I got one of those "Arriving Later" emails from Netflix with regards to the Tales from the Darkside series disc that has "Sorry, Right Number" on it, so although most of the rest of my Nightmares and Dreamscapes blog is ready to go, it will be delayed until I get a chance to watch it/ type it up.
But in the meantime, some odds and ends...
I finally got a chance to see Secret Window.
which I enjoyed very much. This was actually one of the first things I read when I started down the Highway back in May, but it took me until last week to see the movie. The ending is re-arranged from the novella - and I prefer the way the page dealt with it over the screen - but solid performances, good pacing.
(Although Turturro does a fine job, part of me wishes not only had they cast Jim Shooter for the role of "Shooter" but also changed the part/ story to accommodate making the character Jim Shooter to begin with. I hope by writing that here, it happens in some alternate universe.)
I watched "The Cat from Hell" segment from the Tales from the Darkside movie starring the always-weird and vaguely-menacing William Hickey and equally-so David Johansen. It's not bad.
|Not Hellcat. Sorry, Big Boy.|
The story on the page is better (and makes more sense - as much as a story like this can or should make sense, that is), but it has its moments.
What is this, all links night? Only a couple more: "In the Tall Grass" is a collaboration published in Esquire over the last two months between SK and his son Joe Hill. I'll only spend a moment on it, but if you've read it or want to know more, here's the link to more info on pt. 1 and pt. 2 over at The Truth Inside the Lie.
I liked it. I felt the ending was a bit tacked on - or didn't add much to it, beyond a frisbee-toss to "Further." But it's a good, unsettling story that reads well - what more could you want?
For some reason when I sat down to write about "In the Tall Grass" tonight, I had the distinct image of a mid-80s trailer. Stephen King is returning to the grasslands, but THIS time (enter Joe Hill, who carries a shotgun) he's brought a little help from back home... I didn't say it was funny, but I hope father and son do one, somehow someway, in the spirit of the Maximum Overdrive trailer.
(If someone made this a movie. Which they probably will.)
I watched The X-Files episode written by SK, "Chinga." It's basically the Talky-Tina episode from Twilight Zone but with Scully and Mulder (albeit over the phone), which is to say, it's fantastic.
|Chinga: Let's have fun.|
|I'm Talky Tina and I don't like you.|
Great stuff. It was fun seeing King-isms like "Ayuh" pop up in the Scully/Mulder-verse. (Although perhaps it was used a bit too much.) The "Hokey Pokey" is the go-to sonic cue for supernatural hi-jinks in this story, much as the Glenn Miller et al is for Rose Red, and other examples recounted elsewhere.
|Probably one of the top 10 X-Files openings? Even when this originally aired - when I watched X-Files religiously - I thought so; re-visiting it again, it holds up, as does the rest of the episode.|
Finally, I finished the mini-series Kingdom Hospital at long last. I'm conflicted.
|I was heavily into the original i.e. Lars Von Trier's The Kingdom back at film school.|
|I haven't seen it in years, but it trails off at the end a bit, if memory serves. Still - worth checking out.|
Parts of this really hum along. It starts strong, and the overall plot is compelling enough. It's scattered, to be sure. Maybe that's it - along the way it takes a few too many Mister-Toad's-Wild-Rides. Not the least of which is this:
Which got stuck in my head for days and days, thank you very much. After the first couple of episodes, it veers wildly from the narrative to barrel through three admittedly-nicely-constructed-enough episodes involving a drug clinic gospel, and a doomed baseball player's salvation. At that point, for me, I'd invested something like six hours and was getting annoyed.
|After Lost, my time is precious, and my patience is defensive.|
But there is plenty to be enjoyed here, let me make that perfectly clear. It's just... there's a whole lot of plenty altogether.
The four discs could probably be crunched to one, to be perfectly honest. I like the fact that there's so much of it, though. King's mini-series work, with the exception of Storm of the Century, seems to fall into this category. I'm glad there's an abundance of fat to trim, but the overall punch of the story is softened somewhat as a result.
Most of the performances are worth noting, actually - there's just a whole bunch. I'm not sure if this was meant to be an ongoing series or just what it is, but it seems to take way too long to get to the events of the last twenty minutes. Which are, actually, pretty cool, reminiscent of It, somewhat. Anyway - recommended with reservation.
(MARCH 2013 edit: Watched this one again and enjoyed it much, much more. Just thought I'd mention it.)
Next time, the rest of Nightmares and Dreamscapes and then vacation-time for your humble narrator.