31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kubrick fans in the United States are FURIOUS.
Here in the USA, petitions have circulated urging Warner Bros. to release the uncensored version of "Eyes Wide Shut" on DVD. They CLAIM the version of the film being marketed in the USA (including digitally-inserted "manikins" that obscure the more explicit scenes) is the version Kubrick intended American audiences to see! Even though the studio may have felt...
Published on 3 Jun 2000
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the US DVD
Remember, the US film was censored by the American film board and digital images were placed in front of "key points" in the film. The upshot of which is that the UK DVD is better than the US one because it contains more explicit material which is what Kubrick intended
Published on 6 April 2000 by Colin Neal
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kubrick fans in the United States are FURIOUS.,
By A Customer
Here in the USA, petitions have circulated urging Warner Bros. to release the uncensored version of "Eyes Wide Shut" on DVD. They CLAIM the version of the film being marketed in the USA (including digitally-inserted "manikins" that obscure the more explicit scenes) is the version Kubrick intended American audiences to see! Even though the studio may have felt the need to censor the film for American theatrical release, there is no reason why they can't market an uncensored "director's cut" on DVD. Anyone in Europe, the Middle East or Japan who purchases this DVD should consider themselves lucky, because they are getting Stanley Kubrick's artistic vision as it SHOULD be seen. Here in the USA we have to make do with an inferior product, and I for one refuse to buy it.
That having been said ... "Eyes Wide Shut" is an excellent, if somewhat challenging, Kubrick film, and although initial reviews were mixed, I think in retrospect this film will be viewed as one of Kubrick's best 10, 20 years from now. In the years before this film was released, the studio would only say that "Eyes Wide Shut" was a tale about jealousy and sexual obsession. My first reaction was, "Gee, that's like saying 'A Clockwork Orange' is about juvenile delinquency!" But actually "Eyes Wide Shut" does boil down to a tale about jealousy and sexual obsession. After his wife (played by Nicole Kidman) confesses a sexual fantasy while puffing on a joint, Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) retaliates by looking for some sexual fantasies of his own, and he ends up looking in all the wrong places and gets sucked into situations he wishes he hadn't. His wife's final line in this picture, her suggestion to her hapless husband, is a real clincher.
This is an absolutely gorgeous movie, as beautifully-shot as anything Kubrick has ever done. It is also a hypnotic and cerebral film. To say "slow" would be much too simple. "Eyes Wide Shut" requires something that too many American moviegoers lack: An attention span.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you expect from Eyes Wide Shut forget it...,
By A Customer
Eyes wide Shut ,like all Kubrick films, should be judged by it's own merits. According to all the ill informed(unofficial) hype that preceeded it's release we were to expect a lurid erotic vehicle for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Nothing could be further from the truth, most of the stories stemmed from the fact that much of the media (perhaps with the exception of the Evening Standard's Alexander Walker) was so frustrated by the lack of information on the film that they decided to do what they do best and start filling in the blanks with anything they fancied. This, after 2001:A space odyssey, is without any doubt Kubricks finest moment. I promise you that the film will be nothing like you've been led to expect. I really don't want to give much away ( I believe a review should cover the quality of a movie,not it's plot) but much of the film takes place on one long night after Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) has just been through a mesmerising revelation with his wife(Nicole Kidman). The film fills a space in the subconscious often neglected by modern films and we get carried deep into the heart of something truly compelling by the main character who is played with an eye opening honesty by Mr Cruise. I'll have to admit that I have never been a fan of Tom Cruise,often even avoiding his work because of his association with all that awful american apple pie stuff, but this is the most astonishing 'solo' performance I've seen since Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant. This film proves to be Cruise's best work and I am now a believer in his talent, with this film he has shifted his axis and I hope his priorities in movies. Kidman is also very 'real' although her screen time is limited to crucial key moments. The camerawork and editing is