Tag Archive: hunger games

What’s Coming up?

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Did you tick everything off your summer bucket list?

Beach 2014We didn’t manage half of what we wanted to do although this past weekend we did the one thing I have been dreaming about. We went to the Indiana Dunes state park, sat on the beach, and played in the water. It was a wonderous sun-soaked time, one of the few days that felt truly warm enough to get out on the beach.

In a summer that has seemed less than sizzling, so has gone the summer movie season.

Beyond a few movies that were adaptations from Young Adult books that were meaningful explorations of emotion and identity, there were few movies this summer that made me say ‘yes, I have to see That!”

However, I do not feel the same way about the movies coming up in the fall.

One of the most interesting pictures coming out is Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Their marriage seems idyllic until she disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary.

The movie is based on the best selling suspense/thriller novel by Gillian Flynn and promises to be exciting and a possible Oscar contender.

Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike

Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike

The story is about a couple who move from New York to Missouri after a job loss. The husband took the last of his wife’s trust fund money to start a bar in his home town that succeeds and supports the couple as well as the husband’s sister. But when the wife turns up missing, the husband becomes the number one suspect, things begin to get complicated.

I am fascinated because not only is the life of this couple comes under the microscope, the husband gets extra hard scrutiny from the media. In this case, it is a Nancy Grace type who tends to judge the case first and let the facts speak towards her conclusion.

Excited? I know I am.

For my kids, the big movie that has them excited in The Hunger Games. This is the third movie in the series from the third book. Because so much material needs to be covered to make fans happy, the movie versions will break the third book in half so we get two movies to cover one book.

This time around, Katniss must find a way to bring Peeta home from the Capitol. Nor can she deny what must be her role in this revolution. She must become the mocking jay and appear to lead the fight against President Snow.

The next installment of The Hunger Games should be filled with explosions, excitement, and intrigue. I know I am excited to see it.

Finally, we will see the end of the Hobbit trilogy. Finally, we will find out if the dwarves get their mountain back and if the dragon does real damage to the lake village. We will find out if Bilbo gets back home. There is much to find out and the beauty part if that it will all look fantastic because that’s how Peter Jackson rolls.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


With the big, huge success of The Hunger Games this weekend at the box office, it reminds people that some books can be turned into great movies.

It reminds me that a good story can transfix an audience.

Book reading will never go ‘out’ but simply transfer to different venues. I like to read actual books but I have friends who listen to them or read them on one of the various devices out there. How many of us remember when some books (Such as the works of Charles Dickens) would start out as a serial in the newspaper?

I have not read the first book in the Hunger Games yet but I am looking forward to it. However, there are many other books-turned-to-movies that are well worth the time to watch them.

One of my favorite movies for younger children in this genre is Charlotte’s Web  starring Julia Roberts as Charlotte and Dakota Fanning as Fern. If you don’t know the story, it is about a runt pig who is saved by 10-year-old Fern and goes to live on her cousin’s farm. There the pig becomes friends with a spider who is determined to save Wilbur from being dinner. There is something magical about the way Wilbur works his way into the hearts of others, how he and Charlotte develop  a friendship and how Fern grows as a young woman. Many of the voices are perfect match ups and I love the bright and colorful canvas. Then there is the Sarah McLachlan song over the credits that will have the easy weepers (you know who you are) in need of the entire tissue box.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

One of the best series of books-to-movies that I know of is the Harry Potter  series. It would have been easy to let the quality of each successive movie but I found that there is a determination to make the best possible movie with each part of the series. I have written in the past that care must be taken is deciding when to allow a child watch each movie in this series as the comprehension level increases as the characters age. Primary students would enjoy the first three movies while mid-to-older teens are going to love the final three movies more as the action becomes life-or-death situations.

One series that I felt did an incredible job of bringing a series of books to the big screen is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Peter Jackson combined a collection of characters in a well-paced series that made Tolkein’s Middle-earth come alive in a way I never expected. I was not a fan of the books but I loved this film series. It is a collection of movies that is best suited for pre-teens and older viewers who will enjoy the adult storylines of fear, belief and re-birth.

Finally, for adults I have two rather serious movies that came from books. The first is Atonement written by Ian McEwan. Joe Wright directed the big screen adaptation starring Kierra Knightly and James McAvoy as two people whose lives are forever changed with a false accusation. The situation is complicated with the advent of WWII and a little sister cruelly used by those wanting to hide the original crime.  I was not a fan of the book but once I watched the movie, I admit that I finally got it.

Image from IMDb.com

The last movie I must mention because it is the most well-known and best-selling movie of all time, that is Gone With The Wind. Margaret Mitchell’s book was a love letter to the South before and after the Civil War. It is a picture of a world that I cannot imagine and yet it is the base of so many novels, plays and movies about that region of our country. There is no other movie that I can think of that matches GWTW‘s granduer, panache or storytelling.

These are only a smattering of books-turned-into-movies. What are your favorites? Drop a note at the Record Press Office and I will share them in a future column.

Until next time, see you in the rental aisle.