A breach in the main containment field at a government
institute spells instant disaster. The gateman escapes with
his family as the place is locked-down and everyone inside
dies. Hours later the man drives into a gas station at Arnette
and soon dies. The disease quickly spreads, and Blue Base,
California sends in the army to quarantine the town, passing
it off as a new strain of flu. But the disease spreads across
the country leaving only one percent of the population alive
and apparently immune. The survivors split into two factions:
those who gather behind old Mother Abigail, and the cohorts
of the evil, beast-like Randall Flagg. A final reckoning is
at hand, and it could spell the end of the world...
people who have read my two previous reviews of Stephen King
serials will know I am not a fan of his on the printed page.
On screen, however, his wealth of good ideas often prove to
materialise in good form. In this case though, The Stand
miniseries suffers heavily from King Book Syndrome; it's simply
far too long.
pride myself that every release deserves at least one viewing
in its entirety, but by the second disc I'd lost all interest
and didn't really care if the human race survived or perished.
At 345 minutes, this version of The Stand doesn't so
much milk the concept as suck it dry. In my opinion, the only
way to digest this without getting sudden urges to do the
washing up is in 30 minute segments.
two most important components in fiction are a strong plot
and believable characters; unfortunately, this has neither.
The characters are uncaring canon fodder and the plot strands,
although admittedly present, are stretched so thin that they
wouldn't take the weight of a tightrope-walking money spider.
the problem is that King himself wrote the screenplay, adapted
from his own novel. Director Mick Garris also handled Rose
in similar formats. The Shining worked as a miniseries,
whereas this and Rose Red suffer extraordinarily long
moments with nothing much happening.
mentioning are the impressive make-up effects and the 5.1
sound quality, although only Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear
The Reaper and ZZ Top's Sharp Dressed Man saw it
used to its potential.
is described as a sci-fi thriller, but more closely fits the
apocalyptic disaster movie format, with an added fantasy element
courtesy of the representatives of good and evil and the dream
sequences of the key characters.
true die-hard fans of Stephen King this is undoubtedly value
for money, with extras including a commentary by King, Garris
and some of the actors, a making-of featurette, storyboard
comparison, make-up effects and production notes - none of
which are mentioned on the packaging.
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