This past week, I was trolling around on the net, and I caught a trailer for the new John Cusak movie (have I mentioned my love for John Cusak??) It's called 1408 and is taken from a short story in Everything's Eventual by Stephen King (have I mentioned my love for Stephen King??) Now I'm pretty excited. My favorite actor and my favorite author teaming up for a project! In comes my husband to throw cold water on the whole idea. He says, "But don't you think Stephen King movies are generally pretty bad?" Now I will be the first to admit some of his books and short stories don't translate well to the big screen (do I have to remind you of Maximum Overdrive or Children of the Corn?). But on a whole, I think Stephen King has done exceedingly well with movies. In a quest to show my husband he is wrong, I have come up with this week's Thursday Thirteen:
1. Shawshank Redemption - Ok....maybe it's bad that I'm starting with a non-horror novella. But this is one of my ALL-TIME favorite movies!! Tim Robbins as Andy Dufrense and the great Morgan Freeman as Red are both phenomenal. This is the story of 2 men that meet in prison and the friendship that bonds them together.
2. Stand By Me - Yikes. Two in a row...and from the same book (Different Seasons). Not a scary movie by any means. But a story of 4 young boys, their friendship, and a quest to see a dead body. (Did I mention that John Cusak makes an appearance in this movie??) It's a beautiful story and bring tears to my eyes every time I watch it.
3. The Shining - I mean the Kubrick's version, not the mini-series that was on a few years back. What can you say about Jack Nicholson? He brings a creepiness to Jack Torrence that sends a chill up my spine. The pivotal moment when his wife looks at the novel he's been writing.....and the only line that is typed over and over again is "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"....is so unsettling. And that creepy little boy saying REDRUM....Yikes!
4. Carrie - This is the story of a young high school girl that has telekinetic powers. She is raised by her mother, a religious fanatic, that will lock her in the closet if she does something wrong. Sissy Spacek plays Carrie and is so utterly convincing, you don't know whether to feel sorry for her or be scared of her!
5. The Stand - Anyone who has read this blog at all knows this is my very favorite Stephen King novel. It was made into a mini-series in '94 which is the only way that any justice could be done. Far too much story for a movie. The casting in this movie was phenomenal (except for Molly Ringwald as Frannie....EWWW). Gary Sinese as Stu, Rob Lowe as Nick, Matt Frewer as the Trashcan Man and a genius move of Bill Fagerbakke as Tom Cullen lead an outstanding cast that also includes Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Ray Walston. One of the greatest stories of Good vs. Evil....ever!
6. The Green Mile - This story actually started out as a serial novel written in 6 parts. It's the outstanding story of the lives of guards on death row as it leads up the the execution of a wrongfully accused man with the power to heal. Again, the cast of Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell and Sam Rockwell make this movie what it is. Heartwarming and Heartbreaking at the very same time.
7. Misery - Kathy Bates SO deserved the Oscar for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes to Uber-Obsessed fan of Paul Sheldon, an author (played by James Caan). She completely freaked me out.....and the scene where she hobbles Sheldon, to this day makes me cringe!! Great movie!
8. 'Salem's Lot - I'm always up for a good Vampire movie. And this one delivered. Directed by Tobe Hooper (of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame) and with David Soul as Ben Mears, this movie was incredibly frightning. There is one scene where a little boy comes back to take his brother....and he's hovering around outside the window. I had nightmares about that for years!!
9. The Dead Zone - There aren't many people I find creepier than Christopher Walken anyway! And he's super as Johnny Smith, a man who was in a horrible accident that left him in a coma for years. When he awakens, he can see a person's future by touching them. Martin Sheen is also great as a cowardly presidental candidate.
10. Needful Things - Not everyone likes this movie as much as I did. Max von Sydow plays the role of Leland Gaunt (or Satan) who opens up a store called Needful Things in a quaint Maine town. You can get whatever your heart desires most in this store.....but there is always a price. This movie shows a real dark side to human nature. I loved it!
11. Heart's in Atlantis - Anthony Hopkins is one of my very favorite actors! He plays Ted, a old man that moves into an upstairs apartment. He befriends the lonely little boy that lives with his mother in the downstairs apartment. Ted has "magical" powers, but is being chased by "lowmen". It's a great movie, and Hope Davis as the mother is so cold you can almost see her breath!
12. The Secret Window - Not the greatest movie ever....same sort of premise as The Dark Half. BUT it has an extremely sexy Johnny Depp....and he makes crazy look not-quite-so-bad! John Turturro as John Shooter is also fantastic!
13. Silver Bullet - OK....I'll give you cheezy. But hey! Anything with that crazy Gary Busey is going to be interesting! It's a werewolf movie, and Busey plays the crazy Uncle (go figure) to two youngsters. Corey Haim is great as the nephew who is paralzyed, but uses a wheelchair his uncle built, called the Silver Bullet! There is a seriel killer on the loose, but Marty gets it in his head that the killer is really a warewolf. And he and his sister try to find him. Come on....it's a fun movie!!
There are so many other King movies that I love (like Pet Sematary, Cujo, Rose Red, and Cat's eye). Others that I hated (Sometimes They Come Back, The Mangler, and Christine). But I will watch them all!!
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