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Category: Movies Page 2 of 14

Trailer Tuesday… almost

It’s almost a Trailer Tuesday post, because I’m here to tell you about a movie, but it’s only “almost” because there actually isn’t a trailer yet. Oops. But that’s because this news is as fresh as can be!

Cover from SyndeticsMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews was recently made into a movie – had you heard? I hadn’t, until I heard it won two of the biggest prizes at this year’s Sundance festival! It won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the Dramatic category it was entered in. Pretty impressive! The last movie to win both these awards was Whiplash, and that movie had 5 Oscar nominations!

It might not be out for a while, considering there’s not even a teaser trailer available, but in the meantime you can reserve the book or search for cast interviews on Youtube.

Book Cover Lookalikes: Big Eyes

In honor of the new Tim Burton film Big Eyes being released today, our theme of the week is: big eyes! All the better to see you with, my dear. See the trailer at the bottom of this post, and if you go to see it, let us know what you thought of it!

Spirit and Dust book coverFinding Cherokee Brown book coverDays of Blood and Starlight book coverUnravel Me book coverThe Diviners book coverCatalyst book coverEndure book coverKeys to the Repository book coverDead to You book coverRivals and Retribution book coverDrought book cover13 to Life book cover

The Maze Runner on DVD (and BluRay)

We all agree here that The Maze Runner was a most excellent movie, so we’re very happy that the DVD has arrived in the library! You can reserve it now, since after watching the film, then reading or re-reading the book(s) you might want to re-watch the film, to double-compare.

If you’re feeling a bit richer, we also have it on Blu-Ray ($4.00 for one week). All those enclosed spaces will be specially, extra-defined enclosed.

The sequel, The Scorch Trials, is coming out towards the end of this year (the book, which we have, is here).

Coming (not very) soon to a cinema near you

A bunch of movies have been announced for release next year, but some aren’t to be seen until the year after! So we’ll be waiting a while. But here are some of the book to movie adaptations we are excited to hear about, no matter how far away they are:

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsPaper Towns (by John Green)

There is no news on this yet – no cast or director announced – but it has a release date already! July 31, 2015. They had better get onto it then, that’s not even very far away!

Pan (based on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

Starring Rooney Mara, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, this sounds like it will be amazing (although Rooney Mara’s casting as Native American Tiger-Lily is questionable). It’s directed by Joe Wright (who also directed Hanna, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice (with Keira Knightley), Anna Karenina… With few exceptions, he sure does seem to direct a lot of adaptations of classic novels.
According to ScreenRant: “The story not only reveals how young Peter found his way to Neverland, but also how be initially befriended the pirate James Bartholomew Hook – in the days before the latter’s surname became quite literal, after he lost one of his hands, replaced it a hook, and become Pan’s sworn enemy.” Sounds interesting!

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (by Ransom Riggs)

All we know is it stars Eva Green and will be directed by Tim Burton. We’re sold. (We also have the book as a graphic novel, if you want a peek into the potential visuals.)

And then there a whole bunch of extremely exciting ones which we have zero details on, aside from the fact that they’re a happening thing:

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsA Great and Terrible Beauty (by Libba Bray)
Wicked Lovely (by Melissa Marr)
The Scorpio Races (by Maggie Stiefvater)
Wither (by Lauren DeStefano)
The Diviners (also by Libba Bray)
The Night Circus (by Erin Morgenstern)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (by Laini Taylor)
Matched (by Ally Condie)

We are waiting anxiously to see all of these! What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen?

Waiting to read The Maze Runner?

I’ve seen The Maze Runner. After I climbed out from under my seat (not great with tight, enclosed, shrinking spaces or giant spiders) I decided it was excellent. So have lots of people, judging by just how many reserves are being placed on the series of books by James Dashner. We’re busy buying more copies, but in the mean time here are some ideas for alternatives, which don’t necessarily have enclosed spaces or giant spiders, but, you know:

The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness. If you like the roller-coaster aspect of The Maze Runner then Patrick Ness is your man. All three books in the Chaos Walking trilogy (The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first) are the reading equivalent of an express train. Gripping, scary, sad, mad, plus with a talking dog.

Lockdown, Alexander Gordon Smith. This is the first in the Escape from Furnace series. Furnace is a prison, where Alex is, having been framed for murder. Frankly, things look a bit grim for Alex, but! We know he can do it.

Variant, Robison Wells. Another prison, maybe. Benson Fisher applies to Maxfield Academy in an effort at self-improvement, but when he gets there he finds that Maxfield Academy is not exactly what it seemed.

