Kubrick's Shining WORST novel adaptation ever!

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skimom2

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Oct 9, 2013
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Well ski-mom duce, if being scared sh1tless means being affected, then I was affected. :) Possibly even infected! And I think Scatman Crother's performance was incredible. It kind of gave this great individual who had been around for decades a great chance to show what he could do in a dramatic role. He was really the hero of the film. And I may be in the minority, but I thought Shelly Duvall was fantastic.
yep. Decent performances (though Nicholson did some scenery chewing). No heart to the film as there was to the novel, though. Like I said, as an adaptation it sucked. As a stand alone film, it was okay.
 

grin willard

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Feb 21, 2017
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yep. Decent performances (though Nicholson did some scenery chewing). No heart to the film as there was to the novel, though. Like I said, as an adaptation it sucked. As a stand alone film, it was okay.
Not to be argumentative SM2, I'd have to say it didn't suck as an adaptation, because it was not an adaptation! Saying The Shining film was a bad adaption of the book is like saying David Beckham sucks at ping pong. For a director like Stanley Kubrick, doing an adaption would have been aiming low. A "Lifetime" movie is an adaption. Did you like the "guy from the TV series Wings" (a show I've never seen) version? I didn't see it. It looked pretty boring. Jack was Jack. Maybe at that period someone like James Caan would have chosen to do a more fleshed out character. Did you like/dislike the film ending compared to the book ending, or what?
 
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grin willard

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There are so many things wrong with this movie, I just don't know where to begin. No wonder Mr. King pans it at every opportunity---it's simple awful. There is not one emotional connection between any of the characters--Danny is a little deer in headlights goober who stares off into space and talks to his finger--who is supposed to be Tony? Are you kidding me? There is no reason to like Danny--there is nothing redeemable about him except he is a child--and children should be protected.
How hard could it have been to have a disembodied voice? Danny is a prop. Like Wendy is a prop. There is nothing likable about her at all. She just looks and acts like a dumb backwoods idiot. Shoot if I was Jack l would drink too just having to be with that simpering moron.
Even my beloved Dick Halloran is worthless. Mooning at the camera there is no emotional bond between him and Danny. All these characters give paper doll cut out performances to move the plot--which is Jack Torrence turning into Waco Jacko.
Now don't get me wrong. I like Jack Nicholson. He is a hard working thoughtful actor. But did he read the book or just the piece of **** of a script that Kubrick wrote? All of Jack's scenes are out of character of the real tortured soul that was Jack Torrence in the book. All of his scenes are grossly over acted and why? There isn't even a decent back story to set up why Jacko goes waco.
Kubrick (genius) what did he see in the novel that he wanted to capture on film? The spooky hotel? The ghosty people that had no rhyme or reason? Or Jack Nicholson chasing people around with an ax. It is the stupidest movie I have ever seen.
Wow, that was rough! Whew. Please put this review on Amazon.com's Blu-ray edition of the film & see how many likes you get! Seriously, I'm curious. I mean wow, that review actually physically hurt me! I'm shaking! I can't even argue with it. It's like a burning building -- I can't get near it! Help somebody! Help me! Help me! Anyway this is an interesting take on the novel vs film. I don't agree with all of it, but it is interesting.

‘The Shining’ book and movie were terrifying in very different ways
 

grin willard

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"Hey! Funboys! Get a room!"

Oh wait, they're already in a room. Sorry guys. Let's give them some privacy.

 
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grin willard

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Feb 21, 2017
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Without the animated dogman/tuxedo guy from 'The Shining' film gif, with them turning around & staring at us & Wendy, my pithy comment loses something. :( How about this instead?

 

Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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No movie could top this book IMO, but I really do find both films to be good and I appreciate them both as an artists interpretation and nothing more.
Having lived with an alcoholic, I found the family dynamics in Kubrick's version to be on a different timeline of the same problem as those in the mini series. In the mini series it reminded me of the beginning, or the end, of a relationship poisoned and unable to survive an alcoholic while Kubrick's version reminded me of the middle (Duvall didn't portray much hope in the sense of ever actually striking out on her own), or having just given up. Some (but not all, of course) spouses of alcoholics develop a very worn and tired appearance. I think Kubrick was looking for this, as well as her exhaustion on set to further portray the idea of a wife who's lived with this so long that she's been beat down by it.
I personally think Danny Lloyd was about the cutest thing on the planet, and even if book/mini-series Danny was much more outgoing, talkative and willing to talk about his abilities, Kubrick's Danny struck a core with me as fitting into the typical alcoholic family; the role as the child, by being quiet, slightly secretive, and somewhat withdrawn. I fit that mold as a kid myself, and I thought his performance was pretty on par with his alleged life (even if he didn't realize at the time that his performance was on par!)
Only my opinions, of course. Again, I prefer the book hands down, but I do appreciate both films as works of art.
Cheers :)
 

presto123

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Apr 12, 2017
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I saw Kubrick's Shining long before I read the book so the fact that it wasn't faithful didn't bother me. I find the film very artsy obviously and quite atmospheric. I don't like the fact that Kubrick took the supernatural/ghost element out of it in favor of a guy slowly unraveling. Still in my top 10 fav horror movies of all time.
 

