Skip to main content

September 2013

Books on Screen

September 2013

Love fall blockbusters or hate 'em, September is an exciting month in theaters and on small screens. It's a great time for the more under-the-radar films --- we're cooling down from all the summer action, and awards season competition hasn't heated up quite yet. And TV is back in a big way, with the premieres of two new shows and the series finale of a much-loved (and soon-to-be-missed) drama. With all that's going on, you will NOT want to miss these books on screen!

In theaters now is Salinger, an unprecedented look inside the private world of the reclusive author of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. The film is directed by Shane Salerno, who is the co-author (along with David Shields) of the just-released SALINGER, a definitive biography based on eight years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews with more than 200 people.

Meanwhile, Robert De Niro returns to what he does best --- playing an ex-mafia boss who accidentally snitches on the mob and learns that old habits die harder than a 400-pound bookie --- in The Family. Heartthrobs Zac Efron and Tom Welling get serious in Parkland, a tense drama about the events that occurred at the Dallas Parkland Hospital on the day that JFK was shot. And last but never, ever least is James Franco's notorious film adaptation of the Faulkner classic AS I LAY DYING. Only time will tell if Franco can really do it all, but in the meantime, this movie is a must-see!

On TV, we say a final goodbye to "Dexter," which wraps up eight bloody good seasons on Showtime, but say hello to FOX's much-hyped "Sleepy Hollow," a futuristic reimagining of Washington Irving's haunting tale of the Headless Horseman. Plus, Showtime delivers a Kinsey-esque drama, "Masters of Sex," that chronicles the lives of pioneering scientists William Masters and Virginia Johnson --- including their work, romance and rise to fame.

If you missed it in theaters this summer, World War Z will be available on DVD mid-month. The zombies may have less impact on a smaller screen, but Brad Pitt is still welcome in my home. And, of course, there is Room 237, a documentary about/the deconstruction of/an homage to Stanley Kubrick's film version of the terrifying Stephen King thriller. You'd be crazy to miss it, because everyone knows that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
 


 

In Theaters:

Salinger
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, A. Scott Berg, Elizabeth Frank
Director: Shane Salerno
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 6th (wide)
Released in conjunction with: SALINGER by David Shields and Shane Salerno

Salinger features interviews with 150 subjects including Salinger's friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Additionally, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, and Pulitzer Prize winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger's influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture. The film is the first work to get beyond the CATCHER IN THE RYE author’s meticulously built up wall: his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages, private world, and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010.

 

The Family
Cast: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron
Director: Luc Besson
Distributor: Relativity Media Distribution Group
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 13th (wide)
Based On: MALAVITA by Tonino Benacquista
 
A mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Agent Stansfield to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni, his wife Maggie and their children Belle and Warren can't help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the "family" way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down.

 

Parkland
Cast: James Badge Dale, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Ron Livingston
Director: Peter Landesman
Distributor: Exclusive Media Group
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 20th (limited)
Based On: FOUR DAYS IN NOVEMBER: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi

Recounting the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, Parkland weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital, Dallas’ chief of the Secret Service, an unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most watched and examined film in history; the FBI agents who nearly had the gunman within their grasp, the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald --- left to deal with his shattered family, and JFK’s security team --- witnesses to both the president’s death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s rise to power over a nation whose innocence was forever altered.

 

A Single Shot
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, William H. Macy, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs
Director: David M. Rosenthal
Distributor: Tribeca Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 20th (limited)
Based On: A SINGLE SHOT by Matthew F. Jones

A single shot, aimed at a lone deer, hits and kills a young woman. The hunter, John Moon, watches her die before discovering a box of money near her body. In a panic, he takes the cash --- hiring a low-rent lawyer to fight his wife's divorce suit --- and attempts to cover up the killing. But when he discovers that the money belonged to a group of hardened criminals, the hunter becomes the hunted in this tense cat-and-mouse struggle in the backwoods of West Virginia.

 

As I Lay Dying
Cast: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride, Ahna O'Reilly
Director: James Franco
Distributor: Millennium Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 27th (limited)
Based On: AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

The Bundren family of the rural South tries to honor their late mother Addie's wish to be buried in her birthplace. They spend nine days hauling her coffin in a mule-drawn wagon, battling numerous obstacles and personal demons along the way.

 

Baggage Claim
Cast: Paula Patton, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Djimon Hounsou
Director: David E. Talbert
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 27th (limited)
Based On: BAGGAGE CLAIM by David E. Talbert

Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister's wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right. Using her airline connections to "accidentally" meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.

 

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal
Directors: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: September 27th (wide)
Based On: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS by Judi Barrett

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picks up where Sony Pictures Animation's mouth-watering comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention --- a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now creating food-animals --- 'foodimals!' Flint and his friends embark on a dangerously delicious mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world --- again!

