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Eyes Wide Shut (Unrated Edition) [HD DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 1,275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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It was inevitable that Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut would be the most misunderstood film of 1999. Kubrick died four months prior to its release, and there was no end to speculation how much he would have tinkered with the picture, changed it, "fixed" it. We'll never know. But even without the haunting enigma of the director's death--and its eerie echo/anticipation in the scene when Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) visits the deathbed of one of his patients--Eyes Wide Shut would have perplexed and polarized viewers and reviewers. After all, virtually every movie of Kubrick's post-U.S. career had; only 1964's Dr. Strangelove opened to something approaching consensus. Quite apart from the author's tinkering, Kubrick's movies themselves always seemed to change--partly because they changed us, changed the world and the ways we experienced and understood it. And we may expect Eyes Wide Shut to do the same. Unlike Kubrick himself, it has time.

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


Special Features

  • Rated and Unrated versions
  • Disc One:
  • Scene specific commentary by Sydney Pollack and historian Peter Loewenberg
  • Theatrical trailer and TV spots
  • Disc Two:
  • Channel 4 documentary: The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut
  • Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick
  • Kubrick’s 1998 DGA D.W Griffith Award acceptance speech
  • Interview gallery featuring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Schnitzler, Frederic Raphael
  • Producers: Stanley Kubrick, Brian W. Cook, Jan Harlan
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,275 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I2J0VK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,047 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eyes Wide Shut (Unrated Edition) [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Hickey on October 30, 2007
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
Kubrick's final effort is also his greatest masterpiece: a humane and expressionistic fable, endlessly complex and guardedly optimistic.
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.
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Format: DVD
1999 was one of the greatest years in recent memory for film. Yet Eyes Wide Shut is all but absent from the end-of-the-year awards ceremonies and most critics lists.
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.
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Format: DVD
Eyes Wide Shut is not the self-indulgent, opaque film that I had been led by some reviewers to expect. It is clear and focused with an important and worthy theme. Kubrick is exploring the nature of human sexuality in light of recent conclusions derived from evolutionary biology. The theme can be stated simply: "marriage is a fortress continually under siege." To be able to use Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as his married couple, who not so incidentally were actually married to one another at the time, was quite a coup since it lent accessibility and immediacy to his theme. We are able to catch glimpses of what their married life might have been like and to see that marriage played out against the temptations of a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Indeed with their subsequent separation, Kubrick's theme is ironically supported.

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.
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