Archive | June, 2015

My Top 5 Movies to See in Summer 2015: Plus Related Movies and Soundtracks to Borrow Now

10 Jun

One of my favorite summer activities is going to the movies. On the really hot days I like to go to a cool, dark theater to see a film, eat some movie theater popcorn, and give my air conditioner at home a break. (The heat is not my friend.) I recently read the summer movie previews in Entertainment Weekly’s April 17/25, 2015 issue, and there are so many choices. For the blog I decided to write about which movies I’m looking forward to this summer–some are in theaters now!–and the films and soundtracks available now through the library to watch before opening night at the cinema.

Pitch PerfectPitch Perfect 2


While I find the song “Cups” annoying, and the projectile vomit scenes are definitely gross, I adore Pitch Perfect and plan to see Pitch Perfect 2 soon. The first film follows the Barden Bellas, a college a cappella singing group that needs to change their repertoire to win nationals. New member Beca (Anna Kendrick) clashes with Aubrey (Anna Camp), a veteran Bella who doesn’t want to change the old formula. Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy is a scene-stealer, and the music, mostly covers and mashups of pop songs, is great (aside from “Cups”). Pitch Perfect is available to borrow (on DVD and BluRay), as are the soundtracks, including the Pitch Perfect 2 album, so you can preview the music. Hoopla users can also stream the soundtracks.

Pitch Perfect soundtrack
Hoopla Digital

More from Pitch Perfect soundtrack
Hoopla Digital

Ultimate Pitch Perfect soundtrack
Hoopla Digital

Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack
Hoopla Digital

Poltergeist (1982) / Poltergeist (2015)


Yup, this is a remake of the classic original I’ve watched many times. But I love a good ghost story (no zombies, werewolves, or vampires for me, please) and this one is a particular favorite. In the original Poltergeist, the Freeling family moves into an idyllic suburban home that was built on a cemetery. The spirits of the deceased buried there make their presence known, first with seemingly harmless ghostly antics like moving around kitchen chairs, then by terrorizing the family and kidnapping Carol-Anne, the youngest child. I saw the original Poltergeist at Cinerama in Seattle two days before Halloween a few years ago, which spooked me so much I slept with the lights on in my hotel room that night.

The original Poltergeist is available on DVD and BluRay, along with the sequels Poltergeist II and Poltergeist III. The film’s soundtrack is on Hoopla to stream.

Jurassic Park trilogy / Jurassic World


I saw Jurassic Park in the theater when it first came out in 1993 and it terrified me. The movie definitely shows its age now, in terms of special effects, but I still enjoy it. I’ve seen it at midnight at the Landmark Theatres Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street in New York City, where the audience cheered when the T-rex first appeared. (Jurassic Park will be the midnight movie on June 19 and June 20, and I may have to see it again in its original glory!)

According to the Entertainment Weekly article, Jurassic World  (in theaters June 12) is set in the park John Hammond created in the first film, and one of the dinosaur attractions goes rogue and causes problems for the humans. Remember the scene in the original where Hammond’s grandkids fought off the T-rex while trapped in an SUV? There will be a similar situation in Jurassic World.

All three films–Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and Jurassic Park III–are available to borrow individually, and in one set on DVD and BluRay. The soundtracks to the Jurassic Park trilogy are on Hoopla.

Magic Mike / Magic Mike XXL


Did the world need a sequel to Magic Mike? Maybe not, since I think the first movie had a solid ending. But will the world see Magic Mike XXL (in theaters July 1) to ogle at Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and Joe Manganiello? Yes. Sadly, Matthew McConaughey is not part of the sequel, but legendary New York Giant (#92!) and daytime TV co-host Michael Strahan has a role. Catch up on Magic Mike, available on DVD or BluRay to whet your appetite for Magic Mike XXL. The Magic Mike soundtrack is also on Hoopla.

Tangent: I am sincerely happy that Ginuwine is reaching a new audience since “Pony” has become the de facto theme song on these films.

