Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sully starring Tom Hanks ... the trailer has landed.

You don't have to read the book Highest Duty to know that Chesley Sullenberger—better known as Sully—is a hero. Sully is the pilot who famously landed a plane full of passengers on the Hudson in what came to be known as the 'miracle on the Hudson'.

Who better than Tom Hanks to play the plain speaking, self-effacing pilot in the upcoming Clint Eastwood directed film. With that head of white hair he easily doubles for the American hero. Based on the book Sully co-wrote with Jeffrey Zaslow, Sully also stars Aaron Eckhart as Sully's co-pilot and Laura Linney as Sully's wife, Lorraine.

The trailer is all over the place this morning but in case you missed it ... 

Sully lands in theaters on September 9th.
Let the OSCAR buzz begin.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Daniel Craig is set to star in adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's Purity

I love Daniel Craig as Bond but I'm ready for him to move on.

I don't get Showtime so I tend to space out on book2movie news on that particular channel. But this is big. Daniel Craig is going to star in the a 20 episode show based on the book Purity by Jonathan Franzen. I might have to add the premium channel to my cable bill! It's a long way in the future as they don't even start production until 2017. On the other hand, we're halfway through 2016 already. 2017 will be here before we know it. 

Purity was released last year. Here's the lowdown for those of you who might want to add it to your tottering bedside pile. Weighing in at 576 pages you might need a bit of extra time to check it off your list.
A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom
Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
The original plan was to shoot a feature; adapting a book as complex as this makes much more sense as a series. Craig will play the charismatic leader of TSP, Andreas Wolfe. There is no word yet on who will play the young Pip. 

The series is being produced by Scott Rudin—the Scott Rudin whose snide comments about the president's race came to light in the Sony hack. Rudin the uber-successful producer of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also has a reputation for throwing pencils at his assistants. Hollywood loves assholes. The script was written by Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children).

Obviously the biggest question mark is who should play Pip, real name Purity. Suggestions?

As far as Daniel Craig is concerned, he's just signed on to star opposite Halle Berry in Kings, about the 1992 LA riots after the Rodney King verdict was announced. I was working as a production coordinator on the movie Free Willy at the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank at the time and will never forget looking up from my desk one morning to see the National Guard marching through the studio. Those were dark and frightening times in the city, but Burbank? There was nothing happening there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: A New World Coming

I love the rendition of Cass Elliot's New World Coming in the trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The film comes out September 26 and stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel Jackson, Allison Janney and the girl who needs her shoes to keep her grounded, Ella Purnell. But like the song, which is lighter, wispier than the original, is the movie, so bright and colorful, faithful to the darker, creepier original, the book by Ransom Riggs?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton, opens September 30th.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Are you a writer? Don't miss Genius starring Colin Firth & Jude Law.

Genius— we talked about Genius in a post a week or so backis on my go-see list for this coming week. Colin Firth plays Max Perkins, the Scribner editor who wrangled author Thomas Wolfe—Jude Law—and herded him to publication. Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney star as the women in the men's lives. I can't wait. I'm seeing it with my friend Jackie because not only is she a writer, she also sometimes works as an editor making it the perfect film for her. She's heading home from a Florida vacay, wait until she sees this trailer in French! It's so full of passion which translates beautifully into fran├žais—even if the actor's mouths don't quite match up—she may have to take an earlier plane. In theaters here in the US now, the movie opens in France July 27.

French dubbed trailer for Genius

Prefer it in English with French subtitles? Here ya go.

Posted for the weekly Dreaming of France meme hosted by Paulita Kincer at An Accidental Blog. 

Paulita is giving away a copy of her new novel—Paris Runaway—on GoodReads. 
Check out her site for more details.

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Did you see Game of Thrones' Battle of the Bastards episode?

IF you're all caught up with Game of Thrones and still shaking your head over last week's Battle of the Bastards, then you might want to watch this week's Sunday Slacker video via Variety. Vfx producer Steve Kullback and vfx supervisor Joe Bauer tell Variety’s David Cohen not just whodunnit (the VFX team plus about 250 extra's) but how they dunnit as well.

To be honest, as a proud, card-carrying romantic, I confess I don't always want to know all their secrets. While intellectually I accept that Jon Snow wasn't really as miraculous a swashbuckling survivor as he is in the scene, seeing the process broken down into pencil drawings puts a bit of a damper on my awe. Sometimes I really would prefer to just sit, mouth hanging open and wonder, how the hell did they do that!?

At other times, I'm all about getting to the bottom of the down and dirty. How about you, are you up for the inside scoop?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

84 Charing Cross Road: Saturday Matinee

Yesterday I was taking my weekly walk in London—over on my other site I've been trekking around the city, following the route of the London Underground from my arm chair here in Los Angeles—and found myself on Charing Cross Road. On my way to the National Gallery, I detoured to 84 Charing Cross Road instead. Read the piece to see what I found there.

