5 Movies We're Obsessed With
Mar 21, 2020  

5 movies we're obsessed with that will leave you wanting more. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and question life.

1. La La Land

2. Bruce Almighty

3. Empire of the Sun

4. The Kingsman (all of them)

5. Parasite (oh, yes!)

Ella Enchanted: Movie Version
Mar 19, 2020  
by Cici Mack

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: Ella Enchanted
Streaming: Ella Enchanted
Ella Enchanted

Study Guide compares the novel ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine to the movie version Ella Enchanted (2004) starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, and Vivica A. Fox. The main plot line and characters survive this film even though 18 chapters of the book are omitted from the movie.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Ella Enchanted (2004) starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, and Vivica A. Fox.

Lady Eleanor’s funeral, Apple the centaur, Chock the parrot, gnomes, zoo, Finishing School, Hattie’s wig, Sir Peter’s financial problems, Edmund of Wolleck, sliding down the bannister, Lela, ball gowns, white mask, pumpkin coach, lost glass slipper, King Jerrold, and Queen Daria.

Narrator, Edgar, Heston, Benny, paper boy, newspaper, escalator, Frell Community College, Prince Charmont’s fan club, poison crown, dagger, Ella in prison, fight at the coronation.

Magic book, ogres, giants, elves, Ella and Char’s romance, Mandy, Lucinda, Sir Peter, Dame Olga, Hattie, Olive, Slannen, and Areida, Lucinda’s gift of obedience, Sir Peter’s marriage to Dame Olga, Ella’s marriage to Char.

Download the Study Guide Now: Ella Enchanted: Movie Version

5 Binge Watching Snacks
Mar 19, 2020  
by Cici Mack
Movie-Popcorn 0 2

Consider the amount of time you spend binge-watching shows (and usually binge-eating along with it). Consuming mindless amounts of junk food only to find down the road our bodies do not love us for it. That’s why small changes like ‘binge-watching’ snacks are important and can make a big difference.

Here are 5 that we're obsessed with. Enjoy with your favorite hummus, guac, salsa or by themselves! What are some of your favorite binge-watching snacks?

1. Real Food From The Ground Up Cauliflower Stalks 

2. Real Food From The Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels

3. Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips

4. Popcorners Snacks Variety Pack

5. Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn

Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version
Feb 25, 2020  
Huckleberry Finn MV Title

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: The Adventures of Huck Finn
Streaming: The Adventures of Huck Finn
Book: Huckleberry Finn

Study Guide compares the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain to the movie version The Adventures of Huck Finn
 (1993) Even though this Disney movie omits 24 chapters of the book, it still covers the main plot lines and characters fairly accurately. Too bad the movie left out Tom Sawyer who dominates most of the omitted chapters.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) starring Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, and Jason Robards. A Disney Picture. 

Tom Sawyer, Judge Thatcher, Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas, Aunt Polly, Emmeline Grangerford, Tom Sawyer’s band of robbers, Jim’s rattlesnake bite, the search for Huck’s body, the flood, the floating house, The Royal Nonesuch, the circus, Colonel Sherburn, Jim as a sick Arab, Tom and Huck’s rescue of Jim, Tom’s gunshot wound . . .

The fight with the bully, the wanted poster, Jim as a Grangerford slave, Pap’s body on the steamboat, Jim’s whipping, Jim as a Swahili, the attempted lynching of Jim, Mary Jane Wilks firing a gun, Jim’s arrest, Huck’s gunshot wound . . .

Widow Douglas and Miss Watson try to civilize Huck, Pap kidnaps Huck, Huck stages his own murder, Huck and Jim’s raft trip on the Mississippi River, Huck dressed as a girl, the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud, the king and the duke try to swindle the Wilks family, Huck runs away at the end . . .

Download the Study Guide Now: Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version

How to Kiss in the Movies . . . a brief history of the rules.
Feb 17, 2020  
Heart Red-001

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

The first movie kiss lasted 19 seconds. Cinema pioneer Thomas Edison went to a Broadway theater in 1896 and filmed the kissing scene in the play The Widow Jones. Edison called his short film The Kiss.

