Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Doing A Better Job On The Wings

Heading down to the theatre on Monday night, I figured a detour was in order and treat myself to a birthday present, however belated, because I figured I deserved at least one. So I picked up this

I’d held off picking up the films on shiny disc because the DVDs had, until the arrival of the two-disc Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, been pretty basic. Luckily this boxset has turned up before the tapes completely wore out.

Not only was there a perfect version of Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures but also the Channel 4 documentaries 2001: The Making of a Myth and The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut amongst the extras, meaning they can now all happily go to VHS heaven. Then of course there are the commentaries, although of the couple I’ve tried to listen to, after about a quarter of an hour I’ve switched them off simply to concentrate on the film itself.

Of course in any boxed collection of films there’s usually one that in some way doesn’t live up to the standard of the others. For me, the boxset isn’t immune, meaning there’s one film in the quintet that I have a problem with. It’s the first Kubrick film that I saw on its theatrical release: his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining.

My sole problem with the film is that it scares the living bejeezus out of me. This is a movie I have to watch during daylight hours because, quite frankly, I get the screaming abdabs. Most of it comes from the overall sense of unease that pervades the film, and this is long before Nicholson’s Jack Torrance goes well and truly off his trolley.

All these recent nasty little horror films that exist solely to show people being abused and tortured in thoroughly unpleasant ways pale in comparison to something as simple as the rhythmic sound of Danny Torrance’s tricycle as it alternates between riding over carpet and the polished floors of the cavernous Overlook Hotel.

That is just seriously creepy, and that’s even before we get to the twins standing in their pale blue dresses. Or Jack’s conversation with Grady in the men’s room. Or the person in the fancy-dress dog suit, looking like they are about to service a guest. I mean... What. The. Fuck?!

Oh, and if you thought I was going to say that the masterful Eyes Wide Shut was the odd one out and maybe “disappointing”, don’t be bloody silly.


At 12:49 am, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

One of the qualities that's largely gone missing from Hollywood movies is that ability to engage the viewer's imagination.

All we get now is mindless, empty-headed spectacle, with scummy slasher porn at one end of the spectrum, and cavemen building pyramids while being chased by mammoths, at the other.

Nice mugshot, BTW. Obviously a lot of photoshop involved.

At least it's better than the image Potdoll uses - man, that's one evil looking doll.

At 2:25 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

There's that and I think a large portion of the audience don't want to have to use their imagination because that would be too difficult.

So each side feeds off the other and we get material that is as intellectual as wallpaper paste. While there are a few exceptions they're too few and far between.

Obviously a lot of photoshop involved.

Cheeky bugger.

But you're right about Dolly.


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