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« on: January 02, 2014, 12:52:54 AM »

THE SHINING
WARNER BROTHERS / PRODUCER’S CIRCLE / HAWK FILMS 1980
XXXX
R
TREVOR




THE CHARACTERS

JACK TORRANCE: JACK NICHOLSON

Failed writer, drunkard, abusive husband and uncaring parent who incredibly is allowed to be the caretaker of a posh hotel where he would not normally be permitted to wash cars at. All work and no play make him a dumb ass boy. Begins to see things, horrible things as winter closes in and then he sees something else even more horrible: his arse.

WENDY TORRANCE: SHELLEY DUVALL

The wife of the above: A true insult to her gender as she is a weak and weak-willed recipient of spousal abuse who allows the abuse to continue even after she lightly taps her abusive husband on the head with a baseball bat and cuts him with a butcher knife.

DANNY TORRANCE: DANNY LLOYD

The very unfortunate offspring of the two morons above: a child with second sight who foresees the horror about to happen through the friend who makes use of his mouth as a home and a crooked finger. Uses that finger to show his abusive father the finger leaving him to freeze to death in a maze.

DICK HALLORAN: SCATMAN CROTHERS

The chef at the Overlook Hotel who can communicate with Danny through their minds and warns him about the room where some scary old lady drowned in the residue bath. Axed to death.

STUART ULLMANN: BARRY NELSON

The manager of the Overlook: a charming reminder of the abrupt changes that transferring a book to the screen make as the Stuart Ullmann in the book was a prissy, anal simperer and the one in the film is a genial Southern gentleman.

LLOYD THE BARTENDER: JOE TURKEL

The ghostly barkeep of the Overlook Hotel: his question of “What will it be, sir?” is answered by Jack Torrance as “More drinks, [expletive deleted].”

DELBERT GRADY: PHILLIP STONE

The serenely and un-apologetically racist chief waiter of the Overlook who spills his drinks tray over Jack Torrance and then gives him advice on how to ‘correct’ his wife and son. He is so serenely racist that he makes Hendrik Verwoerd seem like a humanitarian.

LESSONS LEARNED

redrum a tneverp nac sdrawkcad sdrow daer ot gninraeL
Disturbing a MILF in the bath can lead to you snogging a rotting GILF.
Talking about cannibalism in front of your kids is OK as they’ve seen it on TV.
Mouths can harbor squatters.
Enforced isolation can play hell with your mind, as pantry shelving can with your skull.
A crooked finger calls forth an invisible friend.
Playing darts will bring forth the ghosts in a place.
Falling off the wagon will let you freeze to death.
Events at a costume party can be unbearable and can hound you. Wink
An invitation to play can be an invitation to murder.
Filling up elevators with red wine is not always a good idea.
Even if your skull is split down the middle, you can still enjoy a party.

QUOTES

Danny: "Is there something bad here?"
Jack Torrance: "Wendy, I have let you [expletive deleted] up my life so far but I am not going to let you [expletive deleted] this up."
Twins: "Hello, Danny. Come and play with us, Danny. Forever and ever and ever….."
Dick: "Nyahh… Wassup, doc?"
Jack Torrance: "Here’s Johnny!"
Wendy: "Wasn’t it around here that the Donner Party got snowed in?"
Jack Torrance: "Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in. Stop swinging the bat. Put the bat down, Wendy. Wendy? Give me the bat..."
Dick Halloran: "Some places are like people: some shine and some don't."
Delbert Grady: "I feel you will have to deal with this matter in the harshest possible way, Mr. Torrance."
Jack Torrance: "There's nothing I look forward to with greater pleasure, Mr. Grady."
Jack Torrance: "Mr. Grady, You were the caretaker here."
Delbert Grady: "I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but you are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I should know sir - I've always been here."
Injured Guest [with broken head] "Great party, isn't it?"  Buggedout
Lloyd: "What will you be drinking, sir?"
Jack Torrance: "Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd."
Jack Torrance: "Wendy, let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. You understand? Now, we're going to make a new rule. When you come in here and you hear me typing or whether you DON'T hear me typing, or whatever the [expletive deleted] you hear me doing; when I'm in here, it means that I am working, that means don't come in. Now, do you think you can handle that?"

STUFF TO LOOK OUT FOR:

00:26: The photography here is great but the music is going to make me hit a brown note.
1:26: Ahh... there’s that mysterious helicopter.
10:49: Cheapskate idiot: stop somewhere and buy your child something to eat!
13:30: Oh, hello there, young ladies – care for a game of darts?
17:07: Yikes, yikes, yikes!
19:54: If Danny’s mouth is where Tony lives, does he pay rent or is it not his PLAQUE to do so? Wink
22:42: That howling was supplied by Stephen King as his book was thoroughly ruined.
24:53: I see Jack has turned into Steve McQueen from The Great Escape.
31:20: What a total douche bag: your wife just wants someone to talk to!
35;46: Sure, come play with us and end up as bloodstained corpses!
42:81: Considering who that actor is, the answer to that question is “More alcohol, father!”
57:19: From Princess Diana to Camilla Parker Bowles in one fell swoop:  Buggedout.
1:01:53: Too late, Jack – Stanley Kubrick messed it up already.
1:10:38: This guy is so serenely racist, he makes Hendrik Verwoerd seem like a nice guy.
1:22:13: If that was my mom wielding that bat, Jack would have been decapitated.
1:36: 20: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A BATHROOM DOOR!
1:36:47: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST JACK NICHOLSON’S HAND!
1:40:46: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SCATMAN CROTHERS!

1:42:04: And ummmm…. What are those two doing?
1:44:50: Bleurgh: WTF happened to his head?
1:50:23: I see Jack is suffering with overactingitis.
1:50:38: Heh. Cold enough for you, a***ole? Smile
1:51:34: Strange - I didn’t know that Where’s Wally was published in 1921.

THE PLOT

Failed writer, failed teacher, failed father, failed human being and abusive alcoholic husband Jack Torrance has one last straw to grasp before drowning in the sewer of life: he has a job interview with the manager of a posh hotel in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Pursued by his demons, his haunted past, uncomfortable brown note music and the irritating helicopter tracking his every move, he gets the job and brings his weak wife Wendy and his son Danny to the hotel. They manage to cram a year’s worth of luggage into a Volkswagen Beetle and also bring their personal baggage along which, loaded down with spousal and paternal abuse, weighs more than their suitcases.

All the residents are moving out of the Overlook Hotel with the same mantra of lets-GTFO-of-here-before-winter-sets-in and some alky becomes the winter caretaker and kills his family like that other SOB did. Almost immediately, some weird stuff starts happening as Dick Halloran, chef of the hotel manages to offer the young Danny some ice cream via his mind. Recoiling from this, the young man discovers that what he has (and the chef has as well) is something called ‘shining’ which allows people to communicate via thoughts and Dick’s primary thought to the young one is to be careful of the hotel and all the uglies in it, especially in room 237.

Once this family is alone with the hotel closed for the winter, it is suddenly open to a bunch of non-paying but resident guests, including two creepy little girls who invite the go-cart pedaling Danny to come play with them and be covered in gobs of fake blood. The hotel also seems to have been made up as the contractors built it, windows, doors and other things not being where they should, wall paint changing color and the viewer being nauseated due to these inconsistencies.

Jack largely ignores his caretaker work and just goes ‘clackity-clack’ on his typewriter while his long suffering spouse just wants to go ‘yakkity-yak’ with him until he gently reminds her that he is not to be disturbed, even when the once empty bar starts filling up with rejects from Cheers, the assorted barflies from Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh and the ghostly barkeep starts serving him imaginary drinks and imaginary flatulence inducing peanuts.

Jack starts to see things in the hotel, things that shouldn’t be there, like humungous continuity errors in a Stanley Kubrick film, a serenely racist waiter named Grady who tells him to correct his wife and child and a gross old lady in the bath of that room.

Imagine kissing someone as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana combined and then that vision turns into Camilla Parker Bowles as a dominatrix, then you will be about half the way there to seeing this horror that Jack sees.

All the time, his son is suffering, trying to contact the chef via brainwaves and his wife is being worn down by the stress of seeing her uncaring, useless husband unravel, seeing the hotel’s elevators disgorging a torrent of blood and two cast members from BJ And The Bear going at it in a hotel room: all the SOB wants is a drink to dull the pain of failure and all Trevor wants is a bucket to vomit in.

