Words of Wisdom from Fathers in Film

Where would we all be without our Dads? They helped keep us on the right track and guided us through the difficulties in life.  Father’s Day is Sunday June 19, so you better have a great book, fishing lure or even a tie ready for him to say thank you for all he has done. You know he gave you lots of good advice. Being the resident movie buff, Father’s Day makes me think of all of the great advice we got from some of the best movie Dads on the silver screen. Here is some of their most memorable advice.

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill A Mockingbird

“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Mac MacGuff (J.K. Simmons) in Juno

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.” Continue reading

Read the Movie: Your Summer Guide to Movies Based on Books

It’s summer time, and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great summer reading to get the jump on other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

Paper Towns by John Green 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story about a young man, Quentin, who sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest, the movie adaptation,  has a top-notch cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. In theaters September 18.

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. history, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his fourth Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre!


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

It’s summer time and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great sumer reading to get the jump on some other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

 

 

Paper Towns by John Green 

 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story as a young man, Quentin, sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4olpTxktM4

 

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

 

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44_igsZtgU

 

 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

 

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest has a top notch cast with Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. Everest start September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZQVpPiOji0

 

 

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

 

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. History, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger, and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his 4th Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE3e3hGF2jc

 

 

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre. 

 

Much Ado About William Shakespeare: Best Movie Adaptations

What better birthday to celebrate than one of the best storytellers in history William Shakespeare? Of course, everyone thinks of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet when thinking of Shakespeare, but his play still inspire and are the basis of many movies. Being a movie buff, here are my top 5 picks of movies based on Shakespeare. 

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Based on a play of the same name, this is really a fantastic comedy film about mistaken identity and suppressed affections with an all-star cast. On the British side, we have Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and Kate Beckinsale. On the American side, Michael Keaton is perfect as the bumbling Dogberry and Denzel Washington plays a noble Prince. 

West Side Story (1961)

Romeo and Juliet turns to the streets of New York for the retelling of this classic Shakespeare story. Maria and Tony fall in love, despite being a part of rival gangs. The ending does change a bit with this adaptation, but not enough to keep it from winning the Oscar for Best Picture in 1961.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)


It is easy to see where this one comes from, The Taming of the Shrew. Bianca and Cameron are forbidden to date until shrewish older sister, Kat, is dating as well. Kat, played by Julia Stiles, gets set up to date “bad boy” Patrick, portrayed by Heath Ledger. Cameron even disguises himself as a language tutor, just as Lucentio did in Shakespeare’s original play.

Ran (1985)

Based on Shakespeare’s work King Lear, Ran, is the story of two sons that are battling over the division over their father’s estate. This is a film everyone should see and is masterfully directed by Akira Kurosawa. One of the greatest epics of all time.

Forbidden Planet (1956)


That’s right, one of the truly classic sci-fi films is based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Instead of being stranded on an island, the story here takes place on a planet with a utopian society. As with the play, the planet’s ruler, Morbius, sees his daughter fall in love with one of the outsiders, despite his objections. This film also gave us one of the most-recognizable robots in film history, Robby the Robot. A must see for everyone.

There were so many great stories to choose from. Big Business and Throne of Blood were close to making the list. What are some of your favorite Shakespearean works being retold today?

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Prepare for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I may be showing my age here, but anyone who grew in the 70’s remembers camping out in lines that went around the block just to see Star Wars for a fifth time. As a movie buff, few things make me feel like a kid again, but with this new Star Wars trailer out, I can’t wait to see this movie. It should be exciting, with director JJ Abrams behind the camera, who is known for rebooting the Star Trek franchise. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18. That gives you plenty of time to drop by Half Price Books and pick up the original other Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray or DVD. Also, take home a few comics and books to get yourself prepared for this fall release. If you come by on Saturday, May 2nd, you can take home a comic book free with any purchase as part of Comic Book Day!

   

Check out the trailer!

What is your favorite movie in the Star Wars saga?


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Books: Read the Movie, Oscars Edition

 

It’s time again for Books: Read the Movie. With the 87th Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, February 22, we have a special Oscars edition. There are so many Best Picture winners based on books, which makes it is very difficult to narrow them down, but here are my personal top five Best Picture winners based on books.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

You would think Alfred Hitchcock would have a mantle full of Oscars, but sadly this is just not the case. Hitchcock’s Rebecca was a list of many firsts for him. This was his first film after leaving England for Hollywood, his only film to win the Best Picture Oscar, and his first film adapted from another source. This film was adapted from Rebecca, the outstanding novel by Daphne du Maurier. A very haunting film that still plays well to this day, this is Hitchcock at his best.

Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

Ben Hur (Young Readers Christian Library)

You can certainly make a case for this being one of the greatest films of all time, being tied with the most Oscar wins at 11. (The other two films with 11 wins being Titanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). This was also the film that won Charlton Heston his only Oscar, in which he took home the Best Actor award. This film is just shy of 4 hours long, but every minute of the chariot race makes it one of the most memorable scenes in movie history.

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers  by Maria Augusta Trapp (filmed as The Sound of Music)

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Based on the book by Maria Augusta von Trapp, this is the most memorable musical of all time. Who can forget Julie Andrews with her arms held out, twirling on the mountaintop? Winner of 5 Academy Awards – don’t be confused, none of the awards went to Julie Andrews, but she later won for another singing role, Mary Poppins this true story of the Von Trapp children is definitely a classic.

Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally (filmed as Schindler’s List)

Schindler's Ark

This is the film that won Steven Spielberg his first Oscar, and deservedly so. Ralph Fiennes also gave the performance of a lifetime and is one of the biggest snubs of all time. The Academy did not give him the Best Supporting Actor Award, instead giving it to Tommy Lee Jones for The Fugitive. To me, this film may have the most powerful movie ending of all time. But, no spoilers here! You need to see this film at least once in your life. 

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

 

The Godfather

A great book that has been turned into an incredible movie, how can we forget the mostpopular crime family in movie history, the Corleones? You just can’t go wrong with Marlon Brando (Best Actor Oscar), Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall! Make yourself a plate of pasta, grab a bottle of Chianti and enjoy…this is the best movie of all time!

 

There are so many more great films adapted from literature, some honorable mentions are Forrest Gump, In the Heat of the Night and The French Connection. What are your Oscar-winning favorites which are based on books? 

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Read the Movie: Your Fall Guide to Movies Based on Books

It’s that time of year again, when the movie scene really starts heating up with many great books coming out on the big screen. If you want to get a jump on all the Oscar hopefuls, here are some reading material suggestions.

 Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord 

 

A psychiatrist, played by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), searches the world to discover happiness. This plot seems reminiscent of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty from last year, but with a cast that includes Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard, Toni Collette, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer, this could be a good film. Look for a wide release on September 26.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


With his wife’s disappearance having become the a focus of an intense media circus, a man (Ben Affleck) has the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected he may not be innocent. Gone Girl already has a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding it. It could be nominated in many categories, including Best Director (David Fincher) and a Best Picture. Be sure to check this one out on October 3.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst


Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and things just get worse from there. This Disney release is a film for all ages. It stars Steve Carell (The Office) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club). Look for it on the big screen October 10.

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 home town. Written by the author of The Notebook and Safe Haven. Starring Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato and James Marsden. In theaters October 17.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part I by Suzanne Collins


Katniss Everdeen, played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol. The film will be Part I of II, but you can look to start Mockingjay on November 21.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed


A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe. Look for great performances from Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park). Wild will hit the silver screen December 5.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the 5 Armies by J.R.R. Tolkien


Thorin and Company has reached Smaug’s lair, but can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it? This will be the exciting conclusion to Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy. In theaters December 17.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II. Directed by Angelina Jolie, this film has the making of an Oscar frontrunner. Be sure to check out Unbroken on Christmas Day.

This list of fall releases, that will keep you busy reading and at the movies all season long!

Remember, no talking or texting during the feature presentation.


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Matthew’s Day Off + Top Five Other Superbowl Commercials

Congrats to the New York Giants for their big Super Bowl win last night against the New England Patriots.  It was an exciting game!  But let’s face it – many of us just watched the game for the commercials.  Here are a few of our favorites, leading off with Honda’s throwback to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

Honda CR-V “Matthew’s Day Off”

Audi “Vampire Party”

Chevy Silverado “2012”

Doritos® “Man’s Best Friend”

Volkswagen “The Dog Strikes Back”

Cars.com “Confident You”

Did we leave any good ones out?  Tell us your favorite!

— Emily

The Hobbit Trailer

As if there weren’t enough excitement with all of the holiday movies coming out all at once, there is something else that just makes me giddy with anticipation. The new Hobbit trailer has been released! I admit, I couldn’t even wait to see it on the big screen, I had to watch it right away. Here it is just for you!

One word. WOW! With every Lord of the Rings films earning Best Picture nominations, and one win, I expect nothing less from this film. Only 359 days until The Hobbit hits the big screen. Anyone know when tickets go on sale?

 

— Jim