Category Archives: Movies/TV

Expecto Patronum

I got home from the theater with my wife and little girl (she’ll be 7 on Tuesday). She came dressed as Hermione, with her robe, wand, etc.

At the start of the movie, when we first see the Dementors flying outside of Hogwarts, my daughter stands up, points her wand at the screen and YELLS, “Expecto Patronum!”

My wife was so embarrassed. I was so proud.

The Mist

“You got that kid killed, and I got his f***ing blood on me!” – David Drayton


David Drayton, a commercial artist is painting in his home one night in the middle of a violent thunderstorm. He leaves to take shelter with his family in the basement only to awake the next morning to find his art studio and the painting he was working on has bee completely destroyed. While surveying the damage outside he also learns his boathouse has been crushed by a neighbors tree. As he goes to exchange insurance information with him he learns his neighbor, Brent Norton he learns a tree also fell on his property and crushed his car.

The two of them, along with David’s five-year-old son Billy head into to town to get supplies and resources while the power is down. On the way there they pass several military vehicles speeding down the highway. Once they arrive at the store a strange mist starts to engulf everything outside. A local named Dan Miller comes running, in front of the mist bleeding from the nose saying “something is in the mist.”

Jeff’s Review

Based on a 1980 novella by Stephen King, the Mist might be the most frightening film based on King’s work. It was directed and written by Frank Darabont who also adapted King’s the Shawshank Redemption and the Green Mile. Both of those movies are numbers one and two on my all time favorite movie list. So I had very high expectations about this movie beforehand.

I had never read the book so I came to the story fresh with no preconceived notions of what to expect.  Sometimes it hurts when you know the story from a book seeing the movie. I probably would have enjoyed “I am Legend” better if I did not view the movie wanting to see Richard Matheson’s vampire novel on screen.

So coming in blind, what I saw shocked and scared me. Darabont succeeds in making a very terrifying monster movie. And yet at the same time, an interesting movie about people’s natural reaction to fear.

Having seen the movie, I did go out and read the book and the film was fairly faithful to the original story, changing a few things for dramatic and storytelling purposes. One major change was the ending of the movie. It is completely different then what King penned in his novella. Darabont wasn’t sure if King would like it or not and was apprehensive about showing it to him, but to his delight King loved it. King went as far as saying:

“Frank wrote a new ending I love. It is the most shocking ending ever. There should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last five minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead.”

I, of course, will obey Mr. King and just say after viewing the movie’s ending it literally left me speechless.  It is something you did not see coming and will make you think for a long time to come about what you would do if ever faced with a similar situation.


  • Thomas Jane as David Drayton
  • Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody
  • Laurie Holden as Amanda Dumfries
  • Andre Braugher as Brent Norton
  • Toby Jones as Ollie Weeks
  • William Sadler as Jim Grondin
  • Jeffrey DeMunn as Dan Miller
  • Frances Sternhagen as Irene
  • Alexa Davalos as Sally
  • Nathan Gamble as Billy Drayton

The cast did a magnificent job. Thomas Jane is remarkable as a David Drayton and he almost did not get the role, as the studio did not want him at first. Luckily for us, everything got straightened out.  I was also really happy to see Jeffrey DeMunn as he is one of my favorite actors. He has been in a number of Stephen King movies, including Shawshank and Green Mile. But m favorite role of his was in King’s miniseries, “Storm of the Century.” His role here in the Mist was small, but he was brilliant every moment he was on camera.

Suggestions and Ratings

The movie is rated R for violence, terror, gore, and language. At just over two hours long this movie is a perfect movie to watch with all the lights off and a big bag of popcorn on your lap. Seriously, you are doing yourself a disservice if you watch this movie with the lights on. So turn them off and prepare yourself for a terrifying night! Four out of four stars.


A good comedy is hard to achieve. For every Tommy Boy, there are a dozen Good Luck Chucks. Will Ferrell, however, has seemed to find a niche with the genre. His latest film is no different, by the end of the movie my stomach was actually hurting from laughing.

Set in the 1970’s, Ferrell plays Jackie Moon the artist behind the popular song “Love Me Sexy.” Instead of pursuing his singing career, he instead buys the Tropics, a struggling American Basketball Association team. He moves them to the nontropical city of Flint, Michigan, and names himself head coach, head promoter, and star player.

