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September 2011

Books on Screen

September 2011

These early days of fall will be full of action, drama, a dash of golf, and an expected source of temptation. That last bit comes into play in I Don’t Know How She Does It, based on the bestseller by Allison Pearson. With two kids, a husband and a job with a Boston-based financial management firm, every day is a non-stop balancing act for Kate (played by Sarah Jessica Parker). Complicating matters even more is her charming new business associate. Oh dear!

Another film with a female lead is What’s Your Number?, which is sure to generate buzz, as well as discourse about you-know-what. In this tale based on Karyn Bosnak’s 20 TIMES A LADY, a woman, having hit her sexual limit at 20 men, decides to track down the other 19 guys in hopes that she's overlooked one who could be "the one." 

If you’re looking for some speedy action, be sure to catch Drive --- based on James Sallis’s novel --- which portrays a Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman. Straw Dogs is wrought with even more tension, when a married couple returns to the wife’s hometown in the deep South, leading to a violent confrontation with her ex-boyfriend. And in Killer Elite --- adapted from the book THE FEATHER MEN by Ranulph Fiennes --- an ex-special ops agent is lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor, completing a near-impossible mission of killing in the process.

For that aforementioned dash of golf, there’s Seven Days in Utopia, lifted from GOLF’S SACRED JOURNEY by David L. Cook. Here, Luke Chisolm is a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour. But when his first big shot turns out to be a public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself stranded in Utopia, Texas. Also in the realm of sports, Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, tells the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

Turning our attention to the small screen, Rizzoli & Isles continues its second season on TNT. And four films available on DVD are ready to spend the night with you at home: Everything Must Go, Good Neighbors, The Tempest and Thor.

Now in Theaters:

Seven Days in Utopia
Cast: Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo, Deborah Ann Woll, Brian Geraghty, Jerry Ferrera, Joseph Lyle Taylor, KJ Choi, Kathy Baker
Director: Matthew Dean Russell  
Distributor: Visio Entertainment
MPAA Rating: G
Release Date: September 2nd (limited)
Based On: GOLF’S SACRED JOURNEY: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia by David L. Cook

Luke Chisolm is a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour. When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford. But Johnny is more than meets the eye, and his profound ways of looking at life force Luke to question not only his past choices, but his direction for the future. 

The Mill & the Cross
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling, Joanna Litwin, Dorota Lis
Director: Lech Majewski
Distributor: Kino International
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Release Date: September 14th (limited) 
Based On: THE MILL AND THE CROSS: Peter Bruegel’s “Way to Calvary” by Michael Francis Gibson   

Pieter Bruegel’s epic masterpiece The Way To Calvary depicts the story of Christ’s Passion set in Flanders under brutal Spanish occupation in the year 1564, the very year Bruegel created his painting. From among the more than 500 figures that fill Bruegel’s remarkable canvas, The Mill & the Cross focuses on a dozen characters whose life stories unfold and intertwine in a panoramic landscape populated by villagers and red-caped horsemen. Among them are Bruegel himself, his friend and art collector Nicholas Jonghelinck, and the Virgin Mary.

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks. 
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Distributor: FilmDistrict
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 16th (wide)
Based On: DRIVE by James Sallis

Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene, a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard.

After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals. But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk --- that they're coming straight for Irene and her son --- Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.

I Don’t Know How She Does It
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn,Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers
Director: Douglas McGrath
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
MPAA Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: September 16th (wide) 
Based On: I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT by Allison Pearson  

Kate Reddy devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm. At night she goes home to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard and their two young children. It's a non-stop balancing act, the same one that Kate's acerbic best friend and fellow working mother Allison performs on a daily basis, and that Kate's super-brainy, child-phobic young junior associate Momo fully intends to avoid. When Kate gets handed a major new account that will require frequent trips to New York, Richard also wins the new job he's been hoping for --- and both will be spreading themselves even thinner. Complicating matters is Kate's charming new business associate Jack Abelhammer, who begins to prove an unexpected source of temptation. 

