Wednesday, October 26, 2011
One of my favorite authors has always been Stephen King. Although known for his horror novels, some of my favorite of King's work is non horror. When it comes to having the shit scared out of you however, IT tops my list of one of the scariest of King's novels. First off, like many, I have an irrational fear of clowns. From Batman's Joker through that horrors that are circus clowns, my childhood is riddled with nightmares of running through dungeons and creepy old houses trying to escape the long pointy white gloved fingers of an evil clown.
King's Pennywise brought my childhood fears to life with Tim Curry's portrayal eerily close to the clowns of my nightmares. King's movies generally don't translate well to the screen, many have not come remotely close to the power of King's written word. A few, Dolores Claiborne being another favorite, have done his books justice. IT is by far the best of his horror novels adapted for film. IT wisely was not made a feature film, but became a television project in the form of a 1990 mini-series.
The movie, broken up into two sections (1960 and 1990) focus's on a group of friends terrorized by not only the clown from hell but their own personal demons. The characters are portrayed both as children and as adults and the casting for each group is exceptional. The late Jonathan Brandis (below) is a stand out as Bill in the first section set in 1960.
Interesting that the makers of the movie, chose for the adult counter parts, a collection of some of the most likable and non threatening television personalities of the time. For a movie so horrific, having John Boy Walton as the lead lures you into a sense of safety which they quickly rip out from under you.
Besides Richard Thomas (The Walton's) the adult cast also includes John Ritter, Annette O'Toole, Dennis Christopher, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid and Richard Masure. It is a truly a credit to the director, Tommy Lee Wallace and the writers Stephen King (book) and Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay, parts I & II) and Tommy Lee Wallace (teleplay, part II) that a made for television version of Kings novel is more frightening than anything they have produced of his work for the big screen. IT is not just terrifying for what it shows, it is equally terrifying because of what the characters are so desperately trying to hide. If you have not see IT, there is no better time than Halloween.
Back in 2007 one of the first reality televisions posts that I on the blog was a countdown of my favorite guys from The Amazing Race. My favorite guy on that list was Jon Corso from the shows forth season. Cute, funny and his naked challenge in the last episode (even blurred) was very hot!
This week it was announced the 4th season will soon be coming out on DVD. Although I don't think I have ever bought a reality show, especially one I know the outcome of on DVD, I think this might be a worthwhile purchase. Not only is there Jon but this was the season famous for introducing us to Reichen and Chip.
I first saw actor Mike Vogel in 2003's remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Mike, a former model, got his first role as a recurring member of the cast of the 2001 television show Grounded For Life. From their he made an easy transition into movies with his first film role as Eric in 2003's Grind.
I have always been impressed both both Vogel's acting and choices of projects (the unnecessary remake of The Poseidon Adventure not withstanding...). Vogel's role in Poseidon was unfortunate for another reason as well. He was originally offered a role of in X-Men: The Last Stand, but backed out to be a part of Poseidon.
Although Vogel has been involved in several successful movies he has always been underrated, not generally getting the same degree of attention of many of his co-stars. This might be due his strength as an actor and choosing to be viewed as an actor rather than a celebrity. It was a bit surprising to me then that Vogel joined ABC's highly touted Pan Am. Vogel joined Pam Am at the last minute replacing actor Jonah Lotan who was reported to have left for creative reasons... I loved the shows premier but worry the project should have remained a movie or min-series The concept is becoming less interesting as each new episode airs. (and Ricci is moving quickly from respected actress to oddity...Rose McGowan anyone?). Vogel is a stand out in the cast, one of only a few male cast members, I find his story lines (especially last weeks) to be a nice change of pace from the rest of the cast.
Mike has wisely (damn it!) chosen to show very little skin on screen, but here are a few highlights:
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants (2005)
Across The Hall (2009)
Wuthering Heights (2003)
Sigh... the above shot is my favorite!
Blue Valentine (2010)
Some caps of Mike Vogel from the great Superherofan.net