The Tropics are a fun team, who love the game despite their losing record. With a handful of dedicated fans, the team’s limbers by night after night getting the job done. Things change when news comes that the ABA would be closing it’s doors and merging with the NBA. Jackie Moon is excited at the thought of his team playing with the “big boys.”

A league-wide coaches meeting is called with the commissioner where it is learned only four certain teams would be merging. When Jackie Moon objects they agree to allow the top four teams at the end of the season to move to the NBA.

With the Tropics new goal of fourth place set, they trade their washing machine for a ringer to help the team play fundamental basketball.  Woody Harrelson plays Monix, a guy with a drinking problem who has an ABA championship ring to back him up.

Ferrell’s supporting cast is outstanding, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Andre Benjamin as Clarence “Coffee” Black. He has played a number of supporting roles in the past, but his work in Semi-Pro really stands out. He has the talent to be a major star in Hollywood for many years to come.

Kent Alterman, the freshman director behind Semi-Pro also worked with Ferrell as the Executive Producer of Elf. He did an excellent job of not letting the movie get to heavy. I was worried about this when I learned he was a producer of the horrible film “Balls of Fury.”

Alterman when doing press interviews for the movie was asked about the film having a dramatic side, as well as comedy, said,

“Rest easy once you spend ten minutes with the movie you will know we have no illusions of grandeur. We don’t take ourselves seriously and we hope the audience enjoys the movie for what it is a comedy with the attention of making you have a good time.”

And trust me, a good time you will have. The movie makes you laugh! In fact, it has the same envious problem as the Borat movie. I laughed so much I felt as if I missed other jokes! I plan on seeing this movie again once it is released in theaters because it was that good. Will Ferrell scores a monster slam dunk with this film. Let’s get tropical.  Three out of Four Stars.

One side note, I have really enjoyed all of the promotion they have put into the film. For example, Will Ferrell did a Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo spread as Jackie Moon with Heidi Klum. During the super bowl, the also did a number very funny Old Spice commercials.  Just search for “Semi-Pro” and you will find many of them.


Toward the end of 2007, I started to hear the buzz about a movie called Juno, it wasn’t in a lot of theaters and in very few cities, but it sounded like a movie I would want to see. So after putting my detective shoes on, I got a copy of the movie and was amazed at the depth, warmth, and humor this movie throws your way in 96 minutes.

Juno, without a doubt, was the best movie of 2007! Everything from the acting, writing, soundtrack, the pieces of the puzzle come together and fit wonderfully! Young actress Ellen Page steals the show with her incredible acting abilities. This young woman was nominated for an Oscar for her portal of Juno, and I was shocked when she didn’t win. And with a supporting cast including of Michael Cera, Allison Janney, Jennifer Gardner and Jason Bateman you are sure to have a good time!

But the star of this film is Juno, from the moment you see her on the screen, she wins you over. At the young age of 16, she becomes pregnant and is faced with the ultimate question, of whether or not to keep the baby.  She calls a local abortion mill to make an appointment, however, when she gets there, she sees a friend from school protesting. After a small conversation, Juno heads into the mill. As she goes toward the door, her friend makes a plea to keep the baby, and yells out to Juno, that her baby has fingernails! As Juno is waiting for the abortionist, she notices the fingernails of everyone around her and finally understands she must have the baby.

Obviously realizing she can’t raise a baby, she looks in the local paper for couples wanting to adopt. She comes across a picture of what looks like the perfect couple and decides to give them a call.

The rest of the film unfolds like a beautiful piece of music. It’s often cliché for a critic to call a movie, an emotional rollercoaster, but this is the essence of one. You are guaranteed to laugh, cry, be upset and angry with all the twists and turns this movie will throw at you! Four out of four stars.


Shutter was almost universally trashed by critics and moviegoers alike. The movie is nothing more than a ghost story sat in Japan. The tension builds as Ben and Jane start to realize they are being haunted and followed by a ghostly image that appears in all their photos. Shutter is decently scary, however, the script could have used a few more rewrites. We have good actors in Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor but the characters are so one dimensional.

The film falls apart in the final acts where the standard ghost story cliches make their appearance. I saw the ending coming halfway through the movie and I was dreading it like a child dreads taking a bath. I so wanted something to happen to divert us from what was sure to be a dreadful final 10 minutes of the movie, but nothing happened.

This movie would have worked brilliantly as an hour-long X-Files episode, but it fails as an hour and a half major motion picture. One positive note was the cinematography. It was shot on location in Japan and that definitely gave the film an authentic and beautiful look.

The movie is rated PG-13 for intense terror, disturbing images, sexual content and language. I am giving it one and a half stars because despite it’s poor screenplay, the actors were good and there are enough scary moments not to make the film a total wash. It could have been so much better.

2/4 stars


The Shawshank Redemption

As any Stephen King fan knows, his books sometimes have trouble translating to film. King has even gone so far as to sue certain filmmakers after the fact because they made such horrible representation of his work. However, because Stephen King is such a brilliant writer when his films do succeed they are usually masterpieces.

Such is the case with the Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont took this short story about a man falsely imprisoned for murder and turned it into the greatest movie ever made!

Set in the late forties, Tim Robins plays, Andy Dufresne, a successful banker, who is tried and convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover. He is sentenced to two life terms in prison, without the possibility of parole. Once there he is confronted with the harsh reality, that will be his life from this day on.

He eventually meets a man named Red, played wonderfully by Morgan Freeman. Red is everyone’s go-to-guy, if there is something you want, he is the man who can get it for you. Andy asks Red if he could get him a rock hammer because Andy is making a chess board and would like the hammer to make the pieces.  And so begins one of the strongest friendships ever portrayed in the film. Robins and Freeman are such amazing actors, you feel as if each line of dialogue is being spoken directly to you.

Obviously, in a prison movie, you are bound to get themes like hope and freedom. But with the Shawshank Redemption, it is more than just clever storytelling.  You actually share the same hopefulness with Andy as he longs for his freedom once again.

As movies go, you don’t get better then the Shawshank Redemption! The only other movie that is in the same league is the Green Mile. Which also happens to be a Stephen King movie adapted for the screen, by Frank Darabont. As Andy says, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and good things never die.” Neither will the Shawshank Redemption. Four out of four stars.

The Prince of Egypt

“You who I called brother. How could you have come to hate me so? Is this what you wanted? Then let my heart be hardened and never mind how high the cost may grow. This will still be so. I will never let your people go.” – Pharaoh Ramesses II

An ambitious account of the life of Moses and the great Exodus. The Prince of Egypt was DreamWorks first full-length animated film and while based on the biblical story, the film does take many dramatic liberties. However, it still stays true to the book of Exodus. The filmmakers actually place a disclaimer up front which points the viewers to the Bible to find out what actually happened (which impressed me).

The film starts in the middle of the persecution of the Hebrew people by the King of Egypt. He has ordered the execution of the first born male child of all the Hebrew people. The Pharaoh was afraid that if the male numbers grew, one day they the slaves would have enough men to overpower him and flee for freedom.

Jochebed, a Hebrew woman is afraid for her new baby boy. With her daughter Miriam she sets her son afloat inside a whicker basket in the Nile river in hopes for a better life – free from the slaughter that would find him if he were to stay.

Miriam follows the basket until it arrives at of all places the palace of the King and Queen of Egypt. The Queen finds the baby and names him Moses. She adopts him as her own. The film cuts to twenty years later and we see Moses and his adopted brother Rameses playing and causing trouble. They are the Prices of Egypt and are having a grand time. One night, Moses runs into his slave sister Miriam. She confronts Moses and tells him that he is her brother. He is upset and angry at such an accusation, until she starts to sing a lullaby that he remembers.

Moses runs away in search for answers. The Pharaoh, tells Moses it’s the truth, but that matters not because he a Prince of Egypt now. He says not to feel upset, they were only Hebrew children that were killed. Moses is taken back at the callousness in his father’s voice.

This eventually leads to Moses running away and fleeing Egypt into the desert. Here is here’s the voice of God in the Burning Bush telling him to return to Egypt and free the slaves and lead them to freedom. When Moses does finally return to confront the king, he realizes the new Pharaoh is his brother Rameses!

The filmmakers had daunting task ahead of them when they set out to make this film. The story is cherished by billions of people. Christians, Jews and Muslims all hold this story is sacred. It was banned in several Arab countries and caused a lot of controversy at the time of it’s release. The film was all most universally praised but it still contains several very dark themes. The murder of children for instance is confronted head on in the film.

The story of Moses and the great Exodus comes alive in this animated film. It’s very close to a musical, but I don’t think it’s actually classified as one. The music in the film is remarkable is probably my favorite soundtrack of all time. This is a powerful and uplifting story that will show you how miracles can happen if you believe. The scenes of Moses parting the Red Sea are worth the price of admission alone.


  • Val Kilmer as Moses
  • Ralph Fiennes as Ramesses II
  • Patrick Stewart as Pharaoh Seti I
  • Michelle Pfeiffer as Zipporah
  • Helen Mirrem as Queen Tuya
  • Jeff Goldblum as Aaron
  • Sandra Bullock as Miriam
  • Danny Glover as Jethro
  • Steve Martin as Hotep
  • Martin Short as Huy
  • Ofra Haza as Yocheved

The cast is incredible. You can see from the names above, this is nothing but top notch talent. Jeff Goldbulm was great as Aaron, the brother of Moses. Val Kilmer, the voice of Moses was also the voice used for God. He was extremely reverent and there is nothing sacrilegious at all about his portal. Steve Martin and Martin Short steal many scenes in the film as the two head priests for the Pharaoh.

Ratings and Suggestions

The Prince of Egypt is rated PG for intense depiction of thematic elements. I would recommend this film for the whole family. Even with the darker themes in the movie, it’s nothing graphic and should not stop you from showing your younger children the movie. I strong recommend the film however to adults who want a fresh (or new even) perspective on the story. This is one amazing film, which I happy give four out of four stars.

Bridge to Terabithia

I watched Bridge to Terabithia with great excitement. It came highly recommended from my good friend and fellow critic, Heather. But even in her praise for the movie, I was not ready for what I saw. I watched in stunned silence as the film ended. As I wiped away tears from my eyes, I thought about my own childhood. There’s something magical about an elementary school that’s hard to explain. However, the friendships you make, while they may not last, are almost sure to have an impact on your life for years to come.

The story revolves around a young boy named Jess Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) and his little sister May Belle (Bailee Madson). The movie begins as we see Jess getting ready for a big race at school. Unfortunately, his mom threw his lucky sneakers out with the trash and since he comes from a poor family he’s is forced to wear his older sisters pink tennis shoes instead. Mortified at the thought, he quickly grabs a black marker and colors them in.

Later that day, as the race is set to begin the new girl in class Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb) decides to run as well (much to the chagrin of the others, who thought this was a “boy’s only” race). The contest is a close one between Leslie and Jess with Leslie taking the lead and beating him at the last minute. May Belle runs over to her big brother Jess, but he is sour because he was beaten by Leslie who offers to shake hands after the race. He’s embarrassed and walks away from her. His bitterness fades away and eventually, the two of them develop a close friendship help by the fact that Leslie moved into the empty house next door to Jess.

While playing in the woods one day, the two of them create a magical world called Terabithia. Filled with magic and wonder, their world is full of prisoners being held captive by the evil, Dark Master. Jess and Leslie, with the help of dragonfly warriors, have come to set them free. As their imagination sores, so do the adventures they have in Terabithia.

In a film full of remarkable moments and scenes, I have to say I was impressed at a very potent conversation Leslie, Jess and May Belle have on their way home from church one Sunday about God and the Bible. Leslie tells them she doesn’t believe God would ever damn anyone to hell because he’s to busy making “all of this” as she points to the picturesque countryside around her.

The Bridge to Terabithia is an extraordinary movie that should be remembered as one of the best coming of age movies ever created. The amazing thing to me is how the movie so carefully focuses on the different kinds of friendships and how important those can be. You see the frustration and anger Jess can feel have towards his little sister May Belle, but at the same time how much he loves and cares about her. And then the relationship between Jess and Leslie is incredible because you feel the connection these two have towards each other is so genuine and beautiful words fail to aptly describe it.

Another thing that sets the movie apart from the rest is the music. Throughout the film, the director so wisely uses the music to set the tone and feel of the movie. Every film tries to do this, and it rarely works as wonderful as it does in Bridge to Terabithia.

One of the best movies ever made, this should be required viewing or all students in junior high or high school. Based on the award-winning novel by Katherine Paterson, the Bridge to Terabithia is a movie for all ages who cherish friendship. Turn on your imagination and be sure to keep your mind wide open, this movie gets Four out of four stars.

