Chloe Gives ET a Taste of Her Killer 'Carrie'


Moretz tells ET, "I'm so excited for people to see Carrie.  You're going to see such a different kind of character than I've ever played. I think it's the most vulnerable, it's the most broken-down, it's the most tortured, sad, dark character I've ever done, and it's so fun for me to go into those types of characters."

King To Write Episode Of Under The Dome


King will write the first episode for season 2 of Under the Dome.

--Source: LILJA'S LIBRARY

NBC Developing TOMMYKNOCKERS



NBC has announced that Tommyknockers is being developed as a "limited" series.

The Hollywood Reporter notes:
King's Tommyknockers is based on the author's 1987 novel about the residents of a small Maine town and how they deal with what they perceive to be an alien spacecraft that has landed nearby. Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky will executive produce, while Emmy winner Yves Simoneau (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) will direct.
www.hollywoodreporter.com

I think this is very exciting.  The mini-series and the book both failed to live up to the stories full potential.  It seems like with a series, the room can be given to flesh out the story itself.

What IS The Dome



So what exactly is the Dome?

Writers at CBS said they changed the cause of the dome that slams down over Chester's Mill.  King said he wished he'd thought of their idea to begin with.  Did they really change it? What if they just told us they changed it to keep us watching?  Probably not.

Some things we've learned about the Dome:

  • It gives a first time electrical shock when touched.
  • It does not like electrical devices, like hearing aids or pacemakers.  
  • Small amounts of water can come through.
  • The Dome cuts off all communication with the outside (other than visual).  So there is no TV, not internet and no cell phones.
  • It goes deep.  Residents can continue to dig down without striking the Dome.  How far does it go?  Is it a complete circle?  Does it go as deep as it does high?
  • It causes some young people to have seizures and say, "The pink stars are falling."
I would like Mr. Monk or Sherlock Holmes to come put those clues together into something reasonable.  So, back to the old question -- what is causing a giant dome to cover Chester's Mill?


Give me your suggestions. Here are a few. . .

  • An alien force-field
  • A Cocoon
  • The work of a rogue mad scientist (minions could pull this off, right?)
  • A terrorist plot
  • A natural phenomena

Lilja Reviews THE DARK MAN




I think Lilja's Library has the best reviews of King's work. He reviews. . . everything! Check out his insights on the Cemetery Dance edition of King's Poem, The Dark Man at liljas-library.com

Lilja advises constant readers to read the book several times, promising we will find new things each time.  He calls the work a compliment to the entire series, noting, "It shows you where King’s quest for The Dark Tower started and how it has evolved."

Carrie Blazes In Fan Art


"Carrie - Bloody Prom"
Fan Art created by: Dylan Bolívar Barraza.
A original artwork inspired on a scene from “Carrie - Revenge Scene"

Bombing The Dome

picture credit: wsj.com
Episode 5 of Under The Dome was once again a thrill.  I am excited about this show partly because they feel so safe letting the plot take a different path than King's novel.

There are spoilers here.  So don't read this if you haven't seen episode 5.

MOAB: Mother Of All Bombs.  So how do you take down a dome? Well, if you're the government, you could bomb it.  Of course, since this is episode 5, not 13, the audience is pretty sure the dome isn't going to pop. King dealt with the bomb issue early in the novel also, probably to get it out of the way since it is one of the most obvious ideas.

To drop a bomb on an American city -- even one with a Dome over it -- would require the signature of the President of the United States. I can't think of any president who would sign off on that!  (I can think of a former VP, but not a president)  Imagine the political uproar that would take place on the outside if the president allowed the military to drop a bomb on a city inside the States.  Even if he declared the Dome itself a terrorist threat, the public outcry and threat of impeachment would quell that idea.

The rational for dropping the bomb was not explored by the show.  Is the Dome in some way a threat to those on the outside?  The only threat is to those on the inside, who will be wiped out if the bomb is successful.

My notes:

1. This episode introduced us to some interesting insights into both Reverend Coggins and Big Jim.  First, with Coggins, we discover he's the real deal.  While King gave us a pretty one dimensional cardboard preacher-bad guy, this episode showed us a man who, though crazy, actually does believe.  He is a man of faith.  When he hears "Moab" come through his hearing aid he immediately makes a Biblical connection.  But his fear reveals his faith. When put under stress, he goes to the only thing he really knows to do -- repent and return to preaching.

2. About Big Jim -- the nasty is starting to really show through!  Wow, last week left us with quite a cliff hanger.  Big Jim finds Angie in his basement.  Quite a welcome twist from the book!  Big Jim sets her free – but is he really so kind hearted?  Well, he sets her lose from a shelter, not telling her to go to the cement plant -- after all, the mother of ALL bombs is on the way.  He loosed her hoping she'd die in the oncoming explosion.  What a naughty thing to do.

3. What does the message "the pink stars are falling" mean?  We are offered the hypothesis that perhaps this is a message from the Dome itself.  Interesting.

4. We are also given a new idea as to what the Dome might be.  The appearance of Monarch butterflies makes one character suggest that the Dome is like a cocoon.  That they will come out from under the dome transformed.  Probably not -- but it does show us that the authors have something really cool up their sleeve.

5. Funny, the writers act like only the military would know military time.

6. With the MOAB doing all of its damage outside of the dome, Bruce Willis, the guy who lives next door to the Dome, now has reason to be upset! (talkstephenking.blogspot.com Bruce Willis Lives Next Door To The Dome)



Collider Gives Us 25 Awesome Things About The New CARRIE

image credit:collider.com


Collider's Adam Chitwood has an interesting article about the Kimberly Pierce adaptation of Carrie. He discusses how blood drips off the human head and promises, "The new Carrie is a wholly separate adaptation of the novel, infused with modern sensibilities to speak to an entirely new generation."

