The latest Warner Bros. re-packaging of the films of Stanley Kubrick brings together the most recent Blu-ray presentations of all eight of the director's films since 1962's Lolita. The set gathers the 2007 Blu-ray masterings of 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut, the 2011 Blu-ray masterings of Lolita and Barry Lyndon, and the 2011 40th Anniversary Blu-ray mastering of A Clockwork Orange (inclusive of the second bonus disc from that set). Also included is the Columbia/Sony 2009 45th Anniversary Blu-ray mastering of Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Exclusive to this set is a bonus disc including three documentaries never before available in the USA. The only significant omission for Kubrick completists is the Kubrick's Boxes documentary that was packaged on a separate DVD with the 2012 2-disc Blu-ray book 25th Anniversary release of Full Metal Jacket. The discs are bundled together with some exclusive to the set physical extras in a deluxe box set presentation.
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1, 1.78:1, 2.20:1
Audio: English 1.0 DD (Mono), English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: Not Rated, G, PG, R
Run Time: 18 Hr. 57 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-rayDeluxe Box Packaging with physical extras. See "Special Features" for detailed description
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 12/2/2014
Lolita (1962 - MGM - 152 minutes)Directed by: Stanley KubrickStarring: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers.Lolita, adapting the Vladimir Nabokov novel of the same name, tells the story of middle aged Professor Humbert Humbert (Mason) who has recently accepted a teaching position in a new town. In his search for a place to rent, he comes across a widowed landlady named Charlotte Haze (Winters). While Humbert finds Charlotte insufferable and overbearing, he becomes infatuated with her young teen daughter, Lolita (Lyon), and rents a room from them. Throughout the film, Humbert feigns genuine affection for Charlotte so he can remain close to her daughter with whom his true affections lie. Humbert’s happiness is continually thwarted by the lengths to which he must go to maintain his charade, the machinations of the mysterious Clare Quilty (Sellers), and, ultimately, the difference between reality and his infatuation-distorted perceptions of it.The advertising campaign for Lolita famously posed the question “How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?”. The answer is “Very carefully”. Nabokov’s controversial and provocative novel of a professor’s indecent obsession with an underage girl hardly seems ripe for a big screen MGM production. In order to translate the novel into something that could actually be released in theaters in 1962, Kubrick dialed down the eroticism and dialed up the comic frustrations of Humbert, the story’s pathetic protagonist. The film also increases the age of Lolita by at least two years from the novel and casts an actress to play her who is a couple years older than that.The film is anchored by a fearless lead performance from James Mason as the repressed Humbert. In a film with nary a single likable character, Mason somehow manages to create empathy in the viewer as his misguided romantic notions are thwarted at nearly every turn even though those same viewers know that he more than deserves every indignity thrust upon him. Of the supporting cast, Shelley Winters hits the appropriately shrill notes as Charlotte, and Peter Sellers chews up all available scenery as Humbert’s secret rival, the chameleonic Clare Quilty.Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964 - Columbia - 95 minutes)Directed by: Stanley KubrickStarring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, and Peter BullDr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a cold war comedy following the events that occur after American General Jack D. Ripper (Hayden) unilaterally orders a massive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union. The film follows the consequences of this action in three parallel locations. At Ripper’s Burpelson Air Force Base, British RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Sellers) begins to discern and then contend with the General’s actions. In President Merkin Muffley’s (Sellers again) war room, he meets with a group of his top advisors including super-hawk General Buck Turgidson (Scott), expatriate Nazi nuclear scientist Dr. Strangelove (Sellers yet again), and even Soviet Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky (Bull) to explore every diplomatic and military option available to them. Finally, inside one of several deployed B-52 Bombers, Major “King” Kong (Pickens) incredulously receives and confirms his orders and dutifully makes every effort to deliver his nuclear payload to its target.Choosing Cold War dread of nuclear annihilation as a premise for a broad comedy was a gutsy move coming, as it did, less than a year and a half after the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Dr. Strangelove... spoke truth to power in ways that a more conventional political thriller never could. Kubrick gets the most out of a perfect cast top-lined by Peter Sellers in three separate roles, George C. Scott in maximum scenery chewing mode, Sterling Hayden delivering the most insane lines of dialog with supreme baritone conviction, and Slim Pickens in an iconic nuclear cowboy role that was originally slated for Sellers before a heart attack prevented him from doing it. The rest of the cast is filled out nicely by comic ringers such as Keenan Wynn and Peter Bull.More so than is typical, Kubrick gives his actors plenty of room to play and do what they do best. He also makes the most out of every angle of one of his greatest sets, President Muffley's war room (where there is no fighting allowed). While the opening scenes build slowly, the pace of the film snowballs as things progress, stopping only for comic set-pieces such as Pickens' Major Kong's description of the contents of an emergency rations kit, Sellers' President Muffley conducting the greatest one-sided phone conversation not conducted by Bob Newhart, and Dr. Strangelove's vivid monologue describing the fundamentals of nuclear bunker life.2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 - MGM - 149 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas RainAfter a prologue where a group of prehistoric apes discover a strange monolith that seems to inspire them to fashion materials into rudimentary weapons, we flash forward through the entire history of human evolution to the year 2001. Dr. Heywood Floyd (Sylvester) travels first to an orbiting space station and then to the moon where he provides a briefing on the top secret recent discovery and excavation of a black monolith buried beneath the moon's surface. Months later, a deep space mission to Jupiter is launched with a crew of five astronauts, three of whom are in suspended animation. The two conscious astronauts, Dave Bowman (Dullea) and Frank Poole (Lockwood) must contend with some seemingly unusual behavior by the ship's computer Hal 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain), and their final destination turns out to be beyond the parameters of their mission and imaginations.2001: A Space Odyssey remains a landmark film which regularly holds a spot on consensus "best film" lists. As such, it is unlikely that I will add anything substantial to the mountains of critical analysis that have been heaped upon it over the last four decades, so I will keep my comments brief.It is difficult to compare 2001: A Space Odyssey to other films because it is by design so unlike most other films. Largely experiential in nature, the film all but demands viewers contemplate the ideas behind it from their own perspective rather than through identification with charismatic characters in a thematically leading narrative. Dialog is kept to a bare minimum and, with a few key exceptions, is either purely functional or mundane. Methodically paced sequences set to carefully chosen music or sound effects display the bravura specials effects