Happy Birthday Natalie Wood!

Today is a very special someone’s birthday…Natalie Wood! Natalie Wood was born July 20th, 1938. She was in so many good movies, but we’re going to particularly recommend: Gypsy (HU DVD 5738): I already have “If Mama Was Married” stuck in my head. The Searchers (HU DVD 1808): This movie is incredible. I completely forgot … Continue reading “Happy Birthday Natalie Wood!”

Today is a very special someone’s birthday…Natalie Wood!

Natalie Wood was born July 20th, 1938. She was in so many good movies, but we’re going to particularly recommend:

  • Gypsy (HU DVD 5738): I already have “If Mama Was Married” stuck in my head.
  • The Searchers (HU DVD 1808): This movie is incredible. I completely forgot Natalie Wood was in it.
  • Splendor in the Grass (HU DVD 7755): Her comeback role, according to Wikipedia.
  • Love with the Proper Stranger (HU DVD 14925): Steve McQueen! Watched the trailer because I’ve not seen it, and if you stick around: “…and introducing Tom Bosley!” Sufficient. I’ll take a chance and recommend it blind.
  • West Side Story (HU DVD 278): Rita Moreno steals the show, but there would be no movie without Natalie Wood’s innocence.

Happy birthday Natalie!

P.S. If you’re into watching Christmas movies in July, it’s HU DVD 2336.

Hugh Grant. Somewhat Awesome.

Certain members of the media services team decided to watch A Very English Scandal recently, having enjoyed Hugh Grant’s villainous turn in Paddington 2. Interestingly, Paddington is played by Ben Whishaw. This reunion of the two actors, as many have remarked, is…uh…a little different. We all love Ben Whishaw. He’s perfect. He’s perfect in Perfume … Continue reading “Hugh Grant. Somewhat Awesome.”

Certain members of the media services team decided to watch A Very English Scandal recently, having enjoyed Hugh Grant’s villainous turn in Paddington 2. Interestingly, Paddington is played by Ben Whishaw. This reunion of the two actors, as many have remarked, is…uh…a little different.

We all love Ben Whishaw. He’s perfect. He’s perfect in Perfume (HU DVD 3823), in Skyfall (HU DVD 5001), and in The Lobster (HU DVD 13642). Oh, and in Paddington (HU DVD 12216). He was less perfect, possibly, in Cloud Atlas (HU DVD 9072) which was just not a good movie.

But Hugh Grant, who I have loathed since the abomination that is Love, Actually (HU DVD 3510), is actually kind of awesome these days. Hugh Grant the befuddled punchline has become Hugh Grant the master of weaponizing his own loathsomeness. It’s not that he didn’t play sleazy men before. He’s a sleazeball in Bridget Jones’s Diary (HU DVD 8606). It’s some new character of age and reflection that makes, for example, the first “Bunny” scene in A Very English Scandal so distressing and yet funny. It’s like you can see him enjoying it.

As such, I’m inclined to study him further in, for example, Sense and Sensibility (HU DVD 6003), Four Weddings and a Funeral (HU DVD 6282), and Florence Foster Jenkins (HU DVD 13752). I’d love to see The Remains of the Day (HU DVD 6274), which I just found out he was in, but I keep putting off reading the book.

Any guilty Hugh Grant favorites?

Vomit. This movie is absolute vomit.

Movies At Random: Sound And Fury

Today’s movie at random is Sound and Fury (HU DVD 681), an important documentary about deaf culture and the impact of cochlear implants. We also have streaming access to the follow up film, Sound and Fury: 6 years later. DC has such an interesting deaf community, and while this documentary is a little outdated, it’s … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Sound And Fury”

Today’s movie at random is Sound and Fury (HU DVD 681), an important documentary about deaf culture and the impact of cochlear implants. We also have streaming access to the follow up film, Sound and Fury: 6 years later. DC has such an interesting deaf community, and while this documentary is a little outdated, it’s still a very interesting look at this divisive issue.

Here’s our summary:

If you could make your deaf child hear, would you? Sound and fury is the intimate, heart-rending tale of the Artinians, an extended family with deaf and hearing members across three generations. Together they confront a technological device that can help the deaf to hear but may also threaten deaf culture, and their bonds with each other.

