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Room 237 [Blu-ray] (2012)

Bill Blakemore , Geoffrey Cocks , Rodney Ascher  |  NR |  Blu-ray
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Over 30 years later we re still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. Rodney Ascher s wry and provocative documentary ROOM 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with both fanatics and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick s still-controversial classic.


Special Features: The mstrmnd Speaks: Feature Commentary with Kevin McLeod,
Secrets of The Shining: Panel Discussion from the First Annual Stanley Film Festival,
11 Deleted Scenes,
The Making of the Music Featurette,
Mondo Poster Design Discussion with Artist Aled Lewis,
Trailers


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone is missing the point of this documentary October 4, 2013
By Justin
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Most of the negative reviews here are from people who completely missed the point of this great documentary. This is NOT a documentary about the making of "The Shining." Not at all. In fact, this documentary makes it explicitly clear in the very first minute by putting up a disclaimer completely removing itself from any association of the film or the people who created it. It DOES NOT pretend to take a DEFINITIVE position as to the "actual" meaning of the film. Nor does it pretend to make definitive claims as to what Kubrick "really" meant when making this film. Not at all. The documentary's responsibility is very clear: to present the theories in one place for the viewer to take in themselves; to allow the viewer to entertain these theories the way they see fit.

This film doesn't force you to agree with any of the theories presented here. It's a documentary that simply lets you know that these theories exist--nothing more. You will see that the documentary's main focus is really about how a film can consume a person. This documentary is really about the relationship between film and its viewer. The film "The Shining" is merely a vehicle to tell the bigger story here: a representation of the love of cinema and how people see different things in films. Films are up for interpretation just like poems or books. This documentary celebrates that.

I'm not here to review the legitimacy of the theories but rather the intent of the documentary. The theories presented here may not work but the documentary as a whole most definitely works. I never knew that there were people out there that had studied "The Shining" this intensely. I never noticed the clues and hints that were pointed out.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Although the documentary feature "Room 237" has received largely favorable notices from the mainstream media, there seems to be a disconnect with regular movie-goers. I think that this breakdown comes in the form of expectations. "Room 237" is NOT about Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." Not really. If you are looking for a critique about that movie, this is NOT it. Rather this is a study of obsessiveness and the art of amateur film theory. Each of the unseen subjects interviewed for the film have rather outlandish ideas about the hidden context of the 1980 horror endeavor. These aren't meant to be accepted at face value by the viewer. Some are quite preposterous, some are huge stretches, and some merely contradict the facts when necessary. What we see is how closely people relate to certain films and artists. As society has been consumed by the entertainment industry, these commentators all think they know the precise meaning of Kubrick's text regardless of how far-fetched it might appear to the rest of us. I, too, am a Kubrick scholar and have studied his work. But to dissect a movie in minute detail ascribing enormous significance to even the smallest bit of set dressing, it will boggle your mind!

"Room 237," therefore, is about this obsessive act of movie mania and not about the source film itself. "The Shining" just serves as the catalyst to examine this bizarre phenomenon. I didn't learn anything about the movie, but was instead pulled into the compulsive theorizing of the film's participants. There are some interesting individual points, to be sure, and amusing speculation, but I was more amused than enlightened. Was the film a commentary on the Holocaust or to the annihilation of the American Indian or Kubrick's confession to his role in the staged lunar landing?
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
No I don't. But it is interesting that negative reviews seem to imagine the film-makers agree with the theories expounded by their theorists or that, if they don't, they should mock those theories or undermine them. The documentary shows you a bunch of things. Like. . . The mind's kind of an interesting place. Smart people can think some weird stuff. Weird stuff can pull you in. You can find yourself going 'Oh my God, yes' when really you should be going 'Oh my God'. There's such a thing as evidential bias. People believe what they want to believe. Why they want to believe it is mysterious. There might be some odd edifices in one's own head that could do with a stern look or a stick of dynamite. Some obsessives make some great things. Others maybe waste their lives. Stanley Kubric made a great movie.
None of these things are upsetting. I thought they made for beautiful documentary.
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87 of 116 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well made but focused on insane theories April 1, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I rented this knowing it was a documentary about theories into hidden meanings of the Shining. I didn't realize that so much credibility would be given to such flimsy material.

For example, one theory is that Stanley Kubrick did not make this movie as an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, he made it to let everyone know his part in the faked moon landing footage. Oh boy. One of the pieces of evidence provided is a door hanger that says "ROOM No 237". Please don't fool yourself into thinking that this means the hanger identifies Room Number 237. Oh no. Can't you see it? You can rearrange the capital letters to spell "MOON!" (they don't explain what the leftover R indicates. My theory is that if you add the "R" in the middle, you get "MORON" which is what you have to be if you buy into that nonsense)

I believe that the same conspiracy theorist describes how a shot of clouds has Stanley Kubrick's face superimposed in them. The film freezes this frame and there is no Stanley Kubrick superimposition there.

They hit a lot of the inane things people use to back up their bogus theories. Numerology, come on down! There's a woman who sees a poster of a skier who decides it looks like a minotaur and we go on a five minute ride to crazy town (spoiler alert: the hedge maze is a labyrinth). The contents of a kitchen pantry are important in not one but two different nutball theories.

All that said, the film is well done from a technical perspective and there are some nice moments. One commentator breaks down Danny's three big wheel rides and the movie provides a real time map to show how the pattern that the big wheel takes could represent levels or reality and character perspective.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good and fascinating experience
I found this movie very entertaining. In fact, I was so interested in the premise that it forced me to first watch The Shining (which I hadn't) in order to really appreciate... Read more
Published 7 days ago by A. D. Wheetley
3.0 out of 5 stars Meeehhh...
If you're really hard core into the movie, this is must-see. Otherwise, give it a pass...
Published 7 days ago by Michael Wideski
2.0 out of 5 stars A Rather Shallow Analysis
This movie really just glosses over ideas that have been floating around among Kubrick fans for several years. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Robert E Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars hidden messages in the Calumet label type of fun.
Paranoid, conspiracy theorist, hidden messages in the Calumet label type of fun.
Published 18 days ago by Mark Hauck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating, but somewhat flakey film embracing a bizarre conspiracy theory.
Published 20 days ago by Patricia Valter
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WAVE OF TERROR THAT IS SWEEPING ACROSS AMERICA...
Trivia and trepidation show up in equal measure in Rodney Ascher's film "Room 237", a smaller docu-film fanatic (? Read more
Published 23 days ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 26 days ago by Judith A. Gardner
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting if sometimes unbelievable collection of theories about...
An interesting if sometimes unbelievable collection of theories about the meaning of The Shining as filmed by Kubrick. What is it about? Take your pick!
Published 1 month ago by Viva
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Really crazy, interesting stuff in this documentary.
Published 1 month ago by Evan
3.0 out of 5 stars Spooky
Intriguing the way this turned out to be ...
Published 1 month ago by Ed
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