11.22.63: Mini Series (2016)



What I liked:

  • The opening credits. Heck yeah, it summed the book up perfectly, all the smaller things that the show might have missed. It was engaging and looked good.
  • Daniel Webber as Lee Harvey Oswald. This guy was good. Seriously. There were times where you actually felt pity for this man, dirt poor and a wee bit cuckoo, and other times where you were just like “you ass”.


  • Al Templeton flashing in between the episodes, explaining more about the past, talking about his research and what he discovered, as well as sharing some of the history. It keeps things relevant, so it wasn’t all blandly said in the beginning, and then things referenced throughout the film and then just not making sense later.
  • The tension that the show builds. While it lacks at times, it really kicks other times.
  • The show is engaging. It has a doomed air, and gives you all you need to appreciate the setting, the concept, and how it will come together.


  • The performances all round were actually really good.
  • Obviously I was a fan of the romance between Sadie and Jake. Man. Lovely. It was captured rather well here, albeit so much more different than what it should have been like.


  • How Jake also did things that were against his character, just to try and bend the past to his will, no matter that the past is obdurate, and does not want to be changed. I think a particularly crazy scene to highlight this was the entire debacle with Bill and the psych ward.
  • Bringing in the Harry Dunning story so effectively. This was a big thing for me, and I think Leon Rippy was a great Harry. Gosh, that story was so painful, and I am glad we got to see some of it.

What I didn’t like: 

  • How much it deviates from the book.
  • Johnny Clayton in the show was just not as terrifying as the book. His role was totally different, and he didn’t tear into town and wreck Sadie’s life under disguise or shockingly. They knew he was there. Also, I wish 11.22.63 had captured how loopy the guy was. WTF?! They touched on it but didn’t own it.


  • The Yellow Card Man was also not as mysterious as he should have been, or as scary. The use of him was rather heavy handed, and the lack of explanation was also rather grating. It was an incredibly bizarre change for me, and not a particularly good character here, and he should have been.
  • The time jumped around a lot, and that left you feeling like things had been missed, and progression of certain other things had been overlooked.
  • Some things just didn’t have enough background, and so did not carry a lot of weight and came across as forced, which is unfortunate.

So y’all know I finished the book recently. I am still hanging. I have not stopped thinking about it since then, and I really had a hard time committing to another book. I tried man, I really tried. Other books just don’t look as great by comparison. Naturally I got my hands on 11.22.63 and decided to give it a go with my husband, who will never take the time to read the book, but with whom I really wanted to share the story.

Right off the bat, my husband loved it. He thought it was great, and was super flat when it was over, for so many reasons. I had an array of issues and niggles, of course, but that’s because I read the book. I continually reminded myself that it was obviously going to be different, and it was a huge book to bring to screen, and that the finer points would be missed. Unfortunately. That being said, and the fact that the show and the book are vastly different, it isn’t a bad show – it’s just not like the book. At all.


The show felt a little bit confused about it wanted to be (for me). Like, did it want to focus on the romance? Did it want to be all about the JFK conspiracy? Did it want to be about time travel? These were not themes that had difficulty interacting in the book, but on screen it comes across as clunky, as though the writers didn’t know what was the most important thing to concentrate on. I was also really let down by how many characters got skipped over – the novel was so story-centric, and there were so many amazing characters that I was really excited to see. Mike and Bobby Jill essentially got a cameo. Ellie didn’t even make it into the story, as well as the array of gangsters that were skipped entirely. All those characters being forgotten and overlooked did not change the fact that Bill Turcotte became a big player in this one. Shockingly. Luckily he was a character that grew on me, otherwise we could have had issues.


For the most part the show looked really good. The sets were great and looked legitimately old school. The directing made the show suffer a bit, and the pacing was off, and as much as my hubby was hanging on to every word to see what was cooking, so was I. This story was something different entirely, and they worked way more in depth with the whole concept of Oswald being used by the CIA for a hit.

I was so excited to see the relationship between Sadie and Jake. I mean wow, if ever there was an amazing romance, that would be it. I absolutely adored it. I think Sarah Gadon is gorgeous, and she and James Franco made for a good looking couple. She was rather different from what I imagined, and their romance was more fleeting that I would have liked – it was a super elaborate story in the books. However, Sadie and Jake fit together, and while the dance from the show was a little more stiff than I would have appreciated, I was thrilled to see it happen. The show managed to show how their relationship was not a simple, easy thing.


Deke becoming a more central character was awesome, even if he still hung in the fringe a bit more than most. He was entertaining, and I wish we had seen more of him and Miz Mimi. As for Lee Harvey Oswald? Daniel Webber nailed him. Seriously. The show constantly had you suspicious of him, and did not beat around about painting him this dark, deranged cuckoo. I liked it. It was rather sinister. There were times I felt absurdly sorry for him, too.

