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A great 1994 adaption of the Stephen King novel. The film begins at a U.S army base where a man made virus is accidently released into the population, weirdly enough it is the Swine flu virus. The army attempt to contain the spread of the virus which is passed by normal human contact but they dont really have much luck and the World is soon in the grip of the deadly virus. A certain number of people are naturaly immune to the virus and watch as their loved ones and all those around them sucumb to the virus. Some of the survivors have dreams about a little old lady called Mother Abigail who attempts to lead them to her and fight the evil that is rising in the World, these survivors eventually team up together. Another group are lead by the Devil himself in the guise of Randall Flagg who just wants doom gloom and destruction and has his eyes on one of the survivors who he wants to breed with. The survivors are soon made aware that whichever side they are on they will have to face each other and make a Stand eventually. This is currently showing on Zone Horror in 1 hour parts if you dont want to buy the dvd. There is a great cast of actors including Stephen King himself who plays Teddy Weizak in this epic End Of The World Movie. I first saw this about ten years ago and it scared the crap out of me then so if you havnt seen it and you are into depressing movies then its definatly worth a watch. Currently available from Play.com for £5.99 with a running time of 345 minutes its just long enough to fill up a boring evening but dont watch it alone its so creepy.
If you love "Stephen King" you must watch this movie, and sure reading the book. The movie is very cool and tense. It has some changes, as always the movies have, but nothing that compromises it. One of the best adaptations of the King master. A Mortal virus spreads for the Earth, leaving millions of dead. It is in this desolate scene that the survivors take left netween the Good and the Evil. The film was very good, of course, that had teh size of the book, that has more than 700 pages, they had had that to cut and to readjust much thing! It is not my preferred film, however, it is the film of my favorite book! It is worth to watch it. Enjoy this movie with your friends in a saturday night, eating a lot of snacks and drinking coolers, and you have just to have fun with all of them. I love this kind of movies and If you also love, try this.
Please note - Two things to bear in mind. This is on my ciao page, but most importantly this is just my interpretation of the film/book. Please avoid sending me sarcastic responses because you are a King/Horror buff to tell me I am wrong. Not cool! The Stand is Stephen Kings best selling book of all time, and this is his tv adaptation, directed by Mick Garris. WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? ---------------------------------- 'The Stand' is essentially a good old fashioned battle of good and evil where two supernatural forces do battle and without giving too much much away on that it is best to go from the beginning. A deadly virus which is originally suspected to be flu, manages to wipe out virtually the entire world population, and this leads to a quest for the survivors to bunch together to begin to rebuild and repair their lives. All of the survivors have one thing in common. They are all having visions of either one of two superficially human, but very spiritual and supernatural forces. One of these is the kind natured and benevolent Mother Abigail who works on the side of God, and the other is the evil and dark character of Randall Flagg who is on the side of Satan. Survivors are drawn to their chosen one and we see each one of the main protagonists stories. Their is plenty of deceit on both sides as the survivors start to become connected with each other, one side intent on rebuilding the world and the other set on destroying what is good about the world. Essentially, The Stand, brings into question human morals. The disease is seen as a test of human nature to see how people respond to the adversity, whether they work for the good of human kind or are lulled in by temptation of an easy sinning life. This adaptation was initially broadcast on TV as a mini-series due to the length of it (6 Hours long) and perhaps due to the fact that it wa expected to flop like so many King adaptations. But this one shines quite brightly. In terms of performances, the standout is Gary Sinise in the role of Stu Redman, a family man from Texas, who was held in a quarantine zone in Vermont against his will. The character works on the side of good and is played with complete ease by the versatile Sinise, who has played many major roles over the years in such films as Forrest Gump and The Green Mile. I love reading but even for me, the book was simply too long winded. I would need at least a week to spare to get through it, so for me 6 hours viewing time was perfect, epic enough to match the intrigue of a book and short enough to fit into an evening or two light evenings entertainment. A deep tension is maintained throughout the film and despite the slightly tacky made-for-tv feel to it, this adaptation stands up, it sticks closely to the book I am reliabily informed which helps replicate the same sort of response from an audience. The only real major downfall for me is the climax. It seems like it builds up tension superbly but then the all important climax seems a little rushed, and of course imagination is always required where the supernatural is concerned but some of the imagery at the end is simply laughable, it is that tacky. High expectations there was not, so in light of that, I would consider this a worthwhile use of my time and would recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror and doesn't mind watching an epic, or even cutting the film into it's originally intended mini-series form. WHERE TO BUY AND FOR HOW MUCH??? ----------------------------------------------------------- It is available brand new and relatively cheap on Amazon.co.uk in the UK for the price of £5.98 on DVD.
