Stephen King is the most adapted author of his generation. His work has been hitting the screen since his first novel, Carrie, was translated to film in 1976, and the adaptations haven't really slowed down since that launching point. If anything, they've sped up, as evidenced by everything from the two-part IT film series to Hulu's Castle Rock to the most recent adaptation, Mike Flanagan's film version of Doctor Sleep. King is so frequently adapted that Carrie has been made into a film three different times, and one of his short stories, “Children of the Corn,” spawned a film franchise that's stretched across 30 years and ten different movies.
The dozens of adaptations of his work over the last four decades prove that King has struck a nerve with filmmakers, even if they're not all able to pay back that favor with a good adaptations. The filmmakers that do manage to make good movies, even masterpieces, out of King's works, are the ones with either a firm understanding of the underlying cinematic power of his language or the huge heart present in his voice. The very best King films, listed from worst to best below, are good enough to do both.
10. Gerald's Game 2017
Gerald's Game is one of King's most conceptually daring novels, and depending on who you ask, the boldness didn't exactly pay off. It's the story of a woman who's left to fight for survival after her husband suddenly has a heart attack during a sex game at their secluded lake house. When he dies, she's left handcuffed to the bed, and as hallucinations set, in she's forced to reckon with her past while fighting for her future.
King stretched this intriguing hook into an entire novel by having much of its conflict play out entirely in a single desperate character's mind, making it both a challenging book for even longtime fans and an especially confounding story for anyone trying to make a visually arresting film out of it. Somehow, Mike Flanagan Oculus pulled it off. His film version of Gerald's Game — anchored by a commanding performance from Carla Gugino — is somehow both a streamlined version of King's narrative and a more expansive take on the story that delves into the nature of trauma, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves just to get through a day. It's a rare adaptation that's arguably a better version of the story than its source material.
IT is a novel about a group of friends during two very distinct periods in their lives, with a 27-year gap between one pivotal childhood summer and their dark reunion to battle an ancient evil decades later. Director Andy Muschietti and company decided these two eras should be largely split into two different films, in contrast to King's constant interweaving of them on the page. It was a gamble, and while it didn't always work for 2019's IT Chapter Two, the gamble paid off in magical ways for the initial installment in 2017.
Though the film moves the childhood action from the 1950s to the 1980s, Muschietti's adaptation retains the sense of nostalgia-smeared mythology the book instills in its ensemble. With an immensely charismatic cast of young actors, IT makes the jump to the screen with a few key changes, but the heart of the story remains an epic saga of a group of weird kids who set out to hunt down a monster. Throw in Bill Skarsgard's unforgettable take on Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and you've got a new King classic.
Pet Sematary is, famously, the novel that even King thought might be too horrifying to publish. With this chilling story about a family in the midst of tragedy and the supernatural force that could offer a way out, King felt that he'd pushed himself into particularly uncomfortable territory. Readers agreed, but they were still happy to devour the novel and its grim story of what happens when a grieving father tries to cheat death. Mary Lambert's film adaptation, scripted by King himself, sets out to retain this sense of creeping discomfort, and succeeds in just about every frame. The film is skin-crawlingly effective, from the peaceful country bliss we know will soon be shattered to that final disgusting gore effect.
In On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, King describes the conception of the story that would become Misery, and reveals that he initially thought of it as a rather gruesome short story with a sad ending for stranded novelist Paul Sheldon. Fortunately for all of us, King is not a writer who likes to marry himself to a rigid plot outline, and Paul Sheldon managed to find a way to survive the devastating devotion of his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Misery succeeds, as both a novel and a film, in no small part because King is able to create the seat-of-your-pants sense that the story could all go horribly wrong at any second, no matter how many pages you have left.
Director Rob Reiner retains that feeling for the film adaptation, weaving a taut thriller out of a stripped down story about two people who are each willing to go as far as it takes to get what they want. Of course, Misery doesn't work without two dynamite actors in the leading roles, and it's here that the movie is left is in the capable hands of Kathy Bates and James Caan. They trade blows for 100 pulse-pounding minutes, making this movie so much more than just that one, stomach-churning scene everyone knows about.
