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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeeF, Nov 1, 2002.
which I thought was a wonderful movie.
Deleros Claibourne was a good movie, I have always enjoyed Christopher Plummer and David Strathairn, but oddly enough it's on the few King books I haven't read, so I don't know how the translation is. Anyway, the movie told a good story.
Curiously, I would venture to say the best adaptations include "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Stand By Me" ("The Body") both short stories instead of novels.
I'm a huge "Green Mile" fan too, but never read that book either.
I would add The Dead Zone to that list as well.
I think Shawshank has a nice surprise ending, but for the most part, it's quite a sentimental movie (and Stand by Me also) and not really all that good. Both these movies are too long by 30 minutes.
But Dolores Claiborne has tremendous acting, the best music by Elfman that he ever wrote, and wonderful, careful direction by Taylor Hackford, including some wonderful "filters" that create a surreal environment. I believe King himself pronounced this one the best of his books adapted to the screen (by 1995).
As far as horror Stephen King goes, my favorite novel AND movie is "Pet Sematary". I feel the premise is inherently creepy but understandable. And it baffles me how they got that little blond boy at the end of the film to act that scene. It was disturbing.
There have been five absolutely stellar adaptations of King's work, and its hard to choose from them. They are:
THE NIGHT FLIER
THE DEAD ZONE
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
I also gotta give the excellent SILVER BULLET an honorable mention. Can't wait till DREAMCATCHER opens!
The Stand mini-series was solid, but failed to capture some of the wonderful characterizations that are in the entended novel (Harold's character especially seemed lacking in the movie, in the book he is truly dispicable). It was very well cast though.
Pet Sematary was good, and that guy played a great Jud Crandall, even if no one else did much for me. I agree Elizabeth, the tragic story is truly creepy and horrific. Ellie asking her dad why God can't have his own cat...can't imagine going through that as a parent. I guess King's daughter and him had a similar discussion, this the inspiration.
Carrie was ok, Sissy Spacek was great as was Piper Laurie (Carrie's mom). Nothing special though.
To this day the scariest moments in my life were during my first viewing of this movie. Freaked me out like no other movie ever did.
Carrie is a very good movie, and probably second on my list. I think its only real second-rate element is the music score. This movie really made Brian DePalma (and really brought Stephen King to moviegoers attention).
But Dolores Claiborne is a weightier story, more mature. The novel itself is narrated by Dolores, in a New England accent. The movie captures her very well, I think.
Carrie and Kubrick's The Shining are my favorite adaptations of Stephen King novels.
I also liked the 1983 movie The Dead Zone a lot.
The Shawshank Redemption was good but extremely overrated, so was The Green Mile which I've sat thru once and that was quite enough, it's so blatantly manipulative even Spielberg would cringe.
For TV adaptations I think The Stand is the one to beat.
One of my favorite topics! Here's how I'd rate the King-related movies I've seen.
Carrie (1976) - A-
Salem's Lost (1979) - B-
The Shining (1980) - A
Creepshow (1982) - B+
Cujo (1983) - C+
The Dead Zone (1983) - A+
Christine (1983) - A-
Firestarter (1984) - C
Children of the Corn (1984) - C-
Cat's Eye (1985) - B
Silver Bullet (1985) - C+
Maximum Overdrive (1986) - D-
Stand By Me (1986) - A
Creepshow 2 (1987) - C
The Running Man (1987) - B
A Return to Salem's Lot (1987) - D-
Pet Sematary (1989) - A-
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) - D
Graveyard Shift (1990) - D-
It (1990) - B+
Misery (1990) - A
Sometimes They Come Back (1991) - C-
The Golden Years (1991) - F
The Lawnmower Man (1992) - C
Sleepwalkers (1992) - C+
Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice (1993) - D-
The Dark Half (1993) - B-
The Tommyknockers (1993) - D-
Needful Things (1993) - B-
The Stand (1994) - B-
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - A+
Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest (1994) - F
The Mangler (1995) - D
Dolores Claiborne (1995) - A
The Langoliers (1995) - C-
Thinner (1996) - C+
Sometimes They Come Back...Again (1996) - D
Children of the Corn 4: The Gathering (1996) - D-
The Shining (1997) - D
The Night Flier (1997) - C+
Trucks (1997) - D-
Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror - D
Apt Pupil (1998) - B+
Sometimes They Come Back...For More (1998) - D-
Storm of the Century (1999) - C-
The Rage: Carrie 2 - D+
Children of the Corn 6: Isaac's Return - F
The Green Mile (1999) - A
Hearts in Atlantis (2001) - C
Children of the Corn 7: Revelation (2001) -
The Mangler 2 (2001) -
Rose Red (2002) - D-
Firestarter 2: Rekindled (2002) -
Carrie (2002) -
Desperation (2003) -
Dreamcatcher (2003) -
Kingdom Hospital (2003) -
Bag of Bones (2003) -
A whole lot of crap, a few guilty pleasures, and a handful of true classics. Next year looks pretty solid for King fans tho!
The Shawshank Redemption has to be my favorite. I thought it was an absolutely fantastic film. One of my favorite movies, Stephen King or not.
The Green Mile was good, but was lacking compared to Shawshank IMO.
I have to admit a guilty pleasure: I've always kind of liked Maximum Overdrive
I really had no idea he had so many film projects related to his books. Wow, indeed.
I see that you've got As in front of all the best projects, A+ for Shawshank. As I've said, it's good, but not the best. As for the The Shining (original Kubrick), it just isn't very scary. It's well done, sort of, but it's not the book and it's not a good horror film. It hurt Nicholson's career, and killed the career of the actress (her name escapes me). I own this film on DVD and watch it quite frequently, but my opinion stands unchanged.
But what a list you've made, Bravo.
My favorite is The Dead Zone.
Hey Scott, great list! Do you have it in alphabetical format?
Only a C for Children of the Corn.....I always loved that movie, I guess it is kinda bad oh well guilty pleasures rule. I don't really count the sequals as being King related as far as I know he only ever wrote the one short story. I guess my pick for best King adaptation would be The origional Shinning...just can't go wrong with that one.
For me, the best adaptation by far is CARRIE. I love the book, but I feel as a whole the movie is more layered and contains stronger themes. Although I do disagree with many about the film's ending being better than the book's. I think they both have great endings; both different, but still very satisfying.
THE DEAD ZONE is my favorite King book, and the movie is very good too. I always feel a little underwhelmed though, because there was so much to that book that a 2 hour movie could not include. But, now I have the TV series to watch.
Kubrick's THE SHINING and John Carpenter's CHRISTINE are both stellar adaptations as well.
I gotta go with Misery myself. Great adaption and is just as intense as the book.
About a year ago, I did a tourney where we voted on the best Stephen King film adaptation. I believe it was The Shining that won in the very end.
But personally, I have to go with The Dead Zone. Beautiful score by Howard Shore, lovely, restrained direction by David Cronenberg, a perfect performance by Christopher Walken (I honestly can't imagine anyone else in the part...not even Anthony Michael Hall ) and some gorgeous wintertime cinematography and scenery.
Can't recommend the movie enough.
(Side-note: While watching Dead Zone, I often like to imagine that Martin Sheen's character is a vision into the future of his character in "The West Wing" )