Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time for serious book reading at the movies this fall

The fall movie season will soon be upon us,which means folks will be offered up a more hearty fare of films at the multplex(not to mention plenty of Oscar bait strewn about to snare a few nominations come award show time). A good number of these flicks will be adaptations of well known and not so well known books. Most folks have already set their sights on some of these like The Golden Compass and The Jane Austen Book Club, but let's look at a few that might not be on everyone's radar just yet.


That title's quite a mouthful there,isn't it? The western will be attempting to make yet another comeback,with a couple of book based films,one of which uses Ron Hansen's 1983 novel. Brad Pitt stars as Jesse James,with Casey Affleck as the coward of the title. It's been awhile since Brad's done a period piece and if he makes Jesse James as compelling as his character Tristan from Legends of the Fall was,you'll see quite a gender mix in audiences for this movie:

3:10 TO YUMA

Western number Two has Christian Bale escorting bad guy Russell Crowe to a train transporting Crowe to jail which of course,doesn't work out smoothly(when do these things ever do?). Elmore Leonard wrote the short story on which the movie gets it's plot,so there should be some great dialogue to go along with the kickass action:


And for something completely different...Keira Knightley is one of the leading ladies in this visualization of Ian McEwan's heartbreaking novel of false accusation and the consequences of a betrayal that may never be truly made up for. Joe Wright,who directed Keira in the newest big screen version of P&P,is at the helm here and the combination of him and Knightley in this film may hopefully do this book the justice it deserves onscreen:


Charles Baxter's modern day take on Midsummer Night's Dream is now an ensemble piece about finding love with the likes of Morgan Freeman,Greg Kinnear,Selma Blair and Jane Alexander making up the cast. This is a film that I hope gathers an audience for the book,which was one of those little literary gems that never quite got the attention it deserved. All of us at my former bookstore job read it and while it wasn't everyone's cup of tea,Feast of Love is certainly a quality brew:


Now this book,on the other hand,needs no introduction as most folks who aren't even major league readers know about the Little Novel That Could,and Did Become A Book Club Hit. I must confess that I have not read The Kite Runner(*pauses for shocked response from the audience*)and like a good number of filmgoers this fall,I'll probaly see the movie first. It does look promising,from what the trailer shows,so far. We shall see:


The last and, I suspect many will say ,the least of the literary adaptations we'll look at today is that Ye Olde World Lit staple,Beowulf. The film is not based on any one particular translation(I just used the recent Seamus Heaney book jacket here because it looks very cool)and with a script written by Roger Avery and Neil Gaiman,you shouldn't expect a very Shakespearan like stage version of the epic poem here. Nope,and especially with Angelina Jolie as Grendal's red hot demon momma,you can be safely assured that this is not your daddy's Beowulf,no siree!:

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