Though he will forever be known as the man who dreamed up haunted hotels and vampire boys tapping on windows for many readers, King's greatest asset as a composer of fiction might be his knack for voice. This is one of the reasons that one of his novellas, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, is so compelling to begin with, and perhaps the best decision Frank Darabont ever made as a filmmaker was to retain the novella's narrative voice for the movie. The Shawshank Redemption's success begins and ends with the soothing, soulful narration of Morgan Freeman's Red. The stirring visuals, sensational ensemble cast, and gorgeous Thomas Newman score do a lot of the heavy lifting along the way, but it's Red's voice — much of it lifted directly from King's text — that makes the film truly soar. Sometimes adapting prose to film is a lot like cooking: find the best ingredients you can, and do as little to them as possible.
The Dead Zone is one of King's best novels, and also among his most unwieldy when it comes to cinematic translation. It's the story of an ordinary man so ordinary that his name is actually John Smith with the extraordinary power to see the future when he touches someone, which already means much of the most exciting stuff is taking place in one guy's head. Throw in the sprawling timeline of the book, and it's a tricky thing to get up onscreen indeed.
Director David Cronenberg, producer Debra Hill, and writer Jeffrey Boam somehow made it work. Their version of The Dead Zone is a heavily abbreviated version of King's story, so much so that the primary antagonist Martin Sheen as a morally bankrupt politician doesn't show up until halfway through the movie. Copious edits aside, though, they retain the frightening spirit of King's original work, thanks in no small part to Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith. When you get an actor who always looks like something strange is going on just behind his eyes to begin with, you're halfway to where you want to be. Cronenberg's precise direction does the rest.
Stephen King is so good at what he does that he can pitch you things like “a kid buys a car that turns out to be haunted and can repair itself between murders” and then somehow make them work on the page even as you might be scoffing at the logline. Christine works like gangbusters on the page, but coming up with a convingly evil car for the big screen was another story, especially in 1983.
Fortunately for everyone involved, John Carpenter is also the kind of horror storyteller who can come up with a wild idea on the page “guy sees aliens through magic sunglasses,” etc. and then pull it off onscreen. His Christine is fast-paced, playful, and truly scary thanks to both Carpenter's expert pacing and the convincingly menacing antics of the car itself. Leave it to John Carpenter and Stephen King to make a Plymouth Fury popping dents out of its own hood into something truly nightmarish.
The Shawshank Redemption is a basic cable staple, so it's often held up as the first and only necessary evidence that Stephen King can do more than just horror. As great as Shawshank is, though, it's not the only proof of King's ability to tell a non-scary story, nor is it the best. That honor belongs to Rob Reiner's adaptation of King's novella, The Body, which appeared in the same collection as the Shawshank story, Different Season. Stand By Me is the story of four friends who embark on a two-day adventure to find a dead body out in the Oregon woods, and the dangers and personal struggles they encounter along the way. The wonderful ensemble — led by Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell — carries the film through its emotional beats, but its greatest asset seems to be Reiner's ability to know exactly which heartstring to pluck at any given time, like some kind of tearjerking virtuoso. It's a beautifully realized, nostalgic gem.
No other horror film has been studied, dissected, and mythologized quite like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining has. This movie is so lodged in our collective pop culture consciousness that an entire movie exists that's just about how fascinated some people are with The Shining. It's that ubiquitous and that impactful. Watching the film now, nearly 40 years after its initial release, it's still easy to see why. The Shining is a masterpiece of strange, sustained tension and judicious use of the supernatural. It's a textbook example of how to create a dread-inducing atmosphere out of a single location, and remains a masterpiece of the genre. There's no denying The Shining's impact or its masterful depiction of a man slowly unraveling in a supposedly haunted hotel. As an adaptation of a Stephen King work, though, it leaves something to be desired, and King hasn't been shy about saying so. The liberties the film takes with King's overall plot are fine, and often they're improvements Jack Torrance freezing to death in a hedge maze is more memorable than Jack Torrance dying in a boiler explosion, but the fundamental thematic core of the book feels tampered with, and that's enough to just edge The Shining out of first place here.
