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Saturday, October 3, 2015

DVDs available Tuesday, October 7th...

77 Chances77 Chances -  A man who harbors dreams of a career as a photographer is forced to relive one of the most painful days in his life in this cerebral, supernatural drama. Starring: Andrew Cheney, Erin Bethea, Rachel Hendrix. Directed by Tracy Trost.

10,000 Saints10,000 Saints - Set in the 1980s, following tragedy, teenage Jude (Asa Butterfield) moves from Vermont to New York City to live with his father (Ethan Hawke) in the punk-fueled East Village. Caught in the chaos of city life, Jude and his friends, Eliza and Teddy (Hailee Steinfeld and Emile Hirsch) embark on a journey of self-realization in a neighborhood on the verge of riots. Directed by: Shari Springer BermanRobert Pulcini

AirAir - In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent and two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind struggle to preserve their own lives while administering to their vital task at hand. Directed by  Christian Cantamessa. Starring: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt.

The Anomaly

The Anomaly -  An ex-soldier named Ryan Reeve is taken captive by the "Anomaly" organization where he learns that he only has 9:47 minutes/seconds to find out why they want him dead.  Directed by: Noel Clarke. Starring: Noel Clarke, Ian Somerhalder, Brian Cox.

Marvel's Avengers: Age of UltronAvengers: Age of Ultron  (on shelves now) - Good intentions wreak havoc when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) unwittingly creates Ultron (James Spader), a terrifying A.I. monster who vows to achieve "world peace" via mass extinction. Now Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) -- alongside Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) -- must reassemble to defeat Ultron and save mankind...if they can! Directed by Joss Whedon.

Cop Car (DVD)Cop Car  (on shelves now) - A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don't understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them. Directed by John Watts. Starring:  Kevin BaconJames Freedson-JacksonHays WellfordCamryn Manheim.

Dark Places - [DVD + Digital]
Dark Places -  Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Almost thirty years later, she agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night. Directed by: Gilles Paquet-Brenner  Stars:  Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks

Final Girl

Final Girl -  A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. Later she is approached by a group of sadistic teens who kill blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins. Director: Tyler Shields  Stars: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman

Insidious: Chapter 3 (DVD + Ultraviolet)Insidious Chapter 3 A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. 
Directed by: Leigh Whannell  Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson  
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

The Jinx [Documentary] (on shelves now)  - Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon, Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.  Stars:  Robert Durst, Andrew Jarecki, Gary Napoli

Leftovers: Season 1 The Leftovers: The Complete First Season  [Television Series] - Revolves around mysterious disappearances, world-wide, and specifically follows a group of people who are left behind in the suburban community of Mapleton. They must begin to rebuild their lives after the loss of more than 100 people. Stars:  Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston  

MAGIC MIKE XXL (DVD)Magic Mike XXL - Three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, he and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance.  Directed by:   Stars:  Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer

Manglehorn Manglehorn -  Left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost many years ago, Manglehorn, an eccentric small-town locksmith, tries to start his life over again with the help of a new friend.   Director: David Gordon Green  Stars:   Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine 

Me & Earl & The Dying GirlMe and Earl and The Dying Girl - High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Director:  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Stars:  Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke

Poltergeist  Poltergeist - A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.  Director:   Gil Kenan  Stars:  Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements 

Road HardRoad Hard - Following an expensive divorce and the cancellation of his TV show, a stand-up comic is forced to go back on the road to provide for his daughter.   Directors: Adam Carolla, Kevin Hench   Stars:  Adam Carolla, David Alan Grier, Jay Mohr

The Target - DVD + Digital The Target -  (Foreign) An ER doctor teams up with an assassination target to rescue his wife, held hostage by corrupt criminals and, in the process, uncovers a conspiracy.  Director:  Chang  Stars:  Seung-ryong Ryu, Joon-sang Yoo, Jin-wook Lee

The Timber

The Timber -  In the wild west, two brothers embark on a journey to collect a bounty in a desperate attempt to save their home: but what they find along the way is more than they bargained for. Director: Anthony O'Brien   Stars:  James Ransone, Elisa Lasowski, Mark Caven


 Tut -  (TV Series)  A miniseries concentrating on the youngest Pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt. Stars: Ben KingsleyAlexander SiddigAvan JogiaNonso Anozie


Unexpected -   An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.  Director: Kris Swanberg  Stars:  Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean

What We Did On Our Holiday - DVD + Digital  What We Did on Our Holiday -  Doug and Abi take their kids on a family vacation. Surrounded by relatives, the kids innocently reveal the ins and outs of their family life and many intimate details about their parents. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability. Directors:  Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin  
Stars:  Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly 

When Marnie Was There (DVD)

When Marnie Was There [Foreign]  - A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is ...  Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi  Stars:   Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima 

We Are Still Here

  We Are Still Here - In the cold, wintery fields of New England, a lonely old house wakes up every thirty years - and demands a sacrifice.  Director: Ted Geoghegan  Stars:  Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

RIP Yogi Berra...

(Please see a special editor's note at the end of this piece) 

A new American League manager in the 1950s had opportunity to chat with legendary New York Yankees skipper Casey Stengel and ask him what was necessary to put together a great starting lineup. Stengel's reply: "I never play without my man." After musing about that cryptic statement for a while the new manager realized that Casey's lineup always included Yogi Berra.

