Mom and Dad Review

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Mom and Dad is a horror/comedy film from 2017 about an artificial mass psychosis that causes parents to murder their own children.  Carly and Josh Ryan spend the day trying to survive their parents murderous attempts, while society crumbles around them.

Spoiler Warning

Mom and Dad is all over the place with its narrative style.  There are several flashbacks thrown right in the middle of intense action scenes that sort of disrupt the flow of things.  There will be an abrupt cut from one scene to another just as the action was building up.  Initially its distracting but it does serve a purpose to help give context to the events that are currently going on.

I went into this thinking it was strictly a horror movie causing myself to be extremely confused by what was happening on the screen as a result.  Nicolas Cage plays Brent Ryan, the father of the two kids.  I thought Nics performance was initially over the top.  I found myself asking “what am I watching?” plenty of times as his character gave extremely exaggerated reactions to situations.  Knowing now that it was intentional, I can say that Cage stole the show.  His character was hilarious.  I broke out in laughter multiple times when he was on screen.  There was one scene where he was chasing his son Josh through the house while barking like a dog for some reason.  In another scene he has a meltdown over his wife asking him why he bought a pool table when he doesn’t even like pool, so he procees to destroy it with a sledgehammer while singing the hokey pokey while his wife doesn’t seem fazed by this behavior.  This movie is one of Cages best performances in recent memory.

All in all this movie is entertaining.  I liked the action, and Cages hilarious acting.  The plot really isn’t new, movies like The Signal, The Crazies, and Cell have all done the “something turns people into murderous psychos” thing before.  Mom and Dad is the first thats added comedy to the mix though, and it does it well.

6.5/10

-Andre

 

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Upcoming Horror Movies 2018

2017 bought some pretty good horror movies like Get Out, IT, Creep 2, and Alien Covenant.  2018 is shaping up to be a good year for horror as well.  We’ve had A Quiet Place, Veronica, and the Ritual that were pretty good, but there’s a lot more coming out to keep your horror hungers satiated!

The First Purge

Always been a fan of the Purge series, they’re fun and entertaining.  The latest entry looks to up the chaos in all the best ways.  We get to see how the country came to the point where the concept of an annual purge was a good idea to implement.

The Nun

A spin off of the popular Conjuring series.  This one follows the creepy character that had a minor part in Conjuring 2.

The Meg

Another shark attack movie, except this one features a giant shark!  This one looks to be a blockbuster.  Will it measure up to Jaws?  Probably not.  Will it be good?  I hope so.

Venom

Venom actually looks amazing in the trailer.  Follows Eddie Brock as he becomes one of the most iconic comic book villains ever.  Somehow there’s no Spider-Man in this and that worries me.  Might have to sit this one out till its on DVD.

Slender Man

Based on the popular creepypasta meme that’s been floating around for a bit.  This one looks like it’ll be genuinely creepy.

Predator

Another Predator movie!  As long as its better than Predator 2 it should be a hit.

Halloween(2018)

The original scream queen returns for the “final” (they said that last time) showdown with her deranged brother Michael.  This one takes place 40 years after the original film ignoring the previous sequels.

Overlord

World War II movie that takes place on D-day.  US troopers drop behind enemy lines to find a Nazi occupied village experimenting with supernatural forces.  J. J. Abrams is attached and there’s speculation that it could be related to the Cloverfield franchise.  Giant monsters maybe?

Suspiria

An american travels to Europe to join a prestigious dance academy.  She finds herself in the midst of brutal murders that may have a supernatural connection.  This ones a remake of the 1977 film.  Never saw it, but I plan to before this one comes out.

-Andre

Creep 2 Review

Creep-2 posterCreep 2 is the sequel to the sleeper hit CreepCreep 2 picks up the story of the “Peachfuzz killer,” as he takes out another ad for a videographer.  Sara, an up and coming video artist answers his ad and upon their initial meeting he confesses to her that he’s a serial killer.  Sara doesn’t believe him but decides to stay and film him anyway, hoping it’ll be interesting enough to bring attention to her art.  By the end of their day together she laments answering that ad when she realizes she’s made a big mistake.

Spoiler Warning

Creep 2 is similar to the first film in tone, but it doesn’t really have the same slow burn as the first. In this movie we learn more about Peachfuzz, from his past and his motivations for what he does.  Yet he still manages to keep the same mysterious persona even as he reveals details about himself that may or may not be true.  From the start of the film, Peachfuzz is going through a sort of midlife crisis, hes killed thirty-nine people so far and after his 39th kill he feels unfulfilled and believes that he needs to do something spectacular for his 40th kill.  This causes him to have internal conflicts that bubble to the surface of his usually hard to read behavior when interacting with Sara.  Contrary to the first movie where he was disarmingly friendly, he’s erratic and sets off multiple red flags causing Sara to arm herself for protection.

