Category Archives: Books

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Movie Is More Than “Okay”

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I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of the movie adaptation of John Green’s bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars (in theaters June 6th), and I can’t imagine a better version of this story being told on the big screen. Directed by Josh Boone (Stuck in Love), the movie manages to capture the delicate balance of sharp, witty humor and brutally raw emotion that Green so deftly depicts on the page. A large part of the film’s success is that they took a fair amount of Green’s text straight from the book. Hazel’s narration is preserved through periodic voice-overs, and much of the dialogue is fairly true to the book, if not taken directly. The other reason The Fault in Our Stars so perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the book is the cast. I never thought it could be possible to find a young actress and actor who could truly embody Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (unless someone created a time machine and went back in time to when Jena Malone and Mike Erwin were young enough to play teenagers), but Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort have surpassed any image I may have had of what these characters should be. And I’d be remiss if I left out the incredible Nat Wolff, whose performance as Isaac is so innate that it almost feels like Green based on the character on him to begin with.

The Fault in Our Stars seems like the rare instance where everyone involved in this project actually worked together seamlessly to create the best possible film while staying true to the original work. As someone who holds the book very dear and was dubious about its journey to the big screen, I am thrilled to say they succeeded. I think fans of the book will be very pleased with how the movie has turned out, and anyone who hasn’t read the book will be equally blown away by this powerful and brilliant film. Just remember to bring tissues.

-L

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Emergency Kit

As soon as I finished reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, I went online, watched the trailed and became teary eyed. (Laura Dern’s performance will be the death of me) Louise, who had seen the film already at an advance screening, agreed to see it with me when it was released and told me I should prepare my tear ducts. So, that gave me idea. I grabbed some colored pencils and tape and made ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ facial tissues. Now we are ready for June 6.

TFiOS.Okay

Facial tissues for ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ viewing

I bought some pins just in case anyone at the movie theater was wondering what we were seeing.

'The Fault in Our Stars' pins

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ pins

-M

Much Ado About Nothing: A Film by Joss Whedon book review

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Soure: titanbooks.com

Are you a Joss Whedon fan? HA! Silly question. Of course you are. You are visiting this site created by two Joss Whedon worshippers admirers. If you are looking for a new book to add to your collection, I suggest grabbing Much Ado About Nothing: A Film by Joss Whedon. Whedonites will especially enjoy the introduction written by Joss himself and an extensive interview with him on the production of the film and his approach to the play. Did I mention there were behind-the-scene photos as well? The book also includes his screenplay, but the true gems (in my opinion) are found in the interview. Whedon discusses his relationship with Shakespeare’s work, how a cop tried to shut down production, and mishaps on set. (Fun Fact: His favorite play is Hamlet.) The interview is definitely recommended reading for fans of the Whedonverse and the film.

Much Ado About Nothing: A Film by Joss Whedon was published by Titan Books

-M

‘The Descent’ Is a Shocking & Satisfying Conclusion to an Epic Trilogy

Descent coverIt’s no secret that Alma Katsu’s Taker trilogy is one of my favorite series. I was blown away by the first book, which introduced us to the flawed but fierce Lanore McIlvrae and her immortal compatriots. What makes this series stand out is that it’s a potent blend of supernatural thriller, historical fiction, and romance. The Taker and its sequels defy any one genre, but I guarantee any reader who loves a rich story will be swept up in Katsu’s deft prose and the dark, captivating world she has created.

As hard as it is to bid farewell to these characters, Alma Katsu delivers a truly incredible conclusion to her epic trilogy. The Descent pulls you in like a riptide, dragging you down into the depths of the Underworld as Lanny embarks on a surprising journey, with some help from Adair. If you thought nothing could shock and thrill you more than The Taker and The Reckoning, just wait for the world to be turned on its head with The Descent. The return of some familiar faces, a glimpse into Adair’s mysterious past, and a twist you won’t see coming…this book will blow your mind.

-L

Pop Culture Nexus’ Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013

We wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!

We had a blast writing about our favorite shows and reading your comments  (yes, we read ALL of them). We hope you have enjoyed visiting our little space in the interwebs, because truth be told, we do this for you (maybe 10% for ourselves) and we are looking forward to another year of pop culture stories.

Here’s a look back at our top 10 most-read posts in 2013.

