Spookyween #2: The Shining

Hello all you imaginary people living in children’s throats! Have I talked about The Shining before? Surely I have. I never SHUT UP about Stephen King. But look, going through the archive to find out when and how much I’ve talked about The Shining is a lot of work. Work I don’t feel like doing. No one has ever accused me of being thorough in my blogging. So buckle up buckos! We’re talking adaptation, authorial intent, and abuse today! Should be fun!  Continue reading “Spookyween #2: The Shining”

The After Word: The Outsider (SPOILERS)

Hello all you poor mooks wrongfully accused of HEINOUS crime! It’s been a while. Sorry about that but real life has this nasty habit of taking over and forcing your attention elsewhere. But then Stephen King released a new book and I dropped everything to read it. Then real life told me to shut up and stop wasting time. It’s been a roller coaster lately. Point is, I read Stephen King’s new book and now I’m gonna talk about it atchoo! Deal? As always, spoilers ahead.

The book is one of dual identities. The first half is a police procedural and a classic locked-room mystery. Beloved small town little league coach Terry Maitland is accused of the brutal murder of a small boy. The case seems open and shut. There are witnesses tracking his every move throughout the day, they find his fingerprints all over the scene, and, worst of all, his semen is at the scene suggesting the crime was sexual. Middle aged Detective Ralph Anderson is convinced by the DA to move quickly and arrest Terry without delay. Worse, Anderson’s son was coached by Terry and, in the heat of the moment and out of anger at the brutality of the crime, Anderson arrests Terry in an incredibly public way. Continue reading “The After Word: The Outsider (SPOILERS)”

IT Month Finale: Raving about IT

Hello all you traumatized children linked together by a cosmological Turtle! Here we are, the review I’ve been avoiding writing for since before this blog was this blog. I’ll never shut up about how hard it is to write about the things you love and I love this thing more than any other thing. This is my all time favorite book by my all time favorite author with my all time favorite monster. This is the book I’ve read more times than the amount of years I’ve lived. This is the book that makes me want to write while simultaneously making me feel like nothing I write will ever be good enough. This is the only book that I would gladly pay thousands of dollars for a signed first edition.

This, of course, is IT.

Why didn’t you know that? What the hell have I been talking about all month ya dinguses! Don’t you all have egg on your face. Continue reading “IT Month Finale: Raving about IT”

IT Month #2: IT (2017)

The last time I went to see a movie in the theater more than once was The Avengers back in 2012. If I may take an immediate digression – The Avengers only came out 5 years ago!? It feels like it’s been decades. I know this is because Marvel puts out approximately 700 movies per year. Point is, I don’t usually go the theater for the same movie more than once. So far I’ve seen IT three times. Partly that speaks to how obsessed I am with the story – have I mentioned how much I love the book – but I swear it also speaks to the quality of the movie.

This is a good movie ya’ll! Let’s talk a little about why. Continue reading “IT Month #2: IT (2017)”

IT Month #1: The Mini-Series

Hello friends and neighbors and welcome to my most self-indulgent feature yet! I’ve mentioned before that IT is my favorite book and you guys know that October is my favorite month. So I decided to make a big ol’ Reese’s Cup out of that shiet and mash em together! All month I’ll be reviewing IT in its various forms starting at the worst and ending with the best. And you might be surprised by the order!

But you won’t. The book is the best form. Come on guys.

And the worst is the 1990 miniseries. No review of the miniseries can be complete without the caveat that Tim Curry is a great Pennywise. He is for the most part but mostly because he’s being Tim Curry in clown makeup. But how does the rest of it hold up? Let’s find out! Continue reading “IT Month #1: The Mini-Series”

Words Gone Silver: Stephen King’s IT

Hello you vampiric beasts from between dimensions, Super Hubs here with a very quick review that I’m positively giddy to write! It’s been a crazy year for me, vis-a-vis Stephen King adaptations as two of my favorite books have gotten movies! And while The Dark Tower needed a few caveats and asterisks for my enjoyment, this movie is just simply phenomenal!

