FALL FOR THESE BOOKS BEFORE YOU SEE THE MOVIE

The fall season has officially started and with the holidays approaching, we can anticipate some amazing movies. Especially the ones that are book adaptations. I’m usually on the side of “the book is always better” and most of the time it is, but there are always exceptions. Whenever possible, I try to read the book before the movie because I like to create the story in my own imagination first.

But sometimes, it happens the other way around and I honestly can enjoy the book just as much or even more. Like when I was 13 and saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and my mind was blown, leading me to beg my Dad to take me to buy the book immediately (to which he did and I didn’t put it down until I finished). Anyways, here are some movies coming out based off books, some I’ve read and some I haven’t, but I encourage you to check them out!

The Girl on the Train

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Selling an estimated 11 million copies worldwide, Paula Hawkins’ psychological thriller was #1 on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what Rachel uncovers. Sometimes the truth isn’t easy.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, and Luke Evans and directed by Tate Taylor, the novel’s adaptation premieres October 7.

American Pastoral

americanpastoralThe social and political turmoil in a post-war America during Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency sets the stage for this novel by Phillip Roth. Our protagonist, Seymour “Swede” Levov, a devoted family man and hard worker who inherited his father’s Newark glove factory, has his life fall apart when his daughter’s destructive political affiliation leads him into the “indigenous American berserk” from his conventional upper middle class lifestyle. Earning the Pulitzer Prince in 1998, American Pastoral was also included in Time Magazine’s “All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels”.

Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut for the film adaptation coming out October 21. McGregor stars in the film with Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connolley, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. Watch the chilling trailer here.

Inferno

inferno-coverThe fourth book in the Robert Langdon series, Dan Brown once again fuses history, art, codes and symbols in this new thriller.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces… Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust… before the world is irrevocably altered.

Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, alongside new cast including Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster and Irrgan Kahn. Although the release date has moved around, it will officially be out October 28.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (5/1/12)by Ben FountainBilly Lynn’s Bravo Squad are anointed as heroes following an intense fight in Iraq and brought home only to be sent on a “Victory Tour” to encourage support for the war. During the tour, the squad is invited to be guests at the Thanksgiving game for the Dallas Cowboys, where the gap between life at war and at home resonate with Billy Lynn.

The disenchantment with military life spurred by the loss of a comrade and the treatment of heroes leads him down a reckless path of lust, pain and self-doubt. Ben Fountain’s novel depicts what many of us cannot experience: the reality of post-war life for our soldiers. The film, directed by Ang Lee, stars a heavy-hitting cast with players like Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker and Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn. The film has its world premiere October 14 at the New York Film Festival and will hit theaters on Veteran’s Day.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

fantastic_beastsSet 70 years before Harry’s story started, in 1926 New York, we follow the adventure of Newt Scamander (Eddy Redmayne) and his magical briefcase of dangerous and fantastic creatures.  When the creatures escape the briefcase, the authorities seek after Newt as the strain between the  magical and non-magical society is continuously threatened by the fanatical organization New Salem Philanthropic Society, who are determined to eliminate all of wizard-kind.

We first see J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as one of Harry Potter’s first schoolbooks in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The published book contains a foreward from Albus Dumbledore and includes notes from Harry, Ron and Hermione with their accounts of encounters with magical creatures.  The film will expand the Potter universe. enlightening viewers to experience both another era and society in the magical community. Accompanying Redmayne are Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Colin Farrell. Watch the trailer and see what kind of creatures you can spot! Fantastic Beasts will apparate into theaters November 18.

A Monster Calls

8621462Conor O’Malley has the same nightmare every night, “the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming.” One night his nightmare becomes real when he’s visited by a human-like yew tree, or ‘Monster’, that is going to help him by telling three stories. During the day, Conor must cope with reality of his mother’s struggle with terminal cancer  and being bullied at school. As the story progresses, his mother’s condition becomes worse and the Monster in turn requires a story from Conor.

The novel was first conceived by Siobhan Dowd during her own battle with cancer. After passing away in 2007, the idea was then arranged for Patrick Ness to develop. Although written for children, this book can apply to all audiences with its theme of confronting your emotions. With an all-star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson as the Monster, this fantasy-drama is set to take us on a journey December 23. Check out the trailer on our YouTube channel. 

 

 

READY PLAYER ONE Set Photos Reveal Spielberg References

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is an ode to mainly 80’s pop culture, with references to the decades’ films, songs, television, and video games, including works by the film adaptations director, Steven Spielberg.

In an interview with Collider, Spielberg stated that he would be cutting references to his own movies out of Ready Player One:

I think we were pretty awesome in the ‘80s. I hope the movie returns all of us to the awesomeness of the ‘80s. I love the ‘80s. I think one of the reasons I decided to make the movie was that it brought me back to the ‘80s and lets me do anything I want, except for with my own movies. I’ve cut most of my movies out of [Ernest Cline’s] book. Except for the DeLorean and a couple of other things that I had something to do with, I cut a lot of my own references out of the ‘80s. I was very happy to see there was enough without me that made the ‘80s a great time to grow up.

