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The Stephen King thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JudasMyGuide, Jul 28, 2017.

?

Favourite book? (as of 2017)

  1. Carrie (1974)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 'Salem's Lot (1975)

    11.1%
  3. The Shining (1977)

    33.3%
  4. Rage (1977 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. The Stand (1978)

    44.4%
  6. The Night Shift (1978, collection)

    11.1%
  7. The Dead Zone (1979)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. The Long Walk (1979 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Firestarter (1980)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Cujo (1981)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Danse Macabre (1981, non-fiction)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Roadwork (1981 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. The Gunslinger (1982, Dark Tower)

    11.1%
  14. Different Seasons (1982, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. The Running Man (1982 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  16. Creepshow (1982, comic book)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. Christine (1983)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  18. Pet Sematary (1983)

    11.1%
  19. Cycle of the Werewolf (1983)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  20. The Talisman (1984, with P. Straub)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  21. Thinner (1984 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  22. Skeleton Crew (1985, collection)

    11.1%
  23. It (1986)

    44.4%
  24. The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)

    11.1%
  25. The Drawing of the Three (1987, Dark Tower)

    11.1%
  26. Misery (1987)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  27. The Tommyknockers (1987)

    11.1%
  28. Nightmares in the Sky (1988, non-fiction)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  29. The Dark Half (1989)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  30. Four Past Midnight (1990, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  31. Needful Things (1991)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  32. The Waste Lands (1991, Dark Tower)

    11.1%
  33. Gerald's Game (1992)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  34. Dolores Caiborne (1992)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  35. Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  36. Insomnia (1994)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  37. Rose Madder (1995)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  38. The Green Mile (1996)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  39. Desperation (1996)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  40. The Regulators (1996 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  41. Wizard and Glass (1997, Dark Tower)

    22.2%
  42. Bag of Bones (1998)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  43. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  44. Hearts in Atlantis (1999, collection)

    11.1%
  45. On Writing (2000, non-fiction)

    11.1%
  46. Secret Windows (2000, non-fiction)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  47. Dreamcatcher (2001)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  48. Black House (2001, with P. Straub)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  49. From a Buick 8 (2002)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  50. Everything's Eventual (2002, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  51. Wolves of the Calla (2003, Dark Tower)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  52. Song of Susannah (2004, Dark Tower)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  53. The Dark Tower (2004, Dark Tower)

    22.2%
  54. Faithful (2004, non-fiction)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  55. The Colorado Kid (2005)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  56. Cell (2006)

    11.1%
  57. Lisey's Story (2006)

    11.1%
  58. Blaze (2007 - Bachman)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  59. Duma Key (2008)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  60. Just After Sunset (2008, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  61. Under the Dome (2009)

    22.2%
  62. Full Dark, No Stars (2010, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  63. 11/22/63 (2011)

    22.2%
  64. The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012, Dark Tower)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  65. Joyland (2013)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  66. Doctor Sleep (2013)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  67. Mr. Mercedes (2014, the Bill Hodges trilogy)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  68. Revival (2014)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  69. Finders Keepers (2015, the Bill Hodges trilogy)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  70. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015, collection)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  71. End of Watch (2016, the Bill Hodges trilogy)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  72. Gwendy's Button Box (2017, with R. Chizmar)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  73. Sleeping Beauties (2017, to be released)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Maturin

    Maturin Sköldpadda

    Read about 25-30 of his books. The Dark Tower VII is the definite favourite, others are Duma Key, 11/22/63 and maybe The Stand (which might be a bit dated).

    I don't think he writes too long books at all. I mean, I've never found the extra length of some books to be negative. Quite the opposite in some cases. Spending time with characters while the plot takes the backseat for a while isn't necessarily bad - not when they're as good as King's. Whereas someone like GRRM just repeats the same prose over and over, King actually never feels repetitive - unless maybe we're talking about his typical protagonists who usually end up being a version of himself (teacher/writer, addict, cripple - later years).

    Sometimes I'm disappointed - I didn't get Carrie or It at all - but most of he time he's at least very readable (Doctor Sleep, Mr Mercedes, The Dead Zone all fall into this category).
     
