The Stand: Originally aired as a television mini-series, this all-star filmization of Stephen King's gripping epic of good versus evil chronicles the episodic adventures of a disparate group of people who struggle to reest... more »ablish civilization after a man-made catastrophe wipes out most of the world's population. The world abruptly ends when a deadly virus accidentally escapes from a government sponsored biological warfare laboratory. Soon people are dropping like flies from the plague, but a few survive and find themselves strangely compelled to head into the West. Good-hearted people follow the voice of an ancient black woman and head for Boulder, Colorado. Bad people follow the enigmatic Walkin' Dude to Las Vegas. It is only a matter of time before the two sides are forced into a climactic battle over the final fate of humanity. Golden Years: This made-for-TV mini-series from the notorious horror writer centers upon a hapless old janitor who begins undergoing incredible physical changes after he is accidentally covered with experimental chemicals following a laboratory mishap. Now the government will stop at nothing to get him back. The Langoliers: Ten passengers on a red-eye flight from L.A. to Boston discover that they are not the only people on the plane, but after making an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine, they discover that they are the only people on the planet. This film was based off the Stephen King short story Four Past Midnight.« less
Paul J. Moade | Jacksonville, FL United States | 12/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not normally a big fan of collections or boxed sets ... preferring to buy each feature individually. Many times a collection has one or two good titles and the rest is filler.
So why am I going against the grain here and giving this a favorable rating? Especially since I haven't seen "The Golden Years" yet?
Because two of the included features are worth the price of the set. "The Stand" is arguably the best SK novel and probably one of the closest (to the novel) transfers to the TV screen. The plot hinges on a biological warfare mishap in which most of the human race is wiped out by "Captain Trips", a.k.a. the superflu. In the aftermath, two groups form, one following Mother Abigail as the disciples of the faithful; and one group following the "Walking Dude" as a representative of the darker powers (hell is never mentioned although the parallel is plain enough). Character development is well done, although not as complete as in the novel (go figure) and is primarily restricted to Mother Abigail's group. It is, however, more than we usually get in a novel to movie transfer. The story, while four hours long, needs every minute to guide us on what makes each person tick ... and it does this extremely well. Horror scenes, Stephan King style, are abundantly present and are well done cinematically. King has a gift of taking ordinary circumstances and twisting them into outlandish, dreadful nightmares.
The second film, "The Langoliers", is cast in more of a sci-fi vein; albeit with the usual SK treatment of uncovering the darker side of human nature. The story revolves around a typical airline flight from Los Angels to Boston which literally flies `out of time' and `loses' everyone who was not asleep at the time of the event. Good thing there was a pilot napping as a passenger, eh?
What happens to the light in a room when you turn off the switch? This movie explores that question. What DOES happen to the past? According to one of the character's father (Craig Toomey), it is eaten by the langoliers .... Beings which devour the inactive and useless in the world. As the plane flies along and eventually lands, we see that the pace of the past winds down and eventually stops. Matches don't light or will only fizzle, fuel does not burn and beer is flat straight out of the bottle. Craig was always threatened by his "go getter" of a father that lazy, useless boys are eaten by the langoliers. Now the threat comes to life for the passengers from the plane as the munching sound gets closer and closer. Again, this is a very entertaining film well worth watching.
Going by the reviews of others, "The Golden Years" falls flat. Haven't seen this one for myself, so I'll have to pass on judgement. Read the other reviews and make your own determination.
Bottom line is that for a reasonable price, there are at least two SK winners - and possibly a third (reviews are, after all, just opinions). I would say that this is a worthwhile purchase and will provide hours of entertainment.
As word to the wise - "The Langoliers" is probably not a movie for younger kids (under the age of 10) unless you want to stay up with them for several sleepless nights. Younger ones probably won't understand "The Stand", but some of the scenes will shock and scare them. You might want to view these films yourself first before letting your kids sit in on a family room viewing.
Rachael Brewer | Ohio | 10/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE The Stand! It's about time they started making the DVD again. The Langoliers is a good movie too. I didn't care too much for Golden Years, it was okay though. This set is a very good value though! The Langoliers is on one disk, The Stand is on two disks (much better than the 4 VHS tapes it took), and Golden Years is on two disks. I highly recommend this set, especially for Stephen King fans!"
