Now At Your Library: Streaming Movies, Music

Knoxville.com’s guide to new movies at local theaters

In its early moments, the movie evokes everything from The Social Network to Casino. By the end, the film has become as exciting as a game of Old Maid. R-rated thrillers are hardly ever this dull and listless, but this movie manages to eradicate all of Timberlakes charisma and makes you flash back to Afflecks Paycheck/Gigli era. How does this even happen? Sometimes, films just turn out wrong. Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), working from a script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Oceans Thirteen), presumably set out to make a compelling crime drama set against an unusual backdrop. But what they wound up with is yet another slick and generic tale about a young man who dabbles in a life of crime, discovers its not for him and turns on his mentor. Nothing in the movie rings true, not the FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) willing to break the rules in order to get his man, nor the ambiguous romantic interest (Gemma Arterton) who may be running her own scam, nor the crooked Costa Rican cops and politicians who seem to do nothing other than get drunk with hookers, smoke cigars and wait for their latest bribe money to be delivered. Movies about poker usually like to bluff and surprise the audience. But Runner Runner, which teaches you absolutely nothing about the phenomenon of Internet gambling, doesnt have a single twist in store. The film is so rote and transparent that you keep waiting for a big reveal or curve something, anything, that would explain Timberlake and Afflecks presence here, other than the opportunity to spend several weeks in beautiful Puerto Rico (where the movie was filmed). Nothing about Runner Runner makes sense: Not its R rating, which easily could have been avoided with the removal of a couple of f-bombs; not the intermittent voiceover narration by Timberlake, which is used to plaster over plot holes; not even the participation of Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the films producers. Was this an early project he once considered starring in that just never got made? By the time characters start spouting lines such as What are you saying? This whole thing is a Ponzi scheme? desperation has set in. Runner Runner, which never even bothers to explain its title (its a poker term), may not be the years worst movie.

A 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that among patrons 16 years old and older, 40 percent visited libraries to borrow movies. Another 16 percent borrowed music. In the Seattle area, DVDs and CDs of popular titles can have queues of hundreds of people waiting to check them out. E-books have been offered for years now. “Public libraries do not have the budgets to compete with Amazon, Comcast, and Netflix and will not be able to pay a premium for online content,” Blankenship said, adding that DVDs will continue to be the best way to offer popular movies. Updating and maintaining that physical collection takes time and money. It also means libraries have to pay for the media upfront, while Hoopla allows them to pay per time a title is borrowed. Those costs depend on the type of media and its release date, and range from 99 cents to $2.99. Seattle libraries have allocated $10,000 a month limit so far for Hoopla items and patrons are limited to 20 checkouts a month, Blankenship said. That limit may change, depending on demand and how usage grows. Hoopla’s launch won’t affect the stocking of physical DVDs at library branches for the time being, Blankenship said. For Seattle resident and library patron Jamie Koepnick-Herrera, Hoopla has joined her other streaming services such as Netflix, which she uses for movies, and Hulu, which she uses to watch current seasons of television shows. On Hoopla, she found the yoga videos she was looking for.

