Blog Post:

The Story Behind “The Coreys”

I shyly asked my coworker to check out the book for me, avoiding eye contact. (Whenever I’m reading something I consider “trashy,” I’m afraid my fellow librarians will judge me.) But her face brightened and she said, “You’ll have to let me know how this is. I was a Coreys fanatic too!” Yes, I am reading Coreyography by […]

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Blog Post:

Everybody Loves Bernie

Viewing_(museum_display)

Need a favor? Any favor at all? In Carthage, Texas, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is your man. While he is especially good with the performing arts, his vocation is as a funeral director, and he will even sing at your final ceremony if you ask. Bernie is especially good with widows, calling on them with care packages, which is how he […]

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Blog Post:

Sir Alec Guinness

Sir Alec Guinness

April 2, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of  Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000). In his career of more than 50 years, this British actor appeared in a wide range of roles in plays, films and TV shows, including star turns in drama, comedy, spy stories and more. We have many of Guinness’ movies […]

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Blog Post:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like any lifelong Chicago resident and child of the ’80s, I will watch any John Hughes film they show on cable, no matter how many times I’ve seen it before. But Planes, Trains and Automobiles holds a special place in my heart. Every Thanksgiving my family sits down to watch it after we’ve stuffed ourselves with traditional […]

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Blog Post:

The Biggest Oscar Upsets

Sylvester Stallone's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

American movie fans seem to have a love-hate relationship with the annual announcement of Oscar nominees. Time has vindicated the Academy with several flicks that have become cherished classics, but isn’t it more fun to remember Hollywood’s biggest upsets? Here are a few controversial choices for best picture from history’s annals. Dances with Wolves over Goodfellas, […]

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Blog Post:

A Fistful of Pasta: Spaghetti Westerns

Photo by nicksarebi
Almeria, Spain Spaghetti Western movie set

  A dusty, indistinct rider enters the small desert town.  At the end of the main street, three seedy-looking men block the rider’s passage. Eye contact is established; tension builds. The rider gets off his horse, stands facing the trio, and sweeps back his poncho revealing his six-shooter. The men stand erect and ready. Suddenly, […]

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Blog Post:

Siblings On Screen

April 10, 2014 is National Siblings Day, and there have been a number of these sticky relationships depicted with finesse on the silver screen. Check out these titles for a peek into the secret world of siblings. Your Sister’s Sister: Indie directress Lynn Shelton employs her minimalist mumblecore techniques to maximum effect in this contemporary look at Iris […]

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Blog Post:

Beware a Dashing Man

bras and books2

  England, 1961, is in a full post-colonial hangover. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is sixteen and full of dreams of Paris and the wider world. She gets them for a brief time by becoming the girlfriend of an older man, David (Peter Sarsgaard). David is dashing, glamorous, good looking, and rich. How he gets his money is a bit unscrupulous, […]

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Blog Post:

Horror Films for the Jaded

Haunted house with tree in front

Every fall at the first whiff of mulled cider I get excited about the prospect of the season’s new crop of horror movies. “Prepare to be scared!” states the promotional poster of one. “Simply terrifying!” intones the voiceover on the trailer of another. However, as horror film aficionados well know, it is the rare film that lives up […]

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Blog Post:

Horror and Music at the Oscars

hand holding a sharp knife

When I sat down to enjoy Sweeney Todd again the weekend before the Oscars, I was under the impression that it had won in 2007 for Best Picture. I was wrong: that honor went to No Country for Old Men, another film with a high creep score. Of course, for pure spine tingling, it’s hard to […]

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