The 2014 Winter Movie Program


Beginning this month until the end of March, Fountaindale Public Library is proud to present the Winter Movie Program!!! The guidelines for the program are very simple. Adults, 6th grade and up participate by viewing movies and then writing reviews online.  The movies can be ones you’ve watched on DVD, TV, or even at a movie theater.

Reviews can be entered at the following link:


All you need to do is sign in with a User Name and a Password.  If you don’t have one, all you have to do is to click on the “Sign Me Up” button to get started.

At the end of each month (January, February, and March) there will be a drawing held to win a prize.  And that is it!

So get out the popcorn, pop in a movie, and enjoy the fun!!!


-Brian S.


The buzz around here the past few days was the Blizzard (complete with Thundersnow).  We’ve made it through this one, but more snow is on the way. Stacks of DVDs have been getting checked out in preparation of settling in during this weather.  Recently, I’ve watched a few documentaries that I enjoyed and wanted to share. So, for those of you who like dance, music, wine, and art put these in your queue. Stay warm!

Ballerina (2006) “An intimate portrait of five ballerinas from the Kirov.”  From IMDB.

Blood Into Wine (2010) website Maynard Keenan, Tim & Eric, Milla Jovovich, Patton Oswalt, Arizona, Wine!

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) website Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. He fiercely guards his anonymity to avoid prosecution. An eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempts to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. Includes footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls and in interview. As Banksy describes it, “It’s basically the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed.” Written by Paranoid Pictures

Recently nominated for Oscar for Best Documentary. To quote my friend and artist, Michael Rank, “That movie singled-handedly made me love AND hate art at the same time.” I completely agree.

The Heart Is a Drum Machine (2009) Facebook page “What is music? Many of today’s top artists and scholars grapple with the question in this cinematic look at a uniquely human obsession. The Heart is a Drum Machine is a new feature documentary film project from the producers of Moog.” From IMDB

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (2005) website Fans will love this part autobiography, part concert.

All of these titles are availble on Netflix streaming. What are you watching? Let us know!


“Lighten up, it’s just fashion!”

Illustration by Cassandra Rhodin

Every time I read that quote, “Lighten up, it’s just fashion!” I see Santino Rice singing in my mind. I was devoted to On the Road with Austin and Santino and Project Runway Season 8 last fall. I had high hopes for one Designer from the first episode on Project Runway. I live tweeted my support with hundreds of other fans each week. I still love Mondo Guerra. After the disappointing finale, I no longer want to watch Project Runway but I was still intrigued by fashion behind-the-scenes. I found The Frisky’s post about 20 fashion documentaries and have been going through list. Much to my surprise, I found several of the titles on Netflix streaming.  Here’s what I’ve enjoyed so far (with descriptions from IMDB):

September Issue (2009) “A documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.”

Seamless (2005) “A look at what it takes for young designers to make it in the fashion world.”

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008) “A look at the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino.”

Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times (2002) “A look into the life of the man who re-imagined women’s fashion.” (Austin Scarlett really reminds me of Yves.)

Eleven Minutes (2008) “Feature documentary following fashion designer, Jay McCarroll’s year-long journey preparing his first independent runway show and selling his clothing line to stores.”

Unzipped (1995) “Isaac Mizrahi, one of the most successful designers in high fashion, plans his fall 1994 collection.”

Want more? Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2011 is February 10-17.  Check out photos & videos from Spring 2011! Even more? Check out this list of Fashion Biographies and Memoirs.


Spotlight on Natalie Portman

I, like many others, think that Natalie Portman is going to get an Oscar for Black Swan, her darkest role, yet.  I feel that she is one of the greatest actresses out there. I had a hunch way back when I saw Beautiful Girls that she was definitely going to be something great. Her roles prove that she has range. Who can forget her rap on SNL?

If you missed any of these, check them out!

Beautiful Girls Natalie plays Marty the young girl next door.

Star Wars I-III as Queen Amidala/Padme

Garden State – I love the classic scene with Sam listening to the Shins.  I had this soundtrack on repeat for months!

Closer – Infidelity affects two couples.

V for Vendetta – Another of my top Sci-fi films. Freedom Forever!

Hotel Chevalier/Darjeeling Limited – I love Wes Anderson’s films. All of them.

Other Boleyn Girl – Natalie as Anne Boleyn

Black Swan – Nina Sayers competes for the role of her life.

Natalie has 3 more movies to be released this year. I’m rooting for you Natalie!!


Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies

With each new year, the date is starting to resemble those in Science fiction movies. Our reality is close to those futuristic ideas in classic novels.  In honor of that fact, here’s a list of my top Sci-Fi movies.

*Note: Quotes taken from IMBD.

1. Event Horizon (1997) “A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board.”

2. Aliens (1986) “The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?” Aliens designed by H.R. Giger. Oscar Winning film.

3. Pandorum (2009) “A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.”

4. Sunshine (2007) “A team of astronauts are sent to re-ignite the dying sun 50 years into the future.”

5. Minority Report (2002) “In the future, criminals are caught before the crimes they commit, but one of the officers in the special unit is accused of one such crime and sets out to prove his innocence.” Oscar Nominee.

