Review of The Shining mini-series

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

  1. Neil W

    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.
    blunthead and Neesy like this.
  2. Shoesalesman

    Shoesalesman Well-Known Member

    I thought the '97 series was pretty darn good.
    blunthead and Neesy like this.
  3. DanishReader

    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.
    blunthead, Neesy and skimom2 like this.
  4. skimom2

    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.
  5. RichardX

    RichardX Well-Known Member

    I had remembered this one as being bad but had largely forgotten it. Watched a few minutes of it on Encore this weekend and couldn't believe just how awful this was. Elliot Gould may have been the biggest ham in the history of TV in his brief scenes. They should have a cult following. It was fall on the floor and laugh material. A total disaster. Time has not been kind to this one. I realize a lot of King fans, including King himself, had issues with the Kubrick movie. But comparing the two is brutal. That is not an entirely fair comparison due to budget and actors, but this miniseries was like an Ed Wood film. I did like Rebecca DeMornay although I thought she was Traci Lords from her Tommyknockers period until I looked it up. They look almost identical.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
    blunthead likes this.
  6. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Beta Tester/Moderator Moderator

    I thought Steven Weber did a brilliant and equally terrific job as Jack Nicholson. I loved him. Rebecca left Shelley in her dust.

    Mario and the kid bugged me. But Scatman and Kubrick's kid drove me nuts too.

    I liked the mini-series.
    blunthead likes this.
  7. RichardX

    RichardX Well-Known Member

    I re-watched the first two parts and admit I was a bit harsh. I stand by the assessment, however, that Elliot Gould must have had a lobotomy before his bizarre scene. And what is with that kid who played Danny? He talks like he had some type of sinus blockage. That was so annoying I was pulling for the woman in room 217. And even the shape of his head was distracting. Second only to the "Dougie" kid in "Satan's Little Helper." That kid was so annoying I was pulling for Satan (but the movie is good). Was that the Gage Creed Orchestra on the invitations?
  8. mal

    mal Active Member

    Loved the book. Like Kubrick's treatment better than the mini-series. Book was best though!
  9. OldDarth

    OldDarth Well-Known Member

    It's funny, the mini-series hews so much closer to the book but it ultimately falls flat because, like the movie, their success lies on the shoulders of the actor cast to play Danny. And in both adaptations that casting was a failure.

    Weber and especially DeMornay were excellent. The Danny/Tony scenes - especially in the closing scene - were technically and artistically subpar.
  10. not_nadine

    not_nadine Nottie

    I liked the mini-series (see my avatar?) :rapture:

    Coulda done without Flagg's Mullet hairdo, though.

Share This Page

Finders Keepers