Category: Books


Celebrating Stephen King

In terms of authors, there have been few more prolific than Stephen King. In honor of his upcoming new book and 66th birthday we have a special guest article!

Enjoy!

With anticipation building for the release of Dr. Sleep, Stephen King’s long-awaited sequel to The Shining, one can’t help but wonder whether or not that story will ultimately be realized as a film. Certainly, there have been several wonderful film adaptations of King stories over the years.

In honor of the upcoming release of King’s new book, here’s a look at the Top 5 Cinematic Adaptations of Stephen King novels.

5. The Shining (1980) – This is a contentious pick for King fans. While the film is heralded as one of the greatest horror films of all time now, it was largely panned by critics upon its initial release, and King himself was vocal about his dissatisfaction with director Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is a writer and recovering alcoholic who has taken a seasonal job as a caretaker for The Overlook Hotel in Colorado, which is the stuff of ghost lore because of ghastly occurrences which have taken place there previously. Torrance’s son Danny (Danny Lloyd) has psychic power, and thus, has a viewing window into the spirit world within the hotel. While it is not entirely faithful to the book, there’s no disputing this one’s legacy as one of the scariest films of all time.

4. Christine (1983) – The story brought a whole new meaning to “vehicular homicide.”  The evil car trope is one that King has employed a few times, but never as successfully as in this novel, and director John Carpenter’s treatment of the story stands head and shoulders above the incredulous Maximum Overdrive and Trucks. Keith Gordon plays Arnie, who is an impotent, teenage nerd until he becomes the owner of the titular red and white Plymouth fury with bizarre, regenerative powers, and a taste for human blood.

3. Misery (1990) – Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is a pop novelist who becomes severely injured in a car crash in a remote town after completing his most recent manuscript. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) is an obsessive fan and former professional nurse who takes the immobile Sheldon into her home, and tortures him. Bates delivers the performance of a lifetime, and the film is also a surprising tonal departure for director Rob Reiner – and a highly successful one, at that!

2. The Green Mile (1999) – Directed by Frank Darabont, this film tells the story of corrections officer Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) working the death row block of a prison during the Great Depression. Edgecomb’s life is turned upside down when John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is brought into his life. John is a large African-American man who has been falsely accused of raping and murdering two young white girls. We learn that he has magical healing powers. Of all the adaptations of King’s novels, this one is perhaps the biggest tear-jerker.

1. Carrie (1976) –  A landmark horror film. This was King’s first outing as a novelist, and Brian De Palma’s first outing as director. Sissy Spacek stars as the painfully awkward telekinetic girl who is tormented at school by her peers and at home by her mother (Piper Laurie), the religious fanatic. When a practical joke goes awry during the senior prom, Carrie exacts her revenge, and the whole town pays dearly.

Author Bio: Brandon Engel is an entertainment blogger with DirectTVcomparison.com who has  a keen interest in horror literature and films. He has written extensively on werewolves, vampires, ghouls, and other apparitions. Among his favorite writers are H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Here’s the latest trailer for the highly anticipated “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”.

The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour HOffman, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright and more.

Francis Lawrence is directing.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

You’d think Disney would learn that some expensive projects (“John Carter”, “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp) just aren’t worth it. I mean, with Pixar, you’ve made “Toy Story”, “Up” and more. You have animated classics like “The Lion King” and “Cinderella”. For many, the animated “The Jungle Book” is on the list of their favorite animated films. Get ready for a new live action version of it. Now “The Jungle Book” was a live action film in 1994, but who remembers that one? Exactly. It seems to be a trend with Disney with “Maleficent” (“Sleeping Beauty”) and “Cinderella” also future live action films based on Disney’s animated classics. Don’t forget they made “Alice in Wonderland” from Tim Burton. Ugh. At least one of these films is going to flop…big time.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

My goodness. Guillermo del Toro (“Pacific Rim”) wants to do “Hellboy 3”, “Frankenstein”, “Crimson Peak” and more. You can add “Slaughterhouse-Five”. Apparently he and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (“Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind”) are on the same page to adapt the Kurt Vonnegut classic. But even del Toro admits that Universal hasn’t committed and if they do, it’s likely to be a long ways off.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Benedict Cumberbatch already faced off against Chris Pine in “Star Trek Into Darkness” as Khan. And he’s starring in Guillermo del Toro’s (“Pacific Rim”) upcoming film “Pacific Rim”. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, del Toro said he wants Cumberbatch for his adaptation of “Frankenstein”. This sounds good to me! Though del Toro has so many projects this will probably be a while. Cumberbatch will voice Smaug in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” out this December.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Unfilmable has been thrown around a lot lately to things like “Watchmen”, “Life of Pi” and “Cloud Atlas”. That didn’t stop Zack Snyder, Ang Lee and the Wachowskis from making adaptations, however. Add James Franco to that list, who will be directing an adaptation of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”. He wants Jon Hamm to star as Mr. Compson, Dave Franco to play Quentin Compson and wants Danny McBride in the film as well. Considering Franco’s recent films, which include everything from playing himself in “This is the End” to Oz in “Oz the Great and Powerful” to a thug in “Spring Breakers” why not tackle a classic novel?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is considered by many to be a classic. The film adaptation from director John Ford and starring Henry Fonda is also considered a classic, ranking No. 21 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list and winning two Oscars. Now Steven Spielberg is working to secure the rights to produce a new feature. Note that at this point, the “Lincoln” director is not up for helming this. Rumors are that Robert Redford wanted to make this into a miniseries on FX, but Spielberg will win out. In case you’re thinking this will never happen. 2014 just happens to be the 75th anniversary of the book. So, yeah. Expect this one to move fast.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

This can’t be good. “The Seventh Son”, based on the first novel in “The Wardstone Chronicles” was originally supposed to come up this past February but was pushed back to October. Now it’s been delayed until January, or when movies go to wither and die.

From FirstShowing.net: the story follows Thomas (Ben Barnes), seventh son of a seventh son, who is apprenticed to the local Spook (Jeff Bridges), whose job is to fight evil spirits and witches. However, the boy doesn’t realize just how soon he’ll face a powerful enemy alone, as Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) escapes her confinement while the Spook is away. Thomas is forced to use his wits, and the help of his enigmatic new friend, Alice (Alica Vikander), to fight the evil witch.

It’s a shame that it appears as though the film is wasting a strong cast.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

We haven’t even released “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” but news for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”, which is split into two parts, is already flying. Julianne Moore is reportedly up for the role of (Big spoiler) District 13 leader Alma Coin.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” sees Francis Lawrence take over directing duties and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Cohen, Patrick St. Esprit, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson, E. Roger Mitchell, Maria Howell, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Sam Claflin and Jeffrey Wright.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Here’s the latest international trailer for “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”.

The film stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Mary Birdsong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Missi Pyle, Nathan Fillion, Anthony Head, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Leven Rambin, Stanley Tucci, Robert Maillet and Zoe Aggeliki.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.