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April 19, 2011

Cool It

From the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist comes this practical guide to solving our environmental problems and cooling the 'green' hysteria that's gripping the planet. Based on the controversial book by political scientist Bjorn Lomborg.

One of the biggest issues we face is our fear. Even though we live in the best of times we are told to fear many, many things in modern society. There are benefits to fear: you can win elections, push your agenda, instill hate and so much more. I am a believer in moderation. I believe that humans can solve most issues before them with calm, considerate thinking. When we are told to think that the problems facing us are too big or complex and cannot be handled by us we turn to anger or apathy. There are no problems too big or complex that cannot be understood and acted upon by humanity.
This documentary offers basic insight to problem solving and the little things we can do to make life better for those around us.
Whenever speech is stifled or shouted down, you must ask yourself why.

Released in 2011

Askwith Media Library 54289-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

Inside story

Program discusses where information technology meets everyday life, offering six self-contained stories within three specific themes: Chapter 1) Power and Privacy, includes "Privacy Threat" and "Power to the People," which looks at Data Mining, SPAM, Cookies, and Identity Theft; Chapter 2) Control and Security, includes "Security Gets Smarter" and "Copyright," which looks at code-makers, code-breakers or 'hackers,' Linux (open access code) and Watermarking; Chapter 3) Trust and Accuracy, includes "In Search of Truth" and "Accuracy Counts, " which looks at Freedom of Information and Safety-Critical software. The program concludes with a comprehensive six-point guide to ethical decision-making.

Chip Taylor Communications always offers quick insightful documentaries. This 30 minute DVD provides valuable information concerning the social and ethical issues we all face on the internet. ~Mike

Released in 2003

Askwith Media Library 53552-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

One Way Passage

The seas are calm and the ship is sturdy, but the shipboard romance is doomed. Dan does not know that Joan is dying of an incurable disease. Joan does not know Dan is a convicted murderer en route to San Quentin. Still, they have four weeks to find happiness in each other's arms. Or will Dan forsake the love of a lifetime for his own life, using the vessel's Honolulu layover as a chance to escape the law?

Classic dramatic tale. Both Joan and Dan are doomed but they find love and happiness for a very short time. ~Mike

Released in 1032

Askwith Media Library 53442-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2011

Keeper of the Flame

A war correspondent stumbles on a little-known fact that an honored American war patriot had in fact worked for the Fascists. His wife urges the writer to expose the facts for history.
Special features: Our gang short "Going to press; Classic cartoon "The Blitz wolf"; theatrical trailer.

The darkest Tracy/Hepburn film I have ever seen. Timely and socially important, this film looks closely at the manipulation of public opinion. Even though American history ignores its home grown fanatics, this film must have been a wakeup call for many in 1942. One man has his American Dream although his plan might be for the ultimate takeover of the country. ~Mike

Released in 1942

Askwith Media Library 54509-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

A Community Concern

"All over the country, public schools are suffering from overcrowding, poor facilities, and unsafe conditions for the students. Combating these problems and working to strengthen our country's public schools are community organizers, parents, and the students themselves. Made with the participation of three highly respected organizations, Oakland Community Organization (OCO), Northwest Bronx Coalition of Community and Clergy (NWBCCC), and The Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON), this character-based documentary focuses on the powerful changes made when communities across the country come together to improve the future of today's youth."

Excellent and inspirational. ~Mike

Released in 2009

Askwith Media Library 54282-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

Phantom of the Paradise

An outrageous horror-rock comedy cult movie and satire on the music business. A freak accident leaves a meek rock composer horribly disfigured. He hides his face beneath an eerie mask and haunts the Paradise Theatre, seeking revenge.

Wonderfully entertaining. ~Mike

Released in 1974

Askwith Media Library 54291-D

Posted by mcmike at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

Portrait of an Onnagata

In the tradition of Kabuki, the portrayal of female characters has become a tradition of its own. This program looks a the history of Kabuki and looks particularly at the dynastic development of the onnagata, the female impersonator, and the intricate techniques and details by which a thoroughly masculine male transforms himself into a man's dream of the womanly woman: more feminine and more perfect than any real woman.

