25 surprising facts about the Sopranos

The Sopranos made household names of James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and the rest of Jersey’s fictional meatball-eating, Bing-frequenting tough guys. On June 10, 2007, the show set a new standard for jaw-dropping finales with its infamous cut-to-black (more on that later). And even in today’s “Golden Age of Television,” it’s still heralded as one of the best TV shows ever made. But not even six seasons and 86 episodes on the air—plus another seven years of critical comparisons and acclaim—could unveil all of the show’s secrets.

Read more from Mental Floss

The Library of Congress is wrecking CDs to learn how to save them

Like it or not, CDs rot over time — your well-worn copy of Soundgarden’s Superunknownmight not play anymore. Just how they rot is frequently a mystery, though, which is why the Library of Congress is currently destroying CDs (including those you donate) in hopes of improving its archival techniques. Researchers are using a combination of artificial aging tests and simple observations to see what factors trigger decay, sometimes with surprising results. As the Library tells The Atlantic, data loss varies widely between manufacturing processes, the lasers in CD players and even individual discs; experimenters can subject two identical copies of an album to extreme heat and lose only one of them.

Read more from Endgagdet

Pacific Rim [videorecording]

pacificrim  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  Pacific Rim [videorecording]

Starring:  Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, Ron Perlman

Collection:  Movies

When legions of monstrous creatures known as Kaiju started rising from the sea, a war began. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes: a washed-up former pilot and an untested trainee, who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

When giant alien monsters begin to emerge from deep within the earth, all countries of the world finally united to stop them.  Do they build bombs? Poisons? Lasers?  Of course not! They build giant robots controlled by two people who have the controls synced to their brains.  The giant robots come with accessories, including a giant sword.  Interspersed among the mayhem is some character development, but everything the filmmakers create serves the battle between the monsters vs the robots.

World War Z [videorecording]

worldwarz  Lisa  Review by Lisa

Title:  World War Z [videorecording]

Starring:  Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, David Morse, Fana Mokoena, David Andrews

Collection:  Movies

Brad Pitt stars as an ex-United Nations employee racing around the globe in a bid to halt a worldwide zombie pandemic in Marc Forster’s sprawling adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel of the same name. Retired U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family are sitting in what appears to be a typical Philadelphia traffic jam when helicopters began to circle ominously overhead, and an explosion throws the city into panic. In the blink of an eye, the streets are consumed by chaos. When Gerry learns that the catalyst for the turmoil is a highly contagious virus that transforms those who contract it into rampaging maniacs, and that legions of the infected are growing on all continents, he agrees to join his former colleagues in discovering the source of the rampant plague so that his wife and two daughters will be guaranteed safety aboard a UN fleet in the Atlantic Ocean. Upon tracing a crucial e-mail to a U.S. military base in South Korea, Gerry learns that the infection has spread more rapidly than anyone realizes. Although a subsequent trip to Jerusalem, where the government has constructed a massive wall to keep the public safe, initially offers hope that the growing horde can be kept at bay, an unexpected breach sends Gerry back into the sky in search of patient zero. Just when Gerry thinks he’s traced the origins of the virus, however, the unthinkable happens. Subsequently stranded in Cardiff with a fearless Israeli soldier, Gerry quickly makes his way to a World Health Organization outpost where the few remaining scientists have hit a dead end in their search for a cure. But the struggle is far from over, and after recalling an unusual scene witnessed in Jerusalem, Gerry prepares to make a leap of faith that could prevent the downfall of humanity. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Perfect movie to watch this Halloween day!

The hobbit an unexpected journey. [videorecording]

hobbit  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  The hobbit an unexpected journey. [videorecording]

Starring:  Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner

Collection:  Movies

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite film series, and Peter Jackson unequaled in his treatment of the beloved Tolkien books.  The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman, who I know best from the BBC series Sherlock, where he plays Watson.  Freeman portrays Bilbo Baggins well as the reluctant hero.  Lighter at heart than the LOTR trilogy, the first installment of the Hobbit films sees the return of favorites like Galdalf and Gollum and introduces new characters.  I was not ready for it to end and look forward to the next film this fall.


Read the book, then see the movie in 2013!


Lincoln [videorecording]

lincoln  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  Lincoln [videorecording]

Starring:  Sally Field, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes, Jared Harris, David Strathairn

Collection:  Movies

A revealing drama that focuses on the 16th president’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country, and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Based on the book “Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and nominated for numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Actor for Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln is a wonderful film detailing the character and intelligence of a man who changed the course of human history in America.  Steven Spielberg creates a nice balance in telling the story of the political genius of Lincoln as well as representing who the president was as a husband, father, and friend.  Performances by Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field are worthy of their critical acclaim.  The film made me want to delve into learning more about Abraham Lincoln.

Red dawn [videorecording]

reddawn  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  Red dawn [videorecording]

Starring:  Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Adrianne Palicki

Collection:  Movies

The unsuspecting citizens of Spokane, Washington, wake up one morning to the shocking sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky in a surprise attack on the United States. Soon the entire city is under enemy control, but a group of courageous teenagers has decided to fight back, waging an all-out war against the invaders, to take back their town and their freedom!

A remake of the 1984 cult classic, this new Red Dawn is brought on by North Korea (with help).  The headlines leading up to the invasion are haunting, and lay a foundation to make the whole thing seem believable.  Just as some people loved or hated the original in the 80s, the same will be true here.  I liked the film and would recommend it.

Rise of the guardians [videorecording]

riseoftheguardians  Lisa Review by:  Lisa

Title:  Rise of the guardians [videorecording]

Voices:  Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher

Collection:  Movies

When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.

From the makers of Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon, Rise of the Guardians is a fantastic new animated film that everyone in the family will enjoy.  Funny, touching, and smart, some of the scenes of the film are downright beautiful to watch.

2013 Golden Globe® Nominee, Best Animated Feature Film
10 Annie Award Nominations, including Best Animated Feature

Argo [videorecording]

argo  Lisa  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  Argo [videorecording]

Starring:  Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina

Collection:  Movies

On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal. There’s a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped and a mid level agent named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them.

It seems impossible.  How could the American government possibly rescue six people who escaped from capture when the American Embassy in Iran was overrun?  The six are hiding in the Canadian Embassy, the climate in Tehran is dangerous and deadly, and airport security is extreme.  Enter Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) who has the best of the bad ideas–pretend to be a Canadian group of filmmakers scouting out sites for the making of the next Star Wars-like sci-fi movie.  Aided by a respected yet washed up film producer (Alan Arkin) and an expert make-up artist (John Goodman), Mendez creates movie magic and buzz about the new film.  But will it be enough?  Argo is the 2012 Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture.