The Shining (1980) UHD Review

Stanley Kubrick's controversial adaptation of a King thriller still manages to chill. 4 Stars

Stanley Kubrick’s examination of the pervasiveness of evil and the disintegration of a family from that evil finally gets its best-ever video release with this UHD presentation of The Shining.

The Shining (1980)
Released: 13 Jun 1980
Rated: R
Runtime: 146 min
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Genre: Drama, Horror
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Writer(s): Stephen King (novel), Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Diane Johnson (screenplay)
Plot: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.
IMDB rating: 8.4
MetaScore: 66

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: R
Run Time: 2 Hr. 24 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 10/01/2019
MSRP: $41.99

The Production: 4/5

Perhaps no modern film generates more heated arguments relative to its merits than Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Many over the years, including its original author Stephen King, have been irritated about the film’s pacing, its lack of fidelity to the original source book, the out-of-left field casting, but Stanley Kubrick’s films have always been deliberately paced, but the payoffs have almost always been worth it. Lots of movies aren’t faithful to their original novels, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less entertaining as films. And avant-garde casting is usually one of the most interesting aspects to Kubrick’s filmmaking.

Jack Nicholson stars as former college professor Jack Torrance who takes the job of winter caretaker of a luxury Colorado hotel, The Overlook, in order to have the peace and quiet necessary to write a book. Gradually, winter sets in and long, lonely hours in the large space with only his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) for company begin to take their toll: he becomes possessed by the evil legend associated with the hotel: a former caretaker (Philip Stone) who murdered his wife and two daughters with an ax and then blew his head off with a rifle, only one of several hotel spirits who seem to be on speaking terms with the troubled would-be writer.

The title of the film involves a power which Jack’s son possesses. “Shining” is a type of clairvoyance which enables Danny to see both past and future occurrences as well as read certain thoughts in the minds of others who also have this power. Kubrick uses this power of shining to picture in the child’s mind the grisly murders which took place earlier and which continually haunt Danny’s subconscious. It’s strange, however, that this ability doesn’t seem to be much help in his climactic efforts of escaping from his deranged father. Luck and ingenuity are much more worthwhile commodities when the chips are down. The script by Stanley Kubrick and novelist Diane Johnson has other inconsistencies. The Overlook’s head chef Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) also possesses the ability to shine, but it doesn’t help him when he dashes back to aid the family in its time of crisis. That’s not explained nor are the hotel’s many ghosts, some victims of horrific violence and others just having a good time, who seem to appear to some people some of the time or to everyone at other times. While it’s not always necessary for an audience to be provided with all the answers in a ghost story like The Shining, it does offer ample ammunition for those who want to take potshots at the film for its seeming lack of constancy.

The film’s genius, however, comes in the subtle qualities of terror that director Kubrick gradually has inserted to creep over the viewer during the movie’s lengthy running time (144 minutes). There’s talk about murders and cannibalism early to plant the seeds of potential gruesome happenings to come. An early conversation between Duvall’s Wendy and Crothers’ Hallorann seems banal, but the camera focuses on several long, threatening butcher knives in the background, one of which plays an important part in the later plot. Early warnings about Room 237 prepare us for one of modern cinema’s most grotesque scenes. The eerie music themes by Bella Bartok (along with some Wendy Carlos compositions and themes by other hands), some chilling sound effects by Ivan Sharrock, and the marvelous Steadicam tracking camerawork (used extensively in the hotel corridors where we never know around which corner danger lurks and in a high shrub maze that seems evilly complex in construction) and early-on bird’s eye view shots of the Torrance car twice winding around a mountain road to deliver the family to its possible doom all contribute mightily to the film’s horrific effectiveness.

The casting of the three main characters might be unconventional; it may take more than one viewing to reconcile oneself to Shelley Duvall’s jittery, sputtering, dead-in-the-eyes take on Wendy, and Danny Lloyd isn’t a particularly charismatic young actor (imagine what Haley Joel Osment in his prime could have done with the role). And Jack Nicholson? Well, his over-the-top take on Jack is unusual, and it certainly holds one’s attention. Perhaps under the circumstances, that’s all that one could hope for. To his credit, Nicholson does build his performance from a slightly off kilter man in his initial interview for the job to the manic lunatic we see in the latter third of the picture. It’s actually a thoughtful performance whose extremes are understandable amid the other ghostly happenings at the Overlook Hotel. Pros Scatman Crothers, hotel director Barry Nelson, doctor Anne Jackson, barkeep Joe Turkel, and racist butler Philip Stone all add variety either directly into the story or around its fringes.

