Saturday, October 31, 2009

Catch a free movie at the library in November

Tickets are available now at the Information Desk for our free movies in November. We show the movies downstairs in the Meeting Room and provide free popcorn and refreshments. Come join us!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Monday, November 16 at 6 PM
Race to Witch Mountain: Thursday, November 19 at 6 PM
Monsters vs. Aliens: Saturday, November 21 at 2 PM

Attendees of our movies in November get the first chance to get their tickets for our free December movies: Star Trek, Up, White Christmas, and The Shop Around the Corner!

Slam dunk these basketball-related DVDs

Basketball season has started up again! (GO BULLS!!)  Here is a list of DVDs in our collection you may want to put on hold or check out if you are a basketball fan.

Air Bud
Find it in the catalog!

Coach Carter
Find it in the catalog!

Find it in the catalog!

Finding Forrester
Find it in the catalog!

Glory Road
Find it in the catalog!

The Heart of the Game
DVD 796.323 HEA
Find it in the catalog!

Hoop Dreams
DVD 796.323 HOO
Find it in the catalog!

Find it in the catalog!

Space Jam
Find it in the catalog!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Buffalo Grove Theatres are a bargain

If you refuse to pay $10 to see a movie then Buffalo Grove Theatres are right up your alley. Located in the Town Center shopping center, this chain of theaters has been around since the late 1980s.  Second-run and first-run movies are shown on the five screens. In the past only second-run movies were shown here but recently some first-run movies have been added. Second-run shows are $2, and on Tuesdays they are only $1.50!  For first-run shows (after 5:30) the price is $5; the discounted price for students and seniors is $4.50. The matinee price for shows before 5:30 is $4.25.

UPDATE (12/11/09): Second-run shows are no longer being shown; all the shows currently shown at the theater are first-run ($5 after 5:30).

You do have to sit through commercials and a few trailers, but I think the number is less than you would find at an AMC.

And as long as you're in the neighborhood you should definitely stop to eat at the Buffalo Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, located right down the road (1180 W. Lake Cook Rd). Why? Just take a look at the sundae I ordered after a recent trip to the movies to see Paper Heart:

Yum! is right.

Buffalo Grove Theaters
120 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove, IL

Monday, October 26, 2009

DVDs out Oct. 27th

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan: The popular sci-fi series as viewed from the perspective of the cylons . If you know what a cylon is, then this is probably mandatory viewing. Otherwise, not so much.
Find it in the catalog!

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The familiar Pleistocene characters are back, this time with dinosaurs. Roger Ebert calls it "the best of the three films."
Find it in the catalog!

Orphan: A horror flick in the vein of The Bad Seed and The Good Son. Stars Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard.
Find it in the catalog!

Whatever Works: Larry David takes his curmudgeon shtick to new extremes in Woody Allen's latest film. Also starring: Evan Rachel Wood and Patricia Clarkson.
Find it in the catalog!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Scene stealer: Rinko Kikuchi

Last night I watched The Brothers Bloom, about a pair of con men brothers working their last con. I enjoy caper movies, and this did not dissapoint. It's also not hard to enjoy great actors such as Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, and Adrien Brody. However, the actor that stood out to me was Rinko Kikuchi in the role of Bang Bang, obviously the least high profile (in this country) of the actors.

Kikuchi was able to set the mood and style of the movie perfectly and was responsible for most of the humor throughout the film. And she did all of this with virtually no dialogue. There are a few moments that stand out in my mind, one of which being when Bang Bang and Stephen (Ruffalo) are watching Bloom (Brody) ride a bike precariously into the path of the mark, Penelope (Weisz), and they hold up score cards to indicate his form. Bang Bang adjusts her cards as the scene becomes further complicated. It's funnier than my explanation could ever be.

When the credits rolled I recognized her name, but could not place her. I realized then that she was in the ensemble cast of Babel, another excellent turn by this Japanese actress. She was nominated for an Oscar for this role in which she played a deaf daughter trying to get the attention of her emotionally absent father. Once again, no dialogue for Kikuchi.

It seems she should seek out parts that do not require her to speak . . .

