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Jack Torrance becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife and son to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long, isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called 'the shining' and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.
For more about The Shining and the The Shining Blu-ray release, see the The Shining Blu-ray Review published by Greg Maltz on March 19, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone
Director: Stanley Kubrick
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The Shining Blu-ray Review
One of Jack Nicholson's defining performances proves all the more menacing in 1080p.
Reviewed by Greg Maltz, March 19, 2008
As you probably know, Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, The Shining, is a rewrite of a Stephen King story that helped define the modern psychological thriller genre. The strong direction and acting gives the film broad appeal, but it is too harrowing for squeamish audiences. Stanley Kubrick is a master at getting the most out of his screenplays, sets and actors. The riveting combination of the haunted Overlook Hotel and Jack Nicholson's powerhouse performance as Jack Torrance descending into violent insanity seems eerily authentic.
But the film is far from perfect in conception and execution. It is held back by pacing problems, disconnects in the narrative flow (King was very upset that Kubrick strayed from the novel) and bizarre, often corny visions that only rarely raised the scare factor. Nevertheless, the scenes focusing on Torrance's inner demons and spiralling insanity are brilliant. It is hard to imagine any other actor but Nicholson being able to fit in this roll with such conviction and raw power. Most importantly for this release, the Blu-ray's definition and color are far superior to DVD versions, and the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 is a big plus.
Beginning with Jack's job interview at the secluded Overlook Hotel in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, The Shining quickly reveals glimpses into its dark and supernatural theme. The hotel must close down every winter due to blizzard conditions and its isolated location renders any inhabitants snowbound. A previous caretaker went crazy from "cabin fever" and murdered his wife and two daughters. But Jack assures hotel manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) that being snowbound all winter is just the kind of peace and quiet needed to "write the great American novel". Meanwhile, back home, Jack's son Danny (Danny Lloyd), who experiences paranormal images and premonitions, has horrible visions of the Overlook and blacks out. Jack returns triumphant from his job interview only to find his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) questioning the wisdom of moving to the Overlook with their son in a fragile mental state, but Jack grows aggravated and dismisses her concerns.
After arriving at the hotel, Danny is befriended by the hotel chef, Dick Hallorann (Scattman Crothers). The cook has a talent for psychic abilities similar to Danny's. He tells the young boy to not be afraid--that some bad things happened long ago at the hotel. Hollorann explains that all places--especially old places--have a "shine" to them. "The shining" is the residual aura of accumulated experiences. But the Overlook has had a more violent history than most places, and when Danny asks about room 237 from his visions, Hallorann becomes visibly upset. He sternly warns Danny to stay away from the room. The guests already gone, Hallorann and the Overlook management depart, leaving Jack, Wendy and Danny to settle in for the long winter ahead.
As the weeks pass, Jack becomes increasingly psychotic. He can't sleep and seems irritable and incommunicative. He spends his time wandering the hotel's hallways and working on his manuscript. One day, Danny is coaxed into room 237 by supernatural powers and his own curiosity. This immediately sets off a series of events and Jack goes from bad to worse. Wendy hears him screaming. He wakes up disoriented and disturbed, complaining that he had a horrible nightmare in which he chopped her and Danny to pieces. Before Wendy can react, Danny appears with his shirt ripped and bruise marks around his neck. Wendy rushes to her son, inspects his injuries and accuses Jack of attacking the boy since the hotel is empty except for the three of them.
As Jack's psychosis becomes full blown, he has hallucinations of interacting with staff at the hotel. The interactions with former caretaker Delbert Grady (Philip Stone) become all too real as Grady calmly yet forcefully leads Jack to the unavoidable conclusion that he must act against his wife and son. Once Jack's murderous intentions become clear, the film cycles through spooky scenes with Nicholson's gleaming eyes and wicked grin as he bellows for his family. Kubrick's vision is manifest with critical impact as the film reaches its climax. Some of the images work, such as the unabated flowing of blood down the hotel's elevator shaft and flooding out into the lobby, representing the evil spirit and bloody history of the place. Some images don't work. But the 1080p presentation and the full, restored aspect ratio deliver Kubrick's horror masterpiece for a new generation of film fanatics.
The Shining Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Shining Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Shining Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Shining Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
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