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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Oct 5, 2019.
I'm trying to imagine how it would work better than the maze.
That may be true, but there was no question that it wouldn't work in 1980, and Kubrick knew it.
That's because you've never read the book.
And I don't plan to.
You might find your answer to that in the 1997 mini-series. It was written and executive produced by King and is a lot closer to his original vision. And, yes, the hedge animals are included.
One thing to bear in mind is that the hedge animals are not the climax in the book. The deus ex machina is the boiler and Jack forgetting to dump it which causes an explosion. Danny, Wendy and Halloran make it but Jack rides the rocket.
It’s a brilliantly written scene in the book. But so much of it is in Jack’s head. It’s not so much that the book depicts the animals moving closer; it depicts Jack’s internal feelings of dread as he gets a feeling he knows isn’t entirely rational that something is stalking him. Even with modern effects, it’s more of a psychological horror scare and I think it would be tough to convey that same feeling onscreen. Just one of those things that a book can do better than a movie.
We watched the UHD disc a couple of nights ago. I thought it looked terrific.
I have seen this film numerous times, but my wife pointed out something the other night that neither of us had noticed before. Early in the film, when the entire Torrence family has first arrived at the hotel and they are met in the lobby, one of the gentlemen from the hotel (cannot remember who) asks them if their luggage is there. Jack (or maybe it was Wendy) points to a huge pile of luggage. My wife asked "how did they get all of that in their car"? After all, they drove a Volkswagen Beetle to the hotel.
For decades, Jack Torrence has been traveling with more baggage than anyone ever knew.
Can anyone comment on how the topiary animals look in the 97 miniseries?
Also easier to see that Jack is reading a Playgirl magazine in the hotel lobby while waiting for the tour to begin (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Fairly pedestrian special effects (even for 1997). If your interest in the series is state-of-the-art film-making, you'll be sorely disappointed but if you want a faithful adaptation of the book, the series is for you.
And this is exactly why Stephen King's novels are notoriously difficult to adapt well to the screen. Sometimes what King writes is so internal that it's necessary to come up with some other way to express the essence of the story in a way that works as drama.
My feelings as well. In fact, for me, the most haunting and memorable parts of the novel of The Shining are Jack Torrance's often self-pitying and tragic internal monologues and memories of his abusive childhood - stuff that would be impossible to effectively translate to the screen. To me, that material was the heart of the book.
To make it the best film that he knew how to make, Kubrick had to strip away the parts of the book that were what made the whole project meaningful for King in the first place. The book and film make for a fascinating dichotomy, and while I completely understand why King will never be able to enjoy the movie, I’m lucky that I’m far enough removed that I can and do enjoy both. The film terrified me at first viewing from its building sense of dread and the feeling of pervasive helplessness; everyone is trapped in roles that they’re powerless to break free of, and all you can do is watch hoping the worst won’t happen, while understanding that it must. The book terrified me in a wholly different way, allowing me to inhabit the consciousness of someone losing his grasp on reality, experiencing his worst fears of himself coming true, feeling his soul slip away.
They are each utterly engrossing on their own terms.
Excellent points. The book and the film are trying to achieve different goals, and they use different methods to achieve those goals. I used to think the novel - and novels in general - was "better" because it could easily show the thoughts and feelings and memories of the main character. While that certainly is a benefit, Kubrick's film had the advantage of creating an uneasy atmosphere through production and sound design, with that mammoth hotel and its towering corridors and ceilings and that thudding, distorted heartbeat on the soundtrack making the audience feel as if they are in the bowels of some sinister creature. Kubrick could create the atmosphere of dread very quickly through a silent visual, something that would take a novelist pages and pages of labored writing to create.
This has been a really great conversation to read - including the differing opinions about the aspect ratio and mono soundtrack and advancing display tech. I have a different observation about aspect ratio:
Kubrick is unique among filmmakers, in that his compositions were not merely protected for open matte, but they were beautifully composed to work as an artistic presentation whether in wide or 1:33 ratio. There are scenes in The Shining that have a different, powerful visual impact in each ratio. The square looking hallway shots for example with simple single vanishing point, balanced for 1:33 as well as in theatrical aspect ratio.
I am not suggesting what is better, just in awe of Kubrick's ability to create a powerful composition that works in multiple display ratios. I don't think there's another director who succeeds in this as Kubrick does.
So are the lip sync complaints a soundtrack issue or a player issue?
It’s not inherent in the master - I had no issue with the new BD disc or stream. I can’t play UHD discs so no comment on that.
I just finished watching this via UHD disc on my Panasonic UB820, and encountered no lip sync issues, so I'm thinking it's a player issue.
The transfer itself is astounding, especially the helicopter photography. The movie looks gorgeous from beginning to end.
Every time I watch the movie, I appreciate Scatman Crothers's performance more -- and feel more frustrated by the prefunctory way Dick Halloran is killed off in the movie.
This evening I plan on following up with the three-hour director's cut in 4K via Vudu.
Doctor Sleep I presume. Curious to read your thoughts on it. I enjoyed it much more than The Shining.