Tag Archives: Stanley Kubrick

King’s Shining Sequel “Dr. Sleep” Out Sept. 2013

“Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya.”  Who here does not appreciate the sheer cinematic creepiness of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Stanley Kubrick really knocked that film adaptation out of the park, but let us not forget where the genius behind the Outlook Hotel came from. Stephen King published The Shining in 1977 and it quickly became his first hardback bestseller. It was then adapted to film in 1980 and has etched more than one memorable scene into our minds. I begrudgingly carry those images with me every time I stay in a hotel. Will there, or will there not be an enormous pool of blood that spills out of this elevator?

Dr. Sleep

So what if we could have more? King has recently set a date for a sequel to be released to the 1977 classic.  Dr. Sleep will be published on September 24th, 2013. The novel will follow an older Daniel Torrance who now uses his “Shining” to assist the elderly. Enter plot point. A gang of psychic vampires are feeding off of people’s energy, and are targeting those with “The Shining.”  This kid just can’t catch a break, now can he?

Ultimately, I have three questions for Mr. King;  Should he?  Would he?  Could he?

The first question I would like to ask is, “Was this necessary?”  35 years after the original novel, have their been screaming fans calling for more of the Torrance family?  This is one of the most eerie, suspenseful stories that I have ever seen beautifully adapted to film, but I can honestly say that I left feeling fulfilled.  No further part of me had even an inkling to see what else could come out of this story.  Jack, the maniac, was always destined to succumb to his vices.  He belonged there, and just as the final portrait shows, he has always been there.  It gives me chills just thinking about it.  So with a stern, “No.” I can honestly say this book did not need to be written.

Dr. Sleep

The question of would he is obvious.  He has!  For those of us that are still curious 36 years after the original, the book will be out next September.  When it comes to writing something this long after the original there are two schools of thought.  King has either spent thirty plus years crafting the perfect conclusion to a story we thought was over, or he is simply reminiscing on a past muse to find something to write about.  Regardless, it’s Stephen King.  The book will sell.

Here is my third and final question for Mr King.  Can you do it, sir?  Can you write a book 35 years after the original and still keep it fresh and exciting?  For this I say, “Yes.”  The reason being is that good writing is good writing.  I could be listening to the dumbest story, but if the person is a good story-teller, I will still be engaged.  This will always be applicable to good writers.  If you captivate the audience, they will keep reading those pages.  The audience sometimes fails to recognize that it is not their story!  It’s King’s.  He can do whatever he wants with it.  You are given the option to either acknowledge, or ignore.  I’ll probably chose to ignore.  I am more than satisfied with where The Shining has left me.  Jack is still frozen with that terrifying look on his face, and Scatman Crothers still has an ax buried in him.  All work and no play makes Stephen a dull boy.

Dr. Sleep

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Dr. Sleep: Stephen King Writes Sequel to ‘The Shining’

The Shining is a classic movie by all accounts, and bridges the gap between horror and thriller genres allowing it to be heralded by geeks, fiends and “the thinking man” alike.  It’s a movie that is extremely quotable and therefore quite often lampooned and even though it was a product of the 80’s it is still watchable and relevant today. The Shining came in at #29 on AFI’s “Top 100 Thrills” list and more importantly is #2 on The Grizzly Bomb’s list of “Top Horror Movies of the 1980’s”.

The Shining was of course based on Stephen King’s book of the same name and it seems that King has finally returned to the Torrance family with the announcement of his new book Dr. Sleep. According to Wikipedia and other online rumor millings Dr. Sleep follows a grown up Danny Torrance who is using his mental powers to help terminally ill patients move to the beyond. On his current promotional tours Stephen King has been reading the first chapter of Dr. Sleep which catches up to an 8-year old Danny Torrance. Danny and his Mom have moved to Florida where they keep in touch with fellow Overlook survivor Dick Hallorann {he doesn’t get axed in the back in the book} and, as we soon find out, the woman from room 217 haunts more than one bathroom in the world. By doing some quick math we can extrapolate that Dr. Sleep will likely be a modern tale. The Shining takes place in 1977 and Danny is four and if Dr. Sleep follows him at age forty, as rumored, that would set the tale in 2013.

