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09-29-04, 08:26 AM
I haven't come across a thread specific to the movie as a whole, so here goes. First off, I want to comment on the great casting! I saw this film when it first came out, and was introduced to two great actors I haven't seen before: Sam Rockwell (soon to be in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Doug Hutchison. These actors may or may not have been in author Stephen King's mind as he wrote the Serial Novel, but damn it to hell, these actors were born to play the roles of Wild Bill and Percy Wetmore, respectively. They stepped right out of that novel and into this movie. Those two performances were the highlight of the picture for me, plus one: the brief cameo appearance of the great Gary Sinise as Coffey's defense lawyer. He didn't do much but sit in a chair on the porch, talking to his former Forrest Gump co-star, but his presence is enough for repeated viewings (a great actor, but he hasn't been in anything too good lately, which is sad because he ain't gettin' any younger). Other great casting, other than the obvious, include James Cromwell and David Morse (I loved this guy in 12 Monkeys - another understated performance, yet quite chilling).

The performances were great (considering this was a Frank Darabont film, I knew it would be over-the-top sensitive, and that was okay), and this wasn't just due to a good script - the tear that ran down Percy's cheek before he shot Wild Bill to death, Wild Bill's earnest explanation of consequences before he raped and killed the twin girls, Warden Moores look of helplessness as Coffey "helps" his dying wife.

The only unbelievable part (and again, I know this is a Darabont film, but still) were during Coffey's execution and all the guards were weeping like little girls. (I know there are flaws in any film, and I'm not here to point those out, but I'm sure there are other "unbelievable parts" of this movie, but I'm talking strictly about what I believed. I suspend disbelief as I do with any film I watch.)

I loved The Shawshank Redemption, and saw The Majestic on an airplane with less than enthusiastic results, and my opinion is that Darabont should truly limit himself to Stephen King novels. Why? Because King novels have a lot of heart, and Darabont, for better or worse, brings that heart onto the big screen like nobody else (close contenders are Rob Reiner and Taylor Hackford).

09-29-04, 12:53 PM
Did you read the series? If so did you read them all at once or as they came out new?

09-29-04, 01:13 PM
I read the Complete Serial novel. I didn't buy the individual serials when it was first introduced. Believe it or not, I was not interested in the premise, which seemed to involved a magical mouse.

FunkDaddy J
09-29-04, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Buttmunker
My opinion is that Darabont should truly limit himself to Stephen King novels.

This news should make you happy, then: Darabont is hard at work on King's THE MIST.

09-29-04, 02:01 PM
I read it as a serial as the new ones came out. That gave it a build up, suspense, cliffhanger feel. In the serial I think it worked well sort of like a comic book or soap opera however I had my doubts that it would translate into a decent film

The thing I really liked about the movie was that it flowed very nicely and did not have a "chapter feel" to it. I was afraid that it was going to be disjointed so was moderatley surprised.

The other thing is that Michael Clarke Duncan nailed john coffey!
The main key to that movie working in my opinion was coffey. His size power and innocence all wrapped in the same body was key. Some of it was accomplished because he was just a huge guy but I think camera angles and perspective helped this. The first scene when Coffey comes into the prison does this perfectly.

I also enjoyed Micheal Jeters performance of Eduard Delacroix. There was few things cut out of the movie from his parts in the serial that I think made his character a little deeper in the book but Jeter captured him brillantly. Whining, small, pathetic and very scared but not really an "evil" man

All in all I think it is up there for Stephen King adaptations. I would probably put it third. With Shawshank first and Stand By Me second.

09-29-04, 02:23 PM
A lot of people cry foul that Michael Clarke Duncan received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as "Coffey," but his performance was completely raw: the emotional outbursts of tears and anguish, and clear-eyed innocence (and if you saw him in any of the movies where he was a bad guy, you'd know there was no innocence in his eyes then). You couldn't tell the man was acting.

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