An orphan in search of his mother unexpectedly obtains superpowers while at yet another foster home. Shazam! (2019, rated PG-13) is an odd mix of low-brow humor combined with typical superpower action scenes and a dramatic storyline that is ultimately very touching.
Combine part mecha anime, part social commentary on equality and justice, and add sharp visuals and vibrant colors to get Promare (2019, PG-13). The Burnish are a group of people that control fire and are seen as a terrorist group of people by the public. They are opposed by the freeze force and rescue squad who use ice to cool them down when they cause fires. The two sides collide ideologically throughout the film with a multitude of actions scenes throughout.
For better or worse, it follows the similar Trigger/Gainax studio style show/movie where its characters are somewhat one dimensional, but it makes up for it with its action scenes and outstanding visuals.
Watch Promare on Hoopla today. In Japanese with English subtitles.
I just saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997) on Overdrive's ebook list. Well if you are looking for one great book to read, go no further. You found it. The best page-turning adventure that you can't put down, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first in this epic story of the eleven-year-old wizard who becomes every reader's favorite hero.
Even if you saw the movie, you'll want to read Harry's entire story. It has no boring parts and will grip your attention from page one. You will feel you've been transported into the story itself. And it does not matter how old you are. Even as I'm writing this, I can feel myself aboard the Hogwarts Express on my way to live Harry's journey with him and his pals Hermione and Ron. This is a ride you will not want to miss.
I was prepared for this to be a really dumb movie, and I was not disappointed. It was quite enjoyable! If you, like I, love bad b-rated horror movies, then this is a must see. It's the age-old tale of a priest's journey to China to find deeper spirituality after a devastating family tragedy. The twist, however, is that he is blessed with an ancient ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur.
This movie checks all the boxes for a low budget horror movie for me: bad acting ✔, cheap visual effects ✔, Christian ninjas ✔, and lots of laughs. The VelociPastor (2018) is a sincere parody that is genuinely funny.
Watch it on Hoopla today!
In the first story, Mr. Graves takes a seat next to Isabelle on the train taking her home after her release from Statesville. She doesn't know him but he knows every detail of her life. He shows her proof of who murdered her husband and child while she was in prison. He offers her revenge.
A gun and 100 untraceable bullets. Police will immediately drop any investigation of a crime committed using one of these bullets. Will she take him up on it?
Each of the ten stories have that same premise: proof of some kind of outrageous wrong and 100 untraceable bullets. You won't see superheroes, dragons or sorcery. You will get gripping noir drama.
I have been finding that Disney+ is a great way to relive favorite shows of your childhood. My latest binge was So Weird (TV-Y7), about Fiona, a teenager, on the road with a band for which her mom (Mackenzie Phillips) is the lead singer. Fiona is drawn to everything strange and unusual, which she constantly stumbles upon, revealing more and more about her father's unexplained car accident when she was a baby.
While revolving around many supernatural occurrences, older kids and their families can enjoy this family adventure/mystery series together. So Weird originally aired on The Disney Channel in the late 90s, but you can now stream the entire series on Disney+ via the library's Family Roku devices.
Owls are determined to save their home – the island of Perodia – from the evil Thorn, a vulture who is destroying the island with the help of his army of tiger bats and prickle ants. Rivers are dry, trees are being destroyed, and no flowers are blooming. Heroes of this animal fantasy early chapter book are Tag, an owl who uses a magic map; Skyla, a squirrel who uses a slingshot; and Blaze, the last surviving firehawk who uses his wings. When Tag, Skyla, and Blaze are successful in the quest to find all the pieces of the ember stone, their home might be saved.
The first page of each book explains where Tag, Skyla, and Blaze are in their search for the ember stone so the books do not have to be read in order…but in order would be best. Start with The Ember Stone (2017).A map of Perodia, which is a copy of the magic map used by Tag, is on the next page after the introduction. The reader will want to refer back to the map while reading the adventure. On the last page of each book are questions and activities suggestions, which will add to the enjoyment of the reader and extend their learning. Each of the 10 books (so far) in The Last Firehawk series by Katrina Charman are 90 pages. There are black and white illustrations on each page. Lexile range is 550-640.
Are you looking for something to fill the void after the disappointing final season of Game of Thrones? The Witcher, a friend of humanity, is here to slay monsters, collect coin, and reignite our excitement in fantasy TV shows.
In The Witcher (2019, TV-MA), Geralt of Rivea is no ordinary man. Subjected to a deadly trial as a child, he became a Witcher, a mutant hunter used to rid the world of scum. After accidentally invoking an ancient custom at a wedding, he finds his destiny tied with Cirilla, the young princess of Cintra. After her kingdom is attacked, she must find Geralt to understand her future and her power. Follow Geralt as he tries to slay monsters, navigate relationships, play politics, and find Cirilla.
