The Stand – Blu-ray Edition

Film after film. Series after series. Much has been produced by the film/television world based on the works of prolific and popular horror author Stephen King. Most out there have seen something based on his novels. It. Christine. Cujo. Apt Pupil. Just the tip of the iceberg. Following those lines, most are also aware that the level of quality of the adaptation from word to screen has been uneven, to say the least. Actually, more bad than good. Yet filmmakers/television producers keep on mining the material. Hoping to find something others have missed.

Now, we get another version of the novel The Stand. Originally it was made into a television mini-series in 1994 that was directed by Mick Garris and starred Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, Laura San Giacomo, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Matt Frewer, Ray Walston, Rob Lowe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Landis, Sam Raimi, and Miguel Ferrer. It was actually decent, so seems strange that they would want to revisit it, but you know that Hollywood is enamoured with remakes. So another kick at the can, it is.

This time around we get another large and fairly recognizable cast with Whoopie Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard, James Marsden, Amber Heard, J.K. Simmons, Ezra Miller, Heather Graham, Clifton Collins Jr., Bryan Cranston, and Greg Kinnear. The story remains the same with the world being threatened by a virus (ah, maybe now I understand why they revisited the story…). A manmade virus called Captain Trips. Within the death and panic emerges a man. Not your average man, but one hailed as a messiah. Not a benevolent one. Rather he has aspirations at total global domination. The only hope of stopping him will be a group of survivors in this post-apocalyptic environment, who will wage a fight to stop him and his army.

Over the nine episodes, the material skips around a lot. If you are annoyed by non-chronological works then stay far away as this one goes back and forth time-wise. This renders The Stand at times hard to follow with its large cast and many characters to keep track of.

As elusive as the timeline is, I also cannot write down succinctly why this limited series (this time directed by six different directors) does not quite work. There are a couple of reasons why, but seemingly also as many reasons why it should work. As mysterious as some Stephen King novels.

Bottom line is that the 1994 version of The Stand remains a strong work. Despite this one being produced at a time when the attachment and understanding of the storyline should have been greater.

Special Features:

  • An Apocalyptic Epic: Adapting The Stand 
  • Gag Reel

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