Get to know the reviewers! Learn about what we love to watch, then discover something new on our Shows 'n Tunes blog with movie, TV show, and music reviews. Coming soon: personalized movie/TV show recommendations!

Bill

billBill is a circulation page who enjoys older movies from the late 1930s through the mid-1960s, particularlu westerns, film noir, sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, historical films, films based on classical literature, biographical films, Disney films, comedy films, musicals and holidays films. When selecting a film, he prefers to review films that are not very well known but have much to offer to an audience such as Night of the Hunter, The Bad Seed, and Suddenly. Most of the films he chooses to review are movies he has seen many times and expects to watch again. Some of his favorite film stars from this era are Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Barbara Stanwyck, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Glenn Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Bob Hope. He also very much enjoys Hitchcock films and the James Bond films. Bill has reviewed newer films and will continue to do so.

 

In addition to movies, Bill enjoys television shows from the “Golden Era,” the 1950s and 60s. Some of his favorites from this era are Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide, Bonanza, Disneyland, Perry Mason, Dragnet, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Thriller, Star Trek, and Leave it to Beaver. From later eras he has enjoyed Columbo, The Rockford Files, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Murder She Wrote, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Community. He also enjoys television shows from the BBC such as Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Keeping Up Appearances, The Vicar of Dibley, All Creatures Great & Small, Cadfael, Poirot, and Midsomer Murders.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Angels in the Outfield (1951)
    In this baseball comedy, Guffy McGovern (Paul Douglas), the manager of a very awful Pittsburgh Pirates team, is foul mouthed, hated by his players, ridiculed by the fans, and regularly badmouthed by the Pirates radio announcer (Keenan Wynn). Newspaper reporter Jennifer Paige (Janet Leigh) is assigned to cover the Pirates and give a woman’s perspective […]
  • The Black Book (1949)
    Also titled Reign of Terror, The Black Book is a suspense film that is as film noir as you can possibly get.  Yet instead of being set in a large American city during the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, it is set in 1794 Paris during the reign of terror. Charles D’Aubigny (Robert Cummings), is a […]

Debbie

debbieDebbie says... My first movie passion was musicals. My first crush was Gene Kelly, so any movie with him dancing is a must. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies are the tops for their intricate, effortless dancing, the witty dialogue, screwball plots, and Ginger’s beautiful gowns. One of my favorite musicals is the delightful Love Me Tonight with Maurice Chavalier and Jeanette MacDonald. There probably isn’t a musical actor I am not familiar with and couldn’t recommend movies for.

1930s and early forties screwball comedies are the best. Two of my all time favorites are The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne and The More the Merrier with Jean Arthur. I like the movies with some of the now lesser known actresses. I know these movies backwards and forwards.

I actually love movies from the 1930s from gangsters, to Busby Berkley, to the Marx Brothers.

A richly photographed movie with good character development, clever dialogue, and interesting use of music and visuals can be watched again and again with something new to discover each time. Movies that fit the bill for me: Ride the High Country, L.A. Confidential, Vertigo, and Pleasantville.

 

 

My Latest Reviews

 

  • The Lady Eve (1941)
    This screwball comedy from the golden age of movies is the story of a backward scientist who falls in love twice with the same woman. Picked up by an ocean liner on his way home from a scientific expedition in South America, Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), heir of the Pike’s Ale Pikes, falls under the […]
  • The Italian Straw Hat (1928)
    The beauty of a silent movie is its universality; no language barrier comes between you and the delight of the film. The Italian Straw Hat is a French movie whose alternate title pretty much tells the story: The Horse Ate the Hat. Fadinard, a young man on his way to his wedding, has a confrontation […]

Denise

deniseDenise says... Like most people, I like to watch all types of movies, depending on my mood at the time. However, when thinking about some of my favorite movies, they tend to be mostly dramas or thrillers. I especially enjoy inspirational, thought-provoking films based on real people or events, or movies with interesting characters and engaging, believable story lines. I also love when movies have unexpected plot twists (the element of surprise). Of course, a good comedy is always enjoyable.Who can’t use a good laugh sometimes?

 

Movies I’ve Especially Enjoyed: Crash, The Sixth Sense, Primal Fear, American History X, The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, The Shawshank Redemption, My Cousin Vinny, Moonstruck, Something's Gotta Give

 

 

 

Movies Based on Truth That I Like: Argo, Freedom Writers, The Blind Side, A Beautiful Mind, Life is Beautiful, Pursuit of Happyness, Coach Carter.