However, with the newest set photos to arise from Twitter user Michelle Green, it doesn’t look like that’s the case. Check out the photos below for a glimpse of the set details and background that include some of our favorite pop culture references.

Ready Player One is set to hit theaters on March 30th, 2018.

(Featured image by Ernest Cline’s friend Gordon Jones)

 

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That Time I Accidentally Read TWILIGHT On Purpose

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Magazines, novels, everything on this site (obvi!), the nutritional facts on the sleeve of Oreos I ate while reading about how people snack while reading. I find it most enjoyable when it’s a book. A tangible, in-your-hands, smell-of-the-paper, flipping-the-pages, book. Screw eReaders (unless you’re using one to read this… obvi!). As a kid I’d pour through a book a week, finding new authors who spoke to me, hearing the voices of the characters as I formed them in my mind, and then begging my mom to take me to the library (remember those?) to find more. I also read a lot due to the “Book-It” program in school because the more books I read the more free pizza I got, but that’s not the point. Reading has been a major influence in my life, and is a beloved hobby that has shaped me in many ways. I’ve always felt it would never dull on me. Until that time I accidentally read Twilight. Then I found out sometimes reading is one big pile of shit.

I say it was accidental because if I convince myself it wasn’t my fault then it will somehow help to alleviate the ignominy I’ve carried ever since. There are fewer wounds in life more painful than those self-inflicted, and Twilight cut deep (emo joke). But to understand how this tragedy befell me, I should start at the beginning.

While with a friend at a bookstore one evening we quickly realized we were in the midst of an outbreak. The place was buzzing with tweens and prepubescents scurrying around in a frenzy. We debated as to the best repellent for this apocalypse, but then we looked at ourselves and realized we weren’t in any danger. Many of them were in goth attire which belied their overly jovial moods. Then it dawned on us that they were in costume!

We stopped one kid who looked to have had a mishap in the arts and crafts section due to the random clumps of glitter plied with sweat on his pudgy face. I asked, “What’s going on here? Is it some kind of event?” The kid displayed to me the book he’d been carrying under his armpit (I chose not to hold it) and said, “Yeah, we’re buying Breaking Dawn.” When we asked what that was he astutely responded, “Uh, it’s a booook… duuuuuuh” then ran off to join his fellow future Drumpf/Hillary supporters (whichever doesn’t affront you).

Fast forward a few months to when we found out a movie was coming out based on the first book in the series. Well, we obviously couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Something as serious as the phenomena we witnessed in that bookstore must be worth watching. So, still knowing nothing of the story other than it had vampires (good) AND werewolves (gooder), we bought our tickets for opening night (when else?). That evening we waited in a line suspiciously vacant of anyone within 10 years of us and eventually settled into the only two remaining seats together in a jam packed theater. “Oh, this has gotta be pretty good”, we thought with unbeknownst impetuousness.

I’d say it was about 1/3 of the way in before we understood this was not a comedy. Up until that point it was almost palatable (the unintentional humor remained throughout, but it was more of a sad funny… like going to Wal-Mart). When Bella walked into class and Edward writhed in agony, so did we (I actually thought he was either constipated or, if we hadn’t already been told he’s a “vampire”, then maybe things were finally about to go down and he was gonna do that cool morphing-into-a-werewolf thing like in The Howling). After that we sat through the rest and wondered what the hell just happened. I enjoy bad movies when they know they’re bad and are intentionally campy. Twilight was not that kind of bad. Twilight was the bad kind of bad… the kind that made the plots of Transformers look like an Aaron Sorkin project.

Naturally, our opinions were that everyone at Summit Entertainment should throw out their business cards, erase their LinkedIn pages, and join the witness protection program. But to our surprise there was a huge allotment of the public who loved it! It was everything they hoped it would be! Bella was just sooo Bella! Edward was the brooding and perfectly gorgeous specimen they’d fantasized about for 3 years! And did you see the way he drove? Ha, what a Cullen! “But, no” we shouted, “did you really watch that mess?!” But it fell on deaf ears. Time after time I got into a debate with a Twilighter (or Fanpire or Twihard, depending on how much you hate yourself) with my stance being the movie was abysmal. The reply I received was the same every time, “There was so much in the book that wasn’t in the movie. You don’t know the source material, so you can’t really make an informed opinion.” First, I never read The Godfather either, but that film turned out okay. Second, I’m far too stubborn in my opinions to let a simple thing like not reading a book get in the way of me convincing you that you’re wrong.

And it was this unwavering resolve that led me to the worst decision of my life (if you don’t count those corduroy pants Freshman year).  So, to back up my claim that Twilight is to movies what Batman & Robin was to movies, I decided to read the book (note: I borrowed a copy). And, boy, was that apple rotten to the core.

This is not a review of the film or the book (only because I can’t stomach either enough to revisit them), but every page was so much like a stake through the heart that I found myself wishing I was a vampire just so the pain would end! But what’s-her-face who wrote it (again zero effort revisiting this stuff) would probably make up more BS rules about vampires and say, “Nah, uh! Vampires aren’t killed like that. You have to wait for dawn to break following a new moon, pull out their fangs, boil them by twilight, and then make them drink the broth while staring into an eclipse.” Whatever, lady.

