"I didn't really have high hopes for this one, but even with the low bar set, this film really didn't meet my expectations at all."
"It's not quite as bad as say, The Lawnmower Man, but really, that's not saying a whole lot. While I've still got quite a few movies to go, I'm fairly certain that this one ranks amongst the all time worst King based films."
Yesterday, January 27, 2010, the author of Cathcer in the Rye, J.D. Salinger died. Stephen King paid tribute to him in his an Entertainment Weekly article. King notes that he wasn't a big Salinger fan, but he still feels sad the way yhou feel when finding out "an eccentric, short-tempered, but often fascinating uncle had passed away."
King noted that Salinger was one of the great post World War Two writers. And, he notes that "in Holden Caulfield — maybe the greatest American-boy narrator since Huck Finn — he created an authentic Voice of the Age: funny, anxious, at odds with himself, and badly lost." That is what was wonderful about Catcher in the Rye.
Of course, Salinger dived into a private life after Catcher in the Rye. He continued to write -- or said he did -- but only for himself. King notes, "Salinger’s death may answer one question that has intrigued readers, writers, and critics for nearly half a century — what literary trove of unpublished work may he have left behind? Much? Some? Or none? Salinger is gone, but if we’re lucky, he may have more to say, even so."
By the way, I have never reread Catcher in the Rye. Even though it was a wonderful experience, I never felt the need to return. So, I wasn't a fan of Salinger, but Cather In the Rye did have a huge impact on me.
Notice in The Shining, Kubrick has Wendy reading Catcher In The Rye. I have no idea if it means anything. However, visual memory speculates, "It seems unlikely that the content of the novel has any bearing, but the front and back cover of the paperback (printed in the same way for decades) are exactly the same--another doubling/mirroring element. The covers are red with gold lettering, as in "redrum" and "goldroom." Red is color that signifies blood and thus death, gold is related to the goldrush of the American westward expansion." http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/html/shining/shining.html
Kings post is here:
Here's a couple of his blurbs, but the whole article is great.
- ''One of the best films of the year!'' This is the Mother of All Blurbs, most commonly sighted on TV and in newspapers around awards season. TRANSLATION: ''It's not.''
- ''Delightfully funny! Chemistry galore!'' (Leap Year) TRANSLATION: ''You might laugh once or twice, but don't count on it. The actors are clearly breathing, however, and sometimes they breathe on each other.''
- ''Prepare to die laughing!'' (It's Complicated) TRANSLATION: ''You will see actors you know and respect doing wacky things!'' Also, ask yourself this: Do you want to die laughing? I suppose it would be better than choking to death on a steak bomb at Quiznos, but still.
I like that last one. Only Stephen King would ask us: Do you want to die laughing? Now we wait patiently to see -- now that the idea is in his head. . . what character will die laughing?
So, just a quick list of my favorite Stephen King audio books:
1. Stephen King reading Needful Things.
2. Frances Sternhagen reading Dolores Claiborne
3. Raul Esparza reading Under The Dome
4. Sissy Spacek reading Carrie.
5. Frank Muller reading Shawshank Redemption
Worst ever -- though I've already lodged this complaint -- Grover Gardner reading The Stand.
I have noticed a few people complaining that it is hard to keep up with all the characters in Under The Dome. That's actually a place where the audio edition is very helpful. Raul Espraza does such a good job giving each character their own voice that you easily keep up with who's who.
Check out this great post on Stephen King audio books:
King Is Actually At The Top Of His Game:
Requests for tickets for the Big Read kickoff event featuring author Stephen King at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County on March 20 will be accepted beginning Feb. 1 on the Charlotte County Web site, www.CharlotteCountyFL.com.
The event is free and open to the public. Tickets for the 400 available seats will be distributed by a random drawing of requests submitted and are limited to two tickets per household.
Anyone wishing tickets must apply at www.CharloitteCountyFL.com between Feb. 1 and Feb. 19. Those receiving tickets will be notified by e-mail by Feb. 26. Tickets must be picked up at the Cultural Center Theater box office no later than March 6. A second drawing will be conducted for tickets not picked up by the deadline.
