King on Screen AKA Stephen King on Screen (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (9th September 2023).
The Film

FROM PAGE TO SCREEN, HIS STORIES BECAME CINEMATIC GOLD. STEPHEN KING an icon of horror and best selling author with a career spanning decades has found many of his books and short stories turned into feature films.

In STEPHEN KING ON SCREEN meet the directors and creatives who brought unforgettable stories to the big screen from CARRIE to IT, Misery, Stand By Me, CUJO, Children of the Corn and more. Hollywood legends Frank Darabont, Mike Flanagan, Mick Garris, Josh Boone, Tom Holland, Vincent Natali and more discuss their role in bringing unparalleled stories to life.


Bookended by a cheeky fictional narrative in which Daphné Baiwir (producer-director) travels through a landscape of King winks and nudges with cameos and references to the various films made down the decades since 1976 when Brian De Palma's classic Carrie became the first feature-length big screen King adaptation. It's a very male-dominated documentary with no sign of Mary Lambert, director of the first two films in the Pet Semetery franchise.

Digitally lensed and presented in the silly aspect ratio of 2:1 which seems to have been adopted by the likes Netflix, the BBC and ITV in recent years (it apparently is the ratio of phones ... yeah, WTF!?). It was originally the matted AR of defunct widescreen processes like VistaVision and SuperScope in the late '50s that has mostly been dumped in favour of 1.85:1 or 2.39:1. There was a brief flurry of resurgence by Vittorio Storaro in the late '90s and for a few years after in which he dubbed it pretentiously as Univisium and promptly cropped films he'd lensed in the 2.35:1 / 2.39:1 AR in an attempt to convince folks this was the way to. Apocalypse Now, Little Buddha and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage all suffered cropped transfers that have thankfully been consigned to the rubbish bin since.

Clips from the film are presented in their correct aspect but within the 2:1 frame so effectively are window-boxed on 1.78:1 displays with new footage of the interviewees being presented in 2:1. Personally, I don't really see the point in lensing small screen productions in anything but 1.78:1. Occasionally during this doc some are cropped to 2:1: Children of the Corn, Stand by Me and The Shining, The Mist; all 1.85:1 productions.

Being a recent production, image quality is generally sharp with naturalistic colour values that hold their own well. The palette can be muted at times and at others more vivid. It all depends on how the each interview was shot. The clips from the films are more vivid due to most of them before low contrast, muted colour palettes took over. Black levels are strong throughout with layered contrast and decent detail levels. There are some brief moments of home movie footage which is of a lesser quality but not too much. There's no grain in the new footage and not a great deal in the clips either. Encoding is decent, a strong transfer ('A').

1080p24 / AVC MPEG-4 / BD-50 / 2:1 / 105:15


English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz)
English LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz, 16-bit)
Subtitles: None

With the 5.1 the surrounds dominate with the movie's score taking over significantly reducing the dialogue to the front of the soundstage. When the score is quieter, hearing what's said sounds clearer, when it's louder or film clip sound kicks in, dialogue becomes harder to hear. The 2.0 track is much better as it allows what the interviewers are saying to dominate. Sadly, there are no hard of hearing subtitles ('B+').


2023 interview with director Daphné Baiwir (in French with optional English subtitles) (41:34)

Substantial interview with the director covering many of the production. Presented in 1080p24 1.78:1 with French LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 16-bit).

2023 introduction commentary by director Daphné Baiwir and producer Sebastien Cruz (in French with optional English subtitles) (11:32)

Brief select scene commentary over the opening and closing credits, predominantly the bookending narrative sections. 1080p24 2:1 with French LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 16-bit) sound. Nothing earth shattering.

"KOS - King on Screen" 2023 featurette labeled as "Making of - Shooting in Belgium" on the menu (1:41)
2022 B-roll footage shot on a phone labeled as "Making of - Shooting in Maine" on the menu (0:46)

Fleeting, silent B-role pieces of limited value set to score ; the first is more of an online trailer, the second phone footage. Presented in 1080p24 1.78:1 with English LPCM 2.0 stereo sound.

U.K. Trailer (1:42)

Promo presented in 1080p24 2:1 with English LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 16-bit) sound.

Start-up Trailers:
- Little Bone Lodge (1:40)
- Damien Leone's Terrifier 2 (1:56)

HD trailers for a couple of other Signature releases presented in 1080p24 2.39:1 and 1.78:1 respectively with English LPCM 2.0 Stereo sound (48kHz, 16-bit).


Standard blue BD Keepcase.


An adequate, reasonably detailed examination of the more critically lauded King film adaptations. If you want a more retrospective, wide-ranging approach that covers more films then look elsewhere, this one really focusses more substantially on the three Darabont adaptations with a few others thrown in; it's not a comprehensive look at his screen adaptations. Image and sound are excellent but what one would expect from a production made up of various sources. Extras are adequate and of interest if you really dig the main film ('B+').

The Film: B- Video: A Audio: B+ Extras: C+ Overall: B+


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