Stanley Kubrick

April 7, 2011

Stanley Kubrick

Lemme just say, I am not a Kubrick freak. I have issues with a lot of his films. I don’t always agree with the type of performance he’s going for. I hate smash zooms (see Altman). And the last couple of films were not worth the wait.

Paths of Glory – Great anti-war film. The German gal in the bar at the end became Mrs. Kubrick.
Dr. Strangelove – Possibly his best. I don’t think I have any issues with this one. Peter Sellers should’ve gotten three Oscar nominations.
2001 – It’s great. It’s groundbreaking. But you have to be in the mood to be bored a little.
A Clockwork Orange – Even Stanley thought he might have gone a little overboard on this one. My main issue is the look of the film, it has always bothered me. But I still like the film. All the synthesized score is by Walter Carlos, who became Wendy Carlos.
Barry Lyndon – Why would you put Ryan O’Neal in your movie Stanley? The film is dull enough without Ryan. Gorgeous photography by John Alcott, marred only by the incessant use of zooms in nearly every shot. To shoot the candlelight scenes, Alcott used a Zeiss f 0.7 lens (apparently built for NASA). During my younger days in film school when I actually used to shoot, I would call every rental house in three states looking for a similar lens. Sadly, no one had one or I didn’t have the money to rent it.
The Shining – “Hey everybody, let’s make a horror movie that takes place in the day time. And for extra scares we’ll put some immobile skeletons in chairs surrounded by cobwebs.” I kid, I kid. I’m fond of The Shining. It’s flawed, and deviates greatly from the novel, but it had truly great moments.
Full Metal Jacket – I saw a sneak preview of this in Louisville before its general release. Like Saving Private Ryan, the best part of this film is the beginning. R. Lee Ermey owns this film. Mathew Modine is just not strong enough to carry a whole movie. What’s strange is that Stanley originally wanted Anthony Michael Hall, but he turned it down (I guess once you’ve worked with John Hughes, who the Hell is Stanley Kubrick?). And I’m sorry Stan, England is not Vietnam. Doesn’t matter how many palm trees you plant. I know Stanley read the original novel, The Short Timers by Gustav Hasford, and that book takes place in the jungle.
Eyes Wide Shut – It’s interesting, but definitely not worth the wait. Stanley is out of his element on this one. It felt like he was trying too hard to be odd. But it’s still interesting. However, I found it unacceptable that he put in those stupid cgi people to cover up the sex scenes for American audiences. That’s bullshit Stanley.

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