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The Shining: Book vs Movie? - Page 7

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Thread: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    I have spent this entire last weekend immersed in The Shining. I'm re-reading the book, and I watched both movies. The book, of course, is better. As for the movies I prefer the mini-series. As for Kubrick's version? Well, I never cared that much for it and after this re-visitation I have downgraded it to crap. It's full of pretty sweeping shots of long hallways and that's about it. It has absolutely no character development. The idea that it is a study in psychological terror is crap. The family checks into the hotel, and suddenly Nicholson's crazy and ready to hack up his family. No build up, no development. What little is learned of the characters is told mostly through exposition, people just sitting around talking for seemingly interminable lengths of time. Nicholson playing crazy is no stretch, it's what he does best. But the character of Jack Torrance needed some subtlety. Yep, after re-watching Kubrick's version I now thoroughly despise it. But really, I never liked much of anything Kubrick did after Spartacus.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the book is always going to be better than the film (or television show). There are exceptions. The Showtime series "Dexter" took the interesting idea presented in a series of books and ran with it. It suffices to say that I don't even suggest reading the books. Then there are the awful Twilight books. I can't say the movies are any good (truth be told I didn't get past the first book or movie), but the film is certainly better than the painfully bad book. These are the recent exceptions that leap to mind. I like to mention an exception to prove the rule.

    The book is almost always better. The book is almost always infinitely better. In the case of The Shining, I actually saw the movie before I read the book. It wasn't my choice. I found the film entertaining enough in that I didn't leave the building demanding my money back. It was certainly better than many of the horror movies out as contemporaries as well as many today. I read the book not long after, dreading the fact that seeing the damn thing first was going to taint and damage my enjoyment. To my relief that was not the case. The movie and book were so different (and the book so much better) that the film was overwritten in my head. It took about halfway through the book for the actors to fade as mental images to be replaced by the people my own mind conjured from the descriptions. Character development in films is always going to be hobbled because there is no way to give us access to that interior monologue. The few ways film have attempted this have always come off silly (think of the horrible film adaptation of Dune). I suspect this is why the written word (whether on a page or a screen) will always triumph over the glamours of television and the movies.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    As a fan, it's no surprise that I like the book far better than either movie adaptation. The book is the source; it is THE story, and in usual SK style, it's told brilliantly. It's in my top 5 faves by King, so I have a special place in my heart for The Shining, and so I've read it several (6 or 7) times.

    As for the 2 movie adaptations, I think I like the TV miniseries version better. It just got more of the story itself (details!) out there on the screen, and while I love Jack Nicholson, I think Weber got the "normal guy trying to love his family and beat his demons" thing down a bit better. I never liked that Nicholson was creepy and sinister from the get-go in Kubrick's version, and I never liked that SO MUCH was left out. Even the titular murder weapon was changed from mallet to axe. I also thought DeMornay did a better job of portraying Wendy...Wendy from the book was strong, and resourceful (the hotel even ruminates at one point that maybe it should have been dealing with her all along [book]...) while Duvall was a ninny. That being said...

    While Kubrick's version was my least favorite adaptation, there are three things I felt he got better than the miniseries. #1 Danny: The original movie Danny was BRILLIANT. The kid in the miniseries, not so much. In the miniseries, it seemed like they went for cute and adorable and saccharine sweet, whereas Kubrick got a kid that seemed sharp, precocious, and terrified. #2 The Overlook itself. I'm led to believe that the miniseries Overlook was actually closer in scope to the hotel that partially inspired the story; however Kubrick's huge, rambling hotel was just sinister and exuded an atmosphere of isolation. #3 Crazy Jack. Weber did a better job overall; but there's something to be said for all-out-murderous-rage Nicholson; you can'tt deny it was a powerful performance. If only Nicholson could have portrayed himself as a decent dude in the beginning...

