Media Services at the Movies: The Purge: Election Year

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. To be honest, we dismissed The Purge at first as more thinly plotted horror about people breaking into your house. Maybe it was. … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: The Purge: Election Year”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

To be honest, we dismissed The Purge at first as more thinly plotted horror about people breaking into your house. Maybe it was. By its newest, third installment, the series has slowly morphed into political satire. The seeds were always there – the first movie teases that the annual crime spree started as socioeconomic violence – but reviews for The Purge: Election Year say the movie has its sights on bigger targets this time.

Using dystopian scenarios to comment on modern society has been a staple of fiction for a long time (see: 1984), but film in particular loves the genre. You can see similarities everywhere from The Hunger Games and Idiocracy to the ultra-violent movies of Paul Verhoeven. Is it fair to call the class warfare of The Purge an update to The Running Man?

So if you liked where the newest Purge is heading, consider watching some of these other movies where a nightmarish future has more in common with the present than you’d expect.

Gattaca – HU DVD 1949
A Scanner Darkly – HU DVD 2416 
Idiocracy – HU DVD 2494
Children of Men – HU DVD 2631
Soylent Green – HU DVD 5731
District 9 – HU DVD 6686
RoboCop – DVD 8164
They Live – HU DVD 9020
Logan’s Run – HU DVD 11104
Silent Running – HU DVD 11609

Media Services at the Movies: Independence Day: Resurgence

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. Marvel’s brand of interconnected, tonally similar action dominates the movie landscape today, but it’s difficult to understate what a massive effect Independence Day … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Independence Day: Resurgence”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

Marvel’s brand of interconnected, tonally similar action dominates the movie landscape today, but it’s difficult to understate what a massive effect Independence Day had on blockbusters in 1996. Director Roland Emmerich, at the point best known for Stargate, took the template of 70s disaster movies like The Poseidon Adventure and updated it for the era of $100 million budgets. You can trace its influence to Deep Impact, Cloverfield, Sharknado, and basically everything by Michael Bay.

The upcoming sequel to Independence Day has the chance to re-plant the flag for big dumb disaster movies, but instead of looking forward, let’s roll the clock back. As we said, disaster movies had been successful in decades prior, and Independence Day: Resurgence owes its template to that first wave of the genre. So for those looking forward to another wave of people in fleeing in panic while cities explode, the Nixon era has you covered.

The China Syndrome – HU DVD 237
The Towering Inferno – HU DVD 8555
The Andromeda Strain – HU DVD 11322
Airport – HU DVD 11854
The Poseidon Adventure – HU DVD 12591

Media Services at the Movies: Finding Dory

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. We can’t think of much new to say about Pixar. The studio has some of the best talent in animation – second only … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Finding Dory”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

We can’t think of much new to say about Pixar. The studio has some of the best talent in animation – second only to Studio Ghibli and infinitely greater than whoever made Norm of the North. Although the quality of their films has wavered a bit in recent years, you can still depend on Pixar to bring out the heart in their stories.

Pixar sequels in particular can be hit or miss. For every Toy Story 2, they put out a Cars 2. From early impressions, Finding Dory sounds like it lands in the upper levels of Pixar for its poignant take on  disability. Dory will also be beautiful, as Pixar films tend to be. They look even more beautiful in HD; we’d go as far as recommending animation as one of the reasons to make the bump up to Blu-ray.

Don’t believe us? We have several of Pixar’s movies in Blu-ray (not all, since we bought many before Blu-rays were a thing). If you have a Blu-ray player, check one out and see the quality difference for yourself. It’ll definitely encourage you to opt for the Blu-ray of Finding Dory went it comes out.

Ratatouille – HU BLU 3814
Up – HU BLU 6690
Toy Story – HU BLU 7768
Toy Story 2 – HU BLU 7769
Toy Story 3 – HU BLU 7770
Monsters Inc. – HU BLU 8596
Inside Out – HU BLU 12881

Media Services at the Movies: Now You See Me 2

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. So, we have a weird relationship with Now You See Me. Years ago, we got a publicity package from the film’s producers, filled … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Now You See Me 2”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

So, we have a weird relationship with Now You See Me. Years ago, we got a publicity package from the film’s producers, filled with Now You See Me shirts, hats, flashlights (?), gum (?!), and other strange branded products. Forgive us if we have a soft spot for this deeply silly movie series. It’s supposed to be about magic, but it’s closer to one of G.O.B.’s illusions.

Instead, let’s pivot to actual magic. In particular, let’s look at two films about magicians with the same name: The Illusionist. 2006’s Illusionist tells a story of romance about magician in 19th century Austria-Hungary; 2010’s Illusionist is a melancholy animated film based on a screenplay by late French filmmaker Jacques Tati.