Unlike with his previous friendship with Aaron, Peachfuzz bonds more with Sara as she displays some of the same eccentric behavior that he does.  Tactics that he’d used to toy with Aaron, and most likely victims before him were fairly ineffective on Sara.  Everything he’d do to try and throw her off or cause her unease, she’d respond in kind.  This lead to an interesting dynamic as its still obvious that Sara doesn’t believe him about being a serial killer, but we can see that Peachfuzz is achieving some sort of calm as the day goes on.  This ultimately leads to him deciding that his 40th kill will be himself, as he attempts various suicide attempts, culminating in Sara deciding she’d had enough.  As with Aaron in the first film, Peachfuzz manages to expertly manipulate her back to him and letting her guard down.  Peachfuzz attempts yet another suicide attempt, this one causing Sara to realize he’s been telling her the truth about who he is this entire time.  Following this final attempt, Sara is wounded but manages to escape.

Creep 2 follows its predecessors formula and improves on it.  Although the plot remains roughly the same, he characters are still intriguing and engaging.  I like the development they’ve given to Peachfuzz, he went from being this quirky, mysterious weirdo, to a more complex villain with internal struggles that still leave you questioning his actions.  Is he genuinely trying to find someone to be his companion or is this just how he gets close to his victims?  Overall I enjoyed this movie and can’t wait for the third title in the series.

8/10

-Andre

Bedeviled Review

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Bedeviled is a supernatural horror film released in 2016.  Bedeviled follows a group of high school friends who all get a link from their friends phone after her mysterious death.  Naturally, they all click it and have an unknown app called “Mr. Bedevil” installed to their phones.  The app is essential Apples Siri, if she were Pennywise the Dancing Clown.  Mr. Bedevil is some kind of supernatural force that preys on the fears of those who install the app, eventually scaring them to death.

I found this film to be lackluster yet entertaining for all the wrong reasons.  For starters I find it hard to believe that six kids would click a random link sent from their dead friends phone.  Also from the beginning Mr. Bedevil lets on to the kids that he knows everything about them and is capable of controlling their environment.  I don’t think many people would be comfortable with an app that they known nothing about having the ability to control appliances in their home, but these kids initially love it until things get more malicious.  Mr. Bedevil never really goes after any of the teens unless they’re alone, which they happen to be for the majority of the film.  There are six teens in the film being stalked by the app and we only see one of the teens parents for a few minutes.  The rest of the kids are shown walking home on deserted streets, changing in empty locker rooms, sitting home alone, and running through empty parking structures alone.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to have the characters isolated so much as the movie shows at one point that Mr. Bedevil is capable of possessing other people around them in order to harass them.

The movie borrows heavily from other films in the horror genre, the grudge, the ring,  final destination, and IT.  There were actually two scenes that were exact copies from IT in this.  The characters were pretty bad and stupid and their solutions made no sense.  They realize that the Mr. Bedevil uses their fears to kill them, yet none of them make any attempt to overcome what they’re afraid of.  One of the characters had a fear of her grandmother when she was a child and Mr. Bedevil is still able to torment her with this fear years later.  Their solutions to get rid of the app make no sense from the information given in the movie.  They cant uninstall it by regular means.  One character literally breaks his phone and it’s magically repaired before him.  But somehow the solution to get rid of the app is to write a code that uninstalls it when Mr. Bedevil is in their world and it works for some reason.  How though?  The app installed itself to their phones in the first place once they clicked the link and can manipulate the world at will.  Even though they uninstall it whats stopping the spirit from just installing it on their phones again?  If it can magically repair a destroyed phone in a blink of an eye how does uninstalling the program do anything?

Overall this movie is riddled with cheap jump scares and a cliche plot that drags.   The acting was bland.  Characters seemed bored when they spoke to each other.  I liked Mr. Bedevil even though his “original form” is laughably bad the different forms he would take to torment his victims were pretty creepy.  There were some scenes that were funny on purpose, such as when one teen was talking to Mr. Bedevil on the bus and got insulted. As well as some that were unintentionally funny, same teen as before is being chased through the parking structure by Mr. Bedevil and runs past the exit to outside and gets cornered.  All in all its a pretty “meh” film.

4/10

-Andre

Mango Languages – Spanish Unit I

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Your library card gives you access to not only our collection, but also our many online resources. One that I have found particularly useful is Mango Languages, at tool that offers lessons for 72 languages including popular ones like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese.  You can also learn some fun ones like English (Shakespearian) and Pirate. Arr me hearty! That means “Great, my friend!” The program also offers other ways to learn like movies through Mango Premiere, offering culture-packed flicks to curious learners and foreign-film buffs alike, and Little Pim for lessons geared towards kids.

