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June 2013

Books on Screen

June 2013

With summer blossoming before us, now is the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the wonderful movies, TV shows and DVDs that will be coming your way in June. World War Z starring Brad Pitt is a must-see, and the book on which it is based is a hot and enticing read. Meanwhile, Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's feature film, Much Ado About Nothing. Perhaps Man of Steel will be enough entertainment this month, but so could the classic comics that serve as the movie’s inspiration.

If you’re ready for some chills and thrills, dim your lights and settle in for “Under the Dome,” the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s haunting novel. Also on the small screen, keep your eyes out for the sixth season of “True Blood,” which kicks off June 16th on HBO, and the inaugural season of TNT’s “King & Maxwell,” which is based on David Baldacci’s series of thrillers.

And let’s not forget all the DVDs releasing in June. Warm Bodies, A Good Day to Die Hard, Oz the Great and Powerful and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters all can be enjoyed from the comfort of your air-conditioned home this summer.


In Theaters:

As Cool As I Am
Cast:  Claire Danes, James Marsden, Sarah Bolger
Director: Max Mayer
Distributor: Radiant Films International
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: June 7th (wide)
Based On: AS COOL AS I AM by Pete Fromm

Lucy is dreaming of a bigger life while dealing with her parents' disintegrating marriage. Struggling with her own relationships, Lucy not only confides in her best friend Kenny, but relies on him for emotional and physical support as she moves toward her own hopes and dreams.


Dirty Wars
Director: Rick Rowley
Distributor: Sundance Selects
MPAA Rating: NR
Release Date: June 7th (limited)
Based On: DIRTY WARS: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

Dirty Wars follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, author of the international bestseller BLACKWATER, into the heart of America’s covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond.

What begins as a report into a U.S. night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly turns into a global investigation of the secretive and powerful Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of JSOC, he is pulled into a world of covert operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. In military jargon, JSOC teams “find, fix, and finish” their targets, who are selected through a secret process. No target is off limits for the “kill list,” including U.S. citizens.

Drawn into the stories and lives of the people he meets along the way, Scahill is forced to confront the painful consequences of a war spinning out of control, as well as his own role as a journalist.


Much Ado About Nothing
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz
Director: Joss Whedon
Distributor: Lionsgate Films
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: June 7th (limited)
Based On: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare

Leonato, the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro, who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John. Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick and Claudio. While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice,  the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage.

In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade and Borachio, plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins.


Cast: Amber Heard, Shiloh Fernandez, Kellan Lutz, Brittany Snow
Director: Aram Rappaport
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: June 7th (limited)
Based On: SYRUP by Max Berry

Fresh out of school with a degree in marketing, Scat will do anything to prove that he has what it takes to swim with the rich and wildly successful. Scat comes up with a brilliant new product that gives new meaning to the old saying “sex sells.” He is sure it will send him right to the top…if only he can convince his boss, the beautiful and mysterious “6,” that it's an idea worth millions. Betrayed by his best friend “Sneaky Pete,” Scat stumbles through an industry riddled with deception. As he begins to realize that fame and fortune have cost him his morality, he must rediscover his true self behind the elaborate image he has created or risk losing the love of his life.


Tiger Eyes 
Cast: Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Cynthia Stevenson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Russell Means
Director: Lawrence Blume
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: June 7th (wide)
Based On: TIGER EYES by Judy Blume

Forced to move by her depressed mother, young Davey finds herself in “atom bomb” New Mexico. Davey now finds that she is lost and alone in a place where no one looks or acts like her --- let alone understands the turmoil she is experiencing. But when she meets a mysterious Native-American “Wolf” played by Tatanka Means everything changes for Davey. Their intense relationship pushes Davey to take on what will be the greatest adventure of her life.


The Lesser Blessed
Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Kiowa Gordon, Joel Nathan Evans, Tamara Podemski
Director: Anita Doran
Distributor: Monterey Media
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: June 13th (limited)
Based On: THE LESSER BLESSED by Richard Van Camp

Premiered to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and based on the celebrated novel by Richard Van Camp, The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is like to be a vulnerable teenager in today’s modern world. Through the eyes of Larry Sole, a First Nation teenager filled with bravado and angst, fragile and yet angry, seeking clarity clouded by confusion, seeking to belong without belonging, comes the story of three unlikely friends isolated in a small rural town discovering what they can of life and love amid racial tensions and the recklessness of youth, in a world clouded by a dark mystery from his past.


The Bling Ring
Cast: Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Claire Julien, Emma Watson
Director: Sofia Coppola
Distributor: A24
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: June 14th (limited)
Based On: The Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins” and THE BLING RING: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World  by Nancy Jo Sales

In the fame-obsessed world of Los Angeles, a group of teenagers take us on a thrilling and disturbing crime-spree in the Hollywood hills. Based on true events, the group, who were fixated on the glamorous life, tracked their celebrity targets online, and stole more than 3 million in luxury goods from their homes. Their victims included Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Rachel Bilson, and the gang became known in the media as "The Bling Ring."


Man of Steel
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe
Director: Zack Snyder
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: June 14th (wide)
Based On: Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.