Actor John Barrymore holds the record for most movie kisses, 119 kisses in Don Juan (1926).

The movie studios cracked down on kissing after Marlene Dietrich kissed a woman in Morocco (1930). After the girl-on-girl kiss, movie studios agreed to abide by rules (The Hays Code) that restricted excessive and lustful kissing. The kisses had to be between a male and a female adult who could kiss for only 3 seconds.

Director Alfred Hitchcock found a way to cheat the kissing rule. In Notorious (1946) Hitchcock directed Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman to kiss for 3 seconds, stop for 3 seconds, then kiss for 3 seconds, stop for 2 seconds, etc. The actors nuzzled each other between kisses so it looked like one long 2 ½ minute make-out session. The movie did not get industry “approval” but Hitchcock didn’t care. Neither did Billy Wilder in 1959 when Some Like It Hot did not receive “approval” because of a lingering kiss between Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis who was dressed in drag.

The 3-second kissing rule lasted until 1968 when the current movie rating system was adopted. Movie-goers didn’t see two men kiss on screen until Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971.

The longest movie kiss was 3 minutes, 24 seconds in Elena Undone (2010).

Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version
Feb 16, 2020  

Find the recommended movie and book here: 
DVD: Bridge to Terabithia
Streaming: Bridge to Terabithia
Book: Bridge to Terabithia

Study Guide compares the novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson to the movie Bridge to Terabithia 
(2007) Many plot points are accurate in this movie version of Bridge to Terabithia. The movie adds plots, characters, and themes that are not in the book, but the general story sticks to the book. It’s worth watching if you keep in mind that in the book Jess and Leslie are 10-years-old, not teenagers, and the book does not have a giant troll and flying monsters.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Bridge to Terabithia (2007) starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb and Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Gabor Csupo. Walt Disney Pictures.

Bessie the cow, Jess can’t swim, the sacred grove, King of the Mountain, Christmas gifts, Easter service, paper dolls, cremation, funeral wreath, the National Gallery, the Smithsonian, characters including Grandma Burke, Mrs. Pierce, Wilma Dean, Bobby Sue Henshaw, Mrs. Prentice and Billy Morris.

The greenhouse, pink sneakers, abandoned pickup, the treehouse, the lost keys, squogres and vultures, the giant troll, Mr. Bailey, Scott Hoager, Alexandra, Kenny the bus driver.

The rope, the flooded creek, Terabithia, Prince Terrien, the race that Leslie wins, the stolen Twinkie, the Burke’s gold living room, the trip to the museum with Miss Edmunds, Mrs. Myers, Leslie’s accident, Jess’s drawings, the trick played on Janice Avery, Leslie’s gift of art supplies, Gary Fulcher.

Download the Study Guide Now: Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version

Lord of the Flies Boys as Grown-ups
Feb 15, 2020  
Lord of the Flies-art

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

What kind of men did Ralph, Jack, and Roger become? After their rescue from the island, they had their whole lives ahead of them. Childhood behavior is a reliable predictor of the kind of men they grew to be. Here are some possibilities based on the boys’ personalities and moral traits revealed on the island.

ROGER: Only one boy on the island is evil: Roger. His sadistic tendencies include cruelty to children and animals. He throws rocks at the younger boys. He tortures the female pig before he kills it. He murders Piggy. He tortures Sam and Eric. Roger’s tendencies indicate that he is a victim of child abuse himself. Roger is so damaged emotionally and psychologically that he cannot break the cycle of abuse. Prediction: Roger falls into a life of crime. He winds up spending most of his life in prison.

JACK: Jack isn’t evil. He is willful, ambitious, and needs to control people and events. Jack has a track record as a leader. At school he is head of the choirboys. He uses his political skills to depose Ralph, the elected leader on the island, and persuades the choirboys to join his tribe. He recruits all of them except Simon. Jack is not a team player. He has to be in charge and is willing to break rules and use violence to get his way. He likes wielding power and managing a large operation. Jack is uncompromising and competitive. Prediction: Jack becomes the CEO of a corporation, a real estate developer, or the mayor of a large city.

