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IT – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  September 8, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hours 15 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8.9 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown (Pennywise), begins hunting children.”

What you need to know about IT:  The movie is based on a novel by Stephen King.  The first adaptation was a made for TV movie series in the 1980’s.  This movie, unlike the TV series, tells the story in linier timeline starting when they were kids.  The story is set in Maine, like many of King’s work, during the 1980’s.

What works:  This young cast can act and act well.  They are able to pull off the comradery that neighborhood kids have.  Although I have not read the book, I’ve been told that this movie is adapted very closely to how King originally penned the story, therefore those who have read the book also enjoyed the film.  I didn’t find the movie to be scary, but those around me were certainly on the edge of their seats as there is usually a buildup of suspense whenever Pennywise is present.  Surprisingly, this movie is loaded with comedic moments that will surely make you laugh far more than one would expect in a horror film.  A standout performance was given by Finn Wolfhard who you may recognize from the Netflix series, “Stranger Things”, and Bill Skarsgard who was also in this year’s film, “Atomic Blonde.”  The make-up and special effects were great, Pennywise looks amazing!

What doesn’t work:  There isn’t anything that stands out to me that I did not like.  Some websites will tell you that there is an after-credit scene.  To save you the time of sitting there waiting for the moment — ALERT, SPOILER – the title pops up and you hear Pennywise laugh.  You won’t miss a thing if you don’t stay for that laugh.

For a horror film, which I’m not always a fan of the genre, this movie is fantastic!  It captures the feeling of a Stephen Spielberg film and that 80’s vibe is spot on.  The acting was excellent and the dialog was superb.  Honestly, I had no idea the movie would have so many laughable moments.  But alas, if you don’t like clowns or have a fear of clowns then you will really have an issue with the film.  Stephen King doesn’t have the best track record for film adaptations of his books.  We don’t have to look too far back to “Dark Tower” to understand what I’m talking about, but this movie is done very well.  Although my viewing was not in IMAX, I’m told that the movie is more intense in that format.

Be sure to check this movie out at your local theater.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give IT an 8.9.  Grab some concessions and enjoy a funny and frightful movie.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (September 8, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

It (New Line Cinema) – Horror/Drama
Rated R for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language
Tag Line:  You’ll float too.
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard
Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.
Running Time: 135 minutes

Chris: Looks like the movie the TV movie of yesteryear should have been. I feel strange in saying that I am really looking forward to this nasty little piece, but I am.
Jim: The book was scary and entertaining. It was old news to me by the time the TV movie appeared. Same here, but it looks good enough to check out on video.

Home Again (Open Road Films) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some thematic and sexual material
Tag Line: Starting over is not for beginners.
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Nat Wolff, Lake Bell
Plot: Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jim: Not a fan of precocious movie kids. That said, might be worth a look for Reese.
Chris: Not much interesting here to me, but that was a very cute little kid in the back seat moment.

The Good Catholic (Broad Green Pictures) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference.
Tag Line: What is your passion?
Starring: Zachary Spicer, Wrenn Schmidt, Danny Glover
Plot: Daniel loved his job as a small town priest more than anything. Then he met Jane. God help him.

Chris: Meh………
Jim: What could have come off as dull was helped considerably by a well-crafted trailer and a good cast. Have to admit it held my attention.

9/11 (20th Century Fox) – Action/Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: The world watched it, they lived it.
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg
Plot: A group of 5 people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center’s North Tower on 9/11. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Jim: How many times will Hollywood go to the 9/11 well for cheap dramatic effect? Can anyone take Charlie Sheen seriously?
Chris: Is this movie a joke? ‘Cause that is just not cool. This looks like pure rubbish. Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg? Ugh…..

Tickets Purchased: One for It (Chris) and one for The Good Catholic (Jim)

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The Female Perspective: IT, The Movie

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Even though I didn't read "IT" until I was an adult, it scared the bejesus out of me.
Even though I didn’t read “IT” until I was an adult, it scared the bejesus out of me.

I am a huge Stephen King fan but I wasn’t able to summon the mental fortitude to read his book IT until a couple years ago. After having seen the Tim Curry TV movie I was honestly too terrified to crack the book. I have always been an avid reader and I know that books are almost always scarier than TV or movies. Our minds can go places no one else can and my mind can be a very scary place indeed.

That being said, I was over the moon excited about the film adaptation. They were going to split it into two films AND it was to be directed by True Detective genius Cary Fukunaga. The only sticking point was the actor they cast as Pennywise the clown, a relative newcomer named Will Poulter who was in the Jason Sudeikis comedy, We’re The Millers. I was intrigued though because Poulter, while relatively unknown, might be a good choice simply because he is unknown. I have wracked my brain trying to think who could possibly fill Tim Curry’s amazingly twisted shoes as Pennywise and could not really come up with anyone. I think a newcomer would be a welcome addition because expectations are low and therefore, the hope is that Poulter can only meet them and then some.


“We all float down here.”


 

You can imagine my disappointment when Fukunaga walked recently from being the director. He has since been replaced by  Andy Muschietti, the director behind the Guillermo Del Toro-produced Mama. 

Sigh.

Did you see Mama? It did nothing for me and I have to wonder, does this guy have the chops to take on something as huge as IT? Will the same theory about Poulter hold true for Muschietti? Maybe someone relatively unknown is better. I’m not sure because the reasons that Fukunaga left are because he and the studio could not agree on the direction of the film. Fukunaga had a “vision” people and Muschietti will do what he is told. I’m not sure how to feel about this. I know that no matter what, I will be seeing IT but until I see an actual trailer for the film, I won’t be able to decide if it’s worth my time or not.


Poulter in “We’re The Millers” – Funny, sure, but can he be Pennywise?


 

Not to mention, what about Beverly? Who is going to play what is essentially one of the most important roles in the film? Certainly, the most important female role in the film. It needs to be someone with chops, with a soft toughness that translates well for the character. If you’ve read IT you also know the bizarro ending King put in there that involves Beverly and all the boys in their group. I’m not sure if that ending would translate all that well onto film. It was strange to me in the book, though I think I understand why it was there, but it would be even stranger (and maybe even disturbing) for the film. There’s a lot about Stephen King’s IT that might be weird on film and I’m VERY curious to see how someone would bring such a strange, mystical and horrific book to life in a  way that would both terrify and intrigue audiences.

I blame Tim Curry for my hatred of clowns.
I blame Tim Curry for my hatred of clowns.

As a writer myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I sometimes wonder how my books would translate into film and I wonder what someone would do to adapt them. Stephen King is no stranger to adaptations of his work and some of them have even been really good (The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie and Pet Cemetery are just a few) and some of them have been really pretty bad (sadly The Stand (my favorite King book ever) did not stand up after all these years and the TV adaptation of The Shining was pure crap) but I think with someone like King, he has such a HUGE body of work that there’s bound to be a few flops in the mix. I just really hope that IT isn’t one of them.

What do YOU think? Did you read IT? Do you love it? Hate it? Who would you want to see play the main characters and Pennywise? Who would be your dream director? Tell me in the comments!


P.S. Come see ME and 19 other Rhode Island Authors this Saturday at Barnes & Noble on Bald Hill Rd in Warwick, RI. We’ll be there from 1-3pm signing and selling our books!