Chitwood gives us 25 things he gleaned from his visit to the set.  Here are my six favorite notes:
  • Kimberly Peirce didn’t want to think of the film as a remake, she saw it as an opportunity to do something different.  She wanted to really develop Chris as a villain.
  • Peirce took a page out of King’s book when it came to the film’s tone, as she wanted to balance the horror with humor.
  • They had to adapt the Margaret White character for modern day, so instead of making her a simple religious fanatic, they made it clear that she’s almost made a religion of her own.
  • The aspiration from the beginning was to make a classic horror movie that has real characters and not just shock scares.
  • Moretz describes the film as a darker, more twisted version that focuses on the mother-daughter relationship.
  • Julianne Moore didn’t want to play Margaret White as simply a bible-thumping mother, she wanted it to be more substantial.  She went back to the book for inspiration in crafting her take on the character.
Check out all 25 at collider.com

Koster Discusses King's Bushnell Performing Arts Center Conversation

The Day columnist Rick Koster has posted a review of Stephen King's conversation with NPR's Colin McEnroe benefiting the Mark Twain House and Museum.

Koster offers several interesting tidbits.  I liked this note about Joyland,
On how books start with just an image in his mind. For a long time, he said, he had an image of a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite but wasn't sure what to do with it. Then, driving past a carnival, it all came together in his mind - and he wrote his latest book, "Joyland."

CARRIE Comic-Con Poster



Vintage Books & Anchor Books posted this picture of Carrie, saying: "Check out the huge poster Comic-Con International for the new Carrie movie based on the book Carrie by Stephen King."

I agree with Scarlet Mephistopheles who noted, "gotta love the first aid and stretcher beneath."

Reynolds Sketches Under The Dome Characters



I like Sarah Reynolds sketch of her interpretation of the characters from Under The Dome.  This is her take from READING the book, not watching the show.

She posted at her blog, sarahlynnreynolds.com,
I recently finished Stephen King's Under The Dome and thought it would be fun to paint some of the characters as I imagined them. I've also been looking at a lot of really incredible movie poster design lately and wanted to try making a piece inspired by that sort of aesthetic. So, those two concepts came together here. 
From Top Left to Right:
Big Jim Rennie
Dale Barbara
Junior Rennie
The Chef
Julia Shumway
Rusty Everett
Reposted with permission.

Stephen King Will Mess With Your Kids Head

Under The Dome is late night TV -- probably because it's not always kid friendly.  Honestly, though, other than the sex scene in episode 1, there  wasn't much that felt so out there for my kids.  (MY kids, I'm not saying it's cool for your kids.  Don't let them watch this and then email  me about how it messed your kids up.)

Perhaps all is not as good as I thought. . .

My ten year old watched episode 4, OUTBREAK.  Then when friends were  over today, stretched out on the floor and began saying, "The pink stars are falling" as she twitched about.  She sat up,  put her finger to her mouth and said, "shhhhh."  When we inquired, the girls said they do it at bedtime, too.  The oldest declared that this is creepy behavior.  I agree.  The kid does it so well, I wonder if the pink stars really are falling. 

talkstephenking.blogspot.com: Stephen King Will Mess With Your Head

Under The Dome Keeps Momentum As Summer Blazes



California is on fire.  Really -- I can smell the smoke as the summer fires eat up our forest.  Hot  summer days make you wonder, "is there anything good on TV?"  I'm absolutely hooked on Under The Dome!  I think it's great TV. 

Here's what Under The Dome has going for it:
  • Suspense.  I don't know what's going to happen next, and I read the novel!  I really like it that the show keeps the same feel as the book, but often goes in new directions.  With something like this, The Stand could have been a massive TV show that went in directions King shied away from.  (Like actually having a huge battle between Flagg and the Freezone)   
  • More Suspense. Why does the military make no real attempt to communicate with those under the Dome? The troops moving out heightens the mystery of the Dome. What do they know?
  • Intertwined.  Under The Dome is definitely becoming more intricate and intense.  The lives of these people intertwine like a soap opera.  Turns out Barbie is not just a drifter, he has a past.  And I'm left wondering -- is he really the good  guy here? 
  • Action.  The story doesn't bog down with a lot of talking about what characters are going to do -- they do it!
  • Mystery.  There are a lot of mysteries here. What is the Dome?  What exactly did Barbie do? Why is the army leaving? 
Some notes from episode 3, "Manhunt," and episode 4, "Outbreak."

MANHUNT:

Dean Norris does a great job bringing Big Jim to life. He’s better than the book!  Norris presents a multi-dimensional man who can be both compassionate and down right rotten.  Actually, we haven't seen a lot of rotten yet, but trust me, it's commin!

What the show does well is convey that Big Jim actually feels like he’s doing the right thing. "People are looking to me to lead," Big Jim tells his son. Of course, like many real people, Big Jim doesn't trust anyone but himself.  Why?  Because he's a fearful person at heart.  But also because he has something to hide!  He needs to maintain power in order to keep things under control. 

"You only get so many changes in life, do not squander them," Big Jim says.  We know Big Jim sees the Dome as his biggest opportunity. He’s a big fish in a small pond. Big Jim’s true colors shine bright when dealing with Reverend Coggins.

It's was nice to see Angie try a new ploy with Junior.  It seems she figured out just screaming at him might not be a good idea.  And suggesting they check out the cement factory tunnels was brilliant. Too bad he didn't take her with him.

When Barbie lies, he makes the very same face my friend does. I know that's random.  I wonder if my friend is reading this.

The action scenes are great because, again, I don't know who's coming out alive and who's  gonna get their  name scratched through.  I'm pretty sure Big Jim and Barbie had secure spots on the show!  However, wouldn't it be interesting if the writers decided to knock one of them off?

Great lines:
"I miss texting." "It’s only been a day and a half."
"Dude, it’s the apocalypse, advisories don’t apply."

HUH?   These are the things that had me talking to the TV tonight,
  • When Julia follows Junior into the tunnel, he’s just a few feet ahead – why doesn’t he notice that the light is suddenly blocked by her presence?
  • Junior and Julia burning all their matches, but never thinking to make a torch. Of course, once the matches are all burned up, they find their way out no problem. 
  • If you are the only cop in town, is it a good idea to take naps in a jail cell?
  • Junior better drink his milk. . . the cow got cut in half.
  • Barbie leaving his stuff laying around for Julia to snoop through. No reason to worry, if he didn’t have a marked map!
OUTBREAK:

This episode is like Under the Dome meets the stand. As the epidemic spreads, we’re told, "If anyone who’s sick coughs, it spreads."

