Hitting Screens, Week of January 30, 2017

y648Getting rave reviews, a TV movie adaptation of Agatha Christie’s short story and play, The Witness for the Prosecution, comes to the small screen January 30th when Acorn TV begins streaming the BBC movie. The Wall Street Journal says it has “character … depth and startling bitterness … [the] times are vividly evoked in this splendidly written work whose surprise ending is the kind worth waiting for.”

The Guardian reviewer calls it “Perfectly crafted, expertly cast and beautifully scripted … I doubt there has ever been more brought by a cast, crew and writer to Agatha Christie. It is the most gorgeous gift to the viewer.”

The two-episode series stars Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall along with Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough.

We may see yet another version. Ben Affleck is planning his own adaptation according to Variety, and “will produce with Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd and the Agatha Christie estate.” Of course, he may bow to fan press to do the next Batman movie first.

It was famously adapted into the 1957 film directed by Billy Wilder, starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich. That production eared six Oscar nominations.

There is no tie-in, but the book is still in print, published by HarperCollins (HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

9780525434696_1f767I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, which reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates.

The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, writing “it’s impossible not to think: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s enough to make you weep.” The New Yorker says it is “incisive” and Variety calls it “transcendent.”

There is a companion book: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

9781945054242_6c92eThe fourth in the Ring horror franchise, Rings, premieres on Feb. 3.

The first US version of the story, about a cursed videotape, debuted in 2002. The series is based on the Japanese horror novel Ring by Koji Suzuki, originally published in 1991.

This new version stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Laura Wiggins, and Aimee Teegarden.

There is a tie-in edition: RINGS, Koji Suzuki (PRH/Vertical).

9780385302326It had seemed that Outlander season 3 would air in February but that now looks unlikely and a premiere date has yet to be announced.

The show just won four People’s Choice Awards, for Favorite TV Show, Favorite Premium Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series, and Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor and Actress.

We do know season three will be based on Voyager (PRH/Delacorte; OverDrive Sample), the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s long-running series. TV Guide has an article on what to expect and Movie Pilot offers a catch-up. Entertainment Weekly offers a first look, with Brianna as a baby.

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