It’s always a bittersweet experience when a beloved book is translated into a film, or in this case, a miniseries. Stephen King’s 11.22.63 was a very long book with a lot of small details. So it is not really surprising that whole swaths of the book are left out.
Right off the bat there is the odd casting choice of James Franco as Jake Epping, a man from Maine who travels back in time to 1958. This is odd, because while everyone remember black racism in the good old days, they don’t always remember the racism against Hispanics. The only time I ever personally experienced racism was in the state of Maine. James Franco would have had a lot more problems dating a blonde white woman than just her crazy husband. His acting is fine, he’s just the wrong man for the job.
It’s hard to write about the Hulu Tv Show without comparing it to the book and complaining about the many changes they made to the story. We never learn why the Yellow Card Man was there. Jake only makes a few trips to the past, instead of the dozen or so he made in the novel. And the ending was changed, just a bit.
Ok, so how did I like the mini-series? I did like it. It was not as good as the book, but outside of Silence of the Lambs, most movies are not as good as the book.
I liked the actors for the most part, everyone but James Franco was spot on. The sets were great and the classic cars were fun. I’m not an expert on the Kennedy assassination, but I have seen a few movies and documentaries. I guess I missed the part where Lee Harvey Oswald talked like Barry Kripke from The Big Bang Theory. It was hard to take Lee too seriously when I kept picturing Barry bitching about Siri.
One thing I didn’t like was Stephen’s dedication to the idea that Time didn’t want to be changed. Time doesn’t want to be changed here either, but the Big Event in the novel was changed. In the novel, when Jake goes back to the future after stopping the Kennedy Assination, the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The reason given for this is that Time didn’t like Jake saving Kennedy’s life. In the Hulu series, we learn that Wallace ended up being President and that was the beginning of the end.
The Kennedy Assassination is still a hot talk radio topic. Oswald was a patsy. Oswald acted alone. Take your corner and come out fighting. I could care less. JFK’s dead, whether killed by one man or killed my the greatest conspiracy of all time. It was a wonderfully tense moment when we watch Oswald line up his shot and Kennedy is literally in the crosshairs.
There were some very good moments in 11.22.63. It was worth watching.