ShoesTHE RED SHOES
    Directed by by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
    (1948)

    THE RED SHOES is the Mother of All Dance Films. Gorgeously filmed, this movie tells the tale of a talented ballerina torn between her love of ballet and love for a gifted composer, as her unyielding mentor will not allow her both. Nominated for five Oscars, winning the award for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction, this film broke ground in film editing and cinematography. This wasn’t the first film to feature dancing, musical films having hit the scene decades before, but it was the first to of what today we call a dance film. While it only had a limited release in the United States, its success is linked to movie studios’ revamping the then-stale musical film genre, which had exploded in the 1920s and with the exception of some major hits (thanks Ginger and Fred), had exhausted audience interest with formulaic, unoriginal productions. Think of some classic musical films right now. Chances are, most of the ones springing to mind feature fabulous dancing and were made post-THE RED SHOES.

     

    2.23 Step UpSTEP UP
    Directed by Anne Fletcher
    (2006) 

    After a dry spell in the 90s, dance movies made their way back to the box office with offerings like CENTER STAGE, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, SHALL WE DANCE (see Honorable Mentions below). But 2006, ah, that was the year that heralded the dance movie renaissance – and the arrival of Channing Tatum. Tatum and his wife Jenna met starring in this story of a street-smart boy and a high-achieving girl brought together by chance when her dance partner gets injured, and how dance brings them together. STEP UP combines classic dance/musical film elements with timeless coming-of-age themes creating a movie that’s entertaining and has got some meat. Sure, it’s still another teen movie that spawned a multitude of sequels, each more corny and ill-conceived than the last (plot wise only, the dancing is still TOP NOTCH), but STEP UP will make your heart dance – and the rest of you, too.  

     

    2.23 Strictly BallroomSTRICTLY BALLROOM
    Directed by Baz Luhrmann
    (1993) 

    The first of Baz Luhrmann’s “red curtain trilogy,” STRICTLY BALLROOM is strictly delightful. Watch Scott, a champion ballroom dancer, defy convention and take the Australian Pan Pacific Championship by storm with the help of a new, less experienced partner. Although a lighter, more heartwarming offering than his later films ROMEO + JULIET  and MOULIN ROUGE, this film has all the trademarks of Luhrmann’s signature style. With fantastic acting, vibrant colors, stunning editing, and incredible music, STRICTLY BALLROOM is a veritable feast of entertainment.  

     

    2.23 FootlooseFOOTLOOSE
    Directed by Herbert Ross
    (1984) 

    Don’t worry, I could never forget this masterpiece. I mean, you gotta cut loose. The one and only Kevin Bacon stars in this dance/musical flick as a city-boy suddenly stuck in a small town where dancing has been – gasp – banned!  It’s the age-old struggle of young versus old, and extreme protective measures actually encouraging the very behavior they meant to avoid. You might notice some familiar sights while you watch, since FOOTLOOSE was filmed right here in Utah County! After watching, take a pilgrimage and visit all the sites. Locations include the Lehi Roller Mills, Springville and Payson’s high schools, and most memorably, Geneva Steel as the stage for the best anger-dance montage in movie history. And if you’re so inclined, do a double feature and compare the original to the 2011 remake.  

     

    2.23 Take the LeadTAKE THE LEAD
    Directed by Liz Friedlander
    (2006) 

    Antonio Banderas teaching teens to do ballroom? Yes please! Better yet, TAKE THE LEAD is based on the true story of dance teacher Pierre Dulaine, who saw an opportunity to help at-risk teens learn trust, confidence, and teamwork using ballroom dance. While it plays out like many classroom parables, I love that this film stresses that trusting and respectful relationships contribute to fulfillment and success. You’ll love the characters, the dancing (Jenna Dewan Tatum wowing us again), the warm fuzzy-feels – everything. Like I said earlier, 2006 was the great year of dance movies, so don’t miss this. And if you find yourself needing more, check out the documentary MAD HOT BALLROOM, about participants in Pierre Dulaine’s dance program for fifth graders in New York City.  

     

    Honorable Mentions:

    LEAP 

    SAVE THE LAST DANCE 

    SHALL WE DANCE   

    Available at Orem Public Library:

    CENTER STAGE   

    BILLY ELLIOT

    BLACK SWAN

    FLASHDANCE

  • earthy films

     

    As I’m out and about exploring nature in the blissfully scorching summer months, I find myself reflecting on this amazing planet with a heightened sense of wonder. I often turn to documentary films to learn more about a subject that has peaked my interest and as I explore the outdoors, I like to supplement my learning by discovering unique films about our natural world. As a kid, I remember watching those slow moving, nature documentaries in school, and man could they be boring! Well, these nature documentaries are of an entirely different ilk, one that includes adventure, captivating narration, and exciting locations and themes. Now, that’s the way I like my documentaries!

     

    So if you’re in the mood to learn about our amazing planet, the creatures that inhabit it, and even the impact that humans have on the earth, these films will be right up you alley!

