Released this week on Blu-ray and DVD, It is obviously a must have disc as it’s one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work (it’s right up there with The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me).
Though both versions come with several featurettes (“The Losers Club,” “Author of Fear,” “Pennywise Lives!”), the biggest addition for this initial version of the release lie in the deleted scenes. Be warned, there are spoilers in the succeeding paragraphs!
The biggest deleted scene is an alternate ending to It, as Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) goes off on a vacation with his parents, and it’s a trip that the family argued over since it meant a great deal to Bill’s late brother Georgie (this argument is also a deleted sequence). Both scenes add more depth to Bill’s relationship with his family, but by cutting both sequences director Andy Muschietti narrowed his focus on the children.
Click on the media bar to hear Stephen King talk about why It is a special movie:
Even by placing the kids front and center in the film, there are a couple of kids who get a short shrift with their characters. Stanley Uris (Wyatt Oleff) is seen earlier practicing for his bar mitzvah and being pressured by his father, but unfortunately his character is the least developed out of the Losers’ Club by the film’s closing moments. Viewers who wanted more of Stan will be happy to see he delivers an impassioned speech at his bar mitzvah in a scene that ties together respective struggles of the Losers’ Club when they are temporarily separated. It’s understandable that, with a running time of 135 minutes, various scenes would be left on the cutting room floor and it’s great they’re now available for viewing.
One of this year’s biggest hits with a worldwide haul of over $683 million, It is headed to Blu-ray and DVD on January 19 via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, It centers on a group of kids who face off against an evil clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). The flick stars Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things). The sequel to It, which is set 27 years after the events of the original, is set for a January 6, 2019 release.
Click on the media bar to hear Stephen King talk about how he’s already watched It a second time (King was absolutely pleased with the theatrical version of It).
Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions come with three featurettes (“The Losers’ Club,” “Author of Fear,” “Pennywise Lives!”) and deleted scenes.
As one of the world’s most prolific and successful writers, Stephen King has seen many of his creations adapted for both the big screen and for TV. While some of the adaptations have been very good, there are others King found to be disappointing. That’s not the case, however, with the latest King movie adaptation. IT, based on his 1986 book (which was also made into a 1990 TV miniseries), has been getting great word of mouth, and even King says he was very pleasantly surprised by how the film turned out. (Click on the media bar below to hear Stephen King)
One of this year’s most notable Blu-ray releases was Carrie: Collector’s Edition. Any new iteration of Carrie is highly anticipated in the home video market, but this Scream Factory version celebrates the film’s 40th anniversary. Plus, this version is a 4K scan of the original negative, giving more pop and depth to the feature.
The film, which was the first Stephen King book to ever be adapted to the screen, also increased the star power of lead actress Sissy Spacek (who previously received notice for her work in Badlands). Brian De Palma, who was just coming off directing Obsession, took on Carrie with aplomb, visualizing every frame of the story months before production even started. What started out as the tale of an introverted teenager (Spacek) with destructive powers morphed into a box office hit.
The two-disc collection, while containing some of the previous special features from past releases, also includes new interviews with screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, editor Paul Hirsch, director of photography Mario Tosi, casting director Harriet B. Helberg, and several actors (Piper Laurie, P.J. Soles, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Edie McClurg). Previously released Carrie interviews with Spacek, De Palma, art director Jack Fisk (Spacek’s husband), and Amy Irving are also featured in the disc.
The most notable anecdotes, along with De Palma’s insight on how he visualized Carrie, comes from Cohen. The writer details his initial attraction to Stephen King’s story and breaks down the long and winding process it took to get Carrie to production. He also explains how the films Throne of Blood and Deliverance were heavy influences in some of Carrie’s most memorable moments.
If you’re a fan of anthology series like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, then Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s recently Blu-ray release of Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (PG-13, 94 minutes) is purr-fect addition to your Blu-ray collection (excuse the horrid pun!).
Released in 1985, Cat’s Eyeis broken down into three stories, with the aforementioned feline serving as the connecting thread. The first installment is the downright scariest, as Dick Morrison (James Woods) goes to a clinic to kick his smoking habit. Unfortunately, taking part in Quitters, Inc. ends up being a deadly proposition for Dick, as Dr. Vinny Donatti (Alan King) has an extremely violent method of keeping his clients in line. If Dick even lights a cigarette, he puts his family in peril.
Robert Hays, best known for his comedic acting (Airplane!), has a rare dramatic role in the second epsiode, as he plays a down and out gambler named Johnny (Robert Hays) who enters a horrific bet with the tough guy husband (Kenneth McMillan) of the woman he’s seeing. Johnny is forced to walk around the five inch ledge on the 30th floor of a building, and as long as he circles the building once, he’ll get the girl. It’s an all or nothing gamble for Johnny, who may fall to his death in the process.
The cat has the biggest role in the third installment, as the kitty takes on a doll-sized troll who terrorizes a little girl (Drew Barrymore) at night. Watching the cat and troll go at it is a totally surreal and campy experience, and though it’s definitely the least scary of King’s stories, it’s nonetheless memorable.
Also of note is Ray Stevens’ song “Cat’s Eye,” which really needs to be heard to be at least once! It’s a totally cheesy 1980s track, and therein lies its appeal!!
Special features on the disc includes audio commentary by director Lewis Teague (he also directed the 1983 King feature Cujo).