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MBR: The Library DVD Shelf

 
 
Midwest Book Review
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      08-30-2012
The Library DVD Shelf

Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
1937772152 $295.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com

Licensed for public performance, Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
And How We Can Get It Back is a politically charged documentary about
the causes of the American economic crisis, and the forces that
continue to depress the wages and living conditions of working and
middle class citizens. Heist reveals how four decades of deregulation,
job outsourcing, and tax policies that shift the public burden away
from corporations and the wealthy to the poor and middle class, have
squeezed the American public. Live footage of the Occupy Wall Street
movement, and a call to get involved politically to change disastrous
public policies distinguish this sharp wake-up call to Americans
everywhere, especially those who are struggling the hardest to
survive. 76 min. (58 min. and 22 min. versions are also playable from
the DVD), SDH captions.

War in the Mind
A film by Judy Jackson
Paul Gross, narrator
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
1937772195 $250.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com

Licensed for public performance, War in the Mind is a documentary
about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the harmful psychological legacy
of having the harrowing events of battle burned into one's mind. PTSD
may affect up to 15% of all soldiers; it can lead to crushing
depression and the breakup of families, or cause those who suffer it
to turn to drug addiction or even suicide. War in the Mind also
features Senator and Lieutenant General (Ret.) Romeo Dallaire, who has
publically spoken out about PTSD including how his personal experience
with it drove him to attempt suicide. The tremendous problem of
soldier suicide, which currently claims the lives of more soldiers
than actual battle, is also examined at length. The good news is that
suicide can be prevented with intervention and effective treatment.
War in the Mind also examines a UBC/Royal Canadian Legion program
designed especially to help soldiers recover from the violence and
pain burned into their brains. Extras include an eleven-minute "6
months later Q&A". War in the Mind is worthy of the highest
recommendation, especially for public library collections. 64 min.,
SDH captions.

We Are Not Ghosts
a film by Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
193777225X $250.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com

Fifty years ago, Detroit was a nerve center of the auto industry - and
when the industry fell on hard times, so did the city as a whole,
marred by a morass of ills stemming from sudden, mass unemployment.
Many departed the city, but others did not want to leave the home city
they loved. We Are Not Ghosts is a documentary about modern-day people
working to rebuild and reinvent Detroit for a post-industrial economy
in the postmodern world. Here are true stories of community
businesspeople, place-based schools, spoken-word artists, and urban
communities seeking to redefine their connections and adapt to the
challenges of the future. Licensed for public performance, We Are Not
Ghosts is a vision of hope and sustainability, and highly recommended
for public and classroom viewing as well as for library documentary
collections. 52 min, SDH captions.

The Sinking of the Laconia
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598287974 $39.99 www.acornonline.com

Nominated for the BAFTA award, The Sinking of the Laconia is the
complete miniseries dramatization of the true story of the RMS
Laconia, a ship torpedoed by the Germans in 1942 during the battle for
the Atlantic. The Laconia carried more than 2,000 passengers, many of
them civilians; their life-and-death struggle is the stuff of legends.
Featuring an outstanding international cast, The Sinking of the
Laconia is an extraordinary and gripping drama, highly recommended.
Bonus materials include a 29 min. documentary featurette "The Sinking
of the Laconia: Survivors' Stories". 2 DVDs, 171 min. plus bonus,
widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Megacities
Hosted by Andrew Marr
Athena
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
www.athenalearning.com
9781598288476 $34.99 www.acornonline.com

Megacities is a striking documentary about five of the world's best-
known megacities - defined as metropolis communities that have more
than 10 million inhabitants. BBC journalist Andrew Marr takes the
viewer to visit one of the oldest megacities (London, UK); the fastest
growing (Dhaka, Bangladesh); the largest (Tokyo, Japan); one of the
most dangerous (Mexico City, Mexico); and one that just might be the
new world capital (Shanghai, China). From the struggle to balance
sustainability with convenience, to the ongoing threats of crime and
social problems, to the incredible network of innovation and
confluence of human talent these gigantic cities represent, Megacities
is striking in its vivid portrayal of both the light and dark sides of
modern human civilization. A bonus 12-page viewer's guide rounds out
this excellent film, highly recommended especially for public and
community library DVD collections.

