Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dark Half

On the other end of the spectrum, there's one of George Romero's "lesser" works, which I enjoyed quite a lot. I mean, it wasn't absolutely brilliant and I probably thought it was funnier than the filmmakers intended, but since when is that a bad thing? (I guess if I thought, like, Schindler's List was funny, that'd be a bad thing. Luckily, I'm not reviewing Schindler's List. Ever.)
The movie starts with a kid named Thadeus Beaumont (now that's a name) having terrible fits and headaches, and has to have an absorbed twin removed from his brain. Thad grows up to be an author (played by Academy Award Winner Timothy Hutton) who releases novels nobody reads under his own name and, secretly, trashy detective stories under the name George Stark. When a guy threatens to blackmail Thadeus, ol' Thad decides to go public about his pseudonym and "kill off" George Stark. Georgie (played by Large Ham Timothy Hutton) doesn't take too kindly to being dead, though, and crawls out of the ground to exact his revenge.
For someone who has a hard time getting through even Stephen King's short stories, I love movies based on his work. I think it might be that I love his ideas but have a hard time with his writing style. Off the top of my head, The Shining is the only King movie adaptation that I didn't like (I have a hard time with Kubrick's directing style, so King + Kubrick = "ugh, nevermind"). So, knowing I have a soft spot for Stephen King movies, it was almost a given I was going to like The Dark Half (even though I think Dark Half may have been written by George Stark ... I mean, Richard Bachman).
It's also no secret that I'm a big fan of over the top acting, so Hutton's Stark was my very favorite part of the movie. He may as well be wearing a neon sign that says "Villain;" he's dressed in all black and has weird greaser hair and cuts people with a razor blade. And he has the best line in the movie:

GEORGE STARK: Murder. You want some?

That is brilliantly, ridiculously, hilariously evil, my friends. And I love it.
As with most King adaptations, there were some things I didn't get (Why sparrows? Why did George develop zombieism? ... Actually, I think they explained why George Stark appeared to be melting and I just missed it; sometimes the dialogue got a little quiet) but that's okay. I had fun watching The Dark Half and that's all that matters.

End of line.

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