Before I go into the main part of this review, I would like to point out that this 2 disc DVD is no longer in production and I only managed to get this on Ebay for £15 (including postage) just by sheer luck. I have actually been trying to get hold of this DVD for about 3 years. So here goes with my first DVD review of the new year. The Film ~~~~~~~ The film starts at a research station somewhere in the American desert. A man named Charles Campion is on guard duty and is told to shut the main gates. A deadly plague has breached containment within the facility and all of the researchers are dying. Campion does not shut the gates - he gets his wife and child and runs. And so starts the chain of events which unleashes Captain Trips on America. This disease is just like the flu, but it has a communicability factor of 99%, which means that only 1% of the American population will be immune to the disease. Some see their families die of the disease while they themselves feel fine, others are taken away to a disease control centre to see why they are immune while others die. After a while they all start to experience a form of psychic ability in the form of dreams. Most dream of Mother Abigail, an old black woman, who is over 100 years old and lives in Nebraska. Others dream of Randall Flagg, otherwise known as the dark man or walkin dude. Eventually some come together and go to Boulder in Colorado to meet up with Mother Abigail while others go to Las Vegas to join with the Dark Man. Mother Abigail forms a Free Zone Committee and then leaves the city as she believes that she has sinned. The Committee are then left to try to rebuild their lives and some kind of civilization for everyone in the area. They decide to send scouts into Vegas just to see what is happening. One of these scouts is Tom Cullen, a retarded man who befriended Nick Andros, a deaf mute member of the committee. Some leave Boulder to join Flagg in Vegas. Before they do, they try to destroy what the others have formed in Boulder. However, their act is not completely successful. Mother Abigail returns to send four men out to Vegas to confront Flagg and his associates and to Stand. She does not state whether they will be successful or not. She also states that one will not make it as far as Vegas. And so four lonely men set out to meet their fate which is now in the hands of Mother Abigail's God. I am not going to give any more of the plot away as that would not be fair to you, my lovely reader. My Opinion ~~~~~~~~~ Well, I love it! But I am biased. I am a fan of King and his work and have been for many years. The story line is almost identical to the book. King has taken some parts of the book out of the film. It is almost 6 hours long and would be twice that if the whole book was left in. I would watch it but some people would find that far too long. The film adaptation (or teleplay as it is called on this) was done by King himself and this makes it so much better than other adaptations out there. Because King wrote the book, he has kept faithful to the story and characters and made the film a more enjoyable experience for everyone. The soundtrack is pretty average. The only track that jumps out at me is the opening track, "Don't Fear The Reaper" by the Blue Oyster Cult. I had never heard this before watching the film years ago and whenever I hear it I always think of this film. I find that particular song so very apt to the film. Acting wise, Molly Ringwald seems to be her usual boring self. I was not too struck on her performance, but as she is playing a college girl it seems to be an average performance. Gary Sinise is fantastic as Stu Redman, the stoic redneck from east texas. Even Rob Lowe turned in a great performance as the deaf and dumb Nick Andros. He does have a few lines in the film and these are not great. He plays a deaf mute exceptionally well. Corin Nemec turns in a great performance as the reclusive introvert Harold Lauder who turns full circle within the film. This is one of his earlier roles (before Stargate SG1!) and certainly one of his best. But for me the star has to be Bill Fagerbakke, who plays Tom Cullen (M-O-O-N that spells Tom!). He excels in his portrayal of a retarded man and how he fits in to the commitee and the community within Boulder. He is by far the star of the film for me and my all time favourite character. I would have to say that this is one of my all-time favourite films and since managing to get the DVD, it has been played a fair few times, and shall be played in the future. It is one that, although after a couple of viewings, you know the story, it certainly will stand the test of time (no pun intended there!). I can certainly recommend this film to anyone, whether they are a fan of King's work or not. It will make people think however, how true could it be with the secret laboratory in the desert making new and more lethal bugs in the field of biological warfare. Scary thought. Basic Info ~~~~~~~~ * Year of Production - 1994 * Certificate - 15 (moderate sex and violence) * Region - 2 (PAL) * Audio - Dolby Stereo * Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1 Regular/Colour * Run time - Disc 1 = 172 minutes & Disc 2 = 173 minutes (approximately). Total 345 minutes approximately. * Languages - English, German, Spanish * Hearing Impaired - English, German * Subtitles - English, German, Spanish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish. * Distributed by - Warner Brothers (www.warnerbros.co.uk) The Cast ~~~~~~~~ Gary Sinise - Stuart Redman Molly Ringwald - Francis Goldsmith Rob Lowe - Nick Andros Adam Storke - Larry Underwood Corin Nemec - Harold Lauder Laura San Giacomo - Nadine Cross Ruby Dee - Mother Abigail Freemantle Ossie Davis - Judge Farris Miguel Ferrer - Lloyd Henreid Jamey Sheridan - Randall Flagg Matt Frewer - Trashcan Man Ray Walston - Glen Bateman Bill Fagerbakke - Tom Cullen Peter Van Norden - Ralph Brentner Stephen King - Teddy Weizak The Crew ~~~~~~~~ Music - W G Snuffy Walden Edited by - Pat McMahon Production Designer - Nelson Coates Director of Photography - Edward Pei Supervising