Video Game Collection at Media Services

One of the lesser known collections in Media Services at the Wells Library is our great selection of video games.  From the original Xbox, to Xbox 360, to Nintendo Gamecube and Wii, to all kinds of Playstation systems, our collection has something to offer for casual and hardcore gamers alike.

In my case, growing up on the Super Nintendo shaped my taste of video games that I enjoy today.  Here’s a few of my classic favorites, and their modern-day equivalents in our collection.


Tetris Attack

This fast-paced puzzle game is similar to its original namesake Tetris in that the object is to clear as many lines as possible.  However, unlike the original, this game allows you to switch single blocks back and forth in order to line up with blocks of the same color.  This game has unlimited replay value, with the single-player Puzzle Mode and Vs. Mode, along with Multiplayer Mode which allows players of all skill levels to jump in.  Whether you’re a beginner playing on Easy Mode or an expert who needed to unlock Super Hard Mode for an adequate challenge, Tetris Attack requires lightning-fast thinking and decision making and is both challenging and fun.

If you like this and other problem-solving games, Portal 2 for the PS3 from Media Services is a must-play for you.  Like Tetris Attack, the Portal series requires critical thinking skills to go far, but in a more modern twist, Portal also adds the element of the Portal gun, creating, well, portals to jump through in order to land on your next platform to move on in the game.  When you add this element of precision, and not to mention the wise-cracking GLaDOS, you have yourself a game that will bring hours and hours of fun…and frustration, but in a good way.

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Goof Troop

Another lesser-known SNES title that took up some would say too much of my childhood was Goof Troop.  Based on Disney characters Goofy and his son Max, this game follows the tandem on another wacky adventure which involves, as you may be able to guess from the game’s cover, pirates!  What this game lacks in number of levels, it more than makes up for in charm, and if you’re even remotely a fan of Goofy and the gang, you would love this game.

If you like to blend your love of all things Disney with your love of video games like I do, you would love Kingdom Hearts II for the PS2 system in our collection.  This game is a unique crossover between the Disney universe and the vastly popular Final Fantasy universe.  Like Goof Troop, Kingdom Hearts is an adventure RPG series and in this installment Sora, the series’ main protagonist, must go on a quest with Donald Duck and, you guessed it, Goofy to find his missing friends.  Though Kingdom Hearts II is said to have a somewhat darker tone than its predecessors, the nostalgia of the Disney elements mixed with the fantasy elements brought into play will make you wish you were on the journey with them.


Super Mario World

And of course, what would any 90’s childhood be without the inclusion of Super Mario World for the SNES.  This installment of the Mario lore has the essential elements of the side-scrolling mission to beat the baddies and save Princess Peach, which is pulled off as creatively and masterfully as ever, but with fresher elements added in as well.  For one thing, this is the game that introduces Mario’s dino-esque friend Yoshi to the world, and I think we can all agree that the world is better for it.  Not only does Yoshi make this game a classic, but the addition of the Leaf powerup that enables Mario to fly, and the seemingly countless amounts of hidden passageways and secrets will enthrall you.  Heck, I’ve been playing this game off and on for upwards of 14 years and still have yet to unlock all the game’s secrets.

If you are a big fan of saving the Princess (even though let’s face it, she’s probably in another castle), you can continue the quest with one of my modern favorites, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, from Media Services.  Even though this game also follows the plot of Mario and friends attempting to save Princess Peach, this version brings all new tools to the table.  By utilizing the motion-sensitivity of the Wiimote, you can helicopter up into the air, shoot the classic fireballs, and help out your cohorts all with the shake of the wrist. This leads me to the other aspect of this game that sets New Super Mario Bros. apart: the introduction of multiplayer action.  No more waiting until your brother finally loses a life to get handed the controller (well that was my experience anyway)!  For the first time in Mario Bros. history, this game allows you to play up to 4 players at a time on the same level.  The real fun in this is to decide whether to use these extra players as a team exercise in saving the Princess, or as a race to see who can get to the flag fastest, and in the process, how many of your friends can you knock out?  And, like Super Mario World, there are also countless secrets and side level to play as well.  Whether you’re a social gamer or prefer to defeat Bowser in solitude, this game is a wild ride from beginning to end.

