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July 2013

Books on Screen

July 2013

July is the month when things really start to heat up. So stop pounding that scorching hot pavement and get into your local movie theater to enjoy some AC and books on screen!

The Lone Ranger is adventure-packed family fare, starring the ever-wackier Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. If you still haven’t forgiven Hammer for his double-trouble role as the cringe-inducingly smarmy Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, then check out Red 2 instead. This much-anticipated sequel picks up right where our all-star ensemble cast left off, and promises more action, entertainment and laughs than the first. All you sci-fi enthusiasts out there, we haven’t forgotten you! Hugh Jackman puts his singing and dancing on hold and returns this summer as The Wolverine --- proving once again the age-old Hollywood adage: If the franchise ain’t broke…

If the movies aren’t calling your name this month, don’t worry! July is jam-packed with great DVD releases to watch in the comfort of your own home (where refreshments are cheaper anyway). The Host, Stephenie Meyer’s underrated Twilight follow-up, hits a small screen near you on July 9th. Those looking for something with a bit more humor should check out the always-hilarious Tina Fey in Admission.

On TV, “Under the Dome,” the much-talked-about adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, continues its sizzling summer run, while old favorites like “True Blood” and “Dexter” resume their respective seasons and are as crazy as ever. But if you’re in the market for something a little lower key (read: with way less gore), then tune in to the series premiere of "Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove” on the Hallmark Channel.

--- Written and compiled by Emily Hoenig

In Theaters:

The Lone Ranger
Cast: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer
Director: Gore Verbinski
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Release Date: July 3rd (wide)
Based on: THE LONE RANGER RIDES by Fran Striker

Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice --- taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.


Red 2
Cast: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren
Director: Dean Parisot
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 19th (wide)
Based On: RED written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Cully Hamner

In Red 2, the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. To succeed, they'll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world --- and stay alive in the process.


Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker
Director: Robert Schwentke
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 19th (wide)
Based On: R.I.P.D, Volume 1 written by Peter M. Lenkov, illustrated by Lucas Marangon and Randy Emberlin

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure R.I.P.D. as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of creatures who refuse to move peacefully into the afterlife.


The Wolverine
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Haruhiko Yamanouchi
Director: James Mangold
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: July 26th (wide)
Based On: WOLVERINE written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Frank Miller

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.


The Smurfs 2
Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Hank Azaria
Director: Raja Gosnell
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: July 31st (wide)
Based On: THE SMURFS ANTHOLOGY, Vol. 1 by Peyo

The evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants --- and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs --- Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world's greatest sorcerer. It's up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy and Vanity to return to our world, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexi and Hackus --- or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?



On TV:

“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
Series Premiere: Saturday, July 20th 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?


"Orange Is the New Black"
Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew
Network: Netflix
Series Premiere: July 11th
Based On:
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman

From the creator of “Weeds” comes a heartbreaking and hilarious new series set in a women’s prison. Piper Chapman’s wild past comes back to haunt her, resulting in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.


"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
Air Dates: Mondays 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.


Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Velez
Network: Showtime
Air Dates: Sundays 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.


"True Blood"
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
Network: HBO
Air Dates: Sundays at 9:00pm ET
Based On: The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

Thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures "coming out of the coffin." Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out.

Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse, however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. "Cursed" with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires --- particularly when it comes to Bill Compton, a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But at the service of Bill's less virtuous vampire associates, Sookie is drawn into a series of catastrophes that will put their love to the test.


"King & Maxwell"
Cast: Jon Tenney, Rebecca Romijin, Ryan Hurst, Michael O'Keefe, Chris Butler
Network: TNT
Air Dates: Mondays at 10pm ET
Based On:  The King and Maxwell series by David Baldacci

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell aren’t your typical private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skills --- not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry --- give them a leg up on conventional law enforcement. Maxwell is a former elite athlete who uses her brains, beauty and Beltway connections to solve cases. King's career in the Secret Service ended when the presidential candidate he was assigned to protect was assassinated, sending him on a downward spiral. Today, King has added a law degree to his arsenal of skills, allowing him to navigate the system in ways a typical private investigator never could. Along the way, King and Maxwell clash over everything, from her garbage-strewn car to his love of wine over beer.


