Battlestar Galactica

With Caprica Season 1.0 about to be released on DVD, I think this is a great time to revisit its predecessor.  It isn’t often that my husband and I can both sit down and enjoy the same TV series, but when I brought home Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 from the library, we were both instantly hooked. 

The show starts off with a familiar concept:  a few decades ago, humans created artificial intelligence called Cylons in order to make their lives easier, but the Cylons eventually waged war on their human masters.  A truce was declared, and the Cylons weren’t heard from for 40 years.  But just as the fleet’s oldest ship (the Battlestar Galactica) is about to be decomissioned, the Cylons return and attack the colonies, leaving only about 50,000 humans alive.  All while being hunted by the Cylons, the last living humans must search the galaxy for their new home:  a mythical place called Earth.

With a cast of compelling and complex characters (including Galactica’s Commander, his son the pilot, the newly sworn in President of the colonies,  a pilot with a BIG secret, and a morally conflicted scientist), the show is not just another action-packed sci-fi adventure.  It is also filled with drama, political strife, theological questions, and even some romance here and there.  The twists and turns are shocking, and the plotlines really make you think about our society today.  The way the seasons are packaged is a little annoying (it goes season 1, 2.0, 2.5, 3, 4.0, and 4.5) so it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally skip a season.  I could write pages and pages about this show, but I think I should stop now so that I don’t ruin any surprises.  Trust me, you don’t want to be spoiled.  Stop by the library to pick up a copy of Season 1I can almost guarantee you’ll be coming back for Season 2.0 within days.

DVDS for October

October 5

Karate Kid – Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan

Dre Parker finds himself in China after his mother’s latest career move. He and classmate Mei Ying immediately fall for each other, but cultural differences make this friendship impossible. Even worse, his feelings make an enemy of class bully Cheng, who is quite adept at kung fu. Dre turns to maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a kung fu master, and learns that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm. However, Dre realizes that this may be the fight of his life.

Splice – Adrien Brody

Two young scientists become superstars by splicing different animal DNA to create fantastical new creatures. Ignoring legal and ethical boundaries, the scientists, who are romantically involved, introduce human DNA into their experiment and risk the dawn of a terrifying new era.

Nightmare on Elm Street – Jackie Earle Haley

Five teenage friends living on one street all dream of a sinister man with a disfigured face, a frightening voice, and a gardener’s glove with knives for fingers. One by one, he terrorizes them within their dreams, where the rules are his and the only way out is to wake up. But when one among them dies, they soon realize that what happens in their dreams happens for real and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake.

October 12

Jonah Hex – Josh Brolin, John Malkovich

Having survived death, Jonah’s violent history is steeped in myth and legend and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the ‘other side.’ His one human connection is with Lilah, whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah’s past catches up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can’t refuse: to wipe out the warrants on his head, he must hunt and stop dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbul.

October 15

How to Train your Dragon

Hiccup is a Viking teenager who aspires to hunt dragons, but doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. His world gets turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

October 19

Please Give – Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt,

Kate has a lot on her mind. There’s the ethics problem of buying furniture at estate sales and marking it up at her Manhattan store. There’s the materialism problem of not wanting her teenage daughter to want the expensive things that she wants. There’s the marriage problem of sharing a partnership in parenting, business, and life with husband Alex but sensing doubt nibbling at the foundations. And worst of all are the neighbors: cranky, old Andra and the two granddaughters who look after her.

Predators – Adrien Brody, Topher Grace

Royce is a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human ‘predators’ find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it’s the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey. Explore the Predator universe like never before with exclusive Motion Comics that take you beyond the movie.

The Girl Who Played with Fire ( Swedish) – Noomi Repace

Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. A researcher and a Millennium journalist about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and violent behavior makes her an official danger to society. Digging deeper, Blomkvist unearths evidence implicating highly placed members of Swedish society, as well as shocking details about Salander’s past.

Sex and City 2 – Sarah Jessica Parker

The fun, the fashion, the friendship: this hilarious sequel brings it all back and more as Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda come together to take another bite out of the Big Apple and beyond. What happens after you say ‘I do’? Life is everything the ladies ever wished it would be, but it wouldn’t be Sex and the City if life didn’t hold a few more surprises. After all, sometimes you just have to get away with the girls.

