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Showing 1-10 of 1,995 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,620 reviews
on October 20, 2016
Hard to poke holes in this Kubrick classic. I admit I didn't read King's novel, and if what I've read on the internet is true I have a feeling this film and the novel and different animals. Either way, The Shining is one of my all-time Halloween season favorites or perfect for a day I just want to zone out and be transported to a different world. The cinematography, soundtrack, landscape, sounds and overall atmosphere of the film to me are comforting somehow, despite the gory plot. ALso, I think Shelly Duvall's acting is perfect - she really sells her character well - and outdoes Nicholson in this one. Personally, I think Nicholson was not the best casting choice for this role because it's hard to imagine him being anything other than a crazy psychopath. Not to say that Nicholson's acting is bad, but I think he only starts to shine when he starts to go off the deep end, or at least when it becomes obvious that he has. My favorite scene in the film is when he first visits the Gold Room and meets Lloyd, the bartender. Love it!
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on August 12, 2015
Fabulous. No matter the years gone by, this is like a Hitchcock. Doubt Hitch would have used all the blood though. He'd have let you "see" it in your mind. Great piece of work. The director was criticized for this for silly things like the misuse of the Overlook's rooms, etc. Seeing this in color up close for the very first time ever, it was stunning how most scenes were red/green toned, even the walls. Yuck! This makes a person get sick just like the film demanded. Oh! The performance of Shelly Duval! This is easy to overlook, but don't. She played her role to the hilt. What an actress. It really shows too. Great to have this sitting on the shelf.
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on October 17, 2014
I just have one observation about this film. and it isn't that it's nothing like Steven King's book. It's this, The Torrence family take a long drive to the Overlook Hotel, jammed into a VW Beetle. when they arrive, Daddy is sitting in the lobby, munching on some goodies, while the Hotel Manager, Stuart Ullman comes up to him and asks if the family's luggage had been brought in. Jack replies "Yes" and points out a pile of suitcases, toys and other items, that look as if they could be used to equip our forces on D-Day. Where was there space in that tiny VW to carry all that stuff? (Just think of the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers a Night at the Opera). The VW was shown on the winding mountain road to the Overlook Hotel and there was no trailer carrying the stuff attached to the VW, not that that tiny sub compact car could have pulled it along that road in the thin air at that elevation.
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on July 20, 2014
This film is a classic of horror/suspense, and a wonderful creation by master director Stanley Kubrick. I have seen this several times over the years, but I decided to order it again after watching the documentary Room 237 on Netflix (I was actually hoping to be able to just watch it on Netflix right after watching the doc, but it wasn't available. Netflix and I are currently not speaking). Room 237 explores some of the proposed imagery in the Kubrick film and what hidden messages may be found there. Whether or not you believe that this film presents undercover messages from Kubrick that he faked the Apollo moon landing or that the film speaks to America's genocide of Native Americans (these are just two of the theories about the film's hidden meanings in Room 237!), it's clear that there is also something new to be found each time the film is viewed, and the film itself is visually stunning.

As a fan of Stephen King's novel, I can certainly understand that he wasn't pleased with the changes Kubrick made to the story and some significant details, but in many cases the changes make the film better. This movie is a must for horror fans, a begrudging must see for King fans, and a classic of American cinema.
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on February 24, 2017
A classic Kubrick thriller with an all-star cast. What more needs be said for true greatness? This one scared the pants off lots of people when it was released. I was a young man living in Cleveland then. "Rocky Horror" at midnight on Saturday at the Heights Art theater was all the rage- great audience participation. Oh wait, I'd better get off the nostalgia train. I've seen "2001' and "Full Metal Jacket", too. Liked them both. I'm not a film critic, but I think Stanley & Co. know their stuff.
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on July 6, 2016
So Stephen King doesn't like it. So it doesn't follow the book. There is something deeply disturbing about this film, and it's neither of those things. The lengths that Kubrick went to, to be cryptic and elusive, are impressive. Equally impressive, are the performances of Nicholson, Duvall, and perhaps most of all, young Danny Lloyd. This movie isn't terrifying in the average Hollywood sense; it goes much further than that. The reality of what you are watching may never set in, if you are trying to find the underlying themes of what Kubrick was trying to depict. I for sure think he tapped into something that King did not while he was writing the book. That extra piece of a master's interpretation is what makes this a must see, and an all-time great in the realm of the horror genre.
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The Shining is a classic horror movie that actually caused me to lose some sleep when I first saw it back in the '80s. I'm glad that it is available "On-Demand" so my son and daughter (now that they are old enough) could see this with us.

Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall put in great performances as "Jack" and "Wendy", respectively, and young Danny Lloyd plays a very creepy Danny\Tony. This is an adaptation of Stephen King's novel by the same name, while it is not as accurate as the later TV movie, it is every bit as creepy and even somewhat more disturbing.

