Where do you stand on 'THE STAND'? (The book *vs* the mini-series)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I actually have always loved this made for tv mini series and think that it represents the book pretty well. It helps I guess that it was penned by King himself.

    I can never decide which I like better, the first part when the plague is decimating mankind or the last half that follows the survivors to Mother Abigale and Randal Flagg.

    This film, to me anyway, portrays the destruction of mankind in a way more disturbing than any i've seen in even the biggest of big Hollywood productions. It feels REAL, widespread, hopeless, and sad. The opening of the film which shows all the doctors and lab technicians lying their dead as Blue Oyster Cult's 'Don't Fear the Reaper' plays is very potent stuff. It kicks in my imagination that all these people are going to rot and decay right where they lay.

    However the feeling that the end is finally here for us is no better represented as when we hear Crowded House' 'Don't Dream It's Over' play over a montage of desolation and we see that nobody is left alive. When Larry says this line of dialogue..."Can you imagine what this place (New York City) is gonna SMELL like in a few days!? 5 million people rotting in the July sun!"...it sends chills up my spine everytime I see the movie.

    It would take me forever to type everything I like about the mini series so i'll stop right here and give you the floor.
     
  2. Kevin Korom

    Kevin Korom Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always felt The Stand represents one of the best adaptations of a Steven King novel, at least in how it captures his unique verbal tapestry. Most adaptations of his work seem to lose so much of the essence of his characters; this one manages to avoid that trap, at least for the most part.

    For me, one of the most potent musical spots was when Larry was sitting on a car outside Des Moines (which is burning in the background), playing "Eve of Destruction" with more than a trace of irony in his voice. In general, I think the music was handled especially well, from the excellent rock choices (the Crowded House was a perfect choice for that scene), to Snuffy Walden's terrific original score.

    And one more thing on the music: I love the delicious irony that, throughout the movie, people are singing Larry's "Baby Can you Dig Your Man" single. Apparently, he would've hit the top of the charts, had the world not ended...

    The biggest downer for me, though, was the ending. I felt they copped out to the Hollywood "everything's gonna be all right" ending. I felt the book's much more pessimistic ending is/was more fitting to the overall "we're all pawns in a bigger game" feel of the story.
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    The book is so powerful compared to the mini series, the only down side was the ending for me which was as Kevin said as well, had been changed other than that great to watch.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Joshua_Y

    Joshua_Y Screenwriter

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    I recently picked up The Stand Mini-series on DVD, havent watched it in a few years. It hasn't aged well, I remember it being really good, but watching it a few months ago, I dont know, it just didnt work and it wasnt dark enough.

    Now the book on the other hand is one of my favorites. I have read it soo many times. I read it all in one night once! A feat! The book is dark and forboding, but the mini-series doesnt feel that way. I still would have loved to seen maybe a 3 1/2hr. $100mil budget R-Rated film of it! Or maybe even split it up into two movies. That I would love. The tacky ending in the book was shite! Didnt like it at all. But man, Jamey Sheridan as Randall Flagg, oh man that was brilliant casting! He was awesome!
     
  5. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    ****************SPOILERS AHEAD*****************
    Is it just me or does King seems to castrate his work for the simple "we love a happy ending folks" when he translates his work for TV, I.E. The Stand's sappy "A Walton's very special Christmas" ending in place of the novel's thoughtful ending
     
  6. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Book
    - no holds-barred vs. watered down television.
     
  7. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    I pretty much agree with everything said here. I thought the casting was right on, with the possible exception of Corin Nemec as Harold Lauder. Harold in the novel is much more despicable, hateful, and vengeful (and even a little pitiful maybe?) than in the movie that it's much easier to accept his betrayal in the book. Not the actor's fault, just didn't think the movie handled his character, and his gradual transformation (from fat, acne-riddle, self-pitying teen to slim, conniving, resolved young man) as well as it could, considering the importance of the betrayal to the overall plot. Larry's character seems a little slighted too(one of my all-time favorite scenes in ANY book is the "You ain't no nice guy" scene, and paints a vivid picture of Larry's soul that is only hinted at (in the scenes Adam Storke handles well with his mother and with Nadine).

    The music was wonderful, and the score playing as the 4 make their way West is haunting.

    I didn't have a big issue with the ending, and actually kind of liked the touch of showing images of Larry, Ralph, Nick and the others, and I normally don't like heavy-handed stuff like that.

    And how in the hell did you read this is one night Joshua?

    Chris
     
  8. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    According to what I've read, the people that made the recent CARRIE remake were told not to even approach King since they were going with the 'happy ending' for a potential series.
     
  9. Kevin Porter

    Kevin Porter Supporting Actor

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    HA HA HA HA. Cute title.
     
  10. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    mini series = cheese
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am surprised no one has yet mentioned the tremendous influence LOTR has had on this story. Even King acknowledges in the book, by drawing a direct comparison between Frodo abd one of the characters (I forgot which one).
    I won't even mention the Eye [​IMG]
    I liked the mini series much more than I was led to believe I would. Pretty faithful to the book. I don't remember how the book ended, so I can't complain :b
    Randall Flagg was perfectly cast. I can't stand the actress that played Nadine Cross tho. She stars in Just Shoot Me. Something about her rubs me the wrong way, I really dislike her.
    --
    Holadem
     
  13. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I always saw it along the lines of a dark The Wizard of OZ.
     
  14. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    The Stand was the first Stephen King book that I read that I really, really liked. I was surprised how much depth and reality the characters had, and how sucked into the story I was. I also was extremely surprised by the faith elements in the story, and liked how they were done.

    I had high hopes for the mini-series, but for me, the casting absolutely ruined it. I know that no director can match exactly what I saw in my head, but I felt like some major roles were just really, really miscast.

    Molly Ringwald as Fran?!!? Guh. I simply don't think she's a very good actress, and (and I know this is shallow) I don't think she's very attractive. I really liked Fran in the book, but nearly hated her in the mini-series.

    Gary Sinise as Stu - May surprise many here, but I think this was a big casting mistake. Sinise absolutely can act, but I think he was physically completely wrong for the part. I pictured Stu as bigger, wider shoulders, and just more of a typical Texas shitkicker (on the outside only, mind you) than little slump-shouldered Gary Sinise.

    Jamie Sheridan as R.F. - While not nearly as badly miscast as the above, Sheridan (for me) simply didn't have the menace that Flagg needed.

    Laura San Giacomo - Again, a wonderful actress (and quite attractive IMHO), but physically and personality wise all wrong for the part. Nadine was taller, quieter, and more sultry.

    I think Storm of the Century was MUCH better than The Stand, and was cast much better. Colm Fiore was terrifying as the villain, and for me the story translated much better to the screen than The Stand. (And yes I know that SotC was written expressly for TV; however, the script still has to be "translated" into images!)
     
  15. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    I enjoyed the mini-series immensely. Sinise and Sheridan carried the series. Even Rob Lowe was good.
     

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