I will share with you my experience using the Spanish lessons. To begin, create an account using your library card. Next, choose a language you would like to study. You may then choose a course you would like to study. Spanish offers two basic units, Unit 1: Building the basics with 10 Chapters and 60 lessons and Unit 2: Expanding the Essentials with 10 Chapters and 123 lessons. Lessons usually only take 5-10 minutes so it is easy to knock out as many or as few as you want a day. The course also offers several specialty lessons you can complete alongside the main units for Legal, Text Talk, Medical, Business, Romance, and Spanish for Librarians. They vary in length with Business and Spanish for Librarians offering the most content.

Unit 1 Mango

Lessons are comprised of around 50 slides each containing a word or phrase in English the user must translate from English into Spanish before the time limit runs out, revealing the answer. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time, each section is played multiple times in several variations giving you multiple chances to get it right. Much of the material will be drawn from a conversation played at the beginning of the chapter, but it can also include related words and phrases.  Narration accompanies all lessons to repeat the translation and the answer. If you have a microphone, you can use the voice comparison feature to check your pronunciation, though it may take a few tries for it to read your voice. Interspersed with lessons are grammar and cultural cues that give more information on things like grammatical gender, tense, and to not take unmarked taxies when traveling through Latin America. Once a chapter is complete, the initial conversation will play again and you will hopefully be able to follow along.

I have enjoyed my time with the course and will continue to use it in the future. I completed Unit 1 and Spanish for Librarians and currently chipping away at Unit 2. While it is not as strict or in-depth as other language programs like Duolingo, it is useful for quick lessons. Keep yourself from clicking the “Show Answer” button as much as you can to gain the most from your lessons. While this program is helpful, it should be used in conjunction with others traditional language acquisition activities and most importantly SPEAKING with native speakers. The library also offers a wide variety of books and movies in Spanish that make a great way to expand your Spanish fluency. As they say, the best way to learn is to do!

 

MARCH MADNESS

Bracket

 

March Madness is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States that features 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the idea of Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen.  Played mostly during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.

The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These “at-large” teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the “First Four” play-in games, currently held in Dayton, Ohio, and dubbed Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination “bracket”, which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is “seeded”, or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a “first four” consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight” rounds the next week and weekend, respectively, and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the “Final Four” round. The Final Four is usually played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region (East, South, Midwest, and West), compete in a pre-selected location for the national championship.

The Fountaindale Public Library is proud to present this month’s lobby tree display in celebration of March Madness with a plethora of books to choose from as well as a smattering of DVDs and CDs that take a look at all aspects of this popular sporting event.

 

Here is a sampling of some of the titles that await you:

  1. Great Teams in College Basketball History by Luke DeCock
  2. Last Dance: Behind The Scenes at The Final Four by John Feinstein
  3. The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein
  4. NCAA Basketball Championship by Annalise Bekkering
  5. When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis

 

…And, it’s all conveniently located for you on the 1st Floor, right when you first walk in!

 

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So, come on in and celebrate this famous and popular annual sporting event.
-Brian

New Year, New You?

Last year I swore it would be a New Year, New Me type of attitude. Well at least when it came to my eating habits. I had informed everyone in my family and my fiancé that 2017 would be the year I would start watching what I ate and start to eat healthier and exercise. Well as we already know, changing a lifestyle of eating habits overnight is no walk on the park.

It’s been a whole year now and I have changed a couple of things in my eating habits. I eat less candy, no chocolate, and a little bit of chips but not too often. But, the most important thing is I’ve been getting ingredients that are low sodium or reduced fat. However, that still isn’t enough. I need to do more so I can feel more energetic and just overall start on a cleaner diet. Luckily, Fountaindale has many useful databases that can help.

I decided to try Gale Courses. I searched cooking and looked through the many results it gave me. I then looked at the start dates and selected one that I found worked with my work schedule and clicked, “enroll now.” I then, selected my course start date, clicked “continue”, and created a free Gale Courses account with my library card. After I registered to the course, I received an email with a confirmation number. The class I signed up for was, Luscious, Low-Fat, Lightning-Quick Meals to teach me how to eat better.

Start Course dates are:

  • January 17, 2018
  • February 14, 2018
  • March 14, 2018
  • April 11, 2018

Before starting a course, it gives you all the information you need. It provides the syllabus that contains all the information you need to know and what the next 6 weeks will be like. It also provides the requirements that will be needed in order to complete this course, which in this case is only an email and internet. I believe this is a fun class to take and to learn more about cooking. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to bring up the flavor and start eating healthier this New Year join me. Or sign up for another class. Better late than never, I say. Let the lessons begin!

food blog -DR