Movies & TV

From Page to Screen in 2016

fantastic beastsOver the years, I have attended many Q&A’s with popular authors. No matter who the author or what type of book they write, they are nearly always asked to talk about where they find inspiration. This question can also easily be applied to screenwriters and, like authors, I am sure they find inspiration in everything around them. Whether in their own lives or in world events, complete fantasy or rooted in reality, screenwriters (and authors!) can turn even the most simple of ideas into a beautiful, complete story.

But screenwriters also find inspiration in the written word. In fact, movies based on books are so popular, that the Oscars have separated the screenplay category into two awards: original and adapted.  Each year there are more and more movies released in theaters that are based on books, and this year is no exception. 2016 has seen movies based on Young Adult novels, classic literature, literary fiction, genre fiction, and nonfiction.

Avid readers will understand why books are so often turned into movies. Some books are so stunningly descriptive that the words on the page are practically begging to be transformed into a visual format. And some books are full of so much creativity and imagination that turning them into a movie enhances the story.

The question then becomes, if a movie is made out of your favorite book, do you go see it? Personally, I have had this happen with a few books and, I admit, I haven’t had the courage to see the movie versions of all of them. On the other hand, there have been books I wasn’t particularly attached to that have become some of my favorite movies. Sometimes a difference in presentation makes all the difference.

Below, I have put together a list of some of the 2016 movie releases based on books. Click on the author to request a copy of the book and, when possible (because some of the movies aren’t yet out on DVD), click on the title to request a copy of the movie.

Watch a Banned Book today!

September 25, 2016-October 1, 2016 is Banned and Challenged Books Week. 

It is no surprise that many of these titles are well loved by many, and have been made into great films.  This list includes classic literature, children’s books and contemporary fiction titles. Treat yourself to a movie based on a banned or challenged book today!

There are many more movies based on banned books. Which one is your favorite?

The Great Gatsby In 1920s Long Island, a mysterious American millionaire's efforts to recapture the sweetheart of his youth result in tragedy.  There are two great versions of this film.  One released in 2013, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, and one released in 1974, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Star Trek

Fifty years ago, a phenomenon was born.  A television series embraced and enjoyed to this day.

Star Trek.

There’s probably not much new about this series that I could relate here.  It’s known around the world.  But for those who may not be as familiar with the Original Series and its numerous spinoffs, here’s a bit of background.

Fall Into TV

fall leafIt feels cliché to admit this, but fall is my favorite time of year. After a long, hot summer, I can’t wait for the slightly cooler temperatures that herald fall and all it has to offer. Wearing cardigans without roasting, grilling outside without melting, eating pumpkin spice everything, and, most important of all, prepping the DVR to record all my favorite television shows.

That’s not to say that I haven’t watched any TV at all this summer. In fact, I have spent all summer binge watching random TV shows and it has been fantastic. I’ve discovered shows I never knew existed (all crime shows, because I’m obsessed with them), fallen in love with shows I originally passed over without a second glance, and caught up on shows I’d previously abandoned. Despite that, I miss my usual shows. I miss familiar settings and plots that feel comfortable while still moving the plots forward. But most of all, I want to catch up with my favorite characters and see how they fared after last season’s cliffhangers!

If you’re looking to pick up a new TV show this season, or just want to binge watch old episodes of a favorite series, check out the list below and see what HCPL has to offer. You just might find a new favorite show!

Fall TV Picks:

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" 4:30 Monday Sept.12

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" movie on Monday, September 12 @ 4:30 PM in the Octavia Fields Library Meeting Room. All are welcome.  Free Popcorn from Deerbrook Movie Tavern.

Gene Wilder (1933-2016)

It doesn’t matter if there was a remake a few years ago.  For most of us there’s only one Willy Wonka. 

Gene Wilder.

I Am A Librarian!

librarianIn 1999, the action-adventure film The Mummy was released in theaters. It opened to middling critical reception, but, ultimately, was a box office success. I remember seeing it at the movie theater shortly after it was released and enjoying it immensely. Since then, it has become one of my favorite movies and is, in my opinion, a perfect genre film.

In The Mummy, Brendan Fraser plays Rick O’Connell, an erstwhile adventurer who agrees to lead Evelyn, a librarian and Egyptologist played by Rachel Weisz, and her brother to the lost city of Hamunaptra. Of course, things don’t go as planned – they never do when you accidentally raise a cursed mummy from the dead. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue in the movie occurs while Evelyn is talking to Rick:

  • Evelyn: Look, I... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
  • Rick: And what is that?
  • Evelyn: I... am a librarian!

As a librarian myself, I have always loved this piece of dialogue. Librarians don’t often show up in movies, and when they do, they are generally written to the old stereotype: stuffy, staid, and grouchy. Evelyn isn’t like that at all, and it makes for a refreshing change of pace. While I don’t necessarily want to go off and battle reanimated mummies, I do appreciate that someone thinks that I could with my librarian know-how.

Below, I have put together a list of movies that feature a librarian or other library staff member. Some of these movies hammer straight through the stereotypes, while others embrace them. Either way, it is fun to see what Hollywood imagines my job!

Take a Break from the Heat with these Cool Titles!

Here in Harris County, we know August is the hottest month.  Why don’t you check out some of these movies from our collection and cool off!

    Christmas Vacation- Spend some time with the Griswolds as they celebrate the holidays with family.                                It’s sure to be a disaster!

75 Years Ago...

When you’re a classic movie fan, there’s one bit of common knowledge that is universally accepted: 1939 was a best year for movies.  There’s a lot to be said for that year.  Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Wuthering Heights, and so many others.

Here Comes the Bride

heartsLast weekend, I attended the wedding of one of my younger siblings. It was a crazy weekend full of unexpected issues, but, ultimately, the wedding was beautiful for all involved. This wedding was only the latest in a string of ceremonies and receptions I have attended in the last six months. Love is definitely in the air!

Weddings, both the planning and the actual event, have long been a favorite topic in film. They can be the overarching theme of a movie, as in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, or simply a pivotal part of the plot, as in The Princess Bride. The wedding day in movies is often one where anything that can go wrong, will. While no one wants their wedding day to be a catastrophe (or even a little bit bumpy) in real life, it provides plenty of laughs on screen!

If you’re in the mood for a movie this weekend (and, let’s face it, it’s far too hot to be outside!), check out one of these wedding favorites.

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