Kubrick's Shining WORST novel adaptation ever!

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Mel217

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Mar 10, 2017
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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.
I totally agree. If someone was approaching me in that manner and saying those words when I had a bat in my hand (and I truly, TRULY feared for my life), they'd only say them once. (Or I'd be killed trying!)
What's interesting is Kubrick took a ridiculous number of takes of this scene, over and over. Even Jack was getting annoyed from what I understand; he must have been going for something (exhaustion?) This is where movie Wendy and book Wendy differ in so, so many ways.
 

FlakeNoir

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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.
She was probably completely beaten down by Kubrick at this stage. He was brutal with her from what I've seen.
 

Zone D Dad

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I think that scene ties in with what I was saying. I mean, imagine that your spouse of x number of years is menacing you, which is at that point in the movie, all he's doing. He's threatened, but not actually attacked her physically yet. Also, this is coming on the heels of Danny telling her that Jack is not the one who strangled him, but the "crazy woman" in room 237. Think of what kind of emotional state she would be in. She's frightened out of her mind, but she still loves Jack, or at least she thinks she does. She's probably clinging to some semblance of hope that Jack is going to come to his senses and return to normal. Is she prepared to take a full swing with a baseball bat? I'm not so sure she would be. I think the way she takes these little stabs at him is pretty realistic and totally in character.
 

Mel217

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I think that scene ties in with what I was saying. I mean, imagine that your spouse of x number of years is menacing you, which is at that point in the movie, all he's doing. He's threatened, but not actually attacked her physically yet. Also, this is coming on the heels of Danny telling her that Jack is not the one who strangled him, but the "crazy woman" in room 237. Think of what kind of emotional state she would be in. She's frightened out of her mind, but she still loves Jack, or at least she thinks she does. She's probably clinging to some semblance of hope that Jack is going to come to his senses and return to normal. Is she prepared to take a full swing with a baseball bat? I'm not so sure she would be. I think the way she takes these little stabs at him is pretty realistic and totally in character.
Excellent points, Zone D. Very intuitive!
I think Kubrick was probably going for that. Emotionally, Wendy was exhausted and spent and he wanted to portray that.
 

kingricefan

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I think that scene ties in with what I was saying. I mean, imagine that your spouse of x number of years is menacing you, which is at that point in the movie, all he's doing. He's threatened, but not actually attacked her physically yet. Also, this is coming on the heels of Danny telling her that Jack is not the one who strangled him, but the "crazy woman" in room 237. Think of what kind of emotional state she would be in. She's frightened out of her mind, but she still loves Jack, or at least she thinks she does. She's probably clinging to some semblance of hope that Jack is going to come to his senses and return to normal. Is she prepared to take a full swing with a baseball bat? I'm not so sure she would be. I think the way she takes these little stabs at him is pretty realistic and totally in character.
Ah, but you (and Kubrick) are forgetting about a 'mother's instinct' to protect her child(ren). It's like poking a bear with a stick....you just don't want to touch the bear, especially if her cubs are about.
 

Mel217

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Ah, but you (and Kubrick) are forgetting about a 'mother's instinct' to protect her child(ren). It's like poking a bear with a stick....you just don't want to touch the bear, especially if her cubs are about.
Great discussion!
A mothers instinct is nothing to screw with.
I haven't watched the movie in ages but I'll need a re-watch and re-read when I'm done with "It". All I want to do now is write some fan fic mash up of Pennywise sneaking into the Overlook when Annie Wilkes gets snowed in for the winter and they haunt the ever loving crap out of one another. That could be a horror...or a comedy, depending on my mood.
When she was taking the swings at Jack it might have been an attempt to get him to back off, but when he began tittering with laughter it probably solidified the fact in her mind that Jack was going insane. Even when she locks him up and says she's taking Danny to Sidewinder and will bring back a doctor (because he says his head hurts) shows that she still has SOME compassion for him.
Even though book Wendy is one of my favorite personal heroines of the SK world, I sure wouldn't ever want to be in her shoes.
 

kingricefan

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My take on Kubrick's version- Jack is already insane before he even gets to the hotel. He despises his family (just watch his face as he's driving them up to the hotel- I think he really just wants to kill them from the start) and going to the hotel, cutting himself off from any outside stimulus just quickens his descent into madness.
 

