Book Review: Movies R Fun! by Josh Cooley

February 21, 2014
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You know, every time I see a movie come out that was inspired by a book and I get into a conversation about it with someone, I’m sort of dreading the moment I hear something like, “Well, it was okay, I guess, but I’m a big fan of the book, and it really doesn’t do it justice. You see, in the book…” This is the point I stop listening and space out into Homer Simpson mode. It’s not really about reading or not, since I do enjoy reading quite a bit, but I get the feeling no one wants to be the person who just liked the movie and not the commonly better regarded intellectual work of art, which is almost invariably the book version.

This is why it’s so exciting for me when the first line of a book synopsis is “Let’s face it, reading sucks … But movies are fun!” Because we need some honesty in our creative expressions, dammit!

Josh Cooley: Movies R Fun
Josh Cooley’s take on the classic rose petal scene from American Beauty. Image from COOLEYCOOLEY.COM

Josh Cooley, who has been a storyboard artist and supervisor for Pixar for over a decade, has made good use of his free time by drawing really awesome cartoons of famous movie scenes. Brilliantly titled Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile, this book compiles some of the most memorable scenes in film history, represented here in “children’s” book form. You know, stand out moments from classic family movies like The Shining, Alien, Fargo, Basic Instinct, Seven, The Silence of the Lambs, Apocalypse Now and many other kid favorites.

The book is everything it should be: Simple and hilarious. The format really works for this, as the narration element gives a naïve take on stories everyone knows and repackages all these R-rated movies in a way we hadn’t seen before.

I’m not a father (to my knowledge, anyway,) but I’ve been sharing this with several of my friends who are and who – patiently, yet bored out of their minds – sit through hours of kids’ books and movies, and this seems to give them some kind of peace of mind, at least in theory. Whether parents will be willing to deal with the consequences of a bedtime reading of Rosemary’s Baby is anyone’s guess, but isn’t it great to have the option?

The hardcover edition will come out on February 25th. Meanwhile, Gallery 1988, an art gallery for pop culture-themed works, is selling prints of the illustrations online.

Below: The trailer for Movies R Fun!

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  1. Thats some pretty cool stuff. They would make good posters for a living room.

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