Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : The Shining

images (11)

Opening shot takes us along a beautiful mountain road arriving at an old hotel secluded in the mountains. A writer takes on the job of caretaking the hotel over the winter. His wife and young son accompany him. The isolation, the hotels violent past and it’s living breathing horrors help drive the already unstable writer crazy. Putting his wife and child in danger.

When this film came out there was more than a little anticipation on my part. The three reasons were Kubrick, King and Nicholson. I was a big fan of all their works. I felt I was in for a real treat. And as it turned out I was.

Kubrick puts his stamp on the story. It’s his style with a lot of substance. He has a lot to work with. A really good story by Stephen King and casting choices in Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall that are perfect. Kubrick builds the sense of isolation and the hotel’s ever tightening hold on Jack. It really is scary shit when someone is losing their mind. Stanley’s camera angles, lighting, movement, music give the hotel Overlook a  menacing life. It’s alive and it’s working on the Torrences. So many great scenes and shots.

download (30)

download (31)

download (32)

download (34) download (33)

images (12)

The performances are solid and Kubrick makes the most of them. Joe Turkel as the stoic bartender Lloyd and Philip Stone as Grady the previous caretaker (“your family needs correction Mr Torrence”) are memorable and bang on.  Scatman Crothers adds some nice work. Jack Nicholson gives a slow burn into madness. He is pretty subtle throughout (which I really like) but takes the reigns off at the end. You believe he’s fucking gonesville.  Shelly Duvall really does some nice work here. We can really feel her being in the situation. Her inherent innocence and vulnerability really adds to her believability. I can’t say enough about her performance. Her Wendy is just too nice  a person for this to  happen to. Helpless and scared shitless.

I felt trapped and not safe as this film played out. Stanley Kubrick’s direction made me feel this way. He really does make a good film. It is a head trip that engaged me from the start right up to the end. So if you’re looking for a little weekend getaway with your sweety take a pass on The Overlook. Bad things happen there.

49 comments on “Movie : The Shining

  1. Aphoristical
    November 10, 2019

    The kid in the trike is so weird. Indian burial ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    November 10, 2019

    Great movie, great acting, of course, Jack Nicholson! But also lots of symbolism in the movie that has given many conspiracy theorists much to talk about…I don’t know if I believe all of it but it is entertaining…great post CB

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      I leave all that “conspiracy” stuff to others. I’ll stick with your “entertaining” side of things. Thanks Francisco. I just really liked the whole vibe of this film. A little off center like Jack’s character.

      Like

      • Francisco Bravo Cabrera
        November 10, 2019

        Jack’s the best! Always been my second best preferred male actor of all time, behind only Robert DeNiro, well maybe at times ahead. No, I’m not into believing any of that conspiracy stuff, I am just entertained by it, at times, if they don’t get too preachy. Great blog CB, look forward to the next post! Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 10, 2019

        We are on the same page with DeNiro and Jack. Back when they put out some of the best work I’ve seen on film.
        Like you i get into some of that conspiracy stuff also. Interesting how different people see and process things. If you tell the mind something often enough it will believe it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Francisco Bravo Cabrera
        November 10, 2019

        Yep! I agree…sometimes when you repeat something often enough, even if it is false, it rings true…who knows? But remember, “The Truth is Out There” Peace, cheers

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    November 10, 2019

    Well, I guess it was inevitable that C to the B would get around to this one. (And the sequel, Doctor Sleep, is now in theaters.) I think the reaction to this movie is you either love it or kinda like it. I’m in the latter category. I cannot argue with you about the performances, the overall genius of Kubrick, etc.

    But for a movie to work it has to do the main thing that it sets out to do. So if it’s a comedy, I have to laugh – a lot. If a drama, I have to feel something for the characters, maybe come away with some new revelation about the “human condition.” And if it’s a horror movie, well, it has to scare me. So all the pieces are there but at the end of the day, this movie never did scare me very much. For me, it didn’t do its job. By contrast, I’ve seen “The Exorcist” no less than 10 or 12 times. It is a much scarier movie with all the elements (direction, acting, etc) and is even kinda believable. And at the center of the story is the priest’s moral quandary about faith. It works on a lot of levels.

    So, I am gonna be the party-pooper here and say I am not on the Kubrick train here. But speaking of conspiracies, check out the documentary “Room 237” sometime about the interpretations of this movie. Oddball stuff yet somehow fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      All good stuff Doc. I would agree that ‘The Exorcist’ is a more scare the shit out of you move but watching someone descend into mental illness is pretty scary also. Plus dragging everyone along with him. I thought Nicholson between moments of madness would have a little clarity “what’s happening to me”?
      Lets just say it scared me on a different level. You know how much I liked ‘The Exorcist’. Different films but both good ones in my book.
      Never seen the 237 thing. If you say it’s interesting I’ll get around to it.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        November 10, 2019

        My kid told me about it. It’s odd but very interesting. Like CB.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 10, 2019

        I will check that out on that note. I’ve had someone else point that out also (CB being odd).

        Like

      • Jim S.
        November 10, 2019

        Can’t blame your gal. She knows you best.

        Liked by 1 person

    • J.
      November 11, 2019

      Speaking as someone who saw The Exorcist properly when the ban was lifted in the UK in the late 90’s, I can’t say it scared me at all. Perhaps the notoriety and my age at the time defined it as just another horror flick. Amityville scared me more. But neither of those flicks moved me the way The Shining still does.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        November 11, 2019

        Huh! Interesting. Yeah, I think by then everybody and his cousin had adopted all of its tricks and scary stuff. But at the time it was released, it was a watershed. Go back and find any of the news videos of the time on YouTube. It was a cultural phenomenon with people fainting and being carried out. Sometimes it’s the less ‘artistic’ and just plain dumb ones that get you the most. We saw “The Hills Have Eyes” at a drive-in and it scared the shit out of us. Only later did director Wes Craven’s name mean anything.

        BTW, the way you feel about ‘Exorcist’ is the way I feel about much of the crop of current or recent-era horror films that are touted. ‘It,’ ‘The Conjuring’, ‘It Follows,’ ‘Us’, ‘Blair Witch,’ A Quiet Place,’ ‘Hereditary.’ – saw ’em all. Not bad movies but scarewise, a big snore. Maybe I’m just too jaded.

        Liked by 2 people

      • J.
        November 11, 2019

        I can’t remember the last time I got a genuine scare from something. Possibly the first time I saw Halloween as a pup back in the early 90’s. Poltergeist was one that freaked me out, but I don’t know if I was scared.

        I like a few of those flicks you mention, but they didn’t scare me at all.

        And back to the Exorcist, I remember catching all that news stuff back in the late 90’s (had a look and it was 99). I sorta viewed it like the Evil Dead after reading about people being sick, fainting and having heart attacks and what have you. But like you say, I would have seen flicks that had been heavily influenced by that. Well made flick, but I was perhaps not the audience for it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jim S.
        November 11, 2019

        I can’t remember the last time I got a genuine scare from a flick either. If I see one more movie where something pops up suddenly….

        Liked by 2 people

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        UK ban? I cant keep up with all the nonsense that goes on around the planet. Someone got their knickers in a knot?

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        November 11, 2019

        Oh aye. This wasn’t available in the UK until the late 90’s. I understand folks (Christian groups) petitioned against it a few times. Reading the Wiki and it mentions a pulled video release in the 80’s.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        We don’t seem to get as jacked up over here. To many heathens like CB.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        November 11, 2019

        Haha. The BBFC are notorious for stopping stuff or making sure it’s heavily edited.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 2loud2oldmusic
    November 10, 2019

    I saw this when I was pretty young and it freaked me out. So many moments that scarred me for a long time…but in a good way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      That’s the deal when seeing things when were young. They make an impression and stay with us. Kinda like my grade 8 phys ed teacher.
      I have to pop over to 2loud to see what’s up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2loud2oldmusic
        November 10, 2019

        I want to know about the phys ed teacher!!