and production design while giving the audience a chance to consider what they have seen, turn it over in their minds, and examine it from different angles. Most Kubrick films work on more than one level, but 2001... affords audience members the chance to contemplate this during the actual film as well as in the lobby afterwards.While other filmmakers have similarly experimented with the narrative form of cinema and attempted to convey ideas and raise questions through unconventional cinematic methods, they have usually not done so via a big budget large-format special effects extravaganza with such a detailed devotion to scientific plausibility.A Clockwork Orange (1971 - Warner - 136 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, James Marcus, Michael TarnA Clockwork Orange adapts Anthony Burgess' novel about Alex, the unrepentantly vicious leader of a violent youth gang in the near future who commits one act of "ultra-violence" too many and is incarcerated. Desperate to get out, he volunteers for an experimental government program which conditions him to have a negative physical reaction to even the thought of sex, violence …or Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. "Cured" of his violent impulses, Integration into a no less violent society proves more than a little challenging.After having the plug pulled on his planned big budget epic about Napoleon, Kubrick decided to shift gears and make a relatively low-budget adaptation of Anthony Burgess' controversial novel. The future fashioned here is a long way from the high technology space faring of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The world of A Clockwork Orange is pure post-swinging London stylization. The stylization serves to create an ironic emotional distance from the terrible acts of violence that are depicted throughout, but at all times, the viewer is aware that the film is deconstructing modern society more so than speculating about what a future society will be like.Throughout the 1960s, British cinema produced a series of new young stars, largely appearing in adaptations of novels from the "Angry Young Man" literary movement of the prior decade. Late in this cycle, in 1968, director Lindsay Anderson simultaneously subverted and built on this tradition with his film "If…", providing the first big break for actor Malcolm McDowell. Kubrick recognized McDowell as a perfect fit for the character of Alex, and made a juvenile delinquent film to end all juvenile delinquent films. McDowell brings exactly the right sensibility to the part, pulling audiences in with his unabashed joie de vivre while simultaneously performing unforgivable acts of violence. His first person narration sets a perfect conspiratorial tone, much of it pulled straight from the novel and making heavy use of Burgess' invented "Nadsat" slang which combines cockney expressions with Russian/Yiddish terms. By the end of the film, one feels almost guilty about how sympathetically they are rooting for Alex to get one over on the government bureaucrats who have "programmed" him.On one level, the film can be seen as a funhouse mirror illustration of the violence inherent in youth and the futility of society's attempts to stamp it out. On another level, it can be looked at as a treatise on fascism versus free will. Laying those two concepts on top of each other raises some disturbing and thought-provoking questions. Rather than trying to provide facile answers, Kubrick allows viewers to make up their own rassoodocks.Barry Lyndon (1975 - WB - 184 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, Marie Kean, Leon VitaliBarry Lyndon is a cinematic adaptation of the William Makepeace Thackeray “rake’s progress” novel of the same name. Set in the mid-18th century, the film follows the ups and downs of Redmond Barry (O’Neal). Barry is born into an Irish family of modest means and raised by his doting mother (Kean) after his father’s death in a duel. Barry flees Ireland as a young adult after a romantic betrayal and deception. Finding himself penniless and far from home, he enlists in the British Army where he demonstrates some facility for brawling and soldiering. After both losing a friend and learning the extent of his deception back home, he becomes disillusioned and deserts his post. He is later recognized as a deserter by a Prussian Captain named Potzdorf (Kruger) and forced to re-enlist as a soldier in the Prussian army. When he saves Potzdorf’s life, he ascends to the rank of Captain. After the war, he is employed in a bit of espionage on behalf of Potzdorf’s Uncle, and meets and becomes the servant of a professional gambler and fellow expatriate, the Chevalier de Balibari (MaGee). Barry conspires with him in gambling schemes that enrich them both. Redmond’s ever growing ambition to improve his station reaches its apex when he romances and ultimately marries a titled widow, Lady Lyndon (Berenson), taking the title of Barry Lyndon. Personal tragedies, his proclivity towards infidelity, a lack of financial and social acumen, and his precarious standing relative to his stepson Lord Bullingdon (Vitali) who openly despises him make Barry's life as a member of the nobility more problematic than he envisioned.Much like its protagonist, Barry Lyndon is undoubtedly attractive to look at, but can be difficult to love. It is a movie of over three hours in length that demands multiple viewings to fully appreciate. Similarly to David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago, the main character is something of a blank slate underplayed by its lead actor so that the events of the film can written upon him. Unlike Doctor Zhivago, Barry Lyndon has no romantic notions that its protagonist is not substantially responsible for the tragedies he eventually experiences. Rather than tragic romance writ large against a historical backdrop, it is a study illuminating the vanity and weaknesses of human nature observed with a wryly ironic perspective underlined by the counterpoint to dramatized events occasionally provided by Michael Hordern’s narration.The production design, costume, make-up, and cinematography make every scene, inclusive of even the most upsetting and ugly depicted events, feel like a painting come to life. Kubrick famously lit several scenes only by candlelight using a specially designed lens and high speed film. The candlelit interiors are every bit as impressive as advertised, and the exteriors shot in Ireland as well as in and around real European castles and sprawling estates, are every bit as beautiful. Viewers put-off by the lack of likable characters will still be mesmerized by the eye candy underscored by equally beautiful passages of classical music.The Shining (1980 - WB - 142 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry NelsonThe Shining adapts Stephen King's novel about the Torrance family consisting of parents Jack (Nicholson) and Wendy (Duvall) and their young child, Danny (Lloyd). Jack, a novelist, accepts a position as a winter caretaker at a mountain resort hotel that closes down for the season due to extreme weather, and brings along his family. He plans to use the free time to work on his novel. Jack has a history of alcoholism, but has been sober since he injured his son while intoxicated. Danny has an imaginary friend he calls "Tony", who we learn is connected to a psychic gift which the hotel's cook (Crothers) refers to as "shining". The hotel itself has a history of tragedy, including a former winter caretaker who murdered his family. As their stay in the remote hotel progresses, Jack and Danny both have disturbing visions that seem connected to the hotel's dark past. This leads to increasingly erratic behavior from Jack to the point that Wendy and Danny begin fearing that history may repeat itself.Kubrick's one and only attempt at the horror genre uses King's novel as a jumping-off point, but takes things in a completely different direction by the film's conclusion. Kubrick adds psychological elements reminiscent of The Turn of the Screw and Don’t Look Now to the mix, purposely keeping the plot much more vague than in King's novel. To be honest, I'm