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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 10 January 2004
I first saw this when it was put on sky over a few nights years and years ago. I had the foresight then to tape it, and it has stood the test of time, and has given me hours of enjoyment ever since.
There is humour, humanity, evil, fear, loving, you see how the survivors of a flu epidemic in the USA divide into two groups , the good and the bad. The acting is superb, the storyline intense, and I can honestly say this is one of the best translations into film of Stephen Kings work.
I have been waiting anxiously for this to be released, as my old tape is now seriously on its last legs. Thats how good it is.
Did I mention the music? Decent and has great variety.
M O O N that spells buy it, you certainly wont be disappointed. Hours of entertainment that will have you enthralled with the honest portrayal of man at his best and worst. The epidemic could happen, especially nowadays with the SARRS virus, maybe it gives us all an insight as to the worst that could happen.
Rob Lowe's portrayal of a deaf mute only fails once, and I myself only noticed this the 15th time of watching it. I cannot think of any actor or character that lets the standard down. The only thing I don't understand is why it hasn't been on screen since.
I could rant more about the storyline, the characters, but there is no need to spoil what is a thought provoking film done with humour and the Stephen King touch of humanity at its worst.
Buy it, watch it, you wont be disappointed
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on 1 November 2007
The Stephen King novel on which this epic mini-series based is a classic.
The makers of this adaption have made quite a good fist of it, even maintaining the books somewhat downbeat but redemptive ending.
Stand out performances include Rob Lowe and Gary Sinese.
I would recommend this as one of the few good Stephen King adaptions.
(which include the green mile, the shining, salems lot, the shawshank redemption, stand by me and hopefully the upcoming "the mist").
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on 23 January 2004
This is truly the best Stephen King novel made into an awesome film! The cast is great and story greater! I first saw this years ago on tv and finally found the video but due to me constantly watching this spectacular film it has kind of started to ware out! So for any Stephen King lover you will not be disappointed and finally the dvd is released this year! Watch out for a cameo by the great author himself
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Stephen King fanatics such as myself waited a long time to see a cinematic version of Stephen King's The Stand, the apocalyptic epic which many fans then and now consider King's masterpiece (although The Dark Tower series may have passed it in terms of importance to King's legacy). Personally, I consider the novel It to be King's magnum opus, but The Stand naturally means a lot to me. One wondered if a film version could ever be made that could do the original novel justice; certainly, King himself would not proceed with such a project until such time as he felt he could pull it off. This six-hour miniseries is fantastic, due largely to King's hands-on overseeing of what can be called "his baby." This was a massive undertaking, and it yielded a final product just about as good as it could possibly be. The obvious truth is, though, that even this monumental film pales in comparison to the novel. While the onset of the superflu and its horrifying effects is told extremely well and in great detail, other parts of the story are glossed over to some degree, particularly the activities in the Free Boulder Zone; more importantly, there simply isn't enough time to flesh out all of the important characters, and it is this unfortunate yet essentially unavoidable quandary that somewhat diminishes a fan's enjoyment of the story.
By and large, the casting is excellent. Gary Sinise is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, and he essentially becomes Stu Redman in this production. Jamey Sheridan is more than acceptable as Randall Flagg, Ray Walston is brilliant as Glen Bateman, Rob Lowe gives a powerful performance as deaf-mute Nick Andros, and Bill Fagerbakke oftentimes steals the show as the mentally challenged Tom Cullen. Molly Ringwald is good, but she just didn't become the Frannie Goldsmith I had long ago created in my mind, her character becoming rather aggravating to me in the later segments of the production. Laura San Giacomo really brought Nadine Cross to life, and the raw yet tapped sexual energy she brought to the role makes me think she could have tempted me over to the dark side without a heck of a lot of trouble. Matt Frewer simply is Trash Can Man; it's just a pity that his character was not explored to the much more significant degree found in the novel. The one character I have a problem with is that of Harold Lauder; Corin Nemec overdoes things a little early on, but the real problem is with the character more than the actor. It's not simply a matter of Nemec not really looking like Lauder; the problem is that Nemec's character is thoroughly unlikable from the very start, whereas the Harold Lauder of the novel is someone I sympathized with to a significant degree (at least up until his little surprise parting gift to Boulder). Of course, no discussion of the actors and actresses assembled here is complete without a chorus of praises sent Ruby Dee's way for her remarkable portrayal of 106-year-old Mother Abigail Freemantle. I was shocked to learn that Ruby Dee was actually a vibrant, far from elderly woman. One must also mention Stephen King's fine acting performance here, as he puts in much more than just a brief cameo appearance.
The Stand does have some weaknesses in terms of the special effects, notwithstanding the amazing makeup job on Ruby Dee. While the explosions and decayed bodies are brought off quite well, the transformation of Flagg's face between human and demon leaves much to be desired, and some of the special effects at the climax of the film are not very impressive at all. The way in which masses of dead bodies were displayed was quite effective, but I was a little bothered to see dead men and women hunched over buffet lines, poised in the seats of tractors in the field, etc. "Captain Trips" was not some type of poison that killed you instantly; you suffered with the flu for some time before death came knocking, and I can't believe gravely sick people were doing some of the things they were purportedly doing when the end came.
In the final analysis, Stephen King's The Stand is far from perfect, and watching the miniseries is by no means a substitute for reading the epic novel. You don't get a chance to really know these characters inside and out over the course of a mere six hours, and those who have not read the novel may question why some characters were even there in the film. Still, The Stand represents a monumental achievement in miniseries and film production, and I for one am thankful that a network allowed King as much time as it did in order to bring the pages of his novel to life. On a final note, the special feature about the making of The Stand is quite disappointing, coming in at just over five minutes in length. This disappointment is offset to some degree, however, by the inclusion of commentary provided by Stephen King, director Mick Garris, and several of the actors.
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on 31 May 2006
let me start off by saying, as others have said before me, YOU MUST READ THE BOOK FIRST OTHERWISE FORGET ENJOYING THIS FILM.