RALPH: Ralph has leadership skills, plus a sense of ethics and compassion. He is mindful of the younger, helpless children on the island. He also recognizes Piggy’s intelligence and tries to protect him from Jack and his tribe. Ralph believes in the power of laws and civil organization. He acknowledges the conch as the symbol of free speech. Ralph is an organizer. He oversees the building of shelters and devises a system for watching the signal fire. He is dedicated to the ideals of living in harmony, social welfare, and civil rights. Ralph is willing to work out solutions to problems through diplomacy and compromise. He has the ability to identify priorities.  Ralph sees the big picture. He recognizes that the most important goal for the stranded boys is rescue. The signal fire is the number one priority. Prediction: Ralph becomes a lawyer and advocate for social and environmental causes, the president of an international charity, or a career diplomat.

Download the Study Guide Now: Lord of the Flies: Movie Version

To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version
Feb 15, 2020  
To Kill a Mockingbird MV Title Page

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: To Kill a Mockingbird
Streaming: To Kill a Mockingbird
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Study Guide compares To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee to the movie version To Kill a Mockingbird
 (1962) This is the ONLY movie version of the novel and a classic. Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) starring Gregory Peck. Screenplay by Horton Foote. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Produced by Alan Pakula. A Pakula-Mulligan, Brentwood Productions Picture.

Aunt Alexandra, the history of the Finch family, Uncle Jack, cousin Francis, Nathan Radley, Link Deas, the air rifles, the fire at Miss Maudie’s, the mud man, Scout’s painful experiences in first and second grade, Dill’s Aunt Rachel (in the movie she’s called Aunt Stephanie), Jem’s destruction of Mrs. Dubose’s flowers, Scout’s discovery of trinkets left in the knothole, the children’s visit to Calpurnia’s church, the story takes place over 2 ½ years.

Dill’s aunt Miss Stephanie Crawford (in the book her name is Miss Rachel), the judge’s request that Attitcus defend Tom Robinson, Jem’s discovery of the first trinkets in the knothole, Tom Robinson’s father, Arthur Radley’s cementing over the knothole, Miss Maudie as a younger woman, the trial as the main action, the reduced role of Mrs. Dubose, the story taking place in one year, Atticus throwing a glass at Tom Robinson in the courtroom.

The setting in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, Scout’s fights at school, the trinkets in the knothole, Atticus’s shooting a mad dog, the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell’s spitting on Atticus, Boo Radley’s rescue of Jem and Scout on Halloween.

Download the Study Guide Now: To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version

Heart of Darkness: Conrad’s Congo Diary
Feb 13, 2020  
Heart of Darkness Art

The only diary Joseph Conrad ever kept was a journal he wrote during his six months in the Belgian Congo. He worked on a steamer that sailed up the Congo River to an inner station. Conrad used his notes eight years later to write the novella Heart of Darkness, published as a three-part serial in Blackwood’s magazine in 1889.

Was there really a Kurtz who embraced the life of a savage chieftain? How common was it for Europeans to go native after spending time in the jungle? The surrender to the dark side once a man arrived in Africa happened a lot. Several men are thought to be the model for Kurtz including Georges-Antoine Klein, the agent for the trading company Conrad worked for. Other Kurtz-like nominees are Leon Rom, a Belgian soldier, Edmund Musgrave Barttelot, explorer, Tippu Tip, slave trader and Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh explorer.

Download the Study Guide Now: Heart of Darkness: Movie Version

Huckleberry Finn 2: The Sequel
Feb 10, 2020  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Mark Twain left us hanging. What happened to Huck Finn? A new sequel to the movie version of Huckleberry Finn could satisfy our curiosity. At the end of the novel, 12-year-old Huck decides he can’t live with Widow Douglas anymore and endure her attempts to civilize him. Huck says, he’s “been there before.” Instead he decides to “light out for the territory.” He runs away.