 

 

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Spotlight: Edward Norton
    One actor whose films I’m always anxious to watch is Edward Norton. He is so gifted and versatile. The characters he plays are often intense and/or troubled, and always captivating and true-to-life. My favorite films are American History X (1998) and Primal Fear (1996), although I’ve also enjoyed many others. Here’s a selection of some […]
  • Lie to Me. Seasons 1 & 2 (2009-2010)
    Lie to Me. Seasons 1 & 2 (2009-2010) This is a really interesting show about a guy who is a “deception specialist.” That is, he reads people’s facial expressions and body language to determine if they’re lying or telling the truth. He is hired by local and federal law enforcement agencies to help solve a […]

Jennifer

jenniefera

Jennifer enjoys lighthearted, feel-good tales. She watches romantic comedies, action-adventure films, sports dramas, and the occasional suspense movie (as long as it’s not too scary). Favorites include Argo, The American President, The Blind Side,Father of the Bride, Fever Pitch, The Proposal, Remember the Titans, and Love, Actually. She gets invested in the lives of characters and appreciates snappy dialogue, so favorite TV shows include Bones, Chuck,Friends, and Sports Night. She often revisits the engaging characters and fantastical storyline of the eight Harry Potter films. Like Jez, Jennifer is a fan of animated Disney films, especially The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, and Tangled (and the non-Disney Anastasia).

 

 

 

My Latest Reviews

 

  • ER. Season 1 (1994-1995)
    I recently revisited the medical drama that started it all. Set in Chicago, ER follows the personal and professional lives of the doctors, nurses, and interns working in the emergency room of County General Hospital. While much of the technology has changed, the fast-paced electrifying show still grabs your attention for the 44 minute episodes. […]
  • Olympus Has Fallen (2013) R
    When telling a friend about Olympus Has Fallen, I called it “Die Hard for the 21st century.” If you’re in the mood for an intense action adventure film (and don’t mind the implausibility), check this one out. Gerard Butler gives a strong performance as the disgraced Secret Service agent who penetrates the White House to […]

Jez

Jez_profile_picture2013Jez is a Adult Services Librarian and enjoys fantasy, science fiction, musicals, comedies, and dramas. She enjoys action movies, especially superhero films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, The Avengers). With any genre, Jez enjoys watching a film that makes her think and keeps her on her toes (Inception, Now You See Me) or films that rework common film tropes or tell an old story in a new way (Snow White and the Huntsman). She also likes to watch light, romantic comedies for a few good laughs. Similarly, she loves watching Disney movies, with The Princess and the Frog and Lilo & Stitch being at the top of the list of her favorites, along with The King’s Speech, Singin’ in the Rain, and The Holiday.

 

 

My Latest Reviews

  • iZombie. Season 1 (2015)
    Medical resident Liv Moore (Rose McIver) has just had her life turned upside down when what starts out as a boat party turns into a zombie outbreak. Liv escapes with just a scratch, but that scratch makes her one of the undead, forcing her to break off her engagement, leave her residency program, and take […]
  • Jane the Virgin. Season 1 (2014-2015)
    Jane Villanueva is in for an unfortunate surprise when her gynecologist mixes up the room numbers and accidentally inseminates Jane instead of giving her a pap smear. Soon enough, Jane is caught in a web of crisscrossing plot lines and interrelated characters, all told by a hilarious omniscient narrator. Here’s what you need to know: […]

Joan

joanJoan says... My life leaves little time for movies. When I do make the time, I often revert to old favorites. My taste is eclectic. If I had to choose a genre, it would probably be romantic comedy from any era. I also enjoy a good Alfred Hitchcock suspense flick, especially those starring Cary Grant.

 

I am fascinated by the concept of time travel. It doesn’t seem to matter if the film involves history, suspense, romance, or a combination of all three. Some favorites include Peggy Sue Got Married, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Final Countdown, Time After Time, Somewhere in Time, and of course, the whole Back to the Future phenomenon.