I’ve written before about how difficult it is for me to review things that I love. It’s for this reason that I’ve never reviewed IT. IT is my favorite book of all time by a wide margin. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before and I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I read the book at least once a year. I’m crazy about it ya’ll! And so when it was announced all the way back in 2009 that IT would be getting a new film treatment, one that would stick much closer to the tone of the book, I flipped my shit. I’ve been wanting this for so long guys. I love the old miniseries, but no one has ever accused it of actually being scary. Or good. Really the only reason anyone remembers it is because of Tim Curry who – despite some solid performances from both the child and adult actors – easily steals the show. But this movie guys…this movie might be the best book adaptation I’ve ever seen. As always, Spoiler Warning.  Continue reading “Words Gone Silver: Stephen King’s IT”

Words Gone Silver: The Dark Tower

Howdy, ya’ll. Long days and pleasant nights.

We did it. We saw The Dark Tower, and good news: We didn’t hate it! In fact, we actually rather liked it. Of course, as you’ve probably all figured out by now, we’re pretty easy to please, so do keep that in mind as you’re reading this review. But whatever! We liked it, and we both think it’s a good enough set-up for the world to make us eager to see more. The show got a showrunner, so Sony still seems to want to move forward with the series. We can only hope! Because we need Eddie and Susannah!

But that’s not enough to sate you, is it? And there *are* some missteps that have to be addressed. So dust the Mid-World off your boots and hop through the portal with us; it’s time to talk the Tower.
Super Hubs, the dinh of the MWB tet, starts us off. And as always (or at least most of the time): Spoiler alert. Continue reading “Words Gone Silver: The Dark Tower”

Hile, Gunslinger: We Finally Glimpse the Tower

Hello all you lovely, lovely people!

Nikkie and Super Hubs here, back to life and ready to start writing again. We’ll have some more substantial posts this week but today we wanted to talk about something near and dear to our hearts: The Dark Tower!

We’ve been waiting months for a trailer for this damn thing (over a year technically since we first started waiting in earnest when it was announced that the movie would be releasing in FEBRUARY) and finally Maturin granted our request!

Reactions on the internet have been…mixed in that special way that only the internet is capable of. (Which, sidebar: We need to have a conversation, Internet, about how you are failing so hard at the very basics of conversation… But we’ll save that for another day.) The two of us really enjoyed the trailer and are at least AS excited for the movie as we were, maybe even a bit moreso. And we want to talk about why. So buckle up sais—we must palaver.

Continue reading “Hile, Gunslinger: We Finally Glimpse the Tower”

Halloween Month: How Have I Not Read This #1 – Night Shift

Howdy folks! El marido here, and I want to start this off with an irrelevant story.
In Icelandic witchcraft, there is an item called nábrók (translation: necropants). These are a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead man that are capable of producing an endless supply of money. Here’s how they’re made:
1. Ask a dude if you can take his skin after he dies; if yes,
2. Flay him from the waist down and put that shit on like pants;
3. Steal a coin from a poor widow—she has to be poor;
4. Put that coin in the dead dude’s scrotum along with a certain magical sign;
5. Profit.
I just felt the need to share that with you because…just read it. My favorite part is that you have to politely ask to take a dude’s skin but fuck that widow; just take her money!

So as you may or may not know by now, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. Big a fan as I am, I haven’t actually read everything he’s done. Some of the things of his I haven’t read are almost embarrassing…in the way that things can only be embarrassing to a very particular subset of people. One of these terrible oversights is Night Shift, Stephen King’s first short story collection. Released in 1978, this collection includes one of King’s most famous stories, one of his most infamous, two stories that work as a prequel and sequel to Salem’s Lot, and one that’s sort of a prototype to The Stand. There’s a lot going on here. And I’m gonna talk about it all! Stories with a * denote ones that have been adapted to film. Continue reading “Halloween Month: How Have I Not Read This #1 – Night Shift”

Our Dream Cast of the “Dark Tower” Movie, Pt. 2

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the first installment of this dream cast and are super excited to see the rest of it. Prepare for greatness! (But, you know, expect mediocrity!)

