Stand (MINI-SERIES) Reviews
Yeah and waste a few weeks reading the full book version too.
And today, as I'm lying in bed trying to bring up the phlegm that sits and tickles the back of my throat for hours on end, the Sci-Fi Channel presents Stephen King's [i]The Stand[/i].
At any rate, this was the only possible solution to bringing this work to the screen. This book, considered by many to be King's masterpiece, in manuscript form weighed the same amount as Stephen King's favored bowling ball, he says. It works out to roughly 1000 pages, give or take a hundred. What's more, every subplot ties into the whole, so there are no characters that can be left out easily. (And [i]man[/i], there are a lot of characters!) The Kid, yes, and The Kid is left out of the book's initial release. But The Kid is only perhaps thirty pages; no big deal in the main scheme of things. You have to lose hundreds of pages to make a shooting script for theatrical release.
So. Mini-series. We are given eight hours. Time enough to really explore Stu and Franny and Nick, Larry and Nadine and Lloyd. The saved and the damned all together, as God and Stephen King intended.
IMDB lists three men offered the role of Flagg who turned it down--Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and Christopher Walken. Leaving aside the obvious "One of these things is not like the others" factor, I'm not sure having anyone so well-known would have been good for the character. Flagg is supposed to be mysterious, and thinking, "He was great in [i]Mississippi Burning[/i]," for example, would hardly help that. I'm not sure I like the guy they did end up casting, but it helps that I don't really know him from anywhere else.
It's different for the others--I actively wish they'd gotten a relatively well-known singer to play Larry, for example. They're supposed to be sort of familiar. They're people you just kind of know from around, or at least, they ought to be. They're ordinary people. You know the educated, slightly dreamy Fran, and so she's Molly Ringwald. You know the earthy, practical Stu, and he's Gary Sinise.
At least that's how I see it. There's also, I suppose, the obvious "They got who they could" aspect to things as well. And good ol' King himself as Teddy Weizak. Because, with that many characters, there's one for everyone. I only wonder that Tabby isn't in there somewhere.
To start with I must say that the book the Stand is my favorite book ever next to the Dark Tower books.
- the plot of the movie and most of the nuances of the plot are excellently close to the book
- little "stephen king-y" things like the judgement guy in the beginning, the writing on the walls, the rock songs (like the lyrics he uses in his books)
However... bad things:
- the casting is so-so over all (Gary Sinise, Adam Storke, Ossie Davis, Miguel Ferrer, and Bill Fagerbakke are great)
- but Molly Ringwald especially (and some others) are baaad) their acting is forced, annoying, and laughable in some instances. This is not, as I have read some places, a byproduct of the book - the book is beyond criticism - there's nothing wrong with it or King's characters in it.
- Also, effects are bad (i'll let that go, as this is on a tv budget).
- I really wish we wouldn't see Flagg's monster forms... it kills the Stephen King mystery effect from all the other books Flagg makes appearances in. - A lot of the character development is lost (ie. Lucy, Trashcan Man) because of time
and all in all, i just didn't get the same effect i got from reading the book (which i can still remember perfectly after 3 readings and 6 years)
READ THE BOOK!!!