    Hands down, book wins of course. I don't know if anyone could do a visual/movie version of The Shining and do it true justice. It's truly the stuff of nightmares.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    Hello, my fellow Weave,

    Quote Originally Posted by Weave30 View Post
    When I finally bought the Kubrick version of the book, although I thought that was very good too, it almost annoyed me with the amount of detail either altered or missed out completely.
    There is a Kubrick version of the book? I had no idea. That would be a strange read.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    I loved the book. I had read it multiple time from 78 or 79 until the movie came out in 1980. At first I though as all here did: the movie did the book serious injustice. However, as I have had more time to ponder the movie and actually watch what Kubrick did with the source material... I have to say, Kubricks genius is on a completely different level then King, at least regarding The Shining.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    I first read the book when I was about 12, & didn't see the movie until much later. I have since reread the book a few more times & seen the movie several times as well. I haven't seen the mini series at all so cannot comment on that. I actually see both the book & the Kubrick movie as great works of art in their own right. I guess, as a book nerd I always tend to prefer the experience of reading the book to seeing the movie based on it. With the book, you get to go on a quite intimate journey with the writer's vision, imagining how the characters look, & how they enact the scenarios of the story. With movies I often get annoyed by the way so much of the book's subtle details are lost, & how instead of using your own imagination, you are spoon fed someone else's vision of the events. Books are the original interactive medium!
    With The Shining, I guess I ultimately prefer the book as there is so much more detail & suspense. There's also a lot more focus on the malign "personality" of the Overlook itself, with Jack Torrance's obsessive delving into it's history. What else -the scene with the wasp nest, the hedge animals, Danny's horrible encounter in the playground, Dick Halloran's terrifying drive up to the Overlook, etc...also how the lady I'm the bath is old & ugly in the book instead of young & hot in the movie! :-)
    However, I do really like the movie. It's one of my favourites...it is full of iconic imagery & is certainly extremely scary & menacing, even if the story is presented in a very different way. I am a horror fan, but I tend to find a lot of horror movies (as opposed to books) cliched & obvious. The Shining is definitely a very high quality horror movie!
    One of the things that does kind of bug me about the movie (as a fan of the book) is how the hotel manager loudly announces that the Overlook is built on an Indian burial ground! Whereas in the book, the manager is very secretive about the hotel's dark history.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by weave9 View Post
    Hello, my fellow Weave,



    There is a Kubrick version of the book? I had no idea. That would be a strange read.
    Really? I don't think there is a Kubrick version of the novel. Someone correct me if there is.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim D. View Post
    I have spent this entire last weekend immersed in The Shining. I'm re-reading the book, and I watched both movies. The book, of course, is better. As for the movies I prefer the mini-series. As for Kubrick's version? Well, I never cared that much for it and after this re-visitation I have downgraded it to crap. It's full of pretty sweeping shots of long hallways and that's about it. It has absolutely no character development. The idea that it is a study in psychological terror is crap. The family checks into the hotel, and suddenly Nicholson's crazy and ready to hack up his family. No build up, no development. What little is learned of the characters is told mostly through exposition, people just sitting around talking for seemingly interminable lengths of time. Nicholson playing crazy is no stretch, it's what he does best. But the character of Jack Torrance needed some subtlety. Yep, after re-watching Kubrick's version I now thoroughly despise it. But really, I never liked much of anything Kubrick did after Spartacus.
    Well, now you have to watch this!
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085910/
    Last edited by carrie's younger brother; May 17th, 2013 at 09:12 AM. Reason: To correct spelling

  9. #69
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    The book is definitely better than both the movie and mini-series. I hate the movie by Kubrick, because there is too little left from the original story, and I also disliked the actors chosen for the movie, especially the ones who played Danny and Wendy (I still cannot understand why Wendy had to have dark hair, though originally she was described as a typical blond?). I like mini-series more, I really like Rebecca de Mornay as Wendly, and Courtland Mead as Danny. Steven Weber is also a good actor. In the mini-series they kept all the meaningful parts of the original movie, so I liked it.

    As for Naomi Watts playing Wendy... Naomi Watts is my favorite actress ever, she is truly talented. But somehow I cannot imagine her playing Wendy...

  10. #70
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    Default Re: The Shining: Book vs Movie?

    The best part of Kubrick's film is the fact that the hotel floor plan couldn't really exist. Look up Rob Ager's video on The Shining's spatial awareness on YouTube. Windows and doors that shouldn't exist.

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