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        Didnt Lynyrd Skynrd have a memorable PE teacher. Mine was mean and cruel with a bad rug on his head.

        Like

  5. Yeah, Another Blogger
    November 10, 2019

    I’ve never seen it. It’s too scary for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      You know what to stay away from Neil. Some good stuff in the film but lots of waiting around for things to get worse and they do. The whole isolation thing plays with the mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hotfox63
    November 10, 2019

    I didn’t know that CB likes horror flicks. Anyway: this as brilliant, creepy film from Kubrick, with mesmerizing camera work and bizarre, arresting set pieces. Nicholson is a marvel to watch as his character evolves from a slightly odd but functioning adult to raving psychopath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      I like any film that is good (Rom-coms scare the hell out of me) in most genres just like music.
      I agree with your comment Fox. You can feel the sense of isolation that Kubrick creates weighing heavy on the whole piece. It works it’s pressure on Jack finally squeezing him into the breaking point.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris
    November 10, 2019

    Nicholson is quite devilish in his appearance, I can’t imagine anyone else as Jack Torrance. Agree The Shining is a head trip with fantastic production design though I think Jim S. is right that The Exorcist is scarier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      Like I said to Jim, different scary. We discussed The Shining on your take (a good in depth one). I should have sent folks there for a peek.
      I think nowadays they would special effects it to death and try to make more of it. Just the descent into madness did it for me plus the life like ghosts. Scary shit for a half crazy guy like CB.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        November 10, 2019

        Good point about how they would likely fuck it up today with CGI. I already got my ticket to see the new Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesce movie. I’m gonna see it at the theater the way God intended then it’s on Netflix.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        I await your take. I want Irishman to be good. Yes big screen is the way to go. Im waiting to watch it on my phone.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        November 11, 2019

        As God intended it. Follow that up with Lawrence of Arabia. Make it a double feature.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        nothing like the iphone to bring out the motion picture experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. 1537
    November 10, 2019

    I’ve always thought this movie was just genius. I love everything about it, I wore out my ‘Overlook Hotel’ T-shirt only a couple of months back. You got the soundtrack LP? I haven’t, it’s worth some serious notes these days.

    One last thing. Here’s the romantic comedy trailer for The Shining:

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2019

      I think you showed me that clip before. I’m still laughing. They should have seriously used that back in the day. Hats off to the person who put that together.
      I’m with you on your comment. And no I don’t have the LP (what was I thinking?). Does the ‘Clockwork’ album count? I did the same thing with my ‘Sid Vicious T’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jim S.
      November 10, 2019

      Now, see, I’d pay to see that rom-com version. I love a good cry.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. christiansmusicmusings
    November 11, 2019

    I’m not much of a movie expert, but “The Shining” is definitely one of the best pictures I know.

    Nicholson plays his part so well that you really believe he’s nuts. His facial expressions are just crazy!

    Shelly Duval and the little boy are pretty amazing as well.

    I also like the fact this picture doesn’t depend on any special effects. Instead, it’s carried forward by a good suspenseful story, great acting and great camera work.

    Great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. J.
    November 11, 2019

    Excellent take, CB. I love this flick… it’s sense of isolation and that descent into madness terrified me. Still does when I think of it. It’s one that works on different levels… and that role was made for Nicholson, huh? He’s brilliant. He’s one of the best… and I have him above DeNiro.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 11, 2019

      Good comment J. The whole isolation thing was the kicker. Stanley captured that. Scary shit.Yeah him and DeNiro did some good stuff. Pretty consistent output back when

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        November 11, 2019

        I’m fancying watching this again, even gearing up for a Monday movie… but just realised I no longer have it. That’s a kicker.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 11, 2019

        I do that a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        November 11, 2019

        I’d sold off most of my DVDs when I was moving last year, so I do it an awfy lot!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: