Shows 'N Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

Going Postal

Going Postal (2010)
Based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Going Postal is the best movie between Color of Magic and Hogfather. It’s a nice balance of fantasy, humor, and soul-saving life observation. I believe it’s so good for teenagers!

You can also check out a 2010 review.

Spotlight: Doc Martin TV Series

Spotlight: Doc Martin TV Series (2004-2011)
I’ll watch most anything with British accents. This is one of the funniest! You must watch from Season 1 to Season 3.

Check out a story on NPR about star Martin Clunes. Visit TV.com for more about the show.

Win Win

Win Win (2011) R
I didn’t know what to expect – I’d just heard this was great. What I got was a fantastic film. A comedy – not rolling on the floor laughing – but funny, serious, and heartwarming all at once!

Check out reviews from TIME Magazine and Roger Ebert.

Also enjoy an interview with star Paul Giamatti at the Sundance Film Festival, plus check out a Q&A session with writer/director Tom McCarthy.

Leap Year (2010) PG

One of my favorite romantic comedies. Anna follows her heart to Dublin to propose to her perfect cardiologist boyfriend. She actually finds out what’s the most important thing to save if you’re in a fire. Shows the true Irish spirit and the photography of the Irish landscape is wonderful.

Check the catalog to see if this film is on shelf -- and celebrate leap year with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) PG

Because of Winn-Dixie is about a dog that was found by a ten-year-old girl in a small town in Florida. Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) found the dog in a local grocery store and the dog changed the girl’s life and everyone in this small town. Great movie if you are an animal person or a dog lover. Either way – two thumbs up! Very cute movie.

Looking for more movies about cats and dogs? Check out our movie list.

Something the Lord Made (2004)

Based on a true story, Something the Lord Made is a moving HBO film starring Alan Rickman as Dr. Alfred Blalock, a renowned surgeon at Baltimore's John Hopkins Hospital, and his black lab technician (played by Mos Def) who for the very first time (in the 1940s) attempt to do heart surgery.

Their historic surgery will save "blue babies" from certain death and start the field of cardiology. Jim Crow attitudes about Vivien Thomas, the black, brilliant assistant, play out in this emotional story as man attempts to tamper with the human heart for the first time.

Be sure to listen to the director's comments after viewing this film because it adds a lot of interesting info.

Especially great viewing if you have read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, which is also set at John Hopkins Hospital – in the early 1950s – when racial discrimination still played a huge role.
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Making Mirrors by Gotye (2012)

The Australian singer Gotye covers a lot of ground from psych-rock to soul in his latest album Making Mirrors. However, the songs that stand out are reminiscent of ‘80s pop, especially the hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” This is a fun and different album that everyone should listen to this year.

Check out reviews from NPR and Pitchfork.

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Mad Men. Seasons 1-4 (2007-2010)

This critically acclaimed series is a must-watch television show. Set in the 1960s, it focuses on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the creative director at an advertising firm with a complicated past. The show addresses issues of racism, adultery, and alcoholism with elegance and pose. This masterfully written show is fun to watch as it captures the era perfectly, down to the details with the excessive drinking, beehives, and Eames chairs.

See what's on shelf today: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4. The show has also influenced a number of recently published books: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Mad Women: the other side of life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and beyond, and Mad Men Unbuttoned: a romp through 1960s America.
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Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes (2012)

One of the most talked about the albums of the year, the debut Boys and Girls by the Alabama Shakes does not disappoint. On this powerful soul record, Brittany Howard's vocals are reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding.

After hearing the band interviewed on the radio program Sound Opinions, I was struck by the band’s story and how they struggled to get this record made. The song “Hold On” has an infectious rhythm and will get you dancing no matter where you are.
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Edward Scissorhands (1990) PG-13

I hadn’t seen Edward Scissorhands in about 20 years, but after seeing the previews for Dark Shadows, I decided to revisit the first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. And I’m glad I did.

Edward Scissorhands is a good movie and a classic filled with funny moments. Costarring Winona Ryder.

For more on Tim Burton, check Sally's spotlight of the director.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [original motion picture soundtrack] (2002)

I love listening to soundtracks from different films, and The Lord of the Rings movies have some of the best soundtracks. My favorite from The Two Towers is probably "Evenstar." I can listen to it all the time.

Check back next month for my thoughts on The Return of the King soundtrack.

Did you know? You can see what soundtracks we've added to the collection recently.

httpv://youtu.be/im5CIpMFo4Q

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King [original motion picture soundtrack] (2003)

Another great soundtrack by Howard Shore! The music is very suspenseful and I am usually able to imagine what scenes are playing during each song. I enjoyed listening to this CD when I was in the middle of writing my short story. It gives me a lot of energy and it's very entertaining.

My favorite song from The Return of the King is probably "The Grey Havens." It's the last song during the film, and I think it was a great way to end it.

If you missed last month's review of The Two Towers soundtrack, read it now.

Swing Shift (1984) PG

The stars of the film are the set dressings and costumes for the WWII drama Swing Shift. It was interesting to see the movie where Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell met and fell in love.

To see the reviews from the pros, check out Roger Ebert, The New York Times, and Empire Magazine.

 
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Source Code (2011) PG-13

I enjoyed Source Code. I would recommend it to anyone who liked Inception (2010) and Eagle Eye (2008). There are a few things that I question about the film, but overall it was entertaining to watch.

Check out a Wired.com interview with screenwriter Ben Ripley.

Blunderbuss by Jack White (2012)

If you're a fan of the minimalist tunes of The White Stripes, Blunderbuss by Jack White will have many tunes to please you. Don't miss the song "Love Interruption."

For more on Jack White (half of The White Stripes duo), visit his website.

httpv://youtu.be/iErNRBTPbEc

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