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Will OZ be The Great and Powerful?

As February finally comes to a close, March is the month we'll finally get to see what James Franco is really made of. OZ: The Great and Powerful comes out next week on March 8. As does another film based on a book, The Monk. Also being released on March 8 but in the UK, is Broken, a movie I can't wait to come to the U.S. !
So what to expect?

There's the ultra-splashy mega-budget big-name-actor-studded retelling of a classic American story OZ: The Great and Powerful - that everyone is waiting for. Sort of. Because it could be great fun, magical, hilarious, moving or it could be a giant bust. James Franco is rather unpredictable of late; and is he quite right for the part? I've shared previously about the film in Three Things I learned about Oz: The Great and Powerful  and I'm sure I'll have more to say. I'm also sure you've seen the commercials running constantly; they even had a huge hot air balloon outside the Academy Awards ceremony. Is your excitement as up there as the filmmakers hope?

And then something quite a bit different. 

The Monk is a French film starring Vincent Cassell (Black Swan). It was first released as Le Moine in 2011 but is only now making its' way to America. The thriller is based on the gothic novel written by Matthew Lewis in 1796. He was just twenty when he wrote the book which according to the website, Sweet Despise,
" is a novel containing lots of the gothic themes: supernatural agencies, murder, rape, incest, poisonings, hauntings, incarcerations and a tragic love story"

The book has a fascinating backstory which I'm glossing over but it was initially received well in its day (ala last year's obsession with Fifty Shades) but there were also accusations of plagiarism, the book was banned at one point and the subject matter from one so young destroyed his family's reputation. Scholarly writers like Coleridge actually penned essays on its merits and weaknesses. According to Coleridge, there were more of the latter. You can actually link to the Gutenberg Project here and download The Monk for free if you'd like to read it. But watch the trailer first.

Pretty creepy looking but it's shot really well. If the plot line is anything like SweetDespise writes I think it won't quite be my cup of tea but I'm keeping an open mind. If MLH goes too, maybe I'll see it!

And something special... a book giveaway
For those of you in the U.K. you have Broken to look forward to and I'm so jealous! The movie is based on the novel Broken by Daniel Clay,(which I loved) and lucky me, Daniel has done a brilliant Q&A with me - the Q's weren't so brilliant but the A's were.
PLUS we're doing a book giveaway. open to everyone in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Daniel, who writes the nicest emails, is going to send a SIGNED BOOK to two lucky winners - one from the UK and one from the U.S. or Canada. Look for CONTEST DETAILS coming soon and I'll be posting my take on the book soon as well.

I'll also keep those of  you not in the U.K. posted when I hear more international and north american release dates. In the meantime have a gander at the trailer for the critically acclaimed film starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy, Eloise Laurence and Rory Kinnear. And let me know what you think. It's always great to hear what you all have to say. Thanks.