  1. ‘FRINGE’ Finale Photo Recap: “Liberty” & “An Enemy of Fate”
  2. Top 10 ‘Princess Bride’ Movie Quotes
  3. ‘Fringe’ Fashion: Memorable Apparel & Accessories from Five Seasons of Saving the World
  4. Top 5 Logan Echolls Moments from ‘Veronica Mars’
  5. ‘Happy Endings’: If I’d Known James Wolk Would Be Kissing a Man, I Would Have Started Watching Sooner
  6. ‘Fringe’ 5×11 Photo Recap: “The Boy Must Live”
  7. ‘Arrow’ 1×21 Photo Recap: “The Undertaking”
  8. ‘Arrow’ Finale Photo Recap: “Sacrifice”
  9. Five Books to Read After ‘The Hunger Games’
  10. ‘Arrow’ 1×18 Photo Recap: “Salvation”

-Mary and Louise

Louise’s Best of 2013

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It’s been quite a year. Kimye had a baby, Miley twerked her way into pop culture history, and Sandra Bullock defied Gravity in the greatest space drama of recent history. Here’s my list of the best of 2013—including Chris Messina’s dance moves, Finnick Odair, and Robin Williams’ return to television. Keep in mind that this list consists of my personal favorites of the year. Cards on the table, I still haven’t seen Breaking Bad, so you won’t find it on this list. What you will find is a whole lot of fabulousness that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. Here we go!

Read the rest of this entry

Calling for Pop Culture Submissions

In October, I shared my goal for 2014 – to post a story every day in January about a play, song, TV show, film or book  that has had a special impact on someone’s life. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know some amazing people because of a TV show and I know others share similar stories. I only hope that you will consider sharing your story, because I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than reading how one person’s passion made his or her life shine a little brighter.

Please submit your story to popculturenexus@gmail.com by December 20, and please try to keep submissions under 800 words. Photos may be included.

Originally posted on October 11:

Hello Pop Culture Nexus Friends!

This year has been really crappy. Sorry folks, I usually don’t get personal and I never allow myself to be pessimistic in my posts, but I have to make an exception. 2013 has been a difficult year for me. Professionally, it has been a successful one, however, personally, this year has been an obnoxious bully filled with medical emergencies, losses, depression, a grudge, anger, and helplessness.  There’s still 2.5 months left in the year, but I’m already looking forward to starting anew. I have no clue if 2014 is going to be as challenging as this one and I can’t control what will happen, but I can control how I will kick off the new year. This is where I need your help. In addition to family and friends, stories and characters help me get through difficult times. They bring me joy and that uplifting smile at the most random moments when I’m reminded of a scene or dialogue. Stories told in plays, songs, TV shows, film, and books are powerful — powerful enough to transport or ground us. We can use stories to escape or remain in reality to gain a better understanding of life. We all have experienced those moments in life when a song helped us weather a difficult time or a play communicated the words we could not verbalize ourselves. Perhaps it was a character or fandom that inspired you to take that frightful but necessary leap. These are the moments I want to celebrate when 2014 begins. I want to post a story every day in January of pop culture providing joy/comfort/understanding/closure/satisfaction in someone’s life. Perhaps you met your lifelong friends at comic-con or included a cinematic theme at your wedding. Whatever that special moment is, please consider sharing it because your story might inspire others.

Submit your story to popculturenexus@gmail.com by December 20. Please try to keep submissions under 800 words and photos may be included.

Thanks everyone. This will be an exciting way to start 2014!

-Mary

‘Across a Star-Swept Sea’ by Diana Peterfreund: A Fun, Futuristic Take on ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’

Across a Star Swept Sea

For anyone who hasn’t read Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars, you should probably go do that right now. It’s a post-apocalyptic YA adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which is pretty much as awesome as it sounds. In case you were wondering, it’s worth noting that Peterfreund is also a very talented writer in addition to having some great ideas about reinterpreting classic literature. Her latest novel comes out Tuesday (October 15th) and puts a new spin on The Scarlet Pimpernel, replacing the titular spy with a teenage girl who poses as a clueless socialite by day, and rescues prisoners of war by night—all against the backdrop of a brilliantly crafted futuristic world.

Star-Swept has everything that I loved from Diana Peterfreund’s previous book, but with a story all its own: a fast-paced plot, a captivating post-apocalyptic setting, crazy-enough-to-be-plausible tech, and a simmering romance. Across the Star-Swept Sea is an enchanting amalgam of adventure, political espionage, romance, and science fiction, tinged with humor and wrapped in a sparkling futuristic world. Whether you’re familiar with the original story or not, you’ll love this book.

-L

New Season of Once Upon a Time and New Book!

