Tag Archives: the shining

Film Review: Room 237

Room 237Since the birth of cinema all those years ago, there are few films that have captured people’s imagination quite like The Shining. There are some who think Stanley Kubrick butchered Stephen King’s original text (including, famously, King himself), whilst there are many who believe it is one of the deepest, most meticulously put together films of all time.

Room 237 is a series of theories on the The Shining’s themes and messages from some who very much believe the latter.

Now, you’re enjoyment of Room 237 is going to hinge on a couple of important factors. The first is whether or not you’ve seen The Shining. For those who somehow haven’t seen it yet, then there’s probably not going to be much here to like. The second factor is how you feel about modern film criticism. If someone analysing films’ smallest and seemingly inconsequential details irks you then, again, this probably isn’t wise viewing.

Here we have five film theorists picking The Shining apart in excruciating detail, their interpretations carrying varying levels of plausibility. There are suggestions that the film is really about the genocide of the native Americans, whilst another theory is that this was Kubrick’s Holocaust film. Whilst these seem reasonable given the evidence presented, other theories carry less weight. That The Shining was Kubrick’s admission that he helped fake the Apollo 11 moon landings, whilst still interesting, is stretching things ever so slightly.

Kubrick is famous for the attention to detail he lavished upon his pictures and there’s a very good chance that some of what’s being offered here was indeed the filmmaker’s intentions. However, assertions that an office paper tray has been purposely placed to create a phallus when Overlook manager Ullman stands next to it is laughable at best. According to one of the theorists, whether Kubrick intended these messages is besides the point; what matters is that they’re there. How anyone can judge what Kubrick has unconsciously put into his films is bizarre and a even a little arrogant.

In terms of how the documentary has been created, Room 237 is a little amateurish. We are never see anything of the five theorists; they are simply faceless voices, which does diminish their claims somewhat. As you’d expect, we see a series of scenes from The Shining to help explain the various claims, but we also get a number of scenes from other Kubrick films, as well as several other unrelated films, that actually make everything a little confusing. A random scene from Spartacus or A Clockwork Orange adds nothing to what’s being shown.

Whilst much of what’s being said can be disputed or flat out denied, what cannot be refuted is the lasting impact of The Shining. Above anything else, what Room 237 makes blindingly obvious is that this is a film that enraptured film critics and fans around the world and continues to do so. Maybe a paper tray does resemble a huge penis (it doesn’t) or perhaps Kubrick’s face can be seen in the clouds during the title sequence (it can’t), but what’s not up for debate is the passion some have for The Shining and that its impact doesn’t look like diminishing any time soon.

3 and a half pigeons

3.5/5 pigeons

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Horror movie scenes recreated with Lego

Last month I posted some classic movie scenes recreated with Lego. Well in anticipation for Horror Movie Month, I very cleverly didn’t include any from horror films. Talk about stringing a post out, eh? People seemed to like it though, so I guess there’s no harm in doing another one. So, here are some horror movie scenes recreated through the medium of foot crippling pieces of plastic. Again, I can’t take credit for any of these. If you can, well done indeed.

The Shining

The Shining

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A few of the best and worst movie dads

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought I’d highlight just a few of the best and worst dads the world of film has ever seen. So, without further ado…

The Best

Chris Gardener – The Pursuit of Happyness

Real life father and sonA film about simply doing what you have to do to provide for your family. Gardener (Will Smith) faces setback after setback in trying to provide a life for his family but never gives in. His wife leaves him, he’s investigated by the IRS and he and his son are evicted and have to sleep in a subway toilet. All in all, pretty rough stuff. Still, Gardener defies all the odds to turn his life around and make a better life for him and his son. There are plenty of reasons why this is such an affecting film, namely because it’s based on a true story, so all this crazy stuff actually happened. Also, it teams up Will Smith with his real-life son Jaden, adding that extra bit of chemistry between the two.

Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus (Gregory Peck) doesn’t directly do a massive amount for his children in To Kill a Mockingbird. He doesn’t save their life or anything like that, but, instead, shows them that decency and standing up for what you believe is right are some of the most important traits a person can have. Atticus puts himself on the line for something he believes in and shows his children what being a compassionate and caring human being is all about.

Bryan Mills – Taken

I will look for you, i will find you, and i will kill youFirst of all, having Liam Neeson as your dad would be pretty damn amazing in itself. However, when he’s a CIA agent capable of taking out numerous armed thugs en route to rescuing his kidnapped daughter, you’ve got probably the coolest dad ever. Parents often say they would do anything for their kids. Well, in Taken that has never proved quite so apt.

Harry Stamper – Armageddon

Bruce Willis lands on a motherflippin’ asteroid and saves the Earth! Although he does effectively condemn his daughter to a life of living with Ben Affleck, so this one is 50/50.

Mufasa – The Lion King

The circle of lifeMufasa does his best to teach his little lion cub Simba the ways of the world but is tragically killed saving his son’s life in one of the most tear-jerking Disney moments to that point. Whilst many dads would have simply passed unto the void, Mufasa has the goodness to appear to his son as visions in the sky and cloud formations. Parenting from beyond the grave; now that’s dedication.

The Worst

Darth Vader

I am your father. Hug and make up?Before he even becomes Vader, Anakin Skywalker does his best to kill his wife and unborn child. He then lops off his son’s hand and does his very best to finish the job. You could argue that he is redeemed by saving his son’s life at the end, but that hardly makes up for the years of genocide and planet destruction. Ghost Yoda and Obi Wan at the end of Return of the Jedi are far too forgiving.

Humbert Humbert – Lolita

Not technically a father, but Humbert (James Mason) does act as the devious little nymphet’s guardian after her mother is hit by a car. This is after he has become so besotted with Lolita that he agrees to marry her mother just so he can be close to her and her sunbathing, hula hooping, ice lolly teasing ways. Humbert’s relationship with his ‘daughter’ is a little too close for comfort and, well, let’s just leave it at that.

All work and no play makes Jack a raging psycopathJack Torrence – The Shining

Teaching your son to shave, teaching your children to ride a bike, playing football in the park; all good fatherly things to do. Trying to hack your wife and son to bits with an axe? Not so much.

These are just a few famous film dads, but there are countless more, so hit us up with your suggestions for the best and worst.

Happy Father’s Day!

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