Henry Cavill is phenomenal as Geralt. It was the role he was born to play. The fighting choreography is stellar and will have you wanting to watch it over and over. The monsters are unique and disgusting and don't hold back. Be prepared to have the song, "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" stuck in your head for an eternity.
I have a few small complaints: the writing can be cheesy at times but the actors do their best with what they are given. In addition, because two of the main characters live extended lives, the timeline skips around and can be confusing. Despite these flaws, I recommend this to any fantasy lover looking for a show that doesn't pull its punches.
To watch The Witcher. Season 1 check out one of the Rokus for access to Netflix.
If you are a devoted Disney fan like me, you may be reluctant about the company's recent foray into live-action remakes of their classic animated movies. In this 2019 live-action version of Aladdin (rated PG), I went in with low expectations, especially for Will Smith in the role of Genie, because Robin Williams' performance as the 1992 animated Genie was so outstanding. Smith ultimately does not try to mimic Williams' style and interpretation, but rather adds his own flair to the part. Genie even gets an expanded storyline in the live-action. I also appreciated that Jasmine was a more developed character, expressing a desire to break down the oppression of her society and voice her opinions as a leader.
Composer and songwriter Alan Menken returns to score the live-action film, enhancing his original music and adding additional songs not part of the 1992 version. So perhaps Disney can, in fact, be successful in livening up their animated classics after all!
A charming tour guide (Ian McShane) takes a busload of American tourists on a nine countries in eighteen days European tour. The bus is full of comical personalities, including Samantha Perkins (Suzanne Pleshette) who is seriously trying to find herself on this vacation. The tour guide tries to romance her and change her mind about a number of things. Mix-ups ensue, including one person who gets on the wrong bus.
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium is a throwback to how films were made. Joan Collins, John Cassavetes, Elsa Martinelli, Ben Gazzara, and Norman Fell also appear in the film. It's really a delightfully funny movie.
Miles Morales, a New York teen just starting out at a new school finds himself bitten by (yes) a radioactive spider...but this isn't your typical Spider-Man origin story. From there the Spider-verses collide and an eclectic cast of characters comes together from multiple realities. Readers of the comics will definitely appreciate this merge, but all can enjoy the superhero action and sparks of humor we are used to throughout most of the Marvel Universe. So join Miles as he learns to have confidence in himself and figures out his Spidey senses to save not only his dimension but also everyone else's!
I first read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in fifth grade, so when my son, now a fifth-grader himself, said he needed a Newbery Prize winner for his book report, I was quick to suggest it to him. The adventures of Claudia and her younger brother Jamie are what childhood dreams are made of. After running away from home, the siblings live on their own in a strange and wonderful new city. They uncover a mystery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that they're determined to solve. Their clever sleuthing leads them to discover much more than clues however — it leads them back home.
I enjoyed reading this classic children's book by E. L. Konigsburg just as much as an adult as I had as a child. The audiobook would be great to listen to on a family road trip as well. Check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine for a glimpse behind the story and its author.
More than 100 years before Alexander, Greek mercenaries from Athens and Sparta join Cyrus, younger brother to the Persian ruler Artaxerxes in an attempt to gain Cyrus' rightful place in the Kingdom. Events do not go well for Cyrus nor the mercenaries and they are left with only Xenophon, a young Greek officer to lead them away from the Persian hordes seeking their destruction. Xenophon reminisces about his earlier conversations with Socrates as he leads the remnants of his army out of reach of the Persians and into the mountains controlled by savage tribes. During their flight, both the Persians and mountain tribes gain great respect for the skill and ferocity of the Spartan warriors.
This 2018 movie adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's 1963 Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time was highly anticipated by many book fans. I was not one of those book fans. I distinctly remember reading the first chapter of the book during a thunderstorm and getting too frightened to read any further. I was probably in third grade.
When the movie was announced, I was excited to finally go back to the story that I had paused on so long ago. The movie met every one of my expectations: a little bit strange, a lot of CGI, and a huge heart -- driven mostly by actress Storm Reid. I would recommend this to families who want a gentler fantasy adaptation for younger children. As for fans of the books, I have heard that the movie was less than perfect, but isn't that always the case with movie adaptations? (Don't get me started on Remus never telling Harry who the Marauders were in Prisoner of Azkaban...) Check out A Wrinkle in Time and decide for yourself.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel to Fascist-controlled Venice to find a patient (Lady Beaconsfield) missing from the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem (Bedlam). Mary finds it to be a great lark mingling with the idle rich on Lido beach while Sherlock takes a more serious slant to their search and considers the finer points to their investigation. Yet Mary prevails as Lady Beaconsfield and her nurse attendant also enjoy La Doce Vita and often venture from their island hideaway to join the gang at Lido. Mary concocts a clever scheme to rescue Lady B from her Fascist older brother who is more interested in the Lady's inheritance than her welfare.