Zone D Dad

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My take on Kubrick's version- Jack is already insane before he even gets to the hotel. He despises his family (just watch his face as he's driving them up to the hotel- I think he really just wants to kill them from the start) and going to the hotel, cutting himself off from any outside stimulus just quickens his descent into madness.
I think he's close anyway, maybe not certifiable, but probably feeling some pretty nasty psychological withdrawl from not drinking. I'm also of the opinion that he blames Wendy as the impediment to his drinking and probably blames Danny for suffering a broken arm.
 

Zone D Dad

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Ah, but you (and Kubrick) are forgetting about a 'mother's instinct' to protect her child(ren). It's like poking a bear with a stick....you just don't want to touch the bear, especially if her cubs are about.
I don't disagree with you on that one. A mother's instict to protect her young certainly precludes loyalty to her abusive (or potentially abusive spouse). But I also think that there is a big leap from considering a violent action (like teeing off on Jack's head like Reggie Jackson) and actually doing it, especially from Wendy's point of view. Once he comes after her with the axe, all bets are off though. Now she and Danny are more than being threatened, they're actually under attack, and Wendy responds more viciously when she's hacking at his hand with the kitchen knife.

Wow - spoilers abound. My apologies for anybody that hasn't seen The Shining!
 

Mel217

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I think he's close anyway, maybe not certifiable, but probably feeling some pretty nasty psychological withdrawl from not drinking. I'm also of the opinion that he blames Wendy as the impediment to his drinking and probably blames Danny for suffering a broken arm.
My experience with alcoholism is an alcoholic with no access to any kind of alcohol is (in some cases) a worse nightmare than one who's drinking or drunk. The term "dry drunk" to me has always referred to someone who agrees to stop drinking but doesn't or won't (or perhaps lacks the proper tools) deal with the reason they drink to begin with, so the drinking stops but the behavior doesn't change (or, sometimes, intensifies, which is terrifying on or off the movie screen.) Drug addicts can be difficult to deal with but during that drying out period--forget it.
I thought it was very fitting that Danny, as a grown man in Dr. Sleep, has some of the same problems as his father as there is a genetic link, but the behavior patterns can be learned at a very young age.
Also, my experiences (and they are, unfortunately, a lot) with this blame game (blaming Wendy as the impediment to his drinking and blaming Danny for the broken arm) is 100% correct. Perhaps not all alcoholics feel this way but sadly many do, and are very good at shifting the blame for their actions onto the victim. The worst part is, many times the victims (after awhile) start to believe them.
I've dealt with families that consist of an alcoholic, the spouse (enabler, which most spouses excel at, Wendy not excluded), and children. Once the children begin to become seriously affected, the spouse becomes torn between that "staying together because of the kids" and "GTFO before it's too late." It's a huge step and I don't envy anyone in that position, ever.
 

Zone D Dad

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Mel, it makes me sad to hear that you've had to experience the effects of alcoholism so up close and personal. I've had mine as well, but I've been fortunate for it not to cross certain dangerous thresholds. When I re-read The Shining at a much later age, after getting to know my fair share of alcoholics, the novel took on a whole new level of meaning. The film did as well, but all of the things that I read into the film and mention in my previous posts require that you've read the novel. I don't think the casual viewer of the film picks up on those elements.

Has Mr. King gone back and revisited the film? He probably has and I know he has strong opinions about it. Personally, I think Kubrick "got it" more than people think. I like to think that he just went about portraying it in his own way.

On top of that, it's one badass, creepy flippin' movie.
 

Mel217

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Mel, it makes me sad to hear that you've had to experience the effects of alcoholism so up close and personal. I've had mine as well, but I've been fortunate for it not to cross certain dangerous thresholds. When I re-read The Shining at a much later age, after getting to know my fair share of alcoholics, the novel took on a whole new level of meaning. The film did as well, but all of the things that I read into the film and mention in my previous posts require that you've read the novel. I don't think the casual viewer of the film picks up on those elements.

