Oz, the Great and Powerful, or, Why it pays to have low expectations

Oz, the Great and Powerful

Or, Maybe I’ve Gotten Less Discerning Since Having a Second Kid. I recently saw Oz, the Great and Powerful in IMAX 3-D. Having read mostly 2-2.5-star reviews, I wasn’t expecting much. But when their grandparents are willing and available to babysit your two small children (“Go, see a movie!”), it doesn’t have to be Citizen […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

“…one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green, and the hobbits were still numerous and prosperous, and Bilbo Baggins was standing at his door after breakfast…Gandalf came by.” And the rest, as they say, is history, or fantasy, or folly, depending on who you ask. […]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie poster

The long-awaited movie version of Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment, October 2012; PG-13) celebrates the 90s, the mix tape, friendship, love, and the benefits both of observing life and participating in it. What could have been cloying is in fact a sensitive coming-of-age film. And though there are […]

The Princess Bride: book versus movie

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I love everything about William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. I love the book, first published in 1973 by Harcourt Brace, with its romance, humor, and snark. It manages to be self-aware and meta — that guy never broke character — while still being entirely earnest and somehow avoiding the sap (how is that possible?). The […]

I speak for…

The Lorax movie poster

Dr. Seuss. Well, someone has to, because Illumination Entertainment and Universal Studios, creators of the new movie The Lorax, certainly don’t. The basic elements of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale remain: there’s a Lorax, for example, and sure, he speaks for the trees. The Once-ler is there, and he did cut down truffula trees for ubiquitous […]

The Hunger Games movie adaptation

hunger games movie poster

Excitement was rampant at a March 23rd midnight showing of The Hunger Games (Lionsgate Films), director Gary Ross’s highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s bestselling dystopian novel. Before 11:30pm the theater was already packed, and our mostly undergrad-aged audience was impatiently waiting to see Katniss, the Capitol, and the Games brought to the big screen. […]

Recommended Hunger Games readalikes

legend

As you know, we’re now less than two weeks from The Hunger Games movie release. While that may seem like forever if you’re a fan, it does give you just enough time to devour one of these recently published dystopian novels, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. Day is one of the totalitarian Republic’s […]

Two weeks and counting…

hunger games illustrated companion

Now that March has finally arrived, we’re officially in the “T-minus” phase for The Hunger Games movie adaptation, hitting theaters on March 23. In anticipation, I’ve been perusing several pieces of fine literature, to wit: The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion (Scholastic, February), Stars in the Arena: Meet the Hotties of The Hunger […]

Truffula treats

lorax pop-up

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday (happy birthday Ted!), the premiere of the new animated The Lorax film, and the  annual Read Across America Day, I took a look at David A. Carter’s The Lorax Pop-up! book (Robin Corey Books/Random House, January). After all, I am a reviewer. I speak for the books! This […]

An Interview with Andrew Davis

Holes movie poster

An old friend of mine from Chicago and the director of films including The Fugitive and A Perfect Murder, Andy Davis made a movie hit from Louis Sachar’s popular and dauntingly honored Holes. Here we talk about how that came about. ROGER SUTTON: What was it like to make a movie that was based on […]