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From Carrie to Mr. Mercedes

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Langoliers Miniseries




Watching the Langoliers on SyFy tonight. I read the novella at a breakneck speed in high school, and loved every bit of it. I mean, absolutely loved it!
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For me, this mini-series falls flat -- very flat. It's not that it's bead, exactly, but it's empty -- hollow. a few reasons strike me as I watch this:
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1. Length. The story worked as a novella. Might have worked as a 2 hour movie. But at four hours on Syfy, it's like a soap opera. Lots of talking, but a little thin on action. even the flashbacks become cumbersome. Unlike IT and The Stand and even Desperation, which lent themselves well tot he mini-series format, there's just not enough base material in the book. There are no supporting characters, since everyone on earth is gone. So it's just up to these few actors to carry the whole thing.
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Each element of the story is introduced with the same energy as my daughter doing her math homework.
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2. Special effects. I'm not going to say much about this because it's obvious, the special effects on this movie just aren't there. Or, more plainly, they suck.
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Creepshows says: "With much of the budget being spent in other area's, Rubinstein decided against a star cast." I'm not seeing that budget anywhere!
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Now, the power lines being crushed is pretty good. Once we get the pac-man's in the sky, the story loses all believability, as it now looks like a bad video game. My wife is cracking up as Craig is chased by the evil pac-man's!
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The evil pac-man's remind me of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, with its head detached.
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3. Awkward! There are several scenes that are just absolutely awkward. Passengers introducing each other on the plane -- grown woman telling a kid about how she's going to visit a man she's never met -- and more. Even the kiss shared between Bethany and Albert
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4. Dialogue. here's a great line, "The later it gets the later it gets." What?
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Leaves me wondering: What happened here. Did anyone review this script? Did King sign off on this?
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The story itself reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode. (Odyssey of flight 33)
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Creepshows quotes King thusly from Fangoria, "I wasn't crazy about it. that was more of a TV thing. But given when it was, it was fine. The best thing about it was that it gave Tom Holland and Richard Rubinstein the bona fides they needed to get Spelling Productions to go ahead with Thinner." Right, because Thinner was such a . . . I'll stop now.
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IMBD notes, "In the scene were Craig Toomey hallucinates that he is in a board meeting on the runway, the man at the head of the table asking him how much money he has made for the company is Stephen King."
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3 comments:

  1. Great movie!
    Especially I Like the color of skies when langoliers are coming soon..

    ReplyDelete
  2. "4. Dialogue. here's a great line, "The later it gets the later it gets." What?"

    That line is in the book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "4. Dialogue. here's a great line, "The later it gets the later it gets." What?"

    That line was in the book.

    ReplyDelete