The Brothers Bloom Find it in the catalog!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What we're listening to...

Oh My God, Charlie Darwin - The Low Anthem

I highly recommend this album, particularly the opening track, simply titled "Charlie Darwin." There are a couple rambunctious rockers on this record, which are great by the way, but the majority of the songs here are quietly yearning acoustic numbers. Track #3, "Ticket Taker," sounds something like Mark Kozelek's work on Songs for a Blue Guitar; a deceptively simple guitar arrangement coupled with literate, heartbreaking lyrics. You're likely to see Oh My God, Charlie Darwin on more than a few Best of 2009 lists.

Find it in the catalog!

You can listen to select tracks from the album on the band's website:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cornish and Whishaw make Bright Star shine

Bright Star, written and directed by Jane Campion, tells the story of the romance between the poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw from Brideshead Revisited) and his neighbor Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish from Stop-Loss). Despite the sad ending I knew was coming (Keats died at the age of 25) I really enjoyed watching this movie; the cinematography is so amazing that the beautiful images remain clear in my mind.

Keats' friend Charles Brown (Paul Schneider of TV's Park and Recreation) and Fanny's family say that Keats is poor and cannot offer Fanny a stable life. But they share a strong connection and cannot help how they feel. The chemistry between Cornish and Whishaw makes this movie special. Even during the silences the viewer can feel the passion between them. In one scene, after being away, Keats watches as Fanny opens a trunk of clothes for him. The look on his face is that of pure admiration and love. In another scene Keats and Fanny weave their hands together while sitting next to each other and the impact is ten times as powerful as any heavy make-out session found in any number of romantic comedies or dramas. I think both Cornish and Whishaw deserve Oscar nominations for their performances; the movie wouldn't be the same without them. Bright Star had been playing at the AMC in South Barrington but has already disappeared, which I found disappointing; I was able to catch a show at the Glen Art in Glen Ellyn. I'm willing to bet that when Oscar season rolls around more theaters will book it again.
  • Now playing at the Glen Art Theatre (540 Crescent Blvd, Glen Ellyn) and Loews Pipers Alley 4 (1608 N. Wells St, Chicago)
  • 1 hour 59 minutes
  • Rated PG

Werewolf on the prowl

This week's Movie Night selection is The Wolf Man (1941), starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the titular monster. This Universal horror classic was essentially a "B" picture at the time of its release; that is to say it was a low-budget genre film, meant to make a quick profit for the the studio. Nearly 70 years later, The Wolf Man has outlasted many of the studio's prestige pictures and become a permanent part of American popular culture, alongside Dracula, Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.

Watch it with us!

Wednesday, October 21st, at 6 PM in the Library meeting room. The film is 70 minutes in duration. Doors open at 5:30. Popcorn is on us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is it magic perfume? Yi conducts interviews about love in Paper Heart

The inventive docudrama Paper Heart received a limited release over the summer and I have only recently been able to see it now that it's playing in Buffalo Grove. And wow, was it worth the wait. Comedian and musician Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up) doesn't believe in love and travels across the country interviewing couples, professors, motorcycle bikers, kids, and friends (including actors Martin Starr, Seth Rogen, and Dmetri Martin) about love. She asks couples how they met, how they knew they were in love, and how they define love. Yi also asks them to share a special story about their relationship; she creatively uses homemade puppets and dioramas to illustrate these stories. During her travels Yi is accompanied by a film crew including director Nicholas Jasenovec (played by Jake M. Johnson). Yes, this is confusing. Jasenovic directed and co-wrote the movie with Yi but he is played by an actor. The lines between fiction and reality are further blurred when Yi meets actor Michael Cera (Superbad) and they begin to date. The film goes back and forth between Yi's interviews and her blossoming romance with Cera, who feels uncomfortable being filmed by the cameras. Is Yi falling in love, something she thought she never would be able to do?

