VERY much enjoyed Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Mist." That story has been my favorite of King's since I first read it at like 12y/o or so, and I always longed for it to be a movie -- but not a crappy movie like they always make out of Stephen King stories. I was mightily worried that I was going to be disappointed, but needn't have been, for it was AWESOME. Everything looked just like it did in my 12y/o old brain, and I felt almost exactly the same as I did upon first reading it. Frank Darabont for the win!
I think that story really nails what society is all about, and I fear that it perhaps warped my fragile little mind upon my first reading. People really do form little power hierarchies, willfully giving up power to others when it's too scary not to. At the first hint of crazy, people are willing to overlook a WHOLE LOT of crazy in the people to whom they decide to give power, and don't even seem to realize it. Sure, stuff in the titular mist IS scary, but the really frightening things in the story are the ones the people do. Because their leader tells them to. Scary because it's TRUE.
Film gets bonus points for Dark Tower inclusion, a nice reference to John Carpenter's "The Thing," some thought-evoking Jesus symbolism, leaving out the only thing that really made me feel skeevy in the story, and lastly: for including something new that skeeved me the crap right out, yet played right into the underlying theme of humanity's fatal flaws. Best non-Shawshank Stephen King movie ever. I have a lot more to say on the subject of this film, but I'm going to wait for a while so as not to spoil anything for anyone who wants to see it.
VERY much disappointed by the wonderfully titled "Flight of the Living Dead." The only thing good about it is the title. I'd much appreciate it if things would stop happening "on a Plane" now. Thanks.
This post was written in July of last year, but my theory came up in conversation recently, so I figured I'd dredge it back up for those who didn't see it back then. I've reworked bits of it so that I sound a bit more coherent.
Know that crappy Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore movie Fever Pitch? The one that got lots and lots of free advertising by having to "change the ending of the movie" to coincide with the Red Sox unexpectedly winning the World Series? Well, all that noise about having to quickly fix the movie is all a sham, possibly going as far as involving the rigging of the World Series itself. I haven't quite been able to put together all the pieces, but there are quite a few interesting elements involved.
During the weeks before the movie came out, I saw all the actors on show after show, talking about how amazing it was that the Red Sox actually won, how no one expected it, and how they had to actually change the ending of the movie. A huge deal was made out of this. "We were glad they won, but we had to hurry to come up with a new ending," and other things like that were said. It was almost as if they were going out of their way to make a big deal out of it -- almost too big a deal.
The first reason this didn't wash with me was that I happen to know the movie is a remake. I have seen the original, which happens to be a really excellent movie. Like in the remake, the main character is a man obsessed with his favorite team -- Arsenal, another real-life team that had not won a championship in forever -- and eventually has to choose between the woman he loves and his lifelong obsession with a failed team. The climax of the movie takes place during Arsenal's monumental real-life 1989 victory, a victory which he is now able to share with the woman he loves.
The big obvious question is: if you are going to remake a movie about a man who is obsessed with a losing team that has a completely unexpected victory at the climax, why on earth would you have the team not win in your new version? The claim that they had to "hurry to come up with a new ending" is preposterous. The "new" ending is now the same as the original movie's ending -- not to mention the fact that the book the original movie was based on ended exactly the same way as well. Nowhere was it mentioned that this movie had previously been made. Article after article about the the effect the Sox victory had on the production, but not one thing acknowledging that it wasn't an original screenplay. This was practically a cover-up.
Now lets move on to Stephen King. In his "back page" column in Entertainment Weekly, he reported the same story about how his friends the Farrelly Brothers had to hurriedly rewrite, re shoot and re cut the ending in record time because of the Red Sox win. He then also mentioned that thankfully his cameo didn't get cut out. Yes, Stephen King is in the movie. One of the the things I find most interesting about King is that he is a huge fan of movies and books. He watches and reads everything, frequently acknowledging that films are remakes in his EW commentary. There's simply no way that he hadn't either read the book or seen the original movie, yet he still helped spread the idea that they "came up with a new ending," completely omitting the detail that it was a remake. Why would he do this? Because he was in on it, that's why.
At the same time Fever Pitch was coming out, Stephen King had a book out about being a life-long Red Sox fan -- one that would have had little interest if the Red Sox had not actually surprised everyone by winning, but instead sold tons and tons of copies due to all the people who just had their obsessions validated. He just happened to pick the only year in history that his book would have made crap-loads of money. (Of course I mean other than the normal crap-loads of money he makes when he publishes anything.)
So in addition to Stephen King and 20th Century Fox, who else would profit from advance knowledge of the Red Sox winning the series? Wait a second, did I just say Fox?? Fox had the broadcast rights for the World Series at the time, and stood to make tons and tons of money by stretching out the series to 7 games, having the Red Sox finally pull it out. The Fox connection also came in handy while shooting the movie at the games. They actually couldn't shoot during the game due to league rules, but the camera operators at Fox would occasionally point the HD cameras at where Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were sitting. It was then no problem to acquire that HD footage to splice into the movie during editing, thus nicely side-stepping the league's "no filming" policy. The scene where Drew and Jimmy ran out on the field was against rules as well. They didn't have permission, and according to Drew, they were trying to bribe security into letting them go out until they finally just ran past security onto the field. Of course the Fox camera operators were there to catch it in all its High-Def glory.
Not even going into possible mafia ties and illegal gambling facilities and bookies, there were quite a few people who stood to make quite a bundle off of this. I don't necessarily think that Fox faked the World Series just to promote their movie, but they definitely took advantage of it. To me, the questions still remaining are: who set it up, and who all was in on it? As someone who doesn't follow baseball, I don't know if there were any fishy calls that could point to crooked officials, or whether or not the Yankees would have to be in on it as well.
Even without all the information, it seems pretty clear to me that something funny went on.