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October 2015

Books on Screen

October 2015

Welcome to our Pumpkin Spice™ edition of Books on Screen! You didn’t think we’d miss out on October’s bestselling rebrand, did you? This month, we’ll be evaluating the top books on screen based on their Pumpkin Spice Rating (PSR), which is just as silly and delicious as it sounds! Toss your regular old latte, because we’re about to go full fall!

He Named Me Malala: Some of the Bookreporter staffers went to a screening of Malala and were blown away by the teen activist’s powerful message. Surprisingly, some of the most engrossing parts were the fascinating history of Pakistan’s lush Swat Valley, the area Malala grew up in. You’ll be moved by the interviews with the Yousafzai family, now in exile in England, as they rally together in support of Malala’s cause.
PSR: Four pumpkins (girls’ education is our jam) and some spice (Malala can throw down with the best of ‘em)

The Martian: It seems Matt Damon did not learn his lesson from Interstellar; he’s stuck in space once again, although this time it seems he’s handling it with a bit more humor. The movie, based on the Andy Weir sci-fi novel of the same name, has been getting rave reviews, and marks Ridley Scott’s triumphant return to space.
PSR: Three pumpkins (we love a feel-good stuck-in-space movie as much as the next guy) and a dash of spice (Matt Damon is doing some Brady-level press tour fumbling

Room: Here’s another one we were lucky enough to see at an early screening. Whether or not you’ve read the monster hit Emma Donoghue book (and, let’s face it, you probably have), this movie is a stunner from start to finish. Brie Larson gives a moving performance as the increasingly desperate Ma, but it’s Jacob Tremblay who steals the show as five-year-old Jack, the precocious little boy whose whole universe is contained in an 11x11 foot room.
PSR: Five pumpkins (I couldn’t stop crying) and a pinch of spice (there was something in my eye, I swear)

Steve Jobs: Danny Boyle directing a movie scripted by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender based on the Walter Isaacson book about complicated Apple CEO Steve Jobs? Sure. Whether or not you thought we needed another movie about Jobs, this latest biopic is can’t-miss theater fare. Fassbender succeeds where others have failed, and the film effectively captures the wily man who basically created the world as we know it.
PSR: Three pumpkins (we’ll be walking and talking about this one for a long time to come) and some freshly ground spice (Fassbender knows how to wear a turtleneck)

Beasts of No Nation: Director Cary Fukunaga is the anti-pumpkin spice, and everything he does is perfect.

“The Leftovers”: It seems that Damon Lindelof and co. heard your critiques about the dismal, sullenly opaque first season of the show adapted from Tom Perrotta’s book. Season two takes us to Jarden, TX, a small town dubbed “Miracle” because it experienced zero departures. The new season offers up mystery, emotion and magical realism in equal measure; it seems that Lindelof, like the relocated Garveys, is trying to leave season one in the past and move on to bigger and better.  
PSR: Five pumpkins (everyone deserves at least one rebrand; see: Pumpkin Spice [Your Product Here]) and a menacing hint of spice (something is not quite right in Miracle...)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on DVD: Back when this one came out, we couldn’t stop raving about it. Unlike some of the other stories in its genre, Me and Earl embraces death and grief and all the messy emotions that go with them, and doesn’t offer up any neat resolutions. Come for the YA pedigree, stay for the humor and heart.
PSR: Four pumpkins (honesty is everything!) and no spice (this one’s as sweet as they come) 

--- Written and compiled by Emily Hoenig


In Theaters:

He Named Me Malala
Cast: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Mobin Khan
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 2nd
Based on: I AM MALALA: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends' school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old teenager, who had been targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls' education in her region of Swat Valley in Pakistan, was shot in the head, sparking international media outrage. An educational activist in Pakistan, Yousafzai has since emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.


The Martian
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
Director: Ridley Scott
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 2nd
Based on: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return.


Big Stone Gap
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Ashley Judd, Jane Krakowski
Director: Adriana Trigiani
Distributor:  Picturehouse Films
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 9th
Based on: BIG STONE GAP by Adriana Trigiani

Ave Maria Mulligan, the town's self-proclaimed spinster, has resigned herself to a quiet life of singlehood and being useful. She works in her family's pharmacy, delivers the prescriptions herself, and directs the town's annual outdoor drama until one day she learns of a long-buried family secret that changes the course of her life forever.


Cast: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Jimmy Vee, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried
Director: Joe Wright
Distributor: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: October 9th
Based on: PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie

The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny --- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.


Steve Jobs
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Director: Danny Boyle
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 9
Based on: STEVE JOBS by Walter Isaacson

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.


Beasts of No Nation
Cast: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Distributor:  Bleecker Street and Netflix
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Release Date: October 16th
Based on: BEASTS OF NO NATION by Uzodinma Iweala

In West Africa, the life of young Agu is disrupted when his father is slaughtered in a civil war and he is enlisted as a child soldier into a mercenary unit led by the sadistic Commandant.


Cast: Jack Black, Halston Sage, Odeya Rush
Director: Rob Letterman
Distributor:  Sony Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: October 16th
Based on: The Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah, living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine, the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange...he is a prisoner of his own imagination: The monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.


Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Distributor:  Element Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 16th
Based on: ROOM by Emma Donoghue

This drama tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5 year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted Ma. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. However, they are trapped in a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space, which Ma has euphemistically named "Room." As Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.


