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DVDs at your local public library

Library dvd selections offer endless living room film festivals

I'm supposed to be taking the week off, to catch up on the few outstanding Oscar nominees I still have to see (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is coming from Netflix) before I blog my Oscar picks. Meanwhile, here's a great tip for film buffs: check out the Contra Costa public libraries for an amazing selection of dvds. You can check the movies out for free, the borrowing time is a full week. Also, you can search the entire library system for the titles you want to see, then place a hold on the item AND have it transfered to your local branch. I've been visiting the beautiful Hercules branch frequently, and have picked up a bevy of great films.

Tonight, I watched the director's cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I've been wanting to revisit this film since I saw it at the Dublin 6 for my birthday party in 1979. Due to the heady, sci-fi ideas in this first Star Trek theatrical film (it tries to be more of a 2001 than a Star Wars) none of the kids at my party understood the movie, myself included. Several fell asleep. But I've always been curious to revisit the film, and finally cranked it out tonight, thanks to the DVD I checked out from the Hercules branch. I'm also checked out the HBO series The Corner, from the makers of the outstanding, acclaimed series The Wire. And I checked out the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's classic The Hidden Fortress (1959), often recognized as being a main source of inspiration for Star Wars. And I checked out the director's cut of Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, for a full dose of awesome.