kevin_1990

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Apr 17, 2017
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You hit the nail on the head with danny you kind of dont want to say anything bad as he was a kid actor but your right what was that all about him talking to his finger it was hard to watch so cringy no wonder he retired from acting after it
 

Ceefor

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May 21, 2013
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You hit the nail on the head with danny you kind of dont want to say anything bad as he was a kid actor but your right what was that all about him talking to his finger it was hard to watch so cringy no wonder he retired from acting after it
I know it sounds bad, even though I thought the kid was brilliant, I actually did cringe at the talking to the finger bit.
 

Zone D Dad

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Apr 17, 2017
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I love Kubrick's film, but I like most of his work. Everything that he did in that period (from 2001 on) was cold and distant, both physically (in terms of set design and photography) and emotionally, and The Shining is no exception. This is evident in A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and Full Metal Jacket. The first time I saw The Shining, I was a young kid and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I had to view it a few times in order to really appreciate the film for what it does.

This said, I saw the film long before I read the novel and I like both for different reasons. King's book is one of my favorites. I read the novel as a teen and then read it again about 2 years ago. The second time around revealed a much darker, poignant story about a man struggling with alcoholism and his inner demons. I think it's ok to enjoy both the novel and the film for what they are - two artists telling different versions of the same ghost story. In other words, it's ok to love both the Rolling Stones Satisfaction and the Devo cover, although they couldn't be more different.
 

Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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I love Kubrick's film, but I like most of his work. Everything that he did in that period (from 2001 on) was cold and distant, both physically (in terms of set design and photography) and emotionally, and The Shining is no exception. This is evident in A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and Full Metal Jacket. The first time I saw The Shining, I was a young kid and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I had to view it a few times in order to really appreciate the film for what it does.

This said, I saw the film long before I read the novel and I like both for different reasons. King's book is one of my favorites. I read the novel as a teen and then read it again about 2 years ago. The second time around revealed a much darker, poignant story about a man struggling with alcoholism and his inner demons. I think it's ok to enjoy both the novel and the film for what they are - two artists telling different versions of the same ghost story. In other words, it's ok to love both the Rolling Stones Satisfaction and the Devo cover, although they couldn't be more different.
I enjoy both for the reasons you stated!
The book is (as usual in Kings work IMO) beautifully written. The character development in most of his books is simply outstanding; entire chapters can be devoted to such but not become boring, repetitive, nor do they lose the reader. Hours of character development, on screen, probably would.
There's theories about the movie floating around that Jack was already insane at the beginning of the film. Maybe, maybe not, but if someone has ever lived with (or grew up with a parent that is) an active alcoholic you come to accept that moodiness and those random rage episodes as normal. I've said it before but I see the family dynamics in the movie differently than I see the family dynamics in the book; the movie Jack and Wendy's marriage is hanging on by a thread and both of them know it, and the book marriage is hanging on by a thread but there's still a lot of love there. Both things are completely possible (even within the same marriage; just add or subtract X number of years. Some people power through but some people are only able to put up with it for so long.)
I can't see Jacks internal struggles or Wendy and Danny's silent worries about their problems as translating well to film, but that's just my opinion of course. Lots of movies were based off of books but were presented differently, contained omitted and/or added scenes, and were enjoyable to watch (Cuckoo's Nest is a good example, as the book was written from Chief Bromden's POV and the movie centered more around McMurphy. Or maybe Jack Nicholson is just really, really good at playing a crazy, lol).
 

Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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You hit the nail on the head with danny you kind of dont want to say anything bad as he was a kid actor but your right what was that all about him talking to his finger it was hard to watch so cringy no wonder he retired from acting after it
I never spoke to my finger much as a kid, but as an adult I've allowed rude strangers to have a chat with a choice finger of mine :D :D :D

IIRC Dan Lloyd had absolutely no desire to act after The Shining and stated that he just wanted to be home, being a kid and playing (I think) baseball, which he loved. When he was a kid filming the movie, he was so protected (by Kubrick) from upsetting scenes that could be disturbing to a small child that he thought he was filming a boring "grown-up" drama movie and had no real desire to see the finished product. He never even saw the actual movie he was in until he was a teenager.
 

