Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital
TV-14 | 03 March 2004 (USA)
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    Absolutely Brilliant!

    Robert Joyner

    The plot isn't so bad, but the pace of storytelling is too slow which makes people bored. Certain moments are so obvious and unnecessary for the main plot. I would've fast-forwarded those moments if it was an online streaming. The ending looks like implying a sequel, not sure if this movie will get one

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    Bumpy Chip

    It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.

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    Kingdom Hospital is one of my all-time favourite shows, and I think you have to be at least a little wacky to appreciate its dark humour and morbid jokes. Many pretentious snobs have put down this show as terrible because it "rips off" the original Danish program Riget (which it doesn't, this is an adaptation). People are going to think I'm an uncultured idiot for saying this, but I like Kingdom Hospital much more than Riget, and no, not because I didn't understand the first version. While I did very much enjoy Riget, I found it ludicrously overhyped for what it was. Riget was no more original than Kingdom Hospital either, seeing as Lars Von Trier himself was heavily influenced by earlier shows like Twin Peaks. Kingdom Hospital simply stood out to me as the more engaging and complete show. Maybe it's the strong theme of friendship and unity; everyone from eccentric psychic Sally Druse (Diane Ladd) to the visually impaired security guard Otto with his German shepherd (Julian Richings) becomes a part of a family, the Keepers, those who protect the hospital, its patients and its staff from the supernatural netherworld residing amidst the floors. At first the giant anteater (Kett Turton) really threw me off, and it took me two weeks to develop an interest in watching the rest of the episode. By the time the "Na Na Na (Kiss Him Goodbye)" song scene came up, I was hooked like a junkie. So many comedic scenes, but also scenes of strong caring, loyalty, love and above all else, miracles. Kingdom Hospital is a place where medical miracles never cease, but neither does violent death. Everything is in a fragile equilibrium which is threatened by a ghostly boy and of course the pompous Dr. Stegman (Bruce Davison), who begins to lose his own mind after botching a neurosurgery and more or less lobotomizing a young girl. It's a lot of weirdness to take in, but it grows on you and eventually all does begin to make sense.There are many Stephen King clichés that some viewers may find annoying or even advertising in nature. Lots of references of his books, even a radio announcer mentioning Stephen King's name. Antubis resembles in nature the Turtle from Stephen King's 'It' in many ways. There are quite a few typical King plot devices, too. Either way, I don't think I would have loved this show even half as much if it wasn't for the superb and talented acting. Such a great cast bringing to life some wonderful characters, from Brandon Bauer and Jennifer Cunningham (Christa and Abel, two young adult orderlies with Down's syndrome and a psychic connection), to Del Pentecost (Bobby Druse, an orderly, Sally's son and Otto's closest friend). It was nice to see some actors coming in who looked real, not all dolled-up and fake like supermodels. I was expecting another cheap medical melodrama with a Kim Kardashian lookalike in a lab coat or something, as usual. Boy, was I wrong! So many scenes in this show are as incredible as they are harrowing. Mary's vividly eerie recollection of a deadly fire over a century ago, Otto getting his eyesight back despite being told that he was going completely blind, Peter (Jack Coleman) rescuing Antubis from beneath a collapsed scaffolding, among others. Excellent soundtrack too, and the 35mm opt rather than conforming to that cheap yet religiously trendy HD digital cr*p was a genius move on the director's part. All in all, this probably won't be anybody's favourite, least of all the die-hard Riget fans, but at least give it a chance. Remakes are all too often terrible, but this is a miraculous exception, as miraculous as the miracles within the gripping story.

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    Let me just start by saying, you have to have some interest in the medical field to be able to enjoy this mini-series. I loved it personally. The setting actually felt as though it was a genuine hospital, and the scripts weren't rushed or bored through. It took its time, and gave a sense of being "real life."This is a show about a dead little girl who is caught between the afterlife and the living. She is accompanied by Anubis, the Egyptian guardian of death's gate. Here, she tries to use a completely and utterly damaged patient; at first paralyzed due to being struck by a van, to communicate with those of the living. She also requests the assistance of a psychic woman, who can get readings from the dead. At the same time the supernatural little girl is trying to acquire the people and doctors, there's actual medical situations happening. King does a great job merging the two worlds together without the story becoming "ridiculous." The actors really made me think they were trained medical professionals. The cast did an excellent job with making everything connect with the viewer. It may seem slow to some, but there's more than one story to be told in just a single story. That's a brain teaser for the reader, but it's the best way I can describe it. Without knowing where all the characters come from, it wouldn't make any sense when they come together towards the end. King always does a great job at this as he always does. It portrays more than one character's point of view to the situation. Anybody who likes the supernatural, and medical, will absolutely enjoy this mini series. I would recommend this mini series to every one. Which is why I rated Kingdom Hospital a 9/10.

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    If Lars Von Trier were dead he'd be rolling in his grave. Instead, in some strange masochistic career move he actually executive produced this garbage. If you're a fan of other works that Stephen King has a heavy hand in you'll likely love this as it is poorly acted, discombobulated, filled with hokey dialogue and horrendously scored. It takes little more than a few minutes into the pilot episode to know that you're in for a true trainwreck and that's almost exactly how far I made it. I couldn't stand to stomach much more than 15 minutes into the second part of the pilot episode. It seemed as if they were drawing strong parallels between Riget and Kingdom Hospital and that perhaps the plot would actually be fairly similar. One thing that I did enjoy was how much effort they took in the pilot's opening to create visually similar elements to Riget's opening while creating their own spin on it. It is truly unfortunate that this was so awful because my mouth was watering to perhaps find out, in the American version, what happened to Mona?

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    This show started out decent enough, but it really needed to be done as a mini-series with maybe 6 episodes tops. There were a few beginning episodes to set up the story and the final few episodes tied things off pretty well although they follow the typical Stephen King cliché of having some kind of "ka-tet" of characters who are meant to come together to save someone in a portal of space-time and dimensional traveling. All the rest in the middle is just filler and at times it seemed like the same scenes were being shown. Like the headless corpse running around constantly or the anteater showing up and rambling off some gibberish that is supposed to be all profound and wise. Enough already!

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