     

    encounters at the end of the worldENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
    dir. Werner Herzog
    (2008)

    Famed documentarian Werner Herzog visits Antarctica and the McMurdo research station to document the life of the people who work there and the volatile and beautiful landscape of the remote region. Penguins also make an appearance, and who doesn’t like a penguin?

     

    planetearthPLANET EARTH SERIES
    prod. British Broadcasting Company
    (2007)

    With 40 camera teams shooting at over 200 different locations all over the world over the span of five years, this series truly uncovers some rare and wonderful scenes of nature and animal life unlike any other nature documentary. Some of my favorites sections include those on caves and deserts!

     

    racing extinctionRACING EXTINCTION
    dir. Louie Psihoyos
    (2016)

    In a moving and well-crafted documentary, Academy Award-winning filmmakers expose the forces that are leading our planet to its next mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. Without implementing change, this film argues that creatures that have survived for millions of years may be wiped from Earth in our lifetime.

     

    chasing iceCHASING ICE
    dir. Jeff Orlowski
    (2013)

    In the style of an action film, nature photographer James Balog and crew set up time lapse photography stations at various glaciers to capture the receding and calving of glaciers around the world as evidence of global warming and climate change. The images are equally visually stunning and shocking and the story has a fast paced feel.

     

    If nature documentaries are not your cup of tea, we’ve surely got a different nonfiction film to suit your interests! With topics from ancient history to atoms, dance to dinosaurs, or literature to local government, we’ve got a little something for everyone!

  • football films

     It’s football season! So if you need some on-field inspiration or just a good cry (why are so many football films tearjerkers?), then here are some titles to check out at the library. *Trivia: four of the five movies listed here depict events that happened during the 1970s.

    12.8 Brians SongBRIAN’S SONG
    Directed by Buzz Kulik
    (1971)

    This movie is about the unlikely friendship between two real life Chicago Bears football players, Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, and the adversity that bonded them together. Pull out your hankie: This is always on top ten lists of films that make men cry. The library also has the 2002 remake.

     

    12.8 We Are MarshallWE ARE MARSHALL
    Directed by McG
    (2006)

    The incredible story of how Marshall University rebuilt their football program and helped heal the town a year after the tragedy on November 14, 1970, when the chartered jet carrying Marshall University's football team, coaches, and some fans crashed, killing all aboard. 

     

    12.8 Remember the TitansREMEMBER THE TITANS 
    Directed by Jerry Bruckheimer
    (2000)

    When a high school in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971 is integrated, white football coach Bill Yoast is demoted and replaced by African-American Herman Boone. As the two coaches overcome their differences, they help the football players overcome their resentment and build a championship team.

     

    12.8 RudyRUDY 
    Directed by David Anspaugh
    (1993)

    Rudy let no one stop him from fulfilling his dream of playing on the Notre Dame Football team even when everyone said he was too small and not good enough. You will cheer along with the crowd as Rudy gets a chance to play and makes a sack against Georgia Tech.

     

    12.8 The Blind SideTHE BLIND SIDE 
    Directed by John Lee Hancock
    (2009)

    Michael Oher is a homeless African-American teenager who is who is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family. They help him fulfill his potential on and off the field and, in return, he changes their lives for the better.

     

     

  • BW Comedies

     

    In the words of Uncle Albert in MARY POPPINS, “I love to laugh”. Comedies are some of my favorite films to watch. I remember being a little kid and just loving to watch the Three Stooges on my dad’s lap. I think this is where my love of black and white films and comedy started. So in the spirit of April Fools and April being National Comedy Month, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite black and white comedies.

    Arsenic and Old LaceARSENIC AND OLD LACE
    Directed by Frank Capra
    (1944)

    This comedy follows the story of Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), a confirmed bachelor who has written many books on the evils of marriage, on his wedding day. He comes home to find his two old maid aunts have killed a Mr. Hoskins and hidden him in the window seat until they could hold a proper Christian funeral in the basement where they keep the other bodies. 

     

     

    Malice in the PalaceMALICE IN THE PALACE
    Directed by Jules White
    (1949)

    MALICE IN THE PALACE is a beautiful slap stick comedy where the Three Stooges are running a restaurant in the middle of the Arabian Desert. My favorite scene of the entire short is when they are trying to eat sausages and there is a cat and a dog under the table coincidentally reacting perfectly with what is going on in the room. It makes me laugh every time.

     

     

    Duck SoupDUCK SOUP
    Directed by Leo McCarey
    (1933)

    Freedonia goes bankrupt so who better to run the country than Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx)? All mayhem ensues when Chicolini and Pinky are unable to find incriminating evidence against Firefly. DUCK SOUP is a beautifully ridiculous comedy, and as honestly as I love Groucho Marx, for me Harpo is the one who steals the show in this particular case. He never has any lines, but he does a beautiful job making a crowd laugh based only on his antics.