Things the town is starting to realize MIGHT be a problem if they’re stuck for long:
1. Indoor plumbing.
2. Power supply.
3. No BACON!
4. Medicine

Does the Dome do more than simply discharge an electrical shock the first time it’s touched – does make people a little crazy? Or is the situation itself pushing everyone over the edge? We learn that the Dome goes DEEP, and it really really doesn’t like electronics.

THE PINK STARS ARE FALLING:
What's up with the seizures and the line, "the pink stars are falling?" 

When asked by the Hollywood Reporter about this line, Brian Vaughan said,
"It's interesting that there are two people having seizures and they seem to be totally unrelated, but yes, they're both saying, "The pink stars are falling, the pink stars are falling." We'll have to wait and see if these seizures will affect more people, where they're coming from and what their connection to the dome is. This is something that, if you've read the book, people say the exact same thing: "The pink stars are falling in lines." Our payoff will be different, our pink stars might be something different from King's novel, and something we're doing only with Uncle Steve's blessings. You'll be hearing much more about these seizures in episodes to come."  (www.hollywoodreporter.com)
For an interesting discussion of The Pink Stars in the novel, see writinghorrorfiction.blogspot.com

Is Under The Dome the best Stephen King television we’ve seen? I think it is.

Bruce Willis LIves Next To The Dome




From Leterman's FB page: Bruce Willis makes a cameo in Under The Dome On CBS as the guy who lives next to the dome. 

Watch the whole thing, you'll also learn how to break the dome. 

Under The Bowl

photo credit: www.deadline.com

Is it Springfield, or Chester's Mill ?

This does solve the mystery of what the dome is.  It does not explain how  it goes down under the ground.

THE SHINING Board Game


How much of a cultural icon is Stephen King?  I notice his name appears quite frequently these days as a game question.  Playing EYE TO EYE tonight, where players try to write the same answers as other players to a given subject.  We all cringed when the category was, "Stephen King books."  Humm, so many.  Which ones would my friends choose?  Knowing so many was suddenly a problem.

King has also been a Jeopardy category.

Makes me wonder. . . what board game best lends itself to a "Stephen King" edition?

PHOTO CREDIT
How about -- Stephen King LIFE, or Stephen King MONOPOLY, or Stephen King CHESS? 
OR, even better: THE SHINING Game.  This one's for real!

THE SHINING GAME



The description at boardgamegeek reads:
"The Shining" is a game based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. One player controls the evil and sentient Overlook hotel, the other the Torrence family, winter caretakers of the haunted estate. Using ambient hedge animals, terrifying phantoms and possibly human possession, the hotel tried to claim young, psychically gifted Danny as it's own - by killing him. But Danny and his family will not go gentle into the dark night. 
This game was designed with the knowledge and assistance of Stephen King, who was one of the first play-testers. It is available for free download at http://micro.brainiac.com/contest-games.html
Winner of the first Microgame Design Contest, in 1998.

This is from the review of THE SHINING game, discussing the game play itself:

The game starts just as a huge approaching winter storm front has been announced on the news. The forecast is for several inches accumulation each hour over the next 12 hours. Wendy has to tell the family to prepare for the storm. That's the moment that the ghosts give up all pretense to lurking and the hunt is on!

One person is the Torrence family player while the other plays the House. There are numerous ways to win, but victory boils down to driving the enemy from the field of battle. To me, that seems a bit strange for a game about a haunted house. Think of it as a light wargame.The game covers just the battle of Overlook Hotel so there's really no exploration of a haunted house involved. That's not really a detriment as it makes the game short and action-packed, almost cinematic (if everyone gets in the spirit of things). 
Players alternate turns hunting each other's units, or trimming the hedge. The Torrence family can either mentally combat the ghosts or physically attack the topiary outside. Those possessed hedge sculptures can actually do some damage if you don't cut them down to size early on. Ghosts can attack either mentally (possession) or physically (poltergeist). Decoys just look scary, once they're revealed they are removed. All units go down in ability as they take hits (kept track of on a separate record sheet provided). So a unit's values on its counter represent only the unit's conditions at the start of the game. Combat is different for each type of being doing the attacking (human, ghost or topiary). That takes a little getting used to and means that the numbers on the counters cannot be easily compared. 
Implements of destruction and the snowmobile are located in the garage. There's a knife in the kitchen. Certain other rooms must contain a haunt. Otherwise the rooms are pretty much the same. Except that the elevator is the only way to get from floor to floor, and it's never where you want it to be. 
It took us a couple of false starts before we got the hang of playing THE SHINING. Jack should get the axe from the garage and start trimming the hedges (and stay away from ghosts). Danny should dispatch the haunt in the playground and then head inside to terminate ghosts (and avoid topiary). And poor Wendy has to race downstairs to monitor Boiler pressure. We soon learned that the major concern of the Torrence family was not the ghosts, but the Boiler! Without almost constant supervision, the Boiler pressure will build until it explodes and the whole hotel burns down. This has happened in every game I've played. Sounds like an insurance con to me... 
Can everybody flee the hotel in time? Will they turn into depraved fiends due to the mental corruption of the ghosts? Will Hallorann get here in time (summoned by Danny's "Shining") to save the day? 
THE SHINING packs a goodly few surprises and fun. And it's free. Of course, you'll want to add a few "house" rules of your own to season to taste.
The full review is at: boardgamegeek.com

Eric Walkuski at joblo.com explains, "THE SHINING was turned into a board game back in 1998, apparently with the assistance of Stephen King himself. And it's not a board game you go out and buy - you can actually print it out and play it ASAP!  One player controls the evil and sentient Overlook hotel, the other the Torrence family, winter caretakers of the haunted estate. How awesome is that?"




Just for fun, check out Emily Temple's article, "10 Literary Board Games for Book Nerds," because you know you reading Animal Farm isn't enough -- you've got to play it.