In Hindi with English subtitles.; Downtown West Captain Phillips (PG-13) not screened; Tom Hanks stars in the true story of a heroic captain who protected his crew from Somali Pirates in 2009.; Pinnacle (7 p.m. Saturday sneak, opens Thursday) Generation Iron (PG-13) three and a half stars; A documentary focuses on seven bodybuilders from around as they compete in international competeitions.; Downtown West, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge) Grace Unplugged (PG) not screened; A talented young singer and aspiring songwriters Christian faith and family ties are tested when she defies her worship-pastor father and pursues pop-music stardom.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryville), Pinnacle, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town Gravity (PG-13) four and a half stars; Sandra Bullock stars as a medical engineer on her first space shuttle mission with a vetaran astronaut (George Clooney). When the shuttle is destroyed the two struggle to survive in space.; Foothills (Maryville), Halls, Knoxville Center, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), Wynnsong Machete Kills (R) not screened; Danny Trejo returns as the ex-Federale, this time recruited by the president of the United States to eliminate a madman arms dealer in a homage to vintate exploitation movies.; Knoxville Center, Pinnacle, Riviera (opens Thursday) The Patience Stone (R) three stars; Watching over her comatose husband in a war-torn country, a Muslim woman begins to reveal her frustrations, resentments and desires to him. In Persian, with English subtitles.; Downtown West Runner Runner (R) one and a half; A Princeton college student (Justin Timberlake) who pays for school with online gambling, bottoms out and travels to Costa Rica to confront the online mastermind (Ben Affleck), whom he believes has swindled him, but ends up in a game of intrigue.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryville), Halls, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town CONTINUING Alone Yet Not Alone (PG-13) not screened; A historical drama recounts the faith and courage of a German-American immigrant family as they face hardship, loss and sorrow during the French and Indian War.; Wynnsong Austenland (PG-13) two stars; An American woman (Keri Russell) whos been unlucky in love travels to a British theme park in hopes of finding a perfect gentleman.; Downtown West Baggage Claim (PG-13) three stars; Flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) is the only single woman in her family and is determined to find Mr. Right in the 30 days before her sister gets married. With Jill Scott, Taye Diggs and Djijon Hounsou.; Foothills (Maryville), Knoxville Center, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), Wynnsong Battle of the Year (PG-13) two and a half stars; Dance teams from around the world compete for the coveted prize, but the American team is determined to bring the trophy back home.; Knoxville Center, Wynnsong Blue Jasmine (PG-13) four stars; Cate Blanchett plays a narcissistic socialite who, after a life crisis, travels to the West Coast to reconnect with her sister in Woody Allens latest film.; Downtown West The Butler (PG-13) three stars; An African-American man (Forest Whitaker) witnesses some of the 20th centurys notable events during his tenure as a White House butler.; Carmike 10, Pinnacle, West Town Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG) two and a half stars; Flint Lockwood must track down his infamous machine after learning that it is still cranking out food-animal hybrids.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryville), Halls, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town The Conjuring (R) three and a half stars; Husband-and-wife paranormal investigators come to the aid of a family battling a dark presence in their home.; Knoxville Center, Movies 7 Despicable Me 2 (PG) four and a half stars; Gru (voice of Steve Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.; West Town Don Jon (R) four stars; Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a New Jersey bartender who is obsessed with porn and must decide whether to clean up his act for a potential true love. With Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson; Foothills (Maryville), Knoxville Center, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), Wynnsong Enough Said (PG-13) four and a half stars; A divorced mom (Julia Louis Dreyfus) facing her daughter moving away meets a nice man in a similar situation (James Gandolfini) and becomes good friends with someone who turns out to be her beaus ex-wife (Catherine Keener).; Downtown West The Family (R) three stars; A mafia boss (Robert De Niro) and his family enrolled in the witness protection program are relocated to a sleepy town in France and revert to old ways of settling problems much to the consternation of an FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) charged with protecting them. Directed by Luc Besson.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryvile), Pinnacle, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town Fruitvale Station (R) four and a half stars; The true story of Oscar Grants last day alive, before being shot by transit authorities in Oakland, Calif.; Movies 7 Getaway (PG-13) two stars; After his wife is kidnapped, an ex-race car driver (Ethan Hawke) commandeers a young womans car and takes her on a high-speed chase. With Selena Gomez.; Wynnsong The Grandmaster (PG-13) three and a half stars; The life story of Ip Man, a real-life martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee. In Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese with English subtitles.; Wynnsong Grown Ups 2 (PG-13) two stars; Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James reunite and still havent grown up.; Movies 7 Insidious 2 (PG-13) two and a half stars; The writer, director and cast of the original Insidious reunite to present a sequel to the supernatural hit horror film.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryville), Halls, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town Kick Ass 2 (R) two and a half stars; Red Mist embarks on a plot to revenge the death of his father and costumed high-school non-superhero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who also want to become costumed crime-fighters.; Wynnsong The Little Mermaid Sing-a-Long (G) not screened; One of Disneys most acclaimed films is presented with second screen (by way of a downloadable app) that invites the audience to sing-a-long with films songs.; Wynnsong Metallica Through the Never (R) two and a half stars; Dane DeHaan stars as a young roadie sent on an urgent mission during Metallicas live set in front of a sold-out arena.; Pinnacle Monsters University (G) four stars; The monsters from Monsters Inc. go to college. With the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman.; Movies 7 Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (PG-13) two and a half stars; A young girl (Lily Collins)must come to terms with the knowledge that shes part of a line of demon slayers, in this film based on the Cassandra Clares popular book series.; Knoxville Center, Wynnsong Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (PG-13) two and a half stars; Son of Poseiden Percy Jackson continues his quest to fulfill his destiny and enlists fellow supernaturally-gifted brethren to capture the Golden Fleece. ; Knoxville Center, Wynnsong Prisoners (R) three stars; A father (Hugh Jackman) frantically searches for his missing 6-year-old daugther and her friend in a dark and twisty suspense film. Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal.; Carmike 10, Foothills (Maryville), Halls, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), West Town Red 2 (PG-13) three stars; Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reunites elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. With Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Mary-Louise Parker and Catherine Zeta-Jones.; Movies 7, Wynnsong Riddick (R) three stars; Vin Diesel returns as the convict anti-hero of Pitch Black must battle monsters and bounty hunters to escape a hostile planet.; Carmike 10 Rush (R) fours stars; Ron Howard directs in the true story of the 1970s rivalry between Fomula 1 racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl).; Foothills (Maryville), Knoxville Center, Pinnacle, Riviera, Tinseltown (Oak Ridge), Wynnsong Short Term 12 (R) five stars; A compassionate supervisor at a home for at-risk teens forges a bond with a young girl sent to facility for her dangerous behavior.; Downtown West The Smurfs 2 (PG) one star; The second installment of the adventures of the small blue creatures, featuring the voices of Hank Azaria, Katy Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and the late Jonathan Winters.; Knoxville Center, Wynnsong Thanks for Sharing (R) two and a half stars; Recovering sex addict (Mark Ruffalo) deals with dating again while friends and family deal with the repercussions of their own addictions.