The territory in the mid-1850s was all of the United States west of the Mississippi except for Texas and California. Like Mark Twain himself, the streetwise and gregarious Huck would shun hard labor on a farm or ranch and head for the bustling city of San Francisco.

Huck doesn’t need to work. He was awarded half of Injun Joe’s gold at the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Judge Thatcher invested Huck’s $6,000 and pays him a dollar a day in interest. That’s plenty to live on in the 1850s. Huck likes to be around people, he’s observant, and he has a habit of assuming different names and identities. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck introduces himself by five different names and personal histories.

As much as he likes to pose as a character, Huck would find acting too demanding. He would have to memorize lines, take direction, and be locked into a schedule. Huck is a free spirit who doesn’t like to be tied down. He needs to be in control of his time and movements. Most of all Huck craves adventure.

So in the sequel, Huck becomes a freelance newspaper reporter in San Francisco like Mark Twain. He ventures down to the harbor, out to the gold mines, and into the redwood forests and Yosemite to find out what’s going on.

Does Huck fall in love and settle down? Maybe . . .  in Huck Finn 3!

Download the Study Guide Now: Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version

Fahrenheit 451 Predicts Flat Screen TV
Feb 03, 2020  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

The flat screen TV in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was so big it was called “the wall.” Today’s largest TVs boast seven-foot screens. According to Fahrenheit, it’s not the size of the screen that matters, it’s the content.

Like modern media rooms, game rooms, and home theaters, every house in Bradbury’s futuristic novel has a TV wall. Bradbury predicted in 1953 that television screens would get bigger, programming would become mediocre, and technology would become the center of our lives. In Fahrenheit 451 TV shows are like reality TV. Characters interact with the wall much like we do on Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.

Bradbury predicted other inventions in Fahrenheit 451 including 24-hour banking machines, earbud headphones, electronic surveillance cameras, and listening devices in the form of Bradbury robot dogs that sniff around your house recording conversations.

The most prophetic trend in Fahrenheit 451 is technology’s dehumanizing effect on modern culture. Characters in the novel suffer from loneliness and isolation from watching the wall’s mindless programming. The character of Mildred spends her days interacting with the wall and taking sleeping pills at night.

Viewers have finally turned away from the mind-numbing reality shows the networks developed to cut costs. Quality dramas and sit-coms are back, but they are produced by internet companies, not the networks. Netflix and Amazon have hired talented writers with fresh ideas. For the first time CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX did not win 2015 Golden Globes. HBO won a single award. Netflix and Amazon were big winners, signaling a power shift from the traditional television industry to tech companies, and the viewers’ shift from TV to computer.

The new players in the media biz seem to have heeded Fahrenheit 451: “The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her.”

Download the Study Guide Now: Fahrenheit 451: Movie Version

Ethan Frome: Movie Version
Jan 10, 2020  
Ethan Frome MV Title Page

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: Ethan Frome
Streaming: Ethan Frome
Book: Ethan Frome

Study Guide compares the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton to the movie Ethan Frome

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Ethan Frome (1993) starring Liam Neeson, Joan Allen, and Patricia Arquette. Directed by John Madden. A Miramax Films Picture.

the engineer . . . the graveyard . . . the suicide pact . . . Ethan’s red scar . . .
Mattie’s red hair ribbon . . . the church picnic . . . the pillow . . . Ethan’s study . . . the shaving scene . . . Ethan’s letter to Zeena . . . Mattie’s note to Ethan . . .

Reverend Smith . . . Ruth as narrator . . . the pump scene . . . the love scenes . . . the fox . . . the poison . . . the gift from Denis . . . the comb . . . Mattie’s singing . . .

the dance . . . the search for the key . . . Zeena’s trip to the doctor . . . the pickle dish . . . the sawmill . . . the smash-up . . . 

