Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Mixed bag of classics and also rans
on December 31, 2005
While this set doesn't include all the best films made from King's novels, at least two of these are absolute classics. "Misery" is available here as a full and widescreen presentation. The image quality is decent here but it could look a whole lot better. There aren't any notable special features which is too bad--in the UK and Europe this has been released as a "Special Edition" with commentary by Director Rob Reiner and Writer William Goldman.
"Carrie" is the "Special Edition" released a couple of years back. The anamorphic widescreen presentation looks extremely good. This edition features "Acting Carrie" a very good documentary with Stars Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving and others. We also get "Visualizing Carrie" a documentary featuring Brian DePalma discussing his approach to the film. "Carrie: The Musical" a featurette on the disasterous Broadway version. Finally there's background on Stephen King and his novel as well as an animated photo gallery with behind-the-scenes photos. There's no commentary track from DePalma or any of the stars.
"The Dark Half" had much promise but George Romero's film of King's novel doesn't quite live up to its potential. Still, the film has its moments unfortunately this full screen presentation of the film doesn't do it justice. There's no extra features to speak of and the transfer is so-so and the film really would benefit from a widescreen presentation and commentary track by Romero.
"Needful Things" always felt over-the-top to me. It has a fine screenplay by W. D. Richter ("Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Stealth") but Fraser Heston's direction seems intent on proving his chops as a director at the expense of the story. The transfer is pretty good here as well. A couple of terrific performances highlight the movie including the late J.T. Walsh, Max Von Sydow, Ed Harris. Despite the potential here "Needful Things" just misses the mark despite an excellent cast and production design.
So I'd give five stars to "Carrie" and "Misery"; two stars for "The Dark Half" and "Needful Things". It's a pity that this set just repackages previous releases and doesn't have another disc of extras. This is a economic way to get all four films if you must have them but, really, only two of these films are essential.