And here’s the trailer:

Happy viewing!

Happy Friday the 13th!

We’re not superstitious, but we’ll take any excuse to watch some creepy movies! We do have Friday the 13th (HU DVD 859) if you’re feeling on the nose about it, but here are five very different alternate suggestions for your viewing pleasure this unlucky evening. Stoker (streaming): More tense than horrifying, Stoker is a stylish, unsettling, … Continue reading “Happy Friday the 13th!”

We’re not superstitious, but we’ll take any excuse to watch some creepy movies! We do have Friday the 13th (HU DVD 859) if you’re feeling on the nose about it, but here are five very different alternate suggestions for your viewing pleasure this unlucky evening.

  • Stoker (streaming): More tense than horrifying, Stoker is a stylish, unsettling, and has no vampires in it.
  • Eyes Without a Face (HU DVD 9701): Plastic surgery is always creepy.
  • Audition (HU DVD 397): This movie is too gory for humans. Don’t watch it.
  • The Thing (HU DVD 1410): Weirdly, I mostly remember the dog.
  • Get Out (HU DVD 14595): Yes, yes, everyone but me loved this movie. We have it. You’re welcome.

For a blast from the past, check out our 2010 suggestions for Friday the 13th here! All still good. Especially The Orphanage (HU DVD 639).

Happy viewing!

Ghibli In My Home State!!!

Were you carried away with a desire to visit Oregon after seeing the Only Slightly Exaggerated campaign? You should totally go! In the meantime, check out some of these awesome anime movies we have that are just as magical: Princess Mononoke (HU DVD 1206) and Spirited Away (HU DVD 586) are usually thought of as the … Continue reading “Ghibli In My Home State!!!”

Were you carried away with a desire to visit Oregon after seeing the Only Slightly Exaggerated campaign?

You should totally go! In the meantime, check out some of these awesome anime movies we have that are just as magical:

Princess Mononoke (HU DVD 1206) and Spirited Away (HU DVD 586) are usually thought of as the most magically magical of the Ghibli movies. We have (I think literally) all of them. Take your pick.

Patema Inverted (streaming) is just weird. It’s like a scifi kind of magical, if you’re into that. I’m basically just still reeling from the fact that it’s not based on a video game.

Paprika (HU DVD 3440) has the most magical match cuts ever. Obligatory Every Frame a Painting primer available here.

Letter to Momo (streaming) is pretty whimsical and magical but with some real sad mixed in there.

And no, we still don’t have Your Name. We’re working on it. Sheesh.

Movies At Random: Obit.

Welcome to another Monday. Today’s Movie At Random is the 2016 documentary Obit. : an inside look at life on the New York Times obituaries desk (HU DVD 14789). Not as depressing as it sounds! Vanessa Gould won much praise with the origami documentary Between the Folds in 2008, and Obit was well regarded as well. Here’s … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Obit.”

Welcome to another Monday. Today’s Movie At Random is the 2016 documentary Obit. : an inside look at life on the New York Times obituaries desk (HU DVD 14789). Not as depressing as it sounds! Vanessa Gould won much praise with the origami documentary Between the Folds in 2008, and Obit was well regarded as well.

Here’s our summary:

At a time when the free press is under threat, OBIT. takes a rare look inside one of the United States’ foremost journalistic institutions, The New York Times. The steadfast writers of the paper’s Obituaries section approach their work with journalistic rigor and narrative flair, each day depositing the details of a handful of extraordinary lives into the cultural memory. Going beyond the byline and into the minds of those chronicling the recently deceased, OBIT. is ultimately a celebration of life that conveys the central role journalism plays in capturing and reporting vital pieces of our history.

And here’s the trailer:

Happy viewing!

Taika Waititi

So I had sort of half-seen references to the upcoming film Jojo Rabbit flashing by on social media and just today looked up the summary: Jojo Rabbit is a young boy living during World War II. His only escapism is through his imaginary friend, an ethnically inaccurate version of Adolf Hitler, who pushes the young boy’s naive … Continue reading “Taika Waititi”

So I had sort of half-seen references to the upcoming film Jojo Rabbit flashing by on social media and just today looked up the summary:

Jojo Rabbit is a young boy living during World War II. His only escapism is through his imaginary friend, an ethnically inaccurate version of Adolf Hitler, who pushes the young boy’s naive patriotic beliefs. However, this all changes when a young girl challenges those views and causes Jojo to face his own issues.