A side note in this story: The Samurai had a pretty high status in the culture however when there were no wars the Samurai were broke. The Samurai would go into debt to the merchants to pay for sexual favors from the kabuki actors. ~Mike

Released in 1990

Askwith Media Library 54470-D

Posted by mcmike at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

Your Money, Your Life

An engaging, high-impact program addresses a crucial need for honest, open financial advice in a pivotal stage of life. Through the compelling real-life stories of young people dealing with various financial and lifestyle scenarios, the program raises fiscal consciousness and knowledge on everything from banking and credit to investments, budgeting, insurance and self-employment. It features personal financial advice from respected national financial advisors.

Some very good ideas on how to keep your credit purchases in line and how to deal with credit debt. ~Mike

Released in 2009

Askwith Media Library 50720-D

Posted by mcmike at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2011

Plastic Planet

It is the Age of Plastic. It's cheap, practical, and everywhere. But is it dangerous? Viewers are taken on a journey around the globe, from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the Alps to reveal the far-flung reaches of the plastic problem. Interviews with experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to the environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects the body, and the health of future generations.

We are living in an age of risk. Our effect on this planet will be felt for generations even if we change immediately there is still a long way to go to heal the planet. We know this and it's a fact of life. But who doesn't use plastic? Who doesn't love it in one form or another? We use plastic for almost everything. I have benefited from the various designs and labor saving devices made with plastic. The concern in the documentary and our concern need to be the impact on the growth and health of our children and the offspring of wildlife. While gathered and thought of as food, fish and birds suffer when the mother feeds its’ babies plastic. Plastic also gets into the blood of humans and is passed through mother's milk to babies. Definitely something we all need to be concerned about. There has to be more options on how we deal with plastic waste and our usage of it. This documentary goes a long way to clarify some of the issues. ~Mike

Released in 2011

Askwith Media Library 54510-D 99 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2011

The Corporation

Documentary examines the nature, evolution, impact and possible futures of the modern business corporation. Based on the book, "The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power" by Joel Bakan ; produced by Big Picture Media Corporation in association with TV ONTARIO ...

The most poignant point is that corporations are required by law to make a profit over every other consideration. It probably would not hurt to change that law, just a little. ~Mike

Released in 2004

Askwith Media Library 39075-D 145 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Take a captivating and compelling road trip though the creative spirit of the American South, a world of churches, prisons, coal mines and mountains. A collage of stories and testimonies while a strange Southern Jesus looms in the background.

This documentary is as wonderful as it is scary. The journey takes us into some of the most interesting "states of mind" of the local population: Either Jesus or Hell, Good or evil, Heaven or nothingness not too many choices in between. "A lot of partying and a lot of praying." The original thoughts and the music are stunning. ~Mike

Relaesed in 2003

Askwith Media Library 44044-D 83 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2011

Background to Danger

A United States agent posing as an American machinery salesman in Turkey, finds himself enmeshed in a maze of plots and counter-plots to draw neutral Turkey into the war on the Nazi side.

I am thinking that this might be one of those actor transition films, that is George Raft usually plays the crime villain in America crime movies in this film he is the hero. However with Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, Raft comes off as a weak Bogart-esque character. I could not help thinking of the Maltese Falcon.
The topic of allies during the war is never far away. Raft plays the American undercover agent while Lorre plays the Soviet agent. They work together to foil the Nazi plan. Showing the world that Americans and Soviets can get along to defeat a common enemy. ~Mike

Released in 1943

Askwith Media Library 53425-D 80 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Kilowatt Ours -A Plan to Re-Energize America

"Follow filmmaker Jeff Barrie as he searches America's cities, towns and countryside for solutions to the great energy problems of our day. Along the way you'll meet power companies, schools, businesses and everyday Americans finding ways to meet our energy needs using conservation and green power...Best of all, Kilowatt Ours will teach you how to dramatically reduce your own energy bill and improve the environment at the same time!"

