Oh-kay. How to talk about "Bag of Bones"? It's always hard for me to review an adaptation of a book I love so much and have such a strong connection to, and Bag of Bones is definitely one of those books. Most people would probably say that you have to look at the book and adaptation as two separate entities. To a point, I agree. Movies and books are different mediums and therefore must be dealt with in different ways. But when a movie has such strong source material, how can one not judge the movie based on its ability to effectively recreate what was presented in the book? Let's see how Mick Garris and crew did with my favorite Stephen King book.
I must say that the first part felt a little slow, and not necessarily suspenseful. Mike's dreams and his ghostly encounters felt like the filmmakers were just recycling the same old horror movie cliches, when in the book the mood was creepy but much more subtle. I loved the inclusion of the refrigerator magnets and Bunter's bell as how the ghosts communicate, though. Pierce Brosnan's crazed laughing about these incidents was a little weird, but Mike expresses in the book about how he is both terrified by the ghosts and a little excited at what he is experiencing as well, so I guess that fits.
The big change I
Part Two Review: NO! No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Part One may have taken a few liberties with the story and changed things around a bit, but Part Two done fucked the whole thing up. What I'm complaining about though, is not just that they changed stuff (although, yes, I was very annoyed at some of the changes). The real problem with this was the way everything was handled. All the action went down too quickly and they seemed to treat the audience like they were stupid.
I did love that they included one of my favorite parts from the book, which was when Mike met Rogette and Max on The Street and Rogette starts throwing rocks at Mike in the lake. It was a much longer scene in the book and always felt a little ludicrous to me, but also very funny and showed how crazy those two were. I actually had an actress in my mind for Rogette while reading the book - Marian Seldes.
I'm telling you, when that chick gets angry, she is the scariest-looking person on the planet. The other lady is great in the role, though, and she has a great look with that black hair and costuming.
I admit that Bag of Bones was probably a hard novel to adapt. Much of it centered on Mike alone and his inner monologue which is not only difficult to translate to film but it also would have been very boring to watch Pierce Brosnan get scared at ghosts for a couple hours. Some scenes were great, like the dream sequence of Mike and Kyra at the fair but other important scenes were either watered down for TV or hyped up too much to make them more exciting.
On the whole, though, "Bag of Bones" was a complete failure. There was too much information that they tried to cram into the last two hours and the result was something very sloppy. This book is really so much better than the miniseries made it out to be. I know that must be annoying to hear, but I have mad love for this novel - it is probably my favorite book, period - and I think the story is so beautiful and heartbreaking and this adaptation does it no justice. Mick Garris, you are hereby banned from adapting anymore of King's work. Leave it to Frank Darabont, because believe me, he does a helluva better job than you.