Monday Movie: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Wikipedia

In 1938, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) works as a professor of archeology, that is, when he’s not traveling the world on adventures searching for ancient artifacts. When one such artifact is brought to his attention by Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), Indiana is intrigued. He decides to pursue the adventure when he learns that his own father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery) has gone missing in a pursuit of this artifact. What is this artifact? None other than the cup of Jesus, the way to immortality: the Holy Grail. Now Indiana must journey across the world in search of his father and the Grail while the always horrific Nazis close in.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade marks the last movie of the original Indiana Jones trilogy. Indiana has already battled the Nazis in the pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark and fought against an evil cult in Temple of Doom. Now, the trilogy turns back to focus on a religious artifact as the first one did. But this time, we are introduced to Indiana’s father, a character we have not met up until this movie. And the sub-plot of Indiana’s reconciliation with his father marks one aspect of this movie that makes it great. Clearly, obsessed with his work, we learn that Henry rarely spent time with Indiana as a child, something Indiana holds against him. But now, with an army of Nazis chasing behind them, and the Grail ahead, they must learn to work together. Here, actors Harrison Ford and Sean Connery thrive. The witty banter back and forth, along with some of the more heartfelt moments, make this action movie stand out as having well-written and well-performed characters. These two incredible actors truly deliver, matching each other enough that the audience recognizes a father-son connection, and yet the two are different enough to create two memorable characters.

Beyond the incredible character work, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fits right in its action-adventure genre. From boat chases, motorcycle chases, brawls, aerial dogfights, and a long battle on a tank, The Last Crusade has enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat. And its action holds up, even by today’s standards. On top of that, the film is witty, fun, and always exciting, with enough comic relief to remind the audience of some of the absurdity of it all. I highly recommend this movie for anyone wanting to see a classic action movie, or anyone interested in the work of the late Sean Connery. There is not a dull moment.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is rated PG-13 and is available in the Logos.

*review by Brennan Kress

Monday Movie: “Psycho”

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), an office worker in Phoenix, is tired of having to see her lover only on lunch breaks. Instead, she wants to marry Sam Loomis (John Gavin), but can’t because he’s spending most of his money on alimony. But Marion finds a chance when her boss asks her to bank forty-thousand dollars. She instead takes the money and drives towards California, hoping to reunite with Sam. Unfortunately, her exhaustion and the pouring rain cause her to veer off the highway and stop at the Bates Motel, run by young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Norman is a strange man, who seems lonely all by himself running the hotel, and who also seems to be completely dominated by his mother.

At the same time, Lila Crane (Vera Miles) gets worried when her sister goes missing and hires a private detective to go find her. Only to her horror, that same detective also go missing, causing Lila and Sam to journey to the one place that connects it all-the Bates Motel.

There is little more to be said about Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous movie. Psycho, even sixty-years later, holds up as an incredibly suspenseful movie. Even now, having seen more modern horror movies, I found myself shivering at the creepiness that the movie creates. I held my breath through several moments and gasped at the shocking twist at the end. And even if, given the age of the movie, you happen to know the ending, the movie is still enthralling. Each line of dialogue causes increased tension, and the payoff is perfect. This movie, more than any I’ve reviewed or seen in a long time, kept me guessing as to what would happen next.

And unlike modern horror movies, there are few, if any, jump scares and a complete absence of gore. Hitchcock uses dialogue, scenery, and music to great effect to create a terrifying movie, of which there is no equal. And so, even in the absence of any sexual innuendos, language, or gore, I would still encourage parents to take caution before showing this movie to their kids. Many moments are especially disturbing, and many young teenagers and kids will likely find no enjoyment from this movie.

Still, if you are looking for an old-school scare, Psycho holds up as an engrossing, horrifying, and continually creepy experience. So, grab some popcorn, curl up, and check in to the Bates Motel!

Psycho is rated-R, though given the time period a better rating would be PG-13 for: some violence, disturbing images and behavior, and thematic elements.

Psycho is available in the Logos.

*review by Brennan Kress

Top 5 Movies By Women Directors At The Library

What are some of the best movies directed by women? The library has several excellent films that were made by women directors like Greta Gerwig, Kathryn Bigelow, Kasi Lemmons, and more. Check out the list below and get started on your movie-watching!

Film descriptions provided by the publishers c/o the library catalog.

Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig

Writer-director Greta Gerwig . . . has crafted a “Little Women” that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life.

Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, the movie tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

Bright Star directed by Jane Campion

Nineteenth century poet John Keats and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, started out as unlikely lovers who were totally at odds with each other. However, when Brawne offers to help Keats nurse his seriously ill brother, the two soon became involved in an unstoppable romance that only his untimely death at age 25 could bring to a shattering end.

Selma directed by Ava Duvernay

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historical struggle to secure voting rights for all people. A dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1964.

The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow

US Army Staff Sergeant Will James, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge comprise the Bravo Company’s bomb disposal unit stationed in Baghdad. While the three members face their own internal issues, they have to be aware of any person at the bomb sites, some of whom may be bombers themselves.

How To Watch Movies On Reserve At The Library

Each semester, several professors add movies to their Reserve list at the library (you can learn more about how to check out Reserve items here). This means that we have their movies ready for you at the Circulation Desk. However, many of these movies can only be watched while in the library building. There are two main ways that you can watch a movie like this while in the library:

Use your laptop or a library desktop computer + a portable DVD drive.

DVD drives can be checked out from the Circulation Desk using your student ID just like movies and books. They will just need to stay within the library building. You can also check out headphones from the Circulation Desk if needed.

Check out the media room, #324.

The library’s media room, #324 on the third floor, is equipped with a TV and DVD player. You will need to come to the Circulation Desk with your student ID to check out the room’s key, as the media room remains locked to protect the media devices. You are also encouraged to reserve this room ahead of time, since it is often in use. You can reserve the media room and other study rooms on the library website- click this link to do that.

Top 5 Family Movies At The Library

kid movie

When you need a movie for the whole family to enjoy, come visit our DVD collection! From popular animated movies to children’s classics, we have many family movies to choose from. Here are 5 great family movies to watch, all of which can be checked out.

*movie descriptions provided by the publishers, c/o the library catalog

Frozen (and Frozen II)

When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell.

 

My Neighbor Totoro

Two young sisters spend a summer in the Japanese countryside with their father. The children’s strange new home turns out to be a wonderland filled with creatures and a trio of furry woodland sprites who can only be seen by children.

 

The LEGO Movie

Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

 

The Incredibles (and Incredibles 2)

Bob and his wife Helen used to be among the world’s greatest crime fighters, saving lives and battling evil on a daily basis. Fifteen years later, they have been forced to adopt civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs where they live “normal” lives with their three kids, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment. He soon discovers that it will take a super family effort to rescue the world from total destruction.

 

Up

Carl Fredericksen is a 78- year-old curmudgeon. He used to enjoy his modest life as a balloon seller when his adventure-loving wife Ellie was still alive. When she died, Carl was left with his memories and the awareness that they never made their dream journey to Paradise Falls in South America. When well-meaning officials consign Carl to Shady Oaks Retirement Home, he rigs thousands of helium balloons to his house and floats away. He discovers that Russell, a chubby Wilderness Explorer Scout, has stowed away. In the tropical jungle, Carl and Russell find more than they expected. Charles Muntz is a crazed explorer whose newsreels once inspired Carl and Ellie; Kevin is an exotic bird with a weakness for chocolate; and Dug is an endearingly golden retriever fitted with a voice box. More importantly, Carl and Russell discover they need each other.

 

Bonus: Tarzan (one of my personal favorite animated movies)

Raised by gorillas, Tarzan has made the jungle his home and the animals his friends. But with the appearance of humans, the only world Tarzan has ever known and the one in which he belongs are about to become one.

 

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in the year 2000 by the Coen brothers.  It is a comedy/satire based on Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.  It depicts aspects of magical realism during the depression in Southern Mississippi. The musical score is a driving force that is characterized as “ole timey” Southern Folk music that sets the tone of the film.

O Brother, Where Art Thou tells of adventure, temptation, and redemption. The movie stars George Clooney as Ulysses Everett McGill: a fast-talking, wise-cracking everyman who is always the smartest man in the room and on a mission to be reunited with his wife and children. His two bumbling sidekicks are Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson); both are small time crooks who are manipulated by Everett for the promises of fortune. Through their haphazard adventures, they find themselves challenged by roadblocks. The trio encounter characters that are archetypes  straight out of Homer’s Odyssey.  These include: a cyclops, sirens, and a character akin to Poseidon or Satan. Throughout these misadventures, the trio experiences both highs and lows as divine providence (or luck) brings them to redemption.