Download the Study Guide Now: Ethan Frome: Movie Version

Dec 24, 2019  
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We say “Happy” Birthday, New Year, Thanksgiving, Easter and lots of other holidays. But Christmas is the only “Merry” greeting. The answer lies in the tradition of drinking alcohol at Christmas. “Merry” used to mean “tipsy” or “drunk” and the custom of getting drunk at Christmas goes back to the 4th century.

- 324 A.D. Early Christians celebrated Easter only. Pope Liberius added Christmas to the church calendar and set the date December 25. The idea was to attract more converts who liked to celebrate the Roman winter festival Saturnalia when houses were decorated with evergreens and everybody played games, gave gifts and partied.
- Middle Ages. Christmas was celebrated as a rowdy party with dancing, drinking and sexual revelry.
- The Reformation. In the 1500s Protestants banned the wild festival of Christmas, but Catholics partied on.
- The Restoration. In England the Puritans banned Christmas when they seized power in 1640. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, Christmas made a comeback. So did the drinking and revelry.
- 1844. Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, a novel where Ebenezer Scrooge says, “Merry Christmas!”
- Temperance Movement. In the late 1800s in England, women campaigned against drinking alcohol at Christmas. They proposed doing away with the tipsy “Merry” and replacing it with “Happy.” To this day the English and Irish say “Happy Christmas.”

Three Reasons Why it's still in the Curriculum
Nov 01, 2019  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage has always been way ahead of its time.  That’s one reason the book has never been out of print since it was first published in 1894. The novel has also been required reading in middle school and high school for over a hundred years. Set in the American Civil War, Crane’s novel is so realistic that battle descriptions are like live tweets from the front lines. The novel is all the more remarkable because Crane did not fight in the Civil War or any war. He was born 6 years after the Civil War ended.  He wrote the book when he was 24. The magazine and newspaper accounts he read of battles were dry and factual. As a writing exercise Crane decided to create emotional passages that describe how soldiers feel before, during, and after battle. Crane wrote in a style totally different from the conventional style of 1894. The result is a novel that still seems modern and unique. Here are 3 reasons why The Red Badge of Courage is still in the curriculum: 

  1. Entry-level Classic. The low reading level (Grade 6) makes Red Badge easy to read while exposing readers to complex themes and sophisticated literary style. Young readers have to build up vocabulary, reading comprehension, and experience with figurative language before diving into adult fiction. Red Badge is a good start. The book provides a solid bridge between young adult fiction and the more challenging adult classics. Readers first must learn to interpret irony, symbolism, and literary devices before tackling the English classics of Dickens, Hardy, and the Brontes, and the American classics of Twain, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and Hemingway. Red Badge is a good basic introduction to adult literature. 

  2. Universal Themes. Red Badge explores what war feels like to a young recruit. The book could be about a soldier in any war who experiences courage, bravery, heroism, loyalty, and survival in the face of dehumanizing forces outside an individual’s control. Red Badge is not a historical novel full of events, dates, and battle strategies. Instead Crane zeroes in on the feelings of the soldiers who are portrayed as victims of war. The characters in Red Badge do not spout political ideology or religious beliefs. They speak of home, family, uncertainty, fear, and survival. 

  3. Modern Style. Red Badge also serves as an introduction to modern style.  Sentences are short and descriptive. Modern literary devices used in the book include flashback and stream of consciousness. The emotional and psychological reactions of characters are exposed. Crane’s descriptions of battle are surrealistic. Examples include: Tents sprang up like strange plants. Camp fires, like red, peculiar blossoms, dotted the night. The red sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer. The trees began softly to sing a hymn of twilight. The youth could see the two flags shaking with laughter amid the smoke remnants. The moon had been lighted and hung in a treetop.

Download the Study Guide Now: The Red Badge of Courage: Movie Version

Frankenstein: Movie Version
Oct 31, 2019  

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Streaming: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Book: Frankenstein

Study Guide compares the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to the movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) The movie changes the plot in places, but this is the most reliable movie version. Robert De Niro as the 8-foot-tall creature is fantastic!

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter, and Aidan Quinn. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola. A TriStar Picture.

