Movie Reviews: Premium Rush

Movie Reviews: North By North LesPremium Rush

Four stars.

2012, 91 mins., directed and co-written by David Koepp.

High octane, non-CGI effects story about a New York City bike messenger, Wilee, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer).  Through a series of plot twists, he must elude the clutches of a corrupt cop, Detective Monday, played by Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire), who is looking to snatch an envelope that Wilee is to deliver. Wilee rides a “fixie,” a lightweight bike with no brakes, and, in a sense, it’s a metaphor for how he lives his life. He enjoys the rush of dodging NYC traffic and pedestrians to meet delivery deadlines, but doesn’t take the time to reflect on long term issues. Interesting tidbits of trivia – Gordon-Levitt had four other bikers doing his stunts, each specializing in particular “tricks,” and during the course of filming he crashed into the windshield of a taxi, requiring 31 stitches in his right arm – the aftermath of which is shown after the final credits roll in the film! Well casted, fast-paced story, with lots of pov shots of near misses in heavy traffic conditions. Don’t miss this one.  See the record for Premium Rush.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

 

Posted in Movie Reviews

New Login Methods

On Sept. 9, 2014, the library implemented a new method for logging into our databases and ejournals from off campus. On Sept. 10, we implemented a new method for logging into ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan system.

Instead of being asked for Coyote ID number and last name, you will now use your Coyote ID number and MyCoyote password. For the databases, you will be directed to the CSUSB campus login page. For ILLiad, the login page will look the same as it always has, except that it now asks for MyCoyote password. Nothing else about the services will change, only the login method.

Our switch to the campus login should resolve a number of access problems while also providing a much higher level of security.

If you have any questions about the change, please contact Stacy Magedanz at (909) 537 5103 or magedanz@csusb.edu

Posted in Databases, Library Services

Movie Screening: Neighbors

Neighbors Movie PosterPresented by the John M. Pfau Library and the Office of Community Engagement

MOVIE SCREENING: NEIGHBORS

October 2, 2014

5:30 p.m.

Bring a friend and a blanket and join us for a service project and free screening of the film “Neighbors” on the library lawn!

Family First Taco stand with Drinks and Cotton Candy! Special Thanks to ASI for providing the movie screen!

Free Parking Available in Lot D.

If you have questions or would like to know more about the upcoming event, please contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-3447 or icontrer@csusb.edu

Posted in Community Events, Movie Screenings

TIME CHANGE! Movie Screening: Maleficent

Maleficent Movie PosterJoin us for a FREE movie screening on the CSUSB library lawn! Bring a blanket and a friend, and enjoy this great summer hit!

THURSDAY, SEPT. 18

AT DUSK

Featuring Family First Taco Stand

Free parking available in Lot D.

This is the 4th and last of the free summer movie series at the Pfau Library, and the movie will begin AT DUSK! So get here with enough time to set up and enjoy the show! See you there!

South Library Lawn: 5500 University Pkwy, San Bernardino, CA 92407

Posted in Movie Screenings

Library Break Schedule

Summer Quarter 2014 is winding down, and the 4/10 schedule as well.

From Monday, Sept. 8 through Wednesday, Sept. 24, our hours are Mon-Fri, 8 AM to 5 PM.

Regular hours resume with the start of Fall classes on Sept. 25.

Posted in Hours & Closures

Movie Reviews: Pacific Rim

Movie Reviews: North By North LesPacific Rim

Three stars.

2013, 131 mins., directed by Guillermo del Toro, and co-written by Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro.

When a fissure opens beneath the Pacific Ocean, the world is under siege by giant lizard-like creatures, called Kaiju. Mankind counters with the Jaeger program (giant robots controlled by two warriors through a neural link). Check your brains at the door for this silly, but fun film – think “Transformers vs. Godzilla.” Visually stunning, with a muscular soundtrack, it stars Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) as the Jaeger program master, and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, 47 Ronin) as the emotionally scarred warriors. Ron Perlman (Drive) and Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) also have key roles in helping mankind stave off the apocalypse.  See the record for Pacific Rim.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews: Cowboys & Aliens

Movie Reviews: North By North LesCowboys & Aliens

Two stars.