This film earned 72 million dollars with only a 26 million dollar budget. The soundtrack won a Grammy for album of the year; it borrows heavily from both Primitive Baptist, African-American, Bluegrass, and Delta Blues.  The hit song, “Man of Constant Sorrow” was widely acclaimed by music critics and crossed over into multiple public venues.  It reached number 35 on U.S. County Music Billboard. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a truly timeless period piece that the entire family can enjoy, and a personal favorite of mine!

*It is rated PG 13 due to some mild language and suggestive scenes.  It is available at the Union University Library.

 

 

Top 5 Christmas Movies At The Library

christmas

When you’re ready to get into the Christmas spirit, there’s nothing like getting cozy on the couch and watching a holiday movie. Here at the library, we have a few Christmas favorites in our DVD collection. Feel free to check one out this December!

 

White Christmas

A Christmas classic, White Christmas tells the story of four entertainers, a Vermont inn, and a will-they-or-won’t-they romance. Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney star in this charming musical.

 

Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Many of us grew up watching the original, animated Grinch. Give this timeless tale of redemption another watch this year.

 

It’s A Wonderful Life

This is my mom’s favorite movie of all time, and for good reason. George Bailey is the Everyman who just can’t get ahead and feels his life is worthless; but soon enough, with the help of a quirky angel, he learns that he has all he truly needs.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Remember the true meaning of Christmas with the Peanuts gang in this cute, funny animated feature. Bonus: you can enjoy the beautiful music of Vince Guaraldi.

 

The Nativity Story

Another movie that reminds us of why we celebrate Christmas, The Nativity Story follows Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem and prepare to welcome the Savior into the world.

 

Click on the links to see where each movie is located, or ask for help finding them at our Circulation Desk. Merry Christmas!

 

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Zootopia”

Disney has long used animals to entertain us, but they also insert a subtle message or morals into their stories. Most of the time, it’s a simple message of being brave or learning that you have inner value and that your dreams can come true. Occasionally, the story can take on a deeper meaning that both children and adults can relate to and value. Zootopia is one of those films.

It is the story of a world where anthropomorphic animals evolved over time to where predators and prey now live in peace and harmony with each other. The animals in this world have jobs, just like regular people, but they’re more catered to their habitat and size. The animals in this world usually stick to their natural inclinations or temperaments most associated with the various species. This is not always the case, however, as we meet our protagonist: a rabbit by the name of Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin. Judy dreams of leaving her small town and becoming a cop and serving her fellow animals in the bustling metropolis of Zootopia. She is consistently regarded as inferior due to her size and species. Most police in this world are physically larger and brutish animals like lions, bears, and wolves. Judy, however, wishes to make her mark and earn the respect of her fellow officers.

Judy soon stumbles upon a sly fox named Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman. Nick is a professional con artist who has become disillusioned with his original hopes and dreams and has let himself become exactly what other animals always accused his nature of being. The two become unlikely partners and eventually friends due to a mysterious plot involving disappearing predatory animals and a more insidious agenda that could lead to chaos in Zootopia unless they can stop it.

This film tackles issues involving prejudice, bullying, and bigotry. It handles these issues in a very easy to understand way, becoming even tongue-in-cheek at times.  The lesson is simple and well-timed given our current social climate; Zootopia teaches that you should never prejudge someone based on their immutable characteristics, let alone an entire group.

Zootopia was extremely well received among audiences. It grossed over one billion dollars worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing animated films of all time. It also went on to receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Zootopia is a witty, PG-rated film for the whole family, and it is available at the Union University Library.

 

 

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Blade Runner”

Director Ridley Scott has a long history of making epic and awe-inspiring films and Blade Runner has got to be at the top of that list. Its affect on the science fiction genre as a whole cannot be overstated. It has also heavily influenced both video games and anime for its style and futuristic prospects of what the world may evolve into in time.

The film is set in 2019 Los Angeles in a dark and dreary dystopia, where mankind has adapted to become a technocracy influenced by powerful corporations. Man has mastered interstellar flight and colonies are forming in space. The key to this success has been through the use of androids called “Replicants” who have become so life-like and self-aware that they are nearly indistinguishable from humans and as a result banned from Earth. If a Replicant manages to smuggle themselves to Earth, the police hire a “Blade Runner” to track down the android and kill it.

