rooney

Mickey Rooney died on April 6, 2014 at the age of 93. Rooney’s career in Hollywood began early-on…he became a well-known child actor, with films like Manhattan Melodrama in 1934 and Reckless and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both in 1935. But, he was most known from his work in the late 1930s and 1940s, especially for his Andy Hardy films with Judy Garland, with whom he also starred along in Babes in Arms, Girl Crazy, Babes on Broadway, Strike Up the Band, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry and Words and Music. Rooney worked right up until the end, even having some projects in the works at the time of his death.

Check out these Mickey Rooney movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Atomic Kid

Babes in Arms

Babes on Broadway

Beach Blanket Bingo

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James Rebhorn

You might not know his name, but you will surely know his face. A veteran character actor that has starred in blockbusters, indie films, television and kids movies, James Rebhorn is one of Hollywood’s most unsung and unknown heroes. No matter how big or small the role, Rebhorn always pursued his roles with the same tensity and passion. The wonderful thing about character actors, as opposed to movie stars, is that they rarely get pigeon-holed in a type of role and are able to express their vast acting talents across all genres. That certainly applied to Rebhorn, who went from action to comedy to dramas with ease and skill. He will be missed!

Check out these James Rebhorn movies at the Niles Public Library:

An American Affair

Baby Mama

Basic Instinct

Bernard and Doris

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One of the better novels I have read in a while…this one makes you laugh, cry and long for your friends.  Rayner, a Brit, weaves a compelling tale filled with sudden loss, friendship, gradual loss, sexual identity and all sorts of relationships.  The main characters are the storytellers here…Karen who experiences sudden loss right at the beginning of the book, Anna, who is Karen’s friend and is in the midst of a doomed relationship with a man with dependency problems, and Lou who enters Karen and Anna’s lives through sad happenstance and who is dealing with her own private identity battles.  All of these characters on their own would make compelling fiction, but all three of them create a vivid and dynamic tale that not only holds the reader’s interest, but inspires them as well.  An excellent novel!

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Whoever said “war is hell” was sure on target. And that saying applies not only to the frontlines but also the home front. What these men and women see during war makes it impossible to forget and move on to lead normal, fulfilling lives once they arrive back home. In Triage, Colin Farrell does not play a soldier…rather a frontline photojournalist who is known for capturing some of the most gritty war footage out there. He seems to thrive on the blood and the gore, at first. Nothing seems to faze him. Or does it? In Kurdistan, where he is covering the latest hotspot of violence, he is injured…in circumstances we do not see. He seems relatively well, physically, but after he comes home, something is wrong…both physically and emotionally. This is a man who had witnessed bodies getting torn apart, piles of corpses waiting to get disposed of, disgusting hospital conditions (even calling it a hospital is a sick joke) and a doctor who marks the “untreatable” soldiers and takes them out and shoots them to end their suffering. So, what makes anything worse than the everyday norm? We later find out that there was something that happened that involved someone he cares about a great deal. And he blocked it out of his mind, as an emotional safety net. Can we blame him? Colin Farrell here is top-notch…some of his best work ever. Trying to convey bottled up emotions can be harder to portray than behaving like an emotional mess and Farrell does the job well. Not for the faint of heart, but this one is a must-see for anyone who likes powerful, riveting dramas.

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Having just read Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open, I decided to stick with the non-fiction genre and read the account of Nick Schuyler in his book Not Without Hope written with Jere Longman. This is the true story of four friends, two of them NFL football players, who went on a fishing trip that ended in tragedy as Nick was the only one of the four to come out alive. This accident occurred Spring of 2009 and the book was released one year later in March 2010. I remember vaguely hearing about this on the news, but had little recollection of the events, so everything in the book was new to me.

Nick Schuyler, his best friend Will Bleakley, NFL pros Marquis Cooper, and Corey Smith all went out on a fishing trip on Cooper’s boat in Florida. Ominous weather was quickly approaching so the guys decided to head back to shore. As they prepared to head home they realized the anchor of the boat was stuck. In a last ditch effort to free the anchor they tried tying the anchor rope to the stern of the boat and hitting the throttle. The anchor did not yank free, but instead, the stern sank and filled with water causing the boat to capsize. This is where the tragedy begins. Nick recalls his 43 hours at sea waiting for rescue while sitting on the hull of the boat grabbing on for dear life. He describes how his three friends eventually succumb to hypothermia and the elements and die right before his eyes.

It was very easy to get hooked into this book. I’m not a fast reader, but it only took me 2 days to finish the book. It was a very compelling story with very vivid descriptions of what the four men endured out at sea. Even though I knew the outcome of the story I remained glued to my kindle. There were parts of the book that were heartbreaking to read, but as a whole I found it a very riveting account.

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