Even though this is an older movie and book, there will be no plot spoilers from me: The story centers around a family (Jack, Wendy, and Danny) who take on the winter upkeep of a mountain hotel in the "off season". Jack is hoping to use the time to write a novel, while Wendy and Danny are left to their own devices. Like many King stories, the location and history (both explained very early) of the hotel are key plot elements. Nicholson's portrayal of a man slowly going insane is truly brilliant and some of the lines are very memorable.

Many of the scenes are often spoofed on popular modern shows, which is why we wanted our teens to see it. I should note that there are a lot of disturbing and gory images all throughout this movie, including some full frontal nudity that I honestly hadn't remembered was in it (likely because I first saw this on "Network" TV). While not a traditional family movie, there are obviously some scenes that can be somewhat awkward.

Even with all of that, this is still a fantastic movie that has become part of our popular culture.

Highly Recommended!

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on October 4, 2016
I've heard so much about how great this film is. As someone just diving into it for the first time, I find it to be a kind of mixed bag of appealing and unappealing things. The unappealing- none of the characters are particularly likable or brought to life in any endearing way. Usually when I think of Stephen King characters and adaptations (Carrie, It, Firestarter) I think of warm, sympathetic characters. This is a far cry from that. The pace is so gradual, this is a quiet sort of movie. The good stuff- I love the artistry of it all. The atmosphere is thick and foreboding, very memorable. The setting takes on a life of its own. Cinematography is superb and haunting with a lot of strange, creative moments to ponder over. The most strange thing about this film though is how it's powerful and worthwhile- even with a cast of characters who didn't really connect with me. This is the first time I've come across a movie I was tempted to watch again despite that aspect.
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on August 23, 2013
One of the most controversial movies in Stanley Kubrick's lexicon, The Shining polarizes fans of the book and film a great deal. It is, to say the least, not very true to the original novel by Stephen King, and becomes a totally different story unique to this version. So how is it as a movie?
It is a masterpiece. Kubrick is one of the greatest film makers of all time with such classics as 2001, Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange under his belt. The Shining is probably his most accessible movie for a general audience. I first saw this film when I was 13, and even then I was aware it was something special. That and I always wondered just what the movie playing during the drive in scene from Twister was. What Kubrick does is rather than simply adapt King's novel verbatim, he tweaks it to make it something uniquely his own, only using King's novel as inspiration for his original take on the story. This will understandably upset a great deal many people. I am a King fan myself, and have enjoyed many of his books and film adaptations. But tweaking a story can improve it in certain ways. The film alterations of The Shawshank Redemption have since become signature parts of the story, and that film is universally loved. The Shining should receive a similar reception.
Jack Nicholson delivers one of his signature performances in this film as the slowly unhinging Jack Torrance, an oddly sympathetic but thoroughly frightening villain. Ol Jack always was a trooper with acting, creating a variety of colorful characters from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to Five Easy Pieces. Here, he delivers one of his more crazy performances and it is a treat to watch. The rest of the cast, Duvall, Crothers and Lloyd, do very nicely. Lloyd especially delivers a turnout performance as Jack's frightened son in probably the best performance by a child in a horror film.
One of the most interesting parts about the story (book and film) is the setting. Isolating the characters was always effective in horror stories such as Alien and The Thing. Like the latter, this film uses the cold and snow to cut off the characters from just walking out the door. It really makes the hotel become not a beautiful mansion, but a spooky maze from which there is no escape. The choice of hotel for both the interior and exterior was just fabulous, and allows for many great images to be created on the movie. And it is just perfect for building atmosphere.
The film varies in just how it creates fear. First, it is fear by suggestion, with creepy images and dark shadows that slowly build a sense of dream. One of the creepiest moments in the film is when the young Danny is lured into room 237 whilst playing in the halls of the hotel. This scene boasts a minimalist score, some oddly symmetrical images that are somehow very unsettling, and it draws out the scene to the point that it is almost torture. Not until the final third does Jack become the mad axe man, and the film dispenses with its sense of dread and opens the floodgates into total terror. It is this section of the film that most people remember, and it is not hard to see why as it is very well executed. However, the two thirds before that are also something to see. Who knew a kid looking down a hallway could look so damn creepy?
The two disc DVD delivers the good with a host of features, including the classic trailer for the film and the original documentary from its original release date. Not a lot of new material, and that is kind of sad, but still great stuff.
If you are a Stephen King fan, just remember this. This is not a Stephen King movie. It is a Stanley Kubrick movie. Don't put it in with the book, and view it on its own merits. If you are able to do that, you are in for one of the best horror films ever made.
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on June 17, 2017
One of the top classic horror movies of all time, certainly got to be in anybody's top ten. One of the few movies ever that was almost as good as the book. Timeless classic Jack Nicholson. I first saw it in the theater when I was 15 and it actually gave me nightmares. Don't watch this if you're really sensitive.
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