The Shining (1980) UHD Review

4 Stars

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The Shining (1980) UHD Review
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Matt Hough

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94 Comments

  1. Robert Crawford

    Thank you for your review. I'm not sure if I'll buy the disc or the 4K digital. It depends on the pricing between now and Black Friday sales.

    Target has added THE SHINING & GREMLINS 4Ks to their current sale of Buy 2 get one Free

    most of the Target locations had stock in my area but I just checked and all my nearby locations are now out of stock! I guess news spreads fast

  2. Powell&Pressburger

    Target has added THE SHINING & GREMLINS 4Ks to their current sale of Buy 2 get one Free

    most of the Target locations had stock in my area but I just checked and all my nearby locations are now out of stock! I guess news spreads fast

    I saw that earlier this morning and ordered "The Shining" along with two other 4K titles. As to Gremlins, my HD digital that I bought for $4.99 on iTunes has already upgraded to 4K so I'm passing on the disc.

  3. It's "incorrect" if you're being pedantic – the disc is opened up very slightly to 1.78 from the theatrical 1.85 ratio. But there's far more variation than that in theatrical projection, especially in 35mm, and I defy anyone to show how the composition is somehow compromised by that added sliver of picture.

  4. Worth

    It's "incorrect" if you're being pedantic – the disc is opened up very slightly to 1.78 from the theatrical 1.85 ratio. But there's far more variation than that in theatrical projection, especially in 35mm, and I defy anyone to show how the composition is somehow compromised by that added sliver of picture.

    Whenever I read somebody griping about 1.78 vs 1.85 ratio, I just shrugged my shoulders and sigh.

  5. I would imagine that what we've got in terms of ratio has come from the decisions of knowledgeable insiders and the cream of the Kubrick crop. Like "2001" there comes a point where one should just sit back, stop torturing themselves, and simply bask within its beauty.
    This 4K of "The Shining" is a wonderful disc; and has further whetted my appetites for a hopeful UHD of "A Clockwork Orange".

  6. Robert Crawford

    Whenever I read somebody griping about 1.78 vs 1.85 ratio, I just shrugged my shoulders and sigh.

    Yeah, that's petty – on both sides. It's also stupid of the studios to make the minor alteration in OAR in the first place.

    On my TV, the black bars for 1.85:1 are barely noticeable. Why bother to go 1.78:1 for these instances?

  7. Colin Jacobson

    On my TV, the black bars for 1.85:1 are barely noticeable. Why bother to go 1.78:1 for these instances?

    You could also use that same argument not to put those tiny lines on. The main thing is that we're getting stunning versions of all these classic movies. I've said it before (& will no doubt say it again); we movie fans are spoiled rotten these days.

  8. Powell&Pressburger

    Target has added THE SHINING & GREMLINS 4Ks to their current sale of Buy 2 get one Free

    most of the Target locations had stock in my area but I just checked and all my nearby locations are now out of stock! I guess news spreads fast

    Thanks for mentioning this. I just ordered The Shining, Apocalypse Now and Avengers: Endgame through the deal. It works out to a little over $18 per UHD title. I wanted to order John Wick 3 in UHD, but it wasn't available for some reason, so I settled for the $5 higher priced Avengers film.

  9. Colin Jacobson

    Yeah, that's petty – on both sides. It's also stupid of the studios to make the minor alteration in OAR in the first place.

    On my TV, the black bars for 1.85:1 are barely noticeable. Why bother to go 1.78:1 for these instances?

    I know sometimes Warner just does that in general, but it may have been at Vitali’s direction to honor Kubrick’s wishes.

    Kubrick did not like the appearance of black bars on a TV screen. There’s documentation which I’ve viewed at the Kubrick archive which confirms this. He shot his later films which spherical lenses not because he hated widescreen, as some have erroneously reported in past years, but rather, so that he had the option to present his films open matte. He felt it was better to have extra height on the image, even if it wasn’t carrying essential information, vs the appearance of black bars on what (in his lifetime) were small TV screens.

