Friday, January 23, 2015

New DVDs

12 Years A Slave
“From acclaimed director Steve McQueen comes this winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture -- a ‘deeply evocative and brilliantly acted’ film (Claudia Puig, USA Today) based on the true story of Solomon Northup. In 1841, Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor in a gripping performance), an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and must find the strength within to survive. Filled with powerful performances by an astonishing cast that includes Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch,and Brad Pitt, 12 Years A Slave is both an unflinching account of slavery in American history and a celebration of the indomitable power of hope.” –Container

Bee The Change
“From the years under the Communist/Socialist rule of Salvador Allende, to the heavy-handed rule of General Augusto Pinochet, life wasn't easy in Chile. For John Hernandez and his family, political and economic changes in the country have greatly benefitted their successful beekeeping business. In 2005, a worldwide die-off of the bee population jeopardized one-third of the world's crop production and challenged their business. Ultimately it became a blessing in disguise as John, using newly-learned techniques, kept his bees healthy and expanded in to selling queen bees to other countries. Veronica Cerezo's family is taking advantage of the changes as well. Her recently formed micro-factory is part of a Chilean effort to further lower the poverty rate in the country." –Container

The Book Thief
”Based on the beloved best-selling book comes this profoundly moving story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. Although Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) is illiterate when she is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR Winner Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson), her adoptive father encourages her to learn to read. Ultimately, the power of words helps Liesel and Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding in the family's home, escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).” –Container

Economic Freedom In Action: Changing Lives
"From Zambia to South Korea, from Slovakia to Chile, increased economic freedom is leading to positive changes in people's lives, allowing them to work hard, become self-sufficient and independent, and to improve the quality of their lives for themselves and for their children. Swedish scholar Johan Norberg showcases five stories of extraordinary people, highlighting how this transition is happening, and demonstrating how people can lift themselves from poverty when given the opportunity. From honey bees in Chile to a Paul Frank store in Slovakia...from a food distribution service in Zambia to a North Korean defector who serves as a venture capitalist to his fellow defectors in South Korea, witness economic freedom in action, transforming lives...and entire nations." –Container

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Thus, Nick becomes drawn into the captivating world of the wealthy and -- as he bears witness to their illusions and deceits -- pens a tale of impossible love, dreams, and tragedy. –Summary

Heaven is for Real
“Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book, Heaven is for Real recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Starring Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear (Best Supporting Actor, As Good As It Gets, 1997) as Todd Burpo, the real-life father whose son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton shares the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know.” –Container

Les Misérables
“Hugh Jackman, Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in this critically-acclaimed adaptation of the epic musical phenomenon. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.” –Container

Life of Pi
“Embark on an adventure of a lifetime in this visual masterpiece from Oscar Winner Ang Lee, based on the best-selling novel. After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with only one other survivor -- a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey that must be seen to be believed.” –Container

Mamma Mia
“Sophie has just one wish to make her wedding perfect: to have her father walk her down the aisle. Now she just has to find out who he is... Join the music, laughter and fun of the irresistibly charming Mamma Mia! The Movie. Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep leads an all-star cast, including Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth - as well as up-and-comers Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, in this musical celebration of mothers, daughters and fathers, and true loves lost and new ones found. Based on the Broadway smash-hit and filled with the ABBA songs you know and love, it's the feel-good experience that will have you singing and dancing over and over again.” –Container

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.” –Amazon

Monkey Business
"Can you imagine not being able to pursue the livelihood you'd like? Growing up in Czechoslovakia, controlled by the communist Soviet Union, there was very little freedom or opportunity. Even after liberation and the split into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, times were tough. But with the right changes, things began to look up fir Katarina Rybáriková and her family. Katarina's idea? To bring the Paul Frank brand, with its distinctive monkey logo, to Europe." –Container