  2. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Dad Rock connoisseur extraordinaire

    So today it was

    [​IMG]

    Carrie (1976)

    (of course, spoilers galore, but I guess that's a given)

    I must say I'm pretty disappointed. I realise the film's a classic and that I shouldn't have neglected in the past, in any case. But I'm really not happy. But first the pros

    + Brian DePalma is a rather talented director - he can get suspense out of the mundane and the whole film has a rather fresh feel in general, so it really doesn't feel all that dated.
    + Sissy Spacek was an exceptionally good choice - she is "weird" enough for the filmmakers to avoid the accusation of "prettifying" the character from the book (well, in a way - my wife thought she was a bit too pretty for the role anyway, but then again, she's rather stern). She can also manage both being endearingly cute and inhumanly creepy.
    + Miss Desjardin Miss Collins is smoking hot, especially with that 70's 'do.
    + The first hour or so, especially considering the the fact I both knew the story beforehand and also knew the story to be underwhelming in my book, was actually compelling. Especially taking into consideration the fact I don't like the book all that much, the movie was a success for the most part.
    + The ending jump scare is really well done. Yeah, it's so famous I already had to know about it, even if it wasn't in the book, but even though I had expected it, it still made me a bit uneasy, so we get back to point No 1 - DePalma knows what he's doing.

    The "neuts"

    / Never would have thought the film adaptation would be more perverted than King's book (well, let's see if the new It movie preserve the pre-pubescent sex scene), but this one actually has. From the very introduction (The Barbarella-like Carrie almost-porn) to the finger-sucking and shit, I was kinda thinking the novel was actually rather tame. This is probably neither pro nor con, but I mention it just for the record.
    / I get that they wanted to put stress on the whole "religious lunatic" aspect, but man, those Jesuses and pictures and whatnot that the Whites had around the house were downright creepy, actually bordering on blasphemy (yeah, I know that what Margaret was doing was actually blasphemy anyway). This was probably intentional, but I still appreciate that the book made it more clear that Margaret was not your typical Christian, rather a dangerous, prideful and holier-than-thou batshit crank.

    But the cons

    - I don't know whether only Czechs have the saying or if there is an English equivalent, but we tend to say that paper is stronger than the screen - meaning that some stuff that works in a book would not work as well if done exactly the same way in the movie. And that was (IMHO) the case with mostly all the scenes with Margaret White. Take the very first confrontation between Carrie and her Mum - in the book it's genuinely creepy, because the extent of the mother's delusions combined with her degrading and physical attacks of her daughter make for a very uncomfortable read and I was genuienly frightened by the description in the book, whereas in the movie it just left something to be desired. And it's not a fault of Spacek nor Piper Laurie, who both act very naturally and do a performance that's actually very decent. It's just that put this way, actually seeing it live-action, it just comes off as unintentionally hilarious. All of their scenes are like that. From the beating to "dirty pillows" to the description of marital rape, it sorta veers into the comedy territory at times and that's not a good thing. Maybe it's just me, but this really crushed my suspension of disbelief.
    - Also, I really couldn't bring myself to actually care about the characters. The movie moves in a breakneck tempo (which is probably understood, because even the book is more of a novella than a novel proper), but it makes it hard to get into the characters enough. I was very emotionally detached throughout, even if I didn't want to.
    - Some other casting choices were absolutely terrible. I'd probably tolerate the "Robert Plant/Parker Stevenson/David Coverdale/Peter Frampton" Tommy Ross, thinking we do not live in a perfect world and that the casting people were probably mentally out on lunch when they hired the poor boy. But boy, Travolta... In his first scene, you know, that one where various cars pass them and he interacts with their crews and then that police car is passing and he throws away the brewski... I was thinking I'm watching a Grease deleted scene, except for the swearing and slaps. And then they parked and he behaved (and actually kinda looked) like a teenage Tony Soprano. Weird. But hey, he got famous, so who am I to judge?
    - The book had better distribution of casual sociopathy within the characters - it was kinda weird watching Chris cheering on Billy during the killing of the pig and then trying to run over Carrie right outside the gym.
    - The ending was completely fucked up. Okay, so I was looking forward to the destruction of the town the whole time and all we got was a gym fire, one exploding car and one house crumbling down. I could live with that. I get the movie had to be tamer. But changing the confrontation with the mother, the confrontation with Chris and Billy and, in fact, pretty much all of Carrie's actions after the blood also changed her character. And took away from the creepiness. Not cool. Making her more likeable and more a victim of circumstances did not work at all.

    (Too tired to check for mistakes or whatever, see ye tomorrow)
     
  3. Ariana

    Ariana Purple leopard

    I bought The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and End of Watch today. See, I'm serious about this.
     
    JudasMyGuide likes this.
  4. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Dad Rock connoisseur extraordinaire

    [​IMG]

    The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

    Boy, talk about your number 2s... Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. My expectations were really low and I mean really low. Based on its reputation, I was expecting an abomination to end all abominations and all I got was... just an average movie.

    Of course I had to get past the fact the very idea of Carrie sequel sounded completely moronic. But hey, it's already there, so I tried to be merciful.

    It's funny how those films made around the turn of the millennium tend to be these weird time capsules. I mean, this one just screams 1999! at ye. And when in the first 10 minutes you already get your generic nu-metal (Five Times Down), The Hippos' ska punk, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Mena Suvari, I was honestly thinking about pinching myself, because I could swear I was watching some weird American Pie spin-off pilot. In fact, most of this movie feels like a mere teenage movie, apart from the last fifteen minutes or so. And for a teenage movie it actually isn't even all that bad.

    Oh, and the Scream shout out was actually pretty funny. Well, I actually quoted the "Do you like scary movies?" to my wife about two minutes before it happened on screen, so that probably made it funnier, but whatever.

    Then of course we get to the closing carnage (because we simply cannot have a "Carrie" movie without some kind of public humiliation and the telekinetic "blow-up"). And that's where the movie completely loses it and fucks everything up. The humiliation is forced, not really believable, Rachel's breakdown and backlash (and killing of everyone) is neither built-up to nor telegraphed in any way (and way less proportional and understandable than in the original movie) and the whole thing does not make sense. On the other hand, the massacre is rather gory and shocking (yet not over the top) and even darkly comedic at times, so that probably makes up for it.

    Some other decisions of the filmmakers were admittedly pretty idiotic - throughout the film there is this annoying tendency to suddenly shift to black and white for no apparent reason - probably just to fuck with the viewers and sometimes the picture weirdly stretches (and to top it all, sometimes it turns into black and white and then it stretches and squirms. Wonderful).

    I was wondering whether I would survive the movie, but in the end it didn't even matter I was not only mostly not offended, but I actually wasn't even that bored. I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but the rating it has is absurdly low, IMHO. Or maybe I just got myself into bit too merciful a mood today.
     
  5. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    Well, the reviews are in, and evidently The Dark Tower (the movie) is terrible. That's really too bad.
     
  6. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Dad Rock connoisseur extraordinaire

    [​IMG]

    Carrie (2002)

    (There will be spoilers)

    This one was a TV-only movie, in fact it was originally supposed to be a possible starting point of Carrie TV series that never came to be (a "backdoor pilot" is the terminology, hilariously funny for anyone with a post-pubescent state of mind). Actually that's the reason for the biggest and most stupid change in the whole movie - yep, indeed, in the end Carrie survives, only fakes her death and leaves for Florida with Sue. I'm not going to ruminate further on the moronity thereof, just remember to either suppress the memory of the last five minutes in your mind or turn it off altogether at proper time.

    But otherwise this one was pretty cool. Better than DePalma's version, in some ways, in fact.

    It was definitely truer to the source material - a lot of scenes are absolutely the same. This mostly works, I think that only the "stone shower" was a bit too much, especially since the stones looked more like meteorites. Also, the narrative was changed a bit - this version was all told in flashbacks, as the police investigated what happened. Not a bad idea, but my wife was really bored, because these parts were somewhat long, nothing really happened there and the cop was really bland and kind of annoying.