not sure he is entirely successful as the end chosen by Kubrick proves to be more than a little contrived and unsatisfying. The ride is certainly an interesting take on the fear of what could happen if one's nuclear family "goes nuclear", but the destination is a disappointment.That being said, the film benefits from excellent performances from its principal cast who modulate steadily from seemingly self-conscious low-key routine family exchanges to hysterical aggression and terror as the film progresses. The innovative use of the steadicam to create a sense of movement through space not only makes the sets seem impressively massive and real, but also adds to the sense of the hotel itself as a menacing and threatening presence. Kubrick, in collaboration with camera operator Garret Brown and lighting cinematographer John Alcott impressively manages to create tracking shots that begin and end on typically "Kubrickian" strong images with more than a few in the middle as well.Full Metal Jacket (1987 - WB - 116 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring: Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Arliss Howard, Adam Baldwin, Dorian Harewood, Kevyn Major HowardFull Metal Jacket follows the experiences of a sardonic Vietnam-era United States Marine recruit, identified throughout the film only as Private "Joker" (Modine), beginning with basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. While enduring the rigors of training, he befriends Private "Cowboy" (A. Howard) and witnesses the tragic deconstruction of overweight recruit Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Pratt (D'Onofrio) by their fiercely profane Drill Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Ermey). Months later, we find that Joker has been working as a journalist for a military publication and has seen little actual combat. He receives an assignment, along with photographer "Rafterman" (K. Howard) that brings them to the city of Hue in the midst of the Tet Offensive. Joker is reunited with "Cowboy" and experiences harrowing urban combat with a company of Marines including "Eightball" (Harewood) and "Animal Mother" (Baldwin).While Kubrick's Paths of Glory from 1957 was a clear indictment of the elite officer class with an unambiguous pacifist message, Full Metal Jacket, adapted from the Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, attempts to do nothing more than to provide a grunt's eye view of war. The emphasis of the movie is on the mindset of the soldiers and how they rationalize, with varying levels of success, their seemingly irrational profession. By purposely avoiding serious examination or comment on the necessity of war, political or otherwise, the film enhances its boots on the ground perspective about the insanity of the experience.Structurally, most reviewers have described the film as being divided into two parts, the first consisting of the Parris Island basic training and the second being the Vietnam experience. This lines up with the novel on which the film was based which had three sections, only two of which were adapted for the screenplay. Looking at the structure of the film independently, however, it seems to divide more neatly into thirds, with the Vietnam segment starting off as a semi-satiric piece which at times is reminiscent of the absurdity of Dr. Strangelove..., and then shifting radically in tone once Joker and his brothers in arms find themselves pinned down by a sniper in an actual combat situation.The film's commercial prospects were no doubt hurt by its release only six months after Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning Vietnam film, Platoon, but viewed in retrospect, they actually complement each other nicely. Stone's film was rooted in his own personal experiences in Vietnam with a highly allegorical plot. Kubrick, being more removed from author Hasford's Vietnam experience, is slightly more detached from the material, less leading in how he wants audiences to interpret the events on screen, and thematically more concerned about soldiering in war in general than about Vietnam in particular. Both films were a long way removed from the hoo-rah jingoism of the previous summer's immensely popular Top Gun.The cast is uniformly excellent, with Modine providing a suitable center as the sardonic everyman. The film features career-defining breakout performances from D'Onofrio and Ermey. D'Onofrio reportedly gained 70 pounds to play Private Pyle, and completely disappears in the role. Ermey, a retired Marine who had been a real life drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California and was initially hired on the film as a technical adviser, made sure that he was seen in uniform drilling the actors he trained and eventually won the part away from the actor originally cast in the role. His improvised vulgarities were incorporated into the script to great effect. The strength of these performances did lead to criticism upon the film's initial release that the Vietnam scenes, in which they did not appear, were a relative disappointment.Eyes Wide Shut (1999 - WB - 159 minutes)Directed By: Stanley KubrickStarring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Todd Field, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Leelee Sobieski, Vinessa ShawIn Eyes Wide Shut, adapted by Kubrick and Frederick Raphael from Arthur Schnitzler's Freudian novella "Traumnovelle", Bill Harford (Cruise) is a successful physician who lives in Manhattan with his wife Alice (Kidman) and their young daughter. After an evening at a party hosted by their friend Arthur Ziegler (Pollack) where they both have flirtatious encounters, Bill and Alice have a heated argument in which Alice reveals just how close she has come to cheating on him in the past. This incenses Bill, who storms out of the house with a head full of sexual jealousy. During his evening travels Bill's frustration mounts as he receives a strangely indecent proposal from the married daughter (Richardson) of a patient who has just died, has an extended discussion with a prostitute (Shaw), learns from friend and musician Nick Nightingale (Field) about a mysterious ritualistic masked sex party, and encounters a strange costume shop owner (Serbedzija) and his daughter (Sobieski) when trying to obtain a mask for the party. Caught after sneaking into the party, he spends the next day revisiting most of these experiences and finding that they were even more dangerous and strange than he initially believed.While not intended as Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut manages to provide an interesting last chapter in his professional life by harkening back to elements from his previous films without actually seeming like any of them in tone. Superficially, the structure resembles that of A Clockwork Orange, in the way the events and locations of the first day are revisited on the second day much like how Alex re-encounters his victims after taking "The Cure". The film is also something of a modified "rake's progress" a la Barry Lyndon, although the degree of sexual frustration encountered by Cruise's Bill Harford has an even more direct antecedent in the character of Humbert Humbert from Lolita. The Lolita tie suggests that there is an element of dark comedy to Harford's constant frustration, and I believe there is, but the movie never betrays it with a wink, with the possible exception of a scene involving Alan Cumming as a hotel clerk, and the great final punch line delivered by Kidman.Kubrick was a big James Cagney fan, and I think he enjoyed having tyro actors give "large" performances when it worked for his movies. Cruise is certainly in this mold, as was Jack Nicholson in The Shining and Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. He is asked to play the part more or less like he plays all of his parts, but the sexually frustrated and increasingly paranoid character works against this established persona to an interesting effect. Kidman is absent for large sections of the movie, but has two great scenes, which is certainly the best any actress has fared in a Kubrick film since Marie Windsor in The Killing.