The first half deals with the health and environmental problems we are facing by using too much coal and nuclear energy. The second half of the film offers very real solutions for reducing our consumption of energy on a personal level. The documentary also discusses how communities and companies can reduce their consumption.
I am very motivated by the excellent ideas and some very easy ways to immediately reduce our energy consumption. The options offered not only save energy, but also a lot of money for the consumer.~Mike

Released in 2008

Askwith Media Library 52606-D 52 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

Ladrón que roba a ladrón (To rob a Thief)

The rule among criminals is don't steal from your own kind. But extreme situations call for extreme measures. And so it goes that a bunch of thieves decide to rob one of the best in the business. The challenge is immense and the rewards could be great. Now all they have to do is pull it off and not get caught.

A very funny film. ~Mike

Released in 2008

Askwith Media Library 50069-D 100 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2011

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler

Lang's first film featuring the arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse is also an allegory about Weimar Germany. Mabuse maintains his wealth through counterfeiting, manipulating the stock exchange and his ability to bend weaker minds to his will. In part one Mabuse builds his empire, and casually ruins Count Told while entrancing the thrill-seeking Countess. In part 2 Mabuse turns from criminal to villain, murdering the Count and kidnapping the Countess. Mabuse is finally captured in his own hideaway, consumed by Madness.

Pt. 1. The great gambler [Der Grosse Spieler] -- pt. 2. Inferno.

Excellent. ~Mike

Released in 1922

Askwith Media Library 33167-D 229 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse

Locked away in an asylum for a decade and teetering between life and death, the criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse has scribbled his last will and testament: a manifesto establishing a future empire of crime. When the document's nefarious writings start leading to terrifying parallels in reality, it's up to Berlin's star detective, Inspector Lohmann, to connect the most fragmented, maddening clues in a case unlike any other.

The Mabuse films are Lang's finest work. ~Mike

Released in 1933

Askwith Media Library 37856-D 121 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

For Colored Girls

A vibrant world where friends and strangers dream, fear, cry, love, and laugh out loud in an attempt to find their true selves. Adapted by writer/director Tyler Perry from Ntozake Shange's acclaimed choreopoem, this gripping film paints an unforgettable portrait of what it means to be a woman of color in the modern world.

Tyler Perry is at his dramatic best. An all star cast provides powerful performances in this very touching and socially relevant film. Even though the title says For Colored Girls, (the title seems to have an "I understand and this is for you" quality) everyone should see it. ~Mike

Released in 2010

Askwith Media Library 53962-D 134 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

Atlantis The Lost Continent

Greek fisherman Demetrios guides a lost princess home to Atlantis, but is imprisoned there and must fight for his life, before rescuing the princess again as they flee the doomed realm.

From director/producer George Pal. George Pal has worked in almost every aspect of film production. Previously he worked on short films until the late 1950s when he started directing and producing feature length fims. This film has some very good special effects for a 1961 release. Filmed in MetroColor. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53424-D 63 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2011

Wild Target

Rose is a free-spirited thief who finds herself in the crosshairs of a world-class assassin named Victor. But when Victor spares Rose's life, the lonely-hearted hitman sets off an outrageous chain of events that turns both their worlds upside down. Joined by a gun-toting apprentice, the unlikely trio teams up to thwart the murderous intentions of Victor's unhappy client.

Clever and Cheeky!

Released in 2011

Askwith Media Library 54331-D 98 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

The Red Riding Trilogy

"After a failed attempt to crack Fleet Street, a cynical journalist returns to his homeland of Yorkshire and finds himself assigned to report on the case of a local girl who has gone missing. But after her bizarrely mutilated body is discovered, he is thrown into a sleaze infested, nightmarish world of corruption. As the killer's identity remains a mystery, savage events spiral out of control, spanning generations and leading to a shocking climax".

Another great from British television. However you may need to activate the subtitles. ~Mike

Released in 2009
Based on the novels by David Peace.
Trilogy written by Tony Grisoni ; 1974 directed by Julian Jarrold ; 1980 directed by James Marsh ; 1983 directed by Anand Tucker.