Eventually, Jack falls off the wagon and unfortunately one of the wheels did not crush his head, so he attempts to ‘correct’ his family and winds up on the wrong end of a baseball bat and wakes up in a pantry where he gets his pantrys in a knot over being locked up in said place. He finds himself hacking down a toilet door to get at his wife and then hacks the hapless cook in the chest with the axe when the aforementioned intruder pitches up.

After hacking Dick to death, Jack also hacks into www.badmovies.org to get at the writer of this review: all because his wife discovered his magnum opus consists of the words ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY over and over again.

His errant son leads his homicidal father on a merry goose chase through the hotel’s maze: it is amaze-ing to Jack that due to his son’s duplicity that the abusive SOB ends up being frozen to death in the maze while his wife and child escape. Sometime later, Jack’s picture appears in the July 4 1921 edition of “Where’s Wally?” and a bitterly disappointed thirteen year old leaves his hometown cinema in tears, having realized for the very first time that great literature can sometimes become cinematic manure.

MY THOUGHTS

Imagine me, your humble correspondent – no, not Bill O’Reilly but your friendly neighborhood South African – having loved Stephen King’s The Shining as a truly terrifying piece of literature about a recovering alcoholic and abusive father who nonetheless, despite his failings, receives the mercy and grace of another chance when he is offered the job of a winter caretaker at a hotel in Colorado – and then hearing that a film had been made from this novel.

Then, imagine me at the age of 13 in 1980, sitting down in the Embassy Cinema in Gweru, Zimbabwe – a bit under-age for the film but I was let in anyway - about to be thrilled by the work of people my Dad had told me about such as Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson: indeed, so thrilled, that I had my paperback copy of The Shining with me that I had got as a birthday present – a special tie in novel with a horrified face on the cover. Imagine my joy as a film fan seeing a book I loved being turned into a movie by masters of the genre after hearing my Dad enthuse about films like Dr Strangelove, Lolita, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, Easy Rider, Chinatown and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Imagine then, if you will, my horror and dismay at seeing the s**t that unfolded in front of me that day…….

No, I did not like it in 1980 and although it is miles better than the crappy miniseries with Steven Weber, Melvin van Peebles and Rebecca DeMornay, I still loathe it today, despite its’ brilliant cinematography, eerie music and the number of supreme jump scares in it (the twins, the lady in the bath, the blood filled elevators, the violent axe murder and the truly WTF ending) it was a film with so many low points - the confusing narrative, the (intentional?) continuity errors, etc - and just being so untrue to its’ source material that I still loathe it now and I actually wonder why I am watching it and why I bought the DVD a few months ago. Another reason I hated it is the weak character of Wendy Torrance – as the son of a feminist, weak women who let their husbands abuse them with little or no retaliation against this abuse, gain no respect from me, either in real life or on film.

Almost thirty four years have gone by since then and while there are many films I hated as a child that I have revisited and liked (Milos Forman’s Amadeus, for one) and remain a loather of (Charles Jarrott’s Lost Horizon for another) this cinematic piece of manure remains as bad as it always was and always will be. In Stephen King’s book a line in a scrapbook reads They took his balls along with them. By making this in the manner that he did, Stanley Kubrick not only took the balls of the book out but the heart and soul of it too.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 03:00:36 AM by Trevor » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 01:26:51 AM »

I rather liked this movie, but that, sir, was a BRILLIANT review!
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 02:02:21 AM »

I rather liked this movie, but that, sir, was a BRILLIANT review!

Thanks, Indy.  Smile

I am a little concerned how people will take this review as I am in a minority regarding the film.
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 07:06:22 AM »

Very brilliant review. I agree that the movie had it flaws and am probably also in the minority when it comes to saying that this was NOT one of my favorite films to watch. That being said there were some scary scenes in the film and the overall premise of a man going nuts in a Hotel during a terrible winter just seems to me that it could actually happen and that scares the hell out of me.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 08:39:02 AM »

Although I don't share your sentiments toward the movie I sure did enjoy your review. Very funny, Nice job Trev!
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 10:07:15 AM »

 Thumbup Thumbup Thumbup That was spot on, Trevor!  I feel the same way about this one. So disappointingly untrue to the source material.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 03:44:32 AM »

Very brilliant review. I agree that the movie had it flaws and am probably also in the minority when it comes to saying that this was NOT one of my favorite films to watch. That being said there were some scary scenes in the film and the overall premise of a man going nuts in a Hotel during a terrible winter just seems to me that it could actually happen and that scares the hell out of me.