    While I don’t think there’s a significant difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 (as was noted in an above post, theatrical exhibition is far less precise than that variance), I think this could simply be a matter of honoring the spirit of Kubrick’s request, that when picture information is available, that he’d prefer to open up the matte a little rather than having the television viewer observe dead space on their screen.

    It’s entirely possible and perhaps likely that if he had lived up see 60” widescreen televisions become the norm that his views may have changed. But since it doesn’t harm the film to present it at 1.78:1, and since doing so honors both the spirit and the letter of his stated preferences, I don’t see a problem.

  10. Billy Batson

    You could also use that same argument not to put those tiny lines on.

    The difference is that the tiny bars accurately represent OAR and the tiny bar-free version doesn't.

    Again, I don't bunch my panties about 1.78:1 versions of 1.85:1 movies, but I think it's idiotic. Even the most ardent "FILL MY TV!!!" dope is unlikely to care about the thin lines so why not stay true to OAR?

  11. Josh Steinberg

    I know sometimes Warner just does that in general, but it may have been at Vitali’s direction to honor Kubrick’s wishes.

    Kubrick did not like the appearance of black bars on a TV screen. There’s documentation which I’ve viewed at the Kubrick archive which confirms this. He shot his later films which spherical lenses not because he hated widescreen, as some have erroneously reported in past years, but rather, so that he had the option to present his films open matte. He felt it was better to have extra height on the image, even if it wasn’t carrying essential information, vs the appearance of black bars on what (in his lifetime) were small TV screens.

    While I don’t think there’s a significant difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 (as was noted in an above post, theatrical exhibition is far less precise than that variance), I think this could simply be a matter of honoring the spirit of Kubrick’s request, that when picture information is available, that he’d prefer to open up the matte a little rather than having the television viewer observe dead space on their screen.

    It’s entirely possible and perhaps likely that if he had lived up see 60” widescreen televisions become the norm that his views may have changed. But since it doesn’t harm the film to present it at 1.78:1, and since doing so honors both the spirit and the letter of his stated preferences, I don’t see a problem.

    I think the TV landscape of 2019 is so different from what Kubrick experienced through his death in 1999 that his "stated preferences" become irrelevant.

    He built those preferences around what looked best on 1990s 4X3 tube TVs, sets where the average consumer probably had a 27" set.

    No way that can be compared to a world populated by 16X9 sets, TVs where the norm is probably 40+ inches.

    So I couldn't possibly care less what Kubrick liked best 20+ years ago. Due to technological changes, his preferences about home video are far too outdated to matter anymore.

    25 years ago Cameron endorsed a 4X3 version of "The Abyss" based on the era's technology – you think he'd still do that?

  12. No, but since it’s a 50/50 shot in the first place as to whether the releasing studio automatically does 1.78:1 for 1.85:1 films, since the studios/filmmakers already consider that a valid presentation, I don’t see the harm in putting out The Shining in that format which does represent both the intended framing and honors Kubrick’s stated preferences.

    I’ve seen 35mm prints of The Shining projected with far more framing variation from one reel to the next than exists going from 1.85:1 to 1.78:1. If you watch the actual film projected, particular in a theater doing changeovers, due to the placement of the projectors and the angle of the booth, what hits the screen is far less accurately framed than any disc version has ever been.

  13. Josh Steinberg

    No, but since it’s a 50/50 shot in the first place as to whether the releasing studio automatically does 1.78:1 for 1.85:1 films, since the studios/filmmakers already consider that a valid presentation, I don’t see the harm in putting out The Shining in that format which does represent both the intended framing and honors Kubrick’s stated preferences.

    But weren't Kubrick's last "stated preferences" to show "Shining" 1.33:1? If you're gonna make "honoring Stan's wishes" the argument, then it should still be 1.33:1, right?

  14. Colin Jacobson

    But weren't Kubrick's last "stated preferences" to show "Shining" 1.33:1? If you're gonna make "honoring Stan's wishes" the argument, then it should still be 1.33:1, right?