His performance kicks off the Charlotte County 2010 Big Read, a six week series of events and programs on the stories and poems of another famous horrormaster, Edgar Allan Poe. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ArtsMidwest. Its goal is to revitalize the role of reading in American culture and unite communities through great literature.
Vacating the Zone: "WZON in Dover-Foxcroft (103.1 FM) has been airing progressive talk shows less than a month, but the Stephen King-owned station is already scrambling to make changes in its lineup. According to North East Radio Watch, WZON lost three daily shows distributed by the now-defunct Air America network – Ron Reagan, Montel Williams and "Clout." No word on what’s taking their place (the Web site hadn’t been updated as of late morning on January 25), although listeners closer to the source will probably find out shortly."
Gary Dickson at the Lake County Record Bee has an article on names people give their cars. Seriously. Now, I've never named a car. I tried, but my daughters wanted to name the car such girly names that I gave up. My brother in law named his car "War." Not a girls name -- but after a funny FDR quote that I will not repeat here.
Dickson notes, "Stephen King has probably had as much to do with people naming their cars over the past quarter-century as anyone. He gave us Christine, the first really killer car. It was a 1958 Plymouth Fury that 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham thought was to die for. Actually, I think the movie scared me away from naming my cars for a while, especially female names. It seems that more cars that are given people names wind up as female for some reason, even when the owner is a lady. I'm not sure why." http://www.record-bee.com/ci_14251947
You know, it is interesting that Christine is a girl. . . since she's haunted by a dude who killed himself. Very strange. All of it.
But, let me ask: Have you ever seen Carrie on the road? You know, a little new car that's beyond timid. . . until you try and pass and then she goes road rage on you.
First, he's not a afraid to let his hero's get in a real mess. Most writers would work to keep Barbie out of the jail cell, but King drops him right in. It makes the novel more difficult. And it paints King in a tighter corner. Of course, it's a lot more fun to read. . . but it takes guts for a writer to let his hero's get in a real mess.
Second, he's not afraid to introduce characters with limitations. The Stand is a good example of this. Nick in particular would scare me away as a writer. How do you deal with a deaf mute? Well, King did it brilliantly!
.And here's a quick list of things that took guts as a writer:
1. Destroying Castle Rock.
2. The end of the Dark Tower was gutsy.
3. Revising The Stand.
4. The sex scene in IT
5. Geralds Game eclipse day.
6. Letting Paul Sheldon live in Misery.
7. A wheelchair bound hero in Cycle... (Same with Susannah Dean)
8. Writing himself into the Dark Tower.
9. Switching viewpoints in Christine.
10. Writing a book with another author.
11. Suffer the Childen. Just the story itself is gutsy.
1. To get off drugs and go sober.
2. To pull Rage from publication.
3. To write Dreamcatcher by hand.
4. To speak openly about politics.
5. To say what he thinks of Twilight.
6. To use money for a purpose.
7. Sueing to get his name off of Lawnmowerman 2.
8. To publish under the Bachman name.
Anyway, here is a clip of Conan talking to Stephen King back in happy 2005.
4. Shawshank Redemption (1994)This Frank Darabont film, based on a Stephen King story, about a banker who is falsely sentenced to prison for murdering his wife, is #1 on IMDB’s Top 250 (as of this writing) for a pretty good reason—it’s a very good film. It’s an uplifting movie despite the gloomy situation the main character Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, is in. He develops a friendship with the warden (a bad guy) and other inmates that makes the prison life a little more bearable. A story about hope that can literally take you places. There’s also a great rain scene at the end. To say more would be spoiling it.
"The problem with reading The Shining as purely psychological is that it raises the question—in terms of the action—of who (or what) lets Jack out of the pantry after Wendy imprisons him there. I’ve heard the argument that Wendy herself perhaps let him out, but that seems off-base to me, not in the least because at that point she has yet to experience anything inexplicable. When she finally does see the Overlook for what it presumably is, she sees—and hears (there’s an indecipherable chanting on the sound track that might well be some black-magic ritual)—more than Danny or Jack ever did. It’s as if the evil has to completely reveal itself in order to penetrate her less suggestible mind."
Simply put. . . I think the ghost did it.
John Mellencamp’s recent characterization of his hugely ambitious “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” musical theater collaboration with Stephen King as “very complicated” has been borne out by media confusion over the nature of the project.
