Review - "Wendy, I'm home!"

Chief among my artistic obsessions is the act of adaptation: the process, the translation, what's trimmed or added--pretty much everything about it. I'm so intrigued by it that I'm going to focus on adaptation on this blog for 2013.

To start it off, I'm posting my drunken, New Year's Eve liveblog of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining, starring a very frenzied Jack Nicholson and a very shrieky Shelley Duvall. Typos are, of course, unintentional, but preserved for the sake of chuckles. My companion for the evening was a 2011 bottle of Henry of Pelham baco noir, which has just the right amount of sweetness and generates a warm, fuzzy drunk.

17:47 - First sip. Here we go.

17:47 - For all the issues I have with this movie, I really do like Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind's electronic rendition of the Dies Irae over the opening credits. My dream adaptation of the novel would likely ontain the melody as well, albeit in the form of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

17:50 - That being sad, the scrolling titles remind me way too much of a public access TV show.

17:50 - Annnnnd here's Jacky boy. Roughly 75% of my problems with this flick stem from Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance alone.

17:52 - It's funny: while Stephen King's Stuart Ullman is maybe the flattest character in the novel, Barry Nelson's portrayal of him is maybe the only natural performance in the whole movie.

17:52 - Enter Shelly Duvall, aka worst Wendy Torrance ever.

17:54 - This interview scene is maybe the most faithful to the novel, and perhaps the only time in this entire flick Nicholson acts, well, subtly.

17:55 - Goddamn, those are *eyebrows*.

17:58 - Can't say I like how creepy Danny Lloyd plays Danny Torrance, but I can't blame him, him being just a little kid at the time. Not to mention, most of the character's depth in the novel comes from third person narration.

18:00 - For all the guff I'm going to give this movie, I need to impress how excellent it is on a filmmaking level. The cinematography, the music, the mise en scene and the atmosphere are all perfect.

18:01 - Basically every issue I have with Kubrick's adaptation is in regards to the acting, the characterization and the fudged themes.

18:01 - Oooh, getting the wine shivers.

18:06 - King compared the movie to a beautiful car you couldn't drive everywhere. I think of it as a beautiful car as well, but it's fully mobile, albeit driven by the Looney Tunes.

18:08 - I just finished rereading the novel last night, and I'm already kind of buzzed, so I'm going to be a little more argumentative than is usual.

18:10 - "This is a hedgemaze, Margey."


18:13 - Fuck me but I do love some Scatman Crothers.

18:16 - "What kind of ice cream do you like, Doc?" "Chocolate." "Racist."

18:16 - "Just like a ghost ship, huh?" FORESHADOWING WELL NOT REALLY BUT YOU GET THE IDEA

18:21 - I have to say, though, the chat between Danny and Hallorann is done really well.

18:22 - Man, I love these Steadicam shots.

18:25 - Does my tongue deceive me or does this wine have pulp in it.

18:27 - *DUN* TUESDAY

18:29 - I could swear some of this music is in the hotel scenes in Ghostbusters.

18:30 - Christ on his throne, I can't believe the entirety of the hotel's interior was a set.

18:34 - I love Penderecki so much.

18:42 - 

18:49 - Funny: I'm watching a movie based on a novel about alcoholism while drinking an entire bottle of wine.


18:53 - I think the most worrisome thing about the Shining, both the novel and the film, is how it inspires me to actually take care of a secluded hotel by myself for the winter

18:58 - Like, that actually appeals to me.

18:58 - I love the nude pictures in Hallorann's room.

19:02 - Love the heartbeat in the 237 scene.

19:02 - Goddammit, this is what bugs me about the flick: it's genuinely well made but none of the performances resonate with me.

19:08 - That being said, the scene with Grady is spot on.

19:21 - Watching Shelly Duvall act for an extended period of time makes me sad for some reason. It could just be the baco noir.

19:26 - Ahhhh, Roadrunner.

19:30 - Man, Jack Nicholson does a great Joker. Just wish he had done it in Batman instead of The Shining.

19:31 - Don't mean to go on an anti-Nicholson rant. I love him in The Departed.

19:32 - I genuinely love how Kubrick syncs up actions with Penderecki's music at parts.

19:34 - I think if they had used that piano in the Colorado Lounge they all could have cooled the fuck down.

19:36 - "I said, I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to bash your brains in. I'm gonna bash them right the fuck in." He is more the Joker in this scene than he is in all of Batman.

19:51 - Love how the Steadicam follow's Jack's axe.

19:52 - Honestly, "Wendy, I'm home!" is more memorable than "Here's Johnny!"

19:57 - Why'd they kill Dick Hallorann.

19:58 - Why'd they kill Dick Hallorann.

20:00 - Wish Horace Derwent had made more than one cameo.

20:01 - By this point it's safe to assume I am GONE.

20:04 - Does Shelly Duvall spend most of this movie gawking at things or what?

20:04 - I genuinely love the way Danny loses Jack in the maze.


20:11 - And it's over.

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