The soundtrack, which features both Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi, is awesome as well. Since I saw the movie I haven't been able to get Yi's "Magic Perfume" out of my head. If you aren't able to catch Paper Heart in the theater then be sure to reserve a copy when it's available on DVD December 1.
  • Now playing at Buffalo Grove Theatres (120 McHenry Rd, Buffalo Grove)
  • 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Rated PG-13 (It does not deserve that rating; I'd rate it PG)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct. 20th: Get your Shia LaBeouf on!

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Do you enjoy big-budget action films and their subsequent - inevitable - sequels? Are you enamored of either Shia LaBeouf or Megan Fox? Do you wish to revisit your childhood Autobot friends, but with the CGI explosions and "some sexual material" that a PG-13 rating affords? Then you better get on this!

Find it in the catalog!

October movies I want to see

I'm still working on seeing movies from my September wish list, but here are some October highlights that I'm adding to my list of Must-See Fall Movies.

More Than a Game (now playing): This documentary follows the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School basketball team from Akron, Ohio. Current NBA star LeBron James was one of the "Fab Five" players on the team. Hoop Dreams, another documentary about basketball, is one of my favorite movies and I have read several reviews that put More Than a Game near that level of filmmaking. Shot by Kristopher Belman (also from Akron) when he was a college film student at Loyola-Maramount.

New York, I Love You (now playing): A little over two years ago I saw Paris, Je T'aime in the theater; made of short pieces by different directors it presented many points of view of Paris as the city of love. This film takes that same idea with the setting of New York City and features vignettes from directors including Mira Nair (The Namesake, Amelia), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents), Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace), and Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth). Bradley Cooper, Andy Garcia, Christina Ricci, Julie Christie, Shia LaBeouf, Robin Wright Penn, Cloris Leachman, Orlando Bloom, and Natalie Portman (who also directs) are among the stars in the film. And here's to hoping a future installment is named Chicago, I Love You!

Peter and Vandy (opened in limited release October 9; unsure when it will open in Chicago): The plot structure sounds similar to (500) Days of Summer in that the movies jumps back and forth over the course of the relationship between Manhattan couple Peter (Jason Ritter) and Vandy (Jess Wexler), contrasting the good with the bad. However, the movie doesn't sound to be as whimsical as Summer and is supposed to be more realistic.

Where the Wild Things Are (now playing): Based on the popular children's book by Maurice Sendak, director Spike Jonze spent years on this project to get his vision on the screen. The trailer for this movie, featuring the song "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire, makes my heart beat a little faster.

An Education (October 23): Set in London during the 1960s, teenager Jenny (Carey Mulligan) should be concentrating on school and getting into Oxford but instead develops a relationship with an older man (Peter Sarsgaard). I have been hearing about this movie, and Mulligan's star-making performance, for months.

Gentlemen Broncos (October 30 in limited release): After a teenager (Michael Angarano) enters his novel into a science fiction contest his ideas are stolen by slightly-off author Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). I read that Clement, from Flight of the Conchords, is wonderful in his crazy role. Directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), who co-wrote the script with his wife Jerusha Hess.

So have you seen anything particularly good in the theater lately? Which movies are you still itching to see? Or did you go into a movie with high expectations and come out disappointed?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hannah Montana: The Movie and other DVDs

Yesterday 36 people attended our free showing of Hannah Montana: The Movie. Did you come to the library to see the movie? What did you think? I could tell certain people really had a good time while watching the movie because they were dancing and clapping! If you are a Hannah Montana fan you can check out or put on hold these Hannah Montana DVDs:

Hannah Montana: The Movie
Find it in the catalog!

Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana
Find it in the catalog!

Hannah Montana. Keeping it Real
Find it in the catalog!

Hannah Montana. The Complete First Season
Find it in the catalog!

Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
Find it in the catalog!

One in a Million
Find it in the catalog!

Life's What You Make It
Find it in the catalog!

Pop Star Profile
Find it in the catalog!

That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana
Find it in the catalog!

Livin' the Rock Star Life!
Find it in the catalog!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finding scary fare

Get in the mood for Halloween by picking up some scary movies. We have plenty-- over 200 titles. Here are some tips to help you find one to enjoy (or should I say have nightmares about?). Begin in our online catalog iBistro.

For a general look at our horror collection, use the search phrase horror films and dvd, then click the words or phrase button.