RELATED: Stephen King Video Games

Carrie Comic-Con Poster





Carrie Comic-Con poster reveal crowns the new prom queen in all her blazing glory.  Bryan Enk at Yahoo Movies notes, "The art is a somewhat altered screengrab from one of the most rousing moments of the film's trailer. . .  in which the blood-covered Carrie strikes a villainous pose while unleashing her telekinetic powers."  Enk suggests it comes pretty close to the power of the original blood soaked image Sissy Spacek gave over forty years ago.

movies.yahoo.com

THE MIST: "H" Is For Hope


Check out Carole Goldberg's article "Stephen King Thrilled To Be Benefiting Twain House"
 at courant.com.

After spending some time telling us that King really is a nice guy -- not the monster we might suspect -- she relies bits of a very interesting interview with King.  "just seeing my name in the same sentence with Mark Twain's was a thrill."

King discusses his love for Tom Sawyer, favorite scenes from the novel, and his preference for horror over superheros.  (What would a Stephen King superhero look like?  Carrie.)

And then there is this bit about the ending to the Mist:
Fans of King who have read his 1980 novella, "The Mist," will recall its ending, when a brave band of ordinary Mainers who are fighting and fleeing horrific extra-terrestrial creatures hears one word amidst the static on the radio.
That word is "Hartford."
King says he chose it because it begins with an H, "like hope. I wanted a place south of Maine — where maybe, they'll get out.
"Whenever I go through a mist, I cross myself," he says.
I like that a lot.

FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT JOURNAL 3: Keep Running


About Working Out:

I favorite piece of exercise equipment is my ipod.   I love it.  Pain is still pain, but somehow the time goes faster when listening to a good book.  When I first started working out, my trainer asked me to do several things.  I did everything he asked -- changed diet, faithfully showed up to appointments, changed schedule, started eating breakfast -- except for two things.  First, I did not go to the doctor.  Second, I did not get an ipod.  He said that listening would help  me.  I thought he was nuts.  I told myself I would enjoy the quiet, since I am always craving time to just think.  However, when exercising, all I seem to think about is how much longer I still have on the clock.

A good book keeps you engrossed.  More than that, since I choose to only listen to certain books when I work out, it forces me to get back on the pavement so  I can find out what happens next.

I've been reading the Library Policeman on nights when I go running alone.  It's been too hot to run, and most nights a friend has been going with me.  But the Library Policeman have not driven me out of the house, either.  That is, it's not the kind of story that makes me think, "Wow, I've got to go running so I can listen to the next section of this story."  In fact, almost the opposite!

Keep Running

I went running tonight, even though it is approximately only six degrees cooler than hell here.  The California Desert almost glows with heat.  I fought off the urge to thumb through my ipod and find a new book.  I have not been drawn into the Library Policeman like I am so much of King's work.

The novel is not engaging because there are few surprises in the early set up of the story. Sam needs to do a speech.  Someone suggests library for research, so he goes.  He meets a strange librarian who tells him to be sure to bring the book back or the Library Policeman will come after  him.  Of course (OF COURSE!) Sam forgets to return the book.  This story drags on and on with  information the reader can see coming from a mile away.

I found myself so bored, I began rethinking the story.  Wouldn't it be more interesting if instead of losing the books, Sam deliberately chose not to return them?  Just to tick the librarian off.  But no, he looses the book and goes on a wild  hunt to track it down.  "This is not interesting," I found myself thinking.

Sam decides to return to the library and explain that he lost the books and pay the fines.  A fresh confrontation?  I was suddenly interested.  Only, when Sam got to the library -- it was totally different!  King went Twilight Zone on me!

Here's the crazy thing, I was on the home stretch of my run when Sam decided to go back to the library. But I wanted to know what would happen.  I look foolish walking in circles outside my own house listening to my ipod at midnight.  So I just went right by the house.  So a book that couldn't get me interested in listening to it, actually got me a bit hooked.

What's So Interesting?

This is a crossroads for me and The Library Policeman.  So far every domino has fallen just as I thought it would.  The plot  has not surprised me at all; until Sam walked into the Library and everything was different!  Now King is telling a story that is all new to me.  I can't humm along and go, "uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."

Perhaps that's one reason I usually enjoy reading Stephen King, I don't typically know what he's going to do next.  I'm left turning pages because I don't know how the plot will shake out, and he doesn't either until it's written.

Surprised When. . . (spoilers, people)

I was genuinely surprised when
  • The Nuke Went off in The Stand
  • Nick died in The Stand
  • The Mist didn't have an ending!
  • The two women fought it out int he middle of the street  in Needful Things
  • They found all that strange stuff in the kids head in The Dark Half
  • Dolores Claiborne executed her brilliant revenge
  • Bockade Billy threw me for a total loop!
And, I was genuinely surprised when the Dark Tower ended the way it did.  Knowing that King would do things I would never dream of kept me reading that series.

So, as Holme's would say, the game is afoot!  The Library Policeman is now a complete mystery as to what lies ahead.  I have no guesses.  It's all suspense for me from here on.

What surprises or curve balls has King thrown your way?

Pennywise Take A Peek At Doctor Sleep

Dr sleep picture by PSMandrake of the Independents
Wonder what Doctor Sleep is about?  Well, I see someone has already gotten a preview.  

This was part of a freakingnews.com contest.  OR. .. was it?  I think it really happened.

King To Appear In Boulder’s Chautauqua center



Stephen King will appear at the Chautauqua Auditorium
Wednesday, September 25.   7:30 PM Chautauqua AuditoriumTickets: $37.50 ($34.50 Chautauqua Member) Ticket includes a first edition copy of "Doctor Sleep"
tickets.chautauqua.com invites,
Join us for a memorable evening with author Stephen King in celebration of the release (September 24) of "Doctor Sleep," the long awaited sequel to "The Shining." Mr. King's visit to return to Boulder is very special as he resided in Boulder in 1974, when he wrote "The Shining." Mr. King will talk, read and answer questions. Mr. King will not be signing books but will pre sign a limited quantity of "Doctor "Sleep" that will be randomly distributed at the event.

