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Shining, The: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
“Heeeeere’s Johnny!” In a macabre masterpiece adapted from Stephen King’s novel, Jack Nicholson falls prey to forces haunting a snowbound mountain resort with a macabre history.]]>
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is less an adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel than a complete reimagining of it from the inside out. In King's book, the Overlook Hotel is a haunted place that takes possession of its off-season caretaker and provokes him to murderous rage against his wife and young son. Kubrick's movie is an existential Road Runner cartoon (his steadicam scurrying through the hotel's labyrinthine hallways), in which the cavernously empty spaces inside the Overlook mirror the emptiness in the soul of the blocked writer, who's settled in for a long winter's hibernation. As many have pointed out, King's protagonist goes mad, but Kubrick's Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is Looney Tunes from the moment we meet him--all arching eyebrows and mischievous grin. (Both Nicholson and Shelley Duvall reach new levels of hysteria in their performances, driven to extremes by the director's fanatical demands for take after take after take.) The Shining is terrifying--but not in the way fans of the novel might expect. When it was redone as a TV miniseries (reportedly because of King's dissatisfaction with the Kubrick film), the famous topiary-animal attack (which was deemed impossible to film in 1980) was there--but the deeper horror was lost. Kubrick's The Shining gets under your skin and chills your bones; it stays with you, inhabits you, haunts you. And there's no place to hide... --Jim Emerson
- Disc One:
- Commentary by Garrett Brown and John Baxter
- Theatrical trailer
- Disc Two:
- Documentary The Making of the Shining, with optional commentary by Vivian Kubrick
- Three new featurettes: View from The Overlook: Crafting the Shining, The Visions of Stanley Kubrick, and Wendy Carlos, Composer
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I listened to an interview with Dan Brown, author of 'The Da Vinvi Code' on NPR a few years ago. He talked about His book being made into a film. He said his book had 125 points. In the film they were reduced to 4. He wasn't upset. Movies are a different media with more limitations than print. He felt that if the audience enjoyed the film it might attract more people to read his book(s). All of that applies here.
The photography is beautiful. The music is truly creepy, The overlook hotel is perfect. Nicholson is great. Shelly Duval's performance is perfect. My first reaction all those years ago was too hasty and wrong. As horror films today go, this one is excellent.
***TEASER: The father's son, Daniel, possess a gift called "Shining" which means his is able to speak to people without ever moving his lips. It's basically an old fashioned word for telepathy. But unfortunately, throughout the movie, he "shines" with the wrong people. I won't give anything else away because then it will reveal too much about what happens in the movie, so just go watch it.
The Shining is well worth your time.