Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

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:

Thirteen of the Best Film Adaptations of Stephen King Stories:

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" 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'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!!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Lady G~ said...

Great list! I've seen six of the movies on your list. I'm not a fan of Stephen King. Well, maybe I'm a closet fan. LOL! Some of his movies are a little to much for me. I have liked the ones I have seen though.

Hope you have a blessed Thursday!

Oh, I'm a big John Cusack fan too. :o)

Shelly Kneupper Tucker said...

I prefer to read Stephen King than see a movie (although Johnnie Depp and John Cusak would tempt me any day of the week). I'm just not very good at seeing horror films in the theater. I interact, which annoys the heck out of people around me and embarrasses the people with me! Good list!

Michelle Pillow said...

Great list! I loved Green Mile and Shawshank :)


raidergirl3 said...

Excellent list! I might have moved the Green Mile a little higher, but those really are a great collection of King stories/movies.

samulli said...

What a great idea for a TT list!
I love Stephen King's books, too. and I'm with you on most of the films. I haven't seen The Dead Zone and I think, both Needful Things and Hearts in Atlantis were borderline, but I didn't like these 2 books either. Loved Christine, though. And Pet Sematary is my absolute favorite. When I saw it for the first time, I fell in love with Victor. Strange, I know, but I always had a thing for dead guys...LOL

Michelle said...

Great list!! I, too, love Stephen King, reading and movies! "The Shining" is one of my favorites. Did you know that "The Shawshank Redemption" was filmed not far from Mansfield, OH. Creepy place! Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a great day :)

Michelle said...

Forgot my link...DUH!

kookiejar said...

Another super list, Stephanie. I'm glad you mentioned 'Silver Bullet', which isn't the best, but it does have Terry O'Quinn (from "Lost") in it as the sheriff who comes to a bad end.

I'd probably swap 'Firestarter' for 'Salem's Lot' which I never really liked, but otherwise I agree with your list.

mandymroth said...

I loved Silver Bullet even though it was kind of on the goofy side. But still loved it!

Kailana said...

I love Shawshank Redemption! It is one of my favourite movies of all time, and I am not a big Stephen King fan. I also really like The Green Mile. I think I like his books/movies of that nature more than his other stuff. I don't scare easy, but for some reason writers like Stephen King have never interested me.

The Gal Herself said...

Happy to see Secret Window on your list. I enjoyed it so much, but whenever I mention it to people they say, "huh?" I would have added IT, even though it was a made-for-TV movie. That book frightened me soooooo much, even though I was an adult when I read it, and I was very proud of myself for making myself watch it. It's good to face our fears head on (even if it's just a fear of clowns).

Sparky Duck said...

I have always wondered if they would do the girl who loved Tom Gordon. And you are right, Maximum Overdrive was awful.

I am shamed by the lack of Johnny Quest, but I forgotten to mention my hatred for scooby doo.

Cindy said...

Believe it or not, I've never read a Stephen King novel. But I do love several movies on this list. The first SK movie I ever saw was "The Dead Zone," and I was blown away. A young Christopher Walken was amazing in it.

Carl V. said...

Great list, you won the argument! ;)

John Cusak is amazing. He's been a favorite since the first time I saw Better Off Dead in college.

Les said...

I forgot all about my Thursday Thirteen yesterday. I have the draft sitting in my folder and guess what it's about? My favorite Stephen King books! I like your book-to-movie comparisons. The Stand is my all-time favorite book of King's but I never watched the miniseries. Too worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. I think I'll give it a try now. Loved The Shining, Pet Semetary, Misery, Green Mile and Shawshank (movies).

Norma said...

I've never seen a King movie or read a King book--except the one he wrote on writing, which is quite good! Don't like suspense or horror. Actually, some of these I didn't realize were his. Thanks for the info!

My TT is up.

Estella said...

Very good choices indeed. I would've picked the same movies, maybe in a slightly differen order (would've put The Green Mile closer to the top).

I will say that Pet Sematery (or however he spelled it) was one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. Totally warped me growing up. Urrg!

Andi said...

Very good choices indeed. I would've picked the same movies, maybe in a slightly differen order (would've put The Green Mile closer to the top).

I will say that Pet Sematery (or however he spelled it) was one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. Totally warped me growing up. Urrg!

Andi said...

Oops, sorry about the repeat comments!

amy said...

I saw one and 2 and we are huge John Cusack fans

Backcountry Muse said...

Got to agree with all your readers, Stephanie. Some great, great movies on this list. I was particularly fond of Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile and Stand by Me as well.

Are you an Aquarius, by chance. My mother, who's an Aquarius, tells me that sign if famous for their list-making propensities! LOL.

Paul Weiss

Historia said...

What!! No Tommyknockers? That was my favourite Steven King movie. Cujo I did not like.
And I agree with you that Shawshank Redemption is an excellent movie.