I personally have never cared much for anything Kubrick did. His technical skill is not in question but his movies, to me, have always lacked an emotional core. His films are cold and distant. As for The Shining, Stephen King doesn't care much for Kubrick's version and that's good enough for me. In Kubrick's version Jack Nicholson is pretty much ready to hack his family to bits the minute they arrive at the hotel. And as annoying as Shelley Duvall is who would blame him. And to me Nicholson's performance is just standard, crazy Jack Nicholson. While the mini-series suffers from the usual budgetary constraints of network television, it is a more faithful telling of SK's novel. Steven Weber was better suited to play the normal, everyday kind of fella that the Jack Torrance in the novel was, and we see his slow descent into madness. Everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes, but I'll take SK's movie version of his story over Kubrick's any day.
The movie is iconic. It's reputation seems to be growing over time. I never really understood the comments about it being different from the book. There is no way to capture every storyline in a two-hour movie, but it basically contains the major plot elements. The mini-series was a terrific bore long since forgotten. I think King's unfortunate criticism of the movie has led to something of a false controversy among fans. It was more an ego clash between a director and writer than anything concerning the movie.
I thought the movie was great and loved Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. I didn't care much for Shelley Duvall as Wendy. I've never seen the other version, so I can't really compare it or comment.
I Like the original movie but even though I love Jack N. I think he over acted it. What I love about the mini series was it was more deeper I thought Steven Weber was great it was good to see him in this role and love Rebecca :) But the TV version you got more of the sense of alcoholism & a better sense of the characters themselves . I notice alcohol thing in a lot of Stephen Kings movies. I think it's more true to the book. But the original movie is much more creepier/ disturbing LOL!! O_O
The novel is a great novel; the movie is a great movie. The miniseries is mediocre television.
So for me, the movie wins that battle, and it isn't even close.
I love the book.
I love the movie.
I love Jack Nicholson.
That is all.
I have to say, after an eightish hour movie fest watching both, I preferred the TV series over the Kubrick version. Sure, Kubrick had a way of making things creepy, but this story wasn't supposed to be just "creepy", it was meant to get under your skin and make you think that you could fit into either Jack or Wendy's situation. Kubrick's version made Jack seem a little unhinged from the start, but SK's original version, Jack seems like a very normal person from the start. How many of us haven't battled with the thought "Could I lose control and become an alcoholic?" or something of the like. What would we (personally) be like as a recovering alcoholic? What would it take for us to realize we have a problem and go into recovery?
As this started out as a University project (where I'll have to write a paper on the differences later), I've found myself elbow deep in this controversy. On one hand I can see how Stephen King is justified in his outrage over Kubrick's version. On the other, I can see how Kubrick's version could have appealed to the typical 1980's demography that might not have been familiar with King's works. However, one thing I would like to point out is how Kubrick's version mentions "Indian Motifs" "Indian Attacks" and "Indian Burial Ground". Why was that such a fascination then? Why did so many movies from the 80's feature those ideas (Poltergeist)? As soon as it started bringing that up I thought "Oh not this crap again".
Another thing is, the title infers how important "the shine" is to the plot. Kubrick understates the idea of the Shine WAY TOO MUCH. SK's version, the reason things in the hotel can move is thanks to the house controlling the boy's powers. Kubrick's version just acts as if the place is haunted (which is an overused concept today sure, but I guess not so much back then). Also, I really, really hate Kubrick's divergence of making Tony an imaginary friend and nothing more. I like how Tony is the kid's older self guiding him on in secret. It makes you wonder if he didn't use his powers in the future to guide his past self.
In a way, I'd like to state that SK's version has a lot more plot and subplot as well as open interpretation. SK's version leaves much more for you to contemplate than the Kubrick version, which seems to have been made for cheap thrills rather than a great story. That's why SK's version ends on a much happier note. SK's characters are more three dimensional whereas Kubrick's characters are on par with the second dimension only.
I liked both versions, but the kid who played Danny in the TV series seemed to cuddly and baby-ish for the part. Every time he talked he was just annoying. That was my only real hang up with the mini-series. Stephen Weber is always solid in any part he plays and Rebecca Demornay is still one of most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen. I could watch her sell insurance and be mesmerized...:love2: