Welcome everybody to a new edition to the 9 Deuce family. We are going to be tackling films monthly, possibly twice a month. I want to thank Kristi for coming up with this wonderful idea. I have a great group of people here to discuss the 1980 Stanley Kubrick classic, The Shining. Since Jack just celebrated his 80th birthday, this just felt appropriate to be the first one that we did. For this go round, we have Kristi, Dana, Sara, Teddy, and Chris T. In future editions, I welcome you to contact me about participating. All comments in bold print are made by me, because it’s my blog and I like to comment on stuff.
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- Who was your favorite character in this film, aside from Jack?
Kristi: Halloran- He knows whats up!
Dana: Mr. Halloran was the Man! Check out the paintings on his bedroom wall! *Giggles
Sara: Tony. When I first saw the movie I remember being most creeped out by that aspect of the movie; the “imaginary” friend. (And then later, as an adult, I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of traumas Danny used Tony to cope with.)
Teddy: The bartender. Because he allowed jack to go to a place where everyone knew his name (pun intended)
Chris T: Dick Halloran, really aside from Jack, Danny, and Wendy, he was the only semi-developed character.
Kent: I know that this is a bit of a cop out, but the hotel itself. It alone is such a big facet and just as much of a character in a lot of ways in how it houses these entities. By the way, I came across this cool idea while researching the characters. Let’s face it, I was torn between Lloyd, Grady, and the Grady twins, I implore you to check this out, but if you are super lazy, just know that there are numerous instances of a chair moving in the film. Rest assured, with this being Stanley Kubrick, that shit was not accidental.
- Have you ever read the book by Stephen King? If you have, feel free to bitch and moan that this wasn’t enough like the book, be one of those people.
Dana: Hell no. The reason is kinda shallow… but Shelly creeps me out. She looks scary without even trying! (Poor Shelley. She went through all kinds of hell during this.)
Sara: Yep. I loved the book, but equally love the movie. (This is one of the few examples of a movie made from a book that I enjoy both formats of.) Normally it would bug the crap out of me that the movie doesn’t match the book (pretty extensively) but maybe it’s because I saw the movie before I read the book? (Usually it’s the other way around.) (Doesn’t that go back to the whole psychological thing where whatever “version” of something that you see or hear is usually your preferred option. If you hear a remade song first, there’s a good chance that since you are acquainted with it, that you prefer that to the original, or vice versa. I think that happens more with music than with films, but it still happens. I also get very irritated when people just bitch and moan as soon as the word remake is tossed out because a remake isn’t inherently evil. For example, John Carpenter’s The Thing and the Clooney and Pitt version of Ocean’s Eleven. I have seen the originals and just can’t get into them as much. The flip side of the coin has way more to nitpick though, obviously. Ghostbusters.)
Teddy: I have read the book (all stephen king’s books really). The reason I don’t like this movie is because of how it strays from the source material just to stroke whatever kinks Stanley Kubrick had during that time. (Since I like to give people a hard time, I wanna tackle this. I don’t get it. Am I the only person that wants some artistic change from book to film? If I wanted the exact same thing as the book, I would have just read the damn book. I cannot vouch for which is better, although having seen the remake which was supposedly closer to the novel, I think both are excellent. Why Kubrick’s is better though is due to his artistic touches and excellent film making. In the same breath, to contradict my point slightly, because, why not, having read The Stand, it always bothered me how they left out some key things. Of course that was directed by Mick Garris who never seems to get things 92% right. Stanley Kubrick, on the other hand, is the greatest director of all time.)
Chris T: I read the book a long time ago, but probably more recently than I had seen the movie version. I read the semi-sequel “Dr.Sleep” much more recently and that experience clouded a lot of my perception of this story upon rewatching it. (I have yet to read that, but have truly been meaning to, but would prefer to read Shining first. Would Dr. Sleep make for a good film, from your perspective?)
Kent: No, I have not. I admit to not reading nearly as much as I would like to, and intend to. I choose video games and movies, and I’m okay with that decision.
- Approximately how old were you when you first saw the film?
Kristi: I was actually in my late 20s.- early 30s. I slacked on movie watching for many years.
Dana: About 13/14 and I watched it through my fingers.
Sara: Middle school-age….12/13
Teddy: I would say I was maybe 19-20ish when I saw it.
Chris T: I saw parts when it was played on HBO back in the day, probably one of those mornings my parents slept in and Jay and I turned on the tv while they were sleeping. I watched the whole thing through when I was in High School, but I can’t give an exact date/time.
Kent: I think I was 6, give or take a year. I remember the nightmares that the hedge maze used to give me. I am eternally grateful for them though because this was probably my second horror film that I saw, after The Amityville Horror, and before American Werewolf in London. Without films like them, I would probably not be a huge horror fan.
