MBR: The Library DVD Shelf

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Midwest Book Review, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. The Library DVD Shelf

    America's Living Constitution
    2042-A Amacost Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025
    No ISBN, $9.98 www.greenleafandassociates.com

    AMERICA'S LIVING CONSTITUTION is a fine choice for any education
    collection: it is presented in full screen with each section
    individually indexed with bonus slideshows of selected national
    monuments, and covers the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in
    detail. High school collections in particular will find this a fine

    Poldark Series 1
    Acorn Media Group
    8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
    $69.99 www.acornmedia.com

    As seen on PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre", Poldark Series 1 is the
    complete first season on DVD of the television series based on the
    novels by Winston Graham. Set in Britain shortly after the American
    Revolution, Poldark follows the Captain Ross Poldark, who has returned
    home to find his estate in shambles, the love of his life engaged to
    his cousin, and his family's copper mines on the verge of being seized
    by his rivals. As Poldark seeks both to reclaim his fortune and
    rediscover true love, he encounters murder, danger, and intrigue. A
    dramatic portrayal of the strict divisions of historical British
    society as well as a captivating character portrait and an enthralling
    adventure, Poldark Series 1 is highly recommended. 16 episodes, 821
    min on 4 DVDs, full screen, SDH subtitles.

    The Complete Inspector Lewis
    PBS Home Video
    c/o SSA Public Relations
    15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    9781608831289 $69.99 www.shopPBS.org

    The Complete Inspector Lewis is the DVD collection the pilot and
    complete first and second series (for a total of 11 episodes) of
    "Inspector Lewis", the British detective who strives to live up to the
    legacy of his late long-time partner, the legendary Inspector Morse.
    Lewis must rebuild himself after the terrible loss of his wife to a
    hit-and-run accident, figure out how to work with his intelligent yet
    estranged younger partner, and prove his worth to a questionable new
    boss. Yet the cases Lewis receives remain his specialty, as each
    involves the affairs of the Oxford elite. A dramatic mystery
    collection featuring flawed yet well-rounded characters, The Complete
    Inspector Lewis is a superb pick for fans of the genre. 8 DVDs, 16.5

    Lizard Kings
    PBS Home Video
    c/o SSA Public Relations
    15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    $24.99 www.shopPBS.org

    Originally broadcast as an episode of the public television series
    NOVA, Lizard Kings is an extraordinary documentary about monitor
    lizards, a family of reptiles that includes the tremendous Komodo
    dragons - the largest lizards found on the planet. Expert
    herpetologist Dr. Eric Pianka guides the viewer on a fantastic tour of
    these striking reptiles in Australia's heartland. "Lizard cam"
    technology even provided an up-close and personal view from the
    perspective of the lizards themselves, in this extraordinary true-life
    tour of these fascinating creatures. A wonderful, educational, and
    utterly captivating documentary, highly recommended for lizard fans of
    all ages and for public library DVD collections. 56 minutes,
    widescreen, closed captioned.

    Wild Ocean
    Image Entertainment
    20525 Nordhoff Street, Suite 200, Chatsworth, CA 91311-6104
    $19.98 DVD $24.98 Blu-ray www.image-entertainment.com

    Originally created for exhibition in IMAX theaters, Wild Ocean is a
    spectacular, award-winning DVD documentary that reveals the ocean life
    flourishing under the waves of South Africa's coast. From beautiful
    shoals to seals and dolphins to breaching whale and bloodthirsty
    sharks, Wild Ocean is an unforgettable tour of the daily struggle for
    survival among ocean wildlife, and a reminder of the ecological
    wonders beneath the waves that are perilously endangered by the
    encroaches of mankind. Special features include a behind the scenes
    featurette, an interview with the directors, and a quiz. Available in
    both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Wild Ocean is an excellent pick
    especially recommended for public library collections. 40 minutes,
    widescreen, English/Spanish/French language tracks.

    Shiva Rea Yogini
    8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650, Silver Spring, MD 20910
    $19.99 acacialifestyle.com

    Set in beautiful Kauai under a waterfall, Shiva Rea Yogini: Vinyasa
    Flow Yoga for Women is a customizable yoga workout on DVD led by world-
    class instructor Shiva Rea. Options include a heart-centered practice,
    a flowing backbend segment, standing poses, and meditation to promote
    relaxation. A Yoga workout designed especially to help women tap into
    their innate creative energy (called shakti), Shiva Rea Yogini is a
    wonderful contribution to yoga and fitness DVD libraries and is highly
    recommended. 75 min., stereo, 16:9 widescreen.

