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September 2012

Books on Screen

September 2012

The official end of summer is nearing, and these early days of fall will be perfect for some futuristic crime-fighting and a dash of family drama. While you’re wishing for those warmer days to stay a little bit longer, be sure you check out these releases on both the big and small screens.

Get ready to go back to high school as author Stephen Chbosky brings his coming-of-age story to life in the highly-anticipated The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Originally told through letters, Charlie recaps his freshman year of high school as he tries to escape his introverted world and the friends who helped him do it.

We shift over to Centennial Park, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, for The Eye of the Storm,  based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Patrick White. Two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. But in dying, as in living, Mrs. Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her.

Those looking for more action and adventure in their movies should check out Dredd, a 3D sci-fi film inspired by the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd. Judge Dredd is a law enforcer given the power of judge, jury and executioner in the vast dystopian metropolis of Mega City One, which lies within a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He must bring order to a feared 200-story slum and its resident drug lord, Ma-Ma.

On the small screen, “Dexter” begins its seventh season on Showtime, while CBS offers a contemporary update of Sherlock Holmes’ detective stories in “Elementary.”

PBS is busy this month with “Wallander III,” three gripping new Kurt Wallander cases based on the character created by Henning Mankell; Death and the Civil War, Ric Burns’ adaptation of the groundbreaking book THIS REPUBLIC IS SUFFERING by Drew Gilpin Faust; and the US premiere of the runaway British hit “Call the Midwife,” a six-part series based on a bestselling trilogy by the late Jennifer Worth.

Those who missed A&E’s “Coma,” based on Robin Cook’s 1977 medical thriller of the same name, can view the entire four-hour miniseries online here.

And last but certainly not least are the movies releasing on DVD this month: The Avengers, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Snow White and the Huntsman, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Woman in the Fifth.

In Theaters:

The Eye of the Storm

Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis
Director: Fred Schepisi
Distributor: Sycamore Entertainment
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: September 7th (wide)
Based On: THE EYE OF THE STORM by Patrick White

Elizabeth Hunter has had a strong hold on those around her for her entire life.  She is no different on her deathbed, and the fact that she is on her deathbed is what brings her son, her daughter, a solicitor, two nurses and a solicitor to her side in her home in Sydney, Australia. 

Based on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize winning novel and starring talents such as Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davies, The Eye of the Storm is bound to make you consider the humor, disaster, and undercurrents of love and hate that define family life.

Cast: Logan Lerman, Nina Dobrev, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 14th (wide)
Based On: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
A funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the beloved best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope --- and the unforgettable friends that help us through life.

Dredd 3D
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thrilby, Lena Headey
Director: Pete Travis
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 21st (wide)
Based On: Judge Dredd comics originally by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra

In America’s future, the landscape has shifted to an irradiated wasteland with only one city on the east coast --- a metropolis that stretches from modern day Boston to Washington, D.C. --- known as Mega City One. This huge city is overrun by violent criminals and a new drug called “Slo-Mo” that allows users to experience life at a much slower pace. Enforcers entitled “Judges” patrol this city with the powers of judge, jury and executioner in an attempt to stop the crime.  The most feared of these Judges is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban). Dredd is in the process of training a rookie, Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thrilby) with extreme psychic abilities when he is called out to a slum controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a former prostitute turned drug lord.  In this slum, Dredd and Anderson must stick together to fight for their lives.

On TV:
Cast: Lauren Ambrose, Steven Pasquale, Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss
Network: A&E
Air Dates: September 3rd and 4th
Based On: COMA by Robin Cook

A healthy patient suddenly falls into a coma. It’s not an impossible event, but it is rare. So why does it keep happening at Peachtree Memorial?

Lauren Ambrose stars as Dr. Susan Wheeler in this thriller about a medical student who discovers that something sinister is going on in her hospital after routine procedures send more than a few seemingly healthy patients into comas on the operating table.

This modern retelling of the novel by Robin Cook and the film by Michael Crichton comes from executive producers Ridley and Tony Scott, Black Swan writer John J. McLaughlin, and Band of Brothers director/Emmy winner Mikail Salomon. The two-night event features a stellar cast including Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, James Woods, Geena Davis, and Steven Pasquale.

“Wallander III”
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Jeany Spark, and Ingeborga Dapkunaite
Network: PBS
Air Dates: September 9th, 16th and 23rd at 9pm ET
Based On: Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell

Soul-searching Inspector Wallander is again tested by horrifying crimes and his own inner demons in these three episodes. 

Death and the Civil War
Cast: Oliver Platt
Network: PBS
Air Date: September 18th at 8/7c
Based On: THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING by Drew Gilpin Faust

This two hour movie event gives the viewer an in depth look into the American Civil War, the American psyche throughout the war and the mammoth task of handling all the bodies of the deceased. 

 “Call the Midwife”
Cast: Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, and Laura Main
Network: PBS
Air Date: September 30th at 8pm ET
Based On: Call the Midwife series by Jennifer Worth

Jenny Lee, a young nurse in 1950s London, arrives at Nonnatus House to live and work as a midwife alongside of the Sisters of St. Raymond Nonnatus.


Cast: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas
Network: Showtime
Air Date: September 30th at 9pm ET
Based On: Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay
He's smart. He's lovable. He's Dexter Morgan, America's favorite serial killer, who spends his days solving crimes and nights committing them.
Cast: Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller
Network: CBS
Air Dates: Thursdays at 10pm ET
Based On: The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes, the iconic detective is taking on New York. Just out of rehab, he's been assigned to live with his worst nightmare-sober coach, Dr. Joan Watson. Holmes's unsurpassed skills of deduction and Watson's medical expertise come together to create a dream team for solving the NYPD's most impossible cases.

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin
Director: Rupert Sanders
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 11th
Based on: SNOW WHITE by the Brothers Grimm  
The enchanting Snow White joins forces with the fierce Huntsman, who was recruited by the diabolical Queen to kill the fair beauty, and together they fight to rid their kingdom of evil in this bold new take on the fairy-tale classic from commercial director Rupert Sanders. Obsessed with being the fairest woman in the land, the Queen learns that Snow White will soon surpass her in beauty, and seeks to achieve immortality by consuming the young girl's heart. But the Huntsman is the only one capable of braving the dark forest to seek out Snow White. Threatened with death should he refuse to follow his order, the Huntsman finds Snow White, and begins training her for the arduous battle ahead. Meanwhile, a handsome prince falls hopelessly under Snow White's spell.
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker
Director: Kirk Jones
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 11th
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?
Cast: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith
Director: John Madden
Distributor: Fox Searchlight        
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 18th
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: Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Kulig
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Distributor: ATO Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 18th
Based on: THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH by Douglas Kennedy  
American writer Tom Ricks arrives in Paris to be closer to his young daughter who is living with his estranged ex-wife. Completely broke, he accepts a job as a night guard for a local crime boss. Stationed in a basement office, his only task is to push a button when a bell rings. The tranquility of the night, he hopes, will help him focus on his new novel.
His days become more exciting when he starts a romance with Margit, a mysterious and elegant widow who sets strange rules to their meetings: she will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement, at 5 pm sharp, twice a week and he should ask no questions about her work or her past life.
When people suddenly start dying around Tom, he begins to believe that a dark force has entered his life, punishing anyone who has recently done him wrong. After the police accuse him of murdering his neighbor, Tom tries to use his weekly visits to Margit’s apartment as an alibi, only to find out that she hasn’t lived at this address for the past 15 years.
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: September 25th
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.