Jake is from a totally different time, and the show addressed it quite well that Jake comes from a future where injustice is not taken so calmly, and the way he championed for Miz Mimi to be treated as an equal? Loved it. He gave that horrible petrol attendant the chirping of his life, and his decency at offering her even just a cup of coffee in a time where that was not acceptable was fantastic. The show didn’t spend too much time on it, but it did not overlook the fact that the sixties had some major issues.


11.22.63 nailed the doomed, melancholic, bittersweet story it should be by the end. It might have been a mixed bag, but really got it rolling right by the end. Looking at how the ability to change the past will mess with you is great. Seriously, how do you know where you fit in anymore? Everything in the world is so precarious. The butterfly effect was explored quite well here.


I particularly appreciated the smaller things that the show did, such as the grassy knoll umbrella dude and Oswald’s infamous backyard selfie. There were also plenty non-historic Easter eggs like “REDRUM” scrawled on the Texas Book Depository stairwell, and Franco’s “so good” over the pie, reference to The Green Mile’s “Old Sparky”, to name but a few.


While this will never become one of my all time favourite shows, I appreciate what they went for, super large deviation and all. I think the biggest issue is that King’s work is really hard to bring to screen. Some have been done excellently, with the right people, and I was really holding out hope that this would come together like The Green Mile, but I was let down by that. However, I am convinced that if you watch this and haven’t read the book, you will love it. I am basing this on my husband’s reaction, who thoroughly enjoyed this and it stuck with him long after, and he is not one to really linger or get overly involved. If you have read the book, this will be a little jarring, but if you put that out of your mind, you will have a decent show to fill your time with.

SPOILER: The end was beautiful and crushing, all at once. It left you with that broken feeling, that feeling you were lied to, allowed to hope, even though you know it will be a tragedy, no matter how things go down. It was stunning and sad in equal measure, the perfect close.

Review: Enemy (2013)

enemy movie poster

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) paints a depressing picture: he is a history teacher who spends his time at college, goes home, grades papers, has sex with his girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent), repeat. Nothing changes, there is nothing exciting. A colleague of his at work asks if he watches any movies, and as stunted as his social skills may be, Adam realises he is trying to make conversation. He rents the movie that his colleague recommends, and is shocked to see a man in there that looks just like him. Adam is interested, and does some more research on the actor he saw online, seeing that the man is not an overly successful actor, but an actor nonetheless. He rents more movies featuring Daniel St. Claire (also Jake Gyllenhaal). Adam’s relationship with Mary is suffering due to his obsession.

enemy adam school

Tracking down the agency that Daniel St. Claire works with, Adam stops by there, where he gets some mail from the desk clerk. Through the mail, Adam learns that Daniel St. Claire’s real name is Anthony Claire. He successfully manages to stalk Anthony, ultimately phoning his wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon), who thinks that Anthony is playing a terrible joke on her. Through persistence, Adam manages to talk to Anthony, whom he attempts to convince to meet with him. Anthony vehemently refuses, though later decides that they should meet. Helen is doing some investigating of her own, and meets with Adam, who is unwittingly aware that Helen is Anthony’s pregnant wife.

enemy daniel

The two men finally meet up together at a hotel, where things just go crazy. The two men are perfect and identical copies of one another, which in turn robs both of them of their identities, spinning both their lives completely out of control. Who is Adam? Who is Anthony? Why are they identical? Will Adam be able to continue with his bland and boring life after he has had a glimpse of Anthony’s? Who are they if they are so identical that even their lovers cannot tell them apart? What is going on?

enemy meeting

GRADE 8I know this is a little bit of a ridiculously short review, but I cannot say too much and I really, really don’t want to spoil it if you have yet to see it. This was something that Joseph and Mark rather enjoyed, that Eric enjoyed but was not completely certain how much, and that Rob absolutely hated. I was very interested to see what would come of this seeing as I was a huge fan of Villeneuve’s Prisoners, and I enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal (even though Natasha can see no merits in the man). Now, I was not really sure what would come of this. I roughly knew what it was about, but this was still a journey unto itself. It is phenomenally shot though extremely depressing, everything is washed out and oppressive and dark and dreary, which totally worked for the story that it was trying to convey. Then there was the soundtrack, that just had your teeth on edge for the entire duration of the film and aims to freak you out to your very core, and mostly succeeds with this. Then there are these creepy spider shots that come up from time to time, and leave you feeling just a little chilled. Gyllenhaal gave another solid performance, and successfully managed to embody the essence of two different men. You could clearly see which one he was due to the totally difference characteristics and actions the men had, as well as the way they presented themselves and held themselves. The plot is confusing and constantly twisting, and you need to keep your wits about you, but I must say that I enjoyed it. The cinematography was absolutely stunning. Adam’s obsession with Anthony is a little extreme, though if you think about it you could understand how it could get there. I love how the doppelgängers lived completely different lives and had virtually nothing in common. However, this movie really screwed with my head, and I can see how the conclusion will split people into groups of loving it, hating it, or just not giving a damn and feeling like their time may have been wasted. Either way, this is a movie I would recommend so that you can sit around and scratch your head when all is said and done, theorizing on your own about the multitude of probabilities the film presents.