Category: Movie Books

04/03/09


Stephen King goes to the movies ... sort of



Stephen King Goes to the Movies (2009)

by Stephen King

The Cryptkeeper says:
I was really excited when I first heard that Stephen King was compiling a book about his favorite short stories that have been turned into films. I hoped and prayed for something that was a cross between On Writing and Danse Macabre -- but alas, what King fans get is a reprinting of five previously published stories. I repeat, this is an anthology of previously published material.

Once I got over my initial disappointment, I realized that the old stories are at least introduced by King, and these short intros are new. So at least that's something. Furthermore, the five stories he has selected are oldies but goodies, as the saying goes. Readers unfamiliar with King's shorter works now have a chance to see that not everything the master writes is of door-stop length. When he has a mind to, King can embrace short but sweet and do a fine job.

This anthology includes "Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption", one of King's best and adapted for the screen by Frank Darabont into one of the most memorable films ever. Other titles include: "1408", "Children of the Corn", "The Mangler", and "Low Men in Yellow Coats" (filmed as Hearts in Atlantis).

Look for these Stephen King movies available in the RPL catalogue:

1408 -- 3 1/2 stars, pretty good

Carrie -- 5 stars, classic

The Dead Zone -- 4 stars, worth it for Christopher Walken

Dolores Claiborne -- 3 stars, pretty good

Dreamcatcher -- 2 1/2 stars, borderline

The Green Mile -- 4 1/2 stars, excellent

Misery -- 4 stars, Kathy Bates is s-c-a-r-y

The Mist -- 3 1/2 stars, special effects are cool

The Running Man -- 2 stars, poor adaptation

Secret Window -- 3 stars, pretty creepy

The Shawshank Redemption -- 5 stars, classic

The Shining -- 5 stars, classic

The Stand -- 3 1/2 stars, decent TV adaptation

Stand by Me -- 5 stars, classic

The Tommyknockers -- 0 stars, pure crap, avoid at all costs!


***This post appears courtesy of RPL's horror blog.


02/21/08


Categories: Movie Books

Screen legend bio offers real insight

Five Easy Decades (2008):
How Jack Nicholson became the biggest movie star in modern times

by Dennis McDougal

With more than 60 films to his credit, Nicholson has been nominated for an acting (lead or supporting) Academy Award in every decade since the 1960's. The only other actors who can say the same are Michael Caine and Paul Newman. With 12 nominations thus far (8 for Best Actor and 4 for Best Supporting Actor), Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history. He's received Best Actor Oscars for his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and As Good As It Gets (1997) and a Best Supporting Oscar for Terms of Endearment (1983)


From Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review):

"New York Times film writer McDougal has turned out a model biography: exhaustive, full of action, and startlingly illuminating. Nicholson -- flamboyant yet guarded, outrageous yet articulate, charming yet polarizing -- has marched to his own drummer for 50 years, heading up a parade of celebrated films and famous women, eliciting strong opinions in just about everyone; as such, McDougal presents an engrossing showcase of big films and bigger personalities....Los Angeles plays a starring role, giving Nicholson his wild lifestyle, a loyal, eclectic roster of friends and a long-time neighbor in Marlon Brando. Digging up as many roles offstage as on-hardheaded businessman, softhearted friend, master of rude rejoinders, fanatical sports fan and poetic philosopher -- McDougal makes Nicholson's everyday life just as fascinating as his films, which also get considerable, thoughtful attention; in fact, McDougal's research is so deep and detailed, his extensive chapter notes could make a fine book of their own."