Maybe The Shining isn’t all that it could have been, but it does manage in no little way to produce an ample supply of goose pimples even on repeated viewings. That’s no small feat.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

The film’s 1.85:1 original theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully rendered in this 2160p transfer using the HEVC codec and abetted with Dolby Vision. The image features way above average sharpness, very good color levels (the reds in those vibrant chairs in the lounge are rich but never bloom), and solid fine details as in wallpaper textures which are occasionally quite visible. The overall image appears brighter than one remembers and is virtually spotless. The interwoven herringbone, tweed, and corduroy jackets don’t cause the slightest line twitter or flashing in the image. Black levels are appropriately deep but maybe not quite as dark as they might have been while the abundance of white levels due to all the snow is handled beautifully with Dolby Vision not making things look unnaturally bright. Flesh tones are a major improvement in this new UHD transfer, now much more lifelike and less red than in earlier transfers. The movie has been divided into 40 chapters.

Audio: 4.5/5

The only English audio choice is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 remixed track. The original theatrical mono is no longer a choice for the listener. While the audio’s mono origins occasionally reveal themselves in scenes where modern mixes would have noticeable surround but this mix doesn’t, the 5.1 soundtrack allows the creepy music and chilling audio effects to greatly enhance the effectiveness of the film’s many shocking moments. Problems in earlier transfers with stifled looped dialogue have been eliminated here, and the dialog in the center channel is clear. There are no age-related problems with hiss or other anomalies.

Special Features: 4/5

Almost all of the bonus features from the last Blu-ray release have been carried over to this 4K release. The theatrical trailer is missing.

Audio Commentary: a combination of comments from Steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter. It’s an informative though slightly dry recital of information about the making of the film and for fans of the movie is quite an engaging listen. This is available on both the package’s UHD and Blu-ray discs.

All of the other bonus features are only on the enclosed Blu-ray disc.

View from the Overlook: Crafting The Shining (30:22, SD): a standard “making of” featurette featuring comments from the movie’s camera operator, writer, production designer, costumer, producer, and star (Nicholson) looking back on their experiences of working on the movie.

The Visions of Stanley Kubrick (17:17, SD): a discussion of Kubrick’s background as a still photographer and how that influenced his camera eye in the making of his films.

The Making of ‘The Shining’ (34:59, SD): Stanley Kubrick’s daughter Vivian Kubrick’s filmed documentary made during the production of the film. Along with the movie is a running commentary by Ms. Kubrick looking back on her (then) 27-year old effort and making some astute comments on the people involved and her own sometimes clumsy attempts at making this film.

Wendy Carlos, Composer (7:31, SD): the composer plays some music from both The Shining and A Clockwork Orange, most of which didn‘t make it into the final films.

Digital Copy: enclosed in the disc case. Movies Anywhere adaptable.

Overall: 4/5

Stanley Kubrick’s examination of the pervasiveness of evil and the disintegration of a family from that evil finally gets its best-ever video release with this UHD presentation of The Shining. For fans of the movie, it’s a must-buy. It’s never looked or sounded better.

Published by

Matt Hough

editor,member

77 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 in my area have stock of both titles.

  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 knowledgeable insiders and the cream of the crop.
    Like "2001" there comes a point where one should just sit back, stop torturing themselves, and simply bask within its beauty.
    This 4K is a wonderful disc.

  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 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…

  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.;)
    Seriously, though, this 4K of "The Shining" looks fantastic;
    and is far superior to what we've ever had or known.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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…

  22. 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 comes from a place that makes our daily film discussions always worthwhile.

  23. 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, questioned and observed;
    but never captured, codified nor pinned down.

  24. 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.

  25. "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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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?

  29. 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?

  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 very 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 who is considering this 4K/UHD edition:

    • "It's a must buy. It's never looked or sounded better." – Matt Hough, Home Theater Forum
    • "A Must Buy" – Michael S. Palmer, hidefdigest
    • "A+ Picture quality. An essential release for any serious cinephile" – Bill Hunt, thedigitalbits

    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.
    Just pop it in and 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 some 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. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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”

  45. 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:

  46. 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.

  47. 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?

  48. 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.

  49. 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?

  50. 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?

  51. 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.

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