If any of these games pique your interest, or whether your into sports games, first-person shooters, or fighting games, we’ve got games for all tastes here at Media Services!  Hope to see some fellow gamers stop by soon.

-Mike Horan

Coming-of-age Films

The coming-of-age genre is a classic style of storytelling where the protagonist, typically young and in their teen years, goes through a psychological journey throughout the story. By the end of the end, the character has become an “adult” and has gone through some sort of moral growth. The character usually discovers something important about themselves or learns an important life lesson. We have all seen or read a story like this, and probably have a coming-of-age film on our favorite movies lists. We most likely saw the importance of the journey the protagonist went through, or maybe we related to it in our own lives. Perhaps we even went through the journey with them and by the end of the film, learned something new about ourselves or our lives. Basically, this is a common type of storytelling and one filmmakers have told dozens of times. So here is a highlight of some of the many classic coming-of-age films you can check out right here at Media Services!
**This list is not exclusive.

MV5BMTI0MDc0MzIyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzc4NzA5._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_  Almost Famous
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime when teenage reporter William Miller lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the objections of his protective mother, William hits the road with an up-and-coming rock band and finds there’s a lot more to write home about than the music.

MV5BMjM4NTI5NzYyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTkxNTYxMTE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  American Beauty
An emotionally & spiritually comatose suburban man decides “to hell with it all” and reverts to living as he did when he was happiest–as a carefree teenager. His desperately uptight wife and sullen daughter can only look on as he quits his corporate job to become a burger flipper, starts getting high with a strange new neighbor (whose parents are even stranger) and lusts after a pouty blonde teenager–his daughter’s best friend.

MV5BMTQ5NTg5ODk4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc4MTMzMDE@._V1_SX214_AL_  Blue is The Warmest Color
Adele is a high school student who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twenty-something art student. This intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth.

MV5BMTYzNDc2MDc0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTcwMDQ5MTE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Boyhood
A story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason, who ages from six to eighteen years old on screen. The film was shot intermittently over a twelve-year period from May 2002 to October 2013, showing the growth of Mason and his older sister, Samantha, to adulthood.

MV5BMTgxODIxODE2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA4NjQxMTE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Clueless
Still as smart and charming as ever, Clueless gets a fresh, sassy makeover for this new ‘Whatever!’ Collector’s Edition. Alicia Silverstone sparkles as Cher, the matchmaking 15-year-old Beverly Hills High schooler who has shopping and boys on her mind.

MV5BMTM5MDY5MDQyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzM3NzMxMDE@._V1_SX214_AL_  Dazed and Confused
Coming of age story of high school students in the ’70s. Eight seniors facing life after high school have one last party. Includes audio commentary class reunion-style with Richard Linklater; deleted scenes; and much more.

MV5BMjc5MDE0NjkxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzA0NTkyMw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Garden State
Andrew is a moderately successful TV actor living in Los Angeles. He hasn’t been home to the Garden State in nine years. Even the 3,000 miles has not separated him from the domineering father Andrew left. Stunned to find himself home for his mother’s funeral, “Large” finds old acquaintances around every corner, even as he does his best to avoid the inevitable confrontation with his father. By a twist of fate Large meets Sam, a girl who is everything he isn’t. Her warmth and fearlessness gives Large the courage to open his heart to the joy and pain that is life.

MV5BMTk0NjY0Mzg5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM1OTM2MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_  Good Will Hunting
A young working-class genius, who works as a janitor at MIT, is hauled back from the brink of self-destruction by a gifted counselor.

MV5BMTgxMjgyMTcyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDg1MTU1MQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_  Juno
Juno MacGuff is sixteen years old. After a one-time sexual encounter with her best friend Paulie, she learns that she’s pregnant. Juno and Paulie like each other, but not enough to start a family, complete with a child. Paulie leaves all the decisions about the baby to Juno. During her pregnancy, which she treats with care but detachment, her relationships develop.

MV5BMjE1MDQ4MjI1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzcwODAzMw@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_  Mean Girls
When a young girl who has lived in Africa and been home-schooled moves to New York, she must enter a public high school. Survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning when she falls for the ex-boyfriend of the most popular girl in school.

