The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
To be honest, I'm not a HUGE fan of Stephen King, although I do favour a lot of his earlier stuff (right now I'm currently re-reading 'The Talisman' :) But, when the film makers get it right, or mostly right, I really do enjoy some of the movie adaptations of his stories. They don't necessarily have to be masterpieces like 'THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION' or 'THE SHINING', but I even really like some of the super cheeeeeezier ones like 'THE MANGLER' (I know... I Know...) and I also really thought that 'NIGHT SHIFT' was a lot of fun.So, without giving too much away, this movie here is basically just an old fashioned, good ol' Ghost Story. So, first and foremost, if you DON'T really like Ghost Stories in general, then there is no particular reason that you would like this one either. BUT... if you DO enjoy Ghost Stories and you don't mind ones that follow a rather older, Classic style, then in my lowly and wretched opinion, I felt that this one was done rather well.Of course, if you already like Pierce Brosnan (isn't that just THE greatest name ever for a guy...?) he does a very good job with his role. A LOT of Horror stories are based on the premise of a man who has just gone through a serious loss, so unfortunately since we are talking about a deeply traumatic experience in their life, a LOT of times the acting just doesn't come across as very real, or usually it is just flat out overdone. But, not in his case. So, since that is a big part of the story, it is a pretty dang good start that the guy here is Pierce Brosnan.Actually, that is one of THE main things about a number of Stephen King adaptations that I usually don't like at all. Many times the acting, particularly the 'Bad' guys just come across as ultra-clichéd, plastic stereotypes. But, not in the case of this film. Most everyone truly does a good job in all their roles. EXCEPT... maybe it was just me, but I really did NOT care for the mother of the little girl at all... talk about 'overdone'... But, other than that, the acting was decent. I must say that the little girl did an amazing job (she is gonna be a SUPER cutie when she gets older, mark my creepy words...)Mick Garris, who has directed a number of King adaptations does a decent job here as well. YES, as another reviewer mentioned (and this was also repeated on the Horror review site 'moria.co.nz', but I don't always agree with him - he is a very good reviewer, but if he doesn't happen to like a director, he hates ALL their films) the movie is indeed filled with jump-scares, but, I think in the context of it being a Ghost Story that that is to be expected and although he did use that a lot, I thought he did it well and it enhanced the enjoyment of the film.Some have said that they felt that since it is a 2 part Mini-Series, that it came across as REALLY padded out timewise, but I honestly did not think so. The running time of each half excluding the intro and end credits was only about an hour & 15 minutes, so it really wasn't that long. I felt that being an old fashioned Ghost Story and with where the story was set, it was kind of nice that it took the time to set the tone and location, mood, and background of the story, which again, I felt really added to the atmosphere.So, since the reviews here are SO polarized for this movie, it is REALLY going to depend on whether you genuinely like old fashioned, Classically structured Ghost Stories, and if you can kind of 'get lost' in them, easily suspending disbelief where you can just sit back and enjoy this kind of story. If so, then I think that there is a good chance that you might like it...
I'm giving this a 9 just because one reviewer exclaimed "I can't believe this got a 9!" Actually, I would probably rate it 7-8. I'm not a big Pierce Brosnan fan, but he does quite a good job here. Brosnan is nicely understated in his acting, which is a real treat compared to over the top renderings by the likes of Jack Nicholson. The tension builds nicely and the villains are appropriately creepy (I'm primarily thinking of old Bill Schallert and his uber creepy female consort). Despite many reviewer jibes at Mick Garris, I think he also does a creditable job. To the reviewer who asks why Garris continues to be allowed to "hatchet" King stories, maybe King likes the guy's work? Ever think of that?
This review may contain spoilers.Pierce Brosnan is not an actor that I've paid close attention to in the past. I've seen bits of some of his 007 movies, and it was amusing to see him singing in Mamma Mia! So, his performance here as bestselling author Mike Noonan came as a pleasant surprise.Noonan plays a writer whose wife, played by Annabeth Gish, is killed at the beginning of the story. Noonan experiences a severe case of writer's block and calls on his wife's spirit to help him. Brosnan does a good job of portraying the grief of a man who suddenly loses the wife who loves passionately. Noonan's antagonist is a wealthy old man, Max Devore, and his wife; their performances are totally over-the-top in the short time that they appear on the screen. The deposition scene in the movie demonstrates that Brosnan's experience as James Bond portraying masculine unflappability have paid off.Brosnan's not quite as convincing portraying fear. However, it's not the essential part of playing Noonan. I have not read this particular King book; however the story is as much about losing the person you love as it is about the horror elements. Bag of Bones reminds us again of King's greatest strength and probably the reason for his phenomenal success. He creates characters that are believable and places them in situations to which the audience can relate.This shared quality connects this fine adaptation with one of the greatest ghost stories ever written: Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. The very beginning of the movie demonstrates that King was inspired by Du Maurier's classic. I wouldn't call this adaptation terrifying, but it is generally very well done.
I dislike Pierce Brosnan as an actor, for me he just always seems so wooden, and this miniseries is the perfect example of just how wooden he can get. This isn't helped by the damn awful script/directing/whatever that made this so boring. The plot scrambles around like a someone trying to find a needle in a haystack, haphazardly going in whichever direction it chooses and not really explaining anything to the author. After the story finally decided what direction it wanted to take, the ending seemed rushed and forced. I must say though, Anika Noni Rose was actually really great in this and maybe if they got to her part of the story an hour earlier and had more of her in this then it would have been a half decent mini-series. To be honest, Stephen King fan or not, this is most certainly not worth your time.