the usual tight and specific high standard you get from any Kubrick picture and all the music and sound equally efficient. This is an important DVD release for several reasons: The high standard of lighting demanded by Kubrick would probably be wasted on VHS (all DVD owners know about the importance of picture clarity) and much of the more eccentric shots which give the movie it's dreamlike quality deserve a decent medium to give them depth. This is also a movie which is quite demanding on the audio front. There is masses of dialogue which needs the DVD format to help you hang on every word (and believe me you'll need to pay attention to whats being said) and some very sonically demanding musical sections (I guarantee you'll be fixated with the groundbreaking acoustics on chapter 16 of the disc) so much so that I know of several home cinema retailers using this disc for demos on some of their systems. I have been fascinated by this movie since seeing it on it's cinema release and I haven't had any negative feedback from anyone I know who's seen it. As I said,have no expectations other than this is a film from a true craftsman,no one ever came close to Kubrick for pure quality and as Steven Spielberg accurately mention on his interview in the special features section of this top DVD title,once you start watching a Kubrick movie,you cannot turn it off until the very end. Get this disc,I promise you won't be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Christmas Tale for Adults,
By A Customer
This review is from: Eyes Wide Shut [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
If you're expecting a typical Hollywood picture, this isn't the one for you. It's a Kubrick film. Almost all of Kubrick's movies are masterpieces and this is no exception. This is an excellent film, if you understand what Stanley Kubrik was trying to do. Look at the title! This is a dream, but taking place in reality. Sometimes it seems the film doesn't move fast enough. The slow scene where she (Nicole Kidman) and he (Tom Cruise) are in the bedroom smoking hashish is one of the most incredible jobs of acting I've ever seen. And listen to the soundtrack--it's great! I believe that this is by far the best movie Stanley Kubrick ever did and possibly (why not?) the greatest movie ever made.
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last words from a genius,
This review is from: Eyes Wide Shut (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
"Eyes Wide Shut" is Stanley Kubrick's last film.
Like all Kubricks, "Eyes Wide Shut" is a film that appears on the surface to be relatively straightforward, yet isn't, if you want it to be. You take from it what you want. When I first saw it, I was disappointed. I was expecting genius. And yet, like the layers of a peeled orange, the more you look, the more you see.
Visually it's fabulous - the colours and textures of the film are sumptious. You can tell when you watch it this guy started off as a stills photographer. Like Barry Lyndon, each shot is framed like a painting.
In terms of plot, "Eyes Wide Shut" is fairly one-dimensional. On the surface it might seem like a fairly basic morality tale about the temptations of infidelity, but the translation of the title of the novella it is based on is "Dream Story" - little of "Eyes Wide Shut" actually happens. Hence then, the unusual dialogue, the bizarre imagery, and the strange-plot-arc.
You can pick this up in the unusual dialogue frequented by the longue lizard in the opening scene who attempts to seduce Alice (Nicole Kidman), or the gaggle of women who flirt outrageously with Bill (Tom Cruise), or the bereaved woman who attempts to seduce him. Bill literally exists in a world where all women are sexual, even those who are being examined for breast cancer suffer from an objection of their flesh, as Cruise examines them in a state of unnecessary nakedness.
If the film is 'real', highly unlikely given the circumstances, then, for example, why is everything so old-fashioned? Why is the hooker so... civilised, her dialogue so stilted, her language so repressed? Why do characters behave as if they were living in the 1940's, not the 1990's?
However, there are also some moments of richness. Who else has filmed a couple applying deodorant or brushing their teeth? Who else has penetrated the nature of relationships in such a successful manner in film? Eyes Wide Shut is about the way we act against what we think, about the essential deceptions we all carry within us and do not reveal, about the gap between our desires and our reality.
Hence the use of masks as a recurrent theme. Hence the fact that all male characters have two faces - for example, the masks, or the fear of losing their faces (many characters bemoan losing their hair - the frame around the face), and many of the female characters (Domino - literally one with two faces) are also two-faced. Decievers and decieved