Straw Dogs
Cast: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård, Dominic Purcell, Laz Alonzo, Willa Holland, James Woods
Director: Rod Lurie 
Distributor: Screen Gems
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 16th (wide) 
Based On: THE SIEGE OF TRENCHER’S FARM – STRAW DOGS by Gordon Williams  

David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie, leading to a violent confrontation. 

Killer Elite
Cast: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro
Director: Gary McKendry 
Distributor: Open Road Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 23rd (wide) 
Based On: KILLER ELITE by Ranulph Fiennes (previously published as THE FEATHER MEN)

Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite pits two of the world's most elite operatives --- Danny, an ex-special ops agent, and Hunter, his longtime mentor --- against the cunning leader of a secret military society. Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse --- where the predators become the prey.

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt
Director: Bennett Miller
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: September 23rd (wide) 
Based On: MONEYBALL by Michael Lewis  

Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs and winning games.

What’s Your Number?
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Blythe Danner
Director: Mark Mylod
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: September 30th (wide) 
Based On: WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? by Karyn Bosnak (previously published as 20 TIMES A LADY)  

When Delilah Darling reads a survey revealing that most people have 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime, she begins to feel like a tramp. She’s slept with 19 men so far --- almost twice the national average. During a self-help moment, she vows to cap her “number” at 20, swearing she’ll save her last spot for the right guy. But after losing her job and having a wild night on the town, she falls into bed with Mr. Wrong. Unwilling to up her number, but also unable to imagine a life of celibacy, Delilah does the only thing a girl in her situation can do: she tracks down every man she’s ever slept with in a last-ditch effort to make it work with one of them.

TV Series Based on Books:

“Rizzoli & Isles”
Cast: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Air Dates: Mondays at 10:00pm EST
Second Season Premiere: July 11th
Based On: Rizzoli & 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.

As the second season opens, Jane and her brother, Frankie Jr., are each recovering from bullets they took during a siege at the police station. As Jane struggles to overcome scars that are more emotional than physical, an old flame --- Sergeant Major Charles “Casey” Jones --- comes back into her life.

On the homefront, Jane’s mother is despondent over a major upheaval in her own life. The situation will be complicated even more by the arrival of Jane’s younger brother, Tommy, who was recently released from prison. And for Maura, home life will get complicated when she receives a visit from her adoptive mother, Constance Isles, a brilliant modern artist and art historian.

New on DVD:

Everything Must Go
Cast: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, Christopher Jordan Wallace
Director: Dan Rush
Distributor: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: September 6th
Based On: The short story "Why Don't You Dance" in the collection WHERE I'M CALLING FROM by Raymond Carver

When alcoholic Nick Halsey relapses, causing him to lose his wife and his job, he holds a yard sale on his front lawn in an attempt to start over. He is at the lowest point in his life. However, a new neighbor might be the key to his return to form.

The Tempest
Cast: Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Reeve Carney, Tom Conti, Chris Cooper
Director: Julie Taymor
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: September 13th
Based On: “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare

In her big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s mystical thriller, “The Tempest,” Academy Award-nominated director Julie Taymor (Across the UniverseFridaTitus) brings an original dynamic to the story by changing the gender of the sorcerer Prospero into the sorceress Prospera, played by Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen). Prospera’s journey spirals through vengeance to forgiveness as she reigns over a magical island, cares for her daughter, Miranda, and unleashes her powers against shipwrecked enemies in this exciting, masterly mix of romance, tragicomedy and the supernatural.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Ray Stevenson
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: September 13th
Based On: Thor, the Marvel Comic series by Stan Lee

The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Good Neighbors
Cast: Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire, Jay Baruchel, Sean Lu, Anne-Marie Cadieux
Director: Jacob Tierney
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: September 27th
Based On: CHERE VOISINE by Chrystine Brouillet

Neighbors Spencer and Louise have bonded over their fascination with a recent string of murders terrorizing their community. When a new tenant named Victor arrives in the building, all three quickly hit it off. But as they soon discover, each of them has their own dark secret. As the violence outside mounts, the city retreats indoors for safety. But the more time these three spend together in their apartment building, the clearer it becomes that what they once thought of as a safe haven is as dangerous as any outside terrors they could imagine.