Donna's Cool Movies
Books on Movies

Chicago The Movie and Lyrics

Chicago: The Movie and Lyrics (Newmarket Pictorial Moviebook) by Rob Marshall (Introduction), Bill Condon (Introduction), A Newmarket Pictorial Movebook

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Although this book (which is based on a movie, which is based on a musical) can't sing or dance, it comes darn well close enough to providing the oohs and aahs of going to see Chicago on the big screen. The smash hit movie has paved the way to a stunner of a book that simultaneously pays tribute to and explains the intricacies of Rob Marshall's showstopper. In his introduction, the director explains, "Musical theater is American-born, and it's our form. When musicals are done beautifully... it seems completely organic and convincing that people can sing and dance while telling their stories. When musicals are done right, they lift you in a way that no other form can. And that's why I love them so." The gorgeous photos in the book are uplifting indeed: there's Richard Gere as lawyer Billy Flynn, surrounded by scantily clad vaudeville showgirls in fishnets; there's Chicago's fictitious, sparkling Onyx Theater, balconies aglow; there's the voluptuous Queen Latifa, draped in gold and shimmying across the stage as Mama Morton. The book shares profiles of Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lucy Liu and other stars of the film; historical vignettes of the real-life murderesses who inspired the characters; and essays on the costumes and set design. And then there's the screenplay, containing the movie's song lyrics and spoken lines. It's a marvelous package: flashy, informative and sure to "razzle dazzle 'em."
-from website

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Taking the Red Pill - The Matrix

Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix
by Glenn Yeffeth (Editor), David Gerrold (Introduction)

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This thought-provoking examination of The Matrix explores the technological challenges, religious symbolism, and philosophical dilemmas the film presents. Essays by renowned scientists, technologists, philosophers, scholars, social commentators, and science fiction authors provide engaging and provocative perspectives. Explored in a highly accessible fashion are issues such as the future of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The symbolism hidden throughout The Matrix and a few glitches in the film are revealed. Discussions include "Finding God in The Matrix," "The Reality Paradox in The Matrix," and "Was Cypher Right?: Why We Stay in Our Matrix." The fascinating issues posed by the film are handled in an intelligent but nonacademic fashion.
-from website

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Adaptation The Shooting Script

Adaptation: The Shooting Script (Newmarket Shooting Script Series)
by Charlie Kaufman, Donald Kaufman

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From the director and writer of Being John Malkovich—a film by Spike Jonze, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, from a screenplay by Charlie and Donald Kaufman about the adaptation of the bestselling book The Orchid Thief—an exciting new filmbook in the Newmarket Shooting Script® series. This latest head trip from director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) concerns an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief, writes himself into the movie. The Orchid Thief tells the story of a Florida man who schemes to clone the "ghost orchid" and sell it to people all over the world who are struck with orchidelirium, the obsession with collecting rare orchids at any price. Adaptation: The Shooting Script® includes the complete screenplay, a selection of 20 black-and-white movie stills, as well as an introduction by Charlie Kaufman.
-from website

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Gods and Generals

Gods and Generals: The Illustrated Story of the Epic Civil War Film
by Ronald F. Maxwell, Frank A. O'Reilly (Contributor), Van Redin (Photographer)

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Filled with outstanding photographs from the set and scenes from the film, this companion book to the film not only takes a look at the making of the $ Million epic, but a look at the real-life characters and events that inspired the cinematic masterpiece that is "Gods and Generals." For history buffs and cine-buffs alike!
-from website

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Its A Wonderful Life Memory Book

The It's a Wonderful Life Memory Book
by Stephen Cox

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Few motion pictures have enjoyed a renaissance like the 1946 Frank Capra masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life. Nominated for five Academy Awards, it was dismissed as syrupy Christmas fare and fell into obscurity until television gave it new life. Today it’s an American tradition. With The It’s a Wonderful Life Memory Book, any fan of the classic film can further appreciate its magic and legacy. The warm reminiscences of the film’s cast are supported by excellent photographs, providing the perfect companion for any fan of the film—or anyone who believes in miracles and angels. The book features dozens of interviews and rare behind-the-scenes photographs that allow readers to see how the movie was created. Comments from Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Bobbie Anderson, Jimmy Hawkins, Karen Grimes, and many more make the story come alive. More than a dozen brief biographies of the prominent cast members detail how It’s a Wonderful Life affected their lives and careers. "Then" and "now" photographs supplement the career highlights of Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Beulah Bondi, Gloria Grahame, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, and others. Like George Bailey himself, It’s a Wonderful Life was rescued from oblivion in the late 1970s when it was discovered that the film’s copyright had not been renewed and the motion picture fell into public domain and television stations nationwide began freely airing the film. From film remakes and marvelous merchandise to cast reunions and Saturday Night Live’s hilarious parody, The It’s a Wonderful Life Memory Book explores the adoration of generations of viewers who have fallen under its spell.
-from website

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Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet: A Voyage of Discovery
by Jeff Kurtti, Jody Revenson (Editor)

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This sort of new type of "Behind the Scenes" and "The Art of" books created lately by Disney is great. The price is more than just right. The quality of the form is awesome: great pictures, quality of the paper... and the content is very good also: a real close up look at the process of making the film. Also, a very interesting analysis of the virtual world created by Disney for this film. When I saw the movie I simply enjoyed it. Now that the video-dvd is comming out, I can't wait to own it and watch the film again, thanks to this book. The analysis of all the parafernalia, the planets that were created, the imagery, the psychological study of the characters and the animation itself, both 2D and 3D is really good. I truly recommend this book to any Disney aficionado. It helps you understand the film better. Also, the process of its creation. It's a treasure in itself. You don't need to go to any planet to get it.
-from website

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World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal: The Collector's Edition
by Brian Froud

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Now 20 years old, Jim Henson's classic fantasy film The Dark Crystal--featuring the breathtaking concept design of renowned fantasy artist Brian Froud--is a soaring work of the imagination. This mystical adventure has such a huge cult following that when the film was recently re-released on video and DVD, it quickly sold a million copies. Just as remarkable is the cult status of The World of The Dark Crystal, Froud's book on the film. Originally published in 1982 and long out of print, this definitive volume--packed with brilliant artwork--has been in such demand that used copies can sell for well over $400. Abrams is now proudly reissuing this sought-after book in a brand new collector's edition. This beautifully printed reproduction of the original volume contains all of its stunning art and text--plus a new essay by Froud, illustrated with never-before-published paintings, drawings, and sculptures from the film's archives. And this new edition features a facsimile of a 20-page booklet Froud and Henson created to present the film to backers--a gorgeous overview of the story so rare only a few copies are known to exist. This collector's edition of The World of The Dark Crystal, like the re-released film, will truly be a must-have for Henson and Froud fans.
-from website

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