15 December 2011

Bag of Bones (2011)

I can't say I've read every Stephen King novel that's been printed.  What I can say is that I've read Bag of Bones, and if I was forced to write out a top 20 of books, this would be near, if not in the top 10.  Then, for years I was saying that this should be turned into a film.

At last!  It seemed somebody had answered my fervent wishes.  For that story (and early thoughts on this) please see this post:

Bag of Bones - Initial thoughts

Ok, back?  Excellent, let us continue then.

As I write this, I'm a little over half way through watching the first part of the A&E miniseries.

Its a very mixed bag.  It is entertaining for those who have no knowledge of the source material.  My wife is sitting next to me, finding it quite interesting.  And while I share the same sentiment, as a big fan of the book, there is one glaring problem with the movie.

Pierce Brosnan.

Not that he is a bad actor, but he needs somebody to act against.  Talking to an empty room is not one of his strong suites.  Oh, then there is the issue of him being WAY TO OLD FOR THE PART.  Yes, Brosnan (Mike Noonan) is 58 and Annabeth Gish (Jo Noonan) is 40.  Now, it could be me, but the way I read the character of Mike Noonan, I get the feel his is closer to 40 than 60.

A few points:
1. As far as I could tell, the miniseries has the Noonan's living in or near NYC, when in the book they live in Derry, ME (you know, the town with a certain Pennywise the Clown as a former resident)  No need to change their residence.

2. Jo's death.  In the book she had a massive brain aneurysm.  Here, hit by a bus.  Really? Is it that hard to have a bit of narrative explaining how she died, instead we need to have the bloody death?

The music in this is kinda weird too.  Not the background music, that's fine.  But some scenes where Noonan is listening to the radio or iPod the choices are...odd.  Took me out of the show a bit.

Ok, so the first part was kinda rushed.  Still, I think it got the major themes across.  The second part opens with some exposition by the housekeeper, and gives major hints as to what is going on.

I liked seeing Jason Priestly in it.  Don't see him in enough.  Hell, I would have taken him as Noonan.  A&E has appeared to capture the spooky feel of the book, which is good.

Casting of Mattie and Krya, Max and Max's lady friend were really spot on.  Hell, everybody was cast well except for Brosnan.

Well, I can't go into too much detail about part two, because I run the risk of getting REAL spoilery.  Although I will say it looks like they kept the ending of the book pretty much the same.  Er, they change it a bit, but hey!  There's arterial spray now, so I'm ok with that.

Other than some rough parts, and the serious mis-cast of Brosnan, this was not as bad as I was fearing.  I still thing this, and IT should get a proper theatrical release or at least a subscription cable release.  If you have not read the book, give this a watch.  If you've read the book.... approach with an open mind.  Its not bad, but its not the level it could be.

I'll be reading the book soon.  Its been too long.

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