Both are certainly sadder films, but they do a better job capturing the enchantment of illusions compared to… whatever Now You See Me is doing.

The Illusionist (2006) – HU DVD 1779
The Illusionist (2010) – HU DVD 8704

Media Services at the Movies: Popstar

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. Every generation gets the music mockumentary it deserves. This is Spinal Tap remains the definitive send-up of hair metal rockstar excess. Popstar: Never … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Popstar”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

Every generation gets the music mockumentary it deserves. This is Spinal Tap remains the definitive send-up of hair metal rockstar excess. Popstar: Never Stop Never Popping, the newest film by The Lonely Island, continues the tradition by skewering Justin Bieber, celebrity ego, and flaming out in the age of social media.

It doesn’t start or end there: you can look back to 1978’s Beatles parody All You Need is Cash or the 90s hip-hop spoof Fear of a Black Hat. When a new type of pop star emerges, the world of film has been quick to drag music culture through the mud. Popstar‘s Conner4Real is the parody we need right now, but twenty years ago, it needed Chris Rock’s CB4.

This is Spinal Tap – HU DVD 538
CB4 – HU DVD 6717
All You Need is Cash – HU DVD 10187
A Mighty Wind – HU DVD 10218
Fear of a Black Hat – HU DVD 12653

And because sometimes life imitates art, we also recommend Anvil! The Story of Anvil!, a real rock documentary so silly it may as well be a joke too (HU DVD 3461).

Media Services at the Movies: Neighbors 2

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. Summer movie season is, at last, finally upon us. Although the likely biggest movie of the year (Captain America: Civil War) is already … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Neighbors 2”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

Summer movie season is, at last, finally upon us. Although the likely biggest movie of the year (Captain America: Civil War) is already behind us, there are plenty of interesting movies over the new few months that we’re eager to find similar recommendations for.

The big movie this week is Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the Seth Rogen- and Zac Efron-fronted generational comedy sequel. As before, Rogen and Rose Byrne duel with their Greek life neighbors to keep their lives under control, but there’s a bit of melancholy to their rivalry. The Neighbors movies are crazy and violent, but they’re also about growing, moving on, and finding yourself being the older voice of reason. In the new film, apparently even Efron’s bro character finds himself drifting from his old lifestyle.

This might be an odd and controversial pairing, but to go with that introspection on growing older, we recommend a few coming-of-age films about finding yourself untethered after graduation. (We know that more than a few of our patrons will be feeling this soon, too.)

American Graffiti – HU DVD 93
Ghost World – HU DVD 362
Into the Wild – HU DVD 4130
Kicking and Screaming – HU DVD 4842
Tiny Furniture – HU DVD 9713

DC’s only true IMAX theater will soon be Metro-accessible

If you’re a fan of blockbuster movies, you probably know the locations of DC’s IMAX theaters. There’s one in Georgetown, two at the Smithsonians, and another up in Silver Spring. You might’ve even seen a few big movies there, because who can resist the allure of Gravity in all its splendor? We hate to break … Continue reading “DC’s only true IMAX theater will soon be Metro-accessible”

If you’re a fan of blockbuster movies, you probably know the locations of DC’s IMAX theaters. There’s one in Georgetown, two at the Smithsonians, and another up in Silver Spring. You might’ve even seen a few big movies there, because who can resist the allure of Gravity in all its splendor?

We hate to break everyone’s hearts, but those weren’t real IMAX theaters. The Smithsonian theaters rarely if ever show first-run Hollywood movies, and the Georgetown and Silver Spring locations don’t project in the full 70mm format. You’ve been paying extra for a big screen, but unless you lucked out at a Smithsonian screening, you didn’t get the true IMAX experience.

Don’t worry, Metro-bound filmgoer! The authentic IMAX experience will soon be available to everyone in the DC area. DCist reports that with the impending opening of the Silver Line the reaches to Reston, Virginia, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s IMAX theater will soon be accessible. The Udvar-Hazy Center is a secondary location for the Air and Space Museum that houses notable artifacts including the Space Shuttle Discovery, but for our purposes, it also holds the area’s only true-resolution IMAX theater that plays current movies.

If the Silver Line is indeed open by the end of July, then you’ll have the perfect place to see Guardians of the Galaxy once it hits theaters in August. That’s certainly Air and Space-y enough, right?

Let’s talk about X-Men, because you will probably see X-Men

X-Men: Days of Future Past will probably be the biggest movie of the summer. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re likely considering seeing it. Putting the troublesome allegations about the director aside, Days of Future Past looks to be the best installment in the franchise, and critics largely agree. The all-star cast is by … Continue reading “Let’s talk about X-Men, because you will probably see X-Men”

X-Men: Days of Future Past will probably be the biggest movie of the summer. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re likely considering seeing it. Putting the troublesome allegations about the director aside, Days of Future Past looks to be the best installment in the franchise, and critics largely agree. The all-star cast is by far the most exciting part of this new movie – Patrick Stewart! Ellen Page! Peter Dinklage! – but surely the prospect of post-apocalyptic X-Men-on-robot action is reason enough to head to theaters. Plus, you get to see Magneto destroy RFK!