M-Net Movies unleashes Superpowers in October

The Superheroes are rocking up on a television channel near you this superb summer season and the best one would do is to stay glued to M-Net Movies and especially M-Net Movies Showcase on Dstv! This October, M-Net Movies has announced its hosting of a Superheroes Film Festival on M-Net Movies Showcase featuring the likes of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, The X Men, Captain American, the Ghostbusters, Thor, The Avengers and all their slick, yet tough-as-nails, nemeses, of course. M-Nets Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard puts his word of promise to the viewers straight as he says: This is the biggest Superheroes Movie Festival ever. He goes on to say: M-Net Movies has not only lined up hours of exhilarating entertainment created by these comic book legends; the heroes will also rock up every day of the week for an entire month. Its a non-stop display of extraordinary powers, knocking down diabolic villains and saving mankind all culminating into an epic television moment: the premiere of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises is M-Nets must-see Sunday night blockbuster movie on 27 October at 20:00 and at 20:30 on M-Net Movies Premiere (Channel 103 on DStv). The movie generated $448 million at the box office and raises tough existential questions about the nature of vigilantes, while keeping viewers glued with plenty of action-packed scenes. The Superheroes Festival will feature a superhero movie at 19:00 CAT until the end of October on the 31st. On Thursday, George Clooney swirls the cape around his broad shoulders and thereafter hands over one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood to Christian Bale for Saturdays Batman Begins and Sundays Batman: The Dark Knight. In the second week of October the spotlight falls on Superman with five Superman movies! The following week, all the Marvel comic figures move in in the guise of Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man and many more. But M-Net Showcase didnt forget the unsung heroes. They will get the M-Net Showcase salute with movies such as The Amazing Spiderman, Paperman, Blankman, Death of a Superhero, Unbreakable and Sky High.

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