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Monday, October 7, 2019

Hot This Week: October 7

We head into October with a plethora of hot new titles your patrons will be looking for. The live-action version of Aladdin moves to the top of the movie list, where four new entries are led by the latest take on Shaft. Post Malone holds onto music's #1 slot, while Zac Brown Band, Blink-182, and Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard land new albums. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes over the fiction list with his new novel, and the nonfiction list includes new books from Demi Moore, Bill O'Reilly, and Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness.

Movies
  1. Aladdin (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Shaft (Blu-ray)
  4. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Anna (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Yesterday (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Child's Play (Blu-ray)
  8. Men in Black: International (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Ma (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Post Malone, Hollywood's Bleeding
  2. Zac Brown Band, The Owl
  3. Blink-182, Nine
  4. Taylor Swift, Lover
  5. Chris Brown, Indigo
  6. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  7. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
  8. Ed Sheeran, No. 6 Collaborations Project
  9. Quality Control: Control the Streets, Volume 2
  10. Brittany Howard, Jaime
Fiction
  1. The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Institute, Stephen King
  3. The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  4. Lethal Agent, Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  6. The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
  7. The Girl Who Lived Twice, David Lagercrantz
  8. Killer Instinct, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
  9. Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson
  10. The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
Nonfiction 
  1. Inside Out, Demi Moore
  2. Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell
  3. The United States of Trump, Bill O'Reilly
  4. Over the Top, Jonathan Van Ness
  5. Permanent Record, Edward Snowden
  6. Educated, Tara Westover
  7. Call Sign Chaos, Jim Mattis and Bing West
  8. The Only Plane in the Sky, Garrett M. Graff
  9. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  10. The Education of an Idealist, Samantha Power

Friday, October 4, 2019

Get Ready for Joker

Written by Jon Williams

Batman is one of the oldest and most beloved superheroes, having now been around for 80 years. Now, though, his most famous nemesis is stepping into the spotlight. Joker launches into theaters this weekend with plenty of buzz, looking to thrill audiences and break box office records. Here is a look at how the character has evolved throughout its various iterations over the years.

The Joker is nearly as old as the Caped Crusader himself. He made his first appearance in the premiere issue of Batman early in 1940, and the two have been fighting ever since. The original origin story holds that he fell into a vat of chemical waste, altering his appearance and driving him insane. This has changed often, due ostensibly to the mercurial nature of the character. In the comics he has been by turns a vicious murderer and a mischievous prankster. Patrons interested in these exploits will find a wide range of classic and contemporary comics from DC on hoopla digital.

This iconic villain remained a page-only creation for more than two and a half decades. He came to the screen for the first time when he was played by Cesar Romero in the classic television show that began in 1966, as well as the movie that accompanied it. The series featured camp over grit, and the Joker in this version was impish rather than violent. He came to animation in 1968 in The Adventures of Batman, voiced by Ted Knight, who reprised the role in 1972 when Batman teamed up with the Mystery, Inc. crew for The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In 1977, The New Adventures of Batman saw the Joker voiced by Lennie Weinrib, and in 1985 he was voiced for one episode of The Super Powers Team by legendary voice actor Frank Welker.

Being aimed more or less at kids, those iterations of the Joker were generally lighthearted in nature. Things began taking a darker turn with Tim Burton’s 1989 take on Batman, which saw Jack Nicholson portray the Joker as a twisted gangster intent on taking out the population of Gotham City. Mark Hamill provided what many consider the definitive voice of the animated Joker beginning in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series and continuing for years through several animated projects and video games, including the movies Mask of the Phantasm (1993) and Return of the Joker (2000), and even up through recent outings like The Killing Joke.

After Nicholson’s incredible performance and with Hamill holding down the fort on the animated side, the Joker wasn’t seen again in live-action form until 2008. In The Dark Knight, the middle film of Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman trilogy, Heath Ledger made it worth the wait with a powerhouse performance that earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Unfortunately, it was a posthumous award, as the actor tragically passed away shortly before the film’s release.

Since then, however, focus has returned to the Joker, with a variety of big names playing him. He was portrayed by Jared Leto in 2016’s Suicide Squad along a team of super villains, with Harley Quinn and Deadshot among them. This movie has a sequel in development as well as several planned spinoffs, so fans will be seeing this version of the Joker again. In 2017’s animated Lego Batman Movie, he was voiced by comic actor Zach Galifianakis. And now, in Joker, he’s played by Joaquin Phoenix in an unhinged performance that is already drawing raves.

Batman vs. the Joker is a rivalry that has stood the test of time. Visit our website for plenty of Batman media across all our formats, and point your patrons toward hoopla for comics and more they can enjoy immediately on all their devices.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hot This Week: September 30

As we prepare to leave September behind, our Hot This Week list has the random symmetry of exactly two new titles in each category. In movies, the latest X-Men flick takes the top spot. In music, a new album from the Lumineers makes its debut while Post Malone holds strong at the top. The fiction list has new novels from Craig Johnson and Jacqueline Woodson, while nonfiction is joined by a memoir from Edward Snowden at #2.