I admit that there were many scary scenes but the film as a whole did not make sense and those continuity errors: Yowza.  Buggedout
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 03:45:04 AM »

Although I don't share your sentiments toward the movie I sure did enjoy your review. Very funny, Nice job Trev!

Thanks, MJ  - could the longer version be better than the 116 minute version I have? Smile
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 03:46:45 AM by Trevor » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 03:46:39 AM »

Thumbup Thumbup Thumbup That was spot on, Trevor!  I feel the same way about this one. So disappointingly untrue to the source material.

Thanks, Newt: I feel the same way about the films of books like Von Ryan's Express, Ghost Story and The Eagle Has Landed as I do about The ShiningSmile
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »

Hey, Trevor, did you ever read Before the Play, the forty page lead-in to The Shining that was cut from the novel in 1977 and for some reason has never been restored? It starts off with the construction of The Overlook in the early 1900s and recounts all the difficulties and tragedies that went into building the place, the ghastly mishaps on opening night, then progresses into a honeymoon experience there in the '20s so bad it haunted the bride for life, cruises into the era when the Errol Flynn look-alike billionaire owned it, up to the mobster days you mentioned and the gangland hit incident where they "took his balls" on up to just before the Torrence family came aboard. You should be able to find it someplace online, and it's a great read!

While I hated the film, Peter Straub's Ghost Story messed with my head.
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 11:59:02 AM »

Thanks, MJ  - could the longer version be better than the 119 minute version I have? Smile

I've never seen the short version, but after reading this breakdown I doubt it. Seems most fans of the book didn't enjoy the movie that much though. (I haven't read it)

Quote
The extra material included in the American cut are mainly bridging scenes and expository scenes. There are also a few extra moments within scenes that are cut from the European version.

The first is a scene with Wendy talking to a female Doctor about the fact that Jack has indeed hurt Danny by dislocating his arm in a drunken rage. This episode is explained later by Jack to the 'imaginary' barman in the ballroom, so the scene is redundant.

An other is an extension of a scene where Jack explains to Wendy that he had a strong sense of deja vu when he first arrived at the hotel. This moment also crosses the camera line, as the first part is shown in the reflection of a mirror. By cutting the end of the scene the transition to the next one is crisper and tighter.

The cook's part played by Scatman Crothers, is larger in the American cut and shows more of the stages of his progress in reaching the hotel. One scene with him talking to a garage owner from the Airport on the telephone feels very unnecessary and I can see why it was cut.

One expository scene has Wendy talking to herself to inform us of her means of escape. It is much better that this scene is cut as it is a theatrical expository device and completely out of keeping with the feel of the movie. Wendy then goes to Danny's room and we are shown that he has regressed into the character of his imaginary friend as he tries to deal with the horrors of the hotel. I think again this scene is not necessary as it labors a point.

Then there is another bridging scene with Wendy and Danny watching a cartoon together, which is only there to explain that she wants to go and talk with Jack. Again removing this moment is a wise one as it keeps things tight and the transition crisp.

A couple of extra lines by Jack and the 'imaginary' barman are in the longer cut. "Women, can't live with them...." The removal of these lines helps with the focus and directness of the scene.

There is an extra scene with Danny saying "Redrum". This takes place before the classic scene with Danny again saying "Redrum"....so I am sure it was removed to make the impact of the later scene greater.

In the European version, when Wendy finally see visions within the hotel, they are brief and shocking. The American version has more shots of Wendy witnessing these horrors. Suddenly, the reception area is dressed in cobwebs and skeletons are siting on sofas. This tacky moment made me laugh and I am sure it was the first thing Kubrick removed from the European cut so as not to get the same reaction.