- Do you have a favorite quote from the film?
Dana: White man’s burden, Lloyd, my man. White man’s burden.
Sara: Chris took my first choice, so rather than copying that, I’ll go with… “Don’t worry, Mom. I know all about cannibalism. I saw it on TV.”
Teddy: “Here’s johnny!” Because it reminds me of the simpsons parody of it lol
Chris T: “Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in!”
Kent: “We don’t drink.” This is one of those classic films that has a high number of worthy quotes. I may as well link you to a bunch of them. “I’ve always been here.”
- Have you ever seen the remake miniseries that ABC put out in the 90’s that was more in line with the novel and starred Steven Weber?
Sara: I vaguely remember this re-make…..wasn’t the guy from Wings in it? I’m going to say I must not have really paid any attention to it, or I would likely remember better. (lol) (Yes, it starred Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, and Melvin Van Peebles. It also had appearances by Pat Hingle (Maximum Overdrive), Miguel Ferrer (The Stand) , Elliott Gould, Shawnee Smith (Saw Franchise), Mick Garris, Sam Raimi, Frank Darabont, and even Stephen King. Yes, too much info, I know.)
Teddy: the remake was actually way better even though it was toned down for ABC (look at IT as well) closer to source material is what I look for
Chris T: Yeah, it was pretty shitty. It was way closer to the book, but in the wrong ways. It was boring and the casting wasn’t that great. Steven Weber was a better Jack in the pre-madness part, he actually gave you the feeling that he was a flawed man, who cared about his family. But when it came time to bring it, he made you laugh instead of being scared. (Well, you saved me a lot of typing. Weber doesn’t get enough credit for his performance in it, and it bothers me. No, it wasn’t as good as the OG, BUT there were aspects that were better in my mind.)
Kent: Yes, I really liked it. It’s different enough from this one that it felt like a very different film, and quite frankly, that’s preferable to watching a shot for shot remake. I can’t convince you that it’s good, if not great, but if you go in knowing that it isn’t the same film, that can help provide a more even perspective.
- Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories surrounding this film? The most notorious one being that this is Stanley Kubrick’s admission to being involved in the faking of the moon landing.
Kristi: I honestly didn’t know there were conspiracy theories, so no.
Dana: No, but my sister was telling me that apparently Jack was already dead too? What!
Sara: I am honestly not sure. I mean, I feel like if the government was going to fake the moon-landing, Kubrick would absolutely be the guy to do it. He is pretty brilliant, after all. I also (in general) am kinda a tin-foil-hat-wearer, (lol) so I’m going to say that it’s a possibility. After seeing/thinking about this question some, I decided to try out the netflix documentary called Room 237 about this very subject. I guess I’m not entirely convinced that he DIDN’T fake the moon landing. Nor am I convinced that he wasn’t discussing a few other topics, both subliminally and through a variety of mediums in the film.
Teddy: I tend to take conspiracy theories with a grain of salt so I’m gonna say someone believe in the“faking” the moon landing theory is kinda stupid
Chris T: Most of the elaborate urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this film (ranging from it serving as a Holocaust metaphor to a confession that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings) were refuted by Stanley Kubrick during his lifetime or later by the surviving cast and crew. For example, the famous “impossible corridors” are a result of set logistics, Kubrick wanted to shoot Danny on his big wheel in unbroken takes, so the hallways had to connect and the only way the crew could construct them to fit Kubrick’s vision meant mirroring the set to fit available sound stage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.
Kent: As Sara points out, there is an interesting documentary called Room 237, which is absolutely worth a watch for those who do and do not believe in these things. If the government wanted to fake it, then you would recruit Kubrick. I tend to not believe in many conspiracy theories, but if you put a gun to my head, I’m going to say that it happened. I get that a lot of these things have logical explanations. Still, for those of you who really follow Kubrick, you know damn well that everything he does is methodical and with purpose. If people are allowed to believe in God, I can believe that Kubrick faked the moon landing. Even if I’m wrong, I find more joy in believing that it happened, much in the same way religious people feel.
- Would you consider this one of the top 100 films that you have ever seen?
Dana: Fuck no. Okay.. maybe. Its not fair I guess that I’m watching it now and comparing it to others I have seen. But it looks so bad, watching it now.
Sara: I completely concur with Chris here. Top 100 horror movies, but not top 100 of all time, or even MY favorite 100. (Though, admittedly, there are a lot of terrible movies on my personal top 100 list.)
Teddy: not even top 200.
Chris T: Maybe top 100 Horror Movies, but not top 100 Movies of all time
Kent: Wow, everybody aside from Kristi has horrible taste in movies apparently. GAWD! I kid….kinda. From a technical standpoint, you would be hard pressed to find many that stand above this. Of course, that’s not what everybody looks for in a movie. Quite frankly, most people just want to be entertained. Well this film also does that in a huge way, per my tastes. So yeah, this is actually in my top 30. It’s one of the only horror films that I would give a 9.2 rating to. If this film has one hang up, I must admit to not really liking Shelley’s performance, but knowing all of the horror stories, I get it, and she did the best that she could.
- Does the movie still hold up, considering how old it is?
Kristi: Abso-freaking-lutley! (You didn’t go for the swear. Kudos.)
Dana: I mean… with cult followers… I guess so. But I don’t have to watch it again. (Am I in a cult?)
Sara: Eh….kinda? The idea still holds up, and when it was made Kubrick was cutting edge, but I also think I could likely show my 10 year old this and it wouldn’t frighten him at all. (Most of my favorite old horror doesn’t, in fact.) I will also say, though, that he’s not really old enough to get the psychological aspect of it. (What does scare a kid nowadays? I personally know what holds up for me, and what can still be somewhat scary. Jaws and Exorcist are great films, but have no real scare factor today. Shining and Candyman can still provide chills from my perspective, and even something like The Ring. When I watch modern horror, I struggle figuring out what would be considered scary to today’s youth.)
Teddy: I personally do not think so. We’re in an era in which people like things to remain close to source material and I believe this movie wasn’t close at all. (Although I don’t agree with disliking the film due to source material, let’s face it, those people bitch about every comic book film ever made it seems, rather than simply enjoying it. I do concur with your point, in that there are a lot of people with a similar mindset. I do believe that by holding on to this idea that a film is going to be able to represent a book or comic, no, it shouldn’t. It can provide elements, but the written word can be so descriptive. I really have issues with the expectations sometime. Yet, I am also guilty of it some time. Depends on what hat I am wearing that particular day.)
Chris T: Yes and no. For a film buff or student some of the shots, effects and performances were groundbreaking at the time, as was the way Kubrick filmed the movie. For a person never having seen it or just coming into now, they would probably be like “WTF people thought this was scary?” (Do you think that people thought that Shelley’s performance was good at the time? I have wondered this for years.)
Kent: I think that it still holds up, but in all fairness, I could be romanticizing it with nostalgia and stuff. Quite frankly, I am too deep in the forest to see the trees. With that being said, I would certainly debate against anybody and probably win. This film has too many merits and there’s not enough examples to discredit it aside from being old, which should never be an excuse. Citizen Kane is still a great f’n film. It just may not appeal to today’s audience’s taste.
- What is the scariest part of the film for you?
Kristi: Have to go with creepy ass redrum kid part. That is just not right.
Dana: For me, the lady in the bathtub. I don’t really want to shower right now. I guess my husband is going to turn into some old dead guy. (Eyes ins. policy)
Sara: Now? Shelly Long’s acting. As a child, the bit where the whole hotel goes dark and full of cobwebs and Wendy starts seeing shit.
Teddy: The room with the furry in it.
Chris T: Definitely the furry’s ass
Kent: I loved every response here. I was really starting to wonder how nobody had mentioned the furry, but Teddy and Chris renewed my faith in this blog. The lady in the bathtub terrified me as a kid, as did the hedge maze. Now, the obvious answer is the furry.
- Just for fun, if a remake were to be done over the next 5 years, who would you cast as Jack, Wendy, and Halloran (Scatman Crothers’ character)?
Kristi: Jack- Michael C Hall- AKA- Dexter
Wendy- Wynona Rider or Christina Ricci
Halloran- I really don’t know. I feel like this should be done by some we do not know. I have nothing. (I like both choices for Wendy. They are better than what I had come up with.)
Dana: Wendy: Rebecca Romin.. Yeah… she is not as hard on the eyes as Shelly, but she is a subpar actress and it would fit.
Jack: Nicolas Cage: He plays a good crazy
Holloran: Clarence Williams III would be PERFECT! (I like everything that you suggested. Oddly enough, I wanted to choose the creepy dude from Tales From the Hood as Halloran. I had no idea that was Clarence Williams III. So we picked the same dude!)
Sara: This one is hard. I can see Johnny Depp could play a balls to the wall Jack, and maybe that Amanda Seyfried as Wendy. Halloran is the tough one for me, but maybe just for fun, Samuel L. Jackson (Samuel L would work great. I would like to see Amanda do a role that I want to watch her in because it’s been a long time for me. I really don’t like Depp, but the way that he did Secret Window…..I could see it.)
Teddy: I could maybe see Fassbender as Jack…wendy I would say Liv Tyler (someone has to fill Shelly Duvall’s horrible acting shoes lol) and maybe Idris Elba for Halloran. Bonus: Michael Sheen as the bartender (I like everything, but let me just point out the joy you provided me by mocking Liv Tyler. Great job! She’s actually not terrible in The Leftovers, but yeah, she typically is not a stellar actress and would really carry on Shelley’s legacy.)
