Hitting Screens, Week of Sept. 5, 2016

Opening today is the film adaptation, The Light Between Oceans. When we previewed it last week, there were few reviews. They are pouring in now, and it’s getting high marks for gorgeous cinematography, but less for plausibility, or even the ability to jerk tears (see Entertainment Weekly‘s review, as well as the New Yorker‘s). In terms of box office, The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t hold out great hopes, especially since Labor Day weekend tends to be quiet in theaters. The book, however, is already benefitting from the publicity, zooming up USA Today‘s best seller list to #3, its highest position on that list to date.

MV5BMTg5NTUwNDIyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjI2OTc3OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_9780062561206_f3864The big film opening next week is Sully, based on Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2009), a memoir by the man who piloted an airplane to safety on New York’s Hudson River after its engines were disabled by a bird strike.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks in the lead role, with Laura Linney as his wife, it opens on Friday, Sept. 9.

Tie-in: Sully : My Search for What Really Matters, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, Jeffrey Zaslow (HarperCollins/Morrow,  August 30, 2016). It is currently at #5 on the NYT paperback nonfiction best seller list, two weeks.

MV5BMTY2MTA0MDUyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzkxNjA4OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,759,1000_AL_ 9780143126232_a4e59Queen Sugar begins airing on Oprah’s OWN channel Sept. 6 and 7th in a two-night premiere.

The series is the number one People pick for the week, called an “unusually fine, seductive new series.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B, recommending it for people tired of the usual melodramas, because it offers “a refreshing point of difference: a family saga on which loved ones labor together for individual and shared redemption.”

The series is based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike; 2014; see our chat with the author just prior to the book’s publication). As we wrote earlier, the story takes place in Southern Louisiana and features three sibling who inherit their father’s sugar cane plantation. It was selected as a book of the week by Oprah’s O magazine, saying, “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile.”

The two-part premiere is directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma). Upcoming episodes have all been assigned to female directors, many of them first-timers. The series has already been renewed for a second season.

MV5BOWM1OGQ1NjEtYzU1My00ZGY4LTg4NjQtN2JiNWIxYWEzMjIwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyMjI3NDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_9781783298839_2aedaQuarry begins playing on Cinemax on Sept. 9th. As we wrote earlier, it is a dark and moody adaptation of Max Allan Collins’s noir 1970s era series about a hit man. The eight-episode run will star Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) as a Marine who comes home to Memphis after the Vietnam War and gets caught in a world of violence and corruption.

Tie-in, Quarry – TV Tie-In Edition, Max Allan Collins (RH/Hard Case Crime, Sept. 27; OverDrive Sample). Publisher Hard Case Crime has recently re-issued the original Quarry novels with their signature retro covers. The latest is Quarry in the Black (RH/Hard Case Crime; October 4, 2016).

isbn9781408705629Churchill’s Secret begins playing on PBS’s Masterpiece on Sept. 11th. It stars Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy) as Winston Churchill as he suffers a debilitating stroke.

The series is based on a true story and is directed by Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited), Romola Garai (The Hour), and Lindsay Duncan (Sherlock), along with many others PBS fans will recognize.

It is an adaptation of Jonathan Smith’s KBOThe Churchill Secret (Little/Brown, U.K., not published in the US.)

MV5BMTczNTM1NzU1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODAxNTU1OTE@._V1_Ithaca opens in limited release on the 9th, after a poorly reviewed run at film festivals. Giving a flavor for the critics take, The Hollywood Reporter said it was “almost a casebook study of how not to transpose “literature” to film … heartfelt yet sodden … wordy and static.”

Given its big name star line up, it might have expected a better reception. It is directed by Meg Ryan, written by Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) and based on by William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy. It stars Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan, Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater and Tom Hanks.

There was no tie-in.

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