Trailer for “11.22.63” Stephen King Miniseries

Hulu is producing an eight-part miniseries based on Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63, a delightful time-travel novel that Chimesfreedom reviewed earlier. The new trailer for the miniseries features actor James Franco as the time-traveling Jake Epping.

As discussed in our review of the book, 11.22.63 centers on Epping’s attempts to stop the John F. Kennedy assassination. Before acting decisively, though, he has to investigate whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president. I loved the book, and this trailer makes me excited for the miniseries too.

The miniseries 11.22.63 is directed by Kevin Macdonald and also stars Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, and Josh Duhamel. The miniseries hits Hulu on February 15, 2016, which is Presidents’ Day.

What is your favorite Stephen King adaptation? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Bane Humor

    Warner Bros. recently confirmed that the scenes in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) where Bane was doing something with some type of string was a reference to Madame Defarge’s knitting in Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. The revelation ties together several aspects of the film that connect to the Dickens book, including similarities between Defarge and Bane, Commissioner Gordon quoting A Tale of Two Cities at Bruce Wayne’s funeral, and similar endings of sacrifice. We have not thought about a movie’s connection to a great work of literature since we thought about Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan‘s connection to a famous Herman Melville whale.

    In light of this new information about Bane and Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the villain, Chimesfreedom figured it would be a good time to look back at some of the funnier videos about Bane in case you missed them the first time around. For example, in this video from Funny or Die, Chris Kattan imagines what life would be like for Bane were he in a normal job like telemarketing.

    But even before the movie was out, Pee Wee Herman gave us his own impression of Bane as well as other characters in The Dark Knight Rises trailer. Check out the Pee Wee version of the trailer done for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

    In one episode of South Park, Cartman invoked his inner Bane while using one of his own catchphrases.

    In this video, comedian Sam Beman went through the Chick-fil-A drive thru to order some food as Bane. Check it out.

    And there is my favorite, the tale of Bane Cat. Here is the original video featuring Bane Cat.

    There is a Part 2 and “Christmas with Bane Cat” which you may watch on YouTube (although I much prefer the above episode over the sequels). And do not worry, as explained in the “making of” video, Bane Cat was not harmed during the making of the video.

    What is your favorite Bane video? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    What Are Your 3 Books to Build Civilization?

    I recently watched the 1960 movie version of The Time Machine, the H.G. Wells classic, on Turner Classic Movies. I have seen the 2002 version that stars Guy Pearce several times, finding it far from perfect but charming nevertheless. One interesting difference I noticed in the 1960 version is that the end raises the question: “If you could choose only three books to take with you to rebuild society, what books would you take?”

    For those unfamiliar with the story (spoiler alert), the main character builds a time machine and travels through time. Near the end, he travels far into the future and discovers that society has crumbled and that the humans do not have knowledge about the past or how to survive on their own. In the 1960 movie, “H. George Wells,” played by Rod Taylor, leaves this future to go back to his present time briefly, ultimately returning back to the future. One of Wells’s friends in the present realizes that Wells has used his time machine once again and he notices that Wells took three books from his library with him. The friend and Wells’s housekeeper ponder what three books Wells might have taken, but the movie leaves the question open.

    The question about the books is not in the 2002 version of The Time Machine, directed by Simon Wells, who is the great-grandson of H.G. Wells. Apparently, it does not appear in the book either, so it is an addition to the 1960 movie version, which was directed by George Pal. It is an interesting question, not asking for your most enjoyable books but for what books should be the basis for civilization.

    There are a few discussion boards about the question, including here and here. Many folks raise the possibility of The Bible as one of the books, while others raise concerns about the problems caused by religion. Many others logically insist that the three books should include books on science or history, while others note that one of the themes of The Time Traveler is how humankind’s scientific knowledge has not led to good results. Some raise the point that a medical book would help keep people healthy. Others suggest books on the government or the U.S. Constitution. Finally, there are those who insist that at least one of the books should be a great work of literature, perhaps one that teaches moral lessons.

    Of course, there is no clear answer, but your answer may say a lot about you, and the question can lead to good conversations. What three books would you take if you were starting or rebuilding a society?

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    When Asked How You Are, Do You Say “Busy”?

    This short video, “Enough Time,” raises a question about how we let unimportant things take up our life. Even if you are “busy,” take a few minutes to watch the short video that stars Liam Ireson.

    The video for “Enough Time” comes from a short story in the book, More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger. In the book, Shinabarger challenges readers to evaluate their worldview while asking questions about whether we need as much “stuff” as we have in our lives. What is enough?

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

    E. B. White, The Beatles, and “Piggies”

    On July 11, 1899, Elwyn Brooks White was born in Mount Vernon, New York. White became the famous writer we know as “E. B. White.”

    As a young man, White joined The New Yorker in its early years and helped shape the magazine. In 1959, White reworked William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style, creating one of my favorite handbooks on writing that is now commonly referred to as “Strunk & White.” But most of us first encounter White’s work as children.

    Charlotte’s Web

    White’s classic children’s books include Stuart Little (1945) and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). His most famous book, though, may be the story of a pig named Wilbur who becomes friends with a spider named Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web (1952).

    Several years ago, Publisher’s Weekly listed Charlotte’s Web as the best-selling children’s book of all time. Wilbur is certainly one of the most famous pig characters in popular culture, along with Babe, Arnold (Green Acres), and Porky.

    The Beatles and “Piggies”

    There are not many famous songs about pigs.  The most famous may be “Piggies” by the Beatles, even though the song is not really about four-legged porkers.

    “Piggies” was written by George Harrison and appeared on The Beatles album, also known as “The White Album,” in 1968. As recounted in Steve Turner’s book, A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Harrison described the song making fun of the middle class as “as social comment.”

    The lyrics are not very complex.  The song refers to people as “piggies.” And the song also notes that things are “getting worse” for the little piggies while the bigger piggies “[a]lways have clean shirts to play around in.”

    Although “Piggies” is not on anybody’s list of top Beatles songs, the effectiveness of the song lies in its simplicity.  The song captures the sound of a classical nursery rhyme, as shown in the live version below.

    Charles Manson

    Unfortunately, “Piggies” is another song like “Revolution” that got hijacked by Charles Manson. Reportedly, the crazy man liked the line about the piggies needing “a damn good whacking.”  Also, variations on the word “pig” were written on the walls in blood at the site of Manson family murders.

    Understandably, Harrison was appalled with Manson’s foolish interpretation of the song. The “damn good whacking” line was only added to the lyrics after Harrison’s mom suggested it as something to rhyme with “backing” and “lacking.”

    E.B. White and Death

    It was unfortunate that “Piggies,” designed as a short commentary, ended up associated with horrible deaths. But E. B. White, who wrote about the death of a real pig in a 1948 essay and passed away in 1985, understood that death is everywhere.

    In White’s book about a pig and a spider, he wrote, “After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die.” The best we can do is try to live a worthwhile life.  That is not a bad lesson coming from a spider and a pig.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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