In an effort to clarify, John, King and producer T Bone Burnett are finishing up the recording process for the deluxe three-CD set featuring the full text of the libretto and a recording of the music and script. The CD components involve the entire production—music and dialog—on two discs, with a single disc containing just the songs.
The set is still on track for release prior to the musical’s scheduled opening next September at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater. As has been reported, the production team has assembled a stellar cast to record the songs, including Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Dave and Phil Alvin. The casting of the Atlanta stage presentation is also underway.
Meanwhile, Burnett continues to record the actors who voice the speaking parts for the “Ghost Brothers” recordings.
As John said last month, “It’s hard enough to make a play with music work—even when you can see the actors singing. But here we have something that’s become way out of fashion: An audio program that allows the listener the opportunity to use his or her imagination!”
Each of us should consider how we are to contribute to relief in Haiti. Simply because. . . Haiti is not under a Dome. We can do something.
1. A review of the Cujo blue ray DVD. http://www.popsyndicate.com/site/story/cujo/
"The few features of the Blu-ray include an audio commentary with director Teague. Teague is engaging through the entirety of the track providing insight about the his history with the film. He gives a good bit of technical information behind the filming of certain key scenes as well. There is also a 43 minute making-of documentary, Dog Days: The Making of Cujo. The first of the three parts covers the adaptation process and the interviews are notable for the lack of Stephen King himself. The second part focuses on the performances of the actors dog and human alike as well as the photography of the film. Finally, the other elements of filmmaking (editing, sound, etc.) are covered in the final part. It’s a thorough featurette well worth watching."
2. Review: The Stand / Captain Trips (bookgasam) http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/comics/the-stand/comment-page-1/#comment-65046
Rod Lott writes, "In 1984, I was in eighth grade. During the week of standarized tests, I rushed through them to finish early, in order to spend as much time as possible reading a paperback of Stephen King’s THE STAND. In the quarter century that has passed, I’ve never re-read the novel, but it’s amazing how much of its characters and events have stuck with me all this time. (And, no, I’ve never seen the miniseries.)
"They came flooding back as I read the Marvel Comics adapation of King’s masterwork, currently collected in two hardcovers, both written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and pencilled by Mike Perkins: THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS and THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES, containing five issues apiece, and now no longer confined to comic-book stores only.
3. Review of Haunted Heart. http://thephoenix.com/Portland/arts/95645-searching-for-stephen-king/
Which, you might note as I say "i told you so" that the writer here comes to the same conclusion I posted just days BEFORE they published this article. Namely, as they say, this biography lacks "heart."
4. Short review of Under The Dome. By Patrick Varine http://www.peoriatimesobserver.com/entertainment/x532575555/Book-review-Under-the-Dome-by-Stephen-King
I enjoyed this review.
5. Two from Lilijas Library: First, U.R. on audio. Second, news thatA Dollar Baby of Survivor Type is in the making. http://www.liljas-library.com/
6. Surviovor Type website: http://www.survivortypefilm.com/
Lee writes, With the slogan of negativity first, I finished last week's worst films countdown and move on to the dumbest moments within all of his adaptations. As with normal "Dumbest Moments" columns, these are the most head-scratchingly stupid decisions or scenes that stand out in a bad film or drag down a good film just by being there. This isn't a movie series this time around, but an entire group of films based on adaptations of books. So it was a little trickier to narrow it down and pick out specific parts that represent the stupidity as a whole.
Here's his list, check out the website for the article:
#10: Poor adaptation choices
#9: Unnecessary sequels
#8: Virtual Reality Sex from The Lawnmower Man
#7: The Escape Plan from Maximum Overdrive
#6: The final story in Cat's Eye
#5: Morgan Freeman's overacting in Dreamcatcher
#4: The dialogue in Children of the Corn
#3: Bad Special Effects in The Langoliers, Dreamcatcher and Thinner, among others.
#2: The Giant Spider in IT
#1: The Mist Ending
And I have to say, concerning #1, I completely agree! I hated the ending to the Mist.