MV5BMTU3ODg2NjQ5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDEwODgzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Pan’s Labyrinth
When young Ofelia and her mother go to live with her new stepfather on a rural military outpost, she finds herself in a world of unimaginable cruelty. Soon Ofelia finds the creatures of her imagination in which she used to escape have become a reality and she must battle them to save both her mother and herself.

MV5BMzIxOTQyODU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ4Mjg4Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A high school freshman, always watching from the sidelines, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

MV5BMjA0MjcwNDgzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzMwODQxMTE@._V1_SX214_AL_  The Royal Tenenbaums
Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal, had left them long ago, but now returns to make things right with his family.

MV5BMTgyODA5MzQ1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzYxNzYxMTE@._V1_SX214_AL_  The Sandlot
Fifth-grader Scotty Smalls has just moved into town with his parents. The local kids call him a Dork because he can’t even throw a baseball. That changes when the leader of the neighborhood gang recruits him to play on the nearby sandlot field. It’s the beginning of a magical summer of baseball, wild adventures, first kisses, and fearsome confrontations with the dreaded Beast and its owner who live behind the left field fence. Soon nine boys have become best friends, Scotty is part of a team, and their leader has become a local legend.

MV5BMTkwNTczNTMyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzUxOTUyMw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

MV5BMzAzODQ1NzczMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc1ODIyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_  School Ties
Set in the 1950s: David Greene, a working-class Jewish quarterback from Scranton, Pennsylvania, is offered a football scholarship to a prestigious New England prep school. It’s David’s ticket to an Ivy League education and a way out of his hometown, but there’s one condition: the school’s elders ask him to be discreet about his religion. At first willing to do so, David struggles with his silence as his popularity grows.

MV5BMTg1NTE4NTc3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDA1NDI1MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_  The Squid & the Whale
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents’ divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. The patriarch of an eccentric Brooklyn family claims to once have been a great novelist, but ultimately decided to settle into a teaching job. When his wife discovers a writing talent of her own, jealousy divides the family. The two teenage sons are forced to forge new relationships with their parents.

MV5BNDk2MTkyMTA1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTc2Njk3OA@@._V1_SX214_AL_  Stand By Me
This film about friendship and the indelible experiences of growing up takes place in a small Oregon town as four boys set out on a two-day search for a missing teenager’s body, a search that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery.

MV5BMTc0NjIyMjA2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzIxNDE1MQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_  Superbad
Seth and Evan are accepting the fact that they will be going to different colleges in the fall. Now, it seems more important than ever that they go to a high school party, and achieve some of their long time goals. This includes, but is not limited to, losing their virginity with the girl of their dreams by getting them wasted and being their “regret hookup.” Their awkward friend Fogell gets a fake ID, with just the name McLovin, and agrees to get liquor to bring to Jules’ a.k.a. Seth’s dream girl’s graduation party.

MV5BNjA1NjExMzkwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjEzMjk3OA@@._V1_SX214_AL_  The Virgin Suicides
When school hunk Trip Fontain convinces the beautiful but sheltered Lisbon sisters to go to the prom, the romantic fantasies of a group of neighborhood boys threaten to come true–until all are engulfed in a stunning chain of events that will change their lives forever.

MV5BMTczNzI2MDc1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTU5NTYxMjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_  Wild
After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own.


-Samantha Hanzel

German Films Available in Media Services

If you are in the market to expand your knowledge of the German language then look no further.

Das Experiment
This film released in 2001 was inspired by the Stanford Prison Experiments conducted in 1971. Das Experiment gives a glimpse on the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The film does have scenes of brutality and psychological torture therefore; watch at your own discretion.

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days

This film released in 2005 is about the last days of Sophie Scholl. Sophie Scholl born in 1921 was a member of the anti-Nazi resistance group White Rose. White Rose was founded by students at the University of Munich whom used non-violent means to oppose the Third Reich. The Last Day has superb acting and should not be missed.

Click here for additional German films in the Wells Library Media collection.


Claymation and Stop Motion films

We often enjoy animated films because of the beautiful artwork that goes into them.  Companies such as Pixar and Disney, as well as Studio Ghibli in Japan, are well-known for their excellent storytelling through animation.  However, there are other types of  animation that are just as amazing and innovative, such as claymation and stop motion films.  With these films, the creators hand-make the set pieces and the characters and spend hours upon hours moving the pieces to create shots for the film.  It is an extremely detailed and time-consuming work.  In honor of those creators, I would like to present a list of five films that exclusively use claymation and/or stop motion.

