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Customer Review

75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, best transfer yet!, October 24, 2007
This review is from: The Shining [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
The Shining is one of the horror genre's most notable films. Made in 1980 by the late, legendary Stanley Kubrick, the film stands out as not only one of his best but probably the best Stephen King adaptation as well. Though not nearly as true to the book as the later TV-movie would be, it is undoubtedly darker, more macabre, and ultimately superior to that version. Kubrick was a genius behind the camera, giving us long, beautiful shots, allowing us to take in both the beauty and the horror of the Overlook Hotel. For those who have yet to see the movie (and honestly, who hasn't at this point?), do yourself a favor and buy it today! Disappointment is impossible.

As for the transfer of the film, it is unbelievable. While clearly not as visually stunning or breathtaking as modern day flicks, this HD DVD version of The Shining boasts a virtually flawless transfer and cleans up many of the blemishes that were present on previous VHS and DVD versions. Black levels are deep, clean, and ungrainy and the majority of the film offers a surprisingly clean look. Detail is not as strong as it could have been, but Kubrick intentionally shot this film softly. The images won't pop and shine like modern movies will, as this is an old film, but for the price of the disc you are without a doubt getting the highest quality transfer this film has ever seen.

Audio has been upgraded from a mono to a TrueHD soundtrack, but for the most part audio will be very front-heavy. Most of the peripheral speakers are used only for music, to intensify the sound of it (and it is effective).

Special features are slim: the old making of documentary (with or without commentary), theatrical trailer, and a few small featurettes that delve deeper into the making of The Shining, as well Stanley Kubrick's "Visions." All pretty standard fare, all in 480i/p standard definition.

Whether you're a long time fan of the film, or new to it, this is a must-own if you own an HD DVD player and HDTV! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 15, 2011 10:42:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2011 1:06:49 PM PDT
So many viewers of this classic film,call it a 'horror' film.I believe, Kubrick would call it a cinemagraphic 'fairy tale'.Then the fans would say,'What?Fairy tales only have happy endings.' Yet,Kubrick was fairly well-read and knew the vast array of fairy tales and global mythologies.And what they were teaching and warning the peasants of what could happen to them.Kubrick's film was booed by the critics and even received the 'Razzie' award.The way Kubrick visually sets up a scene is amazing.He even could have done better.For example,when Dick Halloran (played by Scatman Crothers)brings Wendy and Danny to the pantry storeroom.There's a box ,labeled 'RITZ'.Hint they're staying at a grand hotel,and there are stacks and rows of rooms.Inside the box,are stacks and rows of 'crackers'.Kubrick is hinting,this couple are ignornant poor whites.And that Halloran is a descedent of slaves(literally and socially) and now a new boss,who has shut-down the kitchen,for the winter sleep.Halloran allows Jack to consume the nurishing food stocks,until the spring,when they will be restocked.Halloran could have pointed to some boxes and said,'I also threw in a couple of brats,for you to enjoy'.Brats are meat sausages,and a play upon the word meaning ,a 'naughty boy'.Delbert Grady ,the previous caretaker,had axed his two daughters.Yet,we see Grady later serving the party guests,as a waiter.Jack was waiting for Stuart Ullman,in the lobby.If you look close,Jack Torrence is reading the January 1978 issue of 'Playgirl'.On the cover,is a picture of a woman looking forward and a man looking,outward from a mirror.And later,Wendy serves up eggs and bacon,sunny side up.In German ,'Spiegel-eier' are sunny-side eggs,or 'mirror-eggs'.How can their egg supply hold out,over the winter months? There is the story of 'Jack and the Beanstock'.Danny is the new 'Jack'.Jack Torrence is the evil giant.The eggs are restocked,in the Springtime,when the hotel re-opens and ready for business.Jack Tarrance was not the first appointed care-taker and will not be the last.Stuart Ullman has a new seeker,every late Indian summer,to take the offer.I would had Jack Torrence enter the lobby,and approach the front desk.On the side,of the front deck,would be a small 'Master-card' logo and a box of 'Wrigley' gum.The 'Master-card' logo had interlocking rings,a joining union.And the gum box would imply 'double your pleasure,double your fun'.Jack is directed towards Mr.Ullman's office.I would have the camera slowly enter,showing Mr.Ullman and his secretary,standing to the left side.We only see ,the secretary's checkered black and white dress and Stuart Ullman explaining closing arrangements.We would never see her face.Jack knocks on the door and Mr.Ullman would say,'Welcome,we've been expecting you'.On the left side,would be an antique 'blunderbus' gun,mounted on the wall,pointing towards the door.In Dutch,a 'busse' means a 'tube' or 'box'. The antique gun has a flared tip,like a loud-speaker.And on the right side,I would have,a ship in a bottle.Pointing towards Mr.Ullman's deck.Ullman offers Jack a seat.On the desk,Ullman would have a box ,a red-bowed cigar box,labeled 'Dutch-Masters'.Ullman would say to his secretary,'Please thank Dick Halloran for the gift and we'll be with him shortly'.The secretary would be filmed ,from the chest down,wearing a checkered black/white dress and a long pearl necklace,perhaps faux pearls.She holds a clip-board ,in her left head and a red marker,in her right.The camera has her standing ,back to the open door,on the right side,of the scene.Jack Torrence,sitting in the middle and the ship in the bottle,on the right table.The secretary leaves saying,'Yes,sir,Mr.Ullman'.What can be deduced from all of this imagery? Ullman would be like the loud-speaker,spreading his warning of the previous caretaker,and allowing for the new caretaker to temporarly occupy.The dress of checkered black/white would would represent the dual sides of human nature,both spiritual and sexual.The pearls represent,'pearls of wisdom',but also 'pearls cast before swine'.They are brillant nuggets of wisdom,and some can be harmfully consumed.The ship in the bottle,represents Jack Torrence,the new pilgrim bringing evils,such as smallpox and measels.These evils are contained in a corked vessel.The bottle would be pointing towards Mr.Ullman,who is aware of this approaching danger.Yet,understands it's a neccessary evil,so Mother Nature can restore her house.The cigar box represents the clueless slaves,passive and waiting to be used up.The box would be labeled ,'Dutch-Masters'.Another hint also of Mr.Ullman being the head-ruler and appointing Jack Torrence as short-term territorial overseer.Wendy represents the christianized pagan native,whether Asian or Cherokee Indian.
There is another scene that could been done better.The scene when Wendy and Danny are watching TV,in the large hotel room.Kubrick could have had Danny making car noises and annoying Wendy.Wendy raises her arms upward and says,'Danny,enough!'.Danny askes if he can go play around the hotel.Wendy hesitates and then agrees.She knows Jack is sleeping or working,nearby.She warns Danny to be careful and quiet.Danny exits,by the 'EXIT' sign.I would have Wendy quietly produce a wooden box.She quietly looks around.Then the camera focusing in on the box.She slowly opens it.Inside are a row of neatly rolled joints of marijuana.She takes one out,and secures the box ,back behind her.She fires one up.And the scene,fades to her sleeping,on the sofa.The TV is fuzzy,black/white snowy picture.I would have her stumble to her feet.Wendy cries,'Danny,are you here!'. Then Wendy journeys along the winding hallway,sees an open door,of room 237.Wendy sees an Indian squaw,kneeling,with arms upward.There's light behind the Indian maiden.Wendy stops and stares,in disbelief.The Indian maiden has a head-band,with a single feather,like an anntenna receiver.In steps,on the right side,a blonde pilgrim.The Indian maiden slowly drops her right arm,along the pilgrim's left side. He plucks her feather,and holds it, as if it was a writing plume.As Wendy starts toward the room 237,both the indian maiden and the blonde pilgrim look up toward Wendy.Wendy rubs her eyes in confusion.And Wendy then enters the room.No one is there,only the TV set on,with a fuzzy picture,without sound.The Indian maiden and blonde pilgrim were a ghostly mirage.Wendy exits the room,heads to the Colorado lounge.What can be learned from this scene? Wendy represents Pandora,who has opened her gift box,of rolled and stacked 'gifts'.In German,'Gift' means poison and 'Rausch-gift' means marijuana,literally 'poisonous smoke'.The image of an Indian maiden is the doubel image of Wendy,representing pure fertile and naive fresh.The blonde pilgrim represents new worldly explorer,seeking freedom and goodness;yet bringing disease,evil and enslavement.There is a play here between good and evil.A warning to Wendy that evil is around the corner,and she should heed the signs.The lone feather would represent the Indian maiden's way of receiving information,divine communion.When the blonde pilgrim removes the feather,he disables her communication with Mother Nature.And the pilgrim holds the feather like a quill,to write a new white-washed history of America.The squaw lost her 'voice',both inner and outer.A warning to Wendy and the viewers.
Kubrick does a wonderfull way of presenting the dual nature of things.Not necessarily evil,or necessarily good.One can't exist without the other.Everyone has a part to play.

Posted on Jan 6, 2016 10:54:50 AM PST
Your enjoyment of the film is wonderfully palpable and really compels me to drop what I'm viewing and spin it again so as to feel the creepiness that Nicholson imbues his character and the film with (kudos to the late, great Kubrick as well). A heart-felt review Cale E!!
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