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The Shining

Tom's Recommended Film of the Week

The Shining

On a recent trip to Target I saw and immediately purchased a newly released 2 disc DVD set of Stanley Kubrick's classic 1980 film The Shining. Having little time over the holidays to watch owned films, I finally had a chance to look at this one last week.

Even though many Stephen King fans loath this film, I love it as a work of it's own. Kubrick took King's story and made it something of his own by refocusing some of the viewers interests away from the supernatural and on to the psychological. It might be interesting to see what Kubrick would have done with The Shining today, given the high tech advantage of CGI used to such fine extent in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson. In 1980, wihtout such devises, Kubrick had some hard choices to make and his choice of actors served him well. Jack Nicholson comes apart wonderfully and both Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd show both real fear and legitimate strength in dealing with him and the Overlook Hotel.

Some of my favorite sceen in this film include the sweeping opening shots which establish an ominous journey is to come and the simply chilling sceens between Jack Torrence and Lloyd the Bartender, played by Joe Turkel and the bathroom scene between Jack and Delbert Grady played to perfection by Philip Stone.

If you come to this film with an open mind, not an expectation for a reproduction of the novel, I am certain you will enjoy it's claustrophobically luscious descent into madness.

This particular DVD set is nicely packaged and a good clean copy of the film, plus there are several documnetaries on the extra disc, including Vivian Kubrick's short film on the making of The Shining which provides interesting background perspective on the actors methods of preparation among other things.

On a more recent trip to Target I noticed two other Kubrick films avialble in the same 2 disc format and packaging; A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey.