Movie Review: Umma (2022)

Amanda’s life as an adult is about as far away from her childhood as it could get–and that’s exactly the way she likes it. After escaping her abusive upbringing in Korea at the hands of her mother, she’s built a life for herself on a very rural bee farm in America, where she raises her daughter, tends to her bees and chickens, and has studiously cut herself off from electricity, which she claims she is allergic to, and her Korean heritage.

On the surface, things are pretty idyllic for Amanda, except for the nightmares she regularly endures. But the sudden appearance of her long-lost uncle, with news that her mother has died and her ashes in tow, brings to the forefront a whole slew of issues. Not the least of which is the fact she’s pretty sure her mother’s ghost is now haunting her. . . .

I was curious about this movie because I saw it described as the horror version of Minari. I think that is a pretty apt comparison, though I did find Umma more uneven. That being said, I did enjoy Umma, and if you want to watch something horror-related for Halloween that isn’t particularly scary but is thought-provoking and chilling, this movie would be the perfect fit.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Umma (2022)”

Movie Review: Ride The High Country (1962)

As I’ve written about several times on this blog, I have a great love for Westerns (books, movies, and TV). And recently when I noticed that the library didn’t have Ride The High Country, which is one of my absolute favorite movies in the genre, I remedied the situation by requesting we add it to the collection. Thanks so much to Julie for buying it!

In the early 20th century, stalwart but aging lawman Steve (Joel McCrea) is tasked with transporting gold from a rough mining town in the High Sierras. Accompanied by his irascible friend Gil (Randolph Scott), a green youngster (Ron Starr), and a feisty but sheltered bride-to-be (Mariette Hartley), the ragtag group quickly winds up with more trouble than they bargained for when they meet the girl’s future husband (James Drury) and his rough brothers. (You know they’re bad news when they include a young Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones.) Complications ensue. . . .

Continue reading “Movie Review: Ride The High Country (1962)”

Movie Review: Nightmare Alley (2021)

Stan (Bradley Cooper) is a drifter with his own share of secrets when he hooks up with a Depression-era carnival. But he quickly learns the tricks of the cold reading trade and becomes the barker to the show’s “clairvoyant” act. Despite being warned about how dangerous it is to toy with people in this way, Stan has much grander ambitions for his talents. That is, until he finds himself in over his head. . . .

Kelli recommended this noir horror movie to me (an adaptation of a 1940s noir classic), and I’m glad she did–I really enjoyed it!

It’s like The Mentalist meets Freaks meets James M. Cain, which is a combination that really works for me.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Nightmare Alley (2021)”

Movie Review: Dune, Part One (2021)

In the year 10191, the planet Arrakis is a harsh desert land, but it is rich in “spice” (maybe we can interest them in our spice club), so it has been a lucrative resource for the brutal Harkonnen, who exploit the locals and the land. When the emperor revokes Harkonnen rights to Arrakis and gives them instead to the duke of House Atreides (Oscar Isaac), an inevitable collision course is set, and complications ensue, including the fact that the duke’s gifted son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) may be the long-awaited messiah the people of Arrakis have been promised.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Dune, Part One (2021)”

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Viago has similar struggles to all of us. He misses the love of his life and has had a difficult time moving on. He wishes his roommates would do their dishes and other agreed-upon household chores. He sometimes has a hard time getting a bite to eat. He’s just trying to find his way in the world, one night at a time.

Oh yes and he and his roommates are centuries-old vampires.

Thanks to Kelli for recommending this delightful movie to me! It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed watching it. It’s perfect viewing as Halloween approaches.

Continue reading “Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)”

Movie Review: Minari

It’s not often that a movie with a Northwest Arkansas setting generates Oscar buzz, but last year’s Minari not only did so but also won one (Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-jung). As a result, I’ve been looking forward to reviewing the movie as soon as we received the DVD at the library, and I’m so excited to post this because it’s been one of the best new movies I’ve watched in a long time!

Continue reading “Movie Review: Minari”

Movie Review: The Irishman (2019)

I’ve written on here before about being a Martin Scorsese fan. In recent years, Scorsese has moved away from the organized crime movies he became known for, and though I’ve enjoyed a lot of those movies, I’ll always have a soft spot for his iconic mob movies. Scorsese’s 2019 effort–The Irishman–generated a lot of buzz when it was being made. The buzz tended to be less about the movie itself and more about the process/circumstances surrounding the making of the movie. It marks Scorsese’s return to the organized crime genre, reunited him with two longtime collaborators (Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, the latter coming out of retirement), included his first collaboration with Al Pacino, employed de-aging effects to the cast, was released on Netflix, and clocked in at 3 hours, 30 minutes.

Much less attention was paid to the story the movie told, that of Frank Sheeran. A trucker who worked as a hit man for Pennsylvania mobster Russell Bufalino, he claimed to know the real story behind the 1970s disappearance of mob-connected union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Could any movie live up to all this hype?

Continue reading “Movie Review: The Irishman (2019)”

Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Botswana

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In August, we’re in Botswana.

Continue reading “Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Botswana”

Movie Review: Emma. (2020)

Emma 2020

Emma is a fantastic matchmaker–just ask her. She successfully paired up her beloved governess with a local widower, and buoyed by that success, Emma turns her sights on finding a husband for her friend, Harriet. In Regency England, successful matchmaking entails more than just joining two souls in love–it also involves ensuring financial security and securing/maintaining social status. Emma’s brother-in-law and family friend George Knightley warns her against the matchmaking shenanigans, but what could possibly go wrong when she starts trying to pair up the socially disadvantaged Harriet with the local bachelors? Lots. Lots could go wrong.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Emma. (2020)”

Parasite (2019)


Note: Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our county, we’ve had to close the building to the public again. However, we are still doing curbside service. Please check out our website for more information on how you can continue to check out items like the movie reviewed today. Thanks for your patience and cooperation!

The Kim family lives in unremitting poverty in Seoul, South Korea, though it’s not for lack of trying. Still, they subsist on meager wages from a pizza box folding job, and the most exciting part of their day is scoring free Wifi for their phones. That is, until son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) scores a job tutoring for the wealthy Park family. He sees a good opportunity–not only for himself but the rest of the family–and starts plotting to insinuate his parents (Song Kang-ho and Jang Hye-jin) and sister (Park So-dam) into the Park family’s life as well. Complications ensue.

Continue reading “Parasite (2019)”