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May 2012

Books on Screen

May 2012

The “merry month of May” is about to get even merrier! Some long-awaited films are hitting the big screen, so if you need a break from all the sunshine (or the April showers leaking into May!), there are some great upcoming movies --- as well as TV shows --- to keep you entertained.

One of the most anticipated releases of the year, The Avengers, is now in theaters. The film features iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow, who must come to the rescue when a global emergency threatens the human race.
In What to Expect When You’re Expecting, inspired by the classic “pregnancy bible,” five couples’ lives are intertwined when they all find out that, one way or another, they are about to become parents. But eventually they learn that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected.
In a different stage of life, a lively group of British retirees decide to “outsource” their retirement to India in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Thinking they are going to a palace for a luxurious stay, they arrive to find that the “palace” is not what it once was. But their shared experiences and discoveries will give them new hope, love and happiness.
On the small screen, a special movie event called Hemingway & Gellhorn comes to HBO on May 28th. The film recounts one of the greatest romances of the last century --- the love affair and turbulent marriage of Ernest Hemingway and the beautiful war correspondent Martha Gellhorn.
Meanwhile, "Game of Thrones" and "The Firm" continue their respective seasons; "Castle" wraps up season four; "GCB" closes the book on its first season; and Albert Nobbs, The Grey, Norwegian Wood, One for the Money, The Secret World of Arrietty, The Vow, We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Woman in Black are all out on DVD this month.
In Theaters:
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Joss Whedon
Distributor: Walt Disney
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: May 4th (wide)
Based on: Marvel comic series by Stan Lee
Marvel Studios presents Marvel's The Avengers --- the Super Hero team of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the work back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
Marvel's The Avengers is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.
Cast: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith
Director: John Madden
Distributor: Fox Searchlight        
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: May 4th (limited)
Based on: THESE FOOLISH THINGS by Deborah Moggach
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker
Director: Kirk Jones
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: May 18th (wide)
Based on: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.
Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules and dance show star Evan find that their high-octane celebrity lives don’t stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy gets a taste of her own militant mommy advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body; while Wendy’s husband, Gary, struggles not to be outdone by his competitive alpha-Dad, who’s expecting twins with his much younger trophy wife, Skyler.  Photographer Holly is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband Alex isn’t so sure, and tries to quiet his panic by attending a “dudes” support group, where new fathers get to tell it like it really is. And rival food truck chefs Rosie and Marco’s surprise hook-up results in an unexpected quandary: what to do when your first child comes before your first date?
On TV:
Cast: Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman
Director: Philip Kaufman
Network: HBO
Air Date: Monday, May 28th at 9PM ET
Hemingway and Gellhorn recounts one of the greatest romances of the last century --- the passionate love affair and tumultuous marriage of literary master Ernest Hemingway and the beautiful, trailblazing war correspondent Martha Gellhorn --- as it follows the adventurous writers through the Spanish Civil War and beyond. As witnesses to history, they covered all the great conflicts of their time; but the war they couldn’t survive was the war between themselves.
Cast: Leslie Bibb, Mark Deklin, Kristen Chenoweth, Miriam Shor, Annie Potts, Marisol Nichols
Network: ABC
Air Dates: Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT
Season One Finale: May 6th
Based On: GOOD CHRISTIAN B*TCHES by Kim Gatlin
"GCB" is a funny, sassy and heartwarming drama that begs the question: Can you go back home to a place where no one seems to have grown up?
When former mean girl Amanda Vaughn moves back to Dallas 18 years after high school, former unpopular teen-turned-diva-of-Dallas Carlene Cockburn gets a major dose of PTSD. To top it off, Amanda’s living across the street from the Cockburns with her feisty mother Gigi Stopper! Amanda has changed for the morally, better but Carlene and her other victims --- the GCBs --- have their doubts. The GCBs now rule the school that is Dallas society and are about to settle the score with Amanda Vaughn.

The other fabulous GCBs include the shrewd, distinguished CEO Cricket; the endearing, consummate housewife and mother, Sharon; and the self-made, always-single-but-on-the-prowl Heather.   

Behind every great GCB (except Heather, of course), is a great husband, which includes Carlene’s Ripp, a devoted hunk with a secret or two; Cricket’s Blake, her gorgeously fabulous better half; and Sharon’s Zack, a good-time guy and former pro athlete.

