• By Billy King
  • Posted Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Movies With A Library Twist

On the big screen this summer the superheroes rule again. Already the third installment of Iron Man has soared to new heights with a billion dollar (and still counting) global box office and soon the highly anticipated Man of Steel by director Zack Snyder will bring Superman back into the theaters with a grittier and more modern edge. This time Henry Cavill plays the superhero with Russell Crowe as his Krypton father and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as the Kansas parents who adopt him. The library’s DVD collections are an excellent place to catch up on superhero movies that you may have missed or may want to see again. You will find all three of the recent Dark Knight films starring Christian Bale as a brooding and conflicted Batman as well as the very successful Marvel Comics films including Thor, Captain America and last year’s box office winner, The Avengers. Because of their popularity and newness finding copies of these DVDs may be a challenge at times but do not despair. There are plenty of other superhero movies and television series to check out while you wait for the latest blockbuster to come in.

A search for Superman DVDs in the library’s online catalog results in 33 hits. There are many animated features and at least one of the classic films starring Christopher Reeve. Since this summer’s film tells the origin story of Clark Kent, an outsider trying to fit in despite his alien heritage, maybe it is a good time to watch the television series Smallville. This long running series starring Tom Welling followed the teenage Clark as he discovered his powers and struggled to understand his destiny. The library has several copies of this and other television series.

As a child my brother and I always argued over who was the better superhero, Batman or Superman. I liked Superman because he had such awesome powers but my brother thought Batman was better because he always caught the bad guy by using his brains and expensive toys. If Batman is your favorite then you are lucky. There are 28 DVD titles in the catalog related to Batman including the 1966 film Batman: The Movie based on the classic TV series with Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. Who needs Christian Bale and his gloomy Dark Knight when, “Holy Retro Batman!” you revel in the colorful BLAM! KAPOW! from the groovy Sixties?

Superman and Batman are not the only superheroes who have been reinterpreted over the years. Don’t forget about the big green “don’t get him angry” science experiment known as The Incredible Hulk. The library has copies of both the 2003 film, The Hulk starring Eric Bana and directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee and the 2008, The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton. Compare these takes on the reluctant superhero with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in last year’s The Avengers. Get ready for a new Hulk movie by 2016. For some of us Bill Bixby’s low-key and thoughtful portrayal from the 1970s and 80s television series will always be the true Dr. David Banner.

Finally there is always Spidey. A search for Spiderman in the library’s catalog also pulls up multiple titles including last year’s reboot of the franchise, The Amazing Spiderman, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, a less anguished and more high tech version of the super teen. If you were a big fan of Tobey Maguire’s portrayal, never fear, the library has all three of his films as well. Did he really first play the role almost 10 years ago?

Check out all of these super titles and many more at the library this summer.

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