    Yes, if watching in standard definition. 😉

    Absent direct filmmaker involvement, the home video releases should honor, within reason, the theatrical presentations. Since Warner does virtually all 1.85 as 1.78 for home viewing, this is what I would expect for this title as well.

  15. Colin Jacobson

    But weren't Kubrick's last "stated preferences" to show "Shining" 1.33:1? If you're gonna make "honoring Stan's wishes" the argument, then it should still be 1.33:1, right?

    That’s a misinterpretation of his quote, as I mentioned above. Kubrick’s preference was for his spherically shot films to be shown open matte on home video so that no part of the television would be filled with black bars. He didn’t prefer 1.33:1. He just felt it was less distracting for you to be viewing extra height in the shot than black bars when the shape of the television didn’t match the shape of the theater. In 1980, that meant 1.33:1. In 2019, that means 1.78:1.

  16. Josh Steinberg

    That’s a misinterpretation of his quote, as I mentioned above. Kubrick’s preference was for his spherically shot films to be shown open matte on home video so that no part of the television would be filled with black bars. He didn’t prefer 1.33:1. He just felt it was less distracting for you to be viewing extra height in the shot than black bars when the shape of the television didn’t match the shape of the theater. In 1980, that meant 1.33:1. In 2019, that means 1.78:1.

    My point remains that we have no idea what Kubrick would want in 2019 so evocations of Stan's "stated preferences" become irrelevant.

    Besides, just because a filmmaker decides he prefers a film to be presented some way for video doesn't make it right. People here have gone ballistic about alterations of colors for video, even though the directors espoused those changes…

  17. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Having been the Kubrick Archive in London and personally examined his papers, I believe what I’ve stated — which corresponds with the decisions Leon Vitali has advocated for on behalf of the Kubrick Estate — I believe the framing choice for The Shining 4K remaster represents what Kubrick’s wishes were and what he would have approved were he alive today.

  18. Josh Steinberg

    […]I believe the framing choice for The Shining 4K remaster represents what Kubrick’s wishes were and what he would have approved were he alive today.

    If alive, today, I believe that Kubrick would've gone for Univisium.;)
    But seriously, though, this 4K/UHD of "The Shining" looks fantastic;
    and is far superior to what we've ever had; which was pretty darned good to begin with.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  19. ArnoldLayne

    Someone who doesn't give a good god-damn about what a director wanted for his movies should probably not appear so pedantic and cocksure, regardless of technological changes in the interim.

    Quoting whomever you're referring to would be a big help. As it is, your post has no context.

  20. dpippel

    Quoting whomever you're referring to would be a big help. As it is, your post has no context.

    Probably means me. If so, I don't recall saying I don't care what directors want as an absolute – just that "stated preferences" based on 1990s TV technology are meaningless in 2019…

  21. Colin Jacobson

    Probably means me. If so, I don't recall saying I don't care what directors want as an absolute – just that "stated preferences" based on 1990s TV technology are meaningless in 2019…

    Don't be too hard on yourself.
    Even an earnest opinion that differs from others is something that comes from a place of mutual interests.
    And without that, we wouldn't get to have our daily discussions of film.

  22. Even in the working days and months; among his cast and crew;
    came the often asked question, "What is it that you want, Stanley?".
    Alas, a genius can only be studied, but never codified nor pinned down.

  23. moviebuff75

    And what would Kubrick have thought about the stereo remix, which includes several mistakes?

    You’d have to be more specific about the mistakes.

    In general, there is another misconception that Kubrick disliked stereo sound. Having handled Kubrick’s personal and professional correspondence in addition to having read previously published interviews with Kubrick and those who worked with him, I can say that the truth is far more nuanced. Here’s what I gathered from my research on this topic:

    Kubrick cared deeply about consistency in presentation. He didn’t want to make a stereo sound mix that sounded great in a handful of theaters but that sounded poor in the majority of theaters, which in the 70s and 80s were still monaural, or as was often the case, were originally built as mono rooms and then poorly retrofitted to stereo. He didn’t want to experience of viewing the film to depend on technology that wasn’t available to the majority of people who would see the film.