Movies
  1. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Aladdin (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Men in Black: International (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Ma (Blu-ray)
  6. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. The Hustle (Blu-ray)
  8. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. A Score to Settle (Blu-ray)
  10. Pokemon Detective Pikachu (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Post Malone, Hollywood's Bleeding
  2. The Lumineers, III
  3. Taylor Swift, Lover
  4. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
  5. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  6. Korn, The Nothing
  7. Chris Brown, Indigo
  8. Ed Sheeran, No. 6 Collaborations Project
  9. Melanie Martinez, K-12
  10. Quality Control: Control the Streets, Volume 2
Fiction
  1. The Institute, Stephen King
  2. The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  4. Land of Wolves, Craig Johnson
  5. The Girl Who Lived Twice, David Lagercrantz
  6. Killer Instinct, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
  7. Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson
  8. The Titanic Secret, Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
  9. A Better Man, Louise Penny
  10. The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
Nonfiction 
  1. Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Permanent Record, Edward Snowden
  3. Call Sign Chaos, Jim Mattis and Bing West
  4. Educated, Tara Westover
  5. The Only Plane in the Sky, Garrett M. Graff
  6. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  7. The Education of an Idealist, Samantha Power
  8. Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge, Jeanine Pirro
  9. Lifespan, David A. Sinclair and Matthew D. LaPlante
  10. On Fire, Naomi Klein

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hot This Week: September 23

We start the fall season with some great new titles on our weekly list, including the top spot in each category. The new installment in the John Wick saga debuts in movies, along with the live-action adaptation of Aladdin. A new album from Post Malone tops the music chart with new discs from Melanie Martinez and new country supergroup the Highwomen coming along for the ride. Margaret Atwood's long-awaited follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale edges out Stephen King for #1 in fiction, while the latest from Malcolm Gladwell leads four new titles in nonfiction.

Movies
  1. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Men in Black: International (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Aladdin (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Ma (Blu-ray)
  5. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. The Hustle (Blu-ray)
  7. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Marvel's Avengers: Endgame (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Pokemon Detective Pikachu (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Rocketman (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Post Malone, Hollywood's Bleeding
  2. Taylor Swift, Lover
  3. Melanie Martinez, K-12
  4. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
  5. Tool, Fear Inoculum
  6. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  7. Lana Del Rey, NFR!
  8. The Highwomen, The Highwomen
  9. Chris Brown, Indigo
  10. Ed Sheeran, No. 6 Collaborations Project
Fiction
  1. The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  2. The Institute, Stephen King
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  4. Killer Instinct, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
  5. The Girl Who Lived Twice, David Lagercrantz
  6. The Titanic Secret, Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
  7. Vendetta in Death, J.D. Robb
  8. A Better Man, Louise Penny
  9. The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
  10. This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger
Nonfiction 
  1. Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Call Sign Chaos, Jim Mattis and Bing West
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. The Education of an Idealist, Samantha Power
  5. The Only Plane in the Sky, Garrett M. Graff
  6. Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge, Jeanine Pirro
  7. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  8. Lifespan, David A. Sinclair and Matthew D. LaPlante
  9. Three Women, Lisa Taddeo
  10. The Pioneers, David McCullough

Friday, September 20, 2019

Remembering Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek

Written by Jon Williams

The music world is in mourning this week after the recent passing of two popular figures: singer-songwriter Eddie Money and multitalented musician Ric Ocasek, best known as a member of the band the Cars.

Edward Mahoney took the stage name Eddie Money in 1968 when he moved from New York to California to pursue a career in music following a short stint as a trainee with the NYPD. Performing in clubs around San Francisco allowed him to steadily grow a fanbase and eventually secure a recording contract. He started with a bang; his self-titled debut album, released in 1977, contained “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” two big hits that are still in frequent rotation on classic rock stations. After a second album, Life for the Taking, in 1979, he hit his stride in the 1980s, releasing five albums that spawned hits like “Think I’m in Love,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “I Wanna Go Back,” and “Walk on Water.” His album production dipped after that, with just three released in the 1990s, followed by Wanna Go Back, an album covering hits from the 1960s, in 2007. A new album release was planned for July of this year, but was put on hold due to Money’s health issues.

Unfortunately, most of Money’s individual albums are currently out of print on CD, with the exceptions of Playing for Keeps (1980) and Where’s the Party? (1983). However, SmartBrowsing his name on our website will give you a choice of two greatest hits compilations and a live album. In addition, his 2007 covers album, Wanna Go Back, is available for patrons to borrow from hoopla digital.

Like Money, Ric Ocasek began his musical journey in the 1960s but saw his greatest success in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was one of the founding members of the Cars, who released their debut album in 1978. In their ten initial years together, they would release six albums and such timeless hits as “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Shake It Up,” and “Drive.” After a 23-year breakup, the band reunited for a final album, Move Like This, in 2011, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Ocasek also released seven albums as a solo artist. He was also a noted musical producer, both for the Cars and his own solo work in addition to bands like Weezer, No Doubt, and Bad Religion, among others.

Of the Cars’ albums, only Panorama (1980) and Heartbeat City (1984) are currently available on CD, but a SmartBrowse will show a number of compilations and soundtracks their music appears on. Luckily, all of their albums (and more) are available on hoopla digital for patrons to explore and enjoy, as are four of Ocasek’s solo albums.