Perhaps the best and most honest review of the book was from my own mother who read it merely out of sheer boredom (which did nothing to satiate it, by the way) when she said, “If you take out the love story and the vampires and werewolves it’s really not too bad.” Perfect.

The polarity of experiencing both the film and the book is such that a) I feel vindicated in my opinion that Twilight is the manifestation of those dino droppings Dr. Ellie Sattler plunges into elbows deep, but unfortunately b) I was those elbows.

When did you read a book or watch a movie with a huge fan following and you completely regretted it?

Merlin’s Pants! New Potter Books!

You read that right my friends. The interactive website Pottermore.com (get sorted if you haven’t yet!) announced the news that THREE (!!!) new eBooks will be released. “Pottermore Presents” was created to reach fans through a new platform, supplementing the original series with short-stories using content curated by the Pottermore staff and original writing from J.K. Rowling. These eBooks will provide a range of details about the magical world, its characters and different settings. 

The eBooks will be released on September 6th and can purchased directly through Pottermore’s site, or online through the following retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple’s iBooks store.

 

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide dives into the nooks and crannies of the beloved wizarding school itself, unfurling everything from details about the Hogwarts ghosts, to what happens when the Sorting Hat can’t decide on a student’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Political and Pesky Poltergeists explores the darker roots of the wizarding world. You’ll learn more about the troubles that faced the Ministry of Magic, the horrors of Azkaban prison and enjoy an entirely new original piece of writing by J.K. Rowling on Horace Slughorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally, in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Pottermore celebrates the colourful staff of Hogwarts. There’s more to discover about Care of Magical Creatures teacher Silvanus Kettleburn, as well as another new piece of writing from J.K. Rowling on Minerva McGonagall, and her involvement in the second wizarding war.

Why I am not reading Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Well, what can I say about a new book, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Part 1 and II?

It seems like the exact same stories we have all been ready, reworked for the new young generation. How else do you keep something going for adults in their 30’s who are growing up for this stuff, you now have their kids continue! I’m not buying (yet).

Basic plot is along the same, the kids go to Hogwarts, the Potters and the Malfoy’s rival, the past is drawn up, and someone gets hurt. It would be nice to see something that doesn’t always take place at Hogwarts. The fact that Harry works at the Ministry of Magic, and Ron owns his Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes store? It’s just to cheesy sounding to me.

Honestly after the last and final disappointment of the saga on film, I find myself not wanted to read another page or watch another film. You ever watch an epic movie only to have the sequel be terrible? Of course you have! If you are on Inside Pop Culture’s website then you are most likely a movie buff and cannot possibly get enough. Well, it’s like this: Lets take Star Wars as the example. The originals were epic. You really cannot continue the saga and think you can outdo them, right? Well, up until The Force Awakens, they did exactly that, each film they released was worse than the previous.

You would think Disney had the right talent to continue them, but each was horrible for me. I had almost given up on the franchise altogether honestly, it was only the last movie that redeemed me. Enough about Star Wars, this is a Harry Potter story, isn’t it?

You’re looking puzzled as you read this, and for good reason! How dare I put down one of the most beloved movie series of our generation? Simple, the storyline was grand, the movies wonderful and the finale lame as hell. I am still struggling with this one, and I do not think I can overlook it. Frankly now when I go to Universal Studios, I almost walk away from Hogwarts. Well, almost. Alright, I still go and ride all the rides since they are quite awesome, and grab a Dragon Ale or two.

Okay, so hear me out: WARNING – SPOILERS FROM THE FINAL HARRY POTTER (Deathly Hallows Part 2)

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This is the most bizarre scene in a movie that to me, irritates me severely. After Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) defeats the epic villain Lord Voldemort, you see him on the bridge holding the most sacred wand ever constructed; The Elder-wand of Dumbledore. Instead of Harry following the books story-line and using it to repair his own wand (which would have made sense) he tosses it over a bridge. Into the abyss? Who knows, I would think some evil genius “might” come back and grab the wand? The most powerful wand on earth can be snapped in half with your bare hands, and it renders it useless? That doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I think it tells you just how silly the wizarding world might just be.

I still find myself laughing at the wizards sometimes when they chant “Expeliarmus” to render their foe defenseless.

Seems like they would go around all day chanting it and zapping people, no? I would.

This one scene ruined the movie for me. Until this point I had given the Harry Potter movies the respect they deserved, even though many had gone out on a limb a bit far for me, somehow they had that “child-like” fun about them and some just seemed pretty darn cool. I mean, who doesn’t want to have a wand, cast spells, and eat chocolate frogs? Yeah, I think that last one on on the list isn’t appetizing either. But having a cloak of invisibility could come in handy sneaking out of work early, I mean, am I right?

So, am I going to pick up the next series and continue the saga? I may wait for the movie on this one. Perhaps it is because the script writers obviously do not stay with the books anyways, so reading it will make me hate the movie more, and as a movie fan, I just wont take the risk. I enjoyed them all as a whole, and I the author, J.K. Rowling is a total nutty lady, who borderlines genius.