    In 2019, that problem has basically been solved. Quality 5.1 is easily achievable and standard in theatrical environments and can be gotten for the home as well. And the processors used to deliver sound now are so much better that it’s no longer an issue for a home viewer with only a mono or stereo system to have their equipment mix down a 5.1 track without losing details.

    Many of Kubrick’s preferences which on the surface seem to reject advancements in presentation aren’t in actuality total rejections of the concept. Rather, he didn’t want his audiences to endure inconsistent experiences that were detrimental to the film.

  24. “My point remains that we have no idea what Kubrick would want in 2019 so evocations of Stan’s “stated preferences” become irrelevant.”
    I find that statement incredibly ahistorical and self-serving. “irrelevant” are Kubrick’s own words, but the wishes of someone having nothing to do with any of his films carries weight. Just incredible.

  25. Colin Jacobson

    My point remains that we have no idea what Kubrick would want in 2019 so evocations of Stan's "stated preferences" become irrelevant.

    Besides, just because a filmmaker decides he prefers a film to be presented some way for video doesn't make it right. People here have gone ballistic about alterations of colors for video, even though the directors espoused those changes…

    I believe that as an extremely technically literate filmmaker, he would go with 1.85 today, just as he preferred to fill earlier 1.33 screens when they were all we had. To the point of exposing multiple camera mattes.

    He wanted widescreen films presented as widescreen, even in 1989.

    I’m not seeing a problem here.

  26. ArnoldLayne

    "My point remains that we have no idea what Kubrick would want in 2019 so evocations of Stan's "stated preferences" become irrelevant."
    I find that statement incredibly ahistorical and self-serving. "irrelevant" are Kubrick's own words, but the wishes of someone having nothing to do with any of his films carries weight. Just incredible.

    We still don't know who you're quoting without reading back up through the previous posts in the thread and mining for it. Try using the "Reply" button in the lower right corner of the post you want to quote:

    View attachment 63952

  27. Robert Harris

    I believe that as an extremely technically literate filmmaker, he would go with 1.85 today, just as he preferred to fill earlier 1.33 screens when they were all we had. To the point of exposing multiple camera mattes.

    He wanted widescreen films presented as widescreen, even in 1989.

    I’m not seeing a problem here.

    I think Kubrick would espouse 1.85:1 for current sets as well.

    I just get annoyed by proclamations of the need to adhere to Kubrick's wishes when he made those wishes in a different era technologically.

    If James Cameron died in 1994, would we still view the 1.33:1 "Abyss" as his preferred way to present the movie?

  28. ArnoldLayne

    "My point remains that we have no idea what Kubrick would want in 2019 so evocations of Stan's "stated preferences" become irrelevant."
    I find that statement incredibly ahistorical and self-serving. "irrelevant" are Kubrick's own words, but the wishes of someone having nothing to do with any of his films carries weight. Just incredible.

    When someone wishes are based on outdated technology, then yeah – their "stated preferences" are irrelevant.

    I don't care how someone wanted to present his movie on a 27" 1.33:1 TV when I have a 65" 1.78:1 TV.

    Really, I just want to see movies as they ran theatrically – OAR, original audio. If a filmmaker decided to alter those for home video, that doesn't mean I have to agree with those wishes.

    Remember how people went bat guano crazy when Friedkin messed with "French Connection"? Was it self-serving of film fans to decry those alterations?

    Or how about the changes to the "Star Wars" OT? No one should've said a peep because the filmmaker wanted those alterations?

  29. Kubrick would never have allowed a release that zooms the image to fill the screen, effectively ruining the left and right framing.

    He would have opened up the mattes, or just left the framing precisely at 1.85:1 and that’s it.

    It looks like the UHD is zoomed to fill the screen, as is Warner practice on other films like Once Upon A Time In America.

  30. haineshisway

    Sorry, did I miss the post where someone wanted this full frame? What or who is Colin responding to? Confused.