    There is a lot to be said about the casting here. Angela Bettis (Emily Birch from Dexter) in the title role was an exceptionally good choice, because she really managed to capture all the different sides. Also, they made Sue black here, and kind of reinvented her personality to that whole "black sassy woman" paradigm. I was actually quite impressed and liked this Sue the most so far. By the way, that make-up scene was a nice touch, not done anywhere else, I believe. Also, Miss Desjardin was played by the beautiful and charming Rena Sofer and it gave me some serious Matzo Fever in the process.

    However, just as some of the actors were pretty incredible, some others were pretty bad, as if the budget allowed only for half of the cast of real actors. Therefore Chris and Billy were absolutely bland and forgettable. But then again, even in the original they were nothing exceptional, so..

    I don't know what to make of Carrie's Mom. She was done in an utterly different way, actually being quite gentle and sweet from time to time, which might make her more realistic and terrifying, I presume, but it didn't really work out here, IMHO. Probably because of the actress.

    Of course, the CGI was pretty cheap, bad and dated, on the other hand I really appreciate they didn't shy away from showing the ending carnage in its entirety. Despite the bad special effects, there was something to the scenes. So kudos to the filmmakers.

    The film's kind of overlong, though. It has over two hours and sometimes the pacing isn't that great. It's really not that bad, but you tend to check the watch from time to time. In general, though it's probably less of an artistic statement of the director (which the original was) and the ending's a bit stupid, I'd probably put it right there with the 1976 version. I know I'm probably alone in that regard, but I always found the DePalma version a bit overrated and this one at least sticks more closely to the original book. Thumbs up for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  7. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Dad Rock connoisseur extraordinaire

    [​IMG]

    Carrie (2013)

    I was just being lazy, actually, in the meantime I have already finished Lot and currently I'm more than halfway within The Shining, so let's get this one over with.

    Honestly, I don't know what to make of this one. It's a good movie, it really is (well, defying my expectations, all Carrie movies eventually more or less are), but it's also completely unnecessary. I mean, how many more times will we watch the "plug it up" scene, take Carrie to the prom, watch her flip out etc.? There will be a Stephen King short story further on down the line where he describes a possible view of Hell as a place where everything endlessly repeats and you're completely aware of it - and I really felt that way watching this last one in a series of adaptations of one of Stephen King's least substantial novels ever.

    There's really nothing new here, except for these little touches here and there (Carrie's mother self-harm, the video of the bullying incident) - sure, we get to watch the failed "offering" right there in the beginning and it's a particularly disturbing scene and Julianne Moore is really good here in general (what's with all the redheads in all the adaptations?), but there's really no reason to watch this movie. Chloe Moretz is absurdly cute and endearing - her casting makes no fucking sense. Yeah, she does the part well, but nobody in his right mind would cast her as the ostracised outsider, fundie religious background be damned. Also, Sue and Chris' actresses should have been swapped, IMHO - Sue is way too much a "blonde bombshell" type here whereas Chris has more of that Maggie Gyllenhaal/Alyson Hannigan kind of feel and it doesn't really work with the characters.

    No chills, no thoughts, nothing. If they at least didn't make the titular character more heroic (for the first time in the movie adaptations), but sure they did it as well. I understand that nowadays we live in the era of remakes, where everything that was once successful will get annoying endless repeats, because there supposedly aren't people around who'd remember the originals, but that's still no excuse. Unfortunately, there are people my age around me who wouldn't watch a movie because it's "too old" (cca pre-1992-5), so maybe Hollywood's right. Anyway, don't watch this one. DePalma's version is a classic (though I'm not really sure why), whereas this one will never be. Unless you get arousal from the idea of Chloe Moretz being soaked with blood, in which case - well, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

    PS: Also, it was very weird watching the crazy fundie Carrie's mother saying a Marian prayer right there in the beginning. (You know, because every denomination bar Catholics/Orthodox/Anglican/Episcopal usually tend to consider it idolatry, so I'm kinda confused. Probably the filmmakers thought the viewers wouldn't know and wouldn't care).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017

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