Staff Review – Out Of Africa

     Out of Africa is one of those rare movies you can watch over the years and never tire of. Isak Dinesen is a superb story teller, and the cast includes Meryl Streep and Robert Redford as love interests.  It certainly deserves the Oscars it won including Best Picture.

     We love the main characters for their struggles.  All of them have their faults, but they are all people we care about.  Dennis Finchhatten, (Robert Redford), although he loves Karen (Meryl Streep), cannot help himself but disappear into the wild for days at a time.  He also makes money selling elephant ivory. But at the same time he won’t shoot a lioness threatening Karen, unless it got “a bit” closer. And he has a tribesman friend who travels with him. 

     Karen is somewhat of a feminist.  She inherits her family’s fortune only if she marries, which she does with a friend she doesn’t love.  He leaves her, and she runs a coffee plantation in Africa using black labor that she ambiguously both expects hard work from, yet respects at the same time. 

     They have come as privileged guests who were not invited into someone else’s continent and tribe, in this case. Yet, they are not disrespectful, and they do love Africa.

     In one memorable scene, Robert Redford brings a phonograph into the plains and plays Mozart.  He says, “Just think, never a human sound in their life and then Mozart.” 

     I will not give away the ending except to say it is sad and beautiful.  One sees that they loved Africa and each other and the African people, but they didn’t belong to each other or the continent. – Tom

     

Staff Review – Vice

 

Personally, I feel I’ve gotten my fill of politics lately by just turning on the TV news.  That said, Christian Bale is superb in his characterization of Dick Cheney, and Amy Adams is remarkable portraying Lynne Cheney.

An award-winning, in-depth characterization of the Vice President and ex-CEO of Haliburton, who, behind the scenes, reveals how much power he acquired over time.

Honestly, I fell asleep during the beginning of the movie. It is quite long.

– Deb

 

Staff DVD Review

Disney’s new live action reboot of “Dumbo” is fun for the whole family, but I feel it lacks some of the key elements that deemed it a “classic.” Some of the parts from the original have been edited out to make it more appropriate for modern times, which is great, but I think deviating from the original storyline took away from the film as opposed to adding to it. All in all, it was a great film, but the original animated version from 1941 will always be THE classic. – Children’s Room Staff

DVD Review by Staff

Instant Family (Rated “PG-13)

A “feel good” emotional movie about Foster Parenting, based on director, Sean Anders’ real life story of adopting three children from foster care.

Mark Wahlberg (Pete) and Rose Byrne (Ellie) are DIY home renovation flippers who are missing something in their lives. They decide to foster three siblings, a rebellious teenager, Lizzy, Isabela Moner, her clumsy brother, Juan, Gustavo Escobar, and the younger temper tantrum sister, Lita, Julianna Gamiz.  It’s not as easy as it seems, as case workers, Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro, help the couple through their many trials and tribulations.

Keep a box of tissues nearby; this movie will make you laugh and cry. -Deb

 

Staff Recommends…

“Recommending First Man feels a little like giving a gift at Christmas. It’s a great film with almost real action scenes, skillful camera and cinematographic work that supplies its’ own drama, and a script tethered tightly to the film. The in-cabin perspective makes the experience palpable and believable, shining a light on the Gemini/Apollo missions to reach the moon. Steve recommends the film with four rockets and two boosters out of 5 rockets! Click on the image to find this item in our catalog.