    It started on the 1st page, where someone else said that the 4K's aspect ratio was incorrect because it's 1.78:1 instead of 1.85:1.

    Then the notion that this slightly altered aspect ratio honored Kubrick's "wishes" came up, and we went down the rabbit hole…

  31. haineshisway

    Sorry, did I miss the post where someone wanted this full frame? What or who is Colin responding to? Confused.

    To be specific, Bruce, it all began with Message #8
    Poster Noel Acquirre wrote: "I've read that this is the incorrect aspect ratio – Why isn't this mentioned in the review?"
    Upon reading this, my own personal thoughts had wondered why it was that Noel, himself, hadn't cited his source?".
    But, no matter, Josh Steinberg succinctly and accurately followed it up in his post that read, "Because its not an incorrect ratio."
    It should have been as simple as that, being that this reply had come from an impassioned researcher of Kubrick.

    But in the end, if one must read the reviews before making a purchase – and understandably so – then here's a triple-play sampling that, at this point in the game, should seal the deal for anyone:

    Our own Matt Hough summed up in his 4K/UHD review of "The Shining" that "It's a must buy. It's never looked or sounded better."
    Michael S. Palmer of hidefdigest also concluded in his review that this edition of "The Shining" was "A Must Buy".
    And Bill Hunt of thedigitalbits, who gave this 4K/UHD an A+ for picture quality, had concluded that this edition was "An essential release for any serious cinephile".

    To my mind, when there are truly no issues to be found by those who have seen it;
    versus those who have not; then one should no longer attempt to split hairs and just simply enjoy the ride.
    FILE UNDER: "The Shining or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 4K".:razz:opcorn:

  32. I seem to recall a similar brouhaha over the AR of Barry Lyndon, and papers surfaced that indicated the maximum acceptable AR was 1.75:1, with a preferred AR of 1.66:1, with people going nuts over Warner's release at 1.78:1. Simple math tells us that the difference between 1.75 and 1.78 is less than 1%, but Heaven forbid anyone bring that up. Nevertheless, when the Criterion release came out in 2017, it was 1.66:1. There's a battle concept of "hills you're willing to die on." When it gets this infinitesimally small, is it really worth dying on?

    We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

  33. Colin Jacobson

    It started on the 1st page, where someone else said that the 4K's aspect ratio was incorrect because it's 1.78:1 instead of 1.85:1.

    Oh brother. There's little to no difference between 1.78 and 1.85. Soft matting is, as I have said multiple times, a complete turkey shoot.

  34. Colin Jacobson

    It started on the 1st page, where someone else said that the 4K's aspect ratio was incorrect because it's 1.78:1 instead of 1.85:1.

    1:78 – 1:85. As John Wayne once said in a western (I can't remember which one, but I'm sure someone here will), "I wouldn't like to live on the difference"

  35. Billy Batson

    1:78 – 1:85. As John Wayne once said in a western (I can't remember which one, but I'm sure someone here will), "I wouldn't like to live on the difference"

    I'm pretty sure that's Rio Bravo when John T. Chance is talking about the gun skill of Dude and Colorado.

  36. Lord Dalek

    Oh brother. There's little to no difference between 1.78 and 1.85. Soft matting is, as I have said multiple times, a complete turkey shoot.

    No argument here. That said, I still think it's stupid of studios to go 1.78:1 because it's such a minor difference.

    When hardly anyone will notice, why not go with the letter of the law and use 1.85:1?

  37. Colin Jacobson

    No argument here. That said, I still think it's stupid of studios to go 1.78:1 because it's such a minor difference.

    When hardly anyone will notice, why not go with the letter of the law and use 1.85:1?

    Aspect ratios are odd ducks, especially when prints were open matte. I'd bet that no more than a dozen theaters actually ran these films Properly at 1.85.

    It's all about the dynamics of the theater, their projection system, optics, aperture plates. Endless. In the end, what we see in a home theater environment at either 1.85 or .78 are far closer to the filmmakers' intent than ever seen in theaters.

