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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Trevor's re-visits: "The Shining" « previous next »
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Author Topic: Trevor's re-visits: "The Shining"  (Read 1240 times)
Trevor
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« on: November 09, 2009, 06:32:22 AM »

In 1980, I had just finished reading Stephen King's very scary book and the film was showing at my home town theatre ~ one of two, plus a drive-in. My folks let me go see it (despite the fact that I was three years under age) and I loathed it, because I loved the book so much. I swore I would never see the film again and I haven't until this weekend.

Flash forward 29 years ~ I'm older, wearing the same pair of underpants  Buggedout and I know a little more about movies now. I rented the DVD on Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised by the film and felt a bit bad that I had complained so much about it back then.

Jack: "Wendy, darling, light of my life........I'm not gonna hurt you............I'm just gonna bash your brains in."  Buggedout Buggedout

So, I was wrong: it was and is a good film ~ but it is not Stephen King's vision of his book, it's the other SK's vision.  Smile
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 06:35:29 AM by Trevor » Logged

The Burgomaster
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 02:56:04 PM »

Compared to the book, the movie is pretty weak.

If you forget about the book and just judge the movie on its own merits, it's a decent thriller.  But I stress the word "decent."  Other than Nicholson's acting and some of the interesting camera work, I don't think there is a lot here to love.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 06:33:36 PM »

The same thing happened to me.  I was going through a Stephen King phase a few years back, and I had read the Shining.  Then I saw the movie and didn't like it as much as the book.  The thing I didn't like in the movie was that SPOILER A certain person lived in the book, but not the movie. /SPOILER  (You need to get some IMDb-like spoiler tags, Andrew.)

Anyway, I might revisit the movie sometime.  Though I don't think I'll wait 29 years (and I'll definitely change my underpants).
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 10:10:21 PM »

I like them both on their own merits. TongueOut
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 12:29:17 AM »

I haven't read the original King book, so take my comments how you will. I did see the later miniseries that was more "true" to King's original, but I didn't like it as much as Kubrick's movie.

I think the movie is an amazing piece of work. Like a lot of Kubrick work, the pacing is very deliberate. I think it adds a lot to the movie. The overall direction and atmosphere is some of the best horror stuff I've seen, in that it is so subtly creepy. The scenes where Jack initially begins to go crazy are fantastic, since the "ghosts" are so insidious. The hyper-reality of the endless discussions Jack has with the bartender and the bathroom attendant, as they convince him to abandon his identity in favor of the hotel's wishes are incredibly effective to me.

What are we to make when these "imaginings" actually open a locked door for him?

Homer: "Moe! You've gotta' give me a drink!"
Moe: "No! Not until you kill your family!"
Homer: "Why should I kill my family?"
Moe: "Uh, they'd be much happier as ghosts."
Homer: "You don't look so happy."
Moe: "Oh, I'm plenty happy. La da di da da!"
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Trevor
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 12:32:42 AM »


What are we to make when these "imaginings" actually open a locked door for him?

Homer: "Moe! You've gotta' give me a drink!"
Moe: "No! Not until you kill your family!"
Homer: "Why should I kill my family?"
Moe: "Uh, they'd be much happier as ghosts."
Homer: "You don't look so happy."
Moe: "Oh, I'm plenty happy. La da di da da!"

 BounceGiggle BounceGiggle  Thumbup
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Trevor
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 12:34:06 AM »

Anyway, I might revisit the movie sometime.  Though I don't think I'll wait 29 years (and I'll definitely change my underpants).

 BounceGiggle BounceGiggle

I think that film was the reason my undies were bad in the first place.  TeddyR
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 06:42:59 AM »

I for one prefer the film to the book. The book is among King's best, that's true, and there's a very scary story buried in there, about a man who is afraid to lose control and hurt his family. But as usual with King, the book is overwritten. It's not only the lenght what eventually becomes a problem, but the abundance of subplots and supernatural phenomena that eventually become distractions from the central conflict.

Kubrick screwed up a couple of things. In the longer verrsion, it's not entirely clear if Torrance is losing his mind, if the hotel is really haunted or both. And there's this second thing, which I found much more annoying: from "Barry Lyndon" onwards, Kubrick seemed to be unable to escape his own grandiose self-style. Everything in "The shinning" is so nip and tucked, so polished beyond reason that there's not an ounce of spontaneity to be found in the entire film. I could live with that in this one, though. Being a fantastic film that everything seems to unreal does seem sort of fitting, but the same problem nearly ruins "Full metal jacket" and "Eyes wide shut" for me.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 06:59:00 AM »

and there's a very scary story buried in there, about a man who is afraid to lose control and hurt his family.

Now there is exactly why the book scared me back then and continues to do so. Buggedout
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 10:33:26 AM »

One of the most humungus let downs of my life.  Loved the book and really dislike the movie (won't watch it again dislike).  I agree with King's appraisal, it's a big shiny car with no engine.
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2009, 12:18:12 PM »

I'm glad I never read the book so I could enjoy the movie for what it was: a horror classic.  Most of the dissing of Kubrick's movie here seems based on the fact that it wasn't as good as the book or somehow dishonored the novel by changing things.

Like Mofo, I watched King's "approved" miniseries version and was greatly disappointed.  The alcoholism metaphor wasn't very subtle at all in the miniseries, and pretty much ruined it for me by spelling it out too much.  I thought Kubrick's version was more mysterious and haunting.  (Unlike Neville, I think it's a deliberate stroke of genius that you can't tell whether the haunting is real or not.  I love movies that handle ambiguity well.)

Also, Nicholson's performance is iconic, and that alone makes the movie one of the greats. 
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2009, 03:32:47 PM »



I actually like the movie muuuuuuuuuch much more than the book. In fact, (this may be counted by some as veritable blasphemy) I actually felt that the book... sucked. I read it once a loooong time ago, and then took the opportunity to revisit it and give it another shot again a few years later, and I still didn't care for it. It's not horrible in my eyes. I just think it's mediocre, and vastly overrated. The film, meanwhile, I think is an authentic masterpiece, which is particularly impressive for a guys like me, considering I normally HATE haunted house movies and movies with psychic stuff in 'em, especially psychic CHILDREN (ugh). Of course, one could argue that The Shining isn't REALLY a haunted house movie, but you get my point.


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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2009, 05:30:55 PM »

One of the most humungus let downs of my life.  Loved the book and really dislike the movie (won't watch it again dislike).  I agree with King's appraisal, it's a big shiny car with no engine.

That about says it for me too.  The book was good (I am not generally a King fan) and the movie seemed mediocre and overrated.
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