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August 2012

Books on Screen

August 2012

This year, a number of big movies are releasing for people of all ages during these "dog days of summer."
Among these standout releases is The Bourne Legacy, which stars Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, whose life was affected by the events in the first three installments of this blockbuster series. Watch as he figures out how to handle the same situation Jason Bourne was thrust into.
The thrill rides continue in Total Recall, based on Philip K. Dick's short story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." In this remake of the 1990 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Douglas Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter in order to stop Cohagen, the leader of the free world. But on the way, he must discover his true identity and what it really meant for him in this life.
Looking for some family-friendly entertainment? Then check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Greg Heffley is back, and this time he devises a plan to keep himself away from this season’s dog days: by pretending to work at a rich country club. As always, though, mishaps follow Greg wherever he goes. And from the makers of Coraline comes ParaNorman, a look into the life of a boy who can talk to the dead and ends up being the only way his town can survive a zombie attack.
A hilarious yet intimate coming-of-age story develops in Goats, in which a 15-year-old boy adjusts to leaving his lavish lifestyle in Tucson for a prep school on the East Coast. Then there’s Cosmopolis, another story of what it means to lead a luxurious lifestyle and what could happen because of it. Robert Pattison of Twilight fame stars in this suspenseful film that takes place in New York City.
Last but not least are two movies inspired by real-life events and characters. Chicken with Plums, based on the graphic memoir of the same name, is the story of author Marjane Satrapi's great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love. And Lawless, based on the true story featured in Matt Bondurant's novel THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD, features three brothers (the author’s grandfather and two granduncles) who are part of a bootlegging scheme during the Prohibition era.
On the small screen, tune in to see the season finales of “Longmire,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “True Blood”. And just in case you missed them in theaters, Bel Ami, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, The Hunger Games, Headhunters, The Lucky One, The Moth Diaries, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Think Like a Man all release on DVD this month.

In Theaters:
Cast: Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick, Zachary Gordon, Rachel Harris
Director: David Bowers
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: August 3rd (wide)
Based On: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
During his summer vacation, "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley, the hero of the phenomenally successful book series, hatches a plan to pretend he has a job at a ritzy country club --- which fails to keep him away from the season's dog days, including embarrassing mishaps at a public pool and a camping trip that goes horribly wrong.

Total Recall
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel
Director: Len Wiseman
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 3rd (wide)
Based On: “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick
Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from this frustrating life --- real memories of a life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police --- controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world --- Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter to find the head of the underground resistance and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen
Director: Tony Gilroy
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: August 10th (wide)
Based On: THE BOURNE LEGACY by Eric Van Lustbader
The Bourne Legacy takes the action-packed Bourne series to an explosive new level. On the verge of having their conspiracy exposed, members of the government’s intelligence community will stop at nothing to erase all evidence of their top secret programs --- even the agents involved. Aaron Cross must use his genetically-engineered skills to survive the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse and finish what Jason Bourne started.

Cast: Vera Farmiga, David Duchovny, Keri Russell
Director: Christopher Neil
Distributor: Image Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 10th
Based On: GOATS: A Novel by Mark Jude Poirier
Fifteen-year-old Ellis is getting ready to leave his luxurious home in the foothills of Tucson for his freshman year at Gates Academy, an East Coast prep school. This means leaving behind Wendy, his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known, Goat Man.
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti
Director: David Cronenberg
Distributor: Entertainment One
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 17th (LA & NY)
Based On: COSMOPOLIS by Don DeLillo
New York City, not-too-distant-future: Eric Packer, a 28-year-old finance golden boy dreaming of living in a civilization ahead of this one, watches a dark shadow cast over the firmament of the Wall Street galaxy, of which he is the uncontested king. As he is chauffeured across midtown Manhattan to get a haircut at his father's old barber, his anxious eyes are glued to the yuan's exchange rate: it is mounting against all expectations, destroying Eric's bet against it. Eric Packer is losing his empire with every tick of the clock. Meanwhile, an eruption of wild activity unfolds in the city's streets. Petrified as the threats of the real world infringe upon his cloud of virtual convictions, his paranoia intensifies during the course of his 24-hour cross-town odyssey.
Packer starts to piece together clues that lead him to a most terrifying secret: his imminent assassination. Cronenberg revisits subjects that fascinate him: how the organic and the psychological are inextricably intertwined, society's anxieties and phobias, and letting repressed impulses and paranoia run wild. COSMOPOLIS is a culmination of his masterpieces that addresses the alarming global financial crisis of today's world.
It is a hauntingly prophetic fable that turns the future into history and suggests that the archaic might be our eerie future.
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directors: Chris Bulter, Sam Fell
Distributor: Focus Features
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: August 17th
Based On: PARANORMAN by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel and LAIKA
When a small town comes under siege by zombies, who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
Cast: Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman, Shia LaBeouf, Mia Wasikowska
Director: John Hillcoat
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 29th
LAWLESS is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic outlaw tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation's most notorious crime wave.