Legend, Marie Lu. Fast-paced dystopian action again. Day is the legend, a mysterious outlaw in the western Republic of what used to be the United States. June is the Republic’s prodigy, a fifteen-year-old special forces / secret agent type who is set the task of finding and catching Day. This is the first in a popular trilogy.

Plus there’s our list of dystopian / futuristic / speculative fiction here.

The Giver

The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Swift, opens at the movies next Thursday the 11th. We have the book by Lois Lowry at the library (currently there’s a bit of a queue, on account of the movie). We also have The Giver‘s companions available, so this is a rundown of which is what and what happens when:

The Giver (published 1993) – Winner of the Newbery Medal (rather prestigious). “Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.” (goodreads.com)

Gathering Blue (published 2000) – companion to The Giver, rather than a sequel, in that although it is set after The Giver, it’s dealing with a different set of characters. Therefore technically you could read this first, possibly. “Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.” (goodreads.com)

Messenger (2004) – A companion/sequel to The Giver. You might get some resolution from the end of The Giver but I wouldn’t want to give away too much. “Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.” (goodreads.com)

Son (2012) – Read this one last. It wraps up the stories from the other three and (hopefully) makes sense of everything. “They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.” (goodreads.com)

There is more information on Lois Lowry’s website.

New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 Trailer Tuesday

The Wellington NZIFF programme launched a couple of weeks ago and there are so many to choose from – nearly 150 films are in the programme so it is absolutely chocka. Having given it some thought, I’ve picked out some I think will be hits! Check out my list and let me know what you’re excited for in the comments!

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)

From the director of Amelie comes a tale of a prodigious young inventor of completely zany and fascinating products. His perpetual motion machine comes to the attention of the Smithsonian institute and they invite T.S. to Washington, unaware he is just 10 years old. Determined to respond to the invitation, T.S. sets out alone one night on a cross-country adventure to collect his reward for his brilliance.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The newest film from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises) and eight years in the making, Princess Kaguya is a retelling of a traditional Japanese folk tale. A humble bamboo-cutter stumbles upon a tiny princess-like doll hidden in a bamboo shoot. He takes it home, and he and his wife are shocked when the doll turns into a wailing baby. When gifts of gold and silks continue to appear, the bamboo-cutter and his wife decide to abandon their humble lifestyle to raise the girl as a proper princess.

We Are The Best!

We Are The Best! is the story of 3 young misfits growing up in Stockholm, Sweden in the 1980s. Klara and Bobo are 13-year-old rebels looking for a cause. Despite having no particular musical talents, they channel their efforts into forming an all-girl punk band and enlist their shy, guitar-playing classmate Hedvig to join them. The story is based on a graphic novel by the director’s wife Coco Moodysson and fully embodies the DIY spirit of the punk movement.

Patema Inverted

Another exciting anime film, Patema Inverted is the story of young and inquisitive Patema who lives in a post-disaster underground world. While exploring one day she falls into a deep pit, but mysteriously finds herself falling upward to the Earth’s surface. However it is an upside-down surface – surface dwellers live by the opposite gravity to Patema. She is helped by a surface boy called Age, who explains that in his world “inverted” people like Patema are considered unholy sinners and she soon finds herself being pursued by secret police. Together Age and Patema must uncover the dark conspiracy lurking behind their inverted worlds.

Particle Fever

This is a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and the first proton-smashing experiments conducted there. It also follows closely the thrilling search for the Higgs boson, the particle that gives mass to other particles. It is a fascinating insight into the world of physics and discovering our own universe and looks to be extremely exciting!

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

This documentary follows Hayao Miyazaki and visits Studio Ghibli, which in itself looks like a Miyazaki movie. Miyazaki is working on his allegedly final film The Wind Rises, working by hand in a cluttered workspace filled with old technologies. Meanwhile, Ghibli’s other maestro Takahata Isao is working on Princess Kaguya (see above) across town in a completely different working environment. Ghibli producer and co-founder Suzuki Toshio shuttles between the two, managing their differing approaches with love and appreciation for the different challenges each film faces.

Nik’s picks : Best of the Bard (retold) edition

Shakespeare is taught in most college classes these days; whether you think this is a bad or good thing depends on you! I’m a fan, but I get tired of the same-old same-old productions and books. So here are a few of my favourite Shakespeare related books, websites and DVDs, to make your experience of the great man that much more interesting. I think this post is going to get a lot of flack from English teachers and Shakespeare purists everywhere, but I’m of the opinion that stuff like this should be enjoyable and accessible. I’m sure the Bard would have wanted it that way.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTo be or not to be: a chooseable path adventure, by Ryan North, Shakespeare, and you!