If you're looking up a movie with a particular actor or actress search by typing the actor's name and once again include the terms and dvd. So, let's say you're looking for the movie that starred Linda Blair as a young girl possessed by the devil, type: linda blair and dvd and then click the words or phrase button (you can also click the author button, but you will then need to click her name reference to bring up her titles.) Note that you do not need to capitalize her name.

If you have a title in mind, use the same scheme by typing the title and the phrase and dvd. Click the title button to submit. I would also recommend limiting your search to Adult (found among the radio buttons above the search box, labeled "Reading Level"). If you leave the reading level at All you might get more results than you'll care to look through.

Don't forget to have your library card handy in case you need to place a hold on a movie that is checked out. (Once you've found the title amongst the results list, click the details button; once in the item record click the hold button on the left side.)

Lastly, If you're unable to find what you're looking for at our library, you may expand the search to all libraries in our computer system by selecting ALL in the drop-down menu to the right of the search box. You can then place a hold for the title you want.

Happy hunting!

Friday, October 16, 2009

What did you think of the movie? (17 Again)

Last night we had 17 people attend our free screening of the movie 17 Again. I thought Zac Efron gave a good performance as an adult who finds himself back in his 17 year-old body. I also loved Thomas Lennon's funny antics. I especially enjoyed the scene where he was dressed in a ridiculous outfit to meet with the school principal; he explained he was "peacocking." The credits after the movie had a nice touch--the names of the stars and crew were accompanied by their high school photos. The song played at the end, Naive, is by one of my favorite bands, the Kooks, so I enjoyed that little surprise.

Did you attend the movie last night, or have you seen it in the theater or on DVD? What did you think?

If you haven't watched 17 Again yet, put yourself on the waiting list for one of the library's copies:
Find it in the catalog!

November audiobook releases

  • The Humbling by Phillip Roth
  • Ford Country by John Grisham
  • Rainwater by Sandra Brown
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King
  • I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
  • Wrecker by Clive Cussler

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

The children's classic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has made its transition to the big screen. Written by Judi Barrett (and illustrated by her then-husband Ron Barrett) in 1978, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the story of Chewandswallow, an aptly named mythical community where all three meals rain down from the sky each day. The town's unique meteorological phenomena is a blessing that - not surprisingly - becomes a curse.

If you have fond childhood memories of this whimsical book, you may feel a hint of anxiety at the notion of a 3-D film adaptation which now revolves around a would-be super-scientist and his talking monkey. While the film does drastically rework the original story, much of its charm and inventiveness is still intact, and the 3-D effects are not overly intrusive. It doesn't hold a candle to this year's standout animated feature Up, but it is an entertaining family film that will likely amuse you and your children. And seriously, who doesn't want to see gargantuan pancakes fall from the sky?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hut, hut, hike!: Football on DVD

Need something to cure your football fix when there aren't any pro or college games on TV? Here is a list of DVDs owned by the library you might want to check out.

Air Bud: Golden Receiver
Find it in the catalog!

Brian's Song
Find it in the catalog!

The Comebacks
Find it in the catalog!

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story
Find it in the catalog!

Facing the Giants
Find it in the catalog!

Friday Night Lights
Find it in the catalog!

Friday Night Lights (TV show)

Season 1
Find it in the catalog!

Season 2
Find it in the catalog!

Season 3
Find it in the catalog!

The Game Plan
Find it in the catalog!

Gridiron Gang
Find it in the catalog!

Find it in the catalog!

Find it in the catalog!

The Longest Yard (1974)
Find it in the catalog!

The Longest Yard (2005)
Find it in the catalog!

The Longshots
Find it in the catalog!

Payton (Book includes a DVD featuring "Pure Payton" and "Up Close: Walter Payton with Roy Firestone")
Find it in the catalog!

Remember the Titans
Find it in the catalog!

Find it in the catalog!

Two for the Money
Find it in the catalog!

We are Marshall
Find it in the catalog!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

DVDs out October 13th

Drag Me to Hell [Unrated Director's Cut]: Director Sam Raimi makes a triumphant return to horror. Just in time for your Halloween movie marathon.
Find it in the catalog!