Cast: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Penny Johnson Jerald
Network: ABC
Air Dates: Mondays at 10:00 pm ET/PT
Season Four Finale: May 7th
Based On: The career of author Richard Castle (current bestseller: HEAT RISES
Castle is a one-hour witty drama based on a famous mystery novelist who helps the NYPD homicide department solve crimes.
Richard “Rick” Castle is a bestselling mystery author who was investigated by the New York City police department when the victim of a murder matched the description of a victim in one of his novels. At the time, Castle was suffering writer’s block, having just killed off the main character, Derrick Storm, in his successful series of novels. During the investigation, Castle is inspired by his run-in with the beautiful Detective Kate Beckett, and through his connections with the Mayor, he gets permission to hang out as a consultant at the precinct to do research for his book.
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 pm ET
Season Two Finale: June 3rd
Based On: A CLASH OF KINGS: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2 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: Josh Lucas, Molly Parker, Natasha Calis, Callum Keith Rennie, Juliette Lewis, Tricia Helfer, Shaun Majumder
Network: NBC
Air Dates: Saturdays at 9:00 pm ET/PT
Season One Finale: June 23rd
Based On: THE FIRM by John Grisham
Based on the blockbuster feature film and bestselling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (THE PELICAN BRIEF, THE CLIENT), "The Firm" continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob --- and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future --- only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange
Director: Michael Sucsy
Distributor: Sony Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: May 8th
Based on: THE VOW: The True Events that Inspired the Movie by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, with Dana Wilkerson
A newlywed couple recovers from a car accident that puts the wife in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, her husband endeavors to win her heart again.
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker, Pauline Collins
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 15th
Based On: ALBERT NOBBS: A Novella by George Moore
Award-winning actress Glenn Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th-century Ireland. Some 30 years after donning men's clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making.
Cast: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale
Director: Joe Carnahan
Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 15th
Based On: The short story “Ghost Walker” by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
A group of oil-rig roughnecks are left stranded on the sub-arctic tundra after their plane experiences a complete mechanical failure and crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. The survivors, battling mortal injuries, biting cold and ravenous hunger, are relentlessly hunted and pursued by a vicious pack of rogue wolves.
Cast: Kenichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara, Reika Kirishima, Kengo Kora, Eriko Hatsune, Tetsuji Tamayama
Director: Tran Anh Hung
Distributor: Curious Films
MPAA Rating: Not rated
DVD Release Date: May 15th
Based On: NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami 
Tokyo, the late 1960s... Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment, and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not --- outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident --- marches into his life, and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future.
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: May 15th
Based On: ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich
A proud, born-and-bred Jersey girl, Stephanie Plum's got plenty of attitude, even if she's been out of work for the last six months and just lost her car to a debt collector. Desperate for some fast cash, Stephanie turns to her last resort: convincing her sleazy cousin to give her a job at his bail bonding a recovery agent. True, she doesn't even own a pair of handcuffs and her weapon of choice is pepper spray, but that doesn't stop Stephanie from taking on Vinny's biggest bail-jumper: former vice cop and murder suspect Joe Morelli --- yup, the same sexy, irresistible Joe Morelli who seduced and dumped her back in high school.
Nabbing Morelli would be satisfying payback --- and a hefty payday --- but as Stephanie learns the ins and outs of becoming a recovery agent from Ranger, a hunky colleague who's the best in the business, she also realizes the case against Morelli isn't airtight. Add to the mix her meddling family, a potentially homicidal boxer, witnesses who keep dying and the problem of all those flying sparks when she finds Morelli himself...well, suddenly Stephanie's new job isn't nearly as easy as she thought.
Voice Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, Moises Arias
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: May 22nd
Based on: THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton
Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all. From the legendary Studio Ghibli comes The Secret World of Arrietty, an animated adventure based on Mary Norton's acclaimed children's book series The Borrowers.
Arrietty, a tiny but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper. Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to "borrow" scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn, a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty's family from the home and straight into danger.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer
Director: James Watkins
Distributor: CBS Films
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: May 22nd
Based on: THE WOMAN IN BLACK by Susan Hill
Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric. But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret. Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost… and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 29th
Based on: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver
A tormented mother grapples with feelings of accountability and intense grief after her troubled 15-year-old son commits an act of violence that shakes their community to its very core. Eva had a promising career when an unplanned pregnancy threw her life off-balance, though she selflessly put her own ambitions aside to give her son, Kevin, a good life. From the moment Kevin was born, there was a palpable tension between mother and son. Years later, as a teenager, Kevin snaps. As the community recoils from Kevin and his family, Eva begins to question whether or not she ever really loved her son in the first place.