Carrie On Cover Of EW

Carrie Bonus Cover

Stephen King Is Playing With Food -- Again



How much  would you trust Stephen King's taste buds? He did work on a novel titled, "Cannibals."  And gave us the short story "Survivor Type."  What exactly did Pennywise do with Georgie? 

Bon Appétit Magazine posted a fun interview with Stephen King titled, "Master of Horror, Slave to Cheesecake: Stephen King on His Favorite Foods."  

Jonathan Durbin quotes King, ""I'm not a fan of anything slippery or slimy," says King. "I don't eat oysters. It's horrible, the way they slither down your throat alive." 

Be sure to check out the image at the website.  www.bonappetit.com

In 2008 EW printed an article by King titled, "Stephen King's Guide To Movie Snacks."  King advised,
I always start my order with the ritual drink — Diet Pepsi if possible, Coke Zero as a fallback, Diet Coke the court of last resort. A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like a big old sponge soaks up water. This is a proven fact. One expert (me) believes a medium diet cola drink can lower your cholesterol by 20 points and absorb as much as one thousand empty calories. And if you say that's total crap, I would just point out I don't call it a ritual drink for nothing. Sometimes I add a strawberry smoothie with lots of whipped cream, but I'm always sure to take enough sips of my ritual drink to absolve me of those calories, too.
A while back 
"Spaghetti. Stephen King is spaghetti. Both are probably best enjoyed when you’re young and your tastes are still developing. Nothing spectacular about either and Americans probably consume both more than they should, but every now and then, you just get one of those cravings and nothing else will satisfy it. Banality never tasted so good."  (no-fun-intended.blogspot.com)

Now that was quite helpful!



King contributed to a book about men cooking titled, "Man With A Pan."

In the article, King reveals the reason he does a lot of the cooking in his home is because his wife, Tabitha, has lost a lot of her sense of taste and smell.  The result is a lack of passion for food.  So, King's work in the kitchen is one of necessity!  Does he love to cook?  He makes no such claim.  "I can respect the food even if I"m not especially crazy about cooking it," King says.  He closes the article with the statement, "You can cook stuff people love to eat (always assuming they have a sense of taste) without loving to cook."

The article is wonderful.  The cliff notes:
  • King likes the frying pan a lot!
  • Cooking requires patience.  "Engage in culinary foreplay," King urges as he discusses how frying gets a bad name because people go crazy.
  • The microwave can be your friend.  "I also love the microwave" King says, explaining it's all how you use the thing.  He then gives a quick explanation how to cook a "great fish dish that's beautiful in the microwave."
  • Be gentle.  That theme resonates throughout the article.  Food deserves some respect, so even if cooking is not your pride and joy, don't destroy every ting with fire.

Fennis Reviews CREEPSHOW 3



Why link to Fenniss' reivew of Creepshow 3 instead of doing my own? Because I just can't stomach watching the thing more than once.  ADHD kicks in and I'm wondering why I'm watching it if it's not interesting and I'm not scared.

The first two Creepshow's were directly attached to the work of Stephen King.  Not so with Creepshow 3.  This seems strange to me, since there are so many short stories by King that have not yet been touched.  The Creepshow medium is a fun one already dedicated to King, so I don't understand the change.

Finniss writes, "The problem is that the stories themselves are rather, well, stupid. The characters don't really give you a whole lot to latch on to and the stories themselves aren't really all that creepy or unnerving. The result is a movie that frequently leaves the viewer checking the clock to see how much time is left."  SEE!  I'm so glad Finnis fell on the sword for the rest of us.


Notice how the trailer spends half its time reviewing Creepshow 1-2.  Then the scenes they do show -- aren't scary.

Does Finniss recommend this bit of theatrical terror?  "There is very little here that is worthwhile," Finniss concludes.  In fact, he doesn't even think it's worth renting!  And, really -- who rents these days?  The guy at my local video store sits alone watching the extra features on the Back to the Future disk.

The full review is at: www.examiner.com  also check out: www.imdb.com

Politics - Is There Room For Disagreement ?



YOU READ STEPHEN KING!

People are sometimes surprised when they learn I read Stephen King.  Seen more than one guest pause at my bookcase and examine the portion dedicated to King first editions and unique stuff.  "Why do you read Stephen King?" the bold ones ask. I read Stephen King for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I think he's a good writer.

The reason people in my circles are surprised I read Stephen King is because I'm usually a political conservative on social issues and I'm a pastor of a church.  If CBU and Seminary taught me anything, it's that I can read people I disagree with.  In fact, most higher education is just assigned reading.  They force you to read a lot of stuff by people who see (saw) the world completely different than we do.  I didn't agree with a lot of things Luther wrote, but that didn't stop me from benefiting from reading his work.  Same with Calvin, Barth and more importantly Charles Schulz.  I don't agree with Rob Bell or the modern atheist Richard Dawkins, but I read them both.  You can't have dialogue, conversation or understand where another person is coming from unless you take time to read.

Reading Stephen King often gives me a perspective that I don't agree with, but should at least be informed of.  His is a more liberal worldview.  Do I benefit from getting a glimpse?  Of course!  I don't always like it when King injects a lot of politics into something, but at least I know where he's coming from.


ENDER'S GAME

I'm surprised when people think we should boycott certain writers.  When you choose to avoid a writers entire body of work because you disagree on some points of politics or religion, you miss the opportunity to learn where they are coming from.  More importantly, if the door is shut, you are assuming EVERYTHING they say must be wrong.  Here's the thing -- I might disagree with Luther on a lot of stuff, but most stuff I agree with him on.

It is disappointing that some in the gay community are calling for a boycott of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game," because he supports traditional marriage.

Greg Gilman at THE WRAP writes,
Gay advocacy and fandom group Geeks OUT launched an online campaign earlier this week asking moviegoers to skip the Nov. 1 release of "Ender's Game" due to Card's previous comments against gay-marriage
"Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys," the organization's website reads. "By pledging to skip Ender's Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism -- whatever he's selling, we're not buying."  (movies.yahoo.com/news)
Should we boycott people we disagree with?  This same tactic drives me nuts in the religious community. Not quite the melting pot we were promised in grade school.  Remember the SBC Boycott of Disney?  Didn't break Disney, did it?  The Last Temptation Of Christ was set to be a total failure, until religious groups protested it and got everyone interested in what all the hubbub was about.

