This is my 23rd of 31 reviews of Stephen King adaptations as part of the joint Blogathon that Darren (of Movie Reviews 101) and I are running this month in honor of the great horror writer.
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Number of Times Seen – 2 (TV in ’94 and 18 Oct 2015)
Brief Synopsis – After a deadly flu-like plague wipes out most of the country, the survivors are called by two people – one good and one evil to try and create a new society.
My Take on it – A lot if King’s stories are relatively short but when he wants to write a long epic tale, there are few more adept at it than he is.
The book itself is more than 1400 pages long and is filled to the brim with characters who are all unique and have some kind of grand purpose in the story.
To properly adapt such a long and complex piece of literature they needed to create a four part, 6 hour miniseries that as great as it is, is still missing important parts of the story.
Regardless, they do a wonderful job of telling a modern epic story about good vs. evil and how different people would react and act in desperate situations like those presented here.
Each of the characters are different and give us unique perspectives on the events unfolding as the world is decimated by a deadly plague.
The cast is amazing with Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald excellent as the leads. They are joined by Rob Lowe, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo, Corin Nemec, Miguel Ferrer, Matt Frewer, Bill Fagerbakke, Adam Storke and Ray Walston to name just a few.
I am still hugely shocked that this lost the Emmy for Best Miniseries to one of the Prime Suspect films.
This is the way to adapt a King novel if your name isn’t Darabont or Reiner 🙂
I got so excited rewatching this that I’ve now started to re-read the novel which I only read once over twenty years ago.
Bottom Line – This is one of my favorite King adaptations because they took their time developing so many characters and did it properly. A modern epic quest movie that includes such diverse personalities. Amazing cast led by Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald. Can’t believe this lost the Emmy for Best Miniseries to Prime Suspect. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The book features many references to, and similarities with, J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’. One less obvious reference may be the name Nick Andros. Middle-Earth features an island called Cair Andros. Stephen King said that he wanted to write an American version of ‘Rings’. Other similarities include Flagg’s roving eye, and the group of three ordinary people who defeat a monster. Dayna Jurgens’s failed attempt to kill Flagg also parallels Eowyn’s fight with the Witck-King of Angmar. Prior to this scene in the book, she sees the necklace Lloyd has, which Flagg gives to all his followers. Rather than being simply a brown stone as in the film, it is a black jewel with a red flaw in the center, resembling a great flaming eye, which actually reminds her of the Eye of Sauron. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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