Thursday, January 29, 2009

Read Any Good Movies Lately!

From Page to Screen 2009

The 2009 calendar is replete with book adaptations for all ages. We've scoured the press so you can put a stack by the bedside and be ready for some witty criticism when these tales hit the big screen.

The book by Cornelia Funke was our daughter's favorite book, bar none, when she was in sixth grade. Does the movie do the book justice? Read, watch and compare!
The Tale of Despereaux
Released over Christmas, the lovely animated movie based on the Newbery Medal winner, is another of our family's favorite books. Kate DiCamillo's books (Because of Winn Dixie and Tiger Rising) are great for elementary aged kids (and their parents).

Coraline (Feb)
Neil Gaiman's stories lean toward the macabre, and this animated adaptation looks pretty spooky to us. Gaiman's latest book, The Graveyard Book just won the Newbery Medal; a macabre riff on Kipling's The Jungle Book, the movie rights have already been snatched up, so get reading, book fans!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July)
Many folks think book six is one of J.K. Rowling's better yarns, so get ready to see the characters grow up a bit more... and, for this film to take over the summer. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sept)
A sweet, early reader book with wondrous illustration, we are excited to see what becomes of this as a movie.
Cirque du Freak (Oct)
Popular with elementary school boys, these books are about a boy who goes into training with a Freak Show vampire - turns out, Twilight doesn't have the monopoly on vampire stories -- or teenage girls! From director Paul Weitz.
Where the Wild Things Are (Oct)
All bets are off as director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) takes on Maurice Sendak's classic tale.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Nov)
Roald Dahl's fabulous tale will be brought to the screen as an animated tale by Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) and include talent such as George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray.

The Soloist (April)
Steve Lopez's true story about a reporter who befriends a homeless man who is an extraordinary violinist stars Robert Downey, Jr.
Angels and Demons (May)
Tom Hanks stars in Dan Brown's sequel to The DaVinci Code.
My Sister's Keeper (June)
Teens and sophisticated tweens are ready to handle Jody Picoult's complex issue books - this one is about a girl whose body has been used to keep her sister with leukemia alive; with Cameron Diaz.
Julie and Julia (Aug)
Great book about a young New Yorker who sets out to cook every recipe in Julia Child's famous cookbook, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep.
New Moon (Nov)
More of the wildly popular teen vampire tale from the author of Twilight, with same successful cast.
Sherlock Holmes (Nov)
Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law star as the detective and his sidekick. Time to pull out some of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic stories!

Diane and Sarah
Founders, Kids Off The Couch

Mrs Doubtfire + Comedy Club For Kids = Kids Off The Couch

A Stand Up Guy
Our kids were schooled on Mary Poppins as the practically-perfect nanny, and have suffered through many a quirky babysitter over their tender years. But nothing prepared them for the hilarity of Robin Williams posing as a prim Scottish nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire. Our kids wanted to know everything about Williams, right back to his origins as Mork from Mork and Mindy and his first appearance on Happy Days. We wanted to give them a sense of how Robin Williams got his start, so treated them to a day at a Kids Comedy Club. Our city's version features young performers doing improv sketches, and our children loved watching kids their own ages showing off their material. Like the real deal, not every joke hit, but our fans didn't care -- they were eager audience participants, and on the way home, starting trying out their own jokes on the most forgiving of audiences, mom and dad. Knock, Knock! (Click here for kid's comedy venue near you.)