10 Books You Should Read Immediately If You Want To Be The Biggest Snob At The Cineplex
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10 Books You Should Read Immediately If You Want To Be The Biggest Snob At The Cineplex

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | October 16, 2013 | Comments ()


The fall/winter movie season is pretentious enough in its own right. It practically groans under the weight of its own self-seriousness. Between desperate Oscar-baiting and, well, frantic Oscar-baiting, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a major studio release that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Do them one better, I say. Out-pompous them. For what satisfaction more searing? What shiver of snobbery more rewarding than the one you get after pushing your glasses up your nose and sighing, heavily, “the book was better.” Here are 10 great books to get you there this fall.

Romeo and Juliet (October 11th): If you haven’t already read Shakespeare’s play (or at least seen it performed) then I don’t even know what you are doing here. But the reason you must read/see it before you go watch this CW version is so you can join me in raging (RAGING) against Julian Fellowes who had the unmitigated gall to change some of the bard’s language. These lines: “We shall take action when we may and strike while the iron is hot!”/”The best intentions pave the way to hell.”/”The prince’s kindness is a golden ax that cuts my head off.” None of them Shakespeare. None of them welcome.

Twelve Years A Slave (October 18th): This should be the heaviest literary hitter of the fall and is running right behind Gravity in the “must see to impress people at dinner parties” race. Check out Solomon Northup’s book first for extra holier-than-thou cred.

Carrie (October 18th): Oh sure, it’s pulp. But think how much BETTER that will make your lit. snit fit. “Well I don’t think that was King’s intention at all. Anyway, the pig blood spatter is far more poetic when you read it on the page.”

Ender’s Game (November 1st): Oh, sure, most of you have already read this sci-fi/fantasy classic. But did you know the movie will also be covering plot lines from Ender’s Shadow? You didn’t? Well get cracking! But, ah, get your copy from the library so as not to send any more money Orson Scott Card’s way. Okay?

The Book Thief (November 8th): One of the most brilliant books on the Holocaust in the last decade. The movie is guaranteed to jerk the tears right out of your snobbish face. “What’s that?” you sneer. “Based on a children’s book?” Don’t fret my pretentious pets, we already covered this on Monday. It’s okay to read kids books.

The Wolf Of Wall Street (November 15): Reading Jordan Belfort’s memoir will allow you just the right amount of liberal hauteur to dismiss of all Wall Street as nothing but a pack of criminals. The movie itself is sure to be a fantastic opportunity for Leonardo DiCaprio to sink his fangs into the scenery. Think Shattered Glass meets Catch Me If You Can meets, well, Wall Street.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (November 29): Should we just give Idris Elba the Oscar now and be done with it? Oh, think of your smarmy glee on Oscar night when you’re able to declare, “Elba really did capture the spirit of Mandela’s memoir. Oh braaaavo.”

The Monuments Men (December 18th): The full title of this book is The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History. Did you already get your dad a present for Christmas? No? Well here you go. You’re welcome. But read it yourself first and be sure to clue in your fellow moviegoers on the important historical facts Clooney missed and weigh in on the accuracy of Matt Damon’s jaunty cap.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (December 25th): If you haven’t read a Tom Clancy novel in your life, now is the time. Oh, sure, he’s considered lowbrow. But he’s classic lowbrow. And since Clancy just passed away, this would be the perfect opportunity to pay him homage…and judge the hell out of Chris Pine.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (December 25th): After seeing the trailer, I’ve made a complete reversal on this film. Ben Stiller might just pull off the Stranger Than Fiction/dreamy vibe. But I’ll still be judging it against both Danny Kaye and Thurber’s story. I encourage you to do the same, beautiful dreamers and fellow snobs. I encourage you to do the same.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Please add "Winter's Tale" to the list!!

  • mswas

    Check out ElCicco's great Cannonball Read Review of Twelve Years a Slave to get some insight into this book. (Then buy it from the link in the review and raise money for the American Cancer Society!!)