 


 

On TV:

“Sleepy Hollow”
Cast: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones
Network: FOX
Series Premiere: Monday, September 16th at 9:00pm ET/PT
Based On: THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW AND OTHER STORIES by Washington Irving

Ichabod Crane, the character from Washington Irving’s famed short story on which “Sleepy Hollow” is based, “dies” during a mission for General George Washington. But after his death, Crane (along with the Headless Horseman) travels in time from the year 1706 to 2040. The Horseman begins his nightly killing spree, but soon learns how to incorporate modern weaponry and becomes a threat not only to the village of Sleepy Hollow, but possibly to the whole world. With the help of newly appointed sheriff Abbie Mills, Crane must stop the Headless Horseman from endangering mankind and also adjust to the modern time period.

 

“Masters of Sex”
Cast: Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan
Network: Showtime
Series Premiere: Sunday, September 29th at 10:00PM ET/PT
Based On: MASTERS OF SEX: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson by Thomas Maier

"Masters of Sex" stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Their research touched off the sexual revolution and took them from a midwestern teaching hospital to the cover of Time magazine and multiple appearances on Johnny Carson's couch. He is a brilliant scientist out of touch with his own feelings, and she is a single working mother ahead of her time. The series chronicles their unusual lives, romance, and unlikely pop culture trajectory.

 

Dear Dumb Diary
Cast: Emily Alyn Lind, Mary-Charles Jones, Laura Bell Bundy, David Mazouz, Sterling Griffith
Network: Hallmark Channel
Air Date: Friday, September 6th at 8:00pm ET/PT
Based On: Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton

Jamie marches to the beat of her own music video. As an artistic and energetic glitter-loving diva in the making, the 11-year-old’s vivid daydreams about how life should be are often played out as full-blown musical productions. In her mind, Hudson Rivers, the eighth cutest boy in Mackerel Middle School, returns her affections and Angeline, the prettiest and most popular girl in school, and other perfect people like her, are banished so that average folk get their due. Real life, however, is somewhat different and, as a result, Jamie pours out her innermost thoughts in her cherished diary and shares some of her feelings with her beloved Aunt Carol as well as her shrewd best friend Isabella, who may not be the best influence on her.

 

"Dexter"
Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Velez
Network: Showtime
Series Finale: Sunday, September 22nd 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.

 

"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
Season 1 Finale: Monday, September 16th 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.

 

“Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove”
Cast: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Teryl Rothery, Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, Brennan Elliott, Sarah Smyth, Paula Shaw
Network: Hallmark Channel
Season 1 Finale: Saturday, September 28th at 8pm ET
Based On: Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber

In "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove," Andie MacDowell plays Judge Olivia Lockhart, whose Cedar Cove Municipal Court is the professional milieu and social microcosm of issues the judge will face in her own day-to-day life with family and friends. Jack Griffith, the editor of the Cedar Cove Chronicle, is a new friend and potential love interest for Judge Lockhart.

In the series premiere, Judge Lockhart is overjoyed to hear that her name is being put forth for appointment to a Federal judgeship in Seattle by her longtime friend, Senator Pete Albertson. Olivia asks that her family keep the news a secret. In the meantime, Jack Griffith, desperate for a meaningful news story, corners Olivia’s mother who inadvertently tells the editor about everything in her daughter’s life --- including the possible appointment.
 
Suddenly, Olivia (much to her chagrin) is front page news. How will her family, and the rest of the town, react to the potential changes in Olivia's life?

The Hallmark Channel original movie Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Christmas will air immediately following the first season finale. The story will continue from the season conclusion and will be presented in a beautiful holiday setting among the majestic small town of Cedar Cove.

 

"Rizzoli & Isles"
Cast: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Season 4 Finale: Tuesday, September 10th 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.

 

“The White Queen”
Cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Max Irons, Janet McTeer, James Frain, Amanda Hale, Faye Marsay, Aneurin Barnard, David Oakes, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ben Lamb, Tom McKay
Network: STARZ
Air Dates: Saturdays at 9 PM ET/PT
Based On: The Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory

“The White Queen” is a riveting portrayal of one of the most dramatic and turbulent times in English history. A story of love and lust, seduction and deception, betrayal and murder, it is uniquely told through the perspective of three different, yet equally relentless women --- Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. In their quest for power, they will scheme, manipulate and seduce their way onto the English throne.

The year is 1464, before the Tudor dynasty ruled the country, and war has been ravaging throughout England over who is the rightful King. It is a bitter dispute between two sides of the same family, The House of York and The House of Lancaster.

The House of York's young and handsome Edward IV is crowned King of England with the help of the master manipulator, Lord Warwick "The Kingmaker." But when Edward falls in love with a beautiful Lancastrian commoner, Elizabeth Woodville, Warwick's plan to control the throne comes crashing down.

A violent, high-stakes struggle ensues between Elizabeth, her most fierce adversary, Lancastrian Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville, the pawn in her father's power game --- each woman vying for the crown. 
 


 

On DVD:

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
DVD Release Date: September 17th
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.

 

Iron Man 3
Cast: Robert Downey Jr,, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
Director: Shane Black
Distributor: Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: September 24th
Based On: IRON MAN: EXTREMIS by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov

Marvel's Iron Man 3 pits brash but brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

 

Room 237
Director: Rodney Ascher
Distributor: IFC Films
MPAA Rating: Not rated
DVD Release Date: September 24th
Based On: THE SHINING by Stephen King

In the 30 years since The Shining's film release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.