Review of The Shining mini-series

Discussion in 'The Shining' started by Neil W, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Neil W
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    Neil W Well-Known Member

    Let's face facts, this miniseries suffers simply by virtue of being a miniseries. It is underbudgeted, underdirected, and to some extent watered down by virtue of the fact that it is intended for TV transmission. Kubrick's version has much greater production values and is more slickly produced.

    But Kubrick's version tells Kubrick's story, and that is about a man on the edge of madness, who hates his family, tipped over the edge by the malevolence of the Overlook.

    The miniseries tells King's story, the tragedy of a good, sane, but weak man, who loves his family, corrupted into betraying them - possessed, even - by the malevolence of the Overlook.
    It is this central relationship between Jack and his family which marks the difference between the two versions, and it is of such vast significance that, quite frankly, the two different versions are actually different stories which share some of the same trimmings.

    King's story has a poignant beauty. Kubrick's story is hateful.

    Unfortunately, the child playing Danny is simply indescribably unsuitable for the part.
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  2. Shoesalesman
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    Shoesalesman Well-Known Member

    I thought the '97 series was pretty darn good.
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  3. DanishReader
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    DanishReader Active Member

    I prefer the miniseries over Kubrick's version anytime. I also think that this miniseries is Mick Garris' best work, at least when it comes to King material.
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  4. skimom2
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    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I agree that the weakness of this movie was it being a miniseries. Presumably shot to make up even episodes, it felt like there was at least a half hour of pointless atmosphere shots. Not loving the child actor either, but kids are notoriously terrible to work with (the kid on Kubrick's version was just as grating).

    This was a stronger script than Kubrick's version, however. The tension builds at a more even pace (despite the obligatory time-eating atmosphere shots), hitting the notes it needed to hit with more realism.

    I can't say enough good about Rebecca DeMornay and Mario Van Peebles--both played their characters much truer to Mr. King's headpeople--but the highest praise has to go to Steven Weber. He nailed the character of Jack; his pain, his hope, his deep love for his family. It's excruciating, yet beautiful, to watch the way his character evolves from beginning to end, as the Overlook tightens it's grip on him. The scene near the end where
    he has Danny trapped in the upstairs hall, right before he has his last flash of the real Jack
    is one of the most unsettling and scary things I've ever seen on TV. I'm a pretty laid back mom about what my kids watch, but The Shining is still verboten for my LilMan, largely based on that scene.
    king family fan and Neesy like this.

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