The Production Rating: 5/5
The eight films in this collection are represented by the same 1080p video encodings that they have appeared in previously, and that is not a bad thing. Lolita and Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb are encoded using the AVC codec and "pillar boxed" to a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Barry Lyndon is encoded using the AVC codec, but it approximates the film's original theatrical aspect ratio by filling the entire 16:9 frame. All other films in the collection are encoded using the VC-1 codec. 2001: A Space Odyssey is letterboxed to the 2.2:1 aspect ratio of its original large format exhibition. A Clockwork Orange is pillar boxed to a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut approximate their original theatrical ratios by filling the entire 16:9 frame.Quibbles about aspect ratio (and they always come with these films) aside, all of these presentations are solid, film-like encodings that render film grain naturally without excessive digital processing.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
Language options vary from title to title, so here is a rundown:Lolita includes DTS-HD MA Mono and Dolby Digital 1.0 tracks in French, German, Italian, Spanish (Castillan), Spanish (Latin), and Portuguese with available subtitles in English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Castellano, Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), and SwedishDr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb includes Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English and French and Dolby Digital Mono English tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Arabic, and Dutch.2001: A Space Odyssey includes LPCM 5.1 English, and Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, Spanish( Latin), Spanish (Castillan), German, and Italian tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, German SDH, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Italian SDH, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish.A Clockwork Orange includes DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English and Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian SDH, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, and Swedish.Barry Lyndon includes DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian SDH, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, and Swedish.The Shining includes LPCM 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, and Spanish tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, and Spanish.Full Metal Jacket includes LPCM 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, German SDH, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Italian SDH, Korean, Norwegian, and Swedish.Eyes Wide Shut includes LPCM 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Italian tracks with available subtitles in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, and Swedish.With the exception of Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, none of the titles that received 5.1 remixes also include the original mono track. That being said, the remixes have been created from the original dialog and effects magnetic tracks along with carefully located stereo source music tracks. They are very faithful to the template of the original mixes with improved fidelity and dynamic range. The Shining remix in particular is a remarkable accomplishment since much of the score consists of complex edit pieces.
Audio Rating: 4/5
All special features are previously released except for the documentaries and featurettes on Bonus Disc 2. All are in standard definition video unless otherwise indicated.LolitaThe only extra on the Lolita disc is the film's Theatrical TrailerDr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombThe special features on Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb were covered thoroughly in my colleague Richard Gallagher’s review of the 2009 45th Anniversary Blu-ray release. Richard’s full review is available here:http://www.hometheat...dr-strangelove/...and his assessment of the special features is quoted below for convenience (with some minor reformatting of his text)
Special Features Rating: 5/5
The Blu-ray release of Dr. Strangelove contains only one exclusive supplement, a picture-in–picture and pop-up trivia track which can be activated during the feature. It includes some interesting data about the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons program, the United States military, and various bits of trivia about the film. Also included are comments from defense experts such as Richard Clarke and Daniel Ellsberg.The remaining supplements have been carried over from the standard-definition Special Edition which was released in 2004:No Fighting in the War Room or: Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat is a worthwhile 30-minute featurette which places the film into historical context. It includes comments by Roger Ebert, Spike Lee, Bob Woodward, former defense secretary Robert McNamara, and Stanley Kubrick’s partner James Harris.Inside Dr. Strangelove is a 46-minute “making of” featurette which includes some interesting insights. We learn that the character of General Turgidson is loosely based upon Curtis LeMay, a controversial Air Force general who held some rather extreme views on foreign policy. Kubrick earned the respect of George C. Scott by thoroughly whipping the actor in a game of chess while on the set.Best Sellers is an 18-minute featurette about Peter Sellers. It includes observations by Roger Ebert, Richard Lester, Michael Palin, Shirley MacLaine, James Earl Jones, David Frost, and others. It incorporates early film clips and bits of Sellers’ home movies.The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Strangelove traces the life and career of the director. Running about 14 minutes, it includes a Kubrick filmography.Also included is an interview with Robert McNamara and split screen interviews with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott. There are also previews for the Blu-ray discs of Ghostbusters, The DaVinci Code, So I Married an Axe Murderer and Men in Black.2001: A Space OdysseyAudio Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. Recorded separately, both actors have interesting things to say about the film, and it is clear that they have been talking about it for several years. Lockwood's comments are more frequent than Dullea's, but he does lapse into telling the listener what is happening in the film from time to time. Their most interesting comments are when they are sticking to observations about working as actors on the film, with the most entertaining bit for my money being when they discuss the on-set voice of Hal having a cockney accent.Theatrical Trailer running one minute and 51 seconds and is presented in a format filling the entire 16:9-enhanced frame.2001: The Making of a Myth – This Paul Joyce-directed BBC documentary produced in 2001 runs 43 minutes and five seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. It provides a nice retrospective look at the film from the perspective of particpants, admirers, and scientists. Discussion of the film's special effects, includes some demonstration and recreations as well. For the demo of the floating pen effect, they even include Heather Downham, the actress who played the flight attendant in the film. It is also amusing to hear the computer singing "Daisy" that inspired its use for Hal's swan song.James Cameron provides the introduction and then narrates throughout. Interview participants include "2001…" Author Arthur C. Clarke, "2001" Special Photographic Effects Supervisor Con Pederson, "2001" Special Photographic Effects Supervisor Doug Trumbull, "2001" Special Effects Artist Brian Johnson, 2001 Scientific Consultant Fred Ordway, "2001" Actress Heather Downham, "2001" Actor Ed Bishop, Mime/Actor Dan Richter (he played the "Moonwatcher" ape), Mime/Actor Keith Denny, Writer/Critic Professor Camille Paglia, "2001" Film Editor Ray Lovejoy, Keir Dullea, AT&T Artificial Intelligence Expert Dr. Ron Brachman, Film Critic Elvis Mitchell, Washington DC Space Policy Unit Director John Logsdon, AT&T Videophone Technologist Roy Coutinho, and former Bell Labs Voice Recognition Expert Dr. Larry Rabiner.Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001 runs 21 minutes and 24 seconds. Directed by Gary Leva, it focuses on the influence of 2001… on other filmmakers. Although presented without chapter stops, on-screen titles divide it up into sections named First Impressions (covers reactions to the film), Reinventing the Form (emphasizes groundbreaking accomplishments), Breaking New Ground (more emphasis on visual effects), A Feast for the Senses (focuses on effect of design and music), Commitment to Truth (covers research and commitment to realism), and A Filmmakers's Filmmaker (discusses subsequent films that were influenced by 2001… and Kubrick's other films)Interview participants include director Steven Spielberg, actor/director Sydney Pollack, screenwriter Jay Cocks, visual effects artist Phil Tippet, director George Lucas, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren, Sound Designer/Editor Ben Burtt, Film Critic Roger Ebert, Visual Effects Supervisor John Dykstra, Director Peter Hyams, Kubrick Assistant Anthony Frewin, Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, Director/Cinematographer Ermest Dickerson, Author David Hughes, Director William Friedkin, Author Paul Duncan, Former WB Executive John Calley, Producer Jan Harlan, Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, "2001…" Visual Effects Supervisor Douglas Trumbull, Author Paul Duncan, and Author John BaxterVision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001 runs 21 minutes and 30 seconds. Directed by Gary Leva, it includes discussion of the scientific assumptions and predictions inherent to 2001 related to space travel, computers, and other subjects as well as an assessment of how accurate they were. Although there are no chapter stops, it is divided into sections by on-screen titles named: "A Credible Future?", "The Reality of Space Travel", "A Product of Its Era", and "The Altar of Technology".On-camera interview partcipants include "2001…" author Arthur C. Clarke, Baxter, Frewin, Muren, Ebert, Hughes, Trumbull, O'Bannon, Visual Effects Animator Rob Coleman, Trumbull, Duncan, Author Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles, Dykstra, Producer Jan Harlan, Friedkin, Calley, Edlund, and Pollack.2001: A Space Odyssey: A Look Behind the Future runs 23 minutes and ten seconds and is presented in 4:3 video. It is a vintage documentary from 1966 that appears to have been shot on 16mm color film. It was produced by "Look" magazine, and consists of a behind the scenes documentary on the production of "2001…" framed by an introduction and epilogue from magazine publisher Vernon Myers giving a pitch to advertisers to support "Look Magazine's" 1st 1967 issue special section on space exploration. This is a wonderful supplement to include, and is the source for just about all of the behind the scenes footage I have ever seen on the film's production, including all of the vintage clips included in the documentaries on this disc.What is Out There? runs 20 minutes and 41 seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. Keir Dullea presents an essay on the scientific and philosophical issues raised by 2001:ASO intercut with film clips, stills, a vintage Clarke interview, and a little behind the scenes footage.2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork runs nine minutes and 32 seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. It is more or less exactly what its title suggests. The first few minutes include discussion by Trumbull on how some of the stargate images were created. He refers to a variation of the slit scan technique used for the light streaking effects, but does not describe it. You will have to check out the "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" documentary to see him do that. After that we have an introduction from Christiane Kubrick followed by a montage of mostly unused pre-visualization paintings intercut with a couple images from the film.Look: Stanley Kubrick runs three minutes and fifteen seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. After a brief title card introduction, it presents a montage of photographs taken by a young Kubrick for Look magazine set to music from a five piece jazz combo.11/27/1966 Interview with Stanley Kubrick is an audio-only supplement that runs one hour, sixteen minutes, and 26 seconds. It is a recorded interview between Kubrick and journalist Jeremy Bernstein. Kubrick covers biographical background and discussion of all of his films through the then in production 2001…. There is a pretty funny moment when the interviewer confuses The Killing with The Asphalt Jungle and Kubrick realizes it right away.A Clockwork OrangeAudio commentary from Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman They sit together for the duration, and it proves to be a fun listen. McDowell is a gifted raconteur and tells just about every story I have ever heard him tell about the making of the film in as good or better form as I have heard. Redman does a good job of filling in details not covered or remembered by McDowell and keeping things on track. It is a lively commentary with only a few extended gaps.The film's theatrical trailer runs exactly one minute and is set to the sped up synthesized "William Tell Overture" used in the film. It is very creative, but it is cut at a pace that could cause an epileptic seizure.Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. Produced in 2000, this is another BBC documentary directed by Paul Joyce. Topics covered include the circumstances of Kubricks's banning of the Film in the UK after 15 months, background information about the novel, the British Board of Film Classification's liberal attitude towards censorship of films like The Devils, Straw Dogs, and A Clockwork Orange in the early 1970s, the social and political environment in the UK at that time, The technique of the voiceover in the film, Malcolm McDowell, the strange appeal of disturbing characters, the handling of violence in the film, the controversy concerning the book's final chapter, and the relationship between art and violence.Interview participants include Director Sam Mendes, Director Mary Harron, Writer Mark Kermode, Author William Sutcliffe, Writer/Critic Alexander Walker, Author/Filmmaker William Boyd, Writer/Poet Blake Morrisson, Author Anthony Burgess (via archival clips), Artist Damien Hirst, 1971 BBFC Viewing Committee Member Ken Penry, Ex-Director, BBFC Robin Duval, Malcolm McDowell, Director Tony Kaye, and Author/Critic Camille Paglia.Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange runs 28 minutes and fifteen seconds and is presented in 4:3 video. Directed by Gary Leva, it provides a general overview of the film's production and the controversy surrounding its release. Although presented without chapter stops, on-screen titles divide it up into sections named It's All About Me, My Droogies (focuses on McDowell), These Paltry Gollies Won't Buy Us Peanuts (discusses low budget nature of the production), A Real Pain in the Gulliver He Was…(concerns Kubrick's methodical production approach and physical demands, especially on McDowell), A Bit of the Old Ultra-Violence (self explanatory), and This is the Real Weepy and Tragic Part of Our Story, Oh My Brothers…(the varied responses to the film and its eventual withdrawal from the UK).Interview participants include Pollack, Friedkin, Spielberg, ACO Associate Producer Bernard Williams, Duncan, Baxter, Author J. David Slocum, Hughes, Author Neil Fulwood, Author Stuart McDougal, Director Hugh Hudson, Calley, ACO Costume Designer Milena Canonero, ACO Makeup Artist Barbara Daly, Cocks, Deschanel, Editor Bill Butler, Dickerson, and Lucas.Turning Like Clockwork (26:19) is a featurette, presented in high definition video, that first appeared on the 2011 Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. After a fun intro in which McDowell reprises his introductory monologue from the film, it focuses on the film's depiction of violence, reactions to it, and the incidents that led to the film being withdrawn from exhibition in the UK for decades after its initial theatrical run.Interview participants include McDowell, Director James Mangold, Director Oliver Stone, Director Paul Greengrass, Hughes, Cultural Historian Sir Christopher Frayling, Duncan, Virginia Tech Associate Professor and Heroes in Hard Times author Neal King, Baxter, Brunel University Professor of Screen Media and Censorship: A Beginner’s Guide author Julian Petley, Christiane Kubrick, Jan Harlan, Kubrick family friend Brigid Marlin, and The Wire Creator David Simon. Malcolm McDowell Looks Back (10:29) is a featurette, presented in high definition video, that first appeared on the 2011 Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. It focuses exclusively on actor McDowell as he flips through several photographs relating to the film's production and uses them as launching pad for production anecdotes.Barry LyndonThe only extra on the Barry Lyndon disc is the film's Theatrical TrailerThe ShiningCommentary by steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown and film historian/author John Baxter. They were recorded separately, but their edited comments compliment each other nicely. Baxter sometimes seems to be stretching things a bit thin in his thematic interpretations, but that is not unusual in scholarly commentaries. Brown's first-hand observations of the production are priceless and presented with both technical acumen and a dry sense of humor. By far my favorite moment of the commentary came a few minutes shy of the two hour mark when Brown tells an anecdote about convincing Kubrick that the RF transmitter allowing him to operate wirelessly would not be broadcasting into nearby homes. Brown even affects a Monty Python-esque ladies voice of a housewife receiving the broadcast and commenting on how hard Stanley is being on the actors and what lens he is using.The eerie theatrical teaser trailer running one minute and 34 seconds is also included on the first disc.View from the Overlook: Crafting The Shining runs 30 minutes and 20 seconds and is presented in 4:3 video. Directed by Gary Leva, it presents a "big umbrella" making of featurette covering several aspects of the production. Although presented without chapter stops, on-screen titles divide it up into sections named Into the darkness, Stanley's Toy Box, Lost in the Maze, Beneath the Surface, Reality is Overrated, and The Nature of Evil.Interview participants include Pollack, Friedkin, Author/Screenwriter Diane Johnson, Calley, Author Charles Champlin, Baxter, Duncan, Harlan, Production Designer Roy Walker, Jack Nicholson, Hughes, Brown, Dickerson, Deschanel, Canonero, Daly, Spielberg, HudsonThe Visions of Stanley Kubrick runs seventeen minutes and sixteen seconds and is presented in 4:3 video. Directed by Gary Leva, it starts out covering six more minutes of The Shining discussions before moving on to more general "Kubrickian" topics, including his penchant for strong images, his beginnings in still photography, Camera movements and zooms in his films, and Kubrick's artistic achievements.On camera interview participants include Spielberg, Pollack, Nicholson, Kaminski, Deschanel, Baxter, Walker, Brown, Duncan, Friedkin, McDougal, Calley, Dickerson, Daly, Canonero, and Lucas.The making of The Shining runs 34 minutes and 59 seconds and is presented in 4:3 video with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Directed by Vivian Kubrick, this behind the scenes documentary has a tremendous amount of on-set footage and, much like the Look magazine documentary on 2001… it is the source for all such footage I have scene of the film's production. One sequence of Kubrick and Shelley Duvall having a prickly exchange on set has become somewhat infamous, looming large in the legend of both participants. Vivian Kubrick's commentary is informative if occasionally a bit too apologetic, and provides additional insight into the making of the documentary as well as the subject film itself.Wendy Carlos, Composer runs seven minutes and 30 seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video. Carlos discusses her work on both A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, plays some unused music passages, and shows some of the electronic devices used to create the sounds and score.Full Metal JacketAudio commentary from Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Ermey, and Jay Cocks. All participants were recorded separately. The majority of the comments are from D'Onofrio and Cocks. Baldwin and Ermey only comment during the portions of the movie where they appear. D'Onofrio's comments continue throughout with surprising amounts of background information even concerning the scenes in which he did not appear. D'Onofrio covers a wide range of topics from specifics about how he got the part and the on-set working methods to more analytic and reflective comments about how Full Metal Jacket compares to other Vietnam films and how he owes his career to this particular role. Cocks takes a pretty straightforward critical/scholarly approach to his comments and as such, I found myself occasionally disagreeing with his analysis when he strayed too far into the subjective. Subjective opinions aside, there's no denying his mispronunciation of Lee Ermey's last name throughout his comments.Full Metal Jacket: Between Good and Evil runs 30 minutes and 47 seconds and is presented in 4:3 video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. Directed by Gary Leva, it covers the entire production from adaptation/script stage through its release and reception. Although presented without chapter stops, on-screen titles divide it up into sections named Battle Plan (Adaptation/Script and casting), Field of Battle (East London gas works location and production design), Into the Breach (Kubrick's working with actors, the original decapitation ending, and Kubrick as perfectionist), Commander in Chief (Additional Personal reminiscences about Kubrick), Killing Machines (Thematic concerns), and Legacy of War (the film's conclusion and responses to the film of various people including Marines)On-camera interview participants include Harlan, Calley, Hughes, R. Lee Ermey, Baxter, Adam Baldwin, Kevyn Major Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Steadicam Operator John Ward, Assistant Art Director Nigel Phelps, actor Dorian Harewood, Dickerson, Cocks, and Hyams.The film's Theatrical Trailer is also includedEyes Wide ShutThe Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut runs 43 minutes and three seconds if "Play All" is selected. It is presented in 16:9 enhanced