Carrie, King's debut novel, is a lean, mean thriller about a girl who's so disliked at her high school that she's bullied for being frightened by her first period, who then manages to exact revenge thanks to telekinetic powers she's only just learning to use. It's a slim book and therefore lends itself to a fast-paced film adaptation, but where other filmmakers might have simply delivered a solid thriller, Brian De Palma instead turned Carrie into an ultra-stylized, operatic bloodbath that's as funny as it is scary. Led by Sissy Spacek in the title role and a mesmerizing Piper Laurie as Carrie's overbearing mother, the film version of Carrie takes King's high-school-as-hell metaphors and writes them even larger and louder. The moment when Carrie's gauzy, dreamlike prom queen celebration descends into blood-drenched madness is a perfect encapsulation of the film's bold, relentless aesthetic. De Palma knew exactly what kind of film Carrie would make, and he didn't miss a step in giving it to us.
Netflix has a lot of cooking and baking shows, but in my humble opinion, the best of the best is Nailed It! The series takes a group of very unprofessional bakers and asks them to recreate fancy, Instagram-ready treats. The results are disastrous. That may sound like a mean-spirited show that mocks its contestants, but Nailed It! is actually very good-natured. We’re not laughing at the terrible bakers – we’re laughing with them. Nailed It! already unleashed one holiday special upon us, and now they’re about to drop another one. Watch the Nailed It! Holiday! season 2 trailer below.
Nailed It Holiday Season 2 Trailer
If you’ve never watched Nailed It! on Netflix, I urge you to check it out there are also several spin-offs, like Nailed It! France and Nailed It! Mexico. It’s a funny, charming, and altogether wholesome show, and a surefire cure for the blues disclaimer: I’m not suggesting a TV baking show can cure clinical depression because that would just be silly.
Now that Halloween is over we’re officially in the holiday season like it or not, and if you’re already in the midst of full-blown holiday anxiety, here comes Nailed It! Holiday! to ease some of the tension. Here’s the rundown:
Grab your loved ones because Nailed It! Holiday! is back! The messes are-a-plenty as St. Nicole and Jacques Frost deliver the best of the worst baking fails this season. Whether wrecking the halls or destroying the dreidel, jaws drop as the bakers attempt all new challenges inspired by the holidays. From Santa to Scrooge and angels to elves, these bakers find new ways to destroy the kitchen and ruin more taste buds in Nailed It! Holiday! – even The Grinch makes an appearance to help ring in the New Year! Guest judges include: Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell, David Burkta, Bridget Everett, Jason Mantzoukas and Ron Ben Israel.
Nailed It! Holiday! arrives on Netflix November 22, 2019.
Director Mike Flanagan has a knack for crafting spine-tingling cinema, which is probably why he is so adept at adapting the work of legendary horror writer Stephen King. With the recently released Doctor Sleep, his second Stephen King adaptation after 2017's Netflix exclusive Gerald's Game, it is certainly an enticing prospect to learn that Flanagan is already in conversation about returning to the Stephen King universe for a third time.
Mike Flanagan has discussed these conversations, and revealed the fact that they are happening with none other than Stephen King himself.
"[Stephen King and I] are talking actively about what's next, and we have a great idea for that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but it's really cool, and yeah, I expect there will be another chance to play in that sandbox very soon."
Sounds very intriguing, indeed. Thanks to this tease from the director, speculation is sure to be rife as to which Stephen King project the two have been discussing, with many fans hoping it will be their favourite King tale that will be lucky enough to get the silver screen treatment. Flanagan then went on to talk about his admiration for King, and how fortunate he feels to be able to adapt his stories, even suggesting that he could end up doing a lot more than three.
"It's been my dream since I was a kid to be able to adapt Stephen King, and he's let me play in that sandbox two times; I would be thrilled to do it again. He's been happy both times, which is still like [mind-blown gesture], as long as that keeps up, if he'll have me back, I'm there for the long haul. I'll do as many as he'll let me."