Every Little Step: A documentary on the gruelling audition process to become a dancer in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
Find it in the catalog!

Land of the Lost: Will Ferrell. Danny McBride. Prehistoric monsters. That is all you need to know.
Find it in the catalog!

The Proposal: A likable romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The only place to see Oscar Nunez (Oscar from The Office) as a ridiculously lascivious Alaskan.
Find it in the catalog!

Friday, October 9, 2009

See something new at the Chicago International Film Festival

The 45th annual Chicago International Film Festival is now in full swing. Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman, opened the festival yesterday. Running through October 22, the festival closes with The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt. Films screen at the AMC River East 21in Chicago (322 E. Illinois St.). A complete film schedule is available on the Chicago International Film Festival website; films are also indexed by country and category (very helpful!). You can also find information about tickets and festival passes on the official website.  Individual tickets cost $12 (reduced price of $9 for Cinema/Chicago members, students, and seniors). Japan, Chile, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, India, Romania and South Korea compose a fraction of the countries with submissions. Check out the diversity that the Chicago International Film Festival offers!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Hip-Hop Classic Revisited: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...

In the mid-to-late-90s just about everyone even tangentially involved with the Wu-Tang Clan had a solo project in the works. The groundbreaking group had revolutionized hip-hop with their debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and while still very much a unit, the nine individual members were determined to prove themselves as viable solo artists. Of this first wave of Wu solo projects, there were two undisputed masterpieces: Liquid Swords (1995), by GZA, and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995), by Raekwon the Chef.

Imagine Brian De Palma's Scarface crossed with a '70s blaxploitation flick filmed on the New York borough of Staten Island and you'll have some idea of what to expect from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Raekwon crafted a hard-edged, powerfully realized crime saga, made even more frighteningly real by the imposing presence of fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah. This cinematic narrative style was virtually unheard of at that time, but proved to be hugely influential, its mark unmistakable on the work of fellow artists such as Nas (who appears on the track "Verbal Intercourse"), Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z.

Raekwon's debut set the bar so high that his subsequent solo work almost invariably disappointed his hardcore fan base, and his repeated hints at a possible sequel to Cuban Linx were difficult to credit as the years passed. And yet, fourteen years later, on September 8th, 2009, Raekwon made good on his promise. Not just a worthy followup to the original album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II is a startling work of art that reaffirms Raekwon's greatest strengths: his intricate storytelling and his ability to choose complimentary collaborators. Ghostface is back and is no less intense in his role as Raekwon's foil, and producers Alchemist, Dr. Dre, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, and Erik Sermon lend their considerable talent to the project. (Track #2, "House of Flying Daggers", features beats by the late J Dilla, whose particular genius is still being felt three years after his early death.)

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx - Raekwon
Find it in the catalog!

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II - Raekwon
Find it in the catalog!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What we're watching...

Man v. Food
(Wednesdays at 9 PM on the Travel Channel)

Man v. Food follows Adam Richman, "a regular guy with a serious appetite," as he travels to cities around the United States visiting restaurants and "pigout spots" that serve large portions. At the end of each episode Adam tackles a seemingly impossible eating challenge. In San Francisco at the San Francisco Creamery he faced the Kitchen Sink Challenge that consisted of eight softball-sized scoops of ice cream covered in toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles, bananas, and nuts. His response to being faced with this mound of ice cream? "I'm gonna tackle it like a demon cobra." At The Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, Adam tried the 72 oz. Steak Dinner Challenge: "Enough talk. I wanna eat this bicycle seat made of meat." For this challenge, participants must eat the 72 oz. steak, a dinner roll, baked potato, and dinner salad. If you haven't seen these episodes yet I won't ruin the outcome for you.