Before 84 Charing Cross Road was a movie—today's Saturday Matinee starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins—it was a play, and before that, an epistolary memoir by Helen Hanff. Based on Hanff''s real life twenty year correspondence with Frank Doel, the manager of Marks & Company Antiquarian booksellers, the story begins with the New York based Hanff's attempt to find some long out of print books. Doel responds to her enthusiastic chatty letters—how American—with polite professionalism—how British! Over the years the relationship blooms into a deep friendship. It's one that, poignantly, stays on the page. 

Netting just over a million dollars at the box office, the movie was obviously far from being a financial success when it was released back in 1987. I can't imagine it getting anywhere near a green light today. Still. Anne Bancroft won the Best Actress BAFTA for her performance and Judi Dench, as Doel's wife, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. 

As for Doel, played by Anthony Hopkins, I can hear his iconic voice in my head right now. Sure he's talking about chianti with Clarise but I'm betting that waxing poetic about books with Bancroft will be just as hypnotic. Doc Martin fans will recognize a younger Ian McNiece. 

The screenplay is by Hugh Whitmore who has had a long and successful career writing British period dramas. 

If you want to stream it today you'll have to shell out a few bucks on Amazon, YouTubes, iTunes, Vudu or GooglePlay. If you're a Netflix member, you can get the DVD in the mailbox. 

Let's watch the trailer, see if you think it's worth the $2.99.

What do you think? 
Is 84 Charing Cross Road your cup of tea?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Into the Forest starring Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page: On DirectTV June 23, In theaters July 22 [trailer]

Based on the post-Apocalyptic thriller by Jean Hegland, Into the Woods stars Evan Rachel Wood, Ellen Page and Max Minghella. The story focuses on two sisters who have to brave a world without power, and in so doing, find their own power. Sounds like a story that will appeal to anyone who already has a three day survival pack loaded in the back of their car should things head south this fall. Oh! That would be me. Into the Forest is directed by Patricia Nozema, another talented Canadian woman, another plus for the film featuring a strong female driven story.

People keep saying to me, ‘Wow it’s so amazing to see a film with strong women.’ But that’s how I know women. This is a film about women, not ‘strong’ women” 
           Evan Rachel Wood

The book encompassed a lot of the things I was thinking about at the time, of one’s relationship to the environment. It was a beautiful, compelling, scary story.” 
Ellen Page.

Here's the lowdown on the book:
Set in the near-future, Into the Forest focuses on the relationship between two teenaged sisters as they struggle to survive the collapse of society. 
In many ways, Nell and Eva have experienced a near-idyllic childhood, growing up miles from the nearest neighbor in the forests of northern California. Their father, an iconoclastic grade school principal, has decided to keep them out of school, and their mother has encouraged each of them to follow her own passions. As a result, Eva is determined to become a ballet dancer, while her younger sister, Nell, hopes to matriculate at Harvard. 
Despite the fact that their happy world is rocked when their mother dies of cancer, they and their father are determined to carry on. Even as terrorism, a distant war, increasingly unpredictable weather, and an unstable economy, challenge the reliability of social order and infrastructure, their little family continues to hoard its resources and attempts to keep up its spirits as they wait for the lights to come back on, the phone to ring, and the lives they have been anticipating to return to them. But when their father is killed in an accident, and a dangerous stranger arrives at their door, the girls confront the fact that they must find some new way to grow into adulthood. 
Into the Forest has been called both poetic and a page-turner. It is the kind of book that some readers read slowly in order to savor every sentence, and that costs other readers a night’s sleep, when they find that they cannot put it down.
Into the Forest trailer

 Into the Forest is available today on DirectTV & hits theaters on July 11th. I'll plug Into the Forest into the guide to 
Any other book to movie projects I've missed? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sarah Polley to star in Margaret Atwood's 'Alias Grace'

Oh Canada, this ought to be good! Combining the talents of two of Canada's finest: novelist and brain trust Margaret Atwood and Sarah Polley, actor, writer, filmmaker, political activist—whose documentary Stories We Tell is one of the most amazing pieces of film I've ever seen—Alias Grace is heading to the small screen as a mini series. 

This is a passion project for Polley who wrote the script, produces and stars as convicted murderer Grace Marks.
“I first read Alias Grace when I was 17 years old and throughout the last 20 years I have read it over and over, trying to get to the bottom of it,” said Polley. “Grace Marks, as captured by Margaret Atwood, is the most complex, riveting character I have ever read.”

Mary Harron (American Psycho) directs. Shooting starts in Ontario, Canada in August. Might be a good time for yours truly to make a long thought about trip home.

In Canada Alias Grace will be broadcast on CBC while the rest of us can stream it on Netflix.

The low down on Margaret Atwood's 1996 novel:
In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid's Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century. 
Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. 
Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

It's been a long, long time since Polley—currently writing the screen adaptation of Looking for Alaska—has been in front of the camera. Although she was frequently on screen in her 2012 family documentary, the brilliant Stories We Tell, 2010's Trigger looks to be the last time she worked as an actress; have you read Alias Grace? Is Sarah Polley right for the part?
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