Producer - Peter McIntosh Executive Producers - Richard P Rubenstein & Stephen King Produced by - Mitchell Galin Teleplay by - Stephen King (based on his book The Stand) Directed by - Mick Garris DVD Extras ~~~~~~~~~ Well on this DVD you can choose the languages, subtitles and there is scene selection but thats it. The lack of extras is a bit of a let-down, no for me it's a huge let-down. As a fan of King's work I would really have liked to have seen a few extras in the way of cast/crew interviews or a how the film was made but it is a 2-disc set just for the film so it would have been a 3 disc set. Maybe one day the powers that be will bring out a 3 disc special edition for die-hard fans like me! I will leave you with the subtitle on the cover of the DVD itself. "A deadly virus. A frantic cover-up. A handful of survivors. The ultimate battle between good and evil." Whichever side you Stand on, thank you for reading. Di xx
After having watched previous screen adaptations of Stephen King novels and been grievously disappointed, I was, as you can imagine a little apprehensive of the prospect of devoting six hours of my life to the mini series The Stand. But as I received a DVD boxset of the same said adaptation as a Christmas gift from my devoted children I felt duty bound to watch it, over the space of three nights. The Story ************ After the accidental release of a killer super 'flu mysterious dreams lead to the few survivors banding together in one of two camps. Those that are good are drawn to Mother Abigail, who is 106 and seems to talk directly to God. The others are drawn to Randall Flagg, who epitomises all that is evil. As the two camps are drawn into conflict, it is time for humanity to make its last stand. The Characters **************** There are a good number of characters in the series, each of which develops in their own way throughout. Some of the characters are good, some not so and some are downright evil. It would not be fair of me, to give my own analysis of each of them, as the series itself does this far better than I ever could. I think this is what was so great about it, that fact that it allowed enough time, for each character to develop fully and become multi-dimensional. The Cast ********** Now, I don't know if you feel the same way, but in my opinion the mark of good casting is that you don't actually notice the actors/actresses performance. After all, it is the characters that you should be feeling empathy for, not whomsoever is playing them. In this respect, a fantastic job was done by all. I can honestly say I was more enthralled in what was happening in the film rather than one or two of the actors performances. So a pat on the back to all concerned, the actors did their job, and were obviously well cast in the roles they played. Now I could at this point list all the cast, but I really feel there is no need, as who was playing each part was actually irrelevant, it will be the characters you care about, not who played them. However, do look out for Stephen King in a cameo role at the end of the film. But Why Six Hours ********************** The original novel involves a long, and very complex story. Even lasting six hours, the mini series does not contain all the minor storylines, or as much character development as the book. However, it does come close, and if had been any longer, only a Stephen King fanatic would have had the endurance to watch it to the end. I found the six hours a pretty good compromise between completism and watchability. My copy came on two discs, each lasting for three hours. The first disc set up the characters and basic storyline, while all the action happened in the second disc. That doesn't mean that the first disc was boring, quite the opposite, it was a fantastic piece of work, that left me gagging to find out what happened next (even though I already knew). Religious Undertones ********************** There is a religious undertone running through the whole of the series, as there was in the book. After all, this film is about good defeating evil. While it isn't exactly overplayed, there are many references to God, submitting to his will, and how the choices made by the characters, in relation to God, affect the outcome. Somehow, even, the main bad guy, Randall Flagg, seems synonymous with the devil. Perhaps King intended this to be a modern outlook on New Testament, or perhaps that's just me thinking too hard, but I personally could see many key similarities between the two. So Is It A Horror? ******************** In the conventional sense, this cannot be classed as a horror. Although containing some elements of horror, it plays more on our psychological fears. There is no monster stalking the characters, except that which plays on their mind. The fear of dying from the super 'flu, the fear of being alone and the fear of not being in control of our own destiny. The is very little blood and gore, so if that's what you want from a horror, then this is not for you. There are, however, some horrific characters, each showing some human trait, of which we may detest. There also plenty of dead and decaying bodies throughout the film, but there was no hide behind the settee factor. This psychological fear seems to now be increased by the political climate, and the very real fear of biological attack. Other Information ******************* Feature running time : 6 hours (approx.) Rating : 15 I have the 2 disc DVD version which consists of the following : Screen : Full Screen (4:3) Languages : English (5.1 Dolby Digital) Sub Titles : English for the hearing Impaired. Extras : Feature commentary by Stephen King, Director and cast. Price : £6.99 from Play.com. Final Words ************* This is a long series, at six hours it's probably the longest adaptation of a Stephen King novel that I've ever watched. But, it's fantastic, I watched it over three consecutive nights, and was so engrossed in the film that the time flew by. If you only ever watch one screen adaptation of a Stephen King novel, make sure it's this one, as it outshines all others by a huge degree.