What? I’m sorry, what?

You can read a little more about it here, looks like:

I’m sure it will be…interesting? I’m not sure. I mean it has to be good, right? Taika Waititi can do no wrong. Right?

In the meantime, check out Eagle vs. Shark (HU DVD 13999) or What we do in the shadows (HU DVD 12447), because I’ve been told I plugged Hunt for the Wilderpeople (HU DVD 13531) too many times and need to branch out.

Stanford Prison Experiment

This article on Medium, “The Lifespan of a Lie,” is worth a read if you missed it. We have a lot of documentaries on this available streaming (go for the keyword search! you can do it!), and the recent film Stanford Prison Experiment (HU DVD 12867), if you’re looking for a dramatic take. You can … Continue reading “Stanford Prison Experiment”

This article on Medium, “The Lifespan of a Lie,” is worth a read if you missed it. We have a lot of documentaries on this available streaming (go for the keyword search! you can do it!), and the recent film Stanford Prison Experiment (HU DVD 12867), if you’re looking for a dramatic take. You can also check out our psychology filmography if you really get interested.

And just because I love Crash Course, here’s the episode of Crash Course Psychology that addresses the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Movies At Random: La Cage Aux Folles

Happy Monday! Today’s Movie At Random is HU DVD 1603, La Cage Aux Folles. You might be familiar with the fantastic American remake with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, The Birdcage (HU DVD 667), which is also an amazing movie but not what the Google Random Number Generator ordered. Here’s our summary: Renato and Albin are … Continue reading “Movies At Random: La Cage Aux Folles”

Happy Monday! Today’s Movie At Random is HU DVD 1603, La Cage Aux Folles. You might be familiar with the fantastic American remake with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, The Birdcage (HU DVD 667), which is also an amazing movie but not what the Google Random Number Generator ordered.

Here’s our summary:

Renato and Albin are a middle-aged couple, who are the managers and star performers at a glitzy drag club in St. Tropez, agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the parents of Renato’s son’s fiancě come for a visit. But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there’s nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie.

And here’s is the completely ridiculous trailer:

Happy viewing!

Epics in Our Epic Collection

Epic is such an overused word. I mean, we basically use it to mean “awesome” now which is kind of sad. In film, it means, “A long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time.” So, obviously, the Lord of the Rings trilogy (HU DVD 808 … Continue reading “Epics in Our Epic Collection”

Epic is such an overused word. I mean, we basically use it to mean “awesome” now which is kind of sad. In film, it means, “A long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time.” So, obviously, the Lord of the Rings trilogy (HU DVD 808 – 810) is an epic. Lawrence of Arabia (HU DVD 3935) is an epic. But Raiders of the Lost Ark (HU DVD 3251)? Is that an epic? It’s definitely an awesome. I’m not sure it’s an epic.

One of the problem with epics is that they’re defined in different ways. Do they have to represent the past? How about a fantasy past? What counts as an extended period of time? Do the characters have to go on a journey? Does there have to be fighting? They tend to be episodic, but is that just a natural consequence of them also being long? And there are considerations beyond that of plot. One of the features of film epics that I’m not sure is really crucial but that I personally really appreciate is that they often feature the landscape so heavily, possibly because the characters are often on a journey. But is that a required feature, or is it incidental?

Sometimes long films done on a huge scale, like Titanic (HU DVD 2290), are called epics. By the above definition that sounds correct, but I definitely think that’s wrong. Titanic is a romance film, and an action film, but it’s not an epic in the same way that Ben-Hur (HU DVD 3857) is an epic. And the fact that it’s a long movie doesn’t automatically make it an epic. I think we’re mixing definitions of epic.

Apparently the original film epic is called Cabiria (HU DVD 180). It’s a 1914 silent film, and it sounds amazing.

We have tons more epics and arguable epics in our collection, of course. What’s your favorite?