As Dystopian Week comes to a close today, we’re looking forward to a future not quite as bleak as the one presented in a lot of our favorite novels. That’s because we have plenty more dystopian fiction to look forward to! Partials, due out February 28, takes place after a war between humans and the genetically engineered beings that rebelled against their creators and released a virus that killed 99.9 percent of the population. But one girl among the immune humans is going to try to save the species. Here, author Dan Wells tells us why he thinks we’re drawn to this genre:
Why are we so excited by dystopian stories these days? Do we like to be scared? Do we like the danger? Is it just fun? The best answer I can come up with is: Look around. We read dystopia not because these societies are strange and unfamiliar, but because, more often than not, they mirror our own. Fractured government, questionable freedom of the press, a massive reduction in personal privacy—check, check and check. Our handling of the Occupy movement, for example, is so backward that oppressive foreign dictators are using it to justify their own brutality. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with Occupy or not: Our response to it is maybe not the best reflection of a free society. Dystopian fiction allows us to play with these ideas, to explore them, to see where this law or that revolution might take us. We read dystopia because we want to understand our own world. Read more…
Kris Humphries’ rep confirmed earlier this week that he would be filing for legal separation from Kim Kardashian in the hopes that it would lead to an annulment of their 72-day marriage instead of a divorce. Now we have the actual paperwork filed in court yesterday. It cites “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the separation and “fraud” as the basis for declaring the marriage void. Humphries’ response to Kardashian’s divorce filing also seems to be an attempt to skirt around their prenup, stating that property rights are still undetermined. Or, maybe we’re cynics and Kris is holding on to his religious belief that divorce is wrong. We shall see. Check out the papers below. Read more…
Earlier today, Scholastic let us reveal the cover of the upcoming movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games. From the moment Suzanne Collins’ book hit shelves, we’ve been hearing about its movie adaptation. And on the occasion of Dystopian Week, we thought it would be interesting to hear from someone in the publishing world about how all this movie buzz and “dystopia is the new vampires” talk affects what makes it to print. So we got on the phone with David Levithan, who’s not just an editor at Scholastic; he’s also one half of the writing team behind Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, another successful book-to-movie story.
First off, Levithan told us something that may come as a surprise to some of us who follow the movie biz: Not that many young adult novels in the market have been optioned for movies.
“I would guess that it is in the 5 percent range, but that is purely anecdotal. It is certainly not many,” he said. And what’s more interesting, book editors aren’t necessarily hunting for the books that will make them big bucks on the big screen. Read more…
Sorry to be such a girl. Well, actually, I’m not that sorry. But I had no prior knowledge of Edgar Rice Burroughs’John Carter of Mars before they cast Taylor Kitsch in the movie. And after seeing the trailer, I’m still pretty fuzzy about the plot. The Disney website helps a bit: John Carter is a Civil War vet who gets transported to Mars, where he has super strength and the ability to jump really high. Then he gets embroiled in some kind of alien war, fighting on the side of the creatures that come a little too close to resembling Jar Jar Binks for our comfort. Anyway, I have no way of telling if I’ll like this movie yet. What I do know is that I like this new trailer 87 percent more than the trailer for Taylor’s other big upcoming movie, Battleship — that one had way too few Tim Riggins smoldering looks and way too many battleships (though Taylor wasn’t nearly as cheated as Alexander Skarsgard). Despite all that jumping and alien fighting, the John Carter preview shows us plenty of Taylor in his gladiator gear (but this is in the 1800s on Mars? Huh?). “You are ugly, but you are also beautiful,” some alien tells him. Well, that’s half true.
Here are 10 screencaps from the trailer, just so you can take a closer look without all that yelling and dramatic Led Zeppelin music.
It’s still early days for movie awards season — regular folks haven’t even seen most of the contenders yet — but the latest round of critics picks are telling us a little about what to expect. Today the National Board of Review awarded Hugo Best Film and its director, Martin Scorsese, Best Director.