Zone D Dad

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Yesterday I was listening to the Horror Movie Podcast (It's great if you're a fan of such things) and their latest episode details films adapted from SK's work. One of the hosts mentioned in passing an interview with Jack Nicholson in which he was asked to describe Stanley Kubrick in one word. Jack's choice was "meticulous". It made me chuckle considering some of the horror stories that have surfaced about how Kubrick treated his cast (although I feel rotten for Shelly Duvall).
 

Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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Yesterday I was listening to the Horror Movie Podcast (It's great if you're a fan of such things) and their latest episode details films adapted from SK's work. One of the hosts mentioned in passing an interview with Jack Nicholson in which he was asked to describe Stanley Kubrick in one word. Jack's choice was "meticulous". It made me chuckle considering some of the horror stories that have surfaced about how Kubrick treated his cast (although I feel rotten for Shelly Duvall).
Same here. Duvall later stated that she was really pissed then but understands now why he did what he did in order to get the performance out of her that she was after. If it was lip service and nothing more, I still give her credit for not bad mouthing him some odd decades later.
I enjoy Kubrick's works but I'm not a huge die hard fan that's read every account on him that I could. I do know that those who speak of him and his work have mentioned perfectionism, bordering on OCD but it worked in his films. People have complained about Duvall's role in the movie. I certainly don't worship Kubrick but I know enough now to understand that had he felt Duvall couldn't play the role, he would have gotten rid of her and re-cast someone else.
 

Zone D Dad

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Same here. Duvall later stated that she was really pissed then but understands now why he did what he did in order to get the performance out of her that she was after. If it was lip service and nothing more, I still give her credit for not bad mouthing him some odd decades later.
I enjoy Kubrick's works but I'm not a huge die hard fan that's read every account on him that I could. I do know that those who speak of him and his work have mentioned perfectionism, bordering on OCD but it worked in his films. People have complained about Duvall's role in the movie. I certainly don't worship Kubrick but I know enough now to understand that had he felt Duvall couldn't play the role, he would have gotten rid of her and re-cast someone else.
I know the performances have often been criticized and the decision to change characterization has been questioned ad nauseum. I had often said that if I were holed up with Shelly Duvall's character for 3 months, I'd reach for the axe too. I'm kidding of course but subsequent viewings have left me much more sympathetic to her character and how she plays the role. She's a victim at the start of the film, and her performance displays desperation to keep her family together, delusion in thinking Jack has changed his ways, and fear of the monster that she already knows lurks beneath the surface. This all comes out in the scene in which she discusses Danny's seizures with the pediatrician. There's alot of subtext in that scene.

Then you have Jack's character - the first moment that we see the family in the car you can sense his resentment and see that he likely does not want to change. His hand has been forced and he doesn't like being along for that whole sobriety thing.

Of course none of these would be apparent in a single viewing. I think these elements demand that the film be watched and re-watched.
 

Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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I know the performances have often been criticized and the decision to change characterization has been questioned ad nauseum. I had often said that if I were holed up with Shelly Duvall's character for 3 months, I'd reach for the axe too. I'm kidding of course but subsequent viewings have left me much more sympathetic to her character and how she plays the role. She's a victim at the start of the film, and her performance displays desperation to keep her family together, delusion in thinking Jack has changed his ways, and fear of the monster that she already knows lurks beneath the surface. This all comes out in the scene in which she discusses Danny's seizures with the pediatrician. There's alot of subtext in that scene.

Then you have Jack's character - the first moment that we see the family in the car you can sense his resentment and see that he likely does not want to change. His hand has been forced and he doesn't like being along for that whole sobriety thing.

Of course none of these would be apparent in a single viewing. I think these elements demand that the film be watched and re-watched.
You nailed it. Have you looked at collative learning? Lots of cool stuff about the movie on that site. I don't agree with everything Rob Ager writes but I'll admit he raises some interesting points that deserve a second look.
People may think Duvalls character was over-acted but the desperation (not just about the situation at hand, but the entire family dynamics) isn't unheard of. IME life with an alcoholic goes from periods of detachment and, to the naked eye, "not giving a sh!t", back to that desperation and screaming/crying for change, and back to that detachment, etc.
One thing I wish would have been explored further in the movie was Wendy's slight shining ability, as it was told in the book.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
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My whole problem with Duvall's performance in The Shining is all in the scene where he's following her up the stairs. She's got a bat in her hands and is swinging it limply and ineffectively at Jack while saying 'Get away from me.' over and over again. Sorry, but if someone was coming towards me after they had just said that they were going to bash my f*cking brains in, husband or not, I would for sure be using that bat on their head. She's weak and ineffective in this scene.
 
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