Stephen King's The Stand
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Originally aired as a television mini-series, this all-star filmization of Stephen King's gripping epic of good versus evil chronicles the episodic adventures of a disparate group of people who struggle to reestablish civilization after a man-made catastrophe wipes out most of the world's population. The world abruptly ends when a deadly virus accidentally escapes from a government sponsored biological warfare laboratory. Soon people are dropping like flies from the plague, but a few survive and find themselves strangely compelled to head into the West. Good-hearted people follow the voice of an ancient black woman and head for Boulder, Colorado. Bad people follow the enigmatic Walkin' Dude to Las Vegas. It is only a matter of time before the two sides are forced into a climactic battle over the final fate of humanity.
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While the acting and Stephen King's script construction is generally solid, sets and special effects, typical of Nineties TV-movie standards, look uneven today. Most impressive is probably the indoor set that represents Mother Abigail's simple farmhouse and farmstead; with the help of special lighting and photographic effects it serves a variety of moods from the purely realistic to the demonically surrealistic. Although CBS and Paramount produced this film and its DVD release, and it was aired on ABC, some exteriors were obviously shot on the celebrated Universal Pictures lot. This became most notable in some New York City street sets and the California mountains that subliminally mock "central Indiana" in Episode One as surely as they did the coastal plains of Alabama in 1963's beloved adapation of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with Gregory Peck. One acknowledges the distraction, then ignores it.
The DVD was a bargain when I purchased it, but be aware that there are absolutely no bells-and-whistles contained. Is this movie entertaining, enlightening and somewhat spiritual? Yes, it serves, and while it might be worthwhile today to commision a remake of THE STAND based on King's later (and longer) adaptation of his novel, and film it for HDTV, this one surely serves. Recommended.
(DON'T WORRY - NO SPOILERS!)
This miniseries was very true to the book and stayed close to the story. Casting was great especially Rob Lowe as Nick (there's shirtless scenes - drool LOL) and Bill Fagerbakke as Tom Cullen (M-O-O-N spells great work, Bill!). I did NOT like Laura San Giacomo as Nadine. I think she's a horrible actress and her voice just grates on me!!!! Corin Nemec is a bit too good looking to have been a convincing Harold Lauder. You gotta dig his fake pimples and baggy clothes to make him look fatter at the beginning of this miniseries LOL!!!
I did find it odd that in the miniseries they completely omitted Rita who Larry meets in New York and then made some of the situations that occurred with her with Nadine instead and that "Joe" then instead shows up with Lucy - huh???
Also snickered that Max the dog was an Irish Setter in the book but then was a yellow Lab in the miniseries. But then Labs ARE a lot easier to train, aren't they????
Read the book then get the movie - both are a must for Stephen King fans.
The music and sound is as great as
you remember. Like a lot of Stephen
King videos, the end just isn't as sat-
isfying as the beginning... or the mid-
dle. SOME things are better left to the
imagination... but damn!...that book's
thicker than a sandwich from Subway!