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Nightmares & Dreamscapes - From the Stories of Stephen King


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Product Details

  • Actors: William H. Macy, William Hurt, Kim Delaney, Jeremy Sisto, Ron Livingston
  • Directors: Rob Bowman, Brian Henson
  • Producers: William Haber
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 378 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GYI340
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,587 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nightmares & Dreamscapes - From the Stories of Stephen King" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Eight episodes on three discs, including one unaired extended episode
  • Behind the drama of Nightmares and Dreamscapes
  • "From the Mind of Stephen King" featurette
  • "Page to Picture" featurette
  • "The Inside Looks": making-of featurettes on six episdes
  • Interviews with series stars
  • Battleground: special-effects featurette

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nightmares & Dreamscapes Collection (DVD)

Amazon.com

Filter a Twilight Zone vibe through Stephen King's brain and you get Nightmares & Dreamscapes, an uneven but generally entertaining collection of eight tales that originally (2006) aired on TNT. There is no unifying theme here; although King's short stories provided the source material, there are six directors and seven screenwriters represented, so the episodes offer a variety of looks and styles, with content ranging from monsters to mind games, from pure fantasy to pulp fiction, from genuinely scary to merely unsettling. Still, a certain ineffably "King-ian" sensibility, combining elements of horror, terror, suspense, and whimsy, is always in evidence, as are the popular writer's own preoccupations (with authors who may or not be stand-ins for King himself, rock 'n' roll, and guys who won't ask for directions while their wives complain, inevitably leading them into very nasty situations).

Among the highlights: In "Battleground," a merciless hit man (William Hurt) offs a toy manufacturer and then finds himself attacked in his own apartment by a battalion of indefatigable toy soldiers; directed by Brian Henson, the episode has no dialogue and some terrific effects work. In "Umney's Last Case," William H. Macy is amusing as a crime writer who cruelly toys with his literary alter ego, an arch, fedora-wearing gumshoe (also Macy); it's an acting tour de force and a story that takes some deft and intriguing turns. "The Road Virus Heads North," with Tom Berenger as a horror novelist who finds himself pursued by… well, by a painting (guess you had to be there), is perhaps the scariest of the lot; it's also the best shot, with a cool jazz soundtrack and a nifty ending. Less successful is "Crouch End," set in a sinister part of London where "thin spots" in the earth lead to creepy new dimensions (nice premise, but it's overwritten and fails to sustain its Twilight Zone weirdness), while "You Know They Got a Hell of Band" is only fitfully effective in its depiction of Rock & Roll Heaven, Oregon, a town where Elvis is mayor and the rest of the living dead range from Hendrix and Joplin to Duane Allman and Buddy Holly. The three-disc set's decent if unexceptional special features include "inside looks" at the making of several episodes, actor interviews, and more. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

After, thinking for a while, I gave it 3 stars out of 5.
Cestmoi
Just love Stephen King and read all his books, whether they be series, novella's, novels or graphic comics.
Peggy Oconnor
The stories are very well done, great acting, great photography and amazing soundtrack.
George R Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 119 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 13, 2006
Format: DVD
Stephen King, in the course of 30 years, has become a gargantuan commercial success. And why not? He is wicked scary and chillingly entertaining. But part of King's success is attributed to his ability to raise common, fundamental truths and write characters with universal human flaws in his warped, fantastical stories - truths which any audience can latch onto and flaws which everyone can identify with. It's no different with the fabulous TV cable rendition of his Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Themes of isolation, alienation, mortality, the human condition, and social disintegration are touched on.

This lavish, all-out TNT production doesn't stinge in its mini-series adaptation. I was amazed by the acting talent brought on board: William Hurt, William H. Macy, Kim Delaney (still sexy), Tom Berenger, Samantha Mathis... Stephen King's stories are magnificently and thoughtfully realized by wonderful, fully committed acting, production values of superb quality, and across-the-board earnest efforts by the writers and directors, who honor Stephen King by cleaving close to the spirit of the author's works. The 8 episodes are selected for their diverse storylines and are uniformly excellent. They are, in turn, comedic, meditative, tense, gentle, allegorical, apocalyptic, and, YES, scary. Personal favorites of mine are "Battleground," "Umney's Last Case," and "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band."

For the completists, of the eight episodes, only five are actually from King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes short story collection. "Autopsy Room Four" and "The Road Virus Heads North" are from Everything's Eventual, while "Battlefield" is from Night Shift. TNT's motto is "We know Drama." But, it seems, they also know horror.
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Format: DVD
Anthology series are problematic at best. There will always (hopefully) be episodes that you love, but also those that strain even the most patient of viewers. I don't care if it's "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Outer Limits," "Tales From The Crypt," "Masters of Horror" or any of the many others I could list--it's always true. So, it's with trepidation that I approach this review. With 8 episodes, I have 8 chances of making someone angry! However, the one thing of which I am certain--this series, while ambitious, is not a 5 star review!

I would categorize only one episode as a five star rating. This honor belongs to a familiar story that's done extraordinarily well. In "Battleground," William Hurt gives a memorable, intense performance as a hitman battling a squadron of toy soldiers come to life. This is done brilliantly without dialogue--part of what makes it so dynamic. We've seen this concept before, but here it is expertly executed.

Three episodes qualify as four stars. "Umney's Last Case" stars a terrific William H. Macy and works as a comedic detective noir as an author battles his fictional character. "End of the Whole Mess" is perhaps the most complicated and intriguing tale. It's an intelligent script thoughtfully performed by Ron Livingston about no less than the end of the world. And "Fifth Quarter," with Jeremy Sisto, a criminal double-cross story that's entertaining and twisty.

One episode ranked at three stars. "You Know They Got A Hell of a Band" depicts a rock and roll heaven (or is it Hell)? I admired much in this tale with Steven Webber and Kim Delaney--it's a great concept, but ultimately a little uneven.

One episode ranked at two stars.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Croaton on February 21, 2007
Format: DVD
This show has only one problem - but, to me at least, it's big enough to deserve a loss of two stars. In the interviews provided on the DVD you can listen to directors, screenwriters and actors alike who all praise Stephen King and his story-telling power. They all but fall on their knees when they talk about his short stories. Yet they're hypocrites because they felt the deep need to IMPROVE said stories. It's like: "Well, of course the stories are good, but look, WE can make them better!" Therefore, a true King fan will incredulously watch a different (and often WORSE) version of the story he knows, wondering why these changes were made and how anyone could possibly believe they could improve the author's original.

The ridiculous Rambo-doppelganger in "Battleground"? Not in the story. The wife driven to suicide, whose jump from a high building can mysteriously be seen in two worlds in "Umney's Last Case"? Not in the story. Or, worst of all, the completely brainless ending of "Crouch End", with a twist that is so senseless that you can only call it embarrassing. There's more: Kinnell's portrayal as a possible cancer patient gives "The Road Virus Heads North" a totally new direction not intended by King - this climaxes with the villain's words 'I'm what you don't know: I'm your fear' - if you believe it or not.

So why are there even three stars? Because the casting and the acting are great (with the exception of the nurse in "Autopsy Room Four", who I found to be completely unconvincing), the setups and the atmosphere are worthy of King and because I do support the idea of finally filming these great stories. I hope for a continuation of the series - but with the aim to film the stories, not to improve them for the worse.
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