READING DOESN'T = ENDORSEMENT

Here's an important point to remember: You aren't politically endorsing someone's work by reading or watching it.  And saying, "Well, I didn't read that!" doesn't make you look smart.  Boycotts only make boy-cotters look narrow minded.

EW posted a response from Card, in which he said:
Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984. 
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state. 
Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute. 
Orson Scott Card  (insidemovies.ew.com)
DANGEROUS CROSSROADS

America is at a dangerous crossroads -- we've stopped talking to one another.  We're shouting, but we're not talking.  It concerns me when Republicans don't know any Democrats, and when Democrats don't have any Republicans they count as friends.  When we think the whole world must think like we do -- or we will find ways to punish them -- we are participating in intellectual intolerance.

I believe marriage can only be defined as being between a man and a woman.  I don't think government can change that definition.  That conviction doesn't cause me to stop reading liberals who would totally disagree.  And I would suspect those liberals would want me reading their work, in hopes I might see the world from their point of view. For many of us, our understanding of marriage is a Biblical issue more than a social issue.  It has to do with how we interpret Scripture.  Those same Scriptures show us how we are to treat those we disagree with; something I wish many in my own camp would take a closer look at.

I would say to conservatives that they would do well to read non-political novels by liberals.  Why novels?  Because through characters writers are showing us the world from their point of view.  That's worth understanding.  The same goes for liberals, they should try and read people who don't see the world the way they do. Slamming the door and calling people names only makes your position look childish.

I have read a post from people who argue Stephen King should stay out of politics.  I disagree. And I'm on the other side of the aisle from him.  But just because he is an artist doesn't mean we should not be interested in how he sees the world.  Or, what he might say that either builds bridges or we might agree with (gasp!)

So here's a real question --
Is there anyone you read that you totally disagree with ?

Yahoo Lists Under The Dome One Of The Hottest Shows This Summer


shine.yahoo.com has decided to help us find what's worth watching this Summer.  "Forget summer reading!  Haha teachers!" Ali Wentworth declares.  I don't know if I'm going to do that.  In fact, I'm paying my kids to read the Little House series this summer -- so take that Ali!
First up, Under the Dome!

Nikki Boyer, host of Daytime in No Time, offers her  take on what's worth our time.
What should you watch if it’s a rainy day and you don’t feel like getting out of bed? Under the Dome on CBS, a sci-fi series about a town cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious barrier. “It’s putting a microscope on what we would do as a society if this really happened,” Nikki says.
Boyer tells Wentworth under  the Dome is "awesome!"  Wentworth then points out that this is kind of like the Truman Show.  Interesting, since our family watched that this weekend, and I had the same thought.  Only, in Truman Show, everyone knows what's up except poor Truman.  In UTD, they're all in it together.

Ranking King's Television Adaptations


We love to rank Stephen King's works, don't we?  Which is the "best" novel?  (The Stand)  Which is the worst?  What's the top ten best short stories?  And so on.  Stephen Spignesi wrote an entire book ranking the work of Stephen King.  In the end, it's all pretty subjective.

vulture.com posted an article, "All of Stephen King’s TV Work, Ranked." Gilbert Cruz explained,
Dome also presented Vulture with the perfect opportunity to follow up on last spring’s ranking of all 62 Stephen King books; to come up with this definitive second countdown, we spent countless hours watching and rewatching the many episodes, shows, movies, and miniseries produced from his novels and stories, as well as a few things he wrote directly for the small screen.
Again, my favorite comments comes from the stinkers! Get this from Trucks, " Starring Timothy Busfield and a musical score that at several points sounds like the work of an intermediate piano student who’d just bought his first keytar, this two-hour movie about trucks that come to life and attack humans should make us all apologize to Maximum Overdrive for having ever called it such terrible names (at least that cheesefest had the good humor to give one of its trucks a memorable Green Goblin face). The King-like lesson to be learned here? There is always something worse."

Receiving a respectably high rating on the list was the 2002 television version of Carrie, which made it to #10.  Cruz notes, "Patricia Clarkson does a more frigid, less campy take on Carrie’s mother, and Angela Bettis comes closer to the homely-looking, beaten-down Carrie White of King’s original conception. Not as stylized as De Palma’s and not as expensive as this fall’s version is likely to be, Carrie nonetheless gets right to the core of the story."

Here is the top 10 from the list:
10. Carrie
9. The Twilight Zone: “Gramma”
8. Salem’s Lot — 1979
7. Nightmares and Dreamscapes
6. Kingdom Hospital
5. The Dead Zone
4. Salem’s Lot
3. Storm of the Century
2. The Stand
1. It

What would make your  top 5  for Stephen King TV ?

Mine:
5. The Tommyknockers
4. 2002 Carrie
3. 1979 Salem's Lot
2. IT
1. The Stand

-- ? -- Under The Dome.

The Lone Ranger -- Learn To Have Some Fun



I almost reluctantly went with my daughters to watch the Lone Ranger this fourth of July weekend.  I loved what I'd seen of the previews, and I love the Lone Ranger, but the bad reviews had me doubtful.  Reviews for this film have been pretty bad.  The New Yorker has declared it a major flop, and it seems most reviewers pretty much hate the film.

This pretty much proves the point to me, critics don't like fun.  They like serious movies, or movies with deep historical roots, or films with a message; but they are left dumbfounded when a movie is simply meant to be a lot of fun.

Here's what you should know at the get go: The Lone Ranger is a comedy.  I didn't know that going in!  I thought this was a serious western with maybe a few jokes.  No sir!  This is comedy.  At points it is slap stick comedy.  The action sequences are complex, brilliantly timed and come off as something that would have made the three stooges proud.  Can the Lone Ranger and Tonto best the Three Stooges?  Well, what I saw on screen was pretty brilliant.  But people come to see the Lone Ranger give us a moral message or a serious western -- and that's just not what this film is.  Give the thing room to breathe on its own without squeezing it into the box of the past.

