Despite my being a major Kubrick fan, imho The Shining is a seriously flawed effort, its departure from the novel notwithstanding. Its message seems to be that Nicholson's ability to act crazy is enough.
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The Kubrick movie based (very loosely) on The Shining is watchable. Nicholson did not descend into madness, he was a section 4 right from the off. The heart of the book is Jack`s slide into madness. Now this is my first day on this site and I hope the following will not make it my last. The remake with Weber and DeMornay Jesus wept! Neither can act and they do it so well. Nicholson would have nuked those wasps and that would be that. Weber and DeMornay nuked whatever plot the movie had. Doc goes missing an alarming amount of times in the first 15 minutes at the Overlook. Each time Jack, Wendy and Halloran look more an more surprised. Doc is on the sh**er with locked door and foaming mouth. When Doc comes round Jack bashes his son`s head off the porcelain. There is no need for an Overlook with Weber. He is a natural disaster with or without booze. When shown the freezer Wendy thrall all with her acumen by announcing "Enough to feed an army" Its a hotel you stupid blonde bitch! OK folks, rant over.
I'm still reading King's novel. I know, I'm a slow reader, so sue me. I agree that both the original novel and Kubrick's film are worlds apart in many respects, but on the other hand, I love them both to death. I actually saw the film before I began reading the book, so my conception of the characters may be more than a little tainted; as radically different in personality as he is from the novel's version of the character, Jack Nicholson's performance is so iconic and memorable that I can't help but see him in the novel.
As a director, Kubrick didn't really like people much, and it shows in his filmography. It's a telling moment that the first thing an ape does with his newfound intelligence in 2001: A Space Odyssey is to utilize a bone as a weapon for hunting and killing. That tendency towards misanthropy carries over to Kubrick's Shining. With many of his sympathetic qualities downplayed or removed altogether, the central question regarding Jack Torrance is not if he's going to descend into madness, but when. There are hints to the troubled, moody alcoholic from the novel, but Kubrick's par-for-the-course detachment keeps us away. There is a dearth of warmth in the film in the treatment of the Torrance family and their plight. We never or hear from Tony. We never delve into Jack or Wendy's backstories, which I think are critical components of their personalities. People in Stanley's movies are usually just cyphers. Don't get me wrong, I love Stanley Kubrick. He's one of my biggest influences, alongside King, but he's definitely not for everyone's tastes. He's very cerebral, his films, like David Lynch, often puzzling, and at the same time captivating.
...understandable...the movie has some, by now, iconic imagery and acting....it just wasn't a very good adaptation.....All I have to say about the miniseries vs the movie is that while the series was definitely more faithful to the book, I watched it more recently than the movie and I hardly remember it, but I remember the movie quite well.