The European version is more polished than the American. The shorter cut is also more subtle and challenging. I agree with all of the cuts that Kubrick made for the European version and I can understand why he felt it was much better because it is. I personally feel the American version is not the finished movie and the European most certainly is.
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 10:21:24 PM »

I love Stephen King's stuff, by the Shining was just an unfocused mess that never seemed like it knew exactly what story it wanted to tell.  Worse, King just shoved the supernatural aspects to the overflowing point even when they weren't needed... in fact, especially when they weren't needed. 

The movie may have not been that accurate of an adaption and may have needed a few tweaks here and there, but it was a much better story.

And the later TV movie managed to take the worst aspects of both.
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 10:27:35 PM »

Yeah, I thought The Shining was a bit of a mess too.  I like this spoof trailer tho:
Small | Large
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 03:48:14 AM »

Hey, Trevor, did you ever read Before the Play, the forty page lead-in to The Shining that was cut from the novel in 1977 and for some reason has never been restored? It starts off with the construction of The Overlook in the early 1900s and recounts all the difficulties and tragedies that went into building the place, the ghastly mishaps on opening night, then progresses into a honeymoon experience there in the '20s so bad it haunted the bride for life, cruises into the era when the Errol Flynn look-alike billionaire owned it, up to the mobster days you mentioned and the gangland hit incident where they "took his balls" on up to just before the Torrence family came aboard. You should be able to find it someplace online, and it's a great read!

No I have never read that at all: I would like to, though.  Smile

Quote
While I hated the film, Peter Straub's Ghost Story messed with my head.

Amen to that: Peter Straub's book is really scary and uncomfortable too - the ending is great.  Smile
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 03:50:32 AM »

Thanks, MJ  - could the longer version be better than the 119 minute version I have? Smile

I've never seen the short version, but after reading this breakdown I doubt it. Seems most fans of the book didn't enjoy the movie that much though. (I haven't read it)

Quote
The extra material included in the American cut are mainly bridging scenes and expository scenes. There are also a few extra moments within scenes that are cut from the European version.

The first is a scene with Wendy talking to a female Doctor about the fact that Jack has indeed hurt Danny by dislocating his arm in a drunken rage. This episode is explained later by Jack to the 'imaginary' barman in the ballroom, so the scene is redundant.

An other is an extension of a scene where Jack explains to Wendy that he had a strong sense of deja vu when he first arrived at the hotel. This moment also crosses the camera line, as the first part is shown in the reflection of a mirror. By cutting the end of the scene the transition to the next one is crisper and tighter.

The cook's part played by Scatman Crothers, is larger in the American cut and shows more of the stages of his progress in reaching the hotel. One scene with him talking to a garage owner from the Airport on the telephone feels very unnecessary and I can see why it was cut.

One expository scene has Wendy talking to herself to inform us of her means of escape. It is much better that this scene is cut as it is a theatrical expository device and completely out of keeping with the feel of the movie. Wendy then goes to Danny's room and we are shown that he has regressed into the character of his imaginary friend as he tries to deal with the horrors of the hotel. I think again this scene is not necessary as it labors a point.

Then there is another bridging scene with Wendy and Danny watching a cartoon together, which is only there to explain that she wants to go and talk with Jack. Again removing this moment is a wise one as it keeps things tight and the transition crisp.

A couple of extra lines by Jack and the 'imaginary' barman are in the longer cut. "Women, can't live with them...." The removal of these lines helps with the focus and directness of the scene.

There is an extra scene with Danny saying "Redrum". This takes place before the classic scene with Danny again saying "Redrum"....so I am sure it was removed to make the impact of the later scene greater.

In the European version, when Wendy finally see visions within the hotel, they are brief and shocking. The American version has more shots of Wendy witnessing these horrors. Suddenly, the reception area is dressed in cobwebs and skeletons are siting on sofas. This tacky moment made me laugh and I am sure it was the first thing Kubrick removed from the European cut so as not to get the same reaction.

The European version is more polished than the American. The shorter cut is also more subtle and challenging. I agree with all of the cuts that Kubrick made for the European version and I can understand why he felt it was much better because it is. I personally feel the American version is not the finished movie and the European most certainly is.

Thanks, MJ: I would like to see the film with all those cuts put back in and that should answer the question of just how they managed to put all that luggage in a Beetle.  Wink
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