On Film and Film-Watching: A Little Bit of Apocalypse…and a Little Bit of ‘A Little Romance’

(C) 2020 CBS Studios and Paramount+

Hi there. It’s late morning here in my corner of west-central Florida on Friday, October 15, 2021. We are off to a fall-like start to the day. Currently, the temperature is 74˚F (24˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 40% and the wind blowing from the northeast at 3 MPH (4 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 72˚F (23˚C). The forecast for the day calls for mostly sunny skies. The high will be 90˚F (32˚C). Tonight, skies will be mostly clear. The low will be 70˚F (21˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 28 or Good.

Well, my copy of the 2020 reimagination of The Stand arrived late yesterday afternoon. It was supposed to arrive around October 5 – Paramount Home Media Distribution had scheduled it for release that day – but there were the usual COVID-19/transportation crunch issues. I can’t complain, really; the original release date was early November, but I guess the powers-that-be were confident that problems with disc replication capacity and shipping logjams would not affect Paramount and its competitors. Alas, they were mistaken.

No matter. Amazon and other retailers finally received consignments of the three-disc Blu-ray sets, which present all nine episodes of the CBS All-Access (now Paramount+) miniseries, which is the second adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand.

‘The Stand’: From the Blu-ray Package

When a killer plague wipes out 99% of the world’s population, the embattled survivors struggle to make their way in a post-apocalyptic reality. This 2020 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand frames the eternal battle between good and evil, as embodied by the peaceful prophet Mother Abagail (Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg) and the menacing presence Randall Flagg (Emmy Award winner Alexander Skarsgård), and closes with a new coda written by Stephen King himself. The all-star cast also includes James Marsden and Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear, with guest stars Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Heather Graham. Delve deeper into this epic reimagining of King’s iconic novel with exclusive special features.

Special Features:

  • AN APOCALYPTIC EPIC: ADAPTING THE STAND – Go inside the creative process of bringing all facets of King’s beloved epic to life on screen.

I didn’t start to watch the series last night because I was tired and sleepy. Had I tried, I wouldn’t have gotten much out of the watching experience because my mind would have been fogged by drowsiness and exhaustion. Maybe later today I will try to watch The End (Part 1 of 9). We’ll see.

‘A Little Romance’

DVD cover art. (C) 1979 Orion Pictures/Warner Archives

I did watch about 20 minutes of A Little Romance, a coming-of-age romantic comedy directed by George Roy Hill. It stars Diane Lane (who was 14  at the time), Thelonious Bernard (who, after A Little Romance, only accepted a walk-on role in one movie then left show business), Laurence Olivier, Sally Kellerman (the original Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan from Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H), and Arthur Hill. As David Langdon said in his review of the DVD edition in DVD Talk, “”A Little Romance fits into that category we might call the children’s film for adults. It’s smart, well written, acted and directed. If anything it will be remembered as Diane Lane’s first movie and one of Laurence Olivier’s last.”

As I said, I was tired – it seems that like most folks these days, I’m always tired – and couldn’t fight off the drowsiness, so I ejected the disc from the Blu-ray player, put it back in its case, then shuffled off to my room and went to sleep.

Maybe I’ll watch A Little Romance with my housemates tomorrow.

We’ll see.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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