Movie Maven


02/05/08


Categories: Movie Books

Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture

Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture
Written by Peter Kobel, Foreward by Martin Scorsese 2007

A gorgeous, lavish history of silent movies - with more than 400 amazing images - captures the birth of film and icons like Chaplin, Garbo, Clara Bow, and Valentino.Drawing on the extraordinary collection of The Library of Congress, one of the greatest repositories for silent film and memorabilia, Peter Kobel has created the definitive visual history of silent film.From its birth in the 1890s, with the earliest narrative shorts, through the brilliant full-length features of the 1920s, SILENT MOVIES captures the greatest directors and actors and their immortal films.SILENT MOVIES also looks at the technology of early film, the use of color photography, and the restoration work being spearheaded by some of Hollywood's most important directors, such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Richly illustrated from the Library of Congress's extensive collection of posters, paper prints, film stills, and memorabilia-most of which have never been in print-SILENT MOVIES is an important work of history that will also be a sought-after gift book for all lovers of film. -- Amazon


11/30/07


Categories: Movie Books

You Gotta See This Film: more than 100 of Hollywood’s best reveal and discuss their favorite films, by Cindy Peralman


2007
What is your favorite movie of all time? This is the question Pearlman, senior entertainment writer for the New York Times Syndicate, asked hundreds of Hollywood heavy hitters over the past two years, resulting in this collection of more than 100 incisive interviews with actors, screenwriters and directors. High points include David Cronenberg explaining why Fellini's La Dolce Vita remains his perennial favorite ("How many modern directors deserve to be adjectives?") and Julianne Moore admitting "there's nothing I love better than a scary movie" in her discussion of Rosemary's Baby. The collection also unearths the inspiration that set some on the path to stardom: Jennifer Lopez says that West Side Story left her "in that dark theater crying because here was my proof that my people could sing, dance, and act," while Johnny Depp fell for The Wizard of Oz because he "wanted to have a tornado sweep me up and take me away from the life I was living as a teenager." This slim book's brilliance lies in its numerous reminders that even stars are movie fans, too; it should hold great interest for cineastes hoping to expand their horizons and average pop culture junkies alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Categories: Movie Books

Let’s Face it: 90 years of living, loving and learning, by Kirk Douglas


2007
At 90 years old, recovered from a stroke and a near-fatal helicopter crash, acting legend Douglas is in a reflective mood: "now is the time to have an audit of my life," he writes, and he does not disappoint. Douglas recalls his childhood and his own children, 50-plus years of marriage to wife Anne and the deaths of his son and many of his famous friends. He tackles a wide range of topics, with chapter names like, "Three Thoughts About Two Races," "I Love Dogs" and "Does God Laugh?" He's also unafraid to take a few swings at the young 'uns, most notably at Mel Gibson, Michael Moore and even the whippersnappers at NASA. Douglas's assessment of his life is honest, wise and not always flattering; when he heard, in a recent documentary, what some family members had to say about him, he notes, "It's difficult to see ourselves as others see us." Nevertheless, Douglas is upbeat, engaging and full of sharp observations, such as his simple epitaph, "I tried, dammit, I tried."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Categories: Movie Books

It’s Good to be the King: the seriously funny life of Mel Brooks, by James Robert Parish


2007
Parish, author of many books including Katharine Hepburn: The Untold Story and Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flaps, here traces the life and career of mirthmaker Mel Brooks from the Borscht Belt to Broadway. Born Melvin Kaminsky, he grew up as a Brooklyn classroom clown, honing his stage skills in the Catskills before arriving in WWII France as an army combat engineer. The bombastic Brooks clawed his way into early television as a writer for Sid Caesar: "I was aggressive. I was a terrier, a pit bull terrier. I was unstoppable. I would keep going until my joke or my sketch was in the show."

Caesar's shows were a launchpad, catapulting Brooks into a multifaceted comedy career that embraced theater (Shinbone Alley) and sitcoms (Get Smart), recordings (the 2000 Year Old Man series) and acting (Mad About You). He began directing in 1968 with The Producers, followed by the equally hilarious Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Along the way, he picked up Emmys, Tonys, a Grammy, an Oscar and Anne Bancroft, whom he married in 1964. Brooks's probing self-insights and clever quotes abound. While his sense of timing, delivery and charming goofiness may not always translate to the written page, readers will be satisfied with the details unearthed by Parish's exhaustive research. 16 b&w photos. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Categories: Movie Books

Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, a personal biography, by Charlotte Chandler


