Movies

12/01/2016 - 11:30am
The Godfather by Mario Puzo

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo
When Mario Puzo's blockbuster saga, The Godfather , was first published in 1969, critics hailed it as one of the greatest novels of our time, and "big, turbulent, highly entertaining." Since then, The Godfather has gone on to become a part of America's national culture, as well as a trilogy of landmark motion pictures. From the lavish opening scene where Don Corleone entertains guests and conducts business at his daughter's wedding...to his son, Michael, who takes his father's place to fight for his family...to the bloody climax where all family business is finished, The Godfather is an epic story of family, loyalty, and how "men of honor" live in their own world, and die by their own laws. (catalog summary)
 

If you like The Godfather book series, check out these other titles as well:
 


The Black Dahlia
by James Ellroy
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia-and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia-driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl's twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches-into a region of total madness. (catalog summary)

 



Blood on Snow: A Novel by Jo Nesbø
Oslo, 1970s. Olav, an extremely talented "fixer" whose unexpected capacity for love is as far-reaching as his talent for murder, works for Oslo's crime kingpin, "fixing" anyone who causes him trouble. But it's becoming clear to Olav that the more you know about your boss's business, the more your boss might want you fixed yourself, especially if you've fallen in love with his wife. (catalog summary)

 


 

10/31/2016 - 9:05am

Although zombies have a long history of appearances in religion and folklore, interest in them as villains in horror films is largely confined to the second half of the 20th century. The explosion in zombie popularity is based on a characterization established by a single film and the fact that the original characterization of the zombi in African folklore and religion, as well as in earlier films, is dramatically different from that of the popular characterization from the 1960s onward. To understand zombies in both their original context and in the role they have come to take in popular culture requires an understanding of two divergent traditions.

10/31/2016 - 9:11am
Frankenstein’s creature has many differences from other popular monsters associated with Halloween. Rather than being based off an ancient legend, religious concept, or historical figure, his origin is solely literary in nature, being confined to one book. Despite this, public perception of the creature has changed greatly since the publication of the original novel, leading to wildly divergent styles and plotlines in its various film adaptations.
 
People’s perceptions of the creature have become so warped by time and decades of misleading film posters and article titles that most use the name “Frankenstein” to refer to the creature itself, rather than the scientist who created him!  An understanding of literary history is necessary to understand the truth of the creature’s tragic history and how decades of film adaptations changed him into the lumbering brute most know him as today.
 
10/14/2016 - 12:38am
A History of Classic Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon

To date, humans have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans. Whatever is lying in wait beneath the cavernous dark water is something yet to be discovered. Many scientists speculate that there are creatures such as the giant squid, which live in deep, seemingly endless trenches, hiding in the dark. Can there be other creatures as well—possibly from the Black Lagoon?

In 1941, producer William Alland was attending a dinner party for the classic Citizen Kane, when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about a myth that involved a half-fish, half-human creature on the Amazon River. Ten years later, Alland wrote a screenplay dubbed The Sea Monster, partially based on the French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Following the success of the 3D House of Wax in 1953, Jack Arnold was hired to direct the rewrite of Sea Monster which was now Creature from the Black Lagoon.

10/31/2016 - 9:22am
A History of Classic Monsters: The Invisible Man

H.G. Wells, author of the The Time Machine (1895) and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), released his fourth novel, The Invisible Man, in 1897.

Many of his readers were surprised to discover that Wells had adopted a third person narrative instead of first person for this particular novel. The protagonist, Dr. Griffin, is a scientist who is interested in optics. He learns how to invent a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air. Thus, the body neither absorbs nor reflects light, allowing for invisibility. The ambitious Griffin successfully completes the procedure on himself, but he can’t seem to figure out how to reverse it.

10/04/2016 - 12:32am
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel Watson is just a girl on the train.

She takes the same London commuter train into work almost daily. She passes the same tiny suburbs on the tracks—the same suburbs she used to live in with her ex-husband, Tom.

Occasionally, she sees Tom and his new wife Anna with their new baby, enjoying a stroll in the afternoons. But more often than not, she directs all of her attention to a house down the street from her old abode, one that houses a young couple who she finds herself obsessing over.

09/22/2016 - 9:51am
If You Like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form, and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Every day, Rachel takes the same London commuter train and passes the same suburban scenery, yet one house catches her eye—mainly because of the married couple she glimpses living there. This leads Rachel to conjure up an entire dream life for this husband and wife, even naming them and giving them make-believe careers. Rachel's life has been spiraling downward, and her fantasy about this couple gives her a little joy. But all is not what it seems, and Rachel is soon embroiled in a murderous thriller. (Library Journal)
 

If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, you may like the following novels:
 


Before I Go to Sleep
by S.J. Watson
Christine Lucas suffers from a rare form of amnesia as the result of a vaguely defined accident. Each night as she sleeps, her near-term memory is wiped clean, and she awakens knowing little about who she is, where she is, or with whom she lives. Every day her husband, Ben, shares with her the same carefully rehearsed story of their long marriage and gently encourages her struggle to remember. She keeps a journal at the recommendation of her doctor and reads it each morning. As the journal grows, Christine begins to suspect that Ben is not telling her the complete truth about her accident, their son Adam, her successful career as a novelist, or the fire that destroyed the collection of family photos that might help her remember. (Library Journal)
 

 

 

The Disappearance of Emily Marr by Louise Candlish (eAudio)
When Tabby Dewhurst arrives heartbroken and penniless on a picturesque, windswept island off the coast of France, her luck appears to change when she overhears a villager repeating aloud the access code to her front door. Hardly believing her own actions, Tabby waits for the woman to leave and then lets herself into the house. And so she enters the strange, hidden world of Emily Marr—or so her new friend introduces herself. Soon, however, Tabby forms suspicions about her new friend, suspicions that lead her back to England and to revelations that will have explosive consequences for both of them. (catalog summary)


 

07/27/2016 - 12:56pm
The Unhappy Ending

There should be a shelf in the library with yellow caution tape labeled WARNING, UNHAPPY ENDINGS and UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER. Reach for a book from that shelf, and you’ll need your Puffs Plus tissues. Authors have the power of the pen, so why end on an unhappy note with disaster, calamity, catastrophe, cataclysm, misfortune, mishap, blow, trial, tribulation, affliction, adversity, and death?

06/15/2016 - 4:40pm
Porter’s Saturday Matinee Movie: The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox arrives at Misselthwaite Manor in the dead of winter, an angry orphan with serious trust issues. Everything at the Yorkshire estate seems closed off to her. And there are secrets. A mysterious cousin, a distant uncle, and a separate, walled-off garden—to which she’s found the key.

05/16/2016 - 9:45am
Mel Gibson in Hamlet

In Shakespeare for Beginners, I listed various books and resources I like to use to help in reading Shakespeare’s plays. However, one of the best accompaniments to reading his plays is watching one or more of the movies or stage productions.  

When I studied Shakespeare in college, one of the requirements of the class was to watch each of the plays we were studying. Although I had seen a couple of live productions, I had never seen a Shakespeare film, but since it was required, I dutifully checked out my first Shakespeare video, Richard II. I was entranced. With facial expressions, props, costumes, and even the way the actors said their parts, I was drawn into the action of the play even more than when I had read it.

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