So I’ve tried to watch the 5 Kubrick movies I’ve posted this week. But due to my limited time and limited brain capacity, I could only watch 3. It sucked that I couldn’t watch all of them but I guess the 3 are enough for now.
It was actually harder than I thought. I thought it was just going to be seeing one movie after the other and making sense of the movie so that I can reflect the director but it wasn’t that straight forward. While watching the films I was very aware that I needed to understand the movie and the director at the same time and I got overwhelmed. It felt intimidating rather than enjoyable. But this made me realize that watching those 5 movies and analyzing both the director and the movies was a bit too ambitious. So to address this glitch in my plans, I’ll be changing formats. I’ll be doing 3 movies by 3 directors and 3 movies by 3 actors every month. I think this way, the type of movies and the type of review will vary so that I won’t feel so pressured to understand them. Also, I’ll probably be posting the director/movie review on Mondays and the actor/movie reviews on Thursdays, that way I have time to see the movie and to make my post. Alright, hope this works out 🙂
So anyway, for this week, the director in the spotlight is Stanley Kubrick. I know he’s a very well-known and very influential film maker. I know this because he’s always mentioned in anything related to movies. But for me, due to being as “young” as I am, I didn’t really get to see his movies until this week. I know it’s hard to admit that this week was only the first time I saw any of his films. Embarrassing for a movie lover I know, but I due to the age of his films, I was afraid that they would be too “boring”. And by boring I mean, it’s about a war with a dialogue I don’t understand and an accent that is hard to follow.
Visually all his work is stunning, the shots were I guess very ahead of its time. The wide shots were generally spectacular, it gives a picturesque image of beauty and intrigue which sets the platform for the film. He also loves color; the films I saw were complex in terms of the color pallets used. They were extremely bright and very noticeable.
The music was definitely well thought of. The music in his movies helps you get along with the story. It helps build up the intensity and creeps up together with the movie well. His use of music helps define the film and lends itself to the story. It’s kind of the hammock that cradles the story and rocks it every once a while when needed.
Lastly, the content, when this comes to mind, what I remember was there was a lot of nudity. I MEAN A LOT. I didn’t really expect this since the first movie I saw was Dr. Strangelove but when I saw A Clockwork Orange, it was more than I would hope to see. But despite this, I think his movies are really good. The harmony between the story and the character, the character and the relationships, the timing of events and the story are spot on. His movies are well defined and knows where it needs to go. You don’t feel lost within it because the movie tells you the story it wants to tell and how you get there.
The first movie I saw was Dr Stranglove which I was a bit apprehensive about. One was because it was set during the war which I knew nothing about, and two because the characters spoke in an accent that I have a hard time understanding. But despite my prejudice, I tried to watch the movie with an open mind and I must say it was my favorite of the three. Well first, it was a satire, and I love satires. Everyone going crazy is only a plus. I must say the dialogue in this movie is very funny, I laughed out loud when I heard the president say “don’t fight, this is the war room”. The movie was very witty and very good at making fun of something that is very scary. I think it handled itself well being a satire and walking the line between being that and a parody of the war. The characters I think were representative of the people in a war situation (not that I know what it’s like) in a sense that they were all committed to the cause, with the unfortunate miscommunication and understanding of what that cause actually is. The ending too was way to hilarious which nails the second part of the title of the movie which is how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.
Next movie I saw was A Clockwork Orange and I must say, after the first 10 minutes, I was in awe. I couldn’t believe the violence and sexuality of this movie. It’s my least favorite of the 3 because I hated the first part of it. The setting for me was too graphic and it makes itself too obvious. I mean you can strike fear in a person’s brain without getting into their face. It was over the top in my opinion and it only made me uncomfortable thinking why would they do that instead of oh my god, I hope that’s not me. Although I do think the redeeming quality of this movie was Malcolm McDowell when he got cured. I think that’s when the entire circus went out the window and you can focus on the character’s journey from being bad to good to helpless and alone which is extremely powerful. You can feel his agony when you see him powerless against the people he used to have power over, until he gets reset back into being violent.
Last one I saw was The Shining. The reason for this is because I am wimp. I hate scary movies and they tend to give me nightmares, but in order to be a good movie reviewer, I sucked up enough courage and saw it in the daylight. I really liked this movie; the shots of this were incredible, made me think LOTR’s cinematography was inspired by this. The movie had a good was of slowly building on your fear of what could happen. You feel bad for Danny because of the little things he discover and you also notice that he has a weird relationship with his dad. I must commend the kid on his acting, he was amazing. I think it would hard to a kid to act on this kind of situation but this kid actor was very believable. Jack Nicholson and his wife in the movie were also great. You can really see how Jack transformed from sane to insane. You start to feel him lose it one day at a time while his wife was struggling on how to stay afloat with him and Danny. I really think this is one of the best thriller films ever made because the build-up for this movie was intense. You really do feel what it would be like to be stuck in the mountain knowing there’s something bad there and that there’s an extremely high chance that something bad will happen.
All in all, I think Kubrick and Kubrick’s films deserves a 4.5 out of 5 stars. His movies were definitely good and well-made but I think at times he gets stuck on being Kubrick and forget the audience.
I know this may be a bit long, or is it not as detailed as you would’ve hoped? Did you like this review? Please do let me know by commenting below or by messaging me. Would love to hear the response of my fellow film lovers! J
Will be posting week 1 – actor this Thursday and will also be updating the director list by then.