Blockbuster Summer Movies

Recently the magazine Time Out New York listed the 30 best summer blockbusters ever. Borrow some these DVDs from the library and stage your own summer film festival!

Here are the top 10:

10. Aliens (1986) Sigourney Weaver

Ripley returns to the alien planet to stop them from killing off an entire colony. But when she gets there along with a group of marines, they only find one survivor, a small girl. Now they must fight hordes of aliens to save her.

9.Face/Off (1997) John Travola, Nicolas

A federal agent assumes the identity of a presumed-dead terrorist who killed his son. When the terrorist wakes up, he assumes the identity of the agent.

8. Terminator 2 (1991) Arnold Schwarzenegger

A shape-shifting cyborg is sent to the past to kill young John Conner before he can grow up to lead the resistance. But the resistance manages to send a protector back in an attempt to save him.

7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3P0 escape in the damaged Millennium Falcon. Later, on Bespin, they are captured by Lord Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker, meanwhile, follows Ben Kenobi’s posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah.

6. Fahrenheit 9/11

Using actual footage and declassified documents, Michael Moore examines the Bush administration’s financial ties to the bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia, and our involvement in Iraq, both before and after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore

Elliott is a young boy from a broken home who discovers an extra-terrestrial creature that has been stranded on Earth – light years from home. Together they form a universal friendship, and Elliott helps E.T. ‘phone home.’

4. Ghostbusters (1984) Dan Akyroyd, Bill Murray

After being kicked out of their university, parapsychology professors Spengler, Stantz and Venkman decide to go into business for themselves by trapping and removing ghosts from haunted houses. After some initial skepticism, business is soon booming as The Ghost Busters rid New York of its undead. When a downtown skyscraper becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, however, the problem may be more than the team can handle.

3. Star Wars (1977) Mark Hamill, Sir Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Star Wars: A New Hope opens with a rebel ship being boarded by the tyrannical Darth Vader. The plot then follows the life of a simple farmboy, Luke Skywalker, as he and his newly met allies (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2) attempt to rescue a rebel leader, Princess Leia, from the clutches of the Empire. The conclusion is culminated as the Rebels, including Skywalker and flying ace Wedge Antilles make an attack on the Empires most powerful and ominous weapon, the Death Star.

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

Indiana Jones battles fierce Nazis in hopes of stopping them from using the power of the lost Ark of the Covenant.

1. Jaws (1975) Roy Scheider

A Long Island vacation town is preyed upon by a man-eating shark. Recently appointed Police Chief Martin Brody faces domestic troubles and searing criticism for not closing the beaches in the wake of the deadly shark attacks. Now, Brody must decide how to retake the waters, employing the aid of a young ichthyologist and a vengeful fisherman.

DVDs for June

June 1

Wolfman – Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro

Lawrence Talbot is lured back to his family estate to investigate the savage murder of his brother by a bloodthirsty beast. There, Talbot must confront his childhood demons, his estranged father, his brother’s grieving fiancee, and a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector. When Talbot is bitten by the creature, he becomes eternally cursed and soon discovers a fate far worse than death.

Alice in Wonderland – Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter

Alice, now 19 years old, returns to the whimsical world she first entered as a child and embarks on a journey to discover her true destiny. Bonus features include: Finding Alice; The Mad Hatter; and Effecting Wonderland.

June 8

Shutter Island – Leonardo Dicaprio, Jackie Earle Haley

When U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels arrives at the asylum for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, what starts as a routine investigation quickly takes a sinister turn. As the investigation unfolds and Daniels uncovers more shocking and terrifying truths about the island, he also learns there are some places that never let you go.

June 22

Last Station – Paul Gramatti, Christopher Plummer

In honor of his newly created religion, Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy renounces his title, property, and family in favor of poverty and celibacy. For the Countess Sofya, his wife of nearly fifty years, this is the last straw! After she discovers his plans to leave the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his own family, she decides to use every trick of seduction in her considerable arsenal to fight for what she believes is rightfully hers.

