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Becky Ann Baker,
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An eight episode adaptation of Stephen King's short stories, primarily from the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series. "Battleground" follows a quiet hitman becoming a target for violent revenge when he finds a mysterious package on his doorstep; A young woman and her attorney husband getting lost in a notoriously evil London neighborhood named "Crouch End"; "Umney's Last Case" is a 1930's era detective who realizes he's the main character in a novel, and he's being written out; A successful filmmaker films himself in "The End of the Whole Mess", recalling his genius brother's life and the scientific plan he applied to end world violence with unanticipated results; "The Road Virus Heads North" drives into gear as a celebrated writer realizes the demonic figure in the painting he's just acquired, is changing to show that it's onto the same stretch of road he's on; "The Fifth Quarter" has an ex-convict who goes to dastardly means to find treasure that puts his family's life at risk; "... Written by
Does Everything That Hollywood Doesn't to a Stephen King Story.
Just to avoid any possible confusion, the above summary of Nightmares and Dreamscapes is a compliment. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen Hollywood completely decimate and almost sacrilegiously destroy King's brilliant writing. Needful Things and The Runningman are the worst of these atrocities, although they are far from the only ones. The remake of Carrie... the sequel that has nothing to do with King's novel... The Lawnmower Man (Which King sued to be disassociated from)... Christine... among others.
This mini-series, however, does justice to King's works, and treats them with the respect that they deserve. The acting is incredible. I can hardly believe that they were able to get William H. Macy, William Hurt and the majority of the other actors and actresses that they did manage to get for the project. Each is casted perfectly for their role, from the well-known stars to the little known gems. The direction is smart and clean; the set designs stunning; the animation (Battleground) superb, and the adaptations flawless. Each episode perfectly embodies the story from which it was based off of, and I cannot find any flaws in their translation into this mini-series.
I find it ironic that some of the upcoming episodes don't feature stories from the actual collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes, although I suppose that they mean the title as a general one, as opposed to a specific one. At any rate, they were all well chosen, and I hope that more adaptations of King's work fall under this level of care and craftsmanship. I don't even mean novels specifically. I hope that ALL of his stories are likewise adapted as such, although I would indeed love seeing more adaptations of his short stories done this way (Especially "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" and "In the Death Room").
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