Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Shining (1980) review


SUPERNATURAL-The seventh of the favorite subjects of Stanley Kubrick, as the booklet foretells.

PLOT:Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is an ex-alcoholic writer who just wants some peace and quiet with his work. When he gets a job offer to look after the Overlook Hotel for it's off-season, he willingly accepts and his family move there and make themselves comfortable. But with the snow keeping them in, will the thoughts of isolation get to them? Not to mention, that the last caretaker had gone insane and murdered his whole family. The son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), finds out he has a power to predict the future and talk with other powered people in his head called "shining" and he uses it to contact his new friend, the black cook (Scatman Crothers) to help. Is there really supernatural happenings in this hotel, or are the family just getting a severe case of cabin fever? It's a great plot executed to almost the absolute best.

ACTING:The acting in here is quite awesome. Nicholson takes his roll as Jack and makes it his. No one could've done it as well as he did. Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance did a great job to. You could really see the fear in her eyes. Lloyd, though being a child actor, did a great job and made his scariest scenes unnerving. Every other actor did a more-than-decent job.

SCORE:The score for this is an unsettiling marvel; it hightens your senses to the point where you just feel disturbed.

CAMERAWORK:Kubrick shines again with his trademark camerawork. He uses the camera in such a way that you can feel the isolation and disturbia.

OTHER CONTENT:This film is where Kubrick starts to fall from his best works. I docked this one rating because I haven't read the book, and most have said it falls from it. I docked it another because though you can feel Kubrick intently in this, you can see that its greatness doesn't match up to some of his past works. But moving on, Kubrick crafts this to where the suspense is like something you can cut with a knife. Every moment is painstaking to the moment you don't know what will happen next. When something does happen, it's like you snap back to reality to such a point where it's disturbing and actually scary.

OVERALL,a great Kubrick film with a great plot, awesome acting, unsettling score, camerawork you can feel, well-crafted suspense, and disturbing scares, but the book is rumored to be fell from and you can tell in the feel that this is where Kubrick's dying out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barry Lyndon (1975) review



IDENTITY-The sixth of Kubrick's favorite subjects as forementioned by the booklet.

PLOT:Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) is a simple, poor Irishman that lives with his aunt in 1700s Ireland and is in love with his cousin, Nora. When he gets in a duel over her with a British trooper, he's forced to flee his home; changing names and going through many hard events. Along the chain of events, he marries a rich lady named Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) and becomes a rich Irishman, but this is where the troubles of now-named Barry Lyndon rev up. All through his life, he tries to be a pampered gentlemen, but is that really what he's supposed to be? It is a simple plot executed to the finest degree of unpredictability.

ACTING:The acting is top quality. O'Neal does a brilliant job of Redmond. There wasn't a sour actor in here. The shiners were Gay Hamilton as Nora, Leonard Rossiter as Capt. Quin, Leon Vitali as Lord Bullingdon, and of coures Berenson as Lady Lyndon.

SCORE:The score is mainly Irish music, but it's very well done throughout; even if it doesn't always fit the mood.

CAMERAWORK:Like 2001, this Kubrick classic contains some of the finest, most beautiful camerawork as he captures the landscapes, emotions, and action. Even during the fast scenes, any shaky cam goes down not as mistakes, but nostalgia.

OTHER CONTENT:Now, it is said in the booklet that Kubrick uses reverse psychology to make the audience wonder why Barry Lyndon is so important since there is a three-hour movie about him. The real truth behind this is that he's messing with his audience; Barry Lyndon is unimportant unless you find him important. "Barry Lyndon is Barry Lyndon as BARRY LYNDON is BARRY LYNDON." I thought this was clever, but pointless, for it was slow and made you wonder: what did I just watch? The movie is cinematic magic, but it has no real idea to it; a pointless gem if you will. I also found it lacking in substance compared to Kubrick's previous films. But enough of the bad, let's get back to the good. The script is well-written and the scenes are tense from perfect build-up of suspense and release of emotion.

OVERALL, a great Kubrick film with a perfectly unpredictable plot, top quality acting, well done score, beautiful camerawork, a well-written script, and perfect suspense build-up, but it lacks in substance through comparison and it's really pointless.