The Summer(s) of Stephen King [Remote Control Freak]

When I was 18, I moved to a new city. After finding a job, the next thing I did was get a library card. That summer I made it a point to read every single Stephen King book on the shelves (that I hadn’t already read). It took me about a year, but I managed to do it, so you might say that I take Stephen King pretty seriously. We won’t talk about how that next summer he got hit by a truck and lost all ability to write a good story. We won’t talk about that. I guess we’ll have to because Under the Dome is one such story. It’s only fair to mention that if you haven’t read a Stephen King novel, but have watched the movies based on them – cut the guy a break. His stories do not always translate well to screen. I was going to say they rarely have, but then I remember Carrie, Misery, The Running Man, The Green Mile, Stand By Me, The Shining, and my all time favorite, The Shawshank Redemption. So ok, a good percentage of his books make good movies. Hell, even the miniseries IT was fantastic for a miniseries in the 90’s. And it’s a cult freaking classic. But let’s not forget the absolute failures. Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, The Langoliers, Tommyknockers (which is my all time favorite of his novels). Damn this guy is rich. Ok so some of his books translate well and some don’t. Maybe the reason certain stories work is because they are based in character. They look more at the people in the stories and their individual motivations from within – rather than crazy supernatural happenings that either can’t be explained, or are just plain weird. The Shining and Carrie are examples of a little of both at play, but we all were far more fascinated with the people than whatever was driving them crazy. Admit it. When you get into “other realm” territory on a grand scale, it always works so much better in our own imagination than it does on screen. At least when it comes to the crazy stuff Mr. King comes up with. Under the Dome falls more into the category of the former. It is very character focused, though not yet character driven. So far it falls victim to the one thing that Stephen King miniseries (and sometimes movies) usually fail from. Too much story to work into a short amount of time. There are so many different back stories and focal characters that it’s hard to care about any one of them at this point. Or sometimes to even know or realize how they all come together. Mix that with the dozens of suspicious things they were all up to – and it’s just too much story to shove into an hour long episode and still drive the plot forward. Perhaps that’s a matter of direction, or screenwriting, or poor vision of the overall work. I don’t know because I never read the book. There became a serious lack in quality writing since his brain injury back in 1999. I’ll give props to the guy, he just keeps going and going – but I think that’s more because he’s a writer and he can’t not write or he won’t know who he is anymore. And people will continue to buy his books because he’s Stephen King. I won’t because I can’t suffer through another one of them in a hopeful attempt that one might actually be good. No offense Steve, love ya. Not that reading the book in any way influences the watching of the show. If anything, it’s better to have not read it because it’s going to veer off course from the original framework at some point if it hasn’t already. Look at Dexter and True Blood. It will have to in order to maintain...

UNDER THE DOME mini-review and SHINING sequel trailer [Procrastinate on This!]...

Did anyone else watch UNDER THE DOME last night? What did you think? I tried and failed to read the book, so I was just happy it didn’t take 100+ pages of discovering the dome from multiple viewpoints just to get started. Overall, I enjoyed it, appreciated the diverse cast, and look forward to seeing how it unfolds as a one-off summer series. Plus, one of my favorite comic book writers, Brian K. Vaughn, (SAGA, Y: THE LAST MAN) wrote the teleplay, so I’m definitely in it for the long haul. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can watch the current episode for free, starting this Friday, June 24th, and every Friday after that. Nice. Meanwhile, here’s the book trailer for DOCTOR SLEEP, the sequel to THE SHINING, which debuted during last night’s live episode....

The Worst Video Game Ever Made [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Nov11

The Worst Video Game Ever Made [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

With Halloween now safely past us, we’re officially into the holiday shopping season. Many Christmases ago, a big name video game was rushed to store shelves and officially became the biggest video game flop – ever! The production cost was so high; it nearly bankrupted the huge company behind it and ripped apart the video game world for years! In June 1982, Steven Spielberg released his mega blockbuster hit, E.T. into theatres. The film was the first to surpass Star Wars as the highest grossing film at the time and is ranked as one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. At the same time, the Atari Corporation was experiencing great success with their Atari 2600 video game console. The unit had been on sale since 1978, but now thanks to large demand lowering the cost, it was becoming more affordable for the masses. Millions of units had flown off of store shelves the previous Christmas. Americans were eager to plug this magic box into their TV and turn their home into an arcade! The Atari was the officially known as a “video computer system.” Up to this point, only single novelty video games were available for the home, with the most famous being Pong. Players loved being able to play video table tennis without having to drop a ton of quarters at the arcade and were hungry for more. Atari answered with their new console, the Atari 2600. It connected to a television set with a single cable that would be inserted to an exterior switch box, mounted on the back of the set. That switch box would change between the antenna and the game. If Atari would have included one of these in the box, it would have really saved a few trips to Radio...