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas


Bored with the same old scare and scream routine, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere.

  1. Fantastic Mr. Fox


Mr. and Mrs. Fox live a happy home life underground with their eccentric son Ash. Mr. Fox works as a journalist, but against the advice of Badger, his attorney, he moves his family into a larger and finer home inside a tree on a hill. The treehouse has an excellent view of the nearby farms of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Ash becomes hostile when his cousin, Kristofferson, joins the family for an extended stay. Mr. Fox decides to raid the farms, but this leads the farmers to stakeout the treehouse. The farmers try to dig the Fox family out, but they dig even faster. Mr. Fox organizes a tunneling project to burrow under all three farms and steal all the chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

  1. Coraline


A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home and save her family.

  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Christmas will be cancelled unless Santa can find a way to guide his sleigh through a blizzard.

  1. The Boxtrolls


A community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher, comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, ‘into the light,’ where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie. Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.

Bonus: All of these titles are available at Media Services!


-Alanna Dawley


Original or Sequel: Redux

Every year people complain that Hollywood is releasing too many sequels. While the lack of original content can be disheartening there exist a ray of light. Every few years a sequel comes a long that actually lives up to the hype. This post will look at two more sequels that kept the brand alive.


Clerks 2

Verdict: 50/50

Clerks 2 released in 2006 is a comedy film created by Kevin Smith. This long overdue sequel brings back the two classic duos. Randal and Dante pictured right are now in their thirties and are still clerks. Jay and Silent Bob left have somewhat cleaned up their act but are still up to no good. This film like the original released in 1996 has stood the test of the time. So what is the verdict sequel or original? That’s hard to say. You should check both titles out and decide for yourself.

Star Trek 2

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Verdict: Sequel

Star Trek the Wrath of Khan is the second film in the original Star Trek franchise. I was advised to skip the first Star Trek film entirely and instead view Wrath of Khan. I watched Khan with no prior knowledge of anything Star Trek and was extremely impressed with how little that mattered. The film gravitates viewers with its intricate plot lines and likable protagonist. To write about the plot would lead to spoilers.  That being said I can still comfortably say that Khan is worth the watch.

That wraps things up for this segment of sequel or original. Tune in next time for more great films you should watch. Possibly.

*All films discussed are located at Media Reserve Services and available for checkout*

Original or Sequel?

Every year I hear complaints that Hollywood is releasing too many sequels. I have heard many times that a sequel cannot possibly be better than the original. In most cases I would certainly agree but every now and then a sequel outshines its predecessor. This post will look at two original movies that have been outclassed or out favored by their original.


Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back                                                                                                  Verdict: Outclassed

Star Wars has a large cult following. Any fan of the trilogy will not acknowledge that the prequels happened. That being said the best Star Wars film in my eyes is Empire. The original film A New Hope ended on a high note and gave everyone grand illusions that all was right with the galaxy far far away. Empire successfully expands on the Star Wars franchise giving fans more of what they want. That means more lightsaber duels, more unique characters, and more Darth Vader. As the film Clerks puts it, “Empire ends on such a downer.” But it’s a good sort of downer the one that reminds you fairy tales are only children stories.


The Godfather: Part II                                                                                                                              Verdict: Out favored

The Godfather Part I & II are often cited as two of the best films ever made. If you have watched either film then you wholly accept the above sentence as a universal fact. Part II shows the aftermath of Michael Corleone assumption to power and his vetted interest in legitimizing the family business. The sequel also gives viewers a taste of Vito Corleone’s rise to power in early NYC. Personally I feel that Part I is better than the sequel but hey beggars can’t be choosers.

That wraps things up for this segment of sequel or original. Tune in next time for more great films you should watch. Possibly.

*All films discussed are located at Media Reserve Services and available for checkout*

New Titles List October 6th



Captain America Winter Soldier

For Steve Rogers, awakening after decades of suspended animation involves more than catching up on pop culture; it also means that this old school idealist must face a world of subtler threats and difficult moral complexities. That comes clear when Director Nick Fury is killed by the mysterious assassin, the Winter Soldier, but not before warning Rogers that SHIELD has been subverted by its enemies.


Gran Torino

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

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