 

If I need a true escape, I might choose just about any old Christmas movie, a classic musical like The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, 1776, or A Chorus Line, or the totally ridiculous, like Mr. Bean’s 1997 Bean.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
    Christmas miracles happen when Dudley the Angel (Cary Grant) appears on the scene. The Reverend Henry Brougham (David Niven) is so caught up in his fundraising/building project that he loses sight of the importance of his work and his family. Dudley knows just what to do to make things right with his wife (Loretta Young). […]
  • Scrooged (1988) PG-13
    Scrooged loosely follows the storyline of the classic Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol. Bill Murray’s comic sarcasm and a romance between Frank Cross (the Scrooge character played by Murray) and old flame Claire (played by Karen Allen) expand on the original theme. The four ghosts are not lost amongst the modern tale of a selfish, […]

Joe

joeJoe says... My idea of a good movie is one that entertains me on more than one level. For instance, Sneakers is a great suspenseful movie which also makes me laugh out loud at times. The Princess Bride is a wonderful fantasy which for the most part is a comedy and yet has very powerful scenes dealing with revenge and even a little romance. I like Thank You for Smoking because it is a comedy that occasionally borders on the absurd and at other times makes me think.

 
 

A well written script is another feature which attracts me, as in Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, or Cyrano de Bergerac, where there is clever dialogue. I like a good action film, too, especially if it creates that “on the edge of your seat” feeling, like in Speed or The Bourne Identity. A surprise ending, like in The Sixth Sense, is also a plus. When it comes to comedies, Dave and A Fish Called Wanda are right up my alley.

 
 

I’m also a sucker for Clint Eastwood movies, especially Unforgiven and The Outlaw Josey Wales. If I’m going out to the movies, I don’t generally seek out dramas, but two that I like are The Natural and Good Will Hunting. In a nutshell, I enjoy suspenseful movies that make me laugh at their witty dialogue until the surprise ending where I am blown away. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

 

My Latest Reviews

  • The Sixth Sense (1999) PG-13
    This film has an eerie feel to it from start to finish, and when you finally figure out what’s happening, you will be blown away. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense follows child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) as he tries to redeem himself after his last patient committed suicide. […]
  • The Avengers (2012) PG-13
    If you only saw one superhero movie in your life, this would be the one to see. Earth’s greatest heroes are thrown together to fight against an alien invasion led by the powerful villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Can they work together, though, to stop this overwhelming threat? The Avengers has many characters, including Iron Man […]

Mary K.

marykMary K. watches a variety of movies, but especially enjoys older films that are considered classics in their genre. Suspense and film noir movies are her go to standards, and she enjoys re-watching classics such as Casablanca, The Big Sleep, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. She enjoys TV mystery series such as Montalbano, Inspector Morse, Cadfael, and The Rockford Files. Mary also watches fantasy and adventure films such as Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings,Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and some foreign films.

 

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Force Majeure (2014) R
    Tomas and Ebba, along with their two children, are enjoying a family ski vacation in the French Alps. A controlled avalanche comes perilously close to the outdoor restaurant where they are enjoying lunch. As diners run in panic, Ebba calls for Tomas to help her. Tomas, however, has grabbed his cell phone and fled. No […]
  • Taking Sides (2001)
    Based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Taking Sides examines Furtwangler’s role during the Nazi era. Was he a collaborator as hard-nosed U.S. Major Arnold sets out to prove? Or was he an artist who walked a tightrope as he tried to keep his music separate from politics?

Mary P.

 

marypMary P. says... I like it all. Really, I do. I love old actors, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor among others, and I love the new actors, Colin Farrell, Amy Adams, and many more.

 

I won’t pass up a British or Irish film and I’m always on the lookout for a new foreign film. Comedies and action flicks rate high but I’m not opposed to a good tearjerker. Faves of all time: Rebecca, Mrs. Miniver, Red, Argo, Austin Powers, Sink the Bismarck!, and The Haunting just to name a few.

 

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Pride (2014) R
    This British LGBT historical comedy drama is based on a true story. Lesbian and gay activists raised money to help the striking British miners in 1984. The National Union of Mine Workers was reluctant to accept the group’s support because of publicity worries of being associated with a gay group. So the activists took their hefty […]
  • Cake (2014) R
    I think the most interesting part of Cake is the amazing performance of Jennifer Aniston as Claire Simmons. She is a well-off L.A. divorcee who is a chronic pain sufferer due to the fact she was in a car accident that killed her son and left her with physical and emotional scars. Claire is cranky, bitter, […]

Mary S.

marysMary S. says... I watch a variety of movies for entertainment. Primarily, I enjoy comedies that aren’t too crude, romantic comedies that aren’t too predictable, family movies, dramas especially those based on true stories, suspense especially those written by David Mamet and those directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and some foreign movies. Usually, I watch movies when they are released or come out on DVD, but around the holidays I love watching old classic movies. I am entertained by animated movies, especially those by Hayao Miyazaki and Disney.