Chris T: To copy Teddy Fassbender could do Jack. So could James Mcavoy. Basically it would take someone with balls to beat Nicholson going bat-faced fucking crazy, but be able to be a sympathetic alcoholic, family abuser before that. In the book Wendy was a good looking woman who had never really seen adversity before Jack and the Overlook, and was significantly younger than Jack I believe. Truthfully after 2 versions I would rather see them make a movie of the sequel, Dr. Sleep (If you’ve seen Split, you know that James could do this role pretty damn well.)
Kent: Ah, the question that I have spent far too much time pondering. I will offer up a few of my consideration before telling you the best casting that I can offer that would knock your socks off. First off, I’d really enjoy seeing Denzel as Jack. Kinda get him into his Training Day mode, I think this is a role that he could really own. As for a wife for him, I guess I’d give him some lesser known actress so she doesn’t attempt to outshine him. Then give Michael Caine the role of Halloran. In scenario 2, I chose Jon Berenthal, Sarah Michelle Gellar or Naomi Watts or Maria Bello, and then John Witherspoon. This would have name recognition without overshadowing the story. My final and decisive picks are.
Larry Fessenden as Jack. Seriously, watch him in I Sell the Dead or We Are Still Here, or just look him up. Lauren Ashley Carter as Wendy. Her and Larry have done some work together, but she has done some very good stuff, at least her acting. Darlin, Jug Face, Pod, The Woman, etc. She’s younger than Larry and is pretty. Finally, to please the horror buffs, Tony Todd as Halloran. Yes, the Candyman can play this role and he has such a presence. I would like to find a role for Keith David and David Keith as well. Can we get Stacy Keibler as the nude bathtub chick?
- Name up to 3 horror movies that you would consider doing another blog about with me.
Kristi: House of 1000 Corpses or Devils Rejects, Silence of the Lambs- not really horror but I think it could be fun, and Pet Semetary (While I love all of those films, I think Devil’s Rejects and Pet Sematary would get the most interesting responses. Not enough people love House of 1000 Corpses like we do.)
Dana: Psycho is my absolute favorite horror movie, The Blob, and The Omen. (Psycho is an absolutely fantastic film. I own The Omen, but I have never really loved it, but I don’t mind it. The Blob, my question is which one? The newer one with Shawnee Smith or the old Steve McQueen one with the great cheesy song?)
Sara: There is no real way to narrow it down to just 3, but if I had to, I’d say Quarantine (that movie scared the ever-loving shit out of me. lol), Killer Clowns from Outerspace, and the Chucky Series (I only chose this because then you would get 2 sets of answers, because my son would insist on playing along too. He LOVES Chucky.) (I liked Quarantine a lot. Then I saw the original, Rec which is Spanish, and those movies are close to shot for shot. The cool part is that Rev went on to have a stellar part 2 and 4. 3 was garbage, but 2 was directly after 1 in the same building and worked really well. The American sequels…ugh. Killer Klowns could be fun and attract a whole different audience, as would Childs Play. I like them all.)
Teddy: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Sinister, I guess would say IT since it’s coming out soon and Tales from the Hood (Wait a second. Did Tales From The Hood just get brought up a second time? What the hell? That’s great! Sinister was really fun. IT would be another fun one to go back to. Younger people won’t appreciate it, and jaded adults are going to see all of the flaws.)
Chris T: Dude, just 3. Should do many fucking more of these. Stage them thematically: horror series (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the Thirteenth, Saw, etc); creator( Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Wan, etc); country of origin, theme, etc. That being said there are some gems that no one ever talks about: Nightbreed, The Children of Twilight, and Phantasm are the three I would go with (As I just tackled Phantasm this past October, I wholeheartedly agree. It is one of those fantastic gems. Have you seen the last one, part V Ravager I think it was called. It was weird…duh, but an interesting way to end the franchise, Booooooy! I can say that I haven’t seen the other 2. So those are getting on my list this year.)
Kent: Well, obviously I have final say, but I want to do a lot of these. Quite frankly, I would love to do 2 of these a month. So I may be able to do this if there is enough interest. In October, I think it would be fun to tackle both John Carpenter’s Halloween as well as Rob Zombie’s because there are a lot of differing opinions regarding those 2 films, and that will be fun. Chris actually nailed 2 of my upcoming choices. In the meantime, I will ponder this question. Do you fans want to see blogs on more well known films, or lesser known gems? Do you want both recent and classic and really classic films? From the responses, it seems like the vast majority were of 80’s or later. Still, Dana brought up 3 really good films to discuss. A lot of people love Psycho and The Omen.
With that being said, while it is still available on NetFlix, I can say that the next film will feature, in my opinion, the greatest of all time. 1….2……Freddy’s coming for you next.
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