Posted by & filed under Movie Recommendations.

Last week we got you primed for the Fall semester with some last-minute television binge recommendations. This week we present our Top 10 Back to School Movies. Whether you’re already adjusting to the daily grind of classes and homework or still pining for summer, the Media Library has you covered. Even better, all of the movies listed below are not currently available to stream on Netflix! Many of these movies may have been made before your time (the oldest one is from 1982!), but their themes are classic and  influenced coming of age comedies of the next 3 decades. So sit back and watch (and cringe) as the masters of teen comedy give you an education in growing up, fitting in, and falling in love. Back to School (1986) “He’s not just the biggest man on campus…he’s the wildest man on campus!” In one of the more absurd plots from this list, wisecracking Rodney Dangerfield plays a millionaire who tries to prevent his son from dropping out of college in the best way he knows how…by joining him. Naturally, hilarity ensues. Look out for a fabulously 1980s pre-super hero Robert Downey, Jr. as well as a cameo from author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Sixteen Candles (1984), the Breakfast Club (1985), Weird Science (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1986) Filmmaker John Hughes and members of the Brat Pack like Molly Ringwald  and Anthony Michael Hall ruled the 1980’s in these authentically awkward and cringe-worthy tributes to growing up and not quite fitting in. We can’t endorse the library terrorizing of the Breakfast Club crew, but it’s truly a must-see. Also, look out for the strange appearance of Harry Dean Stanton as Molly Ringwald’s father in Pretty in Pink. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) This might be the oldest movie on the list, but it’s still totally relevant. The movie was written by director Cameron Crowe (Jeremy McGuire, Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous) who went undercover at a California high school while working for Rolling Stone magazine. The movie gave many future stars their start including Sean Penn as the infamous stoner surfer Jeff Spicoli, Judge Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicolas Cage, and Forest Whitaker. Dazed and Confused (1993) giphy If you’re not ready to accept that school has started, no movie better romanticizes summer than Richard Linklater’s (Boyhood, Before Midnight, Bernie, Before Sunset) 1993 masterpiece Dazed and Confused. Set in 1976 Texas, the film features a number of up-and-coming actors including Matthew McConaughey in his second and most quotable movie appearance. 10 Things I hate About You (1999) All you really need to know about this movie is that it features the late great Heath Ledger as one of the best male romantic comedy leads, a perfectly angsty feminist Julia Stiles, as well as a young horrible Joseph Gordon Levitt. And most importantly, it features one of my favorite 90’s Nickeloden television characters Alex Mack! The Faculty (1998) Despite being directed by Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Til Dawn), written by Kevin Williamson (Scream) and featuring an all-star cast that includes Josh Hartnett, Elija Wood, Jordana Brewster, Usher, and John Stewart, this movie is kind of terrible. But terrible in a you-must-watch kind of way.  

Posted by & filed under Television Recommendations.

  The start of the Fall semester is just around the corner and while some of you are scrambling to prepare for classes, others are using the remaining days of summer as a time to complete a few TV series in one sitting. What better way to kill two birds with one stone than preparing for the upcoming school year by spending a few days with several of your favorite academia set TV shows. Get your Trapper Keepers and Beats by Dre ready; it’s time to go back to school!   Saved by the Bell (DVD 12147 V.1-5)   The golden age of Tiger Beat helped this show gain its foothold on pop culture from 1989 to 1993. Although this show may predate some of you, the trials and tribulations of Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, and the rest of the gang never stray far from the familiar clichés that exist today as they navigate homework, homecoming, and hormones.The Media Library has the first two seasons HERE.   Community (Season 1 DVD 12032 V.1 – V.4, Season 3 DVD 15377 V.1 – V.3) Dan Harmon’s show about one study group’s adventures through Greendale Community College. This show is filled with pop culture references and is known for its refusal to color within the lines as it constantly bends genres with its biting wit and richly developed universe. The Media Library has seasons one and three which you can find HERE and HERE respectively.   Undeclared (DVD 5199 V.1- V.4) The shortest series in the bunch, this show can be consumed in one sitting. It stars a pre- How to Train Your Dragon Jay Baruchel, a pre- Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunam and was created by a pre- The 40 Year Old Virgin Judd Apatow. Incoming freshman Steven Karp, played by the aforementioned Baruchel, moves to a new University where he hopes to start anew after high school. The transition is hard, awkward, but most importantly funny. The Media Library has the complete series HERE. Of course, we have many other shows that we could suggest but it would be irresponsible for us to delay preparation for this new semester (HERE is a link to all of our TV shows for you to browse in case you don’t mind procrastinating). Don’t forget to follow us on our twitter page @UNTMediaLibrary and our Facebook page for any updates with events, materials and other important matters of Media.

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

Most of our patrons know that the UNT Media Library has thousands of movies, but our shelves are also stocked with hundreds of table-top games. We have everything from board games and puzzles to card games and trivia. There are familiar classics like chess and backgammon alongside bizarre, unique games that are unlike anything else in our collection. We have many different decks of cards and many-sided die by the dozens. The variety of games in our collection ensure that there’s always something for everyone whether you prefer brain-teasing puzzles, competitive strategy or open-ended, playful absurdity. On Saturday, April 11th we’ll be taking our tabletop games collection across the street to Bruce Hall where UNT students will have all-day access to the very best from our tabletop games collection in celebration of International TableTop Day, a growing annual event started by the producers of TableTop, a popular web-series about games created by Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day for the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. They have both been extremely active in the gaming community for and two of the most vocal champions of tabletop gaming in a culture that is sometimes fixated on the multi-billion dollar video game market. They first founded International TableTop Day three years ago as a way for the world to celebrate tabletop gaming together. Every spring fans host thousands of events all over the world and every year the event grows. TableTop Day 2014 was celebrated at over three thousand events in eighty different countries all over the world. The UNT Media Library has been playing along since the beginning and this year we’re excited to team again up with UNT Residence Life to bring our love of gaming to the students of UNT. These past few years since the founding of Tabletop Day have been described as a new Golden age of Board Games thanks to “an approach to game design that considers the creation of shared social experiences to be every bit as important as writing rules or designing physical components.” There’s never been a better time to be a gamer.   Media Library Contributor Garrett Graham

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Film Reels   We would like to welcome you to our first foray out into the Blogosphere.The Media Library will be utilizing this space as a means to discuss a variety of topics related to our collection of films, video games, and board games. For example, we may have something to say about the new Kelly Reichardt film or discuss the role of Dungeons and Dragons in the development of cognitive skills. We may discuss the merits and highlights of the Film Noir genre, or we may elucidate upon how the world in which Mario, Princess Peach, and Luigi inhabit resonates with people all over the world. There are breaking news stories, academic research, and scientific studies that relate to our little corner of the libraries and our contributors would love to expound upon. What better forum for these discussions than a UNT Media Library blog? Our debut feature, by Media Library blog contributor Garrett Graham, highlights an upcoming day many do not know exists; International Tabletop Game Day. Thank you for reading and feel free to comment and discuss.
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