video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. Directed by Paul Joyce, this BBC documentary from 1999 looks not just at Eyes Wide Shut as its title suggests, but at a substantial span of Kubrick's career during which he developed both A.I. and Eyes Wide Shut. On disc, it is encoded as three separate chapters which can be watched separately or together via a "Play All" option. The film itself is actually divided by on-screen titles into six sections named: The Haven/Mission Control (Living and working in England with relative anonymity), Visions of the Future (how Kubrick's interest in sci-fi grew after meeting Clarke - 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and its withdrawal from exhibition in the UK), Artificial Intelligence of The Writer as Robot (The development of AI and Kubrick's sometimes prickly relationship with collaborators), Style & Method (Observations on Kubrick's working methods), Eyes Wide Shut, A Film by Stanley Kubrick (The film's development and production), Beyond the Finite (Personal reminiscences of his life and passing from his family, Cruise, and Kidman).On-Camera interview participants include Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Spielberg, Pollack, Christiane Kubrick, Katharina Kubrick-Hobbs, Anya Kubrick, Novelist & EWS collaborator Candia McWilliam, Warner Bros Chairman & CEO Terry Semel, Novelist/AI collaborator Brian Aldiss, Director John Boorman, Novelist/AI Collaborator Sara Maitland, Novelist/AI Collaborator Ian Watson, and Harlan.Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick runs 20 minutes and eighteen seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. Directed by Gary Leva and narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this featurette covers films for which Kubrick conducted substantial pre-production work, but never produced. After an initial mention of A.I. which was eventually produced under the direction of Steven Spielberg, the focus shifts to the Napoleon biopic developed by Kubrick after 2001: A Space Odyssey. The plug on this project was pulled by MGM after the lack of box-office success of the 1970 Rod Steiger film, Waterloo. Next, the focus shifts to Kubrick's work on The Aryan Papers, a holocaust drama based on the novel Wartime Lies by Louis Begley. This project was postponed largely due to the release of the similarly themed Schindler's List.On-camera interview participants include Nicholson, Pollack, Harlan, Calley, Baxter, Frewin, Duncan, Author Stewart McDougal, Richter, Wartime Lies Author Louis Begley, Actor Joseph Mazzello, Makeup Artist Barbara Daly, and Walker.DGA D.W. Griffith Award Appearance Speech runs four minutes and three seconds and is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. After brief introductory comments by Jack Nicholson, it presents the filmed comments of Kubrick from 1998 in recognition of receiving the award.Interview Gallery runs 35 minutes and eighteen seconds if "play all" is selected and is presented in 4:3 video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. It consists of one-on-one interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg conducted by Paul Joyce in 1999. Cruise & Kidman were recorded in New York just prior to the US premiere of Eyes Wide Shut. Spielberg was recorded in Hollywood about a week later. The interview footage was eventually edited into the The Last Movie… BBC documentary. The interview footage with Spielberg is also the source for every appearance of Spielberg on the featurettes for 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining listed above.Theatrical Trailer runs one minute and eleven seconds and is presented in artifact-riddled 4:3 video with Dolby digital 2.0 stereo sound.TV Spots runs one minute and eight seconds if "Play All" is selected and are presented in 4:3 Video. They are labeled as "Jealousy" and "Combo". "Jealousy" is essentially an abbreviated version of the theatrical trailer set to the music of "Chris Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing". "Combo is set to the Lygeti "Musica Ricercata II: Mesto, Rigido e Cerimonale" piano piece used in the film.Bonus Disc 1 (A Clockwork Orange)This was the second disc included in the 40th Anniversary Blu-ray release of A Clockwork Orange.Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian, Spanish (Latin), Spanish (Castillan), Dutch, PortugueseStanley Kubrick: A Life in PicturesThis 2001 documentary directed by Jan Harlan is an excellent overview of Kubrick's life and career. Participation of Kubrick's family and close associates (director Harlan was Kubrick's brother-in-law and also worked in a production capacity for him for many years) likely results in a somewhat rosier picture than a more personally distanced filmmaker might have drawn, but it also results in an unprecedented amount of personal and archival material being made available to the filmmakers.Furthermore, it nicely compliments the supplements appearing on the individual discs on this collection. While there is curiously little discussion of Douglas Trumbull's slit-scan technique used for the star gate sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey on that disc's many special features, he discusses it specifically in this documentary. While Shelley Duvall and Matthew Modine are completely absent from the special features for The Shining and Full Metal Jacket, both are present and accounted for here. The Jack Nicholson interview conducted for this documentary appears to be the source for his comments on the special features for The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut DVD special features as well.Narrated by Tom Cruise, on-camera interview participants consist of friends, family, collaborators, and admirers including Ken Adam, Margaret Adams, author Brian Aldiss, filmmaker Woody Allen, Steven Berkoff, Louis C. Blau, John Calley, Milena Canonero, Wendy Carlos, Arthur C. Clarke, Alex Cox, Allen Daviau, Ed Di Giulio, Keir Dullea, Shelley Duvall, Todd Field, Anthony Frewin, Harlan, James B. Harris, Michael Herr, Mike Herrtage, Philip Hobbs, Irene Kane, Nicole Kidman, Barbara Kroner, Anya Kubrick, Christiane Kubrick, Katharina Kubrick-Hobbs, Paul Lashmar, György Ligeti, Steven Marcus, Paul Mazursky, Malcolm McDowell, Douglas Milsome, Matthew Modine, Jack Nicholson, Tony Palmer, Alan Parker, Sydney Pollack, Richard Schickel, Martin Scorsese, Terry Semel, Alex Singer, Steven Spielberg, Sybil Taylor, Doug Trumbull, Peter Ustinov, Leon Vitali , Marie Windsor, and Alan Yentob. Archival comments from Kubrick and his mother, Gert Kubrick, also appear.O Lucky Malcolm runs one hour, 26 minutes, and six seconds and is presented in 16:9 enhanced video including chapter stops accessible via an on-screen menu. It is a feature length documentary on the life and career of Malcolm McDowell directed by Jan Harlan. Breakthrough roles from his early career are covered in great detail including his collaborations with director Lindsay Anderson and his performance in A Clockwork Orange. After discussion of 1979's Caligula and Time After Time, however, the discussion completely skips the 1980s and 1990s and focuses on films McDowell has made since 2000. What's there is covered with decent depth, but the documentary does feel unbalanced by its significant omissions.On-screen interview participants include McDowell, Christiane Kubrick, Daughter Lilly McDowell, Son Charlie McDowell, Producer and close friend Mike Kaplan, Actress and ex-wife Mary Steenburgen, Wife Kelley McDowell, Director Edoardo Ponti, Actress Deborah Kara Unger, Writer and Friend Peter Bellwood, Director Mike Hodges, Director Robert Altman, Actress