No matter what is placed in front of him and no matter how huge the portion or how spicy the flavor, Adam takes unbelievably big bites in hopes of besting his competitor, food. Adam is a very funny guy; it's obvious he loves food and loves what he does. Originally from New York City, he received his Master's in drama at Yale and has worked in restaurants at a variety of jobs and locations. I thought the stuff Guy Fieri features on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives was crazy but the places Adam visits are even crazier. I can't help but wonder what his doctor says about the amount of food he eats. I recently starting watching Man v. Food in August; Adam's undying enthusiasm for food immediately drew me in to watch more episodes. Old episodes are often repeated before and after the week's newest episode if you are interested in witnessing any of the battles between Adam Richman, the man, and food. In tonight's episode he visits Springfield, Illinois!

Man v. Food website

Monday, October 5, 2009

DVDs out October 6th

The Brothers Bloom: A comedic confidence game starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel Weisz. From the director of the indie hit Brick.
Find it in the catalog!

Dance Flick: A crudely comic spoof on dance films, compliments of the Wayans Bros.
Find it in the catalog!

Imagine That: Eddie Murphy as a down-and-out financial executive who finds salvation in his daughter's world of make believe. Family-friendly.
Find it in the catalog!

My Life in Ruins: A new romantic comedy from Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Heavy on the syrup.
Find it in the catalog!

The National Parks: America's Best Idea: Renowned documentarian Ken Burns details the epic history of America's National Parks and the men and women who fought to preserve them. Twelve and a half hours. Narrated by Peter Coyote.
Find it in the catalog!

Year One: A prehistoric buddy film directed by Harold Ramis. Jack Black and Michael Cera star as inept hunter-gatherers.
Find it in the catalog!

Check out the Glen Art Theatre

The Glen Art Theatre, located in downtown Glen Ellyn, has been around since the early 1920s. A combination of popular (The Hangover, Julie & Julia), indie (The Hurt Locker, Food, Inc.) and foreign films (Tell No One, The Class) are shown here. This theater used to have only one screen but the current owners, who bought the Glen Art in the 1980s, divided it into four smaller screens. I like the reasonable ticket prices: $5 before 5 PM and $7 after 5 PM. Another nice thing about the Glen Art is the absence of annoying commercials and endless trailers; at most I've seen one or two trailers play before the scheduled movie begins. To top it all off, Glen Ellyn is a fun town to wander around; I recommend stopping by Honey (499 N. Main Street; 630-469-0000) on your way to or from a movie. Honey serves delicious organic food, including many vegetarian options, and to die for cupcakes. Plus, everyone who works there is super nice.

So, if you're in the Glen Ellyn area and want to check out a different movie theater stop by the Glen Art!

The Glen Art Theatre
540 Crescent Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL
Glen Art website

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When I need a pick-me-up

When I'm down in the dumps I usually go for any of the following on this list to act as my pick-me-ups.

Watching The Food Network is always very calming for me. But I know that when I watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or shows with Paula Deen my mood will immediately lighten.  I love all of the phrases Guy Fieri uses to describe the food he tastes (i.e. "money," "legit," and "off the hook"). He is a very charming host and can talk to anyone. I also especially enjoy Paula's Home Cooking and Paula's Best Dishes. Paula Deen talks directly to the viewer; she cooks comfort food and I also find her voice itself to be very comforting. During any episode that includes one or both of her sons Jamie and Bobby, I usually end up laughing throughout the entire show because of the wonderful chemistry they share.

Other times when I am sad or just not in a good mood I gravitate toward watching almost any Will Ferrell movie. I know many people find him annoying but I love his goofy comedy style, especially in films like Anchorman, Blades of Glory, Elf, and Step Brothers. I always feel better after watching a Will Ferrell movie because of the endless number of hilarious quotes, like this one from Step Brothers: "Listen, I know that we started out as foe. But after that courageous act that you showed me against the one they call Derek, maybe someday we could become friends."

When I put on a Flight of the Conchords CD at the beginning of the day I forget any tiredness or  worries I may have. The song topics and lyrics from this duo from New Zealand are laugh-out-loud funny. One of my favorite songs is "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room:"  "And when you're on the street / Depending on the street / I bet you are definitely in the top three / Good looking girls on the street / Depending on the street."

So those are my top go-to's to cure the blues. Are there any TV shows, movies or CDs you like to watch or listen to when you're feeling down?