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Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Stand

A movie review of Stephen King’s “The Stand” - The End of the World is Just the Beginning. As with many of king’s works, you either love it or hate it. This 1994 adaptation of one of his most popular books of the same title is a two-disc, 360 minute journey through a classic end-of-the-world scenario.

The Story:

In a U.S. military facility/research lab in California, something has gone hideously wrong: a ferociously potent killer virus has escaped. It is an unstoppable mutated strain of the flu virus that wipes out 99 percent of the world's population. The last 1% are people who are immune to the superflu epidemic.

This is a perfect tale of an end times confrontation between Good and Evil among the survivors. These survivors are slowly drawn together on one side or the other. The ones who choose the path of light or goodness are average citizens with some central core of virtue. The ones who choose the path of darkness or evil are ones who have had misfortunes heaped upon them and you are not sure if you hate them or pity them. Those who choose evil follow Randall Flagg known as “the walking dude” or “the dark man”. Those who choose good follow Abigail Freemantle also called “Mother Abigail”.

The Movie:

There are some excellent roles played by an equally superb list of actors and actresses including Gary Sinese, Laura San Giacomo, Ray Walston, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Miguel Ferrer and Ossie Davis. Featuring performances by Jamey Sheridan as Flagg and Ruby Dee as Mother Abigail. There is also an extended cameo by Stephen King.

What I like about this movie (after seeing it for the 20th time) is the very wonderful King flavor of the story. It is long, detailed, and gives you moments of great chills. The opening scene, set to the thrust of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," is a creepy wave of imagery showing the many who have already succumb to the virus. King presents the remaining population is this movie adaptation almost as well as the descriptions in his book, populating the landscape with several genuine characters.

This is one of his best book-to-screen adaptations ever. Presented as a television mini-series, this Emmy Award winning t.v.-movie makes a fantastic transition to DVD. The acting was honestly good enough to bring King’s story to believable life. Gary Sinese plays an fantastic Stu Redman from Arnette,Texas! The role of Fran Goldsmith could have been better if played by someone a little less 80s iconic than Ringwald, but in the end she did a great job and ‘fits’ the character quite well.

As a King fan I find this movie captures the book’s essence quite well. I have read the unabridged novel several times and always watch the movie soon afterwards to have the great follow up experience of seeing battle of Good and Evil played out before me on the Not-quite-so Big screen. If you like King, if you like plot twists, or if you just want to see a good long horror movie on a Saturday afternoon, check out “The Stand”

  • Today's Cure song is "Us or Them" from the new self titled CD The Cure - (2004) This the first time ever that The Cure has released a self titled album. A great tune Robert belts out in his classic angst style.

"No I don't want you anywhere near me, I don't want you anywhere near me,Get your f**king world out of my head. "



Blogger zam said...

Yes! I remember sitting down to watch The Stand, having already convinced myself that it would do one of my favorite books absolutely no justice.

Man, was I ever pleasantly surprised! It is a great adaptation. Great cast, great soundtrack, great everything.

You just made me want to read that book all over again...

Thursday, August 05, 2004 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger zam said...

Oh, and I have a question for you. Perhaps you can help me out here, CJ:

Several years ago, I read a short story by Stephen King about a guy who was laying in bed and he kept hearing this "tap tap tapping" coming from the bathroom. He got up, only to discover a finger poking up through the bathroom sink and that "tap tap tapping" was the sound of the fingernail hitting the porcelain as this finger scraped itself further and further out of his sink.

It was SUCH a great story and I want to read it again, but cannot, for the life of me, recall the name of the story, nor in which collection of short stories it was contained.

Does this ring any bells with you at all?

Thursday, August 05, 2004 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Audra said...

"The Stand" is definitely one of my all-time faves and is for sure my favorite Stephen King. Admittedly I have only seen the movie one time and I think that was when it originally came on television. Maybe I should add this to my Netflix queue and watch this bad boy again. I know I need to read it again!

Thursday, August 05, 2004 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger PDawg said...

EXCELLENT lyric of the day! I must say, I totally adore the new album. I know that a lot of fans have said they dislike it, but I think it is brilliant. It was in my car player for a good 2 weeks straight when it was released.

Thursday, August 05, 2004 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger nicole said...

I have never read or seen The Stand. I wouldn't mind reading it, but I think I would only be able to read it during the day with all the lights on in the house!

Thursday, August 05, 2004 1:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stand is my all-time favorite movie. It's the only movie I truly enjoy watching over and over. The book, of course, has more details that make it even better than the movie.

I really liked your review. However, you failed to mention appearances by superstars Kathy Bates and Ed Harris, both of which were superb.

The greatest performances were Ruby Dee as Mother Abigail and Gary Sinese as Stu Redman. Actually, I thought all the actors were perfect for their roles except the two that played "Nadine Cross" and "Trash." Maybe I'm nickpicking--anyone else feel the same about these two?

Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The short story is "The Moving Finger", I think, and it's in Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

Saturday, October 29, 2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Buy Levitra said...

Great article! Thanks.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 7:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:43:00 AM  

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