2011, 119 mins., directed by Jon Favreau.

Based on a graphic novel, this film was in trouble from the start.  This product of eight screenwriters, lacks the sense of adventure and irreverent humor that could have engaged audiences. Stars Daniel Craig as an amnesiac drifter with a mysterious high tech bracelet on his wrist in the Arizona territory in 1873; along with Harrison Ford, as a despot rancher who rules over the small town of Absolution; and Olivia Wilde, as a gun-slinger with an agenda of her own.  They, along, with others, discover their loved ones are being abducted by aliens, and a battle ensues. So-so story that takes it itself way too seriously. See the record for Cowboys & Aliens.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews: Before Midnight

Movie Reviews: North By North LesBefore Midnight

Five stars.

2013, 109 mins., directed by Richard Linklater.

The sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) which, in turn, was the sequel to Before Sunset (2004), this is another  intelligent film about love, marriage, and romance  co-written once again by the director and the two leads, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Set this time in Greece, the couple ruminate about their relationship, and their perceptions (or misperceptions) of each other over the course of time; it is painful to watch at times, as souls are bared, and truths uncovered. The film succeeds largely due to the naturalistic dialog in long, extended scenes. Even the pauses, and cadences of the conversations had to be scripted. Never boring, the film revisits the couple and the evolution of their relationship. Highly recommended.  See the record for Before Midnight.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews: This is the End

Movie Reviews: North By North LesThis is the End

Three-and-a-half stars.

2013, 107 mins., written and directed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen.

Apocalyptic comedy set in LA for fans of  James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, and Jay Baruchel (the latter two served as producers). Loaded with in-jokes, poking fun at the actors’ public personas and their relationships.  Numerous cameos by stars such as Rihanna, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, et al. The film begins with one huge party at Franco’s house, when an earthquake hits, and blue beams of light from the skies wreak havoc and destruction.  Includes a satiric send up of Cera as a sex-crazed, coke-addled, and misogynistic star, as well as a paranoid, party-crashing Danny McBride, and Emma Watson in a cringe-worthy scene involving the guys discussing rape scenarios. Outrageous, puerile humor throughout, but somehow it all works. See the record for This is the End.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews: Moneyball

Movie Reviews: North By North LesMoneyball

Five stars.

2011, 133 min., directed by Bennett Miller.

 

Co-written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and Steve Zaillan, and based on the best-selling book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. On one level, one could say this is a film about baseball, but on another level it’s about David taking on Goliath – how small-market teams evaluate talent in new and different ways to exploit market inefficiencies, in order to survive and compete against larger-market teams with far greater resources. View the record for Moneyball.

Billy Beane (portrayed by Brad Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland A’s, has just watched his team lose in the 2001 playoffs to the New York Yankees. Beane has lost three key players to other teams in free agency. During a visit to the Cleveland Indians, he spots a young Ivy Leaguer there, Peter Brand (portrayed by Jonah Hill), who displays a talent for evaluating players using statistical analysis (Sabremetrics). Beane hires Brand to assist him in reshaping the A’s.

They encounter resistance from the scouts and coach, who cling to the traditional ways of evaluating baseball talent. Beane wheels and deals during the 2002 season, making trades to acquire players who are seemingly undervalued, but who excel at getting on base. The A’s go on to set an American League record for consecutive wins, winning 20 games.

The film does oversimplify and overplays the sabremetrics angle, as it fails to focus on these real life facts – the A’s were fortunate to have an MVP year from shortstop, Tejada, a stellar year from third baseman, Chavez, and phenomenal years from their big three starting pitchers (Zito, Hudson, and Mulder). Nevertheless, the success of the A’s Moneyball approach has proven to be highly influential, as most Major League teams today employ statistical experts on their staffs to evaluate talent. The screenwriters perform the unthinkable, in successfully transforming a potentially dry story into one with drama and wit.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews