mike-nich

Film director Mike Nichols might be best known for his work on 1967′s The Graduate (which won him a Best Director Oscar), but that cult film is only the beginning of Nichols’ achievements behind the camera. From timeless classics like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to new classics like HeartburnWorking Girl and The Birdcage, Nichols could do it all. He also excelled in the theater world, directing such famed Broadway productions as 1964′s Barefoot in the Park and more recently a revival of Death of a Salesman with Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2012 as well as on the small screen with the acclaimed HBO miniseries Angels in America. He will be greatly missed to all arenas of entertainment.

Check out these Mike Nichols movies at the Niles Public Library:

Angels in America

Biloxi Blues

The Birdcage (also on Blu-ray)

Carnal Knowledge

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Gone Girl Review

Let me start out by saying I read this book over a year ago. And I liked the book…somewhat. Or more specifically, I thought the book was okay. Just okay. But I had heard that people who didn’t go crazy about the book in return LOVED the movie. So when I got around to seeing this film, I was optimistic. I’m not the biggest Ben Affleck fan but I do like Rosamund Pike, the British actress who got the main female role, as well as some of the supporting players in the movie, including Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. So there I go, all prepared to like it, though not love it. And I would say it met my expectations but most definitely did not surpass them.

The plot revolves around a couple, formally happily married, who move from NYC to Missouri to be closer to his family. After the move, their relationship begins to slowly unravel. All of this does not help when the wife goes missing and the husband is less than upset. Is she dead? Where’s her body? Did he kill her? Why isn’t he more distraught?

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stagecoach

By far the best western film of 1939, Stagecoach is a cinema treasure for a variety of different reasons, the most important being it was the film that put John Wayne on the movie map and also is the first major pairing of director John Ford and star Wayne.

Ford and Wayne made 14 films together. They were friends as well…buddies to the end. And, that friendship comes across on screen in each of their films. But, it all truly began with Stagecoach. I said earlier the pair had made 14 films together…well, that is not counting the seven films Ford made with Wayne as just an extra in the late 1920s/early 1930s.

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gone-with-the-wind

One of the most beloved and acclaimed movies of the 20th Century, Gone with the Wind is the winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Best Actress winner Vivien Leigh stars as Scarlett O’Hara, who is one of the most timeless characters in cinema history, not to mention one of the prettiest Southern Belles ever. From Margaret Mitchell’s iconic novel on life in the South before, after, and during the Civil War, Scarlett becomes engrained in the American consciousness as the epitome of beauty and selfishness. She spends most of her time pining over a man she can never have (Ashley Wilkes), and when she wins him over, she wants the man she has had all along (the infamous Rhett Butler). Her fickleness comes off mostly as charming – the men in her life understand that this is how she is. And every time she is let down by one of her beaus, her Mammy (Best Supporting Actress winner Hattie McDaniel) is right there to help Scarlett survive. After all, tomorrow is another day!

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ninotchka

Ninotchka might be the greatest unknown treasure of 1939. Many people have never heard of it, yet alone seen it. It is one of the finest comedies of the 1930s, and in my opinion, Greta Garbo’s best role.

Ninotchka is most famous and known for the fact that it’s a Greta Garbo comedy. Garbo was a well-known actress – iconic almost – so when she made her first comedy, I guess it was natural that the film’s tagline of “Garbo Laughs” revolves around only her and not around the movie, director, or other cast members.

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true-detective

One of the most talked about new TV shows of 2013 had to be True Detective, HBO’s crime/buddy drama set in backwater Louisiana.

One reason it was so popular is that HBO has the magic touch when it comes to dramas (The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, etc.). Another reason is the cast – two actors (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) star in it, both of whom have normally stuck to feature film roles, especially McConaughey, who in 2013 was having a year actors only dream of, culminating in a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club.

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hotel-review

Wes Anderson is not my favorite film writer/director working today. I find most of his movies pointless. They all seem to share a like vision but I guess I just do not understand or care about that vision. I can see what he is trying to do and I don’t want to bother. My favorite film of Anderson’s, The Darjeeling Limited, was less inane (in my opinion) than most of his films. But if there is one thing all of Andersons’ films share, it is that they are highly quirky. This might sound like I mean it as a bad thing – I do not. I like quirky. I just usually do not like Anderson’s brand of quirk. But in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the quirkiness works. Mostly everything works.

The best part of The Grand Budapest Hotel is the world Anderson creates. It’s unique, visually charming, and highly imaginative.

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Teen-Read-Week

Niles teens voted for the best summer 2014 movie!

During the month of September, 117 teens picked which summer movie was their favorite. Teens voted for their best pick with small movie poster ballots that were affixed to a wall in the Teen Underground. Out of a field of eighteen picks, there were four top choices. The largest number of votes was awarded to The Fault in Our Stars with 23 votes, Guardians of the Galaxy with 17 votes, Maleficent with 15 votes and If I Stay with 14 votes. Both The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay were adapted from Young Adult Fiction novels.

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dramas4

So here it is, the last of a four part series on popular dramas currently airing today.

Supernatural Dramas feature characters of supernatural origin such as zombies, vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts or have plot lines that deal with the supernatural or a combination of both. Shows such as The Walking Dead fall into the latter category, which feature human characters battling the titular creatures. Although the advent of these “walkers”, as they’re touted on the show, aren’t strictly supernatural in origin on the series, the definition of what they are is. Therefore, I have categorized them as such.

Below are several shows that are all available at the Niles Library.

*Indicates a show that has appeared on a previous list.

*The Walking Dead Season 1; Season 2 and Season 3

Get all caught up! Catch all three seasons of this hit series and be sure to place a hold on Season 4 coming soon!

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Dark Passage:

A lesser-known Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall film that, despite an un-Hollywood ending, is one of their best (THE best in my opinion). The chemistry between the two has never been better. The film begins from the visual perspective of Bogart’s wronged-criminal character. The camera moves with Bogart’s eyes, so the audience only hears his voice and does not see his face for the first part of the film. Once we see Bogart, the film picks up its pace some, but throughout, this film is a strong thriller. Don’t look for everything to be resolved in the end – but aside from that, this one will keep you guessing.

Written on the Wind:

Melodrama at its finest! Directed by high-drama master Douglas Sirk, this film will make you run the gamut of all emotions. There is scandal, affairs, wronged love, unabated passions, alcoholism, miscarriages, infertility, guns, murder, etc. Sounds good, right? Well, it is. It’s like one big soap opera, but, don’t worry…it’s a top-notch soap…with Rock Hudson, Bacall, Kirk Douglas and Dorothy Malone, who won a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role.

Designing Woman:

A great romantic comedy with a twist. Here, the couple gets married first and then they decide to get to know each other. When they do, they find out how little they have in common. This would be just a typical run-of-the-mill rom com if it weren’t for the quick, super-sharp script (which won an Oscar) and the talents of Gregory Peck and Bacall, who have fabulous chemistry that translates perfectly on the screen. A must see for any romantic comedy fans!

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