July 2011 Archives

numberfour.pngThe movie version of Pittacus Lore's 2011 Teens' Top Ten Nominated novel "I Am Number Four" will be playing at Greenwich Library's Cole Auditorium on Wednesday, August 3 beginning at 2:00 pm.  The film is rated PG-13 and runs 114 minutes.  "I Am Number Four" follows the plight of young John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), an alien from the planet Lorien posing as a high school student, who must avoid being killed by the evil Mogadorians.


Here's a quick and very informative preview:  

For more details, click here. See you all on the 3rd!

"Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark"

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7-21-2011 4-25-08 PM.pngAfter so many months of hearing rumors and goofy stories about its troubled production, I finally managed to see the new musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" last night at the Foxwoods Theatre on Broadway.  And guess what?  It wasn't bad! 

In fact, SMTOTD is a fast paced, entertaining production with earnest performances, good dance choreography and inventive, if sometimes garish, set design.  Special thanks has to go to the nine stuntmen who doubled for the show's star Reeve Carney. They (and Carney during the climax) showed real bravery in literally swinging over the Foxwoods stage from great heights attached to a reasonably secure harness.  (And sitting in the balcony where I was, well, you haven't lived till you see someone in a Spider-Man costume in front of you dive off towards the stage below!)  Their important contribution to the show, bringing real honest suspense and excitement  to nightly audiences, cannot be overlooked.

The plot, taken mostly from the first two Tobey Macguire/Spider-Man films, revolves around young nerd Peter Parker (Carney) who gets bitten by a genetically enhanced spider and develops spider-like powers, which he uses to fight crime.  Meanwhile, harassed scientist Norman Osborne (Patrick Page) tying to save both his comapny and marriage, metamorphs into the Green Goblin and proceeds to spread terror around NYC. Osborne even creates his own badguy squad by mutating his former business enemies as the "Sinister Six".  Can Spider-Man stop these villians and still keep his girlfriend Mary Jane (played this particular evening by Kristen Martin)?  And what part does the fallen goddess Arachne  (Jodi McFadden) play? 

Carney, Page and Martin, along with Michael Mulheren as "Daily Bugle" publisher J.Jonah Jameson, give enthusiastic performances, both acting and musically-wise.  They've got great "pipes"!  As noted earlier, the production's pacing is fast, but there are some drawbacks, such as the goofy-looking costumes the Goblin and his creations wear.  The much-publicized  score by U2's Bono and The Edge is so-so; the instrumental passages are good in invoking suspense, but the songs, with maybe the exception of "Bullying by Numbers" in the first act, do not stand out.  (Also count the number of times a certain rock group's songs are referenced during the show.) And is there a really good reason why Spider-Man co-creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko aren't mentioned in the credits?  

Otherwise, "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" is a lot of fun.  Check it out this summer before heading back to school. 

7-18-2011 10-17-13 AM.pngThis Thursday, July 21st beginning at 2pm in Greenwich Library's second floor Meeting Room, we've got a double dose of superhero fun.  At 2:00, we'll be showing the 2006 animated film "The Ultimate Avengers" which was used as a template for the recent "Iron Man" and "Thor" movies (as well as the upcoming "Captain America" flick, which opens in movie theatres on Friday the 22nd!).  "Ultimate Avengers" recounts how SHIELD agent Nick Fury recruits Iron Man, Thor, the Black Widow, Giant-Man, the Wasp and a just-discovered Captain America, to combat a potentially lethal threat to the free world.  That is, if the Hulk doesn't mess things up!


Then after the movie, members of the audience will be invited to play the video game "Marvel Vs. Capcom 3" .   Here's a clip.

For more info about this event, click here. Hope to see you there!

Magic of Mosaics

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Join us on Monday July 18 to make your own colorful mosaic!  Bring beads, seashells and other items to personalize your design - all other supplies will be provided.   This event is open to middle and high school students - space is limited to reserve your seat today!  We have LOTS more activities planned - check out our Teen Summer Reading page for the entire list. Email the Teen Services Librarian or call (203) 622-7915 to register.  Details on our events calendar.

"Green Lantern": The Review

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7-6-2011 12-14-10 PM.pngThis summer has seen three big Hollywood films (Thor; X-Men: First Class; Green Lantern) based on comic book superheroes released in theatres with a fourth one, Captain America, due out on July 22.  Greenwich Library will be showing the animated 2006 Ultimate Avengers film on July 21, one day before the Cap film opens (details here).  Face it, there's no getting away from the superheroes!

Of the films released so far this summer, Green Lantern was supposed to have made a big impact on the box office.  The projected first installment in a potentially long running movie series, based on this classic character, Green Lantern the movie just doesn't make the grade. 


In a nutshell, the film has way too much going on.  We got the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force run by the Guardians of the Universe (and possibly based on this classic science fiction series), that covers the 3500-plus sectors of the galaxies who lose some of their own when the evil Parallax (a former Guardian) wiped them out.  One of the dying Lanterns, Abin Sur, bequethes his power ring & lantern to an Earthman, cocky but lovable (I guess) test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who has his own problems.  Later, part of Parallex's DNA from Sur's body is injected into the body of scientist (and Hal's rival for the affections of Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively) Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) during an autopsy. Hector starts getting (and looking) weird.   

Meanwhile, Green Lantern Sinestro (Mark Strong) disses Hal, causing the latter to quit the Corps after a brief training session on the Guardians' home planet, Oa.  (For some reason, Hal gets to keep the ring & lantern.)  While Hal files around on Earth doing good & staring at his navel, Sinestro tries to rally the other members of the Corps to attack Parallex all together.  And where's Parallex during all this?  On his way to Earth, where... But I've said too much already.

Green Lantern the movie has enough plot for three or four films.  There was no reason, aside from making the fans of the character happy, to cram so much detail into the film.  The two leads, Reynolds and Lively, lack presence and charisma, there's too much busy stuff going on, and by the time you get to the end, you're worn out.  Director Martin Campbell, who's done better movies (GoldenEye; Mask of Zorro; Casino Royale) and the four (!) credited screenwriters never get a good handle on the characters and situations. If the producers hope this film will spark a long running series, they're mistaken.  Green Lantern has lots of neat special effects and an inherent sense of adventure, but it's overcomplicated storyline and rushed pace will turn off the average moviegoer and potential fan. Here's hoping the Captain America film does better.    


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