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October 2014

Books on Screen

October 2014

What’s the difference between the month of October and a Peter Jackson movie? October doesn’t go on forever! Which is unfortunate, but necessary, as it brings us one month closer to Oscars season. And by the invariable mathematics of Hollywood: Oscar-hopeful movies>movies. So grab a pumpkin spice latte (and then carefully tuck it into your jacket so it doesn’t get confiscated by a ticket taker), and head out to see some books on screen!

The hot ticket this month is, of course, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s mind-bending GONE GIRL. A moody thriller is kind of a stretch for the mild Fincher…just kidding! It’s totally in his creepy backwoods wheelhouse. Early buzz about the movie has been resoundingly positive, although I remain skeptical because if Flynn taught me one thing, it’s not to trust everything I read. Just kidding again! I’m psyched (and, apparently, full of misdirection today).

Other movies to look forward to this month include Dracula Untold, which offers a unique twist on the classic Dracula tale. (That was not a stake joke). Juno director Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children has a star-studded cast that includes The Fault in Our Stars heartthrob Ansel Elgort, and is about the many ways the Internet alienates us from the people around us. Hey, they said it, not me. Ansel’s Fault co-star Shailene Woodley isn’t far behind on a follow-up of her own: Later this month, she’ll be starring in White Bird in a Blizzard opposite the always-spellbinding Eva Green as her long-suffering, gone-girl mother.

If you’re saving your dough this month, there are loaves of books to watch on the television screen (see what I did there? I’m really not sure if the world is bready for my humor). “The Vampire Diaries” is back for its sixth season, and things are not looking sanguine for our bloodsucking friends. If you like your vamps more human and working for the CIA, “Homeland” is back for season four on Showtime, and is rumored to be shaking things up after the shocking events of last season’s finale. And if you’re trying to avoid Claire Danes’ cry face, the CW has not one but TWO shows based on DC comic book characters (it’s a Warner Bros. conspiracy!); tune in to check out returing champ "Arrow" and the debut of "The Flash."

That’s a wrap for this month! Make like a leaf and check out October’s books on screen.

--- Written and compiled by Emily Hoenig


In Theaters:

Gone Girl
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, David Clennon
Director: David Fincher
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 3rd
Based On: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

GONE GIRL --- directed by David Fincher and based on the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn --- unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?


A Good Marriage
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Joan Allen, Stephen Lang
Director: Peter Askin
Distributor: Screen Media Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 3rd
Based On: A GOOD MARRIAGE by Stephen King

After 25 years of a good marriage, what will Darcy do once she discovers her husband's sinister secret?


Left Behind
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Jordin Sparks, Lea Thompson
Director: Vic Armstrong
Distributor: Stoney Lake Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 3rd
Based on: LEFT BEHIND: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days by Tim F. LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

Left Behind is an apocalyptic action-thriller movie starring Nicolas Cage and based on the New York Times bestselling novel that brings biblical prophecy to life in modern times. A small group of survivors are left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction.


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Cast: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Bella Thorne
Director: Miguel Arteta
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: October 10th

Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life --- a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns he is not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette), and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one.


Dracula Untold
Cast: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks
Director: Gary Shore
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 10th
Based on: DRACULA by Bram Stoker

Facing threats to his kingdom and his family, Vlad Tepes looks to make a deal with dangerous supernatural forces --- without succumbing to the darkness himself.


Kill the Messenger
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jeremy Renner, Michael Sheen
Director: Michael Cuesta
Distributor: Focus Features
MPAA Rating:R
Release Date: October 10th
Based On: KILL THE MESSENGER by Tami Hoag

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S. and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. --- and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but also his family and his life.


One Chance
Cast: James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Julie Walters
Director: David Frankel
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 10th
Based On: ONE CHANCE: A Memoir by Paul Potts

From the director of The Devil Wears Prada, One Chance is the remarkable and inspirational true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night. Paul became an instant YouTube phenomenon after being chosen by Simon Cowell for “Britain's Got Talent.” Wowing audiences worldwide with his phenomenal voice, Paul went on to win “Britain’s Got Talent” and the hearts of millions. Fresh from celebrating his Tony Award-winning Broadway run in One Man, Two Guvnors, BAFTA winner James Corden (The History Boys) stars as Paul Potts and is supported by an acclaimed ensemble cast that includes Julie Walters (Mamma Mia!, Calendar Girls, Billy Elliot), Mackenzie Crook (The Pirates of the Caribbean), Colm Meaney (Get Him to the Greek), Jemima Rooper (Kinky Boots), Valeria Bilello (Pazze Di Me) and rising star Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady). Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me, Hope Springs) and written by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List), One Chance is produced by Mike Menchel, Brad Weston, Kris Thykier (Kick-Ass, The Debt, I Give it a Year) and Simon Cowell, and executive produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein.


You’re Not You
Cast: Ali Larter, Hilary Swank, Emmy Rossum
Director: George C. Wolfe
Distributor: Entertainment One Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 10th
Based On: YOU’RE NOT YOU by Michelle Wildgen

A drama centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.


Cast: Sharon Leal, Kat Graham, William Levy, Boris Kodjoe
Director: Billie Woodruff
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 10th

Based on the bestselling novel by Zane, Addicted is a sexy and provocative thriller about desire and the dangers of indiscretion. Successful businesswoman Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) appears to have attained it all --- the dream husband she loves (Boris Kodjoe), two wonderful children and a flourishing career. As perfect as everything appears from the outside, Zoe is still drawn to temptations she cannot escape or resist. As she pursues a secretive life, Zoe finds herself risking it all when she heads down a perilous path she may not survive.


The Best of Me
Cast: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey Liana Liberato,
Director: Michael Hoffman
Distributor: Relativity Media
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 17th
Based On: THE BEST OF ME by Nicholas Sparks

A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown.


Men, Women & Children
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ansel Elgort
Director: Jason Reitman
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating:R
Release Date: October 17th
Based On: MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN by Chad Kultgen

Men, Women & Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting and the proliferation of illicit material on the Internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose --- some tragic, some hopeful --- as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets and our computers.


Love, Rosie
Cast: Sam Claflin, Lily Collins, Christian Cooke
Director: Christian Ditter
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: N/A
Release date: October 22nd (UK)
Based On: LOVE, ROSIE by Cecilia Ahern

Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were five, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.


Low Down
Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close
Director: Jeff Preiss
Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 24th
Based On: LOW DOWN: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Children by Amy Jo-Albany

A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1960s and ‘70s jazz scene.


Stonehearst Asylum
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Brendan Gleeson, John Sturgess, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine
Director: Brad Anderson
Distributor: Millennium Films
MPAA Ratings: PG-13
Release Date: October 24th
Based On: "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" by Edgar Allan Poe

A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues --- though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.


White Bird in a Blizzard
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe and Thomas James and Angela  Bassett
Director: Gregg Araki
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Based ON: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD by Laura Kasischke

Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), a beautiful, enigmatic and haunted woman, disappears --- just as Kat is discovering and relishing her own newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother's absence and certainly doesn't blame her doormat of a father, Brock, (Christopher Meloni) for the loss. In fact, it's almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve's disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother's departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it...  


Before I Go to Sleep
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Director: Rowan Joffe
Distributor: Clarius Entertainment, Eagle Films
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 31st
Based on: BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson

A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.


Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham
Director: Alexandre Aja
Distributor: Dimension Films RADiUS-TWC
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 31st
Based On: HORNS by Joe Hill

In the aftermath of his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.


On TV:

“The Vampire Diaries”
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Kat Graham, Candice Accola
Network: The CW
Air Dates: Premieres October 2nd,Thursdays at 8pm ET
Based On: The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith

Months after this devastating tragedy, everyone is dealing with the loss of their loved ones in different ways, some more destructively than others. What happened to Bonnie and Damon, and if they can even be saved, remains a mystery. Meanwhile, their beloved hometown of Mystic Falls continues to be a magic-free zone, protected by a mysterious new community watch program. If there’s any hope of salvaging their former lives, our heroes must find a way to push through their grief and band together. This season will explore themes of loss, denial and what it means to move on in the face of immortality, ultimately begging the age-old question --- can you ever really go home again?


Cast: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend
Network: Showtime
Air Dates: Premieres October 5th, Sundays at 9pm ET
Based On: SAUL'S GAME by Andrew Kaplan

“Homeland” is an edge-of-your-seat sensation. CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is tops in her field despite being bipolar, which makes her volatile and unpredictable. With the help of her long-time mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie fearlessly risks everything, including her personal well-being and even sanity, at every turn. You won't be able to turn away from this gripping, emotional thriller in which nothing short of the fate of our nation is at stake.


“The Flash”
Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Rick Cosnett, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Jessie L. Martin
Network: The CW
Air Dates: Premieres October 7th, Tuesdays at 8pm ET
Based On: THE FLASH: DC Comics character created by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Carmine Infantino

“The Flash” follows the adventures of scientist Barry Allen, who is a superhero with incredible speed.


Cast: Stephen Amell, Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Susanna Thompson, Paul Blackthorne
Network: The CW
Air Dates: October 8th, Wednesdays at 8pm ET
Based On: DC Comics character Green Arrow created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he's become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow --- a vigilante --- to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be --- flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle --- while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel's father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver's own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on --- and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.


Big Driver (Lifetime Movie)
Cast: Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd, Will Harris
Network: Lifetime
Air Date: Premieres October 18th at 8pm ET
Based On: BIG DRIVER by Stephen King

In Big Driver, Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book-signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.


Cast: Harold Perrineau, Charles Halford
Network: NBC
Air Dates:Premieres October 24th, Fridays at 10pm ET
Based On:The Hellblazer series from DC Comics

Based on the wildly popular comic book series Hellblazer from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, "Criminal Minds") is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight --- or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he's decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. With the balance of good and evil on the line,Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows...maybe there's hope for him and his soul after all.


“Death Comes to Pemberley” (three-part miniseries)
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Goode
Network: PBS
Air Dates: Premieres October 26th, Sundays at 9pm ET

It is October, 1803, six years after the events in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE that resulted in the marriage of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. One evening, on their way to Pemberley for a ball, an argument breaks out between George Wickham and Captain Denny in the carriage, with Wickham's wife (and Elizabeth's sister), Lydia, also present. The two leave the carriage in anger and disappear into the woodland, where two gunshots are heard. Upon hearing the news, Darcy sends out a search party and Wickham is found distraught and hysterical holding Denny's body, blaming himself for his murder.



Edge of Tomorrow 
Cast: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt
Director: Doug Liman
Distributor: Warner Bros. Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 7th
Based onALL YOU NEED IS KILL by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

The epic action of Edge of Tomorrow unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop --- forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.


Million Dollar Arm
Cast: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin
Director: Craig Gillespie
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: October 7th
Based On: MILLION DOLLAR ARM: Sometimes to Win, You Have to Change the Game by J. B. Bernstein

JB Bernstein is a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner, Aash, will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn't come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout in tow, JB stages a televised, nationwide competition called "Million Dollar Arm," where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh, emerge as winners. JB brings them back to the United States to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House. The goal: get the boys signed to a major league team. Not only is the game itself difficult to master, but life in the U.S. with a committed bachelor makes things even more complicated-for all of them. While Rinku and Dinesh learn the finer points of baseball and American culture, they in turn teach JB the true meaning of teamwork and commitment. Ultimately, what began as a purely commercial venture becomes something more and leads JB to find the one thing he was never looking for at all --- a family.


X-Men: Days of Future Past
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult
Director: Bryan Singer
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: October 14th
Based On: UNCANNY X-MEN, “Days of Future Past” by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past --- to save our future.


Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 21st
Based on: LE TRANSPERCENEIGE by Jacques Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette, and Benjamin Legrand, published in English as SNOWPIERCER VOL. 1: The Escape

In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off all life on the planet except for a lucky few that boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system evolves.


Child of God
Cast: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Scott Haze
Director: James Franco
Distributor: Spotlight Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 28th
Based On: CHILD OF GOD by Cormac McCarthy

Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee, CHILD OF GOD tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as "a child of God much like yourself perhaps." Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.


Deliver Us From Evil
Cast: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Sean Harris
Director: Scott Derrickson
Distributor: Screen Gems
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 28th
Based On: BEWARE THE NIGHT by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool

In Deliver Us From Evil, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), who is struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. 


Life of Crime
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Mark Boone Junior, Isla Fisher, Mos Def
Director: Daniel Schechter
Distributor: Lionsgate Roadside Attractions
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: October 28th
Based On: THE SWITCH by Elmore Leonard

The wife of a wealthy man is kidnapped, but he doesn't want to pay her ransom.