Has Mr. King gone back and revisited the film? He probably has and I know he has strong opinions about it. Personally, I think Kubrick "got it" more than people think. I like to think that he just went about portraying it in his own way.

On top of that, it's one badass, creepy flippin' movie.
After learning a bit about the problems alcoholics themselves face (which I think King's Shining does brilliantly), it was easier to deal with. I've talked with lots of people over the years with the same problems as I experienced and can only hope my sharing helped them in some way!
There's a LOT of subtle symbolism in the movie which skyrockets the re-watch value through the roof. It has a cult like following and though I enjoy the movie tremendously and find the easter eggs and meanings interesting, I don't consider myself quite the follower as those who, for instance, helped make the docu Room 237. I've watched a lot of videos that explore the movie further but I couldn't get through the documentary. (I don't think far fetched means impossible, but I do have a few limits.) It was just a little too much for me.
It could be an internet rumor, heresay, or anything in between but I read once that Kubrick decided he wanted to make the scariest movie ever and started reading horror novels in his office. The secretary in the next room would hear a book hit the wall as Kubrick threw it in annoyance every 10-15 minutes. At one point she didn't hear anything for awhile so he popped in and he was reading The Shining. Who knows if this really happened, but if so I'd say it's a mighty testament to Mr. King's work and his ability to grab the audience in the first few pages, depending on the audience and the book. (The Shining grabbed me instantly, as did Dr. Sleep because I was dying to read the sequel. "It" [the book] is one of my favorites, as is the Stand, but neither grabbed me from page one. "It" took a few chapters but once it did I was hooked. When I start a book like this it's always an irrational fear of mine that I'll put dinner in the oven, start reading, and then hours later realize I have a flaming lump of charcoal awaiting me at the table because I got so engrossed.)
 

Mel217

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Also, while there's so many things in a book that are difficult (if not impossible) to translate smoothly to screen, there are some things that can be shown on a screen that would be difficult to describe in a book. Either medium is an art, and if one idea comes from the other that's already in existence it can only be described as an interpretation or adaptation, such is the way I feel about the movie when compared to the book. When I was still in school, every year the Junior High would put on a play that was part of a graded project. The parents always came to see the play. When it was my classes turn, we chose to do an adaptation of a popular play. We never tried to re-create it, we never tried to copy cat what had already been done, but we took the script and shortened it to a reasonable length and put a slap-stick style to it in order to suit us. We never meant for it to be a comparison to the real play, but an adaptation with our own artistic spin; then we put a bit of comedy into it to make it a light-hearted piece of work. It was enjoyable to do and the parents ALL said it was very enjoyable to watch. Kids ad-libbed left and right and mistakes made by 12 year olds were easy to slide into the plot. Our own interpretation came up with something based on a story that was something of our own, which was very fun and enjoyable for all!
 

Zone D Dad

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I didn't put much stock in the Room 237 documentary. It's fun to speculate, but ultimately I think it's a load of BS. I don't know much about Kubrick's personal life outside of say, Wikipedia, so I don't know how he originally interpreted the subtext of the novel. Imagine what The Shining would be in the hands of someone who abused drugs and alcohol. What if Sam Peckinpah did The Shining? What kind of crazy movie would that be?
 

GNTLGNT

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I didn't put much stock in the Room 237 documentary. It's fun to speculate, but ultimately I think it's a load of BS. I don't know much about Kubrick's personal life outside of say, Wikipedia, so I don't know how he originally interpreted the subtext of the novel. Imagine what The Shining would be in the hands of someone who abused drugs and alcohol. What if Sam Peckinpah did The Shining? What kind of crazy movie would that be?
....the blood that tidal waves from the elevator would simply be the end result of one gun fight.....
 

huang peng

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The protagonist and his family came to an old house is cursed, his family found the house very strange! His son sees ghosts from time to time, strange things happen, the story to climax! When the truth of the story was known, the sad protagonist died in the winter garden and froze to death! It looks like a curse! From generation to generation will come here! ---《The Shining》
 
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