    My take. It doesn't matter.

  38. Robert Harris

    Aspect ratios are odd ducks, especially when prints were open matte. I'd bet that no more than a dozen theaters actually ran these films Properly at 1.85.

    It's all about the dynamics of the theater, their projection system, optics, aperture plates. Endless. In the end, what we see in a home theater environment at either 1.85 or .78 are far closer to the filmmakers' intent than ever seen in theaters.

    My take. Unless there are some productions situations which prevent doing so, it doesn't matter.

    Exactly. The space in between 1.33/1.37 and 2.35 (or 2.20 as that's making a comeback in the Netflix era) is so nebulous that you're just splitting hairs demanding one ratio over the other.

    Also doesn't help that the mattes are usually in the overscan area anyway.

  39. Robert Harris

    Aspect ratios are odd ducks, especially when prints were open matte. I'd bet that no more than a dozen theaters actually ran these films Properly at 1.85.

    It's all about the dynamics of the theater, their projection system, optics, aperture plates. Endless. In the end, what we see in a home theater environment at either 1.85 or .78 are far closer to the filmmakers' intent than ever seen in theaters.

    My take. Unless there are some productions situations which prevent doing so, it doesn't matter.

    So again: why not follow the letter of the law? Especially given that a home video presentation should have the ability to stick with the original framing more than the vagaries of theatrical projection.

    Not making a federal case out of 1.78:1 for 1.85:1 films, but I just don't get why they'd bother to offer even the slight cropping when it's unnecessary…

  40. Colin Jacobson

    So again: why not follow the letter of the law? Especially given that a home video presentation should have the ability to stick with the original framing more than the vagaries of theatrical projection.

    Not making a federal case out of 1.78:1 for 1.85:1 films, but I just don't get why they'd bother to offer even the slight cropping when it's unnecessary…

    Because sometimes, it’s necessary

  41. Colin Jacobson

    Not making a federal case out of 1.78:1 for 1.85:1 films, but I just don't get why they'd bother to offer even the slight cropping when it's unnecessary…

    The image hasn’t been cropped to achieve 1.78:1. It is actually revealing ever so slightly more detail, rather than cutting detail off.

  42. Josh Steinberg

    The image hasn’t been cropped to achieve 1.78:1. It is actually revealing ever so slightly more detail, rather than cutting detail off.

    To be clear, 1.85 is not always a more cropped image, revealing less

    it’s merely a slightly different shape.

  43. Colin Jacobson

    If James Cameron died in 1994, would we still view the 1.33:1 "Abyss" as his preferred way to present the movie?

    Not to get nitpicky, but did Cameron ever state that 1.33:1 was his preferred version. I think I recall him saying something to the effect that he was pleased with the 1.33 version in the LaserDisc liner notes.

    Wasted the Shining 4K the other day. Looked good but did anyone notice any lip syncing issues? I kind of detected it during the interview scene where the dialogue was slightly ahead. Maybe it’s an equipment issue on my end, but it seemed noticeable here. Also it looked as if there were some parts where the image was shaky, one place I noticed it was the part where Wendy was asking Halloran how he knew they called Danny “Doc”

  44. WillG

    Not to get nitpicky, but did Cameron ever state that 1.33:1 was his preferred version. I think I recall him saying something to the effect that he was pleased with the 1.33 version in the LaserDisc liner notes.

    I did a quick search for the note he included in the LD box but couldn't find it. My memory is that he said something along the lines of "given NTSC's limitations, I prefer the 1.33:1" – I think it was a stronger statement than just he was pleased with it.

    I did find a statement he titled "THE LETTERBOX HERESIES OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE PAN & SCAN" in which he states his preference for 1.33:1 of Super 35 movies.

    https://forum.fanres.com/thread-2421-post-51404.html

    After a little more digging, I found out that allegedly this was included with the 1.33:1 "Abyss" LD, which is why I didn't see it back then – I had the 2.35:1 LD in which he made the more general statement I mentioned above.

