Flick Picks 8/19/14: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Fading Gigolo

New on DVD at the Library This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: The rebooted Spidey returns to face not one, not two, but THREE villains in the blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Emma Stone plays the girlfriend while Green Goblin (Dane DeHaas), Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti) threaten to be formidable adversaries for Andrew Garfield's webhead. Will they defeat him? Find out by picking up the DVD or Blu-ray! Next, a rare acting-only turn by Woody Allen is just one of the reasons to see John Turturro's Fading Gigolo. Turturro wrote and directed this film while casting himself as a male prostitute who signs up with Woody Allen's "manager" in an attempt to pay the bills. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are perfectly cast as a pair of vampire lovers in Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, a stylishly unique take on the supernatural genre.

SERIES: It's a good week to get caught up on some of your favorites as HBO's crime drama Boardwalk Empire hits season 4, while addictive legal drama The Good Wife is up to season 5. The always hilarious and meme-tastic Parks and Recreation is at season 6, Parenthood reaches season 5 and The Mindy Project offers up a sophomore season.

SUBTITLED: The Empty Hours brings us the 17-year-old manager of a small Mexican motel who becomes intimately involved with one of its customers who spends her time waiting for a lover.

DOCUMENTARIES: The slow-paced but hypnotizing Manakamana follows a series of rides in a cable car over a Nepalese jungle, focusing on both the landscape and the passengers.

All of our new and upcoming DVDs can be found in Bibliocommons.

The Legacies of Two Greats
The loss of Robin Williams last week was shocking and offers us a chance to assess a career in which he was able to do what very few comic actors are able to do, by transitioning into becoming a successful dramatic actor. Lauren Bacall's death was perhaps not as shocking and also lets us look back at the stunning quality of work that she produced.

Robin Williams

  • Perhaps Williams's greatest dramatic role, Good Will Hunting features him as the professor who encourages Matt Damon's working class characters to succeed.
  • You'd have to be a fool to fall for Robin Williams as an elderly housekeeper but as a comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire delivers the goods.
  • Williams and Nathan Lane are the gay couple who must play it straight for a wedding in The Birdcage.
  • Aladdin shows just how important voice casting can be, as Williams makes the genie his own creation.
  • Jumanji is crazy fun for the whole family, offering Williams where he belongs - in the center of chaos.
  • Williams made a number of thrillers including The Night Listener, in which he plays a radio talk show host who begins to question the identity of one of his callers.
  • The recent The Butler offers up some interesting stung casting in Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Lauren Bacall

  • Bacall will always be associated with Humphrey Bogart, to whom she was married for more than 10 years. To Have and Have Not, an adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel, was their first pairing. Bacall was 19 and Bogie was 44.
  • The Raymond Chandler adaptation The Big Sleep followed and was actually pulled from post-production so that new scenes with Bacall and Bogie could be added, as their chemistry was so visible.
  • Dark Passage and Key Largo were their third and fourth collaborations and are also worth seeing.
  • Oil company geologist Rock Hudson is secretly in love with Bacall, who happens to be married to his brother, in the melodrama Written on the Wind.
  • Bacall enters into a difficult relationship with jazz musician Kirk Douglas in Young Man With a Horn.
  • If you're interested in seeing Bacall do comedy, try Designing Woman, in which she marries sportswriter Gregory Peck.
  • Also worth checking out is Bacall's 2005 memoir By Myself and Then Some
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