Review of – I am Legend (2007)

Each afternoon when the sun is highest in the sky, Robert Neville waits. He sits on a pier under the shadows of a destroyed Brooklyn Bridge with the anticipation of encountering other human life. Months slowly turn into years as he waits in vain. He’s the lone survivor of a deadly virus that has apparently killed off all of the human race. All but a few, who hide in the shadows and wait for dusk. When the sun goes down, they come out and Robert Neville goes into hiding. He waits bunkered down in his steel enforced apartment and prays that another night goes by where he is undetected.

In 1954, author Richard Matheson penned I Am Legend and instantly breathed new life into the modern zombie and vampire genre. In his book, Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a worldwide catastrophe. During the night scores of men and women roam the streets infected by a rapid bacteria based virus that has turned them into vampires. They wait outside of Neville’s house screaming his name. They want his blood, they want him to join them. At dawn, the vampires who were not able to get into hiding are killed because of the powerful light of the sun. It’s only as this time Robert Neville is safe to come out of his fortified home and begin his daily routine. He must fix the windows and make sure they are still secure. After violent attacks the planks would be split or pried off, and he’d after to replace them. He then goes about gathering up all of the dead bodies so he can dispose of them. After this he goes out looking for them, trying to find their hiding place so he can kill them before they have the chance to kill him.

This story has become so successful, that it inspired countless other novels and movies. Stephen King has said, “I am Legend was one of the most frightening and fascinating books I’ve ever read.” He later said, “Without Richard Matheson, I would not be around.” George A. Romero has said numerous times that I am Legend was a major influence for him in his magnum opus “Night of the Living Dead.”

The book has been adapted for film two times prior to Francis Lawrence 2007 version. The first was in 1964 and called “The Last Man on Earth.” And again in 1971 as “The Omega Man.” Both films strayed from Matheson’s work to various degrees. The end results often left fans of the book sad and unsatisfied. So imagine the surprise and anticipation when the trailer was released for the third film version of the book, starring none other than Will Smith! I count myself as one of those huge fans of the book, who could not wait to see how the filmmaker would treat the masterpiece that is Matheson’s book.

I am happy to report that most of what I have to say is positive. However, the film could have been so much more amazing had they gone with an alternative ending they shot but failed to use. The film opens with a news anchor interviewing Dr. Alice Krippin who is there to announce she has successfully re-engineered the measles virus to be “helpful, rather then harmful.” She reports a one hundred percent cure rate in all of her clinical trials. Out of 10,009 patients with cancer, she has cured them all.

Three years later we are transplanted to an empty and abandoned New York City. We see no signs of human life at all. Until we see a red Ford Mustang GT flying down an empty street. Hello, Mr. Neville. Will Smith plays Robert Neville exactly how I pictured him in Matheson’s novel. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and also a microbiologist specialized in the field of virology.

We learn from a sequence of flashbacks, that the Krippin cure had mutated into a very contagious and deadly strain of the virus. Almost all humans and animals are infected and the entire population of the planet is pretty much wiped out. Those who didn’t die have developed a nasty and aggressive personality. Much more akin to zombies rather then vampires as in Matheson’s tale. Still the same we see hints that these zombie like creatures have intelligence and organizational skills.

Like the book, during the night Neville takes shelter in his home. While the zombies roam and terrorize outside. However, one significant difference is the zombies do not know where Neville lives. He has made sure for the past three years to always cover his tracks. This is important as it is the number one reason Neville believes he is safe.

One of Neville’s primary routines each day is the study and research of a cure for the disease that has ravaged the planet. He tries new potential antidotes on rats and other infected animals. When it shows possibility with them he then sets traps and tries to captures one of the zombies. After several dozen human tests, he has still not found a cure. He has done a meticulous and precise job to document everything and even keep his data on six different hard drives of his computer (a sleek, futuristic looking iMac).

Neville’s continuous failure to find a solution to the world wide epideictic might have been too much to handle for anyone one man, but luckily for his weaning sanity, he has his family dog Sam as a companion.

I am Legend is a scary a decent adaption of the Richard Matheson’s novel. It’s certainly the best version of the film made, and when you add the alternative ending to the film the director shot buy failed to use, you turn this movie from decent into perfect.

In the theatrical version of the movie, you see the zombies as mindless killing machines, the glimpses of humanity and intelligence are fleeting and don’t add up to anything in the end. The irony and twist to the original story is completely lost.