Askwith Media Library 52000-D 3 discs 308 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Surrounded by Waves

As wireless technology keeps expanding the debate surrounding the health impacts of electromagnetic waves keeps growing. Filmed in France, Israel, Sweden, and the United States, the new documentary SURROUNDED BY WAVES uses an elegant blend of interviews, archives, experiments and 3D animation to investigate what is known, and unknown, about the potential risks.
Historical background -- What are electromagnetic waves? -- Electro hyper sensitivity -- Harmfulness & public awareness -- How do cells react? -- The semi-permeable membrane -- relay antennas.

Very concise and informative. As more tests are completed and more information becomes available, I hope this type of documentary with multiple view points continue to bring us the information we need concerning this topic. ~Mike

Released in 2009

Askwith Media Library 54447-D 52 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

The Trotsky

Leon Bronstein is a young man who has made the discovery that his birth name is the same as that of Leon Trotsky, the celebrated Russian revolutionary and socialist theorist. This coincidence leads Leon to believe that he is the reincarnation of Trotsky and it is his destiny to follow his path as closely as possible; which is a bit difficult when you have rich parents and attend an upscale private school in Montreal.

An enjoyble, fun viewing experience, even if you are not a communist. ~Mike

Released in 2009

Askwith Media Library 53487-D 113 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

Ansel Adams

A portrait of noted American photgrapher Ansel Adams, which captures the spirit and artistry of the man as it focuses on his role as teacher, conservationist, and artist.

Told mostly by Ansel Adams. He allows us insight into his world of photographic technique, teaching, friends and family. ~Mike

Released in 1977. Released on DVD in 2003

Askwith Media Library 54254-D 60 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2011

Improper Conduct (Mauvaise Conduite): Castro's Cuba

Tells the story of 28 Cuban exiles from all walks of life, all victims of their homeland's oppression. Provides a history of Cuba under Fidel Castro's leadership, focusing on the regime's suppression of dissidents and free speech. In addition to speaking with the exiles, the program visits Little Havana in Miami. Although only events up to the mid-1980s are covered, these powerful stories provide a rare personal glimpse into life in Castro's Cuba and the effects of Castro's policies on the Cuban people.

The video was produced a few years before the fall of the Soviet Union. The insight provided here is a snap shot of the lives of those who realized the Castro Revolution was nothing more than a Soviet style occupation by a puppet regime.
From today's perspective: reality overshadows the myth. The myth builders, whoever they may be, are trying to raise Castro to the mythic level of Che Guevara (a tyrant in his own right). Castro at present is the elder statesmen of Cuba. However he will long be remembered as the tyrannical oppressor whose main goal, as it turns out, was to be a thorn in the side of the USA at the expense of the citizens of Cuba. Communist propaganda was used as a baton to beat the citizens down and to inspire hate. This propaganda of oppression is now a successful tool for 21st century politics. ~Mike

Released in 1983

Askwith Media Library 54480-D 112 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2011

Murder by Contarct

Murder by contract: A hit man discovers his next target is a woman.

Best known for his role as Dr. Ben Casey (1961-1966) Vince Edwards plays a cool, contract murderer. He is very meticulous with his craft until the contract's victim is a woman. He has one of those television faces that when you see him you recognize him.

Released in 1958

Askwith Media Library 50740-D

Posted by mcmike at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

Food Design

This film takes a look at the secret chambers of a major manufacturer of food, where designers and scientists are defining your favorite mouthful of tomorrow. It shows how form, color, smell, consistency, the sounds made during eating, manufacturing technique, history and stories are all aspects of food and eating that both influence food design, and are created by it.

Our desire for food, beyond sustaining life, is a very complex process involving all of our senses. We depend heavily on each sense to inform us about the food and also to entice us for more.
The quality of the documentary is outstanding. Shot in high definition but avialable here on DVD, some of the images just make you hungry for more. ~Mike

Released in 2008

Askwith Media Library 54446-D 52 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)