The Baddies/Semi-Baddies
in no particular order

Henry Dean
As mentioned in our last post, Henry is Eddie’s older brother. He’s not necessarily a bad guy because he’s not an outright villain, but he’s not really a good guy either. He resents Eddie because, when they were younger, their sister was killed in a car accident, and ever since, their mother was all over him to make sure the same didn’t happen to Eddie. But Henry was also just a bully in general. He is jealous of Eddie because of his talent (Eddie is a great woodcarver, which comes in handy), the ramifications of which still resonate with Eddie even after Henry’s death. The oldest Dean, however, also has massive respect for his little brother; without being able to pinpoint it, he sees the gunslinger in Eddie and says that he is the only one he would want backing him in a fight (play the pronoun game with that one!). He dies from a forced heroin overdose during an altercation between Eddie and a mobster.
Nikkie’s Picks: Michael Raymond James or Rider Strong
michael-raymond--james rider strong
I think either of these gentlemen could accurately portray semi-baddie Henry Dean. The most prominent roles for them in my mind (Neal from Once Upon a Time for Michael; Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World for Rider, obvi) easily lend themselves to being a drugged-out, semi-abusive brother. And I mean that as a compliment! I would probably lean more toward Rider in terms of preference, but based on my pick for Eddie, Michael might make more sense visually.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Super Hubs’s Pick: Jared Leto
Okay so…not gonna lie. I mostly picked Jay Lo here because he looks like he could be related to Danny Rad C. BUT Jred-Lto is also good at playing a tweaked-out druggy. I feel like he could really pull off the occasional intensity of Henry while also playing a character with wild fluctuations in emotion and temperament. Much as I hate the look of the Joker in Suicide Squad, it’s clear from all the previews that j’RD is giving the part his all and really embodying an aura of the unhinged.
Plus he’s dreeeeeeeeamy.

Elmer Chambers
This is Jake’s father, and he is a real piece of work. He’s an executive at a television network, and he acts like it. He’s got the tiniest bit of a drug problem (cocaine, obvi), but he is very proud of the fact that he’s not an addict. He’s not that nice to Jake and is constantly putting pressure on him to be better. The only useful thing about him is that he owns a gun that Jake can steal and sling with. Well, that and giving Jake life.
Nikkie’s Pick: Edward Norton
Come on. How could I not pick Edward Norton? He just looks like someone’s shitty, power-hungry dad. I also feel like I could see some resemblance between him and Tom Taylor (the kid playing Jake). So this just feels right to me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SH’s Pick: Robert Downey, Jr.
robert downey jr
So Ed Norton is a good choice for sure, but when I imagine Jake’s relationship with his dad, I can’t help but think of the interactions between Tony Stark and that kid in Iron Man 3. It would be like that, except Jake’s dad would be more of an asshole, and there would never be an emotional payoff that shows he really is a good person after all. RDJ is really good at playing self-important assholes.

Stuttering Bill the Robot
This is a character who shows up in Wolves of the Calla. He is a robot, as his name might suggest, and he is a helper-bot. However, he also ends up being in cahoots with the Crimson King (or at least his cronies) when it comes to orchestrating a horrible event where children are kidnapped from Calla Bryn Sturgis and returned . . . broken.
Our Pick: Bill Hader
Duh! How could we pick anyone other than Bill Hader? He’s got a great robot voice, he can do other voices if they decided to go non-mechanic, and he’s absolutely hilarious. He can be sinister if he needs to be, he can be light, and he’s always great. He is the only proper choice, and if anyone else is voicing the character if he shows up at any point, we will be distraught.

Rhea of the Cöos
Rhea is a witch who lives outside of Hambry in Wizard and Glass. She is (shudder) the virginity checker when marriage/mistress pacts are being made, and she is super old. The in-town baddies have tasked her with guarding one of Merlin’s orbs, but she becomes obsessed with it. She hypnotizes Susan so that the girl will cut off all her hair when she loses her virginity (for no reason other than Rhea is mean), and she is a big part in Susan’s death. She’s centuries old (at least) and is so, so creepy.
Our Pick: Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton
Another big fat duh. This one is kind of a stretch in terms of what Rhea looks like because Tilda can *work* it (insert finger snaps), but the magic of Hollywood makeup departments could fix that if they really wanted to adhere to Rhea’s creepy, disgusting exterior. Tilda is such a great actress, and she has so much range. But she also has a penchant (at least to my memory) of being in fantasy-esque movies, so come on! It’s perfect.