Mythos The Complete Series
Joseph Campbell, lecturer
Hosted by Susan Sarandon
Athena
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
www.athenalearning.com
9781598288216 $99.99 www.acornonline.com

Hosted by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, Mythos The Complete
Series collects the speaking tour that Joseph Campbell embarked upon
in his latter years, presented in the order and manner that Campell
intended, with enhanced images and minimal editing. Originally seen on
PBS, Mythos The Complete Series discusses the origin of a human
consciousness that distinguishes us from animals, the evolution of
mythology and symbols, mythic themes universally common in the East
(particularly Asia) and the modern-day West, and much more. A 12-page
viewer's guide with a never-before-published essay by Campbell rounds
out this extraordinary compilation. An extraordinary exploration into
forces of the mind that express themselves in ways that transcend
generations and even human cultures, Mythos The Complete Series is
highly recommended especially for public and college library DVD
collections. 15 episodes on 6 DVDs (grouped into Mythos I, II, and
II), 14 hours, fullscreen. Mythos I & II have closed-captioning;
Mythos III has SDH subtitles.

Master Qi and The Monkey King
A film by Alan Govenar
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213
New York, NY 10036
$24.95 www.firstrunfeatures.com

Master Qi and The Monkey King is an extraordinary documentary
chronicling the life and work of star Peking Opera actress Qi Shu
Fang. Excerpts from Qi's performances, backstage moments, interviews,
dazzling displays of martial arts, and diverting moments of humor
pepper this captivating tour de force of a grand cultural tradition.
Master Qi and The Monkey King strives to bridge the dearth of
understanding between nations and cultures, and the spectacular
efforts of Qi and her fellow performers is amazing to behold. A bonus
photo gallery, biographies of performers and filmmakers, and more
round out this amazing showcase, highly recommended especially for
public and community library DVD collections. 81 min.

The Forsyte Saga Collection
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288711 $79.99 www.acornonline.com

Originally shown on "Masterpiece Theater", The Forsyte Saga Collection
gathers two complete British drama series on DVD adapting John
Galsworthy's widely popular novels about a family at a crossroads,
divided by greed, adultery, and the lust for revenge. Set in the late
Victorian era through the 1920s, The Forsyte Saga Collection follows
two generations of the Forsyte family and its tragedies, jealousies,
and star-crossed love affairs. Riveting and sometimes shocking, The
Forsyte Saga Collection is a choice pick for fans of classic
television, highly recommended. Bonus features include a 20 min.
making-of featurette, photo galleries, a John Galsworthy biography and
booklist, and cast biographies and filmographies. 5 DVDs, 702 min.,
widescreen, English subtitles for series 2.

Tim Winton's Cloudstreet
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288483 $49.99 www.acornonline.com

Tim Winton's Cloudstreet is the DVD adaptation of the bestselling
Australian novel "Cloudstreet", about two rural families in Perth
1943-1963, who struggle with the repercussions of hardship and
tragedy. The two families are almost diametric opposites - the Lambs
toil hard and pray harder, in spite of the calamity that has befallen
them, while the Pickles' problems stem as much from their own
misguided decisions as from the vagaries of fate. Superbly performed
by its ensemble cast, Tim Winton's Cloudstreet is odyssey of finding
strength in common ground, and forging ties that can weather the
fiercest of storms; bonus features include a wealth of behind-the-
scenes segments. Highly recommended, although sensitive viewers should
be aware that there are some scenes with disturbing images or coarse
language. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs plus bonus feature DVD, 365 min. plus
101 min. of bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Injustice
Created by Anthony Horowitz
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288254 $39.99 www.acornonline.com

Injustice is a harrowing, five-part British crime thriller that will
keep the viewer fascinated to the very end. Blending elements of the
legal drama, police procedure, mystery, and suspense genres, Injustice
follows disillusioned defense barrister William Travers, who is called
out of retirement to defend an old comrade from a homicide charge. But
the further the case progresses, the more sinister elements appear,
until the specter of death hangs over his neighborhood and he becomes
a target of investigation! Injustice is not for the faint of heart,
due to scenes of violence, strong language, and disturbing images. A
bonus photo gallery enhances this excellent, tightly crime story. 5
episodes on 2 DVDs, 223 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

St. Louis Steam Celebration
Pentrex
2652 East Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91107
1563423170 $29.95 www.pentrex.com