The Descendants picked up a number of significant prizes from the NBR, including Best Actor for George Clooney, Best Supporting Actress for Shailene Woodley and Best Adapted Screenplay for Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
Two of Shailene’s biggest competitors for next-big-thing status, Like Crazy’s Felicity Jones and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Rooney Mara, were awarded the Best Breakthrough prize. Michael Fassbender got the Spotlight Award, which we can only assume goes to the person who has bestowed his hotness upon the most movies this year (and oh man, we just caught a screener of him in one more to come, Haywire … yum).
See the rest of the winners (Tilda Swinton, Harry Potter, The Help) on the National Board of Review site.
When Shailene Woodley stopped by the VH1 offices earlier this week, she told us that she almost exclusively shops at used-clothing stores, wears mostly white T-shirts and jeans, and would be studying massage therapy if she weren’t making waves opposite George Clooney in The Descendants. But 20-year-old the star of The Secret Life of the American Teenager is also a seasoned pro, so she cleaned up nicely — if still maintaining her strictly comfy aesthetic — for her appearance on Big Morning Buzz Live. Check out more of her outfit below. Read more…
Courtney Stodden may be living “like a princess” these days, but the 17-year-old aspiring actress and singer didn’t always have it so easy. If you recall, long before her marriage to 51-year-old Doug Hutchison, she posted a six-minute YouTube video in which she addresses bullies (and reads some of their mean comments on her site). Earlier in her childhood (as in, last year), her mother took her out of school because she was being harassed by other students.
Courtney has her share of critics these days, but the outspoken teen seems to know how to brush that dirt off her shoulder. That’s why we asked her if she has advice for other victims of bullying out there.
“My advice for victims of bullies would be, victims, you need to realize that it’s not [you],” she told TheFABlife. “It’s the bully who’s picking on them, it’s their problem. There’s nothing wrong with the victim. They’re perfect, they’re beautiful, and they need to stay true to themselves. Not just because someone who isn’t true to themselves is picking on you. They need to think about that, realize that and embrace the truth.”
We’d like to think this is just in honor of Dystopian Week, but we’re not that full of ourselves. Still, we’re pretty excited that the folks at Scholastic gave us the chance to give you the first look at the cover of the movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games, which hits shelves on February 7, just weeks before the premiere of the film. You can head over to Hollywood Crush for a glimpse at the covers of The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion and The Hunger Games Tribute Guide, which are also due out on February 7. This isn’t the first special edition of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy to be released — The Hunger Games Collector’s Edition, with a fancy cloth cover, came out last month. What we’re most pleased about is the fact that they resisted the temptation to put Jennifer Lawrence on the novel’s cover. We love her, and can’t wait for the movie, but we’re also purists about our books. What we’re most disappointed about: You can’t make a book get that moving flame effect like the digital posters. Maybe those will exist in our dystopian future?
While Kanye West, Adele, the Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars are surely celebrating the many nods they received at last night’s Grammy nominations special, the winners of the evening were definitely zombies, who got a big nod from Lady Gaga during her performance. Other groups who will benefit from the evening: podiatrists (because we want Nicki Minaj’s and Taraji P. Henson’s shoes now) and gyms (because between Melle Mel’s arms and Grace Potter‘s legs, we are all feeling a little inadequate this morning). Losers: the color pink, because Katy Perry’s abuse of this monochromatic thing is making us weary of it; jeans — well, just Jason Aldean’s sad, holey, unhemmed pair; and the cows who gave their lives to Reid Perry’s pants. For a full account of the Grammy nominations, head over to VH1 Tuner.
What with Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga lamenting their sad love lives, while Ashton Kutcher has reportedly been celebrating his renewed bachelorhood in Iowa, we were beginning to doubt the existence of romance in Hollywood these days. But then Kristin Cavallaritweeted this: “This time its official..Jay and I are engaged again ”
That’s right. After getting engaged in April and breaking it off in July, Kristin and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler are back on. Life & Style caught Kristin wearing her massive rock while she was out for dinner last night, so she had no choice but to confirm the news. Congrats (again)!