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A bargain boxset from a genius filmmaker
on 12 May 2013
Seven films for around a fiver each - pretty good value, and that's before you consider the richness of the material within. There are not many artists I would consider geniuses in their field, but Stanley Kubrick is one. A director with an utterly unique vision, he stamped his personality all over the screen. It's worth considering that Kubrick visited a wide range of genres, most only once, and yet several of these films are regarded as undisputed classics of their kind - 2001 (sci-fi), The Shining (horror), Barry Lyndon (period drama) and so on. Kubrick famously preferred his films shot in Academy format to be presented on home video in open-matte 4:3 ratio - not without controversy as despite his liking for the squarer framing, the more recent movies were shown at the cinema matted to widescreen, and presumably shot with the wider framing in mind. For years open-matte transfers were all we had - even for 1999's "Eyes Wide Shut" - but fortunately the studio has presented the films in this set in their original theatrical widescreen ratios, or very close to. The films look great in HD, especially 2001. Audio-wise, the more recent transfers (Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon) have DTS-MA tracks, while the other films have uncompressed multi-channel PCM audio, which is wasteful of disc space but otherwise should make no difference. Don't expect much in the way of surround effects - 2001 is the most impressive, being shot in 70mm with multi-channel sound in mind, but Kubrick preferred mono for the rest of his films, up to and including Full Metal Jacket. Overall we've been well and truly spoilt with this boxset. For the price of three cinema tickets and a couple of drinks, enjoy the work of a visionary director looking the best it's ever done outside of a cinema.