1. Roger Stine, Carrie
2. David Voigt, Stephen King on Hollywood
3. Steven Shroud, Cujo
4. R.J. Krupowicz, The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
5. Don Brautigam, Night Shift
6. Don Brautigam, Skeleton Crew
7. Stephen Gervais, The Regulators
8. J.K. Potter, Skeleton Crew (I like this one)
9. Phil Hale, Gunfire
10. Jill Bauman, The Wheel of Fortune
11. Rob Wood, Nightmares and Dreamscapes
12. Bernie Wrightson, May (cycle of the warewolf)
13. Bernie Wrightson, They stared at him. He stared back
14. Bernie Wrightson, Before the Play
15. Michael Whelan, The Dead Town
16. Michael Whelan, Come On Now, You Bastards
17. Dave McKean, work from The Dark Tower IV
18. Dave McKean, work from The Dark Tower IV
19. Comert Dogru, “The Dark Tower" (spooky Turkish edition)
20. David Ho, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
21. Peter Stanimirov, Christine
22. Drew Stuzan, The Shawshank Redemption
23. Darrel Anderson, The Dark Tower
24. Les Edwards, The Island Ferry
15 Pet Sematary
14 Storm of the Century
12 Children of the Corn
10 Rose Red
9 Secret Window
8 Hearts in Atlantis
7 The Green Mile
6 The Shining
5 The Mist
4 The Stand
3 Stand by Me
1 The Shawshank Redemption
For instance, the main paragraph on page 474 is wonderful. Notice how King is acting like a tour guide. He suddenly moves to present active tense and speaks directly to the reader. It is as if the constant reader has been transported inside the Dome and is sitting a-top the store roof with Mr. King as he points out what's going on.
- "There is a pause, a moment of indrawn breath. think of a cat teetering on two wheels, deciding whether or not to go over."
- "See Rose Twitchell looking around..."
- "See Anson put his arm around her waist."
- "Listen to George Roux howl through her hanging mouth..." (yuck)
- "See the reinforcements."
- "Next comes Linda Everett.."
- "See Julia arrive just behind Linda and Marty..."
- "See frank DeLesseps kneel down beside Mel just in time to avoid another rock..."
- "Then... then someone yells. . ."
This is all stuff your English teacher will tell you not to do. But it's stuff readers love! Now, it's annoying when a writer stays in that mode for an entire novel. King doesn't even stay there for one whole page. But when he uses this narrative style, it is very powerful.
The station is now known as “The Pulse” and may add a local talk show in the near future.
The Fine Books Company of Rochester, Michigan has bundled together the complete fireproof science fiction collection; limited first edition copies of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Stephen King's Firestarter, both bound in an asbestos material. Not even fireman Guy Montag himself could easily burn these babies (not that he would want to, having finally discovered the joy of reading...).
Remember the riddle:
Q: How do you get out of room with no windows and no doors -- just a table and a mirror.
A: You look in the mirror and see what you saw. You take the saw and cut the table in half. Two halves make one whole. Put the hole on the wall, and walk out.
How will Barbie walk out? So far, as I've read:
- You can't crash your way out.
- You can't shoot your way out. In fact, the bullet might bounce!
- You can't use a cruise missle and just blow a hole in the dome. Though the description of the fires and the ride along with the missle was AWESOME! No writer has ever taken me on ride aboard a United States cruise missle. Sweet.
- You can't use acid to cut a hole in the dome.
Of course, the reader knows that none of these ideas will work. Come on, this is not a spoiler -- when page 300 has a missle and it's a novel over a thousand pages! "Really, the missle worked, they got out on page 320 and the rest of the book was about Junior fleeing the authorities." I think not.
It is interesting the amount of dust and junk the Dome collects. Symbolic, of course, of planet earth, since "we all live under the dome." Also interesting that the initial "shock" from touching the Dome can go away. Meaning you can later touch it without effect.
So, please, share your ideas. How would you get out of the Dome? And none of you who know the answer (read the end of the book) give it away. My ideas:
- Look in the mirror, see what you saw. . .
- Beam me up Scotty
- Find the source of the Dome and blow it up.
- Become good friends with David Copperfield (the magician) and hve him make you disappear. Or better yet, that kid from Tommyknockers... oh wait, not better yet! I just remembered where he sent his brother.
Okay, I have no good ideas.