Hitting Screens, Week of May 1, 2017

9780316271639_4ab46Two film adaptations arrive this week, including the eagerly awaited Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.

Based on the Marvel comics, and following the surprise hit of 2014, Guardians returns with another helping of action, comedy, and a killer soundtrack. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell, the film debuts on May 5. Early tracking numbers that put it on target for a massive money-making opening.

Many tie-ins have already been published, including:

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Blackstone Audio; also in paperback; OverDrive Sample)

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, Marvel Comics, Ages 9 And Up, Grades 4 to 17 (Hachette/Marvel; April 18, 2017)

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws, Nick Jones, Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5, (PRH/DK). For more see our listing of tie-ins.

Early reviews largely agree that, while it’s good, it doesn’t live up to first one. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B- and writes, “Alas, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the gag is starting to feel like it’s getting a bit old. It’s still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it’s a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment.” USA Today says it is “just short of magical.”

9780804190091_f5826Also arriving on the 5th is The Dinner, based on the novel of the same name by Herman Koch.

It depicts the tense story of the two Lohman brothers and their wives who are facing deep family strife as they try to decide what to do after their sons commit a terrible crime.

The novel was on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list for seven weeks, reaching a high of #7, although NYT critic Janet Maslin was no fan, writing “The Dinner has been wishfully compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (and enthusiastically endorsed by Ms. Flynn) for its blackhearted deviltry. But her book, with its dueling narrators, had two vicious but sympathetic voices. Her sneaky spouses were delectable in their evil genius. The Lohmans are indigestible.”

Early reviews echo some of her take, The Guardian says it is “soggy melodrama and indigestible ham all round” and The Hollywood Reporter says the film “will probably see some arthouse action both in Europe and stateside before ending up as broadcast fodder for people watching TV with plates of microwaved food on their knees.” However Variety is on board, writing that it is “riveting” with “a catchy atmosphere of disturbance.”

The film stars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, and Charlie Plummer. Tie-in: The Dinner (Movie Tie-In Edition), Herman Koch (PRH/Hogarth; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

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