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  • The Matrix
    ★★★★★

    The Matrix is the film that really catapulted the Wachowski brothers (now sisters) into fame. Interesting facts on what influenced them to construct this film and have the foresight to envision the modernization of technology and AI decades before it was dinner place conversation are listed on Wikipedia (fyi) including author Herman Hesse. I get particular encouragement from their respective life stories that they both were in college and were willing to both drop out in order to foci their energy and support a common interest in creating this storyline and footage. What would the world have been like without the creation of the Matrix? What message do their respective sex changes and status as cultural icons send to the world? Only you can decide. I am a fan. But I cannot convince you with my verbosity to walk through life as an enlightened geek dedicated to science technology and the truth. I can only present you with the red pill and the blue pill (The chance to rent this movie for free representing the red option.) Only you can choose to walk through the door.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 21, 2019

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  • Nature.
    ★★★★★

    Animal Odd Couples by PBS is easily one of the top 10 movies in the entire collection. This is a cute 1 hour tour of animal science documented cases of pair bonding between radically different species. This also includes interesting partial narration by Temple Grandin and footage of how research is conducted on monkeys. Why not enjoy a movie that will appeal to the whole family across generations and show the FreeLibrary that films on animal science and the crossover into field research on animal psychology are in high demand by giving this one a try. Regardless of whether it irks you that Temple Grandin has the limelight or does a controversial job of presenting as an autistic career woman, there are some eye-boggling moments not to be missed and this film has one of the broadest appeal bases of all time.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 21, 2019

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  • Harry Potter and the deathly hallows.
    ★★★★★

    Here is the cinematic condensed version of how our top notch team of wizards are able to put all the magic that they have learned throughout their lives and friendship and with the inability to return to Hogwartz comes their chance to demonstrate the best of their talents, both seperately and apart in an attempt to ensure the freedom of the magical and muggle world. Interdependency in the face of dark times is the moral of the story and it is great to watch the characters/actors mature and ripen on screen together. Unfortunately it is a very long 'school year' and the cinematographer had a hard time squeezing all the action in so it ends on a very unfinished and unsettling note. (Unsettling because there are at least 5 Horcruxes still missing, and instead of having just his parents to avenge, now Dumbledore has died so Harry has a seemingly impossible odds to beat, all the weight of adulthood and a loss of innocence is upon him and cannot be shaken.) 

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 21, 2019

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  • Murder on the Orient Express
    ★★★★★

    Interesting 'personnages' and well crafted scenery from start to finish here is a classic dinner theater plot a murder has taken place on the train and the viewer feels like they are on the train and despite all the action and personages it's not clear who the culprit is or if the train is secure at all. The only part of this which felt extremely awkward is the dialect. Poirot sounds appropriate but due to the different native accents it just feels all over the board. However; the average audience viewer will likely be able to overlook this and there are some powerful scenes, and feels not entirely fluffy; but I can't help wondering what a truly modernized version would have looked like. (cellphones and such) There are so many big names in this film it is distracting from the actual crime and it works in the films favor.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 21, 2019

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  • Larger than life a novella by Picoult, Jodi,
    ★★★★☆

    This is obviously a short read but one that should not be under-estimated. The title 'Larger than Life' illustrates the bond between all life forms. Most specifically, Picoult highlights the salient and at times tumultuous bond between mother and child. Detailing Alice's undying love for rescued elephant, Lesego, underpinned by Alice's turbulent relationship with her mother, the reader is left with a book to remember for sure!

    And who wouldn't appreciate a book about elephants and Botswana. Smiling! 

    Reviewed by LaBae D on Jan 17, 2019

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  • The boy with the cuckoo-clock heart by Malzieu, Mathias.
    ★★★☆☆

    All in all this was a whimsical journey from 19th century Edinburgh to the land of Andalusia in search of love with a boy with unconventional heart strings. Notwithstanding Malzieu's particular descriptions of characters and events, I would have rated the book 2 stars. It was the fanciful depictions that saved the novel. 

    I would recommend for those with a propensity for love stories and magical realism.

    Reviewed by LaBae D on Jan 3, 2019

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