I would be hard pressed to give a detailed plot synopsis, but the story telling was once again, just fun.  I see reviewers complaining that it's supposed to be Texas, but looks like (fill in the state) and so it isn't very realistic.  I think, "Really?  That's what you're worried about?  It looks more like Arizona than Texas?"

When the Green Lantern came out, a friend asked if I was going to go watch it.  I said no, it looked pretty stupid.  "Of course it's stupid!" My friend laughed.  "It's a movie.  Just go enjoy yourself."

Do we Americans take story telling so serious we've forgotten how to have a good time?  Ultimately, the Lone Ranger is about a guy with a mask, his Indian friend and a horse as they fight bad guys.  This isn't meant to be taken serious.  It's meant to entertain.  Life is serious enough right now.  I wonder this with Stephen King books, movies and other media.  I see folks getting awfully serious about Under the Dome instead of just enjoying it.  When everything is picked apart, it doesn't make a critic look any smarter -- it just makes him look full of himself and a little judgmental.

One complaint has been that the Lone Ranger is boring.  The thing is full of action, humor and -- well, that's it, action and humor!  Was the movie everything I would want it to be?  No.  The Lone Ranger is a bit weak for me.  And at times Tonto's bad-Indian personality is overkill.  But that  doesn't kill the movie for me.

I like this bit from Mr. Cosby,



Read a review that talked as if this new movie had stolen something from their childhood.  As King would point out, the old stuff is still there.  You can go buy the old TV shows at Walmart, or watch them on Youtube.  You'll discover they weren't really very good.  But they were fun.  We have fond memories of it because as kids, we were just looking for a ride to a good time, and the Lone Ranger was the the friend that got us there.


My kids liked the movie a lot.  It wasn't like some movies where we spent all day after  the film talking about it.  It was just a joy while we watched it.  My ten year old leaned in at one point, as the Lone ranger jumped from one railroad car to another, and said, "Dad, this is a lot like that game subway surfer."

Sometimes a movie that is just looking to entertain is well worth the alternative of something like The Piano or The English Patient.  Give me Cowboys and Aliens any day over Tron.  And that, my friends, is why I will never get a job reviewing movies.  I enjoy them too much.  Well, some of them.

There are movies that stir our minds or deeply move our hearts, like Maximum Overdrive; movies with depth and passion, like Children of the Corn; and there are movies that call us to true new intellectual heights, like Needful Things.  And  then there are some movies that are meant to do little more than make you laugh and give yous some deep, "YES!" moments.  No politics.  No religion.  Not even a lot of attempts at being politically correct.  The movie just aimed at fun.  I think it hit the target just fine.

Joyland On CNN's WHAT TO READ



CNN posted their top 20 picks for things to read this Summer.  #12 on their list is Stephen King's delightful new novel, Joyland.

The CNN caption reads,
(Available Now) This summer, fiction master Stephen King offers a pulp thriller for your beach bag. Set in 1973, "Joyland" covers 21-year-old Devin Jones' summer finding love, saving a life and working as a carny at North Carolina's Joyland amusement park, where a woman had been killed in the Funhouse. To hear King tell it, "Joyland" is "a carny novel ... a novel about growing up and, as you might expect, a novel about terror."
www.cnn.com

Under The Dome Episode 2 -- THE FIRE


Under The Dome = lot of summer fun.

Allison Keene at Collider wrote that there was a "there was a lack of urgency to develop characters past what we already knew..."  Truth is, we learned a lot.  More than that, the story moved forward, fleshing out several subplots introduced in the pilot.  We get a fuller taste of what was hinted at.

Keene also said that Barbie's need to retrieve his dog tags and his accidental killing of Julia's husband was "not all that interesting yet to really care."  I didn't know I didn't care until Keene told me --  because I found it pretty engrossing.  Seems no matter what the storyline, some people are going to roll their eyes and dislike it. Murder, big domes, affairs, serial killers, a thickening plot. . . and it can't hold some peoples interest.

Then again, my mother in laws review, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."  Hummm.

I like the opening line, "Now that we're trapped under the Dome, none of our secrets are safe."

Some quick notes:

Under The Dome With The Kids:
  • Teen perspective: Students happy that they will not have to endure a math test.  
  • Guys disheartened, they may have met every girl they're ever going to meet!
  • Students figuring out the radius of the dome using math.
  • I like seeing things through Joe's phone video.
    CHARACTERS:
    • Angie might be a nice girl -- but I'm starting to question her IQ.  Is it smart to argue with Junior while she's chained up? Shouting, "I will never love you" does not seem like a good idea while in his clutches.  That's the kind of thing you say before slamming the phone down or riving away at full speed -- not what you say when chained up.
    • Blood on Linda's uniform is a nice touch.
    • Rev. Coggins has showed up.  Not at all as I imagined him from the novel.
    • The story works to paint Barbie as a good-bad guy.  Difficult to feel too close to a lead character who had been little more than a thug.  What the show does well is make Big Jim a bit likable.  Which is great character development for the bad guy!
    • Big Jim is Santa.
    MYSTERY:
    • Big Jim, "If you're gonna be stuck somewhere, this is the place to be."  The mystery is back!
    • I'm really happy CBS said they changed the cause of the dome, because it heightens the suspense.  Even if it turns out to be aliens, CBS had a great idea in telling us they changed it.
    • "Your only source of news from. . . Under The Dome."  What's that mean?  "It means we're all gonna die in here."  
    • Realization that the military doesn't know what it is. 

    AINT IT COOL Releases A Pile Of Retro Reviews


    As usual with Aint It Cool News -- this is just pure fun.  Ambush Bug (Mark L. Miller) has decided to celebrate Joyland and Under The Dome TV series with a series of "glances back at some of the best and not so best works of Stephe King!"

    Retro-review: THE SHINING (1980)
    Retro-review: THE DEAD ZONE (1983)
    Retro-review: CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984)
    Retro-review: MISERY (1990)
    Retro-review: SLEEPWALKERS (1992)
    Short Cuts Short Film Review: SURVIVOR TYPE (2012)
    Book review: JOYLAND (2013)
    UNDER THE DOME Episodes 1-2 (2013)
    And finally…MUCH MORE SHINING! 

