Showing posts with label stanley kubrick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stanley kubrick. Show all posts

Aug 2, 2020

I'M HOME


"Any big hotels have got scandals. Just like every big hotel has got a ghost. Why? Hell, people come and go. Sometimes one of 'em will pop off in his room, heart attack or stroke or something like that. Hotels are superstitious places. No thirteenth floor or room thirteen, no mirrors on the back of the door you come in through, stuff like that."

Aug 20, 2019

READY PLAYER ONE (2018)



Steven Spielberg has never made an out-and-out bad film. I’m not sure the celebrated filmmaker is capable of that. I’ve certainly seen plenty of his films that don’t agree with me, ranging from the newer (War Horse) to his classics (I’ve given Close Encounters of a Third Kind so many chances), but I’ll never say they’re poorly made or seem workmanship in their presentation. While I’m not about to drop the internet-douchey slam of “worst Spielberg film ever,” I will say Ready Player One is probably the director’s emptiest — one that embodies the same kind of spectacle and world-building that many of his previous films sought and achieved, but with very little of its heart, or even over-sentimentalism that he’s been accused of in the past. Though one might argue Ready Player One’s entire construct is based on over-sentimentalism, given that it’s entirely an ode to ‘80s pop culture bent on nostalgia, this same kind of warmth doesn’t really come through any other aspect.

Ready Player One crams every possible ‘80s reference into its running time (at least, I’m assuming, the ones Warner Bros. had legal ownership of or access to — the nerdiest of you may have noticed that Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees appeared as his Freddy vs. Jason iteration, which is a film owned by Warner Bros. and not current franchise rights holders Paramount Pictures). And while it’s neat to see your lead hero (Tye Sheridan) driving the DeLorean from Back to the Future and later lovingly homaging its director by obtaining “the Zemeckis cube,” these feelings of awww just don’t last. Nostalgia is great for luring in an audience, but it’s not enough for telling a standalone story. 


The nostalgic bits — the appearance of the aforementioned Jason and his colleagues Freddy and Chucky, along with Robocop, King Kong, Duke Nukem, and so many more — work on that reactionary fanboy level. And the much ballyhooed sequence set in the Overlook Hotel from The Shining works in the same way. Once that familiar Penderecki soundtrack creeps in, and our characters start traversing the very faithfully recreated hotel, it’s easy to want to squee. Jack Torrance’s typewriter! The bloody elevator! Midnight, the Stars, and You! But once Spielberg and screenwriters Zak Penn and Ernest Cline (also the source novel’s author) put an axe in the hand of the suddenly leaping Room 237 bathtub ghost and CGI starts demonically morphing her face, you also get the notion of just how wrong it all feels. Now, I’d never claim to be an authority on what Kubrick would or would not have approved. Spielberg and Kubrick were friends in real life, whereas “all I know is what’s on the internet” (Trump, 2016), and the Beard believes Kubrick would have good-naturedly approved the homage. Still, he skirts his faith in that belief by having Olivia Cooke’s Artemis say, “That’s the point. It’s not supposed to be exactly like the thing you like so much.” I’m not quite buying that, and the feeling of wrongness remains.

Ready Player One isn’t a terrible film by any stretch; in fact, it’s a light, fun, and breezy way to kill 90 minutes. But once the spectacle of the whole affair wears off, you’re struck with the realization that you could have skipped watching it and gotten the same experience simply by sifting through the film’s IMDB Trivia page for all the references the film contains.

Bonus! Some screengrabs from the flick featuring our favorite horror villains are below:






Sep 11, 2014

CABIN FEVER


"It's a slang term for the claustrophobic reaction that can occur when people are shut in together over long periods of time. The feeling of claustrophobia is externalized as dislike for the people you happen to be shut in with. In extreme cases it can result in hallucinations and violence—murder […]."

Dec 18, 2013

FIVE MONTHS OF PEACE


"The winters can be fantastically cruel. And the basic idea is to cope with the very costly damage and depreciation which can occur. And this consists mainly of running the boiler, heating different parts of the hotel on a daily, rotating basis, repair damage as it occurs, and doing repairs so that the elements can't get a foothold. Physically, it's not a very demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here during the winter is, uh, a tremendous sense of isolation...for some people, solitude and isolation can, of itself become a problem."

If we don't, remember me.

Jan 27, 2013

DELETED ENDING

Screenplay for the deleted original ending of The Shining. When the film was first released, a hospital epilogue was located between the shot of Jack frozen in the snow and the long dolly shot through the lobby that ends on the July 4, 1921 framed photo.

Kubrick decided to remove the scene very shortly after the U.S. opening, dispatching assistants to excise the scene from the dozens of prints showing in Los Angeles and New York City. All known copies of the scene were reportedly destroyed, although it is rumored that one surviving copy may exist.


Stolen with love from The Overlook Hotel.

Jan 5, 2013

DROOG

"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."
If we don't, remember me.

Dec 29, 2012

SOME SHINE AND SOME DON'T


I love when stuff like this is unearthed from seemingly nowhere...

This comes from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is currently hosting The Stanley Kubrick Exhibit. The below comes from an attendee:
“One of the coolest parts, especially for a designer like myself, was these sketches by Saul Bass for the film poster of The Shining. Previously I had no idea that Saul Bass had created the original poster so this was a really cool surprise. I’ve read online that Kubrick made Bass go through at least 300 versions of the poster until finally ending on the extremely alien looking version we now know.”





Every single one of these, in my opinion, is better than the final, infamous yellow version. That first one with the hand/trike is tops. You can click each image to embiggen and read Kubrick's own criticisms.

All was stolen with love from Dread Central.

Nov 12, 2012

LIKE PICTURES IN A BOOK


No idea if this is legit or not, but if it is...this is pretty cool.

Stanley Kubrick's own notes made in a copy of  The Shining.

Click the photo to embiggen.

Stolen with love from The Daily Dead.