Hitting Screens, Week of October 17, 2016

9780399593260_eb228Three films open this coming weekend, including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise, in the second adaptation of Lee Child’s Reacher series.

The first Reacher film, One Shot, was not well reviewed, and many considered Cruise mis-cast, but it did well enough at the box office to keep the series going.

Tie-in: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Movie Tie-in Edition), Lee Child (PRH/Bantam; RH Audio/BOT; also in Mass Market; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432838_3d31bActor Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel, American Pastoral. McGregor also stars along with Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. After a limited release this weekend, it will open in more theaters on Oct. 28,

IndieWire‘s critical roundup reports “Critics have described the film as yet another ill-advised Roth adaptation and more proof that the writer’s work doesn’t translate well to the screen, save for James Schamus’ Indignation released earlier this year.”

But Deadline Hollywood is more positive saying, the film is “unquestionably is awards bait –a remarkable directorial debut for Scottish-born McGregor, who brings a unique outsider’s view to an especially turbulent time in America. Fanning will surprise fans with a performance that is different than anything we have seen from her before. Having gotten an early look at the film I can attest it is sure to spark talk.”

Tie-in: American Pastoral (MTI): American Trilogy (1), Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

mv5bmtg2nti5mtmwnl5bml5banbnxkftztgwodm5mdy1ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The Handmaiden an adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, transports the British Victorian setting to 1930s Korea.

It stars Ha Jung-woo, Kim Min-hee, Jo Jin-woong and Kim Tae-ri and is directed by Park Chan-wook.

Variety says it is “clever, heady and sensually lavish to a fault … Boasting more tangled plots and bodies than an octopus has tentacles, South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is a bodice-ripper about a pickpocket who poses as a maid to swindle a sequestered heiress. His first Korean-language fiction feature since 2009’s Thirst, it’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing.”

A tie-in has not been released.

This is the second adaptation of the novel. The first was a 2005 BBC production. It has also been produced as a stage play.

9781501164675_a1626Two TV series begin this week as well, starting with Chance, a new Hulu series based on Kem Nunn’s novel of the same title.

It has some powerhouse names attached says Slashfilm: Hugh Laurie stars. Lenny Abrahamson (Room) is the executive producer and directed some episodes. Nunn and Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) created the series.

Laurie plays Dr. Eldon Chance, a San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist, who, says Slashfilm “ventures outside of his area of expertise with a stolen identity plot, corrupt police, and a mysterious patient (Gretchen Mol).”

CNN says the show “owes a spiritual debt to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo” and that it is “mildly watchable and tense, but well short of riveting.”

Ethan Suplee (The Wolf of Wall Street), Clarke Peters (Treme), Paul Adelstein (Intolerable Cruelty), and Greta Lee (Homeless Heidi from High Maintenance) co-star.

Hulu has ordered two seasons. USA Today reports the first season, running 10 episodes, is based on the novel. Nunn told the paper, “The book has a lot of good jumping-off places in it … It’s a voyage of discovery.”

A tie-in came out last week: Chance MTI, Kem Nunn (S&S/Scribner; Dreamscape Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The series premieres on Oct. 19.

mv5bmtu3mdkznzm5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzeyntgymdi-_v1_Airing on Oct. 22nd is Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The BBC America series stars Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett and follows the pair as they investigate supernatural cases.

It is an adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 humorous detective novel of the same name.

The series creator and screenwriter Max Landis told Entertainment Weekly that “this show is about someone who doesn’t really know what he’s doing.” Showrunner Robert Cooper said “It’s a combination of Supernatural, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. We’re like, Super-Sher-Who.”

There are several connected titles available, but the nearest to a tie-in is: Dirk Gently’s Big Holistic Graphic Novel, Chris Ryall, Arvind Ethan David, Tony Akins, and Ilias Kyriazis (IDW).

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