Gabrielle Deschain
This is Roland’s mom. She is not a bad mom. But she is on the baddie list because she was having an affair with Marten/Walter/Randall, and that is not cool, lady. However, she IS seduced by Marten, and when he tries to coerce into an assassination attempt of her husband/Roland’s dad, she doesn’t go through with it. So, really, Gabrielle is more of a neutral-baddie than a semi- or full baddie. But it wouldn’t have made sense to include on the good guys list because she really doesn’t do anything that affects the story positively. In a rough twist, Roland ends up killing her because the Merlin orb (the same one Rhea had) tricks him into seeing Rhea in his mom’s place.
Nikkie’s Pick: Viola Davis
viola davis
First off: Viola is QUEEN in this photo, amirite?! And considering Gabrielle is basically the queen of Gilead, that makes perfect sense. Second, she is probably the obvious choice because of her HTGAWM hotness right now. But I don’t care. I like her, and I think she is a great choice for the not-100-percent-good, not-100-percent-bad character that is Gabrielle. Her character on HTGAWM is so nuanced and flawed, it just lends itself to the very flawed nature of Gabrielle. It would be a slam dunk.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SH’s Pick: Marion Cotillard
Look, I know Idris Elba is dark, but nobody said both his parents have to be black! Viola Davis would be a good choice if Gabrielle Deschain was a powerful-yet-flawed Head Bitch in Charge type. But she’s not. Gabrielle Deschain is broken. She has been seduced by a wizard, her mind tinkered with, forced to watch her family fall apart without being able to do a thing to stop it. Her sadness is not beneath the surface, it’s very much on the surface. Her every movement, her every word needs to drip with melancholy and regret. Marion Cotillard can pull this off. Just look at the picture above, even when she’s smiling she’s basically frowning.
Plus she’s dreeeeeeamy.

Jack Mort
This guy is the worst. Not only is he the guy responsible for both Susannah’s split personality AND her leglessness, but he is also the man who pushed Jake in front of a car, killing him and sending him to Mid-World. What do you call someone who is a serial harm-causer? Outside of his psychopathic tendencies, he is an accountant.
Nikkie’s Pick: Dean Winters
dean winters
Dennis from 30 Rock. The Vulture from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Chaos in those insurance commercials. Dean Winters is perfect for playing a douchebag, and who is a bigger douchebag than a man who harms children and pushes a woman in front of a subway train? I see this so vividly in my mind that I just can’t handle it. I already want to yell at him for sucking so hard.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SH’s Pick: Mads Mikkelsen
mads nicholson
He’s practically built his career playing horrifying villains. He’s frightening. Stare into his eyes and tell me he wouldn’t push you in front of a train!

Blaine the Monorail
So Blaine is a train who brings the pain and makes Jake think he’s gone insane. (If you read the books, then you’re welcome for my being so hilarious and amazing.) Anyway. Blaine is indeed a train, and he’s a huge asshole. The ka-tet must board him to get to bizarro Topeka, but he plans on killing them all (including himself). There is an epic riddle-off (even though we don’t get to see the whole thing, which is disappointing), and Eddie literally annoys Blaine to death in order to keep the inevitable crash from killing them. Blaine seems to have a dormant personality of a child that shows up every now and again to help the gunslingers, but he’s basically just a crazy AI program.
Our Pick: Mark Hamill (voice only)
Luke Skywalker to the rescue. He’s an accomplished voice actor who has played the villain before (SH Note: she means he’s played THE Villain before, i.e. The Joker), so this would not require a stretch of the imagination on the viewers’ part. Plus, if you’re not familiar with his voice work, then you would only be surprised after the fact (as I, Nikkie, was when I found out he voices Skips on Regular Show).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
An Alternative Take from SH:
Blaine likes to play games, to mess with the minds of his hapless victims. Having him as just a voice works very well in the books, but I think in the movie we’ll need a visual aspect to the character—a simple hologram as a visual guide for the passengers. But I think Blaine wouldn’t keep it simple. Blaine would use a voice that wouldn’t match the image. Something like Elle Fanning with Mark Hamill’s voice. And I think he would switch the hologram around, jumping from celebrities that Eddie would know to people from Roland’s past. What better way to get under someone’s skin than to mock them with what they’ve lost?

