Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Langoliers (TV Mini-Series) (1995)

Staring: David Morse, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Bronson Pinchot
Directed by Tom Holland

This is a good TV mini-series. It keeps you guessing the characters try to figure out what is responsible for their mysterious circumstances and how they can get out of it.

The acting is decent overall. I liked David Morse as usual, as well as Mark Lindsay Chapman's character of Nick Hopewell. Bronson Pinchot as Craig Toomey is so annoying and yet he is funny at the same time. My favorite character was Bob Jenkins, played by Dean Stockwell who is a representation of Stephen King in the series, (though the himself makes a cameo appearance toward the end during a hallucination sequence). He is always thinking about what is happening and why it is happening, and when he does, he has a curious look on his face and goes into these long, complicated, detailed rants about his latest theory. He goes overboard sometimes, but he is still fun to listen to for some reason. Therefore, I bestowed upon him the title of "Contemplation Dude".  A fair amount of the dialogue that is used can be a bit corny, but it still works, probably because it matches the personality of the characters.

The series has its flaws. The obvious one is the length, though criticizing it for that is a little unfair since it was first aired on TV with two episodes airing one night and the other two airing the following week. That was fine, but if you watch all 3 hours of it in one sitting, it can be pretty exhausting. The last quarter or so of the picture, which was probably done to fill up space before the commercial break. I do not know if it worked then, but it certainly does not work now, and I think it could have been trimmed a bit. There are also two characters, Don Gaffney and Albert Kaussner (played by Frankie Faison and Christopher Collet respectively), who do not really do anything except move things around and are not really needed in the grand scheme of things. The special effects are pretty cheesy, about what you would expect from a TV mini-series made in 1995. It is kind of a shame because it spends so much time building up for the coming of the Langoliers, but when you actually see them they are kind of lame. All that said, I think this would have been served better if it were a feature length film rather than a mini-series; that way the time would have been watered down and the budget would have been bigger. As it is, though, it is still enjoyable. I recommend it, as long as you can find time for it.