the secret commonwealth review

It’s been 25 years since The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the U.K.) was first published and became a children’s lit hit. A coming-of-age story nestled in a riveting otherworldly adventure filled with witches, talking polar bears, and animal companions, Pullman would use that children’s fantasy smokescreen to slowly introduce an unexpected subversion of Milton’s Paradise Lost. When the heroine Lyra fails to save her friend at the end of The Golden Compass, the shock that that this was not going to be your average children’s fantasy adventure was eye-opening. It was just the beginning of Pullman’s extraordinary twists — soon his lighthearted fantasy adventure turned into an epic of God-killing proportions. By the time The Amber Spyglass hit bookshelves in 2000, readers of Pullman’s newly dubbed His Dark Materials trilogy were changed — coming of age through the series much like the beloved characters.

But 25 years later, His Dark Materials is ready for adulthood. The author made a highly anticipated return to the world of His Dark Materials (after a brief sojourn in 2003 with the short story Lyra’s Oxford) with 2017’s La Belle Sauvage, the first installment in a new spin-off trilogy The Book of Dust. It was a solid new novel that recaptured the wondrous quality of the original books while adding a fairy tale-like spin. But its narrative, which followed two new characters who embark on a journey to protect Lyra as a baby during a flood that nearly wipes out Oxford, was rather slim. The second book in The Book of Dust, the recently released The Secret Commonwealth, swings in the complete opposite direction, with a more mature tone and a complex plot involving religious conspiratorial schemes and roses that stretches out over a monstrous 600 pages.

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The Rise of Skywalker art book

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters in just a few days, and while some fans were expecting to be able to watch the movie and then quickly dig into a new “art of” book similar to the ones that have accompanied the other entries in the Disney-era Skywalker saga, The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has now been delayed until spring 2020. At least we can assume this thing is chock full of spoilers, right? Read More »

Charlie Kaufman novel

Charlie Kaufman wrote a very Charlie Kaufman-sounding novel, and I can’t wait to read it. Kaufman, the scribe behind Being John MalkovichAdaptationEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Anomalisa, and more, will release Antkind, a novel about a neurotic film critic (is there any other kind?) who stumbles upon a three-m0nth-long movie. More on the Charlie Kaufman novel below.

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new tarantino projects

Quentin Tarantino keeps swearing up and down that he’s going to retire from filmmaking after he makes one more movie. And it looks like he won’t be making his tenth and final film for a little while – but that doesn’t mean he won’t be keeping busy. The filmmaker recently revealed plans to stay occupied with a novel, a play, and also a TV show.

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Get Out: The Annotated Screenplay

Get Out may seem like yesterday’s news, but when you think back over the biggest horror films of the past decade, Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut looms large. Now fans of the film can explore it in even more detail with Inventory Press’s Get Out: The Annotated Screenplay, a 224-page book which features the screenplay along with Peele’s in-depth notes, more than 150 stills from the movie, and behind-the-scenes information about how this modern classic came to be. Sounds like it’d be a great holiday gift for the horror movie fan in your life. Get the details below.
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star wars future

The time after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker seems so far, far away for now. But it could be getting closer with the release of new Star Wars books and comics that will feature events beyond the Skywalker Saga. While we know little of the Star Wars future beyond Episode 9, which will close out the Skywalker Saga this December, a top-secret new book project announced at this year’s New York Comic-Con may reveal more.

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The Hunger Games Prequel

This past summer, we learned Lionsgate was already keen on returning to the world of The Hunger Games by adapting the forthcoming prequel novel from author Suzanne Collins. Now we have more specifics on the story this book will tell, and we also have a title: The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesRead More »

quentin tarantino novel

Quentin Tarantino is retiring from filmmaking (maybe), but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop creating art. The director has said in the past he might take up novel writing – and even that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood originally started out as a book before he turned it into a film. In a new interview with a young up-and-coming filmmaker named Martin Scorsese, Tarantino reveals he’s currently in the midst of writing a book about a subject near and dear to his heart: movies. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! In Tarantino’s novel, a WWII vet has grown to loathe the junk being pumped out by Hollywood but has his interest in cinema rekindled once he discovers the wonderful world of foreign films.

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a24 books

A24 has quickly risen to be a recognizable name in the film world. From humble beginnings, they’ve sprung up to release Oscar-winning films like Moonlight. They’re not just a distributor – they’re a brand, and a popular one at that. A24 has already branched out into products: clothing, candles, and so on. Now they’re adding books to the list, too. A new line of A24 books will launch next week, devoted to MoonlightThe Witch, and Ex Machina, respectively. Each book will contain the film in question’s screenplay, along with other features like essays, stills, and more.

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harry potter exploring hogwarts review

The hallowed halls of Hogwarts are both comfortably familiar and frighteningly strange to even the most hardcore Harry Potter fan. The twisting passageways and towering Gothic turrets seem like they’re forever changing and morphing through the seven years that Harry Potter and his friends spent in Hogwarts. And quite literally, they were.

Insight Edition’s new Harry Potter illustrated guide of Hogwarts reveals some insights into production designer Stuart Craig‘s process, including the tidbit that Craig felt a magical castle “could believably change over time,” giving him license to add new elements to the castle over the years. It’s one of the many fun bits of trivia in Harry Potter: Exploring Hogwarts: An Illustrated Guide. Written by Jody Revenson and illustrated by Studio Muti, Exploring Hogwarts is the latest illustrated guide into the Wizarding World from Insight Editions set to come out this October, following the September release of the diorama-style Harry Potter: Magical Places – A Paper Scene Book. And as a result, it doesn’t break much new ground.

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