This brings us to our protagonist, Rick Deckard, a disillusioned former cop who was famous for his ability to eliminate Replicants. Deckard is played by Harrison Ford, who was just coming off the success of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Deckard is tasked to hunt down four Replicants who have committed several murders and illegally entered the city. They are led by Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer. Batty is a combat synthetic soldier with advanced tactical training and genius levels of intelligence.

Deckard travels to meet Eldon Tyrell of the Tyrell corporation, who is responsible for creation of the Replicants. While there, he learns there is a psychological test designed to trigger an emotional response in Replicants in order to distinguish them from humans. He also meets Dr. Tyrell’s daughter, Rachael (Sean Young), and soon becomes infatuated with her.

The next phase of the plot involves Deckard hunting the Replicants down one by one while also pursuing a relationship with Rachael.  The Replicant leader Roy Batty soon learns that he and the other Replicants have a built in half-life of a little more than three years. Realizing this, he seeks to meet his maker and acquire more time to live. In the final phase of the film we see Deckard battling the Replicants in a life and death struggle.

The themes expressed in this film are as numerous as they are profound.  In the end we are left questioning the very nature of humanity as the Replicants struggle to survive. They have hopes, dreams, memories, and the fear that all self-aware beings share: the fear of death.

Actor Rutger Hauer unfortunately passed away on July 19th of this year.  During filming, Hauer rewrote his character’s final lines in the film, and they have been praised ever since as one of the most moving speeches of all time in the sci-fi genre. In memory of the late great Rutger Hauer I’ll shall share it here:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Blade Runner has left quite a mark on pop culture and cinema and I do believe we will continue to see its influence in novels and films for years to come.

Blade Runner is available at the Union University Library.

* Please note it is rated R for violence, brief nudity, and some language.*

 

 

 

 

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Mean Girls”

In the early 2000’s, teen comedies generally focused on the trials and tribulations of high school life, and Mean Girls set the standard for the genre.  This coming-of-age style film is brought together by an amazing cast of Hollywood’s leading young actresses of the time and witty writing by well-established producers and writers.  The film was produced by Lorne Michaels, the famous creator of Saturday Night Live and written by Tina Fey. This background of veteran comedic writing (with a long history of successful sketch comedy) helped to create an immensely funny and quotable film.

The film begins with our protagonist Cady Heron (Lindsey Lohan), who is returning to the United States after twelve years abroad with her parents. Cady is enrolled at North Shore High School and feels immediately like a fish out of water due to her years of homeschooling. She is quickly taken aside and befriended by Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan), a fellow outcast who describes in depth the various cliques that compete in the school for popularity.

Of all the cliques in the school, none is more sought after and notorious than “The Plastics.” This clique features the most popular girls in school; The Plastics flaunt their good looks and their posh sense of fashion while exhibiting profound narcissism. Internally, each of them is filled with insecurities, and they feed off each other in order to maintain their status. This trio of manipulators includes Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried), and the leader, Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Gretchen is a pure follower who is always at Regina’s beck and call. Karen fulfills the  pretty blonde with no brain trope with her antics. Regina is the brains of the group, being the most popular girl in school and a puppet master extraordinaire. She is a crafty demagogue and can be so self-absorbed, she makes Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones look humble.

Regina and The Plastics soon take notice of Cady and quickly befriend her. Cady enjoys the new found allure of parties and popularity, and she quickly develops a crush on Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett). Janis insists that Cady use her new position in the group to get close to Regina and steal her old diary dubbed “The Burn Book,” as it is filled with gossip and secrets about girls and teachers at the school.  Things start to heat up when Regina discovers Cady’s crush and a jealous feud begins. This causes a schism between The Plastics, and Cady becomes the new queen bee mirroring Regina’s own tyrannical behaviors. Desperate and enraged, Regina releases the contents of The Burn Book and total anarchy unfolds. Cady, seeing, what she has become and the damage done to everyone, regrets the choices she made and seeks to reconcile with those she wronged.

This is a fantastic and iconic film. The comedy is top notch and it’s also relatable to anyone who shared similar experiences in high school where you weren’t quite sure where you fit in and hadn’t really discovered your true self. Mean Girls is still such a popular movie that as of late 2017 and 2018, it was adapted by Tina Fey as a Broadway musical in New York City.

Mean Girls is rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive situations. It is available at the Union University Library.