Cast: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Elisabeth Moss
Director: James Vanderbilt
Distributor:  Sony Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 16th
Based on: TRUTH AND DUTY: The Press, the President, and the Privilege by Mary Mapes

On the morning of September 9, 2004, veteran CBS News producer Mary Mapes believed she had every reason to feel proud of a broadcast journalism job well done. By the end of the day, Mapes, CBS News, and the venerable CBS News anchor Dan Rather would be under harsh scrutiny.


On TV:

“The Leftovers”
Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Regina King, LIv Tyler, Carrie Coon, Kevin Carroll, Jovan Adepo
Network: HBO
Air Dates: Premieres October 4th, Sundays at 9pm ET
Based On: THE LEFTOVERS by Tom Perrotta

More than three years ago, 2% of the world’s population inexplicably vanished. 140 million people, gone in an instant. No country, no state, no city was spared, except for one small town in eastern Texas. Population: 9261. Departures: Zero. This is the setting for a tale of two families: the Garveys, who have moved to this special place, and whose lives were forever changed by the Departure, and the Murphys, a local family, who seem to have been spared from an event that shook the rest of the world. 


Cast: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend
Network: Showtime
Air Dates: Premieres October 4th, Sundays at 9pm ET
Based On: SAUL'S GAME by Andrew Kaplan

“Homeland” is an edge-of-your-seat sensation. CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is tops in her field despite being bipolar, which makes her volatile and unpredictable. With the help of her long-time mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie fearlessly risks everything, including her personal well-being and even sanity, at every turn. You won't be able to turn away from this gripping, emotional thriller in which nothing short of the fate of our nation is at stake.


“The Flash”
Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Rick Cosnett, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Jessie L. Martin
Network: The CW
Air Dates: Premieres October 6th, Tuesdays at 8pm ET
Based On: THE FLASH: DC Comics character created by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Carmine Infantino

Following the defeat of Barry Allen's arch-nemesis Eobard Thawne (a.k.a. Reverse Flash), Team Flash quickly turned their attention to the singularity swirling high above Central City, which fans last saw consuming everything in its path. Armed with the heart of a hero and the ability to move at super speeds, Barry charged into the eye of the singularity, but will he actually be able to save his city from impending doom?


Cast: Stephen Amell, Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Susanna Thompson, Paul Blackthorne
Network: The CW
Air Dates: October 7th, Wednesdays at 8pm ET
Based On: DC Comics character Green Arrow created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp

After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with longtime flame Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen (a.k.a. The Arrow) left Starling City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as the Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble? Will Diggle, Thea and Laurel be left to continue Oliver’s crusade without him? And with Malcolm Merlyn having ascended to the top of the League of Assassins as the new Ra's al Ghul, is anyone really safe?


“The Vampire Diaries”
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Kat Graham, Candice Accola
Network: The CW
Air Dates: Premieres October 8th,Thursdays at 8pm ET
Based On: The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith

In the wake of Elena Gilbert’s goodbye, season seven begins with some characters will recover while others falter. As Lily tries to drive a wedge between the Salvatore brothers, we’ll still hold onto hope that Stefan and Caroline’s love story is strong enough to survive.


“The Last Kingdom”
Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman, Madeleine Power
Network: BBC America
Air Dates: Saturday, October 10th at 10pm ET
Based On: The Saxon Tales series by Bernard Cornwell

Anglo-Saxons are attacked by Viking forces. Uhtred, born a Saxon but raised by Vikings, finds his loyalties tested as he tries to claim his birthright and help create a new nation.


Hello, It's Me
Cast: Kellie Martin, Kavan Smith, Erin Pitt, Jack Fulton, Chad Connell
Network: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Air Dates: Click here to view all the showtimes.
Based On: HELLO, IT'S ME by Wendy Corsi Staub (written as Wendy Markham)

Two years after her husband Andre’s death, Annie and her children, Ella and Milo, struggle to cope with his loss. Annie can’t imagine falling in love after losing Andre, until she meets James, a wealthy bachelor who is drawn to her free spirit. Annie is afraid to love again and longs for guidance when she catches herself starting to fall for James. Her concerns are answered when she starts receiving communications from her late husband that encourage her to follow her heart.


“Minority Report”
Cast: Meagan Good, Stark Sands, Laura Regan, Wilmer Valderrama
Network: Fox
Air Dates: Premieres September 21st; Mondays at 9pm ET
Based On: THE MINORITY REPORT by Philip K. Dick

Ten years after the end of Precrime in Washington D.C., one of the three PreCogs attempts to lead on a normal life while still suffering from visions of the future. Will they be able to hold it together or mentally breakdown and give up?



Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Joss Whedon
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 2nd
Based on: THE AVENGERS by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron.


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 6th
Based on: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews

Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the story of Greg Gaines, an awkward high school senior whose mom forces him to spend time with Rachel --- a girl in his class with whom he hasn't spoken to since kindergarten --- who was just diagnosed with cancer.


Paper Towns
Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams
Director: Jake Schreier
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 20th
Based on: PAPER TOWNS by John Green

Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green, Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears --- leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship --- and true love.


Jurassic World
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 20th
Based on: JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure based on characters created by Michael Crichton.


Z for Zachariah
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie
Director: Craig Zobel
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 20th
Based on: Z FOR ZACHARIAH by Robert C. O’Brien

In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist, he's nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. A fragile, imperative strand of trust connects them. But when a stranger enters the valley, their precarious bond begins to unravel.


Testament of Youth
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton
Director: James Kent
Distributor: Sony Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 20th
Based on: TESTAMENT OF YOUTH by Vera Brittain

Testament of Youth is a powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman's point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it's a film about young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times.