2007
The author of many Hollywood biographies, Chandler (Hello, I Must Be Going: Groucho Marx) offers a straightforward account of one of the more intriguing Golden Age stars. Bergman died young of cancer on her 67th birthday in 1982. Her husbands, lovers, children, and the directors and actors with whom she worked, have been generous in granting interviews, and while there's not much new or exciting—aside from the well-known scandal Bergman caused when she deserted her dentist husband (Petter Lindstrom) for Italian director Roberto Rossellini (father of her twin daughters Isabella and Isotta)—there's a lot of warm reminiscences. Chandler's book will be nicely timed with Turner Classic Movies, which has made March Bergman month. 40 b&w photographs not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Categories: Movie Books

I’m Chevy Chase – and you’re not: the authorized biography, by Rena Fruchter


2007
An in-depth look at the complex and fascinating star who came from a childhood of abuse and, despite all odds, rose to fame as a brilliant actor, comedian and writer. In this unique biography, friends, colleagues, and Chevy himself are interviewed by the author, and often presented in their own words. Chevy speaks openly about his drug problems and his fight to beat addiction. He also offers many hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdotes about his years in Hollywood as one of the world's leading comedians. Amazon.ca



Categories: Movie Books

Five Easy Decades: how Jack Nicholson became the biggest movie star of modern times, by Dennis McDougal


2007
Taking on not just a legendary subject, but a legendarily private subject—refusing biographers and TV personalities, Nicholson prefers “the occasional magazine Q&A or quickie newspaper interview”—author and New York Times film writer McDougal (Privileged Son) has turned out a model biography: exhaustive, full of action, and startlingly illuminating. Nicholson—flamboyant yet guarded, outrageous yet articulate, charming yet polarizing—has marched to his own drummer for 50 years, heading up a parade of celebrated films and famous women, eliciting strong opinions in just about everyone; as such, McDougal presents an engrossing showcase of big films and bigger personalities.

Following a modest, fatherless New Jersey childhood, Nicholson set out on a California odyssey that would require stamina, guts and luck, as “eking out a living” in the early sixties gave way to the career-making premier of Easy Rider: “ ‘I had been around long enough to know while sitting in that audience, I had become a movie star.’ ” Los Angeles plays a starring role, giving Nicholson his wild lifestyle, a loyal, eclectic roster of friends and a long-time neighbor in Marlon Brando. Digging up as many roles offstage as on—hardheaded businessman, softhearted friend, master of rude rejoinders, fanatical sports fan and poetic philosopher—McDougal makes Nicholson’s everyday life just as fascinating as his films, which also get considerable, thoughtful attention; in fact, McDougal’s research is so deep and detailed, his extensive chapter notes could make a fine book of their own. (Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, September 24, 2007)



Categories: Movie Books

Dark Victory: the life of Bette Davis, by Ed Sikov


2007
The legendary Hollywood star blazes a fiery trail in this enthralling portrait of a brilliant actress and the movies her talent elevated to greatness She was magnificent and exasperating in equal measure. Jack Warner called her 'an explosive little broad with a sharp left.' Humphrey Bogart once remarked, 'Unless you're very big she can knock you down.' Bette Davis was a force of nature-an idiosyncratic talent who nevertheless defined the words 'movie star' for more than half a century and who created an extraordinary body of work filled with unforgettable performances.

In Dark Victory, the noted film critic and biographer Ed Sikov paints the most detailed picture ever delivered of this intelligent, opinionated, and unusual woman who was-in the words of a close friend-'one of the major events of the twentieth century.' Drawing on new interviews with friends, directors, and admirers, as well as archival research and a fresh look at the films, this stylish, intimate biography reveals Davis's personal as well as professional life in a way that is both revealing and sympathetic. With his wise and well-informed take on the production and accomplishments of such movie milestones as Jezebel, All About Eve, and Now, Voyager, as well as the turbulent life and complicated personality of the actress who made them, Sikov's Dark Victory brings to life the two-time Academy Award-winning actress's unmistakable screen style, and shows the reader how Davis's art was her own dark victory. Amazon.ca


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