Photo source: amazon.com

Photo source: amazon.com

Season 3 has officially begun and Oncers are rejoicing. But the season premiere isn’t the only thing to celebrate. On October 1, Titan Books will release the official companion to the show, Once Upon a Time Behind the Magic. The book features visually stunning photographs and interviews with the cast and series co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. There are in-depth episode guides but what makes this guide so different from your typical article on the show is the collection of interviews with the crew. The book certainly lives up to its title with its examination of special effects, costumes, music, props, and production design. Crew members from each department offer a behind the scenes look at the elements that make the magic possible in Storybrooke. Find out what inspired Mark Isham to compose the music for the series and read how Bill Burd selected some of the iconic props. If you are like me who loves reading about the work it takes for an episode to be prepped before its filmed, then you will enjoy this guide.

Reactions from fans after the Season 3 premiere:

  • @ItsMsMissy That was a twist ending #OUAT #SaveHenry
  • @BonesofSnow Well that was awesome. S3 of #OUAT is going to rock if the premiere is any indication.
  • @denardra is it just me or is that kid’s hair a little perfect for him to be peter… #OUAT #OnceUponATime
  • @JenMRicci Omg that episode of #OUAT was absolutely fantastic.
  • @MzHill08 Never underestimate the wrath of a loving mom! #ouat Great way to start the season!!
  • @YMo_tornado This show actually will ruin your childhood. But I love it. #OUAT
  • @hera_b Decent episode of #OUAT!! Can’t wait to see more of Neverland!!
  • @vivian_bermudez OUAT premiere was kind of anti-climatic. Like I liked it but it wasn’t as plot driven as I thought it would be. Hopefully it gets better.
  • @writetherestfic #OuaT was actually pretty decent. Far better than most of season 2.
  • @JoMoLovely13 I’m scared of Peter Pan. Trips to Disney World will be awkward now #ouat
  • @Erin_R_Crawford Oh my gosh what an awesome episode! Can’t wait for next week!! #ouat #SaveHenry
  • @ChrisStein So #OnceUponATime is taking one of the most beloved Disney characters in #PeterPan, and making him a villain this season? Do not approve
  • @prettyonpointe Can I just say that missing the Once Upon a Time season premier will probably cause me emotional trauma for the rest of my life. #ouat 😭

Share your reactions to season premiere in the comments section.

-Mary

Interview with Juan Ortiz

Titan Books was SUPER AWESOME to arrange an interview with Juan Ortiz, the creator of the amazing artwork in Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz. You have to get this book if you are a fan of Star Trek. Each episode of the series is reimagined as a movie poster, which you just wish you could blow up and hang on the wall.  It is really no surprise that the images are impressive because Ortiz is a big Star Trek fan. Read about how he illustrated each episode and his experience at comic-con in the interview.

Did you do any research, such as re-watching the show, before illustrating an episode?

Not all of them. Just the ones that I couldn’t remember well or if I was looking for an idea to base my poster on. Sometimes I would just have an episode playing on the screen next to me just to let it absorb sub-consciously. There is also a wealth of information on the internet that was very useful, especially some behind the scenes stuff.

After seeing the positive reaction from the Star Trek community, would you consider doing something similar for other sci-fi shows?

I didn’t, until just now. I don’t want to say what it is, but it may take a while to actually execute. I’m still on the Trek roller coaster ride. I will mention that my Star Trek: The Animated Series is currently being unveiled this week over at Startrek.com for the 40th anniversary of that series. 

Were your favorite episodes easier or harder to illustrate?

I tried to approach each episode equally. For the most part, I think I succeeded. My favorite episodes may also be someone else’s favorite, but I can only please myself and hope that others will just like them too. I just had to be true to myself and trust my design choices. 

Are there any artists that inspired your Star Trek artwork?

I grew up with an appreciation for all types of art and artist. Some of them are Andy Warhol, Jack Kirby, Saul Bass, Terry Gilliam and Spanish book cover illustrator Joaquin Pertierra. But I also admire Stanley Kubrick’s design and use of one point perspective in his films.

I attended my first comic-con this year and had immense fun being around people passionate about the same things I am. How would you describe your experience at comic-con?

I’ve been to the con with my own comics, but this was really my first time on the other side of the table as someone that folks wanted to meet. So it was a bit nerve racking. I just had to dive into it and hope that I could enjoy it and try not to disappoint much.

Thank you Ortiz and Titan Books!

Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz is available from Titanbooks.com

-Mary

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