While drawing Jake into Mid-World during The Waste Lands, Susannah must keep an incubus occupied (i.e. have sex with it) so that it doesn’t go after anyone else in the group. During Wolves of Calla, it is discovered that, despite showing no physical signs, she has been impregnated. The child is kin to the Crimson King, and the spirit of a female succubus inhabits Susannah’s body to bring the child to term. It’s kind of complicated to just explain in greater detail without taking up a lot of your time, so go look it up! All you need to know for this is that Mia is white, she is baby-crazy, and she absconds with Susannah’s body for a whole book.
Nikkie’s Picks: Mila Kunis or Brie Larson
Pregnant-Mila-Kunis brie larson
I love Mila Kunis. She’s funny and sexy and a bit of a badass. She has very intense eyes, and I won’t lie to you when I say that that’s half the reason I think she could be Mia. As for Miss Larson, her star is certainly on the rise in the drama department; playing a desperate creature such as Mia would be a cinch for her.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SH’s Pick: Amanda Seyfried
amanda seyfried
Not gonna lie, I just want an excuse to stare at Amanda Seyfried. She’s a great actress and would pull the part off with no difficulty, of that I’m sure. But mostly I just want her to be in more movies cus I love her.

The Crimson King
Despite how often Walter/Randall/Etc. shows up in the series and other King books, the Crimson King is the overarching bad guy. He’s actively trying to destroy the Tower and all the worlds that reside in it (which is all of them). Ironically, he’s trapped on a balcony of the Tower, so all his machinations are carried out by cronies, a lot of whom are the big baddies in this series. When he is finally shown, he’s kind of just a crazy old coot who really hates Roland.
Our Pick: Terence Stamp
Is there really anyone else we could have picked? He plays such a great bad guy, and even though he’d only be appearing at the very end, unable to leave a small architectural feature, it would be worth it to have Stamp embody ol’ CK.

Mordred Deschain
Are you ready to have your mind blown (those of you who haven’t read the books)? That baby that Susannah/Mia is carrying, the son of the Crimson King? He’s actually biologically Roland’s kid! Back in The Gunslinger, Roland has sex with a succubus, and it turns out that succubus is Mia. She collected his … baby-making materials and becomes an incubus in The Waste Lands to then transfer the materials to Susannah, thus creating Mordred. But if you think a regular baby came out, non-readers, you are horribly mistaken. The Crimson King’s sigil of sorts is a spider, so Mordred comes out all half-spider (and eats Mia). After he feeds, he can assume a fully human shape, but depending on how much he ate, it can drain his energy very easily. When he’s a spider, he’s got a little human head attached near the top of the thorax (aka spider butt). It’s terrifying just to think of, so I can only imagine how it would look when brought to the silver screen. Mordred’s mission is to serve his Red Father by killing his White Father (Roland, and no, White doesn’t refer to the fact that he’s a white man), and thankfully, he fails, but not before RUINING OUR LIVES by dispatching of a beloved character.
Our Pick: Khylin Rhambo
khylin rhambo
This is another actor who we don’t really know from anything, so we are casting solely on the fact that he is a lighter-skinned black kid. Apparently he’s in Teen Wolf? I feel like that could translate to playing a half-spider, half-human demon thing… Unless his character is a regular person. Either way, he’d be used to being in a supernatural kind of environment, though, so it could work. Obviously he would be playing Mordred once he grew up (which happens at an extremely rapid pace in the books, but I assume they’d speed up even more in the movies).

Remember ol’ Patrick Danville? When he is brought into the story, it is as the captive of Dandelo, a creature that feeds on emotions (kind of like It from IT). Dandelo knew of Patrick’s abilities because all of the erasers on Patrick’s pencils had been removed. Calling itself Joe Collins in the presence of Susannah and Roland, Dandelo adopts the guise of a former stand-up comedian and nearly kills them by feeding on their manic laughter.
Our Pick: Sarah Silverman
Considering we already gender-bent Danville, why not gender-bend his/her captor as well? Besides, this makes it more interesting/less misogynistic (Susannah is the one who dispatches Dandelo, so ladies saving ladies from demon ladies). Anyway. We’re big fans of Sarah Silverman, and being an ACTUAL comedienne, she barely even has to act! She just has to get all demon-y for the last minute or so.