Gone Girl / Dark Places


While Gone Girl wasn’t my favorite book, I liked the film adaptation. Tyler Perry was so slick as Nick’s attorney. On August 7 Dark Places, one of Gillian Flynn’s earlier books, will come to the big screen starring Charlize Theron. I haven’t read this book, but will challenge myself to do that before the movie comes out. My belief is that the book is always better than the movie, and I like to read the books before the movie comes out to make comparisons. Perhaps this is a librarian thing. 🙂

What summer movies are you excited about?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

LGBTQ Pride Month Memoirs: Alan Cumming, Portia De Rossi, and George Takei

3 Jun

For last year’s Pride Month, I looked at three of my favorite authors who are members of the LGBTQ community and who also focused much of their fiction on LGBTQ characters.  For this year though, I wanted to look at memoirs or biopics from some of my favorite actors who are proud to be part of the LGBTQ community including Alan Cumming, Portia de Rossi, and George Takei.  Their lives despite some difficult times are truly inspirational no matter what your orientation.

We hope you can join us for the Hoboken Public Library’s June LGBTQ Events including a panel discussion on June 4 at 6:30 PM, a Gems of In the Life screening on June 18 at 6:30 PM, and on June 25 at 6:30 PM, performances of works written by famous lesbian poets and musicians.  You can learn more on our website and RSVP on Eventbrite.  There will also be a display in honor of Pride Month in the library’s second floor display cases.

Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son

I’ve always been a fan of Scottish actor Alan Cumming’s work. There is a charm that he brings to any of his performance that gives greater depth from everything from a cabaret MC to his latest role on the Good Wife.  Cumming has been out as a bisexual since the late nineties and since then has taken part in numerous fundraisers for various LGBTQ causes.  Despite all his success, his childhood was much darker time.  Not My Father’s Son looks at Cumming’s relationship with his father Alex, who was emotionally and physically abusive; as well as the history of his maternal grandfather who died mysteriously overseas.  Cumming unflinchingly recounts the abuse his father heaped on him, and although at times painful to read, one feels Cumming’s commitment to shine a light on an often hidden crime, as well as helping give hope to those who have gone or are going through similar situations.  The mystery of Cumming’s grandfather has a bittersweet conclusion, but the love he shares with his brother, mom, and husband shines through in even the darkest moments.  Not My Father’s Son is not a light read, but memoir fans will find it a page turner.  It is available as a print book from the Hoboken Public Library as well as an eBook from eBCCLS and eLibraryNJ.

Portia de Rossi’s Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

I thought Portia de Rossi was fantastically funny on the quirky TV Show Arrested Development so I was curious to read more about her life.  Looking at de Rossi, who started her career in the spot light as a young model, you wouldn’t imagine she was riddled with self-doubt and desperate to see herself as attractive, but her memoir, Unbearable Lightness, from 2010 chronicles how her need to stay thin for her acting roles and her fears of being outed as a lesbian keeping her from connecting to those around her, precipitated an eating disorder.  She chronicles how her obsession with food began and how she counted each calorie so exactingly.  She keeps her orientation and her anorexia a secret until her body begins to breakdown.  Love and acceptance of herself bring a transformation and an understanding about how to give herself what she needs in balance in both nutrition and her life. Unbearable Lightness will be especially inspiring to those who have or know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder.  Unbearable Lightness is available as a print book from the Hoboken Public Library as well as an eBook from eBCCLS.

George Takei’s To Be Takei

If you are a Star Trek fan like I am, you will be sure to enjoy To Be Takei, which focuses primarily on George Takei as an actor/celebrity and as a LGBTQ activist.  But even non-Trekkies will appreciate this documentary, which also looks back to Takei’s childhood during which his family was placed in World War II Japanese American Internment Camps besides highlighting happier events in his life such as pivotal acting roles and meeting his husband.  I enjoyed the humorous and insightful remarks of his fellow Star Trek cast mates.  To Be Takei follows Takei to numerous speaking engagements as well as more personal moments such as when his husband is scattering the ashes of his mother at an overlook (which manages to be touching and funny at the same time).  Takei is inspirational in the rode he paved for other Japanese American actors and members of the LGBTQ community.  You can borrow the DVD from the Hoboken Public Library or watch To Be Takei on Hoopla.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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