This was beyond exasperating. They had Will Smith, the perfect actor to play Robert Neville and just settled on making a scary, post-apocalyptic movie. And if that was all they were aiming for, then congratulations, you succeeded. I give this version of the film three out of four stars.

However, Francis Lawrence shot an alternative ending that if used would have made the movie one of the greatest horror films ever created. In this version, we see that the zombies are not just mindless killing machines after all. And they don’t necessarily care all that much about being “cured.” What they would like is to have Robert Neville stop killing them! They see all of his experiments as torture and murder. The entire film had been flipped on its head and you have to really analyze who was really the “bad guys” in the end. This is exactly the twist we have in the book, only to a slightly different degree. This version of the film receives four out of four stars.

The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science fiction action and violence. The theatrical release is 100 minutes long and the alternative version is four minutes longer. This is definitely a DVD you want to own. The DVD comes with many great features such as three deleted scenes, animated cartoons, and the alternative version I mentioned above.

The theater version gets three out of four stars and the alternative gets four out of four stars which come out to: three and half out of four stars.

The Day After Tomorrow

The world is ending, global warming is real and you have 24 hours to get to Mexico!  Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the script that could have been written by Al Gore. And while the movie is pure fantasy, I did, however, find myself enjoying it.

Quaid plays Jack Hall, a climatologist who has been trying to sound the alarm of global climate change with no luck. Suddenly massive storms hit the planet, sending Earth into a second Ice Age. Hall then must race to New York, where his son is trapped in the library.

The movie is fun, and ludicrous at the same time. It’s nice eye candy and if you have some time to kill, with no other movies to watch, you should enjoy yourself with this one. One and a half stars out of four.

The Bee Movie

“What is the deal with Bees? I mean come on, why are they so small? And why… do the like honey?”

Okay, now just picture me saying that in a Seinfeld accent. Still not amused? Okay, let’s get to this review. I promise not to use too many bee jokes or one-liners, but I admit it will be hard to resist.  As every hardcore Seinfeld fan knows, most of the titles of his episodes were very simple and followed the same formula: The Contest, The Junior Mint, The Virgin, The Bubble Boy. So it was no surprise to me, that his movie was called, “The Bee Movie.”

Jerry Seinfeld plays a bumblebee named Barry Bee Benson (notice the clever alliteration) who has just finished college and is ready to head out in the bee world as a honey worker.  However, he flies outside with the other worker bees whose job it is to pollinate flowers and discovers the magic that is the human race.

Once out there his life is saved by a sweet woman named Vanessa Bloome (Renee Zellweger). He breaks a cardinal bee rule and speaks to her, and surprisingly enough, she’s not that freaked out by it. Bloome shows him all about the outside world and makes a startling discovery! Humans are making honey and selling it without prior bee permission! This enrages Barry and with the help of his new friend, decided the sue the whole human race. A hilarious courtroom drama ensues and Barry must deal with the consequences of the court’s verdict.

The Bee Movie is not for everyone. I wonder how many kids will really enjoy the movie. I know I have tried to get my three-year-old daughter to watch it a few times, and she lost interest rather quickly. I on the other hand really enjoyed the movie and I suspect many other fans of Jerry Senfiend’s comedy will enjoy the movie as well. Zellweger’s very sweet voice is soothing to listen too, and Patrick Warburton just has to speak and he makes me laugh. Three out of four stars.

1408 (2007)

Swedish film director Mikael Håfström takes Stephen King’s unsettling story about a haunted hotel room and turned it into an amazing hour and forty six minute fright-fest!

This film is unique because the majority of it is Crusack alone in the hotel room. It’s virtually his very own one-man show. He takes command of the screen and doesn’t let go.

The film version of 1408 is vastly different and I dare say superior to the book. While King’s novella was good and spooky in its own right, the movie takes the story to a new level. In the book, we don’t really know what’s going on in the room. All we hear (read) is what Michel records in the cassette recorder. Other than that we are left to our imagination. And while this does work well for a novel, it obviously would not work for the theaters.

The story builds and plays on your anticipation of what is going to happen next. And when it does actually happen, it has you jumping out of your seats with fear. The pacing reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s work in Sightings, very slow and methodical.

When you get to watch this on DVD, be sure to watch the alternative version of the film too. I would say they are both equally good, while the alterative version is just slightly better. The ending is improved and makes more sense to me than the original.

Verdict: Buy the DVD