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Litchfield MN 55355

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Cool movies for hot days

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

If the hot weather is sapping your energy, check out some of Litchfield Library’s new DVDs for some entertainment while you take it easy.  Some of the ones I’ll tell you about are new releases, and some are just new to our library’s collection.

This summer has brought Independence Day: Resurgence and a reboot of Ghostbusters to theaters.  We have recently gotten the original Ghostbusters and Independence Day on DVD at our library.  Rotten Tomatoes is a website that pulls together published reviews from many, many critics and gives movies a rating based on the percentage of positive reviews.  The original Independence Day from 1996 has about a 60% positive rating, while the new sequel is at only about 30%. I thoroughly enjoyed Independence Day back when it was in the theaters, but when I watched it again with my kids recently, it didn’t seem as wonderful.  My girls saw it as an inferior variation on the Star Wars story, an opinion I can agree with.  I haven’t watched the new one.

The original Ghostbusters from 1984 has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%, which is impressive. Based on a viewing at my house, I suspect kids today don’t see it as positively as we did back in the ‘80s.  However, adult fans still enjoy it.  The new version in theaters has about a 70% positive rating.  I’m looking forward to watching it at some point, and the library will get it once it’s on DVD.

The new movie Race has about a 60% positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes.  It tells the story of Jesse Owens’ path to the Olympics in Nazi Germany and his record-breaking accomplishments there.  I wanted to watch it especially because of the character Rudy’s enthusiasm for Jesse Owens in the novel The Book Thief.  I really didn’t know enough about Owens, and I enjoyed learning his story through an inspiring movie.  Some of the movie’s subplots are fairly weak, but the main storyline is interesting, and Stephan James is good as Owens. It’s a straightforward historical biography, and many people enjoy those, as I do.

The library now has all of the seasons of the television comedy Parks and Recreation.  The creator and star Amy Poehler won a Golden Globe for her performance on the show, and the series has been nominated for Emmys many times.  I wondered what all of the fuss was about, so my husband and I started watching it recently. It is wacky, but once we got used to the humor we’ve enjoyed it.  I’d read that the first season isn’t the best but it’s short, so stick with it; I think that’s a good assessment.  Nick Offerman and Chris Pratt are especially funny as part of a group involved with city government. 

I’ve been hearing good things about Zootopia, the new animated Disney movie.  Rotten Tomatoes agrees with what I’ve heard; the approval rating is a whopping 98%.  The movie is a mystery featuring a rabbit who’s a rookie cop and a fox who’s a con artist; they dress and act like humans.  Reviewers say it appeals to kids and adults on different levels, with smart writing and a good message about being who you want to be, not what others expect you to be. 


Some of our other new DVDs include 10 Cloverfield Lane, 45 Years, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Eddie the Eagle, Hail,Caesar!, and Hello, My Name is Doris.  If there’s a movie or television series you’re looking for that we don’t have, most of the time we can order it from somewhere in Minnesota.  Let us know if you need some help.