Continue reading Dr. Sleep: Stephen King Writes Sequel to ‘The Shining’

Grizzly Review: ‘Dylan Dog – Dead of Night’

Dylan Dog has long been an Italian comic book mainstay, selling over a millions issues a month. For 25 years he has been investigating the undead and wooing his female clients. The famous PI is now for the first time, being introduced to an American audience in a different medium. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night opened this weekend and stared Superman Brandon Routh as the detective. His comic book sidekick Groucho has been replaced however, as it was apparently not feasible to obtain the likeness rights from the Groucho Marx estate. Instead we see Detroit Rock City star Sam Huntington playing a recently Zombiefied sidekick named ‘Marcus’.

Dylan and Marcus get called onto a case to look into a murder (aka ‘Death by Werewolf) and Dylan see himself sucked back into a life he thought he’d left behind. The first half of the movie is like old school noir (with a supernatural twist obviously) film, complete with a narration from our protagonist. It was like an old Phillip Marlowe movie, our run down detective, convinced the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, and adverse to evolving. In other words, my kind of guy. So here we have a mystery and a focus. And this last for maybe 40 minutes. Then Hollywood kicks in and that focus gets a little lost. We trade in  our narration and mystery for run of the mill Action/Comedy.

Granted the mystery is fairly easy to solve (especially for anyone who’s ever seen any old Detective movies), but it doesn’t matter since you’ve forgotten what the point is anyhow as you’re not wrapped up in the comedic parts. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Sam Huntington’s struggles with his recent death and the problematic existence of being a zombie, but it just didn’t seem to fit the tone of the movie. It kind of reminded me of A.I. and how you could tell exactly where Kubrick left off and Spielberg picked up.

Now going in I had heard the movie compared to an extra long episode of Buffy, and I can see where those comparisons were drawn, but I don’t think it should be used as a knock. It was like Buffy in 2 ways…

1. In that people seemed oblivious to the existence of the supernatural around them, and that is was such second nature to Dylan. New Orleans in here is much like Sunnydale.

2. It felt like a TV show. Or rather that they were setting it up to be a TV show. It seems tailor-made to be a “Monster of the Week” type show. And one that I have to admit – I’d watch.

So the premise I really liked anyhow, but the execution…lacking. I like Brandon Routh, but this was not his best performance by any means. I’d be willing to overlook that however because he is likable, and he and Sam Huntington seem to play off each other well. I could watch a TV show based off of this, or even a sequel provided that they both return.

Kurt Angle and Peter Stormare both play werewolves, and Taye Diggs is a vampire. Angle’s werewolf looked like a mix between a Halloween mask and Teen-Wolf. Peter Stormare as always was over the top, but also not really in a good way. It wasn’t the strongest performance of his career. I blame the director and the screen writer though. The script needed the characters to keep telling us things that should’ve been clear, but weren’t. And the director seemed to rush all the non-action sequences…perhaps he should stick to video games. He certainly didn’t get the maximum out of his cast.

And the post production team – did you run out of money? It’s funny how you really only notice sound mixing when its bad. There were parts of the movie that actually looked VHS quality, and one scene wasn’t even the correct Aspect Ratio. The picture was all stretched out, like trying to watch a Full Screen DVD on a Wide-screen TV. My guess is they ran out of cash and had to just some footage they didn’t want to use as they couldn’t do re-shoots.

Now I know I’m doing a lot of complaining and nitpicking, but I’m just trying to be honest. All that said, I did actually enjoy the movie. Not great, but entertaining. And if they make a sequel (which I doubt as there were only 8 people in out theater) I’d watch it.  The characters, though a little cliché, are enjoyable and could carry more stories if just carried out right.

Anyhow, over all – I’d give it 3 Bears based on the characters and premise alone. I recommend a DVD or Netflix watch on this bad boy…