Andrew Quick
In The Waste Lands, the ka-tet must get through a town called Lud to find Blaine. While attempting to cross a broken bridge into the city, Jake is captured by a man named Gasher and taken to Andrew Quick, the leader of the Grays, one of the two groups in Lud who are at war. Quick, also known as the Tick-Tock Man because of his clock and clockwork obsession, is the descendant of David Quick, an outlaw prince who also tried to take over Lud. Jake escapes with the help of Roland and Oy, the little raccoon-esque creature that Jake adopts as a pet, and shoots Quick in the head in the process. However, the bullet ricochets off Quick’s skull, and Walter appears to save his life. Quick reappears (and is killed) in Wizard and Glass.
Our Pick: Joe Manganiello
David Quick was a very large man, and we can’t really remember if Andrew shares that quality, but for this dream-cast, he does. So with that in mind, we pick Joe ManJello (which is what we call him because we can never remember his last name or how to pronounce it). There is not really any nuance to Quick’s character, so it doesn’t require an A+ actor to pull it off. No offense, ManJello, but as with most of your roles, you’re just here to be a body that ladies can go all tingly over. Sorry! (Console yourself with your marriage to Sophia Vergara; that should help.)

The Big Coffin Hunters
These are the baddies who Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain fight in Hambry during Wizard and Glass. There are three: Eldred, who is the oldest and the leader, and his flunkies Clay and Roy. He’s a crotchety bastard with a limp who was actually trained to become a gunslinger (he was friends with Cort). But he stepped on a shard of a mirror created by Maerlyn (Walter/Randall’s papa), which distorted the goodness within him and made him a huge jerk. He loses his test of manhood, thus failing the chance to become a gunslinger, and that is where his limp comes from (his leg was shattered). Later in life, he recruits Clay and Roy and they become guns for hire that align themselves with the man trying to take over Gilead. There is not much to say about Clay and Roy. Clay is a womanizer, and Roy is spiteful dummy.
Our Picks: David Bradley as Eldred; Sebastian Stan and Oscar Isaac as Clay/Roy interchangibly
david bradley sebastian stan oscar isaac
Yes, another GOT cast member makes an appearance; Bradley plays slippery ol’ Walder Frey (he also played Filch in the Harry Potter movies), and he’s the perfect choice for Eldred. We really can’t designate who Stan and Isaac should play of the two remaining Coffin Hunters. It would be easy to cast Stan as Roy because Roy is the youngest, but he has the look of a womanizer a la Clay, and it’s not hard to envision Isaac playing someone spiteful (just look at that photo!). So we shall leave the deciding up to you. There’s merit to both being either.

Cordelia Delgado
This is Susan’s crappy aunt. She is implicated in the murder of Susan’s dad (her own brother), and she hates Susan for being young and pretty. She slowly becomes more and more paranoid over the course of Wizard and Glass when it comes to her niece’s virginity status, so it’s not hard for her to fall to Rhea’s whims and decide to get rid of Susan once and for all.
Our Pick: Helena Bonham Carter
Does anyone do crazy aunt better than HBC? The answer is no. What’s great about this is that it wouldn’t be HBC’s customary crazy either. On the outside, Cordelia is a very proper and put-together woman. She is all about appearance and saving face; that’s half the reason she goes so insane over the prospect of Susan ruining the contract with the mayor. Watching HBC weave her signature insanity into a proper lady would be awesome for sure.

So there you have it! The second half of our dream-cast is complete. As mentioned in the first post, we know that the movie (and any subsequent one) won’t be a direct adaptation of the books, so it’s likely that few of the characters we’ve brought up will even appear in the movies. Regardlss, it was crazy-fun thinking about it, and we hope you enjoyed our ramblings. Sound off in the comments with agreements or other suggestions!

We’ll be back soon with talk of actual books, probably . . . *shrug* You’ll find out.

May your TBR piles tower but never topple,
Nikkie and Super Hubs