 
 
 

I like movies that hold my attention, have a good story line, are uplifting, or thought provoking. I tend to watch all the Academy Award nominees unless they contain extreme violence or a disturbing subject. Favorite movies include Enchanted April, Dave, Hugo, The Usual Suspects, Body Heat, E.T., Moonstruck, Out of Africa, Top Gun, Babette’s Feast, A Fish Called Wanda, Babe, L.A. Confidential, and Home Alone.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Gotta Dance (2008)
    Follow the joys and struggles of twelve senior women and one man as they try out, train, and perform as a dance team for the New Jersey Nets basketball team. It is exhilarating and inspiring to watch this determined diverse group of people deal with the pressures of learning new routines in order to fulfill […]
  • The Wind Rises (2013) PG-13
    I thoroughly enjoyed The Wind Rises, an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Film of 2013 and another exceptional film by the talented director and animator, Hayao Miyazaki. Jiro, a nearsighted Japanese boy, is fascinated by flying and in his dreams meets Gianni Caproni, an Italian aeronautical designer. The determined and perfectionist Jiro goes […]

Sally

sallymSally says... When I watch a movie (and I am a strictly at-home viewer…don’t miss the theatre experience at all), I am very conscious of the settings and style used to tell a story. Film is telling a story visually. The look of a film should drive the narrative; for me, the production design provides that authenticity. Film noir is the perfect example of this. I am in love with computer generated imagery or CGI. Current filmmakers have become very adept in their ability to integrate CGI into film production.

Tim Burton is my favorite filmmaker. And I have seen every movie Johnny Depp ever made! And yes that includes Dead Man.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) PG
    Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas  is timeless movie magic and a visual delight. Burton created this stop-motion animation film in which Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of dreary Halloweentown, finds a secret passageway to Christmastown. He likes what he finds so he decides to better himself by taking over for Santa! This ghoulish fairy […]
  • Nero Wolfe. Seasons 1 & 2 (2001-2002)
    With Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe (the brilliant detective) and Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin (his leg man), this A&E television series is one of the best. The TV series is based on the original stories by Rex Stout written between 1934 and 1958. It is beautifully shot with set design and costuming that reflects […]

Shirley

shirleyShirley says...

Although I have wide-ranging interests in movies—drama, rom-com, some sci-fi, suspense (especially 1940s film noir), thrillers, and many high octane adventuresI especially enjoy classics with incomparable stars such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. You won’t catch me recommending raunchy comedies, most horror or vampire films. I’ve watched too many wonderful movies and couldn’t possibly name only a handful of favorites.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Summer Stock (1950)
    Summer Stock is a feel-good, corny (pun intended), let’s-put-on-a-show-in-the-barn musical starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. His unforgettable dance with a newspaper and creaky floorboards, and Garland’s show stopping “Get Happy” highlight this cheerful, old-fashioned film. Check out Turner Classic Movies’ article on Summer Stock, then watch the film.
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) PG-13
    This romantic comedy stars Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges. They both teach at Columbia University. Good looking but stiff and awkward, Gregory (Bridges) has had his share of troubles with the gorgeous but none-too-stimulating women he dates as well as with engaging his students. Rose (Streisand), an intelligent, popular teacher with limited dating options, struggles […]

Suzy

suzySuzy says... I watch a variety of movies from serious dramas to silly comedies. I like movies that make me laugh, make me think, or make me cry. I really enjoy romantic comedies and some of my favorites are The Break-Up, Definitely, Maybe, Waitress, and Silver Linings Playbook. Other movies I liked are City of God, Empire Records, Forrest Gump, Frida, and Great Expectations. I am also a dedicated fan of the television series The Good Wife, Homeland, and Parks and Recreation.

 

My Latest Reviews

  • Rust and Bone = De rouille et d’os (2012) R
    This is a moving French film about the power of love and loss. Rust and Bone stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a killer whale trainer and Matthias Schoenaerts as Alain, a single father struggling to keep it together. Stephanie and Alain meet one night and later form an unlikely bond after Stephanie suffers from a […]
  • Give Up (10th Anniversary Edition) by The Postal Service (2013)
    One of my favorite albums Give Up by The Postal Service has been re-released as a tenth anniversary set. There are only two unearthed songs on the album, but they are fantastic. The rest of the album serves as reminder of how great Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello are together. Touring for the first time […]