Eyes Wide Shut (R-Rated Edition)
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So consider, as we settle in to live with this long, advisedly slow, mesmerizing film, how challenging and ambiguous its narrative strategy is. The source is an Arthur Schnitzler novella titled Traumnovelle (or "Dream Story"), and it's a moot question how much of Eyes Wide Shut itself is dream, from the blue shadows frosting the Harfords' bedroom to the backstage replica of New York's Greenwich Village that Kubrick built in England. Its major movement is an imaginative night-journey (even the daylight parts of it) taken by a man reeling from his wife's teasing confession of fantasized infidelity, and toward the end there is a token gesture of the couple waking to reality and, perhaps, a new, chastened maturity. Yet on some level--visually, psychologically, logically--every scene shimmers with unreality. Is everything in the movie a dream? And if so, who is dreaming it at any given moment, and why?
Don't settle for easy answers. Kubrick's ultimate odyssey beckons. And now the dream is yours. --Richard T. Jameson
- Interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg
Top Customer Reviews
A few notes about the Blu-Ray disc of "Eyes Wide Shut:"
The Blu-Ray is the unrated version of the film, meaning it does not have those CGI figures added to the orgy scenes to obscure the simulated sex. (The CGI figures were added in order to secure a U.S. theatrical release rating of "R," without Kubrick's input; their only purpose was censorship. The version released on Blu-Ray, which was released theatrically in Europe but until now has not been available in the U.S., restores those shots to the way Kubrick filmed them.)
The Blu-Ray disc contains all of the special features from the standard-definition DVD in the boxed DVD set, and they are interesting enough. The aspect-ratio of the Blu-Ray is 16x9, which is a vast improvement over the old 3x4 DVD, as 16x9 is much closer to the theatrical aspect-ratio for which the film's shots were composed. The High-Definition film transfer is beautiful, pristine, the images luminous and rich. For a film as beautifully photographed as this, in which the texture of the image conveys essential, visceral meaning, the difference between High-Definition and Standard Def might make the difference between fully receiving the film and not.
If you've gone Hi Def and are thinking of buying this to replace your old standard-def 3x4 DVD, by all means do so. Short of a new 35mm print of the unrated version, this Blu-Ray disc -- displayed on a big 1080 set in a dark room, uninterrupted -- is how this challenging and ultimately thrilling film should be seen, and seen again.
The first thing to bear in mind are that this film was hyped way beyond necessity. As if the general public had any interest in the "Kubrick" listed below "Cruise" and "Kidman". To them this was just another Big Actor's next Big Movie. Passing it off like a "real Hollywood couple gets busy on the big screen" heightened expectations for something Kubrick wasn't trying to achieve. It suffered the same audience reaction as The Phantom Menace, and made only a fraction of the money.
Critics seemed to be lining up to take potshots at this film. Why? Recent history shows us that all of Kubrick's films from 2001 onward have been attacked critically, and subsequently hailed as classic years later. The same is true of most of Orson Welles' work. Few critics took the time to see this movie more than once before spewing their venom. A filmmaker like Kubrick is not going for direct emotional contact with the audience. He is aiming far deeper, asking the viewer to reflect on not only the images, but the themes, and the emotional investments of the characters. The subtlety is not something common in today's films, and something critics apparently can't process quick enough to meet a press deadline.
For all those complain that the film isn't sexy or erotic enough are missing the point completely. It's not about sex. It's about many other things, some of which linger in the background, some that aren't noticeable on the initial viewing. Kubrick raises questions about our institution of marriage, the nature of faith, commitment, temptation.Read more ›
Cruise plays Dr. Bill Harford, an attractive, high status, confident male who has always deceived himself about his sexual nature and the nature of women and especially the nature of his wife, Alice. They go to a party and act out some "teasing themselves" roles, as they have undoubtedly done before. Nothing comes of it since they are circumspect people. But the next night Alice decides to strip away her husband's smug confidence about her nature and expose to him the truth about feminine sexuality, and so tells him a little story about how she was moved to abandonment by just a glance from a man in uniform. Her expression is so vivid and powerful that Bill, stunned and shocked, begins to imagine this event that never took place, an event Alice has assured him, might well have taken place.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is magnificent. This movie has hidden messages where Stanley Kubrick admits his role in the staged NASA lunar moon landing footage from the 1960's. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Goldenhawk
If you only look at the screen the movie is slow paced porn. Watch the movie fromthe point of view of the characters and sympathize with them. Read morePublished 13 days ago by James Kellogg
Loved this dark and ambigeous film -- full of deep commentary on marriage, fidelity, and sexuality.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Classic Kubrick style. Was actually better than I thought it would be.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I guess I should have known not to expect something really hot from Cruise and Kidman, .. it's a shame they either didn't have, or wouldn't perform, a better script. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Judge