Best Stephen King Adaptation
With Rob and myself doing the October Kingathon what better choice for the subject of this rounds Opinion Battles, we have such a range of genre to pick from even if I can have a good guess what everyone will be picking.
If you want to take part in the next round we will be picking Best Franchise with 4 or more films, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 18th October 2015
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
I have chosen this one because I like the idea of a horror film, I know there are others that could easily be picking like The Shinning, Carrie and I didn’t want t go drama however brilliant Shawshank, Stand By Me and The Stand are. I have pick this one because this is the one film that created a character in Pennywise that will forever haunt children, and could easily be the most recognisable character King has ever created.
Kim – Tranquil Dream
I’m not much of a Stephen King connoisseur and while I can understand the appeal of some of his adaptations that I have seen, I do have to consider than as original pieces. I’ve only seen a few but the one that I watch over and over again the most has to be Maximum Overdrive. Its super dated and its so much fun to watch. Campy and a little way out there. The cast and the cheesy dialogue and even a balance of a variety of characters all stuck together in a truck stop while machines are possessed is just all sort of crazy entertainment. Its definitely not top notch cinema but its an enjoyable guilty pleasure and for me, that works for me as an adaptation.
At first I thought I was going to have to sit this round out *gasp* because I thought I hadn’t seen any of Stephen King’s adaptations. However, looking through the long list on Wikipedia, I found one: The Shawshank Redemption. I always forget that this film is based off a Stephen King writing. Do I really need to explain why The Shawshank Redemption is such a great film? Anything I could possibly say has already been said in previous rounds. The acting from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman is top-notch, the story leaves you rooting for Andy Dufresne and has a feel good ending. It’s funny to see how the 1994 Oscars really went and not how we all think they should have went, considering this is one of the most beloved films of all time. If there is only one Stephen King adaptation I have seen, I’m glad it is this one.
Best King adaptation is actually not as simple as one would think. I have always loved the way that the stories of Stand By Me (The Body) and The Green Mile were adapted to the screen, but I still have to say that the best must be The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption) which is still considered a masterpiece and is hailed as one of the best movies to ever not win Best Picture at the Oscars. The book is only 110 pages, but Director Frank Darabont was able to create an amazing 2.5 hour movie that is so captivating and interesting to watch.
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a harrowing and inspiring tale, a well-acted, well-written, brilliantly acted film that brilliantly expands on a wonderful short story (which I highly recommend, along with the other stories in the collection “Different Seasons”) by Stephen King.
Shawshank is one of those films that’s hard to find large faults in it, and is so enjoyable that even someone like me, who prefers a fun romp to a compelling drama, finds it to be one of my favorites. Shawshank is amazing, and I love it.
Khalid – The Blazing Reel
When you talk about Stephen King adaptations it’s never easy to pick just one. You could easily go with two of Frank Darabont’s three adaptations, The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, maybe not The Mist. Then there are The Dead Zone and Misery too. But for me, the words ‘Stephen King’ always remind me of horror which eventually remind me of The Shining.
The Shining is what you get when a maestro like Stanley Kubrick gets his hands on King’s source-material and while the film isn’t completely faithful the book, and features an insufferable performance from Shelly Duvall, it still stands out as one of the most chilling and suspenseful horror movies to ever hit the screens. Jack Nicholson gives, what is easily the most batshit-crazy and utterly menacing performance of a career that has seen more than a few batshit-crazy performances, and the film itself is just masterfully constructed from the first frame to the last. Truly the best Stephen King Adaptation
The Mist (2007)
This was so tough! Up until the moment of sending this to Darren I was still torn between this and two other potential choices but I’ve always loved The Mist and it’s the type of film I’d always be in the mood to watch so I went with it. The atmosphere is great, the creatures are scary (even if the CGI is dodgy in places) but it’s the way the people stuck in the store turn on each other that makes it even more gripping – the ‘mob mentality’. I love watching it unfold and there’s still plenty of gross bits, awful spiders (eek!) good dialogue and some very good acting. Not to mention a pretty crazy ending that is unforgettable.
The only Stephen King adaptation I have ever really liked is Stand by me (1986). I absolutely love this film and could watch it over and over again, the performances of the lead four actors are so perfect location. It starts as four friends looking to get recognised for finding the body of the schoolboy supposedly in the woods but ends up being an emotional journey for them as they open up and uncover secrets about each other. It also spends a lot if time being hilariously funny which breaks up the emotion and stops it being too soppy and just a perfect Sunday movie.
I was really tempted to pick The Shawshank Redemption since I’d already picked it for best adaptation overall, but that turned out to be the reason I leaned toward a different one for this round. Instead, I’ve opted for Rob Reiner’s adaptation of Misery, the hostage thriller that put the fan in fanatic. While King is well-known for his supernatural horrors, his real-world dramas are more appealing to me. Stand by Me and Shawshank are straight dramas, but in Misery, he was able to set his talent for unnerving tension in a frightening but believable situation. What makes Kathy Bates so scary as psychopathic fangirl Annie Wilkes is that there are people like her out there, and very little suspension of disbelief is required to accept her shocking behavior. WhileShawshank and The Green Mile deserved more recognition, Misery remains the only King adaptation to win an Oscar, thanks to Bates’s outstanding performance.