Sunday, December 09, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW SUNDAY

I saw The Mist last night. It's a 127-minute movie written for the screen as an adaptation of Stephen King's short story of the same name. I highly recommend--if you've not read the "Skeleton Crew" collection of short stories--dragging up a chair and exploring King's fertile imagination.

I had hesitations about the movie, seeing as how King's writings have often not passed muster on the silver screen. The movies that are based on his work have often been splashed across the screens as hokey gore-fests that elicted more laughs than shrieks. I don't blame the master for that; I blame the moviemakers and the fact that King's books are more of a character-driven than plot-driven. It is what it is. Now, for sure, there have been some King masterpieces. The Shining and Misery and Stand By Me and Carrie come immediately to mind, but, for the most part, the movies have sucked. Think Dolores Claiborne and Pet Semetary. And the abortions that were Rose Madder and The Perfect Storm, made-for-TV shit-taculars that should have stayed on the cutting room fli-zoor.

So I was pleasantly surprised by The Mist. It held true to the short story--save for the ending, which had more than a few moviegoers grumbling--and they did a really good of creating the creatures of the mist.

One scene with which I was particularly pleased was the one in which the battle-weary characters creep along the highway in the 4X4, slowly traversing the mist. In the book, King describes a mottled gray creature of Lovecraftian proportion--the characters, peering up through the window into the mist can not even see the underside of the beast. That's one huge motherfucking beast, y'know? I'd been wondering just how in the hell the moviemakers were going to convey the surreal size. Enter computer graphics. 'Twas sweet. Basically, imagine a walking skyscraper--50 stories high if it's one--slowly thudding by, dwarfing all in its wake, dangling tentacles like some kind of giant mutant udders. Tres bien, tres bien.

That is what--in my opinion--has held King movies back, in the past. There has just not been a way to convey to the screen the vibrant imagination of the writer. But, whatever...I was entertained. That's enough for me. I'm easy, that way.

8 comments:

Jay said...

We've had about 3 days of heavy fog here. The only thing I could think about when I was driving through it Friday was how glad I am that I haven't seen the move The Mist. haha

It's kind of funny how much trouble they've had adapting King's books to movies. Maybe they aren't getting good screenplay writers to do it.

On the other hand, I don't know who has been adapting John Grisham books to movies, but they've done a great job of filling in all the boring parts and fixing the clumsy endings.

Nanette said...

I tried to watch that movie online yesterday but fell asleep, sigh. Not that I wasn't fascinated, but how can I be expected to stay awake in bed? Really?
Anyway, I'm with you on the King disasters--and your assessment about them not being able to convey what the imagination can, spot on. So, I'll pep myself up and give it another try. :)

Candy said...

I have always loved that novella, so now I'm thrilled that someone has given the movie a thumb's up. Hope to see it soon.

M@ said...

I left Stephen King behind when I turned 14 but I'll put The Mist on my Netflix queue.

Me_Again said...

Be prepared for the absolutely, awful ending!

The One and Only A said...

Jay: Spooky fog, huh? And I hear what you're saying about John Grisham. I've never really gotten in to his books.

Nanny: I thought it was okay...it's worth another look, I think.

Candy: If you liked that novella, I'm sure you'd like--if you haven't read them already--"Different Seasons" and "The Bachman Books." Good stuff.

M@: Welcome. And, hell, it's worth a shot, eh?

Meegie: Now, now, now.... =o)

Melissavina said...

I saw that movie a week ago and I liked it too. Sadly, I walked away thinking "that won't make too much money, but I'm glad I saw it."

And when I saw the giant mist creature I thought instantly of the Imperial Walkers from The Empire Strikes Back (yes, I'm a nerd.) And I was terrified.

I have to admit too that I grumbled at the end, but I like those sorts of endings.

The One and Only A said...

MelissaVina: Same with me. I thought of Star Wars and I also liked the ending...for the most part. A bit of a backhand, but still good, in my book.