     

    Some Like it HotSOME LIKE IT HOT
    Directed by Billy Wilder
    (1959)

    This is the story of two musicians who see too much of a mob hit so they join an all female jazz band bound for Florida. This story is so funny as you watch these two men trying to behave like women. Of course they have the classic scenes where they have a rich gentleman who finds one of the guys attractive. The other snag is one of the musicians is trying to get Sugar ( Marilyn Monroe) to fall in love with him. Such a funny movie.

     

    HarveyHARVEY
    Directed by Henry Koster
    (1950)

    HARVEY is the story of a gentleman, Elwood P. Dowd, who insists that his best friend is a six foot tall white rabbit. EIwood lives with his sister Veta and his niece. Veta is trying desperately to get her daughter married and so she is trying to get her brother committed to get him out of the way. This story is so fun  and one of my favorite scenes is when they have the cab driver look up the definition for a Pooka. 

     

     

     

  • informational dvds family 1

    It’s a new year and a great time to learn something new! Did you know that we have informational DVDs just for kids? Here are a few titles just added to the Children’s collection that your whole family might enjoy:

    2.2 Shark LadySHARK LADY: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW EUGENIE CLARK BECAME THE OCEAN’S MOST FEARLESS SCIENTIST
    (2017)

    Jess Keating’s picture book comes to life in this video about the real life adventures of Dr. Keating, who studied sharks and other sea life. DVD includes read along subtitles.  

     

    2.2 Drawing with MarkDRAWING WITH MARK
    (2014)

    In this series of videos, former Disney illustrator Mark Marderosian takes kids on adventures, showing them how to draw the things they see. Mark and the gang visit museums, zoos, and more. Check out all six DVDs in the series.  

     

    2.2 Good Night YogaGOOD NIGHT YOGA: A POSE-BY-POSE BEDTIME STORY
    (2017)

    This film adaptation of Mariam Gate’s picture book demonstrates yoga poses to help children calm down in preparation for bedtime. You can also try GOOD MORNING YOGA to start the day.  

     

    2.2 Born in ChinaDISNEYNATURE: BORN IN CHINA
    (2017)

    Disney’s annual Earth Day film celebration follows the lives of a panda, a golden monkey, and a snow leopard in China.  

     

    2.2 Six DotsSIX DOTS: A STORY OF YOUNG LOUIS BRAILLE
    (2017)

    This animation of Jennifer Bryant’s book shows the determination of a blind boy who wanted to read so badly that he invented his own alphabet.

     
  • bookfilms

    The book is better than the movie. We book-lovers all accept this as an almost universal truth. But every once in a while, a movie comes along that does justice to—and maybe even rivals—the book it was adapted from. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does the combination of seeing a book I absolutely love brought to life in front of my eyes just like it did in my mind is pretty magical. So here is my list of magical movies that were just as good as and maybe even better than the book they were based on.

    nocountryforoldmenNO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    by Cormac McCarthy
    (2005)

    Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Only after two more men are murdered is Sheriff Bell lead to the carnage out in the desert, where he realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. This is a harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies. In 2007 the Coen brothers adapted this book into an Academy Award winning film. The complete lack of a soundtrack and the haunting performance by actor Javier Bardem—who plays the unforgettable, unrelenting antagonist Anton Chigurh—made this adaptation as mesmerizing as it is unsettling. The Coen brothers are fantastic directors, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN just might be my favorite movie of all time.  

    themartianTHE MARTIAN
    by Andy Weir
    (2014)

    Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.   This adaptation was released just last year. The production design and special effects brought this science fiction story to life even more completely than my own imagination could. I thought the pieces of the story that the filmmakers cut out were understandable and forgivable, and I liked that the film gave the audience a little more resolution than the book did.  

    the helpTHE HELP
    by Kathryn Stockett
    (2009)

    In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women—black and white, mothers and daughters—view one another.   This movie came out in 2011, and although it is a bit older than some of the others on my list, it is still one of my favorites. The acting in this film is what really sets it apart. Emma Stone was the perfect casting decision for the spunky and stubborn Skeeter Phelan, and Octavia Spencer definitely earned her Academy Award for such a heartbreaking and inspiring performance. This movie was also one of the first standout roles for Jessica Chastain, who just gets better and better in each role I see her in.

    i am not a serial killerI AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
    by Dan Wells
    (2010)

    Dead bodies are normal to John Wayne Cleaver. He actually likes them. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.   This book is one of the most unique and fantastic horror stories I've ever read, and Billy O'Brien's film adaptation is no less chilling. Anyone who has read the book knows that this story contains quite a twist, and I was so pleasantly surprised at how well the movie portrayed it. My only criticism of this film is that I missed the insights into John's mind that I got through the book, but I give a lot of credit to the actor who played John for portraying so many of those complex thoughts through actions alone.

    sleeping giantsSLEEPING GIANTS
    by Sylvain Neuvel
    (2016)

    A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code.   I’ve kind of cheated on this final entry. SLEEPING GIANTS hasn’t yet been made into a film. However the movie rights were sold to Sony Pictures before Neuvel even got a publishing deal. Because of the completely unique and intriguing plot, I’m predicting this will be an excellent movie—but I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.