We’re entering the dog days of summer, Books on Screen readers. What does that mean for us? I’m not sure! And judging from August’s batch of releases, I’d bet the studios aren’t either. Let’s talk about it!
The big disappointment this month is the un-fantastic Fantastic Four. And I don’t just mean star Miles Teller and his…um…unflattering profile in Esquire; the resounding consensus is that FF is kind of a mess, and not the hot kind (sorry, Human Torch). The good news is that if you’re looking for a bit of action, Insurgent is now available on DVD --- if you’re on the fence (or, er, wall) about it, check out this clip featuring author Veronica Roth and the cast discussing adapting the book into a movie. Plus, Ansel Elgort is basically Miles Teller-lite, so you won’t be missing out on any summer fun.
One movie that’s getting rave reviews (which we featured in our Books on Screen bookshelf) is The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s frank, heavily autobiographical novel, it’s the story of a precocious 15-year-old girl’s sexual awakening, set in 1970s San Francisco. The film got great early buzz when it debuted at Sundance, and it’s a must-see for anyone interested in honest, avant-garde storytelling. And if you’re interested in the visually stunning, check out the gorgeously animated The Prophet, which intersperses Khalil Gibran's elegant poetry within breathtaking animated sequences, and tells the story of an exiled poet who must find his way home. I was sold on the trailer alone.
The big TV news this month is that David Simon, creator of the universally acclaimed “The Wire,” is returning to HBO with “Show Me a Hero,” a nine-part miniseries based on the true story of young mayor Nick Wasicsko’s fight for the desegregation of Yonkers’ public housing --- and the bitter battle fueled by fear, racism, murder and politics it incited. And if all you’re looking for from your summer watching is some entertaining escapism, be sure to catch “The Astronaut Wives Club” on ABC and “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family.
All in all, it’s been a pretty mediocre summer for Books on Screen! We may not have hit any high highs or low lows, but we did see thoughtful teen movies (and some less thoughtful), a small-scale yet surprisingly affable Marvel movie, dinosaurs! (and I don’t just mean Michael Douglas) and some uncharacteristically literary summer fare.
---Written and compiled by Emily Hoenig
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