now thats over with i will review each part.

Part 1 of the film is very good, it really captures the emptiness of America and all the differnet states, such as new york with all the empty cars and the burning buildings. Stu redman, nick andros and tom cullen are the three characters in which i feel are the most like how stephen king describes them in his novel. i think the first part of the film was much scarier than the second.

Part 2 of the film is also good but doesn't have the edge of the first part, you will also notice quite a big leap in time between the 1st and the 2nd part, the first part ends when they arrive in colorado but the second part starts with stu trying to perform surgery on a person. now if i hadn't read the book i don't think i would have known what was going on. anyway, the second part really captures the two gatherings of good and evil, destined to have the ultimate war as to who will rule the world now everyone else is dead.

Overall its a great film, very long nearly 6 hours!!, a good book to movie adaption. one of, if not, king's best, this movie has it all; romance, horror and action all rolled into one. Apart from its little faults with sometimes skipping time suddenly and a tiny bit of poor acting off Molly Ringwald its one hell of a good film.
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on 19 July 2011
Many of Stephen King's stories made unsuccessful leaps from the pages to the big screen. This is an exception. The plot is fantastic and some of the actors really hit the mark. I think the story is a success because it isn't too far from reality. Man trying to interfere with nature or play God, only for it to backfire spectacularly. The opening sequence to this film is immense and the song that supports it, awesome. BOC - 'Don't fear the reaper' fits perfectly with this film and gives the opening of the movie a real edge. As well as this, there are other great tracks such as 'Don't dream it's over' by Crowded House. As well as the pieces written by W.G. Snuffy Walden. As a story it works, it is certainly up there with 'The Langoliers' and other King classics. Every character has their own dimension and inner plot, which gives the film terrific depth. Randall Flagg plays the role of the devil fantastically well, even now as an adult, he sends chills down my spine. To anyone who enjoys horror movies and is a fan of King, then I would definitely recommend this film.
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on 24 March 2016
Having, along with millions of others, loved this novel by Stephen King and read it more than once, when I then saw it had been filmed I looked forward to seeing it but was sadly rather disappointed. What should have been a gripping drama just somehow doesn't come across as such in many scenes - from the word go it seems out of kilter - I mean playing the song 'Dont Fear The Reaper' as a soundtrack instead of a chilling atmospheric eerie musical intro over shots of recently deceased military personnel killed by a deadly virus on a bio-weapons base that is about to wipe out most of humanity is just 'so' klutzville corny and unsuitable it's just unbelievable - whoever came up with that one ought to be quietly redirected to become tea boy/girl. In spite of this much of it is ok to almost really quite good occasionally, in spite of a few miscast actors (eg Larry and Fran, the latter of whom was just sadly totally ropey). The scenes in the hospital with Stu (Gary Sinise) are truly chilling - if only the whole four hours could have been of this level of intensity as in the book, this would have been an excellent version. Other parts are also well done such as those involving Nick Andros and Tom Cullen, which were exactly as I had envisaged them, and the best music was the acoustic slide guitar stuff which suits these kind of American big open spaces - but somehow the whole thing lacked an overall cohesive intensity that this story demands - after all this is an end of the world type apocalypse involving good against evil! - and the enormity of this just somehow isn't quite conveyed to say the least. Maybe it's just some of the little things that niggle - I mean would the character Larry really have carried an acoustic guitar 300 miles across the desert to meet the Evil one? What was he planning to do - sing Greensleeves to the Walking Dude? In spite of all this I think this film is worth seeing and have given it 3 stars.
