Show Rundown: We review Stephen King’s IT, which scared up $117 million at the box office this weekend. Neither of us have read the book so we brought in an expert, Margo D from Book vs Movie. She’s a big Stephen King fan, so Margo is going to stick around for our second segment while we share our favorite Stephen King adaptations. And finally, we will end our show with what we’re dorking out about this week. Another Star Wars movie, another director firing, but does that mean things are on the right track? All that, and some Emmy preview talk after we get rolling.
Topic 1: IT Movie Review
Over the last 40 years, Stephen King has quietly, but not too quietly, been one of the most influential storytellers in Hollywood. More on his body of work in Topic 2, but we say that as a set-up to our review of this last weekend’s monster hit, IT. While King has made his name as a horror writer, he’s expanded out into all kinds of fiction and nonfiction work. What that’s lead to is a total lottery situation when his works are adapted to the big screen. Sometimes we get a classic, like a Stand By Me or Shawshank Redemption or The Shining. Sometimes we get a Dark Tower or Sleepwalkers. So what did we get with It?
It is pure, un-cut horror about a group of kids who discover, as you might expect, there is a supernatural evil at the heart of what appears to be their tranquil New England town.
Joining us today to discuss IT, and later to talk about the towering figure Stephen King is in the world of storytelling, is Margo D from Book vs Movie, whose podcast has charted more than a few King adaptations, including episode by episode reviews of the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist.
Topic 2: Our Favorite Stephen King Adaptations
While Stephen King has been the undisputed King of the best seller since the 1970s, the era which saw Brian DePalma make King’s first book, Carrie, into a horror classic, a veritable trainload of movies have been based on his stories, not all of them screaming ‘Stephen King’ horror mister. Among these are good movies and classics, like Stand By Me, Apt Pupil, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Misery, even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s camp action flick The Running Man. Added to these are undisputed horror classics, like The Shining and The Dead Zone as well as a huge number of good to middling horror movies like Firestarter, The Mist, Cujo, Needful Things, Children of the Corn, Hearts of Atlantis and the recent TV adaptation 11-22-63.
While we love a lot of these stories, we thought it would be good to have Margo stick around as we try to tackle the big task of naming our favorite Stephen King adaptations. It’s a big task because Stephen King has written more than 90 books and his work has been adapted more than 60 times (but I think 3 or 4 of those are different adaptations of CARRIE). That’s an insane amount of stories. I’m not going to waste a lot of time talking about how crazy it is that Stephen King has written so many books, while I’m still struggling to write one, because that’s a segment for another time. Let’s just dive right in.
Margo D Favorites
Stand By Me
The Shawshank Redemption
The Running Man
(Plus exactly Margo D's list)
What We’re Dorking Out About This Week:
Colin Trevorrow’s Firing From Star Wars Is Another Reminder That No Director Will Ever Be Bigger Than the Franchise
Winners of the Creative Arts Emmys
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