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Weekend Recs: Christmas Specials

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Christmas is a little over a week away, and this means that Christmas specials will begin (if they already haven’t) filling the airtime of most cable channels and streaming recommendation lists. In the spirit of the season, or simply as a way to bring some merriness into the bleak week of finals, this weekend’s recs will share some Christmas specials for festive enthusiasts and Grinches alike.

If you have 4 minutes and 18 seconds…and need some (violent) humor in your day, watch this SNL “A Christmas Carol” sketch. If you’re a fan of old SNL, you’ll be happy to know it features prior cast members, Steve Martin and Martin Short.

If you have 22 minutes…and need some Michael Scott cringe (or hilarity), watch “Christmas Party” from The Office‘s 2nd season, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Although The Office has quite a few Christmas episodes, “Christmas Party” was the first and, arguably, one of the best.

If you have another 22 minutes…and look forward to another Belcher family Christmas each year, watch the most recent Bob’s Burgers holiday special, “The Plight Before Christmas.”

If you have 51 minutes…and are a fan of the family-friendly classics, watch The Year Without a Santa Claus. If you have cable, you will likely have ample opportunities to catch this old-timey Christmas special, and it is, in my opinion, one of the bests. (I mean, the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs earn their iconic status).

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes…and have a chaotic family that keeps the holidays interesting, watch Four Christmases. An ode to children of divorce and emotionally immature parental figures, this Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn comedy might just make you feel a bit better (or at the very least, validated) about your Christmas-time family antics and woes.

If you have 1 hour and 45 minutes…and want to watch a slightly newer “classic,” check out the ultimate Jim Carey holiday film, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. In all honesty, this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, so I might be a bit biased when I say it is worth a watch, but…it’s worth a watch.

Photo by Samira Rahi on Unsplash

Bonus: this recommendation practically goes without saying, but watch Elf this holiday season, also available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 2 hours and 7 minutes…and are tired of re-watching old Christmas films, watch Spirited. Released over Thanksgiving, this film updates Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a comedic twist. Plus, as a bonus, it stars Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.

Bonus: For all the MCU fans, Iron Man 3 and Hawkeye are both set around Christmas time and are perfect for those who want something only tangentially related to the holidays.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Weekend Recs: The DCEU and DC Adaptations

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The MCU and Marvel’s host of extended content have garnered a lot of passionate attention and fandom. With the MCU’s range and staying power, this popularity, and arguable supremacy, is unsurprising. However, although I admit it often takes a more comic-book-like approach, the DCEU and other DC film and television adaptations seem to get a less enthusiastic treatment. Yet, DC has some film and television adaptations that are worth giving a chance, especially if you’re onboard with Phase Four of the MCU. This weekend’s recs delve into the DC adaptation universes and highlight  a variety of DC adaptations that range from dark and gritty to heartfelt and fluffy.

Photo by Dev on Unsplash

If you have 58 seconds…and are new to the DCEU, watch this TikTok explaining the canon timeline of the DC Extended Universe and what DC movies are outside this universe.

If you have 19 minutes and 10 seconds…and are a fan of the Arrowverse, watch this video comparing the DCEU’s Justice League character portrayals, as owned by Warner Bros., with the Arrowverse’s portrayals of these characters, as owned by the CW. This video helps outline some of the differences between the DCEU and the Arrowverse, both DC comic adaptation film and television “universes,” and gives a glimpse into some of the main DC superheros.

If you have 1 hour and 49 minutes...and want to watch a girl-group movie filled with camp and Margot Robbie, watch Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. A film that arguably takes the best aspects of Suicide Squad (i.e., Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn) and improves upon them (i.e., being less male gaze-y and a lot more fun), Birds of Prey is an enjoyable watch.

If you have 2 hours and 12 minutes…and are a fan of the found family trope, watch Shazam! Although its release wasn’t very hyped-up, this film is a truly endearing superhero movie with a good cast of child actors and lots of heart.

If you have 2 hours and 56 minutes…and prefer your movies to be dark and gritty, watch The Batman. Robert Pattinson embodies the brooding, loner side of Batman and is complemented by a host of other great performances, including a truly discomforting Paul Dano.

Bonus: If you want to watch the DC supreme, watch The Dark Knight, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 6 hours…and are interested in Gender and Women’s Studies, read Hot Pants and Spandex Suits: Gender Representation in American Superhero Comic Books. The book discusses gender and LGBTQ+ representation in comics books and is definitely worth checking out.

If you have 9 hours…and want to watch a relatively stand-alone DC series, watch The Sandman. This Netflix series, based on a DC comic, takes on a magical and gothic Tim Burton-esque style and follows the King of Dreams on his quest for lost power.

If you have 10 hours…and are a fan of the teen coming-of-age genre (with bonus found family), check out the first season of DC’s Stargirl. The show follows  Courtney Whitmore, as she takes on Starman’s mantle and bands a team of teen misfits turned superheros together to protect the small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska. If you end up liking the show, you’ll be happy to know that Season 2 has already been released, and the final episode of Season 3 airs in the near future.

If you have 11 hours…and are curious how superheros have come to (seemingly) dominate our media sphere, read The Superhero Symbol: Media, Culture, and Politics.

Bonus: If you prefer video games to film and television, check out Gotham Knights, a recently released RPG game that allows players to play as Nightwing, Red Hood, Batgirl, and (Red) Robin as they solve and fight crime in Gotham.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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No Subscription Required: Check Out Falvey’s DVD Collection For Your Next Movie Marathon

Image of the DVD cover of "Star Wars: A New Hope."


No subscription required!

Villanova students, faculty, and staff can check out DVDs from Falvey Library for up to 30 days. Falvey’s collection includes a wide variety of feature films, international films, TV series, documentaries, theatrical productions, and science and educational videos.