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on 18 October 2006
Unlike most of the other reviewers, I seem to have approached this movie backwards. I saw the movie, quite liked it and then went and bought the book. Wow, now that was a fat book! The Movie after reading the book seemed weak and a little trite - as another reviewer has noted it seems to be chronologically challenged and skips forward a bit but the thing that struck me the most was the casting. Gary Sinise now will ever be the image of Stu Redmond in my mind, but for some reason Molly Ringwald didn't fix in my imagination as Fran. And so it went through the cast, some outstanding, others just cut outs. The movie, or rather the mini-series, is clearly a Sinise lead production, however the core of the good guys and the bad guys worked well together especially Tom and Nick Andros, and performances from the likes of Ossie Davis as Judge Ferris and Miguel Ferrer as Lloyd Henried are worthy of note. Matt Frewer's Trashcan man is right from the pages of the novel, although certain characters from the book are missing such as "The Kid".

The story is the all too familiar government experiment gone wrong (does anyone remember the Terry Nation BBC TV Series "The Survivors"?) but there is a spiritual good vs evil angle in Stephen King's tale. Does good always win? Hard to say really, make your own mind up after counting the number that fall along the way. I should emphasise that this is a mini-series spliced into two parts with a run time of six hours or so, but fortunately you have a pause button for those all important snack/comfort breaks. As a mini-series made for TV it is a 4:3 aspect production with not exactly fantastic sound.

I will admit to being hooked in the first few minutes by the marvellous opening sequence backed by the most excellent Blue Oyster Cult track "Don't fear the Reaper". It is exciting, tense and urgent with a background of futility - brilliant production work. Look also for a small speaking part played by Stephen King himself (Teddy Weizak) and a cameo by the Evil Dead's Sam Raimi.

All in all, not a bad version of the story, and don't forget to say hi to the Ratman.
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on 11 June 2016
The Stephen King novel on which this epic mini-series based is a classic.
The makers of this adaption have made quite a good fist of it, even maintaining the books somewhat downbeat but redemptive ending.
Stand out performances include Rob Lowe and Gary Sinese.
I would recommend this as one of the few good Stephen King adaptions.
(which include the green mile, the shining, salems lot, the shawshank redemption, stand by me and hopefully the upcoming "the mist").
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on 29 May 2016
Reading this review coz you have read the book and wondering if the adaptation is any good? Well don't bother. It's 90's effects are poor, some of the characters are a let down and a poor ending in the book is even worse in this.

The stand should be made into a hbo style series over several seasons. There would then be time to really develop the characters, Explore the concepts of a post apocalyptic world and more money for higher production levels.
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