Bait Taken: 5 of the Best Stephen King Adaptations Ever

There are many building blocks of the internet, but the cornerstones are think pieces, offhand lists, and other hollow provocations meant to stir arguments and, therefore, briefly redirect web traffic. Engaging such material is utterly pointless. Then again, it’s not like I have anything better to do. It almost seems unkind — or maybe foolish — to take umbrage with the vaguely defined list of Stephen King adaptations recently published at New York magazine’s Vulture site. For starters, it’s obvious advertorial nonsense, released in conjunction with Spike’s needy attempt at cashing in on the lucrative market for genre-driven television. There’s also a … Continue reading Bait Taken: 5 of the Best Stephen King Adaptations Ever

From the Archives: Misery

Since writing this, nearly twenty-four years ago (good gravy, I think I need to sit down), I’ve decided that Stand By Me is probably more like Rob Reiner’s third best movie. There are a couple of his films that are clearly better, but they don’t have the same tinge of somber importance to them, so I downgraded them at the time. However, I stick with Stand By Me as the best film adaptation of a King work, by a wide margin. Sorry, Shawshank disciples. It’s interesting to think back on this film as the effective introduction of Kathy Bates and … Continue reading From the Archives: Misery

Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Seventeen

#17 — This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984) Is there a better compliment for a satirical film than the adoring embrace of those who serve as the target of the comedy? From practically the moment of its release, This is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner’s mock documentary about a ragged British heavy metal band and their concert tour marked by mounting indignities, was a favorite of the musicians who could reasonably consider themselves the real-world equivalents of the characters in the film. It may not quite have been required viewing on tour buses, but there were always plenty of people toiling … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Seventeen

In Hollywood where all the lights are low and truth’s as rare as the winter snow

The Bucket List (Rob Reiner, 2007). When I write these “catch-up reviews” posts, I present the films strictly in the order I watched them. That’s not the case with Rob Reiner’s latest, however. As I perused my list, I realized that I had neglected to write about this at the point I watched it. I offer this piece of information not because the inside details of my methodology are especially scintillating, but because it ably illustrates that this film is completely forgettable. Jack Nicholson plays his stock character: the careening, carousing, glinting little devil. Morgan Freeman plays his stock character: … Continue reading In Hollywood where all the lights are low and truth’s as rare as the winter snow