Mike Flanagan has made his name with horror flicks, and clearly intends to continue to do so. With Doctor Sleep getting great reviews, currently sitting at a fresh 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and having been very well received by both audiences and critics alike, his return to the world of King is one to equally be terrified of and celebrate.
Doctor Sleep is the continuation of Danny Torrance's story 40 years after the terrifying events of Stephen King's The Shining. Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the "shine."
Related: Two New Doctor Sleep Posters Return to the Overlook Hotel from The Shining
Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra's innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before-at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past. This news comes from CinemaBlend.
, , ] HomeMovie NewsDoctor Sleep Director & Stephen King Want to Make More Movies Together
The term “action movie” runs the spectrum of CGI explosion-filled spectacles and highly choreographed fight scenes to movies with heroes who deliver cheesy one-liners right before the last rocket-powered grenade is fired. It can mean shutting your brain off, or it can mean complex stories that use action to benefit the plot.
Luckily, Netflix has most subgenres covered when it comes to good action films, whether you want kung fu, superhero-ing, or anything in between. Here are the 20 best action movies on Netflix streaming right now, so grab some popcorn and enjoy.
Related: The Best Sci-Fi Movies On Netflix Right Now
Warner Bro 1. The Matrix 1999
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 8.7/10 The Wachowskis created one of the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with their mind-bending Matrix trilogy, but the original is hard to top. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a young man unplugged from the matrix — a kind of alternate reality that keeps humans docile, so machines can harvest their life energy. He teams up with a band of rebels fighting the machines Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity and faces off against a henchman named Agent Smith Hugo Weaving. The real draw of this trilogy, besides its inventive storyline, is the CGI display. The movie also sports some of the most imaginative fight sequences you'll ever see on the big screen.
Sony 2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Ang Lee's Oscar-winning martial arts flick defied the odds to become one of the most influential films in the genre, crossing multicultural barriers and introducing audiences to some great talents in the international acting world. The film follows the story of Li Mu Bai, an accomplished Wudang swordsman who retires his legendary weapon only to be pulled back into a battle with his arch-nemesis, a woman who killed his master years earlier and seeks to claim his sword for her own. There's more happening plot-wise — Bai has a love interest in another skilled warrior, Yu Shu Lien, and they're both forced to face off against a Wudang prodigy that's been studying under their enemy — but the real draw here is the perfectly-mapped-out fight sequences, which include just enough special effect to be awe-inducing, but not too much to distract from the beautiful choreography that Lee puts on display.
AMC 3. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2018
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Oscar-winning animated film is making its way to Netflix this summer, which means if you didn't get a chance to see it in theaters, you no longer have to wonder what all the hype is about. The story follows a young kid named Miles, who becomes the web-slinging hero of his reality, only to cross paths with other iterations of Spider-Man across different dimensions that help him defeat a threat posed to all realities. Mahershala Ali, John Mulaney, and Jake Johnson make up the film's talented voice cast, but it's the striking visuals and daring story-telling technique that really serves the film well.
Columbia 4. Black Hawk Down 2001
Run Time: 144 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Ridley Scott's 2001 war drama boasts an impressive ensemble cast and a gripping true story, two essentials to any great war film. Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Tom Sizemore, Sam Shephard, and a host of other A-listers star in this re-telling of the infamous Battle of Mogadishu, a 1993 raid by U.S. troops in Somalia that ended in tragedy. The objective of the mission was to capture a rebel leader responsible for inciting violence and genocide in the country. The film details all of the unfortunate circumstances that led to U.S. troops being pinned down in a remote village in Somalia, being forced to fight for their lives without backup, and ultimately, causing the U.S. government to decide to pull troops from the area. Hartnett gives a credible leading man performance as the young officer in charge of his first command, and the film finds its footing when it focuses on its main characters — men trying to survive in a hostile environment despite impossible odds.
Marvel/Disney 5. Black Panther 2018
Run Time: 134 min, IMDb: 7.4/10
Ryan Coogler's superhero flick revolutionized the Marvel Universe when it landed earlier this year, so it's only right that we're given the option to watch it over and over again. The film gives us a fully-realized, otherworldly Wakanda as it follows the trials and tribulations of a newly-minted king, T'Challa Chadwick Boseman. While trying to govern his people and embrace is Black Panther alter-ego, he's also got to fight off a would-be usurper in Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, who may just be the best villain Marvel has ever seen. And Coogler gives the women plenty to do in this as well with the Dora Milaje — T'Challa's all-female guard — and Lupita Nyong'o's badass spy getting ample screen time.