  • cgthegeek

    I'm currently reading "12 Years A Slave" and HO-LEE-SHIT is it gonna make a great movie!

  • e jerry powell

    That's KEVIN COSTNER looking all fuckable?


  • rocky

    Kevin always looked good in a uniform. Ever see No Way Out. Couldn't act for beans, but man, when he swept Sean Young off her feet and into the bedroom, well... pick me, please.

  • XiuFetish

    Surprisingly watchable movie.

  • e jerry powell

    Mmmmhmmm. But then she went all crazy and shit.

    Poor crazy woman. For as much as she's been working over the last 26 years, she's been completely off the radar.

  • Two more for the list - both books-to-film dealing with doppelgängers, in an interesting coincidence:

    - The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The film version premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last month and has a vague "early 2014" US release date. Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn (Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

    - The Double (yes, same name) by José Saramago - The film adaptation - titled Enemy - is a Canadian-Spanish affair starring Jake Gyllenhaal in, per Wikipedia, "a dual role," as well as Melanie Laurent and Isabella Rossellini. It was also screened at the Toronto Film Festival. It debuts in Spain in December and has won US distribution. (Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

  • Wolf of Wall Street is a terribly written memoir. Disjointed, meandering, even lethargic at times. There's a good story in there somewhere though, one I really hope scorcese is able to extract.

  • chanohack

    And the news of Ender's Shadow plot lines rips my heart in two afresh, because I love it so but have so many conflicting feels on the franchise. Sigh.

  • John W

    I just finished Ender's Game. I've already read Carrie and I read Romeo and Juliet back in high school in 19..."cough cough".

  • PDamian

    To add heinous insult to serious injury, Julian Fellowes gave himself top billing over Shakespeare. Over SHAKESPEARE. The end credits read, "Screenplay by Julian Fellowes," and in the next screen, "Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare." This, when about 90% of the language is Shakespeare's. Putz.

  • Siege

    That is appalling. If I didn't already hate R&J in general, I'd be in the streets with a torch. I hate when directors mess with Shakespeare. If you want to adapt, then ADAPT--go 10 Things I Hate About You and develop your own script. If you are too lazy to do that, then leave the lines ALONE.

    Also, as a side note, the webcomic Pibgorn by Brooke McEldowney has been doing R&J (with original script) during its current run on GoComics, and it's pretty great.

  • To be honest, I feel slightly bad that some Hollywood jackwagon thinking he can improve on Shakespeare infuriates me more than the government being shut down does.

    Still, doing shit like that is why I mail people dead badgers. I also intentionally misspell the addresses too, so it takes longer to get to them.

  • BWeaves

    I can see/hear Simon Callow in my head, doing his best Julian Fellowes impersonation in the Upstairs Downtown Abbey spoof, and talking about how he doesn't know how he does it, he's so amazing.

  • PDamian

    I'd pay good money to see that!

  • BWeaves

    You don't have to pay. It's free on the internet. Just search on Upstairs Downtown Abbey spoof and watch it.

    My goof, it's called Uptown Downstairs Abbey, but if you search on Upstairs Downtown Abbey, you'll still find it.

  • PDamian

    Oh my god, that was hilarious! Thanks!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I was writing the movie up for another publication and I noticed that all the press materials I had for it were littered with ADAPTED BY JULIAN FELLOWES. It was on every single page. As if the only selling point to the movie was it was peer edited by the man that made me hate Bates in Season 2/3.

  • Tinkerville

    I'm convinced everyone on the planet should read The Book Thief, whether they're planning on seeing the movie or not.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    "The prince's kindness is a golden ax that cuts my head off." OH DEAR GOD WHAT.

  • bastich

    Maybe Fellowes grew up playing "Golden Ax" on the Sega Genesis, and wanted to do a shout out?

  • Zen

    There's many a man hath more hair than wit.

  • Debra Stephen

    my Aunty Amelia got a new blue Land Rover LR4 only from working part time off a home computer...
    helpful hints w­w­w.P­o­w­6.c­o­m

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