This is unquestionably one of my favourite things to come into the YA collection in a while. I have fond memories of choose-your-own adventure books from my childhood, even though I always ended up dying! That’s an option in this book but the great thing is, you can always start again. Especially if you start out as Hamlet Senior…well, that’s not a spoiler. After all, I think the statue of limitations on spoiler warnings runs out after 415 years. Anyway, you can start the game as the aforementioned (deceased) King of Denmark, Ophelia or Hamlet himself. After that, it’s up to you. It’s written more like a YA novel than in prose, and the possible endings get pretty wacky. Added to this are the amazing illustrators; there are too many to namecheck all of them but Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Randall Munroe (XKCD) and Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys, Nothing Possibly can go wrong) all contribute. What I find particularly awesome is that this book is the result of a kickstarter campaign: crowd funding for the win! A necessary disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend using this to write your NCEA essays.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHamlet: a novel, John Marsden

This book takes a rather more serious look at Hamlet. It keeps fairly close to the original story, but manages to convey the inner emotions of those entangled in the story. Retellings of Hamlet are by far the most popular among YA writers, but I think this one’s the best. The language is fresh and the pace makes the looming disaster all the more tragic. It also doesn’t try to force a happy ending on the characters, which I’ve always find a bit jarring, especially in books that aim to be taken seriously.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLady Macbeth’s daughter, Lisa Klein

In the text of Macbeth, it is revealed that lady Macbeth has been pregnant before; but this is only mentioned once, and Macbeth’s lack of children plays a central role in the plot of the play. In this novel, Lisa Klein imagines what the life of such a child – a daughter, who is cast out by Macbeth – would be like. The historic Lady Macbeth also had a son, by her first husband, but is Lady Macbeth and Albia, her lost daughter, who tell the story in alternating chapters. The writer says she set out to give “an entirely new perspective on the events of Shakespeare’s play, using a protagonist who is outside the main action but crucial to its unfolding.” She more than succeeds, and manages to incorporate historical facts into the narrative fairly seamlessly, which keeps the book from seeming too fanciful.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare and illustrated by Gareth Hinds

This is the only book included in this blog post which takes its text entirely from the play, although it’s somewhat abridged. What sets it apart from the other graphic adaptations is its attention to detail; the artist, in his postscript, has taken actual features from Verona and uses them in backgrounds in his lavish illustrations. He does admit that he’s moved various places around for aesthetic purposes, but it doesn’t really affect the sense of a real Renaissance city. Gareth Hinds also tries to “fix” parts of the text that are often portrayed incorrectly in the staging.

Shakespeare retold DVD series

There are plenty of “pure” adaptaions out there but sometimes it can be a struggle to get through all that prose. These modern adaptations are a whole lot of fun. They feature some of the best actors England has to offer having a great time chewing the scenery and taking a break from having to memorise 16th century lines. Again, I wouldn’t recommend using these to help write your essay, but I’m a big believer in enjoying Shakespeare because it’s fun, rather than because you have to study it in class. My favourites are Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer night’s dream.

10 things I hate about you

I remember when this film first came out, which, given that this was 15 years ago, is going to date me a bit. I didn’t realise that this was based off Taming of the Shrew until a while later though! It’s considered a classic, and for good reason. Even though the fashion is slightly dated, the movie still holds up: Heath Ledger, in his break-out role, has great chemistry with Julia Stiles, who’s equally impressive as Kat. It’s full of quotable dialogue and great acting, and conveys what it’s like to be young, cynical and in love in college. Well, as far as I can remember, anyway.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead

This is a classic adaptation of an extraordinary play. It concerns the lives of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, two fairly minor characters in Hamlet. There are chunks of the actual play, but for the most part it’s in modern language. It deals with fate, the nature of theatre and performance, and various philosophical problems. It might sound a bit dry, but it’s extremely funny and features some of the best actors working today.

Over on the Tumblr: New Mockingjay trailer!

Yes, the first trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 has appeared, guest-starring on the library tumblr. Note also the truly amazing print ads for each district – you can see them on the official Capitol website.

#TheFaultInOurStars Giveaway


To celebrate the cinematic release of the much anticipated film adaptation of John Green’s celebrated book Wellington City Libraries in association with 20th Century Fox New Zealand are giving away 10 double passes to The Fault In Our Stars. To enter click here.

Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them – and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. The Fault In Our Stars, based upon the number-one bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

John Green is the bestselling author of many titles including Looking For Alaska, An Abundance Of Katherines, and Paper Towns.

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