    I admit that my favorite reviews are of the really bad movies!  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

    About Children of the Corn, "For me, CHILDREN OF THE CORN is a prime example of why trying to expand a fifteen page short story into a feature-length film tends to be a bad idea."  YES!

    And, more about Children of the Corn -- 
    CHILDREN OF THE CORN is a movie that would be great for a “Mystery Science Theater 300”-style riffing session, from its awkward opening (overlaid with a voice-over narration supplied by Job—clearly added after test screenings, since Job’s narration only pops up once more early on in the film to helpfully describe details that the filmmakers obviously felt would confuse the audience) to the mind-blowingly awful special effects of the film’s climax.
    About Sleepwalkers, Ambush Bug really held back, in my opinion, writing, "The story ends up being pretty simple." And, "One of the weirder King outings, this one boasted to be the first ever King story written directly for the screen and though it does carry with is a lot of King-isms, I can’t qualify this one as one of King’s strongest efforts."  Not one of King's strongest efforts?  Talk about understatement!  

    About Under The Dome, "The first episode does everything right by introducing the overall conflict (the dome) and peppering in smaller conflicts as well. This is the type of storytelling that was perfected with LOST as the overall mystery is the thread that inches along for the season or two or six, while there seems to be some kind of plot movement by incorporating smaller arcs along the way. It’s TV serial storytelling 101 and hits all the beats nicely."


    And with this note about Under  The Dome, I agree  wholeheartedly:
    the overall mystery is intriguing and at this point, the dome could be anything from aliens to top secret government tech. Here’s hoping that the solution resolves itself better than LOST did (and isn’t as prolonged as that series ended up being), but as far as openers are concerned, it’s promising enough to have me interested.
    Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article, there is some fun youtube  there!  

    Check out at www.aintitcool.com

    CARRIE Is Looking For Your Artwork



    "Carrie" is currently accepting fan artwork submissions of original designs inspired by the movie. On the page are photos to provide some inspiration. Show your creativity!          

    carriemovie.tumblr.com/

    Four Past Midnight Journal 2: NOVELLAs



    I'm wondering why King's Four Past Midnight gets sold on individual story at a time -- while Full Dark No Stars gets sold as one big book.  Does it matter?  Sure.  It's the difference in 1 audible credit verses 4.  Or, 1 month's payment verses FOUR.  Different Seasons is also broken up.

    Know why I like Four Past Midnight? I do think the stories are pretty good.  I also think it is because I read them at a time when reading Stephen King was a little dangerous -- a little naughty.  I was a teen and it was pretty cool to read Stephen King.  I was pretty new to the world of Stephen King, having just come off The Stand and the first few Dark Tower novels, so I had a sense that anything could happen in a SK novel.  King novels did things that would never even come up in the books our High School teachers handed out.  I tried to endure Cat's Cradle, but really didn't know what Mr. Vonnegut was talking about.  King I did understand. 

    So my excitement about this book my be as simple as emotional association; I read it when I was happy to be reading anything by Mr. King.  Some of the elements of the stories did disappoint me; but I still liked them.

    I LOVE NOVELLAS!

    I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Novella's with John Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down.  It was a great story -- and it was short!  As a kid in school, I was a big fan of the entire idea of a short novel.  The only problem was, the teachers wanted us to read those short novels faster.  The short novel was far better than the chopped novel -- parts of novels all cut up in "reader" textbooks.  Who wants to read the Readers Digest version of Great Expectations?

    Novella's are often written in a big burst of energy.  They are just short novels that feel like the author is exploding all over the page!  It seems like you can sometimes feel the writers raw energy as he works, pressing an idea forward as if he is about to get run over by a train.

    Animal Farm has been inflicted on numerous school children -- and for good reason!  Orwell tells his story with that raw energy of an idea being hammered out.  The story is a parable of government and power; how those promising to help  the underdog quickly use power to get special privileges.  Animal Farm is more than a Social Studies lesson, it's brilliant writing.  Farm Animals plot the overthrow of a farmer; I thought it was a great story!

    My favorite King novella is THE MIST.  Again, you can feel King's energy flowing as he writes.  He is driven by a story that has to get out, and quick.  In fact, he doesn't even have  time to end it! So it's not processed through deeply -- it's just gutted out.  But sometimes what we find when a writer just goes with a story is delightful.  I kind of like those  paperback editions of The Mist that appeared in bookstores to promote the movie.  Something about seeing it all by itself -- kinda naked -- was great.  It didn't need all those other stories crowding around, it was ready to stand on its own two feet!

    My favorite novella's:
    • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (But no more movies, please)
    • Nightfall, Isaac Asmov 
    • The Time Machine, HG Wells
    • The Moon Is Down, John Steinbeck
    • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
    • Animal Farm, George Orwell
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury exists in some strange world of novel/short novel/book of short stories.  What is it?  All the stories make a novel.  But not a long novel.  The narrative flow is uneven, but beautiful.  What is this thing? -- it's just Bradbury being wonderful.

    Really, story length should not matter.  Often I don't know what a book is!  Is Joyland a novel  or a novella?  I dunno.  I guess you could do a word count, but in the end, does it really matter?  Nope.

    YAHOO: Who Was Stephen King's Inspiration for His 'Under the Dome' Villain?

    Check out this yahoo article on Big Jim, titled, "Who Was Stephen King's Inspiration for His 'Under the Dome' Villain?"  (tv.yahoo.com)

    Kelly Woo writes,
    If the villain of "Under the Dome," which premiered to an audience of 13.14 million viewers making it the most-watched summer drama on any network since 1992, seems familiar, it's because he's based on former Vice President Dick Cheney.
    and,
    Norris revealed, "Stephen King whispered in my ear, 'You're Dick Cheney. That's who you are.'"
    Yep, Big Jim is Cheney in King's view.  
     With recent developments of the government spying -- I wonder if Big Jim might have a broader context than first offered.

    Liljas Library Posts RULES OF UNDER THE DOME



    SOURCE: www.liljas-library.com