Columbia TriStar 6. Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels 1998
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn pair up for this British comedy about a group of friends who become entangled in a turf war of sorts after a card game gone wrong. Eddy Nick Moran is a card shark who buys into a high-stake game hosted by a mob boss named Harry. The game is rigged, and Eddy and his friends soon owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to the gang. To score the cash, they decide to rob a rival gang, who in turn have stolen money and weed from some local cannabis suppliers. Eventually, all of this thieving leads to shootouts and brawls over money, drugs, and two antique shotguns. Ritchie put himself and Jason Statham on the map with this one, patenting a fast-action, quick-witted type of storytelling that works well here and is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
Radius-TWC 7. Snowpiercer 2013
Run Time: 126 min, IMDb: 7.1/10
Chris Evans stars in this sci-fi thriller from auteur Bong Joon-ho. The film, set years into the future following a devastating ice age caused by mankind, follows Evans' Curtis who lives in poverty on a train that continuously circles the Earth and contains all that remains of human life. Curtis is part of the “scum” that the people relegated to the back of the train while the “elite” enjoy the privilege of wealth and status that comes with living in the front. Curtis sparks a rebellion that ends in bloodshed and a devastating reveal when he makes it to the train's engine room and discovers just how the elite have been fueling their operation. It's a dark, grimy action piece that should give fans a new appreciation for Evans' talent.
Marvel 8. Thor: Ragnarok 2017
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Before Black Panther became one of the highest grossing films in the Marvel Universe, Chris Hemsworth's hammer-loving hero gave the superhero franchise a much-needed dose of humor and fun with Thor: Ragnarok. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film follows the Asgardian warrior as he tries to save his home from the brutal reign of his long-lost sister Hela a wickedly good Cate Blanchett and fight his way out of off-planet gladiator pits with the help of the Hulk Mark Ruffalo and a Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson.
Sony 9. Kung Fu Hustle 2004
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
The early aughts action-comedy borrows elements from famous Kung Fu films of the '70s and pairs them with a completely ridiculous plot and some impressive cartoon-style fight sequences to produce a wholly original flick that we guarantee you'll marvel at. The film follows the exploits of two friends, Sing and Bone, who impersonate gang members in the hopes of joining a gang themselves and inadvertently strike up a gang war that nearly destroys the slums of the city. Of course, the real draw here is the absurdist, over-the-top comedy that takes place during some of the film's biggest action sequences. It's laugh-out-loud funny, but only if you check your brain at the door.
Miramax 10. Sin City 2005
Run Time: 124 min | IMDb: 8/10
Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez team up for this stylish crime thriller drowning in corruption, comic book references, and A-list actors playing varying degrees of anti-hero. Based on the first, third, and fourth books in Miller's original series, the film jumps between three different stories all set in the seedy underworld of Basin City. Bruce Willis plays an aging police officer framed for crimes he didn't commit and who must protect a young woman he's come to love. Clive Owen plays a vigilante who protects prostitutes from bad guys. And Mickey Rourke plays a man seeking revenge for the death of his lover. It's a lot of action and bloodshed, all done in Miller's signature tone and Rodriguez' recognizable flair.
Weinstein Company 11. Inglourious Basterds 2009
Run Time: 153 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, and Eli Roth star in Quentin Tarantino's imaginative World War II drama about a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers with a plan to assassinate Hitler. The film flip-flops between Pitt's Southern-accented Lt. Aldo Raine's mission to scalp Nazis and blow-up an exclusive event for SS officers in Paris and French actress Melanie Laurent, who plays a theater-owner with a devious plan of her own. It's full of mesmerizing performances and Tarantino's unique brand of humor — oh, and a lot of Nazi killing.
