I wasn't crazy about the book. I had trouble staying interested in it while listening to the audiobook. I stuck it out and finished it, but probably would have rated it a 5 out of 10. I enjoyed the sequel a lot more and because of that I may revisit the JDATE book in 2013.
I did rent the movie. I would have rented it off Verizon Fios for $9.99 but they did not have the HD version. I instead used my bluray player and tried out Vudu for the first time, which streams through my player. They are offering a $5.99 credit so the HD version can be had for like $5 or $6, a little more reasonable. I can't believe they expect people to pay $10 for what is essentially a rental. I know it's in advance of the limited theatrical release but still...
Anyway, the movie was enjoyable enough. Fun. They changed the name of the dog and for some reason I always imagined the dog to be very small. The dog didn't really fit in the movie, though. They just didn't work that right. And the girlfriend (Amy, I think) was pretty minimal in the movie. Otherwise an enjoyable 100 minutes from Coscarelli. It was good to see Angus again, too. Knowing Don's past, I'm hoping there is tons of extended footage and we get a director's cut on bluray.
I'm still hoping his next will be a Phantasm V but perhaps we are all dreaming about that. I'm not sure I would even be opposed to a remake of Phantasm, considering how dated the original looks these days.