6. Abyss (1989)”A civilian diving team are enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.” Oscar Winner.

7. Star Wars – All of them. Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) Won 6 Oscars.

8. Terminator (1984) &  Terminator 2 : Judgement Day (1991) “The cyborg who once tried to kill Sarah Connor must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from an even more powerful and advanced Terminator.” Won 4 Oscars.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) One of my favorite movies of all time. How far would you go to get over a relationship? Would you erase the memory of that person? Won an Oscar.

10.  Matrix (1999) “A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.” Won 4 Oscars.

Want more? Check out this great post of the Top 40 Greatest Science-Fiction Films or IMDB’s Best/Worst Sci-Fi Titles.

Leave your favorites in the comments!


Best of 2010

It’s that time of year again, The Best of lists.


Brian’s picks: Mysteriosos and Other Poems by Michael McClure, My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses by Steven Adler, Life by Keith Richards, and Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Sabrina’s picks: These were my favorite books I read in 2010, but they weren’t published last year. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, Her Fearful Symmetry By Audrey Neffinegger and Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman, Scott Pilgrim series

Check out the following links to see what was hottest this year.

Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2010


Best Album

Brian’s Picks: Deth Red Sabaoth by Danzig, When You’re Strange (Original Soundtrack) by The Doors, Singularity by Robby Krieger, The Doors – Live In Vancouver 1970 (2CD)

Sabrina’s Picks: Fame Monster by Lady Gaga, Treats by Sleigh Bells

Best Concert

Brian’s Picks: Roger Waters – The Wall Live at the United Center, Soundgarden at Lollapolooza, Eric Burdon and the Animals at Ribfest, Harry Connick Jr. at the Chicago Theater, Henry Rollins at The Vic, and Danzig at the Congress Theater

Sabrina’s Picks: Lady Gaga and Semi Precious Weapons at Lollapalooza, The Dead Weather, The Sleigh Bells, Puscifer

Headphones art by revopics @deviantart

Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2010


Brian’s Picks: When You’re Strange, The Wolf Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1

Sabrina’s Picks: Book of Eli, Youth In Revolt, Scott Pilgrim, Get Him to the Greek

Movies of 2010 – This is not a “Best of” list, it’s all movies released in 2010.

TV Shows:

Brian’s Picks: True Blood, Walking Dead

Sabrina’s Picks: Project Runway Season 8 ( I heart Mondo!), The Office, Glee, Dexter, In Treatment

What was your Top Picks of 2010?


More Top Christmas Movies

I would have to agree with Brian with several of his Christmas Movie picks. I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and It’s a Wonderful Life. A few that I would include are:

Elf (2003) How can Buddy not be your favorite? He’s so enthusiastic and sweet. He loves sugar and knows Santa. Zooey Deschanel reminded me of my love for the wonderful song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

My favorite song, What’s This?, while Jack explores Christmas Town for the first time.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

From his sweet dog who topples over with the heavy branch to little Cindy Lou Who, The Grinch has always been a favorite Christmas character, especially when his heart grows 3 times that day.

A Christmas Story (1983) is probably the most loved Christmas movie of all time. I will most likely catch it twice during the 24 hour marathon. With so many iconic scenes in this film-the leg lamp, double dog dares, the pink nightmare, the Bumpus’ hounds, and of course Ralphie’s  Red Ryder BB Gun paper and Santa experience, how can you choose a favorite?

Love Actually (2003) is the story of 8 couples during the holiday season.  Recommended for those who enjoy romance.

Scrooged (1988). Two words: Bill Murray. I love him and pretty much any movie he’s been in! Frank Cross gets a visit from three Christmas ghosts.

Honorable mentions:

The Holiday (2006) Two women swap homes and romance ensues.

Gremlins (1984) This adorable Christmas present comes with three very important rules!

Die Hard (1988) Action-packed Christmas.

Check out this extensive list that includes movies, made for tv, and Christmas as a scene in the movie- but not typically a “Christmas film”.  I plan on watching two movies that I haven’t seen yet, White Christmas and The Polar Express. Happy Holidays!


Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies

Since it is THAT time of the year again, with misletoe, candy canes, and presents; in addition to being the resident music expect here at the Fountaindale Library, I am also quite the movie aficionado as well! So, in addition, to my Top 5 Favorite Christmas albums, I have also concocted my Top 5 Favorite Christmas movies!!! These five Christmas movies I am always sure to revisit again and again throughout the holiday season.  Without further ado…



1.  “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946)

My fondness for this movie cannot be understated.  I  absolutely adore this movie with every fiber of my being.  I find it very inspiring and moving.  It’s one of the few movies to get me truly misty-eyed and continues to do so every time I watch it.    The movie tells the story about about one George Bailey (played brilliantly by James “Jimmy” Stewart) a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (also played brilliantly  by Henry Travers.) Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and the contributions he has made to his community.



2. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”  (1989)

Ah…Christmas with the Griswold’s…what could possibly go wrong??  How about everything!  Especially when you throw cousin Eddie into the mix!  It’s Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for the annual family celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (played by Chevy Chase at a career peak), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their two kids (a young Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki.)  Clark’s continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests (including a scene-stealing Randy Quaid as the obnoxious and dim-witted, but enduring, Cousin Eddie), but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.  However, the Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster!



3.  “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”   (1983)

This Disney take on this classic tale is quite a charmer.  It includes all the classic Disney animated characters playing various roles in this animated retelling of the Charles Dickens masterpiece.  Uncle Scrooge McDuck is, appropriately enough, Scrooge and is visited by his dead partner,  Jacob Marley (played clumsily by Goofy)  and three spirits (The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future) on Christmas Eve in order for Scrooge to remember the joys of Christmas.



4.  “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”   (1964)

From the awesome team of Rankin and Bass comes “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer”.  It starts with Sam the Snowman telling a story of a young misfit reindeer with a red nose named Rudolph who teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector. They run into the Abominable Snowman and also find a whole island full of misfit toys. Rudoph vows to see if he can get Santa to help the toys by going back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.  However, due to fog,  it looks like Santa’s sleigh might be locked in for good…until Santa looks over Rudolph and his very shiny nose;  he gets a very, very bright idea…



5.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas”   (1965)

A heart-warming classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” features Charlie Brown and the gang during this festive season, however, Charlie Brown feels that Christmas has gotten a little too commercial and tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.  On Lucy’s suggestion, he becomes the director of the school Christmas paegent. However, it proves to be a frustrating struggle as everyone but Charlie wants to vary from the original text and make something more modern.  Trying to restore the proper spirit, Charlie buys a little fir Christmas tree which everyone teases him for until Linus’ helps everyone to see what the true meaning of Christmas really is.  This is another Christmas movie sure to bring a wee tear to one’s eye!




So gather the family ’round the tree, bring out the eggnog and hot chocolate, and revel and bask in the Christmas Spirit with Christmas movies of the highest caliber!  “That a boy, Clarence!!  That a boy!”


-Brian S.

Not Your Average Christmas Movie

The holiday season is finally upon us. It’s unmistakable you can sense it in the air and also in the the stores, yuck! so many crowds of people. I know that when this season comes around all I want to do is snuggle up next to the one I love in a warm blanket with a cup of hot coco, possibly spiked with a little holiday cheer, and watch a good holiday movie to avoid the holiday crowds.

Tomorrow (12/3/2010) is the release of a new Finnish movie called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. I have been waiting for this movie to come out since it was first announced. I have always liked unconventional Christmas tales and this one is about as unconventional as they come. By just looking at the Movie Poster you can already tell this movie is going to be a riot.

The basis of the movie goes something like this: On Christmas Eve in Finland, Santa Claus is unearthed in an archaeological dig. Soon after, children start disappearing, leading a boy and his father to capture Santa and, with the help of fellow hunters, they look to sell him back to the corporation that sponsored the dig. And then there’s Santa’s elves, who are determined to free their leader…at any cost.

With the movie already having a 7.6 out of 10 rating on you already know this movie is going to be a winner. I’ll have to let you know how the movie turns out once I finally get to watch it, but for now to hold everyone over who is as anxious as I am to see this film, I posted the trailer.



-Jake L.-

Leslie Nielsen Remembered

On November 28th, the world lost a comic luminary, legendary funny man Leslie Nielsen. He died of complications of pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale. He was 84. But in those 84 years, he managed to have one of the most long term and enduring careers in cinema history.

Nielsen started his career off in a number of films including the “Forbidden Planet” (1956) and the original “Poseidon Adventure” (1972). However, it wasn’t until 1980′s “Airplane!” that Nielsen became a star. It was this movie that, seemingly overnight, changed the public’s perception of the dramatic actor to that of comedian. However, it was the Naked Gun Series as Detective Frank Drebin that thrust Nielsen into the stratosphere and that he is perhaps best known for.

The Naked Gun Series began with 1988′s “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” It was followed by two sequels, “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” (1991) and “Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult” (1994). The three films chronicle the adventures of the bumbling police Lieutenant Frank Drebin. The first film was an immediate commercial and critical success and has proved to be an instant classic. While not as critically as well received, the sequels both proved to be commercial successes and popular with audiences. All three movies debuted at the number 1 spot.

Here is a very popular clip and one sure to tickle your funny bone, from the first “Naked Gun” movie:

As a kid who grew up in the ’80s when this first came out and now as an adult watching this clip, it STILL cracks me up…just like the first time! And that is part of Leslie Nielsen’s charm, he created something that was timeless. It goes to prove the old adage that while he may be gone, he will not be forgotten. His humor will live on and continue to do so always in his movies. And, Shirley, I’m serious…

-Brian S

  • Meet Our Bloggers

    While we are interested in quite a bit of the same subject matter, our tastes are very different. If you like a post by one of us, you can click on the name in the tagging area of the post and see all of the posts by that specific blogger.

  • J.

    Interests include Books, Movies, Music, Video Games, Zombies, Technology
  • Sabrina

    Interests include X Meets Y Book Club (and books in general), Art, Music, Travel, TV Shows, Movies, Fashion, Health
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