Neve Campbell, Director Tamar Simon Hoffs, Actor Max Beesley, and Director David Grieco.Bonus Disc 2Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian, Spanish (Latin), Spanish (Castillan), Russian, PortugueseKubrick Remembered (1:23:18)This feature length documentary directed by Gary Khammar is presented in high definition video. It begins with a Prologue in which Kubrick's widow reminiscences about the circumstances leading to his passing. Subsequent topics discussed include the misconception that he was a recluse, his wife of four decades Christiane, Kubrick’s childhood in The Bronx, his love for photography, and how he came to make his first film. It includes details about Kubrick's meeting of Christiane during the making of Paths of Glory and their wedding, his lack of interest in public appearances, his personal life as a father and husband, his sense of humor, and career ups and downs. Also discussed are the importance of Spartacus to his career despite his preference for projects on which he had more control, why he moved to England, his country home/estate in England, his struggles in finding and developing challenging stories, his extensive preparation and disappointment over abandoned projects including Aryan Papers and Napoleon, his approach to casting, Leon Vitali’s transition from young actor on Barry Lyndon to assistant responsible for much of the casting in Kubrick’s subsequent films, Kubrick’s skills as a producer above and beyond directing, his involvement of his family in the production of his films, his directorial style, his reputation for large numbers of takes, his meticulous approach to lighting and other technical aspects of shooting, his preference for small crews, his love of editing, his editing process, and his love for and use of music. Discussion also occurs of his involvement in the release, distribution, and marketing of his films, the response of critics and audiences to his films, how these responses affected Kubrick, and how reactions changed over time.The second to last segment of the documentary discusses how Kubrick’s massive collection of archival materials were posthumously assembled into an exhibition that traveled and became a permanent collection at the University of the Arts London. While this is not as extensive a review of Kubrick's archival materials as the "Kubrick's Boxes" documentary that was not included in this Blu-ray collection, I miss it a little bit less and now want to plan a trip to London. The documentary concludes with reflections on Kubrick's passing and legacy.On-camera comments are provided by Christiane Kubrick, Leon Vitali, Anthony Frewin, Keir Dullea, Vincent D’Onofrio, Steven Spielberg, James B. Harris, Daughter Katharina Kubrick, Warner Bros. Former Senior VP of Business Affairs Eric Senat, Jan Harlan, Actor Matthew Modine, Cinematographer Larry Smith, Actress Gay Hamilton, Warner Bros. Former Marketing Executive Mike Kaplan, Actor/Director Todd Field, Actor Malcolm McDowell, Actor Ryan O’Neal, Actor Vincent D’Onofrio, Actor R. Lee Ermey, Actress Leelee Sobieski, Video Operator/Ser Photographer/Kubrick Nephew Manuel Harlan, Actor Dominic Savage, Actor Thomas Gibson, Costume Designer Milena Canonero, Graphic Artist Philip Castle, and University of the Arts London Stanley Kubrick Archive Senior Archivist Richard Daniels.Stanley Kubrick in Focus (29:29) is an appreciation of Kubrick from other directors and collaborators with comments on his films presented in chronological release order. It largely feels like outtakes from interviews present elsewhere on the film's special features, but is a nice addition for the sake of completeness.On camera comments are provided by Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin, Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Christopher Nolan, McDowell, Kirk Douglas, “The Shining” Co-Screenwriter Diane Johnson, Actor Matthew Modine, and Director/Actor Todd Field.Once Upon a Time ... A Clockwork Orange(51:36) is a UK documentary produced by by Antoine de Gaudemar and Michael Ciment and directed by Gaudemar. It commences with brief biographical notes on Kubrick leading up to the production of A Clockwork Orange. It then moves on to cover discussion of the Anthony Burgess book, the casting of Malcolm McDowell as Alex, production design, wardrobe, makeup, cultural context, cultural influence, the pivotal “Singin’ in the Rain” scene, Kubrick’s approach to filming the violence in the film, the history of behavioral and conditional therapy and views on them contemporaneous with the book and film, the mechanics of the "lid-locks" applied to McDowell, the use of Beethoven music in the film, Kubrick’s aversion to interviews, Kubrick’s public reputation, Kubrick’s approach to directing actors, Kubrick’s visual stylings, Kubrick’s comprehensive involvement with all aspects of the film inclusive of its release and distribution, the controversy upon the film’s release, the real life crimes and personal threats that were tied to the film and resulted in it being withdrawn from release in the UK, how the film being withdrawn influenced its cult status in the UK, and the UK re-release of the film after Kubrick’s death.In addition to archival audio interviews with Stanley Kubrick the documentary features on-camera comments from Christiane Kubrick, an unidentified English language narrator (replacing French narration provided by Serge July when the documentary first aired on television), Producer and Brother-in-Law Jan Harlan, Anthony Burgess (via archival interviews), Malcolm McDowell (“Alex”), Warren Clarke (“Dim”), Director Gaspar Noé, Associate Producer Bernard Williams, Sociologist Laurent Mucchielli, and Historian and Psychoanalyst Elisabeth Roudinesco.Packaging and Physical ExtrasThis Masterpiece Collection gets deluxe packaging in a large box with a magnetic clasp which includes a five panel digipak containing all ten Blu-ray discs in overlapping hubs (two per panel). The digipak is perhaps a bit too large, so owners will likely have to exercise caution when manipulating it to retrieve a disc so as not to tear it on any of the folds. The package also includes a few physical extras.Most prominent is a 78 page hardcover book that includes reproductions of archival production materials, many with Kubrick's hand written notes (grouped under the title of "Inside the Mind of a Master"), and behind the scenes photos (grouped under the title of "Behind the Scenes") from all of the films in the set. The presence of this fascinating material in print form considerably lessens the blow of the exclusion of the "Kubrick's Boxes" featurette.Also include is a Reproduction of a Christiane Kubrick Portrait of Her Husband.Finally, there is an insert with a brief essay by Kubrick Remembered Producer and Director Gary Khammar on the making of his documentary.
Fans who have diligently been collecting all of the previous Blu-ray releases of these eight Kubrick films may have a hard time justifying the cost of this set just to acquire the new bonus content. For deep pocketed completists, the feature length Kubrick Remembered documentary, the Once Upon a Time ... A Clockwork Orange French television documentary, and the book of reproductions of production materials and behind the scenes photographs are of very high quality and worth seeking out.That being said, the set provides an excellent value for first time purchasers of all or most of these titles. It includes outstanding high definition presentations of the films and copious extras of high quality.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Reviewed By: Ken_McAlinden
Support HTF when you buy this title: