The Priority Report: August 13 to 19
by Jeannine Stanley
It’s hard to believe kids will be back in school in less than two weeks, fall will be here in a month’s time, and the onslaught of fall television shows will be upon us. Have no fear because here at NoBo we will wade through the dozens of new shows and tell you what we think deserves a first view and what to avoid.
For now, fill up on some great new kid’s movies hitting theaters in these dog days of summer, rent some thrillers, both old and new, or settle in with a new, great read. Sit back, relax and let NoBo Magazine guide you to this week’s great entertainment picks.
In theaters on Wed. August 15
Cindy and Jim Green are trying really hard to have a baby, but they haven’t had any luck. So they bury a box of wishes in their backyard full of all the attributes that make a perfect son. After a wild storm, a 10-year-old boy named Timothy shows up and becomes their son. But what they don’t soon realize in this fantastic tale is that their new son is even more special than they even imagined! A great kids flick, perfect for a double feature with ParaNorman, out on August 17.
In theaters on Friday, August 17
In Whitney Houston’s last role, and a film that she spent a large portion of the last few years overseeing, she plays the mother of Sparkle (Jordan Sparks), 1/3 of a girl group coming out of Detroit in the 1960s. If this premise sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Sparkle is actually a remake of a 1976 film, and it has a very similar plot/storyline to Dreamgirls, which pushed that Other American Idol Winner, Jennifer Hudson into super-star status. Jordan Sparks has shown clear talent before, despite this being her first studio release as an actress, so maybe Houston’s name can carry her into the next frontier.
In theaters on Fri. August 17
A twisted take on the outcast kid story, Norman is a kid in the spooky New England town of Blithe Hollow who can do something none of his friends can…talk to the dead. This gift gets him involved in a centuries old witches curse that will doom his town and reanimate the dead… and he’s the only one that can save them! Brought to you by the makers of Coraline, and with a stop-animation feel that seems perfect for the spooky context, this movie is sure to please those kids who are a little older and can handle ghosts but still love a great kids movie. My only question though…why did they release this amazing spooky movie in August, where it would have fit much more perfectly in October?
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray
Universal Studios is celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary this year, and as a gift to the moviegoing public, they are re-releasing some of their top films in extended form. Jaws, 37 years old and still as terrifying and awe-inspiring ever, is lucky enough to get this reissue treatment. This package, out August 14, includes a digital copy, Blu-Ray, DVD and a Ultraviolet release, so you can literally watch it anywhere. Including new interviews with Spielberg, Schneider, Dreyfuss and the rest, and a special called “The Shark Is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws”. Jump back in the water for this new release, but maybe wait to watch it until beach season is over…
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray on Saturday, August 18
If you are the…well the one individual that missed this phenomenal film when it was in theaters earlier this year, go buy this immediately and watch it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. For the 99% of the movie-going population that did see this in the theaters, it’s finally here on DVD to watch over and over again! Watch as Katniss Everdeen transforms from skilled quiet hunter providing for her family in a terrorist state to a nationwide hero for the masses, all while falling in love. This new release also includes Blu-Ray, digital copy, and lots of extra vignettes about the filming process as well as author Susanne Collins input on the phenomenon. Cheer on the heroes of district 12 in the privacy of your own home on August 18.
All week on Discovery
Can you believe that Discovery has given us the wonder, awe and amazement of Shark Week for 25 years! This year, join America in watching some of the greatest videos of shark attacks, Great White jumps, documentaries, and first-hand stories about the most dangerous (and misunderstood) animal out there. Many of this week’s specials are from previous years, but NoBo will give you the details of the new premiere specials beginning the week of the 12th!
Season Two on Mondays on NBC
If you haven’t been watching this amazing sleeper hit, it would be extremely hard to detail all the subtle nuances of what a Grimm, a Wildermann, Wesen, Veratt damonfeurer or a Blutbad is, but suffice it to say, you’ll be enraptured the second you start watching. The storytelling is crisp and not at all gimmicky, the characters are deep and extremely multifaceted. This is no “good vs. evil” show, but more about understanding other people (or creatures) and where they come from. Catch up for season two, Season one is available on DVD and on-Demand.
Now available on CD and download
With an amazing cast of current indie singer/songwriters like Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), Best Coast, The New Pornographers, Lykke Li, MGMT and others, this tribute cover album is sure to bridge the gap between generations this summer. Everyone likes Fleetwood Mac, and having their amazing, soul-baring, deep music covered by some of the greatest indie acts of this era (Lykke Li singing Silver Springs is my personal favorite).
Now available on CD & download
Yellowcard has been on a hiatus for the last few years, and we’ve missed these impassioned Floridians-turned-California boys, who are on their 8th studio album. The rockers that brought you “Ocean Avenue” have collected another album of crafted tunes. Their first single “Always Summer” invokes a dreamy California feel, which should match the rest of this great new release. If you’re looking to catch Yellowcard on tour, start cashing in your frequent flier miles, because they will only be stopping at select Australian small-venue dates.
Now available in print or e-book
When a high society, overscheduled, and anxiety ridden Mom (Bernadette) suddenly disappears, it’s up to her 15-year old daughter Bee to find her. It will take her through assistants in India, years of emails, and mysterious contacts to find her again. This seems like an incredibly engrossing, brilliant beach read and also a testament to mother-daughter relationships everywhere.
January First: A Child’s Decent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield
Now available in print or e-book
This is hands down, an amazing book. Janni (don’t call her January!) is a 9-year-old girl (and the subject of a recent TLC special) who is struggling with…something. She has hundreds of imaginary friends, she numbers people according to a list in her head, and she memorized the periodic table of elements at age 4, all with a 146 IQ. However, she struggles with making friends, wild fits of rage, and a world who totally misunderstands her. Her father, the author of this book, fights valiantly for a little girl who is completely lovable, hyper-intelligent and brave at one moment and violent, disconnected and shudder-inducing the next. This is a very engrossing read, written as a diary of the last 5 years of this family’s life. Follow their struggle, their triumphs, and what its like for a 9-year-old to have a very serious, debilitating and lift threatening mental illness. This is Janni’s story, and it deserves to be told.