The letters to Margaret Saville, Victor’s mother dying of scarlet fever, Justine’s trial, Felix’s sister Agatha and his girlfriend Safie, nature’s power to refresh Victor, the books the creature reads, Victor’s trip to England with Henry, Victor’s laboratory in Scotland, Henry’s murder in Ireland, the creature’s repentance . . .

Victor’s mother dying in childbirth, Victor’s father is a doctor, Waldman’s death, use of Waldman’s brain in the creature, cholera epidemic, the mob that hangs Justine, the flute, Felix’s wife and children, the landlord, the good spirit of the forest, Elizabeth in Ingolstadt, the engagement locket, the murder of Victor’s father, the bodyguards, the ripping out of Elizabeth’s heart, use of Elizabeth’s corpse to make a female creature, Victor’s funeral . . .

Robert Walton’s Arctic expedition, the sighting of the creature on the ice, the rescue of Victor Frankenstein, Justine’s hanging, the old blind man, how the creature learns to read and write, Victor Frankenstein’s journal . . .

Download the Study Guide Now: Frankenstein: Movie Version

Aug 30, 2019  
8-30 Mary Shelley

FRANKENSTEIN DAY is August 30. Why? Because it’s the birthday of Mary Shelley who was born on August 30, 1797. Shelley began writing the novel Frankenstein when she was 18 years old. The first edition of the classic was published anonymously in 1818 when she was 20.

Mary Shelley’s name appeared on the second edition published in France in 1823.

Download the Study Guide Now: Frankenstein: Movie Version

What’s the Best Movie Version of a Book?
Best Movie Version

There are two: The Old Man and the Sea and The Outsiders.

The Old Man and the Sea (1958) starring Spencer Tracy is true to the book throughout. Turner Classic Movies calls it the “most literal word-for-word rendition of a written story ever filmed.” It was one of the first movies to use bluescreen. The shots of the Cuban coast are authentic, as is the film of a giant marlin breaking the surface of the sea. Tracy was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Dimitri Tiomkin won for Best Original Score.

The Outsiders (1983) movie is true to the book except for one flaw - the movie omits Chapter 11. Shot on location in the book's authentic setting, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the film features dialogue that is almost word-for-word from the book. The actual ages of the teenage cast adds to the authenticity: C. Thomas Howell (16), Patrick Swayze (29), Matt Dillon (18), Rob Lowe (18), Emilio Estevez (20), Ralph Macchio (21), Diane Lane (17), and Tom Cruise (20).

Two Hollywood legends brought the books to life on the screen. John Sturges directed The Old Man and the Sea and Francis Ford Coppola directed The Outsiders.

Download the Study Guides Now:
The Old Man and the Sea: Movie Version
The Outsiders: Movie Version

A Wrinkle in Time: Movie Version
Aug 29, 2017  

Find the recommended movie and book here: 
DVD: A Wrinkle in Time
Streaming: A Wrinkle in Time
Book: A Wrinkle in Time

Study Guide compares the novel
 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle to the movie version A Wrinkle in Time 
(2003) starring Katie Stuart, Gregory Smith, David Dorfman, Chris Potter, Kate Nelligan, and Alfre Woodard. Directed by John Kent Harrison. This made for TV movie aired on ABC in 2004. Although many scenes are not true to the book, this film is more accurate than the 2018 movie version.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: A Wrinkle in Time (2003) starring Katie Stuart, Gregory Smith, David Dorfman, Chris Potter, Kate Nelligan, and Alfre Woodard. Directed by John Kent Harrison. This made for TV movie aired on ABC in 2004. Although many scenes are not true to the book, this film is more accurate than the 2018 movie version.

Mrs. Buncombe’s bedsheets, Mrs. Porter, tesseract to a two-dimensional planet, gifts from Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, the paperboy on Camazotz, creatures with tentacles, Meg’s use of the periodic table, square roots, and nursery rhymes to ward off evil.