Universal Pictures 12. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World 2010
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Edgar Wright's 2010 action comedy about a hapless boy, who must defeat evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the hand of the girl he loves, is a fast-paced ride that bombards the senses. Michael Cera plays a loveable goof in the titular hero, a young man enamored with a woman named Ramona Flowers Mary Elizabeth Winstead. In order to be with his lady love, Scott takes on her exes six guys, one girl that challenge him to truly strange contests. The film is a cinematic mash-up of Japanese anime and gamer culture, intended for the crowd who grew up on Nintendo and comic books, but it brings plenty of overall laughs all the same.
FilmDistrict 13. Olympus Has Fallen 2013
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Gerard Butler proves he's still got it playing Mike Banning, a disgraced Secret Service agent who's pulled back in the fold when a terrorist attack on the White House puts the president's life in danger. Aaron Eckhart plays the Commander-in-Chief, who can also kick a surprising amount of butt, but most of the heroics are saved for Butler's Banning, who uses his inside knowledge of the White House to foil a highly-organized raid by a group of trained killers looking to set off America's nukes.
Paramount 14. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Set fives years after Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade marks Indiana Jones' journey to rescue and reunite with his estranged father, a historian who goes missing after searching for the Holy Grail. Harrison Ford returns to play the swashbuckling archeologist while Sean Connery — most famous for his role as James Bond at the time — plays Indy's absentee father. Most of the fun in this film can be chalked up to the pair's chemistry. Indy and his dad don't get along and their bickering, even as they're avoiding assassins and tracking down ancient relics, is played up for laughs, rightly so.
Disney/Lucasfilm 15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017
Run Time: 152 min, IMDb: 7.3/10
There's always going to be backlash when a studio decides to revive a beloved franchise and take it in a new direction but The Last Jedi continues to anger space fanboys everywhere and honestly, we're not sure what their gripe is. Rian Johnson gave us a masterclass in how to take something old and make it new again with his interpretation, injecting a bit of fun and fantasy into the age-old story. Mindblowing Jedi fights, Force connections, Porg, and Artic Foxes, the movie has something for everyone and it challenges both old and new characters alike with interesting arcs and climactic moments. Plus, did we mention Porgs?
Columbia 16. Bad Boys 1995
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in this foul-mouthed buddy comedy film as two detectives tasked with protecting a witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin from their own precinct's evidence storage facility. Marcus Lawrence and Mike Smith have been friends since childhood and are now working the beat together in Miami. When $100 million of heroin goes missing from their unit's storage facility, they're sent to track down who might have taken it before Internal Affairs intercedes. Smith and Lawrence have an easy, lived-in chemistry that really sells this thing, and the action's not too bad either.
Columbia 17. Hellboy 2004
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Sure, Stranger Things star David Harbour is about to make the Hellboy franchise cool again, but before the Internet's sweetheart dons the horns and the fist, why not revisit this masterpiece starring Ron Perlman? Not only does Perlman easily sell a devil-may-care attitude while he's hammering bad guys in the face, battling Russian sorcerers, killing Nazis, and tangling with tentacled behemoths, but Guillermo del Toro directs this thing, which means the visuals are just as spell-binding as the action.
Mandarin Films 18. Ip Man 2008
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 8/10
In a town filled with aspiring martial artists, the best of the best is Ip Man, a father and husband who just wants to keep his quiet way of life even in the midst of the Japanese occupation of China. In discovering that sometimes fighting is the only way to keep the peace, Ip inspires many by taking a stand during war-torn times. As a subtle reflection on war mixed with a healthy dose of fast-paced, mesmerizing combat, Ip Man is actually based on the real life of Yip Man, the grand master who trained Bruce Lee.
Miramax Films 19. Equilibrium 2002
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Christian Bale and Season Bean star in this Sci-Fi drama set in an oppressive future where all forms of emotion are outlawed. Bale plays a man named John Preston, who's charged with enforcing the law but when he accidentally forgets to take a dose of the medicine that suppresses feelings and artistic expression, he begins to question the system he upholds and eventually, leads an uprising.
