Film Blog: I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

Now that the whole business of the election is behind us, congress and the POTUS are back to work solving the financial crisis. If you have been following the news of late, you know that it’s quite a crisis. The featured film of this post is about just that.

Consider I.O.U.S.A. as a great resource for background information about the national debt. Take into account that the film is a little behind (the film came out in 2008), but filled with useful information to bring you up to speed. Included in the documentary are candid interviews with Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan, Paul O’Neill, Robert Rubin, Alice Rivlin and Paul Volcker, along with David Walker of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition.

If you’re interested in reading a book about the fiscal crisis, it will interest you to know that the documentary was inspired by the book The New Empire of Debt: The Rise and Fall of an Epic Financial Bubble by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin.

As always, here is a short trailer about the film.

The tagline reads, “One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt.”

Film Blog: Adaptation (2002)

Today in Filmblogland, I bring a semi-autobiographical story about Charlie Kaufman’s (played by Nicholas Cage) struggle to transform the non-fictional book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay (hence the film title). Now, I know what you’re thinking, “what do you mean by semi-autobiographical?”

The screenplay writer for Adaptation (also available on Bluray) Charlie Kaufman, writes himself and his fictional twin brother Donald into the story. And although there is no Donald Kaufman (in real life), Charlie gives his fictional brother credit for co-writing the screenplay Adaptation. Well, the joke’s on Charlie when he and Donald are both nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2003.

If you’re a fan of Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman is responsible for those screenplays as well.

For a preview of Adaptation, look at the trailer below.

“Charlie Kaufman.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Film Blog: Training Day (2001)

Looking for a thriller about crime? Training Day is about a rookie cop (Ethan Hawke) and a corrupt veteran narcotics officer (Denzel Washington) set in Los Angeles. Although the film only covers 24 hours of a day in the life of a narcotics detective, quite a lot happen including numerous fights, drug busts, attempted murder, attempted assault, and a standoff. Denzel Washington won an Oscar for Best Actor for Training Day, and became the second African American actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor. On an unrelated note, the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Actor was Sidney Poitier as Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field, which came out in 1963.

“Denzel Washington.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

“Sidney Poitier.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Film Blog: Toy Story (1995)

Originally produced in 1995, Toy Story was the first entirely computer-animated feature film. The film also won its director, John Lasseter, an Academy Award for Special Achievement. After Toy Story‘s success, Lasseter went on to direct other great animated films like A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and co-directed the film Cars. He also went on to produce Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. Lasseter moved on to become the chief creative officer at Disney and Pixar when the film Up (also my personal favorite) come out in 2009.For more information about John Lasseter and Toy Story, look at the book 100 Animated Feature Films.

We currently have two copies of Toy Story in the collection along with a Bluray version. In addition to Toy Story, we also have the sequel Toy Story 2, but it’s only available in VHS. For a preview of Toy Story, look at the trailer below.

“Pixar Animation Studios.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Film Blog: 127 Hours (2010)

Would you like to see a film that’s truly inspiring? 127 Hours is a true story about climber Aaron Ralston whose arm was crushed under a fallen boulder while hiking alone in the canyons of Utah. The film follows Ralston’s journey as he amputates his own arm, climbs back through the canyon, and hikes the eight miles back to civilization. For more information about the film, go to

Also in our collection is Aaron Ralston’s autobiography about the experience, which is appropriately titled Between a Rock and a Hard Place. If you’re not yet sold, please view the full trailer below.

Film Blog: The Hunger Games (2012)

If you’re looking for a movie to unwind with this break, consider The Hunger Games. This movie is action packed and filled with suspense. Although I’m sure Hunger Games needs no introduction, I’ll just say that is a dystopian tale about twenty-four adolescents fighting to the death in a yearly televised production. There may be a little love triangle involved, but that is definitely a smaller part of tale.

The author, Suzanne Collins, was inspired by reality television and classic mythology. Her father is a military historian and Vietnam veteran, which also influenced her to write about survival and fighting. Although The Hunger Games is a young adult book, its adult themes make it accessible to adults as well. If you like the film, be sure to check out The Hunger Games trilogy at the library.

For a preview of film, just press play on the video below! Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

“Suzanne Collins.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.

Film Blog: Tapped (2009)

Is clean water a right or a privilege? Today in Filmblogland, we look at the documentary film Tapped. This film explores the question of bottled water as a commodity. Should access to clean water be a basic right or should it be sold just like any other commodity? The film looks at those that privatize water and those that need clean water.

Tapped not only covers the subject of water, but the debate on how harmful BPA is to your health. For those of you that haven’t heard about the issue, BPA is a substance found not just in water bottles, but in many other plastic containers. Scientists find that high doses of BPA are linked to obesity, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes etc. (Tapped The Movie 2012). For a trailer of the documentary, view the video below.

For more information about the film, go to

Film Blog: Strangers On A Train (1951)

A couple of months ago I posted a Horror Film Series. I included many of Hitchcock’s most famous films like Psycho and The Birds. New in the collection is another Hitchcock film called Strangers on a Train. We now have two copies of Strangers on a Train in the library, and one is a Blu-ray version!

As the title suggests, the film is about two strangers that meet coincidentally on a train and end up swapping stories of their troubles. At the end of their ride, they make a pact that involves the other person murdering the source of their problems.

If you play close attention, you will be able to spot Hitchcock as he makes a cameo as a train passenger carrying a double bass.  Hitchcock can be seen doing a cameo in about half of his films. Below is an opening sequence to the film. Enjoy!

“Strangers on a Train.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.

Film Blog: The Interrupters (2012)

This documentary focuses on three Violence Interrupters and former gang members. Their mission is to stop violence in Chicago by talking to the communities that need it the most. This documentary was filmed over a course of a year and was released in 2012. If you want a closer look at stopping gang violence in Chicago and what community members are currently doing to stop it, this is a great film for you. Below is an official trailer to this very moving documentary.

Film Blog: “New” Old Hollywood Films

In the library, we recently added old Hollywood films. Two in particular are Bad Girls Film Noir and Forbidden Hollywood Collection. All the films were produced in the 1930s and 1950s. In other words, these films were made after the advent of sound, but before color. The films in Forbidden Hollywood Collection were produced before the Motion Picture Production Code or Hays Code, which was the earliest form of censorship and continued until the film rating system which is, of course, still used today. For a sneak peak, view the clip below.


In case you’re interested in “newer” avant garde films (or prefer films in color), I would suggest another recently added DVD Treasures, which contain 26 films produced between 1947-1986.