World War Z
Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, David Morse
Director: Marc Forster
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: June 21st (wide)
Based On: WORLD WAR Z:  An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the globe in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.


Cast: Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen, Francois Arnaud,  Peter Fonda
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Distributor: Swordspoint Productions
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: June 28th (limited)
Based On: THE COPPERHEAD by Harold Frederic

Copperhead is unlike any Civil War movie to date. It is a film of the war at home --- of a family ripped apart by war, of fathers set against sons and daughters, of a community driven to an appalling act of vengeance against a man who insists on exercising his right to free speech during wartime. A story of the violent passions and burning feuds that set ablaze the home front during the Civil War, Copperhead the Movie is also a timeless and deeply moving examination of the price of dissent, the place of the individual amidst the hysteria of wartime, and the terrible price of war --- a cost measured not in dollars but in fractured families, broken loves, and men dead before their time.

On TV:

"Under the Dome"
Cast: Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris, Natalie Martinez, Britt Robertson, Alexander Koch, Colin Ford, Nicholas Strong, Jolene Purdy, Aisha Hinds
Network: CBS
Series Premiere: Monday, June 24th at 10pm ET
Based On: UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King

"Under the Dome" is based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel about a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by a massive transparent dome.


"King & Maxwell"
Cast: Jon Tenney, Rebecca Romijin, Ryan Hurst, Michael O'Keefe, Chris Butler
Network: TNT
Series Premiere: Sunday, June 9th at 10pm ET
Based On:  The King and Maxwell series by David Baldacci

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell aren’t your typical private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skills --- not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry --- give them a leg up on conventional law enforcement. Maxwell is a former elite athlete who uses her brains, beauty and Beltway connections to solve cases. King's career in the Secret Service ended when the presidential candidate he was assigned to protect was assassinated, sending him on a downward spiral. Today, King has added a law degree to his arsenal of skills, allowing him to navigate the system in ways a typical private investigator never could. Along the way, King and Maxwell clash over everything, from her garbage-strewn car to his love of wine over beer.


Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Velez
Network: Showtime
Season 8 Premiere: Sunday, June 30th at 9:00pm ET
Based On: Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

He's smart, he's good looking, and he's got a great sense of humor. He's Dexter Morgan, everyone's favorite serial killer. As a Miami forensics expert, he spends his days solving crimes, and nights committing them. But Dexter lives by a strict code of honor that is both his saving grace and lifelong burden. Torn between his deadly compulsion and his desire for true happiness, Dexter is a man in profound conflict with the world and himself.


"True Blood"
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
Network: HBO
Season 6 Premiere: June 16th at 9:00pm ET
Based On: The Southern Vampire Mysteries 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.


"Rizzoli & Isles"
Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Season 4 Premiere: Tuesday, June 25th at 9:00pm ET
Based On: Rizzoli and 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.


"Pretty Little Liars"
Cast: Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell
Network: ABC Family
Season 4 Premiere: Tuesday, June 11th at 8:00pm ET
Based On: The 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?


"Game of Thrones"
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Harry Lloyd
Network: HBO
Air Dates: Sundays at 9:00pm ET
Based On: A STORM OF SWORDS: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 by George R.R. Martin

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men...all will play the "Game of Thrones."


Cast: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman. Adam Bartley
Network: A&E
Air Dates: Mondays at 10:00pm ET
Based On: Walt Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson

Walt's reign as Sheriff hangs in the balance as he fights for re-election against rival, and his own deputy, Branch Connally. Walt's right hand deputy, Vic Moretti is visited by the ghost of a past she'd rather forget. Walt's daughter Cady searches for answers about her mother's murder, while Walt's possible connection to the death of his wife's killer threatens to sweep his loyal friend Henry Standing Bear into the mix. As the open skies darken and the winds kick up, Walt and his deputies plunge head first into the storm... confronting the question: how will each react when it hits?

In the season premiere episode of "Longmire," a prison transfer goes awry and Walt urgently pursues a serial killer and his fellow escapees, who have taken hostages, up a mountain. Facing an impending storm with very limited resources, Walt's mettle is put to the test and hypothermic hallucinations force him to face his past.



A Good Day to Die Hard
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir
Director: John Moore
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 4th
Based On: NOTHING LASTS FOREVER by Roderick Thorp

Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane for the first time finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack --- unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes.


Warm Bodies
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich
Director: Jonathan Levine
Distributor: Summit Entertainment, LLC
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 4th
Based On: WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion

After a zombie epidemic leaves almost everyone a mindlessly stumbling, brainless body, Julie, a human survivor, meets R. R isn’t like all of the other zombies. He saves Julie from a zombie attack and seems to become more human the more time he spends with her. Can they transform the other zombies?


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 11th
Based On: "Hansel and Gretel" by The Brothers Grimm

After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel and Gretel have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches...their past.


Oz: The Great and Powerful
Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff
Director: Sam Raimi
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: June 11th

When Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot --- fame and fortune are his for the taking --- that is until he meets three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity --- and even a bit of wizardry --- Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.