    The Suzuki Diaries
    David Suzuki
    Bullfrog Films, Inc.
    PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
    $250.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com 1-800-543-3764

    Intended for viewers in grades 10-12 as well as adults, The Suzuki
    Diaries: Sustainability in Action is a DVD following geneticist and
    host of CBC's "The Nature of Things" David Suzuki (along with his
    youngest daughter Sarika) on a journey through Europe, as they see a
    glimpse of what a sustainable economic future might look like. In an
    era when emphasis on unlimited economic growth might send humankind
    toward its own destruction, what is an alternative to provide for
    humanity's needs without overtaxing the environment? In Germany,
    Suzuki and his daughter meet Hermann Scheer, politician and creator of
    the "feed-in" tariffs that help generate the renewable energy
    industry, the recently renovated Reichstag Building, and Studio 7.5, a
    place that created the entirely recyclable Mirra chair. In Denmark,
    they meet the president of the World Wind Energy Association, Preben
    Maegaard, and observe Copenhagen's many bicyclers - 40% of the
    population rides a bike to work or school! In France, they see the
    organic farm Nicholas Joly, and in Spain, they see a solar power
    project as well as a new high-speed rail network meant to replace
    expensive air travel between cities. An extraordinary tour of the
    latest ecological innovations in transportation and power, highly
    recommended especially for public library, college library, and school
    classroom collections. 45 minutes, closed captioned.

    PBS Home Video
    c/o SSA Public Relations
    15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    $24.99 each www.shopPBS.org

    Three PBS DVDs preserve memorable episodes from their award-winning
    Frontline documentary series. "The Warning" is a surprising revelation
    of how early warnings of impending economic meltdown were tragically
    ignored; high-ranking members of the Clinton administration were at
    odds witha lone woman seeking to advocate the need to regulate the
    complicated new derivatives market that would eventually sour the
    nation's economy. A fascinating story of how entrenched self-interest
    to the extent of blindness stymied the earliest attempts to prevent
    future economic meltdown. "Close to Home: Scenes from a Recession" is
    the up-close and personal story of the modern recession from the
    perspective of the patrons of a hair salon on New York's Upper East
    Side. From well-heeled bankers to struggling actors, everyone who
    comes has their own personal story about getting by in tough times.
    "Obama's War" is an eye-opening look at the modern-day struggle in
    Afghanistan and Pakistan - tens of thousands of American troops, led
    by a new commander and following a counter-insurgency plan built from
    experience in Iraq, put their lives on the line in a difficult and
    costly struggle. Featuring interviews with top U.S. commanders on the
    ground, embeds with U.S. forces, and reporting from Washington,
    "Obama's War" scrutinizes America's overall strategy - as well as
    providing a vivid picture of the lives of those who proudly serve
    their country. As the war in Afghanistan portends to be longer and
    more costly than any imagined, "Obama's War" is a gripping update on
    cold, hard reality (note that some footage may not be appropriate for
    all viewers - individual discretion (or parental guidance in the case
    of minors) is advised. All three DVDs are highly recommended,
    especially for public library documentary collections. 60 minutes

    Dancing the Big Apple 1937
    Judy Pritchett
    Dancetime! Publications
    c/o WC Books
    1200 County Road Rt. 523, Flemington, NJ 08822
    $39.95 www.DancetimePublications.com 1-888-854-5602

    Dancing the Big Apple 1937: African-Americans Inspire a National Craze
    is an amazing DVD documentary about an African-American nightclub
    called The Big Apple in Columbia, South Carolina and the dance craze
    that grew out of it during the Great Depression. An enthusiastic
    circle dance performed to popular swing music has its roots in the
    African Ring Shout ceremony, brought to American soil by African
    slaves and handed down (often secretly) through generations.
    Choreography expert Lance Benishek demonstrates popular steps from the
    heyday of the Big Apple, and lively period music combined with
    exciting black-and-white historical footage brings this revolution in
    American dance to vivid life. Highly recommended.

    History and Concept of Hip-Hop Dance
    Moncell Durden, director
    Dancetime! Publications
    c/o WC Books
    1200 County Road Rt. 523, Flemington, NJ 08822
    $39.95 www.DancetimePublications.com 1-888-854-5602

    Director Moncell Durden's "History and Concept of Hip-Hop Dance: The
    Street Culture that became a Global Expression" is an examination of
    urban hip-hop dance in America from 1970's Break-Dancing to the 80's
    transition to 'easy-to-perform' party dances that appealed partygoers
    everywhere, to modern-day hip-hop in Afro-Latin communities' dancing
    and much more. Expert testimony on the origins and heritage of hip-hop
    dancing tap into the wisdom of choreographers, international dancers,
    and dance instructors. A celebration of this relatively recent and
    mutable global dance tradition with ancient roots, History and Concept
    of Hip-Hop Dance is an excellent, lively and educational addition to
    any college or personal DVD library with a focus on the history of
    dance. 43 minutes.