Star-watching rock, Calvin’s brother Eric, science teacher, desert sandstorm on Camazotz, ice and snow on Ixchel, girl in pink, men in limos, Calvin’s capture, Calvin’s basketball fantasy, Mr. Murry’s broken leg, glow worms, fire flowers, Meg’s double, and the earthquake on Camazotz,

The Murry family, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, tesseract, IT, Camazotz, the man with red eyes, Central Intelligence Center, and Aunt Beast.

Download the Study Guide Now: A Wrinkle in Time: Movie Version

ANIMAL FARM: There will be blood!
Oct 20, 2016  
Blog 14 Animal Farm Art

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

The 1954 animated film version of Animal Farm by George Orwell features the first blood shown in a cartoon. Disney movies did not show blood until five years later when a dragon was killed by a sword in the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty.

Blood appears three times in the cartoon – when a dog bites a farmer, when Boxer is shot in the hoof and when Napoleon begins executing disobedient animals. The killings are not shown on screen, but after animals are murdered, one of the commandments on the side of the barn is amended. The commandment now reads: No animal shall kill another animal WITHOUT CAUSE. The words “without cause” are written in blood.

Download the Study Guide Now: Animal Farm: Movie Version

Trump Movie is in Demand BIGLY
Oct 20, 2016  
MV Blog Trump Art

Trump’s The Art of the Deal: Movie Version is a parody of the 1987 book. Netflix is the only place you can stream the movie version of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal. Johnny Depp stars as Donald Trump in this Funny or Die produced satire released in February 2016. In the parody Trump decides to produce his own movie version of his best-selling book. The comedy pokes fun at The Art of the Deal with chapters on:

Chapter 1: The Art of Intimidating Rent Controlled Tenants
Chapter 2: The Art of Defeating Totally Bogus Discrimination
Chapter 3: The Art of Suing Those Losers at the NFL
Chapter 4: The Art of Buying a Casino from the Hilton Family
Chapter 5: The Art of Marrying a Gorgeous Immigrant
Chapter 6: The Art of Building the Trump Tower

The film also features Ron Howard, Kristen Schaal, Patton Oswalt, Henry Winkler, Alfred Molina, Andy Richter, Stephen Merchant, Jack McBrayer, Robert Morse and Christopher Lloyd. The 50-minute comedy is available on Netflix and can be viewed soon on the Funny or Die website.

What was the First Movie of a Book?
Sep 13, 2016  
Sherlock Holmes


The first movie of a book was Sherlock Holmes Baffled,
a 30-second black and white silent film that debuted
April 26, 1900 in New York City.

Is the Movie Ethan Frome Accurate?
Mar 14, 2016  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Is the movie Ethan Frome accurate? The 1993 film is the only movie of the novel by Edith Wharton. Liam Neeson is perfect as Frome. The film has two major flaws: 1. Ethan and Mattie do not have sex in the novel. 2. The narrator of the book is an engineer, not the preacher character in the movie. The movie version of Ethan Frome tells the basic story, but adds action and characters that are not in the book.

Download the Study Guide Now: Ethan Frome: Movie Version

Best Movie of Pride and Prejudice?
Mar 03, 2016  
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*Featured Artist: @dlyons50

What is the BEST movie version to watch of Pride and Prejudice? The one with Keira Knightly. The 2005 film covers the plot, moves fast, has a great cast, it’s in color, you can stream it and the DVD is cheap. In the novel Elizabeth Bennet is not as pretty as Keira and she doesn’t dance with Mr. Darcy at the ball. Other than a few minor details this movie version follows the book. Steer clear from Pride and Prejudice and ZOMBIES

Download the Study Guide Now: Pride and Prejudice: Movie Version

Oscars 2016 Rely on Movie Version of Books
Feb 23, 2016  
Book to Big Screen-page-001


Six out of the ten 2016 Best Picture nominees were first books or newspaper articles.

The Big Short is the movie version of the book by Michael Lewis.
(5 nominations)

The Martian was first a book by Andy Weir. (7 nominations)

The Revenant is the movie version of the book by Michael Punke.
(12 nominations)

The Room is the only screenplay this year written by the author of the book, Emma Donoghue. (4 nominations)

Brooklyn was first a book by Colm Toibin. (3 nominations)

Spotlight is based on a series of newspaper articles that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for The Boston Globe. (6 nominations)

Other nominated films based on literary works include The Danish Girl based on the book by David Ebershoff (4 nominations), 45 Years, the movie version of the short story In Another Country by David Constantine (1 nomination), Carol based on the book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (6 nominations), Steve Jobs inspired by the biography by Walter Isaacson. (2 nominations)

A Lot of Snow can be Romantic
Jan 23, 2016  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Watch out!  Blizzards have been known to stimulate hormones. What else is there to do but think of love when you’re snowbound? Even if you’re all alone, a blizzard and blinding snow is romantic. Early American writers from New England knew about snow magic.  In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes about his winter at Walden Pond near Boston:  “I weathered some merry snow storms, and spent some cheerful winter evenings by my fireside, while the snow whirled wildly without . . .”  John Greenleaf Whittier describes being trapped in a Massachusetts blizzard in his poem Snow-Bound.  As the drifts pile up and cover the windows, the family is content and warm inside by the fire that “burst flower-like into rosy bloom” and the “chimney laughed” as the north wind roared.

The prize for best romantic description of snow in Massachusetts goes to the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.  The tragic love story takes place in the winter of 1886.  Villagers glide through the snow in horse-drawn sleighs equipped with jingling bells.  Between snowstorms, the air is crystal clear, the sky is blue, and the nights are starry as in the passage:

    "The village lay under two feet of snow, with drifts at the windy corners.  In a sky of iron     
the points of the Dipper hung like icicles and Orion flashed his cold fires."

The movie version of Ethan Frome was not filmed in wintry Massachusetts, but in wintry Vermont in the early 1990s.  The film showcases the world covered in deep, pristine snow against white churches, white houses and evergreens, a setting like the Massachusetts village of Starkfield in the novel.

What is it about a pure white blanket of snow that makes New Englanders merry?  New England snow has staying power.  Months of freezing temperatures keep the snow from melting.  Powerful blizzards force people indoors.  Then the snow lasts for months.  Lots of snow means lots of cuddle time.

Download the Study Guide Now: Ethan Frome: Movie Version

Igor's In Love
Oct 01, 2015  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Igor! He’s baaaa-ck! This time Daniel Radcliffe plays the creepy lab assistant in the new film Victor Frankenstein due for release in October 2015. Radcliffe as Igor tells the Frankenstein story from the viewpoint of the scientist’s loyal assistant. For the period film set in the early 1800s, Radcliffe decided not to don a shoulder-length wig. Instead the Harry Potter actor opted for hair extensions he had to wear around London for months while filming. James McAvoy (X-Men) plays Frankenstein and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) plays a new character in the Frankenstein saga, a beautiful circus performer named Lorelie who befriends Igor. WHAT? Igor has a love interest? We should have seen this coming.

Igor was created by Hollywood, not Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein.  Neither the character of Igor nor a lab assistant appears in the book. The hunchback lab assistant first appeared in the 1931 horror movie Frankenstein, but his name was Fritz, not Igor. The hit movie was soon followed by Son of Frankenstein (1939) and The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). In both sequels the name of the creepy sidekick was changed to Igor and he was no longer a hunchback or a lab assistant.  Igor became a deformed blacksmith with a twisted back who brings Frankenstein’s monster to life and uses the creature to take vengeance on the villagers who have persecuted him. Igor evolved into a menacing anti-hero, and a star was born.

More than 55 Frankenstein movies and thousands of horror films feature Igor. Today Igor shows up in video games, song lyrics, cartoons, and crossword puzzles. Audiences expect him to be in Frankenstein stories. Igor’s got some weird charisma going on. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood released a film where Igor gets the girl.

Download the Study Guide Now: Frankenstein: Movie Version