When major chains like Blockbuster shuttered their stores permanently, public libraries, like your Abilene Public Library, became one of the few places to browse for DVDs to borrow rather than purchase. Just like a regular store, the library can order the newest titles which we can then make available to patrons on their official release date. However, since the library allows patrons to place holds, those who come in to browse hoping to find the newest title possible are often disappointed. Do not despair, because there may well be DVDs for films that are just a few years old and were not huge releases, but which you might enjoy watching all the same.
Fans of science fiction may want to check out the 2009 film Moon. Sam Rockwell stars as an astronaut mining the dark side of the Moon, counting the days until his three-year contract ends and he can return home to his family. However, he discovers that things aren't what they seem.
Directed by Gabe Ibanez, Automata is a bleak depiction of a future earth on the verge of ecological collapse. This film features an eclectic cast and elements evoking both "Blade Runner" and "I, Robot." A 2014 fantasy/science fiction film starring Chris Evans (of "Captain America" fame) that you may have missed is Snowpiercer. This Dystopian look at a future Earth was based on a graphic novel and features grand action as well as social commentary.
Horror is a very popular genre here at the library. If you haven't already, give The Babadook a try. This fresh take on monster films tells the story of a widowed woman and her son whose lives are turned upside down by an ominous pop-up storybook. As Above, So Below utilizes found footage to show a group exploring the maze of catacombs beneath Paris. While primarily billed as horror, this film also has literary and archaeological elements and an ending that, while hinted at over the course of the move, might still take you by surprise.
Sometimes films are worth a look because of a unique concept. Quirky and charming, the 2014 film The Pretty One features female twins with very different lives. One left home and enjoys a successful career and the other lives a quiet life with her father and stepmother. Things change, however, when tragedy strikes and one twin is mistaken for the other.
Locke is set entirely in a car traveling from Birmingham to London and features one main actor. The plot unfolds during a series of phone calls he makes and receives during the drive. This film has a hypnotic feel due to excellent night-time photography and sharp editing. It also features a magnetic performance by actor Thomas Hardy.
The atmospheric and unsettling Enemy has history professor Adam Bell, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, stumbling upon a man who appears to be his doppelganger. Bell hunts for the man's identity online and then shadows him. The core of the film explores what happens when the two finally meet.
Regardless of your taste in films, the Abilene Public Library has a diverse collection of titles like those described above, as well as those we now offer through our online Hoopla service. so the chances are good you will find one you enjoy. Let the staff know what type of movie you like and they would be happy to help you locate titles you may have missed when they first came out. You never know; you may discover a new favorite.
Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Information Services at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library