    Crystal Productions
    PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
    www.crystalproductions.com 1-800-255-8629

    Two outstanding DVDs from Crystal Productions immerse the viewer in
    the striking vivacity of Australian Aboriginal art. Marilynne
    Bradley's "Aboriginal Art: Past, Present and Future" (9781562904197,
    $29.95) offers the viewer a stunning tour of Aboriginal art from
    prehistoric cave decorations (not to mention living tree carvings and
    engravings on flat rocks) to the creations of modern-day artists. The
    striking, simplified yet eclectic artistic traditions and styles are
    captivating to behold. Of particular interest are the thematic
    motivations of many contemporary Aboriginal artists, whose work often
    reflects their personal experiences with dispossession, separation
    from family, racism, and the search for cultural identity. An absolute
    "must-have" for any art college DVD library. Also highly recommended
    is art educator Peggy Flores' "Aboriginal Art: How to Create
    It" (9781562904203, $29.95), an examination of how to craft striking
    works in the Aboriginal style. From how dots are used in composition,
    to basic Aboriginal symbols one can use, to crafting Dream paintings
    and X-ray paintings with various media and inexpensive supplies,
    "Aboriginal Art: How to Create It" lives up to its title with step-by-
    step instructions and user-friendly direction. A "must" for artists of
    all backgrounds intrigued by hands-on learning about the Aboriginal

    Hubble's Amazing Rescue
    PBS Home Video
    c/o SSA Public Relations
    15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    9781608830992 $24.99 www.shopPBS.org

    Originally broadcast as an episode of NOVA, Hubble's Amazing Rescue is
    a behind-the-scenes documentary of the extraordinary astronauts and
    engineers who worked together to save the famous Hubble Space
    Telescope, an artifact that has contributed enormously to scientific
    knowledge in the past twenty years. After two decades, Hubble's
    gyroscopes and sensors were failing; its batteries were running down;
    and some of its instruments were already dead. A mission to save it
    had been cancelled in 2004 due to excessive risk to the astronauts.
    Previous missions had offered replacement parts, but now two of the
    run-down instruments, a camera and a spectrograph, had no available
    replacements. It took five careful spacewalks to revive the telescope
    and fortify it to be sent back into space, anywhere from 10 to 70
    times more powerful than when it was first launched. A director's
    commentary enhances this amazing true-life story of the rebirth of a
    scientific resource, Hubble's Amazing Rescue is especially recommended
    for public library DVD collections. 56 minutes, widescreen, stereo,
    closed-captioned, not rated.

    Drop Dead Rock
    Starring Adam Ant and Deborah Harry
    MVD Entertainment Group
    PO Box 280, Oaks, PA 19456
    $14.95 www.MVDvisual.com 1-800-888-0486

    Drop Dead Rock is a bizarrely funny comedy about a last dregs rock 'n'
    roll band called Hindenburg that kidnap the great British rock star
    Spazz-O, and hold him hostage to expose him to their music and thus
    garner fame. But Spazz-O's ex-porn star wife and her ruthless manager
    will benefit immensely if Spazz-O dies, and they've hired a hitman to
    make it happen. A media rush shoots Spazz-O's hype into the
    stratosphere, and the wealth of an eager media mogul makes Spazz-O
    worth more alive than dead! It's an all-out free-for-all between an
    inept rock band of kidnappers, a murderous assassin, frenzied media
    hounds and more in this laugh-out-loud funny adventure that cuts every
    sacred cow of the rock world down to size. Highly recommended. Not
    rated, 93 minutes.

    What's On Your Plate?
    Bullfrog Films, Inc.
    PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
    1594589011 $295.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com

    What's On Your Plate? is a documentary film about kids and food
    politics. Though the film follows two biracial eleven-year-old city
    kids, its thought-provoking explorations of a serious subject makes it
    valuable for viewers of all ages. The young hosts talk to food
    activists, farmers, shopkeepers, and more people as they learn about
    the origins of the food they eat. Their journey takes them from
    supermarkets and fast food chains to school lunchrooms, but of
    particular interest is their trips of discovery about the latest
    innovations of sustainable food-growing practices. Modern community-
    supported agriculture programs can work with the environment, help
    struggling farmers, and offer affordable, locally grown food to
    communities in general - and urban families on a tight budget in
    particular. An excellent and educational documentary, highly
    recommended for school classroom and public library viewing shelves.
    76 minutes, English, SDH captions or Spanish subtitles.

    My Fuhrer
    Featuring Ulrich Muhe
    First Run Features
    630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
    $24.95 www.firstrunfeatures.com

    My Fuhrer is a shocking, bizarre, and utterly irreverent satire about
    Adolf Hitler (perhaps a parallel world's Adolf Hitler, since
    historical accuracy is essentially thrown under the wheels of the
    comedy bus). In December of 1944, Berlin is about to fall and World
    War II is almost over. The country needs a speech from its Fuhrer,
    Adolf, but the man is barely in control of himself, let alone of the
    political and military machinery around him. The only person who can
    help Adolf give a great speech is Germany's best acting teacher, Adolf
    Grunbaum... who happens to be a Jew. The lurid ridicule knows now
    bounds is this eyebrow-raising character rewrite of real-life
    villains. Bonus materials include a director's statement by Dani Levy,
    an interview with actor Ulrich Muhe, and a photo gallery. 89 minutes,
    color, German with English subtitles.


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    Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them

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

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    Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title,
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    James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
    Midwest Book Review
    Midwest Book Review, Mar 1, 2010
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