Stephen King on DVD extras

Discussion in 'DVD' started by streeter, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    I respect and admire Stephen King but I never liked his column in Entertainment Weekly. I have a tough time seeing a link between what he writes in that magazine and the genius of his novels.

    This week he slams DVD extras. My favorite DVD extra (at least for older films) is the audio commentary, and for him it's the main offender.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I guess for him a commentary (and other making of stuff) takes away from the magic of the movie. Sorta like why Speilberg or Lynch don't do commentaries. Course I think those guys are against doing a commentary themselves and not against commentaries in general[​IMG]
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    There's the well-known story about how Spielberg once watched Lawrence of Arabia with David Lean. Lean chatted through the movie about its making but apparently Spielberg just wanted him to STFU. So maybe Steve's not that wild about the format period! [​IMG]
     
  4. Jonathan White

    Jonathan White Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen this interview on the Lawrence of Arabia DVD and Spielberg was saying how great it was to have a live commentary from David Lean. But he then refuses to do one himself or let anyone else do one on his films ie Lucas on the Indy films. Bit strange really
     
  5. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    I never would have guessed, seeing as he has recorded several himself (e.g. Storm of the Century, The Stand and - I think - Kingdom Hospital).

    Chris
     
  6. Eric DiPiazza

    Eric DiPiazza Stunt Coordinator

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    I love King, but I found his insight to be almost insulting. First of all his examples of commentaries come from films like Fat Albert and other awful movies. What the hell was he expecting when he listened to those? In all fairness he should listen to what is considered to be a good commentary for a good film before passing final judgement. In that article he just came off as nothing but an idiot to me...and this is comming from a King fan!
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Are you saying I misremembered Spielberg's comments? I thought he indicated he wanted Lean to pipe down so he could watch the movie, though I also have a vague recollection of the semi-hypocrisy you mention. I don't think I've watched that documentary in quite a while, so my memory may be faulty...
     
  8. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    I too remember it as Spielberg saying how wonderful it was to have the audio commentary experience with Lean. I thought it was hypocritical.

    But maybe in a different interview he expressed the opposite point of view.

    There's also the small (and I emphasize small) possibility that he's just holding out so that his films will be bought all over again in a different format, like HD-DVD. Spielberg the business man - you never know.

    When Spielberg was on Inside the Actor's Studio, he recommended watching films without sound, which I also found interesting.
     
  9. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Yes, King's column in Entertainment Weekly (along with his infamous thoughts regarding Stanley Kubrick's take on THE SHINING) continue to expose that, though the guy is a literary genius, a constantly amazing talent within the written page, his intellectual salience nose-dives when regarding virtually any other art form (films, music, etc.)...
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    That might be it - I can recall thinking Spielberg was hypocritical due to the Lean thing, but I also have a distinct memory that he also once indicated he wanted Lean to pipe down. Maybe that quote comes from an explanation of why he doesn't do commentaries. Or maybe I imagined the whole thing![​IMG]
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    What was that line from Life of Brian: "Or did I dream it?".[​IMG]
     
  12. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    re: "along with his infamous thoughts on regarding Stanley Kubrick's take on The Shining"

    Can you blame King? Kubrick took King's baby and raped it! What do you expect him to do? Applaud it?

    Woody Allen is another director who flat out refuses to do commentaries. Actually, I'm not big on commentaries myself but the ones I DO enjoy tend to be by everybody but the director. The actors, historians, critics etc.
     
  13. Paul Sandhu

    Paul Sandhu Supporting Actor

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    I think its great to have commentaries. I epecially loved the video commentary for The Goonies.
     
  14. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Originally posted by Thomas T:
    Can you blame King? Kubrick took King's baby and raped it! What do you expect him to do? Applaud it?

    I would expect him as an artist to be able to have an objective as well as subjective assessment of it. I would expect him to be intelligent enough to concede that the written story and the filmed story represent VERY different animals, and all manner of variations and alteration from the former are often required to elicit the same audience response from the latter (witness the D.O.A. miniseries of THE SHINING that followed the infinitely superior book almost to the letter). I would expect him to be deferential enough to recognize that Kubrick represents the pinnacle of filmmaking talent as King does for modern literature, so any changes done to the original material would not have been uninformed, careless ones.
     
  15. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Yeah, I was going to mention that if there was any equal "raping" going on towards respecting the original book's story then King himself is as guilty as anyone with the whole "A Very Special Happy Walton's X-mas" endings he forced on the Mini-series versions of both The Shining & The Stand, completely against the pensive, unsure and thought provoking endings of the original novels.
     
  16. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    re: "I would expect him to be deferential enough to recognize that Kubrick represents the pinnacle of filmmaking talent as King does for modern literature"

    Well, I don't want to hijack this thread off topic but ...

    1. Talent doesn't give anyone a free pass. Many a talented film maker has taken a novel and botched it up. Why buy the rights to King's The Shining if you don't want to MAKE King's The Shining. Kubrick is a master film maker but it was clear, unlike Brian DePalma's rendering of King's Carrie, Kubrick had no interest in horror.

    2. No way, no how, is Stephen King the pinnacle of modern literature. He's a terrific pulp master and a good read but at the risk of sounding pompous, is it even literature?
     
  17. Mark E J

    Mark E J Second Unit

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    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

    Yes.

    Christine

    No.
     
  18. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    He he...funny, CHRISTINE is my favorite of his novels. In reference to whether King is the pinnacle of modern literature, if you consider the genre, then (assuming you're an intellectual snob about such things) it's arguable, but if you consider the man's command of his craft, then I would argue yes indeed, he is the master. In terms of Kubrick not being interested in horror, how come his version of THE SHINING consistently ends up in the top 5 horror films of all time, regardless of who is deciding the list? Frankly, I think Kubrick's THE SHINING out-scares even THE EXORCIST. It'll make ya piss ice cubes...
     
  19. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Personally I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that it is indeed one of the more frightening films out there and there are some scenes in it that belong in horror 101...

    "Come play with us Danny....for ever...and ever...and ever..."

    ...if he wasn't interested in trying to make a horror film then what exactly was he trying to make, a historical romance?


    In regards to King's stance on commentaries, was he referring to all commentaries or just bad ones? I haven't read the article. Link?
     
  20. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Well, I suppose horror is as subjective as comedy. What's funny to me may not be funny to you and what frightens you may not frighten me.

    I found The Shining quite flabby and never found a genuine sense of dread in the entire film, not to mention one moment that genuinely scared me unless you count Jack Nicholson's horrorble performance. I don't think Kubrick was interested so much in exploring the horror genre as much as the psychological underpinnings of this particular family's breakdown. Anyway, I know how sensitive the "Kubrick is God!" fanboys can be so I certainly don't want to get into an argument over this ... LOL.
     

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