In a big draw for longtime X-Men fans, Days of Future Past will merge the franchise’s past and future era storylines. You might’ve seen X-Men: First Class when it debuted a few years ago, but we bet it’s been a while since you saw the original trilogy with Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, et al. If you can believe it, X2 came out eleven years ago!

If you want a refresher before inevitably going to the theaters this weekend, we have the first three X-Men movies available in our collection. Swing by and check them out while you can, because we only have one copy of each!

X-Men – HU DVD 1441
X2: X-Men United – HU DVD 1442
X-Men: The Last Stand – HU DVD 1443

Media Services at the Movies: 2 Guns

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. As we drift towards the traditional end of summer movie season, the deluge of notable new releases has slowed down. This week, we’re … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: 2 Guns”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

As we drift towards the traditional end of summer movie season, the deluge of notable new releases has slowed down. This week, we’re left with the high-profile, regrettable release of The Smurfs 2. Who better to cure the late July doldrums than Denzel and Marky Mark?

2 Guns probably won’t win any big awards, but it looks to be a taut, fun thriller starring two of the most rough-and-tumble leading men in Hollywood. It’s still pretty hot outside, and it’s an original movie with no Smurfs in sight. What more can we ask for?

In honor of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg hitting the big screen together, here’s a list of a few other down-and-dirty dramas from two men who know the genre best.

Three Kings – HU DVD 89
Training Day – HU DVD 403
Courage Under Fire – HU DVD 1904
Inside Man – HU DVD 2337
The Departed – HU DVD 2473
The Manchurian Candidate – HU DVD 2885
American Gangster – HU DVD 6514
The Pelican Brief – HU DVD 7936
The Fighter – HU DVD 8360
Shooter – HU DVD 8776
The Italian Job – HU DVD 10374
Flight – HU DVD 10946

Media Services at the Movies: Blue Jasmine

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection. Truth be told, we don’t know much about Blue Jasmine. All the plot descriptions available are vague at best, only explaining that the … Continue reading “Media Services at the Movies: Blue Jasmine”

The summer blockbuster season is here! “Media Services at the Movies” will look at what big movie is coming out this week, then offer a few movies like it from our collection.

Truth be told, we don’t know much about Blue Jasmine. All the plot descriptions available are vague at best, only explaining that the movie follows a housewife having a midlife crisis. What we do know is that Blue Jasmine includes an incredible cast and crew. Directed and written by Woody Allen, the film stars notables including Louis C.K., Alec Baldwin, and Cate Blanchett among others.

Though incredibly prolific, Woody Allen has had a mixed record recently, jumping from the largely reviled You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger to the beloved Midnight in Paris. But his involvement is always worth special attention. Early reviews are positive, giving us hope that Woody Allen is on another hot streak.

Given Woody Allen’s prolific filmmaking career, we have most of his movies in Media Services. Be sure to rewatch them – well, the good ones – before seeing Blue Jasmine.

Bananas – HU DVD 122
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) – HU DVD 123
Sleeper – HU DVD 124
Love and Death – HU DVD 125
Annie Hall – HU DVD 126
Interiors – HU DVD 127
Manhattan – HU DVD 128
Stardust Memories – HU DVD 129
Everyone Says I Love You – HU DVD 142
Deconstructing Harry – HU DVD 148
September – HU DVD 248
The Front – HU DVD 343
Hannah and Her Sisters – HU DVD 1065
Husbands and Wives – HU DVD 1300
Crimes and Misdemeanors – HU DVD 1648
Zelig – HU DVD 2082
The Purple Rose of Cairo – HU DVD 2155
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – HU DVD 4776
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy – HU DVD 5353
Small Time Crooks – HU DVD 5354
Broadway Danny Rose – HU DVD 5357
New York Stories – HU DVD 5370
Take the Money and Run – HU DVD 5371
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion – HU DVD 5372
Manhattan Murder Mystery – HU DVD 5374
Match Point – HU DVD 6592
Whatever Works – HU DVD 6593
Midnight in Paris – HU DVD 9410*
Cassandra’s Dream – HU DVD 10482
Celebrity – HU DVD 10492
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger – HU DVD 10494
Anything Else – HU DVD 10497
Melinda and Melinda – HU DVD 10505
Another Woman – HU DVD 10510
Hollywood Ending – HU DVD 10511
Scoop – HU DVD 10514
The Rome with Love – HU DVD 10926