    So for "Abyss" and his other Super 35 movies on LD, he did think 1.33:1 was the way to go.

    The "Heresies" letter undercuts my original comment about how we'd be stuck with 1.33:1 "Abyss" if Cameron died in 1994, though, as the forward-looking director included this "out":

    "At least until we get some kind of high-definition video. Then, of course,the poor directors have to go back and transfer their movies all over again. Oh well."

    Unless those "poor directors" are Cameron, in which case he'll never transfer "Abyss" again! :angry:

  45. Robert Crawford

    Was the maze in the book too? If so, do any of you think King got some inspiration for that plot point from the movie "The Maze" (1953)?

    No. In the book, the garden is a collection of topiary animals that come to life. One of the criticisms of Kubrick's film version is that he replaced this famous plot device with the maze. In hindsight it was a good idea. There's practically zero chance it could have been pulled off successfully considering the limitations of the special effects industry in 1980.

  46. dpippel

    No. In the book, the garden is a collection of topiary animals that come to life. One of the criticisms of Kubrick's film version is that he replaced this famous plot device with the maze. In hindsight it was a good idea. There's practically zero chance it could have been pulled off successfully considering the limitations of the special effects industry in 1980.

    So did Kubrick get the idea of the maze for the plot device from that 1953 film?

  47. Robert Crawford

    So did Kubrick get the idea of the maze for the plot device from that 1953 film?

    Or even Laurel and Hardy's "A Chump at Oxford"?
    Seriously, inspiration could even be sparked by a 1939 comedy.

  48. WillG

    Looked good but did anyone notice any lip syncing issues? I kind of detected it during the interview scene where the dialogue was slightly ahead.

    I noticed this too, and it wasn't subtle. I don't remember seeing it prior to the job interview scene. My player is an OPPO UDP-205, and I used the sych adjustment function to bring it in line, but no range of adjustment remedied the problem completely, but it was brought close enough to avoid being an overt distraction. As a result of adjustment, I'm not sure if there were other less obvious instances later on. Has no one else encountered the problem?

  49. David Wilkins

    I noticed this too, and it wasn't subtle. I don't remember seeing it prior to the job interview scene. My player is an OPPO UDP-205, and I used the sych adjustment function to bring it in line, but no range of adjustment remedied the problem completely, but it was brought close enough to avoid being an overt distraction. As a result of adjustment, I'm not sure if there were other less obvious instances later on. Has no one else encountered the problem?

    I have the UDP-203. Does that have the same feature?

  50. dpippel

    No. In the book, the garden is a collection of topiary animals that come to life. One of the criticisms of Kubrick's film version is that he replaced this famous plot device with the maze. In hindsight it was a good idea. There's practically zero chance it could have been pulled off successfully considering the limitations of the special effects industry in 1980.

    I remember being initially disappointed by the topiary animals being replaced with the maze — that was one of my favorite parts of the novel, which I read before the film was originally released. Upon further reflection, though, I doubt that the special effects available in 1980 could have made those animals look as terrifying as my imagination from reading the novel.

  51. Worth

    It's not just a question of special effects. Even if it were attempted now, I don't think it would work.

    That may be true, but there was no question that it wouldn't work in 1980, and Kubrick knew it.

  52. Robert Crawford

    I'm trying to imagine how it would work better than the maze.

    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.

  53. Worth

    It's not just a question of special effects. Even if it were attempted now, I don't think it would work.

    I agree.

    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.

  54. 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. :laugh:

  55. Scott Merryfield

    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. :laugh:

    But don't forget, Jack has been traveling for decades with far more baggage than anyone had ever realized.;)

  56. Scott Merryfield

    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. :laugh:

    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!)

  57. Stephen_J_H

    Can anyone comment on how the topiary animals look in the 97 miniseries?

    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.

  58. Josh Steinberg

    I agree.

    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.

    (emphasis added)

    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.

  59. KMR

    (emphasis added)

    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.

  60. 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.

  61. Josh Steinberg

    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.

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