Upcoming Movie Adaptations: Witches and Fairies and Titans, Oh My!

This week has been chock-full of news about the latest stories to hit the big screen, so let’s jump right into the headlines–all of which were published at ComingSoon.net.

Image via Coming Soon

Nicholas Hoult of “X-Men” and “Mad Max” reboot fame will play renowned and reclusive author J.D. Salinger in the film, “Rebel in the Rye.” The movie will be written and directed by Danny Strong, the creator behind the FOX show, “Empire,” and the screenplays of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.” I’m so confused by this casting, because I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever, but Salinger is an intriguing enough figure that I might give this biopic a try. Release date TBD.

Image via Coming Soon

Two years after Disney announced that they would be producing the adaptation for beloved children’s series Artemis Fowl, Kenneth Branagh has been signed on as director. I absolutely loved these magical books by Eoin Colfer, so if this movie is a flop, I’ll be crushed. However, given Branagh’s outrageously impressive filmography (acting as Gilderoy Lockhart in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” directing the bestselling “Thor” and “Cinderella,” and participating in more Shakespearean adaptations than I can count), I’m optimistic that this movie is in good hands. Release date TBD.

Image via Coming Soon

On the other side of the world, Japan has been all a buzz with the live-action adaptation of the hit manga series Attack on Titan. I highly recommend reading the comics and watching the anime, because I haven’t seen anything like this story about a city ravaged by gigantic man-eating monsters and a boy ready to avenge his mother’s death at all costs. Not to worry, the U.S. will be releasing this film in limited theaters, with Part 1 out 9/30, 10/1, 10/7, and Part 2 out 10/20, 10/22, and 10/27.

Image via Coming Soon

Lastly, Shakespeare buffs will be dying to see the upcoming rendition of “Macbeth,” starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. This is my favorite play by the Bard, so I was practically squealing with delight while watching the trailer for the first time. Check it out below, and mark your calendars for its release on December 4th.

Are you as excited for these films as I am? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Super Psyched for Salinger!

Hey everyone! I can’t believe that June is over already! This is the first year that I don’t have the luxury of being a student on summer vacation, so needless to say, my slow progress through my to-read list has been getting me down. But I’ve got about 70 pages left of Catch-22, so I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

And as much as I’m enjoying Heller’s novel, it’ll be nice to spend the summer with some beach reads. Two of my favorite chick lit authors have released new works recently, Meg Cabot with Awaken and Sophie Kinsella with Wedding Night. I also have about five romance novels and three other pieces of fiction waiting for me on my shelf. So I’m motivated to enjoy the heat, throw on a swimsuit, and lay out by the pool with a good read!

Of course, when fall approaches I still have something to look forward to! I happened to catch this movie trailer in theaters before watching “The Bling Ring” (Side note: Terribly dull film! As much I like Emma Watson, this bust isn’t even worthy catching on Netflix. Save your money!).

This is a sneak peek into “Salinger,” a documentary on the mysterious author behind Catcher in the Rye, which will be released in theaters on September 6th:

Obviously, after reading Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, and “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” I’m super psyched for this film. I remember hearing the news of Salinger’s passing and I felt so despondent over the fact that he left the earth with such influence and yet so many secrets.

I hope that it reveals new insights about his life as a recluse, especially since the trailer has built up so much suspense. Fingers crossed!

So how many of you are also super psyched for this documentary? Share your love for Salinger in the comments!

Masterpiece Monday: The Catcher in the Rye

Image via Wikipedia

Rating: 5 out of 5

Since I only have two days left of this semester, and only one more semester before I receive my Master’s this spring, I reflect quite a bit on what it’s like to be a young adult in the 21st century. Between the juxtaposition of this dismal economy and the over-indulgent, entitled Millennial generation, lies a disillusioned feeling of angst. And nobody represents angst like  The Catcher in the Rye’s protagonist Holden Caulfield.

Written by J.D. Salinger in 1951, the novel describes Holden’s coming-of-age story as he gets expelled from school and runs away from Pennsylvania to New York. He drinks heavily and has an altercation with a prostitute and her pimp, but eventually meets up with his younger sister Phoebe and takes her to the Central Park Zoo. Although he visits other people, such as his ex-girlfriend Sally and his English teacher Mr. Antolini, it’s with Phoebe that he opens his heart up the most.

The meaning behind the title has to do with Holden mishearing a poem called “Comin’ Through the Rye.” He imagines himself as the guardian of a bunch of kids running around in a rye field next to a cliff. It’s his job to catch the children before they fall–an apt metaphor for Holden’s desire to save children from losing their innocence, like he did.

This novel is now revered as a masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not surrounded by controversy. Because of all of the smoking, drinking, cursing, and whoring Holden does, the book continues to be censored in schools around the world. Many murderers, including Mark David Chapman who assassinated John Lennon, have claimed a personal connection to Holden.

However, what’s more important is that everyone can relate to Holden at some point in their lives, because who hasn’t felt lost, lonely, and frustrated with all the ‘phoniness’ around them? Sure, he exhibits destructive behavior, but all his experiences allow him to evolve as a human being.

So whether you’re going through your quarter-life crisis like I am, wondering what the hell you’re going to do with the rest of your life after graduation, or you’re just sick of this fame-whoring reality TV culture, you’ll find a friend in Holden Caulfield.

I haven’t meant anyone who didn’t love this novel, and I recommend absolutely anything written by Salinger. If you don’t know what all the fuss is about, then pick The Catcher in the Rye up immediately and join the conversation!

Favorite Quotes: “I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they’re not much to look at, or even if they’re sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.” (Ch. 10)

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.” (Ch. 24)

In Honor of Literary Veterans

And supporting the troops doesn't mean that you support war. It means that you support your fellow human beings.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’m only 200 pages into Orwell’s 1984, (I’ve forgotten when I even started the novel!), but I guess my excuse is my 20-page paper which is due at the end of the month. Nothing ruins pleasure-reading like grad school!

Right now I’ve just reached the part where after all the planning and toiling over Hate Week, Winston learns that his country of Oceania has just switched their enemy of Eurasia to Eastasia–and no one bats an eye over this turn of events, as if if had always been and will always be that way.

1984 is such a perfect read given that Veteran’s Day is tomorrow, because it demonstrates just how incomprehensible and useless war really is. Granted, I haven’t finished the book, but I hope that Winston and his comrades will be able to escape the iron grip of Big Brother some way–even if it has to be in death. But no spoilers!!!

I wanted to honor literary veterans by discussing my favorite war story: “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” by J.D. Salinger. This short story was published in 1948, right after World War II. It features Seymour Glass, of Salinger’s famous fictional Glass family. Seymour and his wife Muriel are on vacation on a Florida beach, but Seymour exhibits rather odd behavior.

He tells a young girl named Sybil about creatures called “bananafish.” He explains:

“Well, they swim into a hole where there’s a lot of bananas. They’re very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I’ve known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as 78 bananas…Naturally, after that they’re so fat they can’t get out of the hole again.”

Naturally, Sybil asks what happens to bananafish, and Seymour replies that they die. It’s at this point where you realize that this story has a much deeper meaning than a simple family vacation, and that Seymour is not okay. I won’t give away the ending, but I can’t think of a better story which addresses war and the PTSD from which many veterans suffer, often unnoticed by the people around them.

Salinger is an exquisite writer, and I loved this short story so much. Feel free to share your favorite war stories in honor of our literary (and real) veterans!

PS: Speaking of war, “The Hunger Games” trailer will be shown on Good Morning America this Monday! May the odds be ever in your favor!