Don’t have a DVD player in your dorm? No problem. Portable DVD players can be checked out from the service desk to watch DVDs. Players are USB and USB-C compatible, and can be checked out for 1 day with 1 renewal. Visit the Library website for additional information on equipment loans.

The DVD collection is located right inside the door to the Falvey West book stacks, on the first floor. With the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to host a movie night with friends, or enjoy a quiet evening watching one of your favorite films. Explore some recommendations below and search for more titles on the Library website.

Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month

Halloween

Oscar-Winning Films

Binge-Worthy Favorites 

Musicals 

Staff Favorites


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Weekend Recs: True Crime

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Given its popularity, you’ve likely encountered the media genre dubbed “true crime.” The name speaks for itself. Gory, vicious accounts of non-fiction crimes are recounted and dramatized for our education, and yes, entertainment. From podcasts to TikToks to docu-series, true crime proves its place as a mainstay in our cultural consciousness. But what might our obsession with true crime say about us? What happens when we look deeper? This weekend’s recs are for true crime fans and interested outsiders alike.

If you have 32 seconds…and you want to get on True CrimeTok, watch this TikTok that pokes fun at some of true crime’s staples. Every genre has its cliches, and for true crime, the “small town where crime never happens” is a consistent backdrop.

If you have 3 minutes…and are looking for a laugh, watch this SNL skit that pokes fun at our obsession with true crime. If you’re the designated true crime friend, this one is for you.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn more about the true crime genre and some of the questions and concerns it raises, read this article in The Ringer. Even if you’re a seasoned true crime audience member, it raises some good points and might help you become a more mindful consumer.

If you have 43 minutes…and are looking for a more ethical, guilt-free true crime podcast that aims to tackles some of the ethical concerns the true crime genre brings up, listen to this episode of the Truer Crime podcast. This one focuses on the Samuel Little case, but I highly recommend the entire series.

Bonus: if you want to learn more about the creator of Truer Crime, Celisia Stanton, and some of the issues the podcast aims to avoid, read this interview with Mashable.

If you have 12 hours…and want to binge-watch a new true crime docu-series, watch A Kidnapping Scandal: The Florence Cassez Scandal, which details a Mexican case that involves accounts of kidnapping, organized crime, corruption, and controversy. It’s truly a wild ride.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.

 


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Weekend Recs: Nostalgia

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The end of the semester is upon us and the only thing standing between us and summer is a couple of exams and final papers. For many people, this time of year is a nostalgic one. Maybe you’re a senior and thinking back over your four years at Villanova and all the memories. Or maybe your nostalgic for your childhood home, knowing going back home for the summer will bring back a flood of memories. No matter what the reason, sometimes it’s just fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Keep reading for some ways you can play into that nostalgic feeling this weekend. 

If you have 2 minutes… read this article about what nostalgia actually is and the impact it can have on us and our mood.  

If you have 10 minutes… and are near Falvey, stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to grab some baseball-themed treats, destress from finals, and reminisce on the school year with your friends.  

If you have 30 minutes… and want to go way back, spend some time digitally flipping through old Belle Air yearbooks, available in Falvey’s digital collection.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch the new Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” that does a deep dive into the company’s exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring practices. Just thinking about the documentary, I instantly get transported back to wandering the mall with friends in middle school and coming across the strong scent of their store. 

If you have 8 hours… and a lot of papers to write, visit your favorite study spot in Falvey. The semester is coming to a close and though it may not seem like it now, you may miss grabbing a coffee from Holy Grounds and having a productive study session this summer!


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 


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Weekend Recs: MLB

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The MLB season is finally upon us, despite delays that pushed opening day from Thursday, March 31, to Thursday, April 7. The 2021-22 MLB lockout was the first since 1994; however, negotiations have now been settled, and the season can begin!

So let’s root, root, root for the home team (Go, Phillies!) and learn a little more about what’s happening currently in baseball with this week’s weekend recs, whether you have two minutes or an entire afternoon. 

If you have 2 minutes… read about MLB Opening Day and the decline in ticket sales. 

If you have 7 minutes and 39 seconds… watch this video from December breaking down the MLB lockout, what both sides want, and what the consequences are. 

Bonus: Watch this 8-minute-and-37-second video updating people on the MLB lockout. 

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes… watch “Bull Durham,” arguably the best baseball movie of all time. 

If you have 8 hours and 20 minutes… read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. 

If you have the afternoon… buy tickets to support Philadelphia’s very own Phillies in their opening weekend games against the Oakland Athletics.  


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Weekend Recs: 2022 Oscars

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Beyond the Wildcats clinching their spot in the Final Four, the weekend brought additional excitement with what was poised to be the first “normal” Oscars since pre-COVID. However, in actuality, the Oscars were anything but. From a big win for Deaf culture to the slap heard ‘round the world, we’re breaking down everything Oscars-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 14+ hours. 

If you have 2 minutes and 39 seconds… watch Megan Thee Stallion perform “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

If you have 5 minutes… read this article breaking down everything you need to know about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and why Chris Rock’s joke was problematic. Synopsis: You don’t joke about a Black woman’s hair. 

Bonus: On a lighter note, look up the memes that have resulted from the incident! 

If you have 1 hour and 14 minutes… Listen to Hans Zimmer’s score for Dune, winner of best original score category in last weekend’s awards. 

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes… watch the 2022 Oscar’s best film CODA, a movie bringing Deaf culture and Deaf actors to the forefront. 

If you have 14 hours (and no work to do)… read the novel Dune. Because let’s be honest, the books are better than the movie nine times out of 10, and the movie had a pretty good showing Sunday night. 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

 


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Last Modified: April 1, 2022