On TV:
Cast: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman, Adam Bartley
Network: A&E
Season 1 Premiere: June 3rd at 10:00 PM ET/PT
Based on: The Walt Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson
Widowed only a year, Longmire is a man in psychic repair that buries his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. Struggling since his wife’s death and at the urging of his daughter, Cady, Longmire knows that the time has come to turn his life around. With the help of Vic, a female deputy new to the department, he becomes reinvigorated about his job and committed to running for re-election. When Branch, an ambitious, young deputy decides to run against him for sheriff, Longmire feels betrayed but remains steadfast in his dedication to the community. Longmire often turns to close friend and confidant Henry Standing Bear for support as he sets out to rebuild both his personal and professional life, one step at a time.
“Pretty Little Liars”
Cast: Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Sasha Pieterse
Network: ABC Family
Season 3 Premiere: June 5th at 8:00PM ET/PT
Based on: Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard
Rosewood is a perfect little town. So quiet and pristine, you’d never guess it holds so many secrets. Some of the ugliest ones belong to the prettiest girls in town --- Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, four estranged friends whose darkest secrets are about to unravel.
One year ago, Alison, the Queen Bee of their group, disappeared and the girls swore they’d never tell what really happened that night. They thought their secrets would bond them together, but just the opposite is true. Then again, who’s to say what the truth is in Rosewood. It seems everyone in town is lying about something.
 Now, as the mystery surrounding Alison’s disappearance resurfaces, the girls begin getting messages from “A,” saying --- and threatening --- things only Alison would know. But it couldn’t be Alison. Could it? Whoever it is, they seem to know all the girls’ secrets, and seem to be watching their every move. The girls are friends again, but will they be there for each other if their dark secrets come to light?
“Rizzoli & Isles”
Cast: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Season 3 Premiere: June 5th at 9:00PM ET/PT
Based on: Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen
Jane Rizzoli is a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Maura Isles is a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry and strong working relationship that has helped them bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.

"True Blood"

Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgård
Network: HBO
Season 5 Premiere: June 12th at 9:00PM ET/PT
Based on: Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
Thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures "coming out of the coffin." Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out.
Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse, however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. "Cursed" with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires --- particularly when it comes to Bill Compton, a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But at the service of Bill's less virtuous vampire associates, Sookie is drawn into a series of catastrophes that will put their love to the test.

Cast: Robert Pattison, Uma Thurman, Philip Glenister, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott Thomas
Directors: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 7th
Based on: BEL AMI by Guy de Maupassant
Georges Duroy travels through 1890s Paris, from cockroach ridden garrets to opulent salons, using his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute's embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties, in a world where politics and media jostle for influence, where sex is power and celebrity an obsession.
Cast: Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Rob Riggle, Jenny Slate, Nasim Pedrad
Directors: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG                                                         
Release Date: August 7th
From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the much anticipated feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To get it, he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
Director: Gary Ross
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 18th
Based on: THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its 12 districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Cast: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau
Director: Morten Tyldum
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 28th
Based On: HEADHUNTERS by Jo Nesbø
Roger Brown is Norway's most successful headhunter. The unscrupulous Brown leads a life of excess and finances his extravagance by way of dangerous art thefts. When he meets the Dutchman Clas Greve he sees the chance to become financially independent and starts planning his biggest hit ever. But soon he runs into trouble --- and it's not financial problems that are threatening to bring him down this time.
Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson
Director: Scott Hicks
Distributor: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 28th
Based On: THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks
U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive --- a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.
Cast: Scott Speedman, Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole
Director: Mary Harron
Distributor: IFC Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 28th
Based On: THE MOTH DIARIES by Rachel Klein
Adolescence is and always will be a time of intense emotional confusion, especially if you spend it in a closed environment. That's the case with Rebecca, a young girl haunted by her father's suicide, who is a student at an exclusive female boarding school. She pours her heart out in a diary, much of it focused on Lucy, her beloved roommate. Their relationship changes drastically with the arrival of a mysterious new student, Ernessa. As Lucy abandons her for this new girl, Rebecca becomes consumed with thoughts of jealousy and suspicion --- Ernessa is dangerous, evil, a vampire. Is there any truth to all this or is Rebecca slipping into insanity?
Cast: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Martin Freeman (voices)
Director: Peter Lord
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: August 28th
Based On: The first two books in Gideon Defoe’s The Pirates!series
In The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain --- a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist, but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! 
Cast: Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Romany Malco, Jerry Ferrara, Taraji P. Henson, Gary Owen, Meagan Good,  Terrence J, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Jenifer Lewis, Chris Brown
Director: Tim Story
Distributor: Screen Gems
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 28th
Based on Steve Harvey's bestselling book, Think Like a Man follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey's book and start taking his advice to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book's insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.