Cast: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman. Adam Bartley
Network: A&E
Air Dates: Mondays at 10:00pm ET
Based On: Walt Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson

Walt's reign as Sheriff hangs in the balance as he fights for re-election against rival, and his own deputy, Branch Connally. Walt's right hand deputy, Vic Moretti is visited by the ghost of a past she'd rather forget. Walt's daughter Cady searches for answers about her mother's murder, while Walt's possible connection to the death of his wife's killer threatens to sweep his loyal friend Henry Standing Bear into the mix. As the open skies darken and the winds kick up, Walt and his deputies plunge head first into the storm... confronting the question: how will each react when it hits?

In the season premiere episode of "Longmire," a prison transfer goes awry and Walt urgently pursues a serial killer and his fellow escapees, who have taken hostages, up a mountain. Facing an impending storm with very limited resources, Walt's mettle is put to the test and hypothermic hallucinations force him to face his past.


"Rizzoli & Isles"
Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Air Dates: Tuesdays 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.


"Pretty Little Liars"
Cast: Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell
Network: ABC Family
Air Dates: Tuesdays at 8:00pm ET
Based On: The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

Rosewood is a perfect little town. So quiet and pristine, you'd never guess it holds so many secrets. Some of the ugliest ones belong to the prettiest girls in town --- Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, four estranged friends whose darkest secrets are about to unravel.

One year ago, Alison, the Queen Bee of their group, disappeared and the girls swore they'd never tell what really happened that night. They thought their secrets would bond them together, but just the opposite is true. Then again, who's to say what the truth is in Rosewood. It seems everyone in town is lying about something.

Now, as the mystery surrounding Alison's disappearance resurfaces, the girls begin getting messages from "A" saying --- and threatening --- things only Alison would know. But it couldn't be Alison. Could it? Whoever it is, they seem to know all the girls' secrets, and seem to be watching their every move. The girls are friends again, but will they be there for each other if their dark secrets come to light?




The Host
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt
Director: Andrew Niccol
Distributor: Open Road Films (II)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release: July 9th
Based On: THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer

Unseen invaders have taken over most of humanity's mind while their bodies remain intact. However, when a parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder, it finds that taking over this mind is harder than anticipated. Instead of carrying out her race's mission of taking over the Earth, "Wanda" (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.


Cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, Nat Wolff, Gloria Reuben, Travaris Spears, Lily Tomlin
Director: Paul Weitz
Distributor: Focus Features
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release: July 9th
Based On: ADMISSION by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Every spring, high school seniors anxiously await letters of college admission that will affirm and encourage their potential. At Princeton University, admissions officer Portia Nathan is a gatekeeper evaluating thousands of applicants. Year in and year out, Portia has lived her life by the book, at work as well as at the home she shares with Princeton professor Mark. When Clarence, the Dean of Admissions, announces his impending retirement, the likeliest candidates to succeed him are Portia and her office rival Corinne. For Portia, however, it’s business as usual as she hits the road on her annual recruiting trip.

On the road, Portia reconnects with her iconoclastic mother, Susannah. On her visit to New Quest, an alternative high school, she also reconnects with a former college classmate, idealistic teacher John Pressman --- who has recently surmised that Jeremiah, a gifted yet very unconventional New Quest student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption years ago while at school. Jeremiah is about to apply to Princeton.

Now Portia must re-evaluate her personal and professional existences, as she finds herself bending the admissions rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the future she thought she always wanted --- and in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.


Crazy Kind of Love
Cast: Virginia Madsen, Anthony LaPaglia, Sam Trammell, Graham Rogers, Travis Fimmel, Eva Longoria
Director: Sarah Siegel-Magness
Distributor: Phase 4 Films
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release: July 9th
Based On: ANGEL ANGEL by April Stevens

A newly single mother relies on her carefree son and his awkward brother to keep their lives interesting. When an unlikely romance blossoms between the youngest son and the new girl in town, she realizes the key to her happiness can be found where she least expects it, and there's only one kind of love worth living for --- the crazy kind.


The Fruit Hunters
Cast: Bill Pullman
Director: Yung Chang
Distributor: Cinedigm Digital Cinema
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release: July 16th
Based On: THE FRUIT HUNTERS: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession by Adam Leith Gollner

In this cinematic trip through nature and commerce, fruit fanatics guide the viewer across culture, history and geography to explore our relationship with fruit and the natural world. Actor Bill Pullman's obsession leads him on a crusade to create a community orchard in the Hollywood Hills. Adventurers scour the jungle for rare mangos, hoping to intervene before the plants are steamrolled by industrialization. A pioneering scientist races to breed bananas resistant to a deadly fungus that threatens the worldwide crop. And fruit detectives investigate Renaissance-era paintings for clues, hoping to rediscover lost fruits.