St. Louis Steam Celebration (2 hours) is a DVD capturing the greatest
steam event of 1990, during which four of America's largest steam
locomotives came to Union Station in Saint Louis, Missouri for the
NRHS convention. Six camera crews from the railroad documentary
specialists of Pentrex covered the Cotton Belt 819, the Frisco 1522,
the Norfolk & Western 1218, and the Union Pacific 844, and the
captivating activities of the grand celebration, including convention
excursions across beautiful countryside. St. Louis Steam Celebration
is truly the next best thing to riding the greatest and most venerable
steam locomotives in person, and highly recommended especially for
railroading enthusiasts. Also choice picks for railroad buffs are
"Santa Fe 3751: The Restoration" (1563423235, $29.95, 1 hour), the
true story of how the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society spent
ten years and thousands of man-hours to restore a historic steam
locomotive and return her to the rails, and "Santa Fe 3751: Return to
Steam" (1563423030, $29.95, 1 hour), a DVD displaying the successful
maiden voyage of this beautifully restored locomotive, in honor of the
99th anniversary of the original train's debut. All three Pentrex DVDs
are in full color with standard definition 4x3 format and hi-fi sound
and narration.

John Mellencamp: It's About You
MPI Media Group
16101 South 108th Avenue
Orland Park, IL 60462
0788614541, $29.98, www.mpihomevideo.com

John Mellencamp: It's About You provides fans of the musician John
Mellencamp with a personal film by Kurt and Ian Markus, and covers a
career spanning over 25 years. This isn't a recap: the movie's co-
directors, photographer Kurt Marcus and his son Ian, traveled with
Mellencamp on his 2009 concert tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson,
and film the writing and recording of his 2010 album NO BETTER THAN
THIS. They shot in Super 8 to provide a visual reflection of
Mellencamp's Americana music, and provide a lovely 'you are there'
portrait of Mellencamp's music, inspiration, and perspective.

Dr. Who & Sarah Jane DVDs
BBC America
www.bbcamerica.com

Three new DVD sets are top picks for science fiction fans in general
and Dr. Who followers alike, offering fine home editions that leave
off commercials and offer many added bonuses. The Patrick Troughton
years 1966-69 of Dr. Who are reflected in the 2-disc set DOCTOR WHO:
THE SEEDS OF DEATH SPECIAL EDITION (0780671015, $34.9, presenting
the Second Doctor and his companions who discover the Ice Warriors
have hijacked T-Mat, the transport system, and intend on claiming the
entire planet. Extinction of the world is at the head of a powerful
story, digitally re-mastered to include audio commentary with the
actors and director, featurettes, and other bonuses. The Peter Davison
years from 1982-84 are profiled in the two-disc set DOCTOR WHO:
RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS SPECIAL EDITION (0780671031, $34.9, in
which the Fifth Doctor and his companions are forced into 1984 London,
where the Doctor faces his most devious enemy the Daleks. More audio
commentary and interviews with actors accompany an alternate 4-part
version of the story in this powerful saga. The fifth season of THE
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES (0780694910, $19.9 provides the satisfying
spin-off's final season and follows the adventures of Sarah and her
young friends, who team up with The Doctor to explore mysteries. This
series is geared more to young adult followers than adult, but any
avid fan of The Doctor hungry for more will find this packed with
adventure and filled with bonus features, including a tribute to the
now-deceased Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen). All are outstanding DVD
recommendations for Doctor Who fans and wannabes!

BBC America
www.bbcamerica.com

The complete Season 18 of TOP GEAR (0780695232, $24.9 provides the
complete season as seen on BBC America and BBC Canada, includes the
India Special, and follows the hosts as they drive supercars across
Italy, make a movie car chase, and more. It's a fun romp through the
world of fast cars, unique cars, and car culture; and will be a fine
recommendation for any who love car shows in general and TOP GEAR in
particular. This includes bonuses of a welcome introduction to the
season and behind-the-scenes featurettes of drivers and cars.
CIVILIZATION; THE WEST AND THE REST with Niall Ferguson (0780692543,
$34.9 provides a fine documentary series by a host named by TIME as
one of their top 100 most influential people, and investigates the
influences of the West and Christianity. It considers the rise and
possible fall of the West and discusses science, democracy and the
work ethic in a striking set of considerations perfect for fans of
world history.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to
promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We
accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given
to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites,
newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational
newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest
Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines
"California Bookwatch", "Internet Bookwatch", "Children's Bookwatch",
"MBR Bookwatch", "Reviewer's Bookwatch", and "Small Press Bookwatch".
All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www
(dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them
to:

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to
Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title,
author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number,
13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
 
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