Columbia 20. xXx 2002
Run Time: 124 min | IMDb: 5.9/10
Vin Diesel takes a break from jacking cars to play extreme-sports junkie Xander Cage in this action thriller with Samuel L. Jackson. Cage is recruited by the NSA to take down a Russian terrorist group planning to unleash a chemical weapon on major cities around the world. In exchange for clearing his criminal record, Cage spies on the group, learning their plans while performing some death-defying stunts. Diesel is the quintessential action man in this one, hooking up with girls, kicking a**, and saving the world, but the fight scenes and action sequences are just inventive enough to keep you interested.
Recent Changes Through October 2019: Removed: April And The Extraordinary World Added: Sin City
The title screen for “Oprah's Book Club” on Apple TV+ is a portrait in serenity. Reclining on a divan, wearing what I can only fantasize is very, very expensive cashmere in lush neutral tones, Oprah Winfrey is relaxing — Apple Watch on her wrist, iPad in her hand — and reading a book.
That book, we're to believe, is Ta-Nehisi Coates' “The Water Dancer,” Winfrey's latest selection for her book club, which started as a segment on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1996. The segment has evolved and expanded over the years, and now includes significant online engagement; this new incarnation debuted as a one-hour show last week on Apple TV+.
Yes, “Oprah's Book Club” is product placement on a number of levels — but it doesn't seem forced or vulgar. This is the future of commerce-based entertainment: It's well-produced, it's interesting, and it seamlessly incorporates social media to create a community. It is hard to overemphasize how important the show is to book publishers — 50 million books have been sold after Oprah's blessing, by her own count — and this imprimatur will definitely help purchases on the Apple Books application.
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I’m still in awe of that first sentence in The Water Dancer, which as you know was a full paragraph. Sharing over lunch with @lupitanyongo and @cynthiaerivo. Both who’ve portrayed enslaved women. Head to @oprahsbookclub for our full discussion
The Star Wars franchise has long worn its Japanese influences on its sleeves. From the kimono-like robes of its Jedi, to the pseudo-Japanese names, to the Akira Kurosawa homages, as well as the roots of the Force in Eastern mysticism and philosophies, Lucas owes a lot to the country. For further proof, George Lucas initially wanted to cast longtime Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
So it’s fitting that Star Wars will come full circle and turn all that Japanese narrative subtext into text. An official Star Wars kabuki adaptation is in the works, with the stage play set to premiere in Tokyo later this month.
Ichikawa Ebizo XI, one of the most famous and popular kabuki performers in Japan, will be adapting Star Wars into a kabuki stage play, according to Mantan Web via Nerdist. Ichikawa will supervise the production of the kabuki adaptation and star as Kylo Ren “in the generational portrayal.” The kabuki production will only cover the new trilogy and will reportedly “feature key scenes” from each of the new movies, including the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
“ Star Wars Kabuki will depict the love and loss felt by the Skywalker family over the past 40-plus years,” Ichikawa said in a press release about the upcoming performance. “Whether you ’re a Star Wars lover or a kabuki lover, it ’s a great piece to enjoy.”
The full title for the kabuki production is Star Wars Kabuki-Rennosuke Hikarigatana Sanbon, which roughly translates to Star Wars Kabuki-Ren and Three Light Sabers. It’s a title that suggests the kabuki play will shift the focus to Kylo Ren away from than the new trilogy’s protagonist, Rey. Who are the Three Light Sabers? Perhaps Kylo, Rey, and Luke? Or the three sad Skywalker men whose tragic arcs have defined the series, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and Kylo? The latter seems to be more the case considering modern kabuki’s male-heavy casts.
Kabuki is considered one of the most beautiful traditional Japanese theater traditions, characterized by its elaborate make-up and costumes, and ened dance-drama performances. The performances are usually set in the samurai era, though can extend to other eras — in this case, a galaxy far, far away. I wonder if this Star Wars kabuki adaptation will go full sci-fi and feature futuristic costumes of Stormtroopers and droids, but it would also not be difficult for Ichikawa to transplant the story to medieval Japan. The narrative’s Eastern influences are threaded throughout the new films, and the visuals of The Last Jedi especially are not far off from the bold, ened designs of kabuki.