HIA Movie Review

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Neil W

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2008
1,203
2,592
Isle of Wight UK
The book Hearts In Atlantis contains 4 longish, and vaguely related Stephen King stories. This film is adapted from one of those stories "Low Men In Yellow Coats" (curiously, not Hearts In Atlantis" itself), though it drops one of the key elements of the novelette, namely the tie-in with King's Dark Tower epic, and it has to do this in view of the fact that the movie audience will be unfamiliar with the wider framework of The Dark Tower.

Never mind. This adaptation stands on its own very well. It is a tale told retrospectively of one summer in the young life of Bobby Garfield (Anton Yelchin, in an early role). This summer had many things to mark it out, but one of these things was the presence of Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins). Brautigan is the main Dark Tower tie-in in the book, so the film has to "mcguffinise" him in a different way. It doesn't matter: it works perfectly well in the context of a stand-alone film.

Things happen, mostly low-key and fairly lyrical but, in King's typical way, they tie together and make a greater whole. Yelchin (and Mika Boorem, his young co-star) are both excellent, and Hopkins turns in one of those performances which one might call luminous rather than (as is sometimes the case with him) lurid.

Yes, it's a Stephen King genre story, but it is well told and engaging. A small and undiscovered gem.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The book Hearts In Atlantis contains 4 longish, and vaguely related Stephen King stories. This film is adapted from one of those stories "Low Men In Yellow Coats" (curiously, not Hearts In Atlantis" itself), though it drops one of the key elements of the novelette, namely the tie-in with King's Dark Tower epic, and it has to do this in view of the fact that the movie audience will be unfamiliar with the wider framework of The Dark Tower.

Never mind. This adaptation stands on its own very well. It is a tale told retrospectively of one summer in the young life of Bobby Garfield (Anton Yelchin, in an early role). This summer had many things to mark it out, but one of these things was the presence of Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins). Brautigan is the main Dark Tower tie-in in the book, so the film has to "mcguffinise" him in a different way. It doesn't matter: it works perfectly well in the context of a stand-alone film.

Things happen, mostly low-key and fairly lyrical but, in King's typical way, they tie together and make a greater whole. Yelchin (and Mika Boorem, his young co-star) are both excellent, and Hopkins turns in one of those performances which one might call luminous rather than (as is sometimes the case with him) lurid.

Yes, it's a Stephen King genre story, but it is well told and engaging. A small and undiscovered gem.
Sorry - I have never seen the film @Neil W but the book was so good - one of my favourites. I must read it again.
 
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guido tkp

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2009
2,632
480
outside the dome
another i haven't seen since...i remember both liking and hating it...

hating that they disencumbered all the cool, wierd, Dt-ish stuff...

y'know...they could've kept it all in, creating a mystery...and i think it could've worked just fine...in a peter straub-esque kinda way...

need to rewatch it...thanks
 

AnnaMarie

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2012
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Other
Just watched it.

I'm pretty sure I watched it when it was relatively new, but probably not since. Odd that I didn't remember David Morse was in it. I love watching anything he's in.

I don't remember really loving the book, and I think I found even the movie a bit confusing the first time I saw it. But, having read DT, it all made more sense to me this time. I enjoyed it this time.
 
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weezergirl

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2011
96
187
I didn't even realize this got made into a movie! I just feel down the amazon/Stephen King movie/miniseries on DVD rabbit hole btw....so many to watch, so little time!!

I so want to watch it but the one problem I have...Ted Brautigan is in my mind already and he's not Hannibal Lecter...lol. I just don't know if that's what I want to picture when I reread the DT series, and once I see him in the movie that way the Ted Brautigan in my head will cease to exist. Or at least have to cohabitate and that is just weird. I have this problem A LOT. I really love getting a picture of people & places from the book and my imagination. I love Anthony Hopkins, but he's not Ted Brautigan. They are two different people. I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested!!
 

Don Rice Jr

Member
Mar 19, 2015
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I recently watched the movie, and I'm in complete agreement with Weezergirl. Hopkins, great actor that he is, just is not Ted Brautigan. I was also rather disappointed with the changes made to the low men, and I think it could have been a good tie-in to future DT films if they'd only stuck closer to the book near the end.
 
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Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I recently watched the movie, and I'm in complete agreement with Weezergirl. Hopkins, great actor that he is, just is not Ted Brautigan. I was also rather disappointed with the changes made to the low men, and I think it could have been a good tie-in to future DT films if they'd only stuck closer to the book near the end.
I just recorded this movie yesterday - I am sure it will not be as good as the book, but nevertheless will give it a go!
 
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blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
I didn't even realize this got made into a movie! I just feel down the amazon/Stephen King movie/miniseries on DVD rabbit hole btw....so many to watch, so little time!!

I so want to watch it but the one problem I have...Ted Brautigan is in my mind already and he's not Hannibal Lecter...lol. I just don't know if that's what I want to picture when I reread the DT series, and once I see him in the movie that way the Ted Brautigan in my head will cease to exist. Or at least have to cohabitate and that is just weird. I have this problem A LOT. I really love getting a picture of people & places from the book and my imagination. I love Anthony Hopkins, but he's not Ted Brautigan. They are two different people. I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested!!

I recently watched the movie, and I'm in complete agreement with Weezergirl. Hopkins, great actor that he is, just is not Ted Brautigan. I was also rather disappointed with the changes made to the low men, and I think it could have been a good tie-in to future DT films if they'd only stuck closer to the book near the end.

I thought Hopkins was good.
Hopkins is always good, first of all because he always believable, unless one watching can't get over that an actor is a real person while one's imaginary friend is not.
 
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lierlaky

Member
Jul 8, 2008
5
4
Newport Oregon
Ok, so HIA is 4 different stories? I am halfway through the book and keep wondering if that is it about Bobby and Ted? Does it ever come back, or is it just 3 more stories?
 
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FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
44,082
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New Zealand
Ok, so HIA is 4 different stories? I am halfway through the book and keep wondering if that is it about Bobby and Ted? Does it ever come back, or is it just 3 more stories?
It is a collection of 2 novellas (Hearts in Atlantis and Blind Willie) and 3 short stories. (Low Men in Yellow Coats, Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling and Why We're in Vietnam)
 
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Autumn13

Active Member
Feb 14, 2012
43
101
I felt that all of the stories were connected although it took me a couple of reads to get that. I like this book a lot being a child of the 1960s. The biggest confusion for me was the college part. I thought the guy was Bobby all grown up. That is until I got over that and realized that the thread in that one was Carol. But each story is connected to the other by one character or another.
The description of the late 1950s early 1960s childhood and neighborhood safety took me back to Mom saying, "Be sure to be home before the streetlights come on."
 
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nanadab

Member
Apr 14, 2016
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I enjoyed the movie and thought Anthony Hopkins was well matched here. Maybe he can show up in the final part of the gunslinger?
 
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Big_Lou

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2016
115
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I did enjoy this one, though I think I read the various short stories (aren't there several?) out of order, making it a bit confusing at times. Low Men in Yellow Coats, eh?

Poor Anton Yelchin, just a kid, not even out of his 20s. :(
 
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