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The Mist (on home video) 
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Burning Godzilla
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The Mist

2007 release, directed and written by Frank Darabont

Starring Thomas Jane, Andrew Braugher, Toby Jones, half the cast of The Walking Dead, and more than a few Lovecraftian horrors from another dimension!!!

PLOT SUMMARY: Following the largest electrical storm on record, David Drayton (Jane) and his neighbor Brent Norton (Braugher) head to the grocery store to stock up on a few things to tide them over until the power comes back on. before they leave, Norrton points out an interesting-looking wall of fog creeping across the lake behind their houses. It seems as if half the town were in the store buying canned goods and strike-on-anything matches, and while they are still in there shopping the mist completely surrounds the building. At almost the same instant the mist closes in, the building is unexpectedly rattled by a sizable earthquake. They quickly learn that the mist is not just any ordinary fogbank: it's bristling with giant insects, spiders the size of bassett hounds and crab monsters bigger than Winnebagos...and those suckers are hungry. The shoppers quickly lock the doors, but now what is everyone supposed to do? Will anyone survive?

CLIFFIE'S NOTES:

>> I saw this in the theater when it first came out, and while it wasn't bad -- especially for a movie based on a story by Stephen King -- it didn't really do that much for me. I thought most of the CGI creature effects looked pretty fake, for starters. I thought it all moved a little too fast, and it failed to take advantage of the natural tension you'd have building up in a group of people shut inside a building, unable to see out, unable to call for help...Just waiting to see what happens.

>> On the small screen, those creatures come across much better, although they are still an unsatisfyingly uniform gray-green. Surely, the mist all by itself is enough to keep them half-seen and half-imagined; did they need to be wearing camo as well? The interactions between the characters and the critters seemed more believable and natural, although I still wince when the pterodactyl-like creature sets upon one of the shoppers and the guy just plonks face-down on the floor without putting up a fight. If a giant toucan with four leathery wings were pecking at the back of MY neck, you'd better believe I'd be kicking and punching with everything I had until the blood loss became too severe to sustain life.

>> The cast is full of actors I just love, notably Andre Braugher and Bill Sadler, two guys who sort of grab me by the throat and make me pay attention to anything they're doing. I can even take them seriously when they're fighting off giant cicadas using flaming floor mops. Thomas Jane has some of that same quality. But the women's characters were a little flat and shallow for my taste, and it really showed next to the guys in this movie. Amanda (Laurie Holden) and Sally (Alexa Davalos) were just so pure and kind and beautiful, and Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) was too busy chewing the scenery to be convincing. I was baffled by the people who went over to the religious-freakiness camp to follow her in her Bible-thumping melodrama. Especially Bill Sadler's character. C'mon, man, no spider is big enough to convince a tough guy like you that the End Times are here.

>> Funnily enough, I don't remember this contrast between the male and female characters in this story when I saw it in the theater. Somehow, the critters became more believable, and the Homo sapiens less. Beats me. *shrug*

>> A notable exception was Irene, played by Frances Sternhagen. She was a worried little-old-lady schoolteacher turned kicker of alien tails in this movie, and she was totally convincing on the large screen and the small one. Even I know the old trick about using a lighter and a can of hairspray to make a flamethrower, and the way she calmly applied it to the giant-spider problem in this movie came across as perfectly natural. As natural as the panicky handling of the flaming mops in an earlier scene that did some serious damage in the store. The fact is, not everyone keeps cool equally well in a high-pressure situation. She is just one of the cooler heads. Melissa McBride appears in this one as a character with no name, and she plays her role min this movie exactly the way she does in The Walking Dead -- often bordering on panic, but determined. She was convincing, too, although I have to say her character was a lot easier to swallow than Sternhagen's.

>> Again, I would have liked to see more build-up of understandable tension -- and many more Lovecraftian monsters! -- during the car trip to help me really see how these people are getting closer and closer to the end of their collective rope. I was so disappointed not to see (in David Drayton's phrase) what those tentacles were connected to. That would have been way cool.

All I's really saying, I guess, is that like Jurassic Park and Day Of the Dead, this movie is a totally different experience on the TV screen. I would urge you to see JP on the big screen, but this one goes down better in your living room. Just saying.

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Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:34 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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I always thought of this as King's attempt to tell a story using the NOTLD format. In other words, the characters are under siege and it's more interesting to experience things through their eyes, and observe their dramatic conflicts, than to see the beasties outside. It came across as heavy handed to me, without enough beastie content to keep me interested.

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Charnelhouse


Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:29 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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When you say that about being heavy-handed, do you refer to the novella or the movie?

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Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
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Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:21 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Cliffie wrote:
When you say that about being heavy-handed, do you refer to the novella or the movie?


The film.

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Charnelhouse


Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:31 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Well, I'd certainly have to agree with that assessment.

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Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:27 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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What hopes do you have for the upcoming television series?

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Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:41 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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I hope I get a chance to see it, whether it sux or not.

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Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:16 pm
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Cliffie wrote:
I hope I get a chance to see it, whether it sux or not.


The 8-episode miniseries is the perfect medium for adapting some novels. I'm not sure 'The Mist' can be stretched into that length without modulating the pace or adding lots o' narrative.

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Charnelhouse


Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:30 am
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Charnelhouse wrote:
Cliffie wrote:
I hope I get a chance to see it, whether it sux or not.


The 8-episode miniseries is the perfect medium for adapting some novels. I'm not sure 'The Mist' can be stretched into that length without modulating the pace or adding lots o' narrative.


My impression was that it was not going to be an adaptation of the King story, but a continuation using an original storyline. Could be mistaken about that, though.

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Oh yeah, down here, I am considered the apotheosis of cool - Sewer Urchin

This is an appalling film. And for some of you, well worth your time - SSM

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Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:16 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Adapted by King himself, I hope!

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Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:40 pm
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