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'The Shining' Documentary: Room 237 Is A 'Great Movie About A Movie'


Stanley Kubrick

Here’s Johnny!” The details of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1980 film The Shining have become ingrained in modern culture. Even if you don’t know that you know the movie, you probably know the movie. And to celebrate and investigate the way in which The Shining has permeated modern culture, Rodney Ascher is releasing his documentary, Room 237, to seemingly universal acclaim.

Ascher uncovers some of the many conspiracy theories that have developed around the movie. Some of which are pretty outrageous, all of which are entirely engaging and delivered in a compelling fashion by the director. The documentary opened at the Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals and word of mouth will undoubtedly ensure that Room 237 becomes a must-see for horror fans, movie lovers and conspiracy theory buffs alike.

Continue reading: 'The Shining' Documentary: Room 237 Is A 'Great Movie About A Movie'

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Review


Essential
Only Stanley Kubrick could make a movie about World War III and make it one of the most hilarious films ever made. No, it doesn't hurt to have Peter Sellers in your film, either. And it doesn't hurt to have him in three roles (originally he was slated to play four, but a broken leg and trouble with Slim Pickens's southern accent kept him out of the B-52 that just might bring about Armageddon).

Ranking as filmcritic.com's #1 movie of all time in our recent Top 100 Films of the Millennium feature, I suppose we have some explaining to do as to why we picked it. Not only is the movie wickedly funny, it's a subversive anti-war film that shows just how easily a conflict could erupt and the end of the world be brought about. The cast is top notch, and Sellers would have stolen the show if George C. Scott, Pickens, and Sterling Hayden didn't keep taking it back. Never for five seconds is this film less than perfect -- from its devilish gags (courtesy of co-writer Terry Southern) to its hilarious improvisations (courtesy, of course, of Sellers) to its simply unpredictable plot. I've seen this movie two dozen times and each with each viewing not only do I get something more from it, but I keep thinking the ending is going to change.

Continue reading: Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Review

2001: A Space Odyssey Review


Essential
It could be the greatest freak-out of all time. Stanley Kubrick's masterful 2001 is a smorgasbord of sight and sound, and its special effects are indistinguishable from reality, despite an age of over 30 years. Incredible and powerfully symbolic, the subject of many a thesis thanks to its conflicted computer, the HAL 9000. The direction, the score, and the script (written simultaneously while Arthur C. Clarke also worked on his novel) are all fantastic ("Also Sprach Zaruthstra" will never be usable to anyone else, every again) -- only the cast would go on to do relatively little in later years.

A masterwork of cinema that never loses its haunting power even after dozens of viewings.

Continue reading: 2001: A Space Odyssey Review

Barry Lyndon Review


Extraordinary
Stanley Kubrick's minor masterpiece is often overlooked -- even scorned -- by those who claim it to be pretentious and slow. Well, it is pretentious and slow, but it's still an exceptional film. In fact, it's probably my favorite period piece ever. Kubrick paints this film to look like an Old Master, with nary a hair out of place to take us from its early 1800s setting. It's gorgeous to look at, even if you don't dig Barry's story. But Ryan O'Neal turns in his best performance ever, bar none, as the title anti-hero, a middle-class Irish lad who joins the British army, finds success as a gambler, marries into money (and a heady title), and ends up duelling his stepson to the death. Barry -- over the course of decades -- ends up far worse than he began. His tragedy is a cautionary tale that speaks volumes even today. Hell, set it in New York in the 1990s-2000s, and you could make the exact same movie about Martha Stewart.

Killer's Kiss Review


Weak
Hardly Stanley Kubrick's best work. Really a lifeless drama/thriller about a boxer who falls for a woman who turns out to be Trouble. Capital T. Only this film is really Tame by today's standards. Again, capital T. Really lame rear-projection effects are actually the only notable part of the film... and that's not really a good thing. But hey, Kube was young and dirt poor, so let's cut him some slack.

The Killing Review


Excellent
Stellar Kubrick film noir. Underrated crime thriller -- one of his great, early works. Sterling Hayden shines (as he would years later in Dr. Strangelove) as a criminal mastermind who schemes to rob a horse track on race day. Intricately plotted and with nothing left to chance, he almost gets away with it.

Continue reading: The Killing Review

Paths Of Glory Review


Essential
Brilliant study into the nature of cowardice and the pathetic nature of the modern (well, in 1957) military machine. Vehemently anti-war, Kubrick takes us on a this-can't-be-happening ride, as French soldiers fail in their mission to take a certain hill from the enemy. A court martial ensues, with devastating results.

Continue reading: Paths Of Glory Review

A Clockwork Orange Review


Essential
Kubrick was a beatnik poet. His work was plagued with metaphors, and the disease of hidden meaning was always turned to his advantage. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, he had almost a precognisance about the worry of the future that the millennium has exhibited so well for us. In The Shining, he taught us that, to a degree, all fear came from oneself. In Full Metal Jacket, he said that war was the ultimate destructor of the psyche. In Eyes Wide Shut, his final opus, he told us that love, handled like revenge, can only have destructive consequences.

The message, for those of you people who were not able to discern it past the violence in A Clockwork Orange, was the same of the Hindu construct known as Karma: what goes around, comes around.

Continue reading: A Clockwork Orange Review

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Stanley Kubrick Movies

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Movie Review

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Movie Review

Only Stanley Kubrick could make a movie about World War III and make it one...

The Shining Movie Review

The Shining Movie Review

One of the first scary movies I remember seeing as a kid, The Shining certainly...

2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

It could be the greatest freak-out of all time. Stanley Kubrick's masterful 2001 is...

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