Skip to main content

August 2016

Books on Screen

August 2016

Welcome back, Books on Screen lovers! Technically, we’re not even halfway through the summer, but it sure feels like things are winding down. As Howard Schultz always says, the best thing about August is that it’s almost fall. Whether you love the summer or would rather stay in and marathon Michael Bay movies for the entirety of August, one thing we can all agree on is that it’s never too early for subtle pumpkin spice latte jokes.

This month, thanks to Netflix, we can finally get our hands on The Little Prince (it was supposed to hit theaters in March, but was mysteriously dropped by its distributor). Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved children’s book is brought to vivid life by an all-star cast doing ace vocals. Although some of the story’s logistics were changed to suit the screen, its playful ingenuity and aching heart remain untouched. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is typical late-summer fare, including over-the-top visuals, undercooked plotlines, and a promo trajectory that peaked with its first trailer. But let’s give credit where it’s due: I’d watch that trailer over and over again for two hours and 10 minutes. If it’s something quieter you seek, check out A Man Called Ove, based on the bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman, which was warmly received when it was released in his native Sweden and is now available on US screens.

On TV, it’s hard to compete with the Olympics this month, but all you history buffs should check out “The Boys of ’36,” the latest installment in PBS’s “American Experience” series. Based on Daniel James Brown’s runaway nonfiction hit THE BOYS IN THE BOAT, it tells the story of the nine young men who, against all odds, took gold at the 1939 Berlin Olympics, and gave hope to a struggling nation. No pressure, though, Ryan Lochte. And you can also catch the NPH-starring “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix, a network that is really turning out to be the savior of August. (I promise that was not a dig at the Ben-Hur remake, also in theaters this month.)

These August movies are sure to bring fans to the theater, which makes the movies a perfect place to cool off! And with that last dad joke, I accomplish my mission on earth and dissipate into the tiny particles that make up David Letterman’s beard leave you to get out and --- like Pokémon? --- catch those Books on Screen!


---Written and compiled by Emily Hoenig


In Theaters:

Cast: Jack Huston, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Distributor: Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 19th
Based on: BEN-HUR: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

The epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.


Blood Father
Cast: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, William H. Macy, Thomas Mann
Director: Jean-François Richet
Distributor: Lionsgate Premiere
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 12th
Based on: BLOOD FATHER by Peter Craig

An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.


The Little Prince
Cast: [voices of] Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco
Director: Mark Osborne
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: August 5th
Based on: THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.


A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)
Cast: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars
Director: Hannes Holm
Distributor: Nordisk Film
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 23rd (limited)
Based on: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

Fifty-nine year old Ove is the block's grumpy man who several years earlier was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighborhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family moves into the terraced house opposite and accidentally backs into Ove's mailbox it turns out to be an unexpected friendship. A drama comedy about unexpected friendship, love and the importance of surrounding yourself with the proper tools.


Suicide Squad
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne
Director: David Ayer
Distributor: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 5th
Based on: Suicide Squad comic book series by John Ostrander

A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.


War Dogs
Cast: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas
Director: Todd Phillips
Distributor: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: August 19th
Based on: ARMS AND THE DUDES: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History by Guy Lawson

Based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.


On TV:

"American Experience: The Boys of '36"
Cast: Daniel James Brown, Eric Cohen, Timothy Egan, Oliver Platt
Director: Margaret Grossi
Network: PBS
Airdate: August 2nd
Based on: THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The story of nine working-class young men from the University of Washington who took the rowing world and America by storm when they captured gold at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Their unexpected victory, against not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast but Adolf Hitler's elite German rowers, gave hope to a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression.



Chesapeake Shores
Cast: Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Treat Williams, Barbara Niven, Diane Ladd
Director: John Tinker
Network: Hallmark
Airdate: August 14th
Based on: Chesapeake Shores series by Sherryl Woods

Abby O'Brien Winters returns to Chesapeake Shores when she receives a panicked phone call from her younger sister Jess, who has renovated the charming Inn at Eagle Point. The Maryland town her father built has many sad memories and Abby, thanks to her demanding career, divorce and young daughters, has not had time to spare. Saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her fractured family but also with Trace Riley, the man she left ten years ago. Trace initially poses an obstacle but becomes an unexpected ally and a second chance at finding love.


“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, K. Todd Freeman, Patrick Warburton, Aasif Mandvi
Network: Netflix
Airdates: August 2016

After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.


“Rizzoli & Isles”
Cast: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges
Network: TNT
Air Dates: Mondays at 9pm ET
Based On: The Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen

"Rizzoli & Isles" follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston's most notorious criminals.


“Queen of the South”
Cast: Alice Braga, Adriana Barraza, Veronica Falcón
Network: USA 
Air Dates: Tuesdays at 10pm ET
Based On: THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Teresa flees Mexico after her drug-runner boyfriend is murdered. Settling in Spain, she looks to become the country's reigning drug smuggler and to avenge her lover's murder.


Cast: Nathan Phillips, Britne Oldford, Mark Coles Smith
Network: Syfy
Air Dates: Mondays at 10pm ET
Based On: The Alien Hunter series by Whitley Strieber

The disappearance of a decorated FBI agent's wife leads him to a secret government unit assembled to hunt a group of ruthless terrorists --- shadowy figures that may or may not be from this world.



The Jungle Book
Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken
Director: Jon Favreau
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
DVD Release Date: August 30th
Based on: THE JUNGLE BOOKS by Rudyard Kipling

An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear and a black panther.


Manhattan Night
Cast: Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Jennifer Beals, Campbell Scott
Director: Brian DeCubellis
Distributor: Lionsgate Premiere
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 2nd
Based on: MANHATTAN NOCTURNE by Colin Harrison

Manhattan Night tells the story of Porter Wren, a New York City tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy and anything that passes for the truth. At home he is a model family man, devoted to his loving wife. But when a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon, he can't resist. In this modern version of a classic film noir, we follow Porter as he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail --- one that threatens his job, his marriage and his life.


The Man Who Knew Infinity
Cast: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Stephen Fry, Toby Jones, Jeremy Northam
Director: Matt Brown
Distributor: IFC Films
DVD Release Date: August 23rd
Based on: THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY by Robert Kanigel

The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics. In 1913, Ramanujan, a self-taught Indian mathematics genius traveled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he forged a bond with his mentor, the eccentric professor GH Hardy, and fought against prejudice to reveal his mathematic genius to the world.


Me Before You
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Charles Dance, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Matthew Lewis, Vanessa Kirby
Director: Thea Sharrock
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 30th
Based on: ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You tells the story of the unexpected relationship that blossoms between a contented small town Englishwoman and the wealthy, paralyzed Londoner who hires her as his caretaker.