Perhaps the greatest catcher in major league history, Lawrence Peter Berra died September 22 at age 90, exactly sixty-nine years to the day he made his debut with the Yankees. Though a three time American League Most Valuable Player, Yogi played often during his career in the shadow of other pinstripe greats such as Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle and Phil Rizzuto (with whom Berra was once a business partner in a bowling alley).

Realizing the potential of the St. Louis native, Casey Stengel brought back ex-Yankee catching great Bill Dickey to refine Yogi's performance behind the plate. In the late 1950s, Berra would play in the outfield, quietly yielding the first string catcher position to Elston Howard, the first African-American Bronx Bomber.
Yogi Berra was considered by many the most dangerous hitter on the Yankees. Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Joe Black, who faced the Yankees in the World Series, stated he preferred facing Mantle instead of Berra in a pressure situation. Reason? Yogi was known as a "bad ball" hitter, going after that which lingered close inside or way outside the strike zone. When asked his approach to such pitches Berra replied: "To me they looked good."

The highlight of Yogi Berra's catching career was handing the only perfect game in World Series history hurled in 1956 by Don Larsen. The sight of Berra jumping into Larsen's arms after the final strikeout is an indelible image of baseball in the 1950s. Fast forward nearly forty-three years later. On July 18, 1999, "Yogi Berra Day" was held at Yankee Stadium with Larsen and Berra reuniting to throw out the first pitch of that day's game. Yankee hurler David Cone then proceeded to produce a perfect game against the Montreal Expos. To this day, diehard fans of the Yankees are convinced Yogi had "blessed" the ball."

Image result for yogi berra  Image result for yogi berra

Berra played on fourteen pennant winning teams and ten World Champions. As a manager (Yankees in 1963, Mets in the "You Gotta Believe" season of 1973) he won pennants in both leagues. Elected in 1972 to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Yogi began his acceptance speech in classic fashion: "First, I would like to thank everybody who made this day necessary."

Once upon a time many of the best baseball players in America were also the sport's good will ambassadors. As a player, coach, manager and citizen few fit the bill better than Yogi Berra.

Merrick Library salutes his memory and offers the following books about both Yogi and the Yankees:

Berra, Yogi. When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: inspiration and Wisdom From One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
Berra, Yogi. Yogi: It Ain't Over.
Ford, Whitey. Few and Chosen: Defining Yankee Greatness Across the Eras.
Murcer, Bobby.Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes.
New York Times. Sultans of Swat: The Four Great Sluggers of the New York Yankees. (Yogi Berra wrote the introduction to this history)
Paper, Lewis J. Perfect: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen.
Posada, Jorge. The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes. (Posada was mentored by Berra)'
Stout, Glenn. Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball.
Thorn, John. The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957.

This post was written by Bob Ludemann a librarian extraordinaire during his 30 year tenure at the Merrick Library. Bob retired this week and while we were sad to see him go, this Blog rues the day even more. Bob's tribute posts have been true gems and I can hardly think of anyone else who could offer such flair, style and grace to the subject at hand.
All the best Bob--we thank you so very much. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

A mix of DVDs available today and this week...!

Last Tango in Halifax Season 3"Last Tango in Halifax: The Complete Season Three: - Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid return as Alan and Celia, reunited and married after a mistake estranged them for fifty years - or was it an error?

Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort"Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort" - family owned and operated for over a century, it is a vivid reminder how the Borscht Belt deeply affected the entertainment, sports and vacation industries in America for all time.

The ConnectionAvailable Tuesday, September 29th:

"The Connection" from France and based on true events - efforts to bring down a major drug ring come to a head in 1975 Marseille - stars Jean Dujardin ("Mobius")

Entourage (DVD)"Entourage" - movie star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) and his posse are back as he wants to not only star but direct a film produced by Vincent's former agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, TV's "Mr. Selfridge") - based on the popular HBO series

Félix & Meira"Felix and Meira" - from Canada - in the Mile End District of Montreal, lives are about to change as a mourning secular man meets a Hasidic wife (Hadas Yaron, "Fill the Void") - winner of four Whistler Film Festival Awards

I'll See You in My Dreams (DVD)"I'll See You in My Dreams" - bereaved Carol (Blythe Danner) is beginning life again in terms of music, family and romance - all-star supporting cast including Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place, Malin Akerman and Sam Elliott
Outlander: Season One - Volume Two
"Outlander: Season One, Volume 2" - the further adventures of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe, "Son of God"), World War Two combat nurse sent back in time to Scotland in the 1700s where she finds both danger and passion
"Spy" - Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a former teacher turned CIA analyst forced to go undercover and undermine a top arms dealer - also starring Jude Law, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne (Miss McCarthy's co-star in "Bridesmaids") - Note: In the TV sitcom "Mike and Molly," Melissa McCarthy plays a former teacher turned writer.

"Zipper" - federal prosecutor Sam Ellis (Patrick Wilson, "Jack Strong") seems destined for Washington, yet an infidellty has put him on a more destructive road - also starring Lena Headey (TV's "Game of Thrones"), Richard Dretfuss and Dianna Agron (TV's "Glee")

The Farewell Party"The Farewell Party" -  from Israel - a unique, compassionate and unlikely funny story of a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma. Starring Ze'ev Revach, Levana Finkelstein and Aliza Rosen. Directed by Tal Granit