Great Bargain for Steven King Lovers
Linda J. Hoggarth | Lincoln Park, MI | 11/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just getting The Stand at this price was a bargain compared to the other prices. I had worn out my VHS tape long ago and The Stand has always been my favorite book by King. The Langoliers is a pretty good movie, too, so that was enjoyable. The Golden Years, however, has got to be the worst movie I have seen in a long time! The acting and lines were terrible. The only parts I liked were when the janitor was in them. The movie was so bad that it became a mission just to get through the entire four (~!!!) hours of it. I have never read the book so if it is as half as bad as the movie, I'll pass. But even so, it is still an excellent bargain."
Worthwhile for The Stand alone
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 01/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you haven't seen The Stand, the King miniseries that was originally televised in 1994, then this DVD set is worth your price of admission. Unfortunately, The Stand is no longer being sold on its own (it is actually out of print for some ridiculous reason), so when my husband came to Amazon to buy me the DVD to replace the VHS that I had originally taped directly off of the television, he was forced to purchase this set. I have broken down each of the offerings in this gift set below.
1) The Stand. This 4-part series was amazingly well-done for a TV miniseries, perhaps because the teleplay was written by Stephen King himself. It is supremely well-cast, starring Gary Sinise (just before he hit it big in Forrest Gump), a comeback role for Rob Lowe, and excellent supporting performances by Bill Faberbakke (of Coach fame), Miguel Ferrer, and Jamey Sheridan as the Dark Man himself. (Notice that I didn't mention Molly Ringwald; for me, having her play Frannie was the movie's one misfire.) The movie stays fairly close to King's beloved novel, from the initial devastation to the stunning conclusion. Grade: A
2) The Langoliers. This TV movie, which aired in 1995, was based on a novella by the same name that was originally published in King's book Four Past Midnight. The story itself is interesting and involves time--basically, what happens to yesterday once we move on? Unfortunately, the concept is simply not well-executed here. The presence of various name actors--Patricia Wettig of Thirty Something, Dean Stockwell of Quantum Leap, Bronson Pinchot of Perfect Strangers, and David Morse, who went on to star in King's The Green Mile--are not enough to overcome the cheesy dialogue and overly contrived scenes. Plus, there are small things that are simply done poorly: at one point, a character is mortally wounded, and not only does the blood remain on that person's lips for hours (i.e, no one has the decency to simply wipe it off?) but also it remains a wet, bright red color rather than drying naturally. This movie is watchable, although just barely. Grade: C
3) Golden Years. This series was written by King (and others) originally for television, and it was first broadcast during the summer of 1991. It is about four hours long on two discs, although it originally aired as seven individual "episodes." The basic premise here is that an explosion in a top-secret laboratory exposes an old janitor to some unknown, experimental chemicals. In addition to the old man, the characters include his confused wife (it seems that her every other line is "I don't understand"), a mad scientist, and a psychopathic killer from "the shop" (a.k.a. the CIA). Neither Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffmann, playing the head of security at the plant, or excellent character actor Stephen Root (from Office Space) can save this dull mess. The story is overly drawn-out, and the majority of the plot is predictable--that is, with the exception of the ending, which just sort of occurs without ever explaining anything that happened. Grade: D
Despite the fact that The Stand is the only decent offering in this set, I am still tempted to give it 5-stars, as I think The Stand alone is worthy of that rating. However, I would have much preferred to buy The Stand as a stand-alone (no pun intended!) DVD, so I just can't give this set 5 stars, as the price is rather high to pay for The Stand alone. Furthermore, NONE of the features on this set offer any DVD extras, which was a bit of a disappointment. Still, I am glad to be able to finally own The Stand on DVD and would definitely recommend this set for that reason alone."
Good set - Disks are Full-Screen
Peter Guither | Bloomington, IL USA | 01/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Note: The product description on this page says widescreen, but the set is all full-screen (marked on the box and on each disk). Since these were all made for TV (pre-high-def), that shouldn't be a surprise, but just in case anybody saw the mistake on the page, I don't want you to be disappointed.
As far as the content, there are plenty of other reviews that nailed it. 'The Stand' is a must-see, and 'The Langoliers' isn't bad."