Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Langoliers (1995)

So I finally got around to watching Stephen King's The Langoliers. It's been on my radar ever since my friend mentioned it in college. I think that his opinion of it was not real great, but when he showed me a picture of the terrible CGI monsters, I thought they looked awesome. At that moment, I vowed to watch it - no matter how bad it might be.

I was expecting a b-grade cheesefest, but, to my surprise, The Langoliers was actually pretty good. Not flawless, by any means, but not terrible either. It's got a fascinating concept, and it constructs an intriguing atmosphere of mystery and suspense. Ten people wake up on a commercial flight to find everyone else vanished, and then have to figure out what the hell is going on. I guess this is a spoiler, but it turns out to be some kind of temporal anomaly, involving cosmic entities that devour reality!

Awesome, right? As for the flaws, the poor CGI can't be ignored. Granted, I still think the monsters (the "Langoliers") look badass, and that almost makes up for the bad CGI. Their behavior could use a little polish, maybe, but there's a solid kernel there in their conception. The other major flaw is the runtime. It's a[nother] 3 hour long TV miniseries, and that, really, is more time than the movie needs to tell its story. As such, it drags on quite a bit. I think a feature film remake pared down to under two hours, with better creature effects and an updated cast could do wonders for this story.

Even so, it's not half as bad as its reputation, and it offers a fresh perspective on the subject of time travel, and the nature of time, that is bound to get your noggin going. It's worth a look, if you can spare the time.

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