June 29

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympians – Sean Bean, Pierce Bronson

Percy Jackson is no ordinary teenager, he’s the son of Poseidon and is accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, the most powerful weapon ever created! With storm clouds brewing, Percy embarks on an incredible cross-country journey to prove his innocence, recover the bolt, and prevent a war among the gods that could destroy our world!

Gone Too Soon

If you’re a fan of television it’s probably happened to you – and probably more than once. You start watching a new show, you really enjoy it and start to follow it and then – BAM! – it gets canceled, usually before an important story line is finished. A lot of these shows are critical darlings, but never found a large audience, or they’re the victim of being moved to different nights and times too often. The Hollywood writer’s strike two years ago was devastating for several shows. While we can’t fire up production again on some of these beloved shows, thanks to DVDs the library can give you a chance to go back and re-live many shows, even those with too short of a run to go to syndication. Here’s just a sampling of what we have available:

Veronica Mars (victim of network tinkering, the first season is outstanding, 2nd and 3rd seasons go progressively downhill)

Firefly (yanked by FOX despite rabid fan following; those fans helped push the making of the feature film, Serenity)

Better Off Ted (funnier than The Office, this corporate snark-fest was big on laughs, low on viewers partly because it’s schedule changed constantly)

Eli Stone (creative thinking outside the box and the writer’s strike spelled doom for this fun drama)

Pushing Daisies (nothing else quite like it on tv – funny, romantic, silly, profound, and colorful with pies! – the writer’s strike prevented it from picking up the audience it deserved)

What about you? Any short-lived tv series you’d love to see again?

Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

submitted by Georgann

FledgingI’m so glad to read this newest offering about the Liaden Universe fro Lee and Miller. They have become some of my favorite Sci-fi authors. I have loved and enjoyed each of their books I have read so far! I am glad to report that each of their books in the series is being republished and DPL is in the process of acquiring them all. Even if you aren’t a Sci-fi fan, I think anyone who likes adventures with a great romance tossed in would enjoy these books.

Theo Waitley, the main character in Fledgling, was introduced at the very end of a previous book, I Dare. I was left quite interested in finding out more about her story. Actually, each of the books left me felling like that. I didn’t want them to end! Theo is coming of age in a culture with stringent rules and not much room for awkwardness. Theo is on the verge of being coerced to conform to the standard. Meanwhile, her mother, who is a professor for the planet’s galaxy-renowned university, discovers that someone has been tampering with the school’s library. To save Theo and the university’s reputation, the two travel off-world.

This was such a fun story! I am eagerly anticipating the next book, Salutations.

YA Spotlight: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

It is pretty safe to say that Young Adult Literature isn’t just for teenagers anymore. But now that you’ve finished Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn and know the fates of Edward, Bella, and Jacob–what should you read next?

YA Spotlight on:

HungerGames

As one of the most talked about books last year, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is not for the faint of heart. Set in an alternate future where the United States is divided into 12 Districts controlled by the powerful Capitol who, in order remind the people of their control and as a punishment for the actions of no-longer-existing District 13, forces each district to send a boy and a girl (between the ages of 12-18) to compete in the Hunger Games–a glorified competition where 24 children are forced to fight until only one survives. The story begins when Katniss Everdeen’s younger sister is chosen to be District 12’s female competitor and Katniss immediately volunteers to go in her place. So now Katniss has only two options: kill or be killed. But those options don’t work when she discovers there are certain people she cannot kill and others who cannot kill her.

Yup, this book has it all: science fiction, love triangle, politics, death, pretty clothes, sisterhood…and the best part? It is part of a trilogy!!! Book 2 of the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, was published just last month!

A Flux Capacitor for your Ears

I always feel a little like Marty McFly when I listen to old-time radio shows on my iPod or computer. Here are several websites that give free downloads and/or streaming of a variety of programs:

WizzardRadioWizzard Radio hosts about 85 different podcasts relating to old Radio Broadcasts including:


Radio Lovers allows listeners to revisit the listening experience of hundreds of vintage radio programs such as western hero Hopalong Cassidy and comedy classic Amos & Andy.

Agatha Christie Radio MysteriesMy favorites are the Agatha Christie Radio Mysteries. Unfortunately, the site no longer produces new feeds, but you can still download old episodes from the website.