1408 seems to prove the existing axiom that, when adapting Stephen King to the screen, restraint trumps excess almost every time. The best adaptations of the author’s work, The Dead Zone, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, eschew raw grand guignol gore for the rich characterizations that exemplify King’s best writing. Ninety-percent of the disposable films bearing his name are guilty of the same crime, namely tossing overboard the elements that raise even mediocre King stories above the genre’s normally low standards.
Reuniting virtually all of the personnel from Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration is a middling Hollywood comedy that trods familiar ground and never quite gets its comedic feet under it. Once again, as in A Mighty Wind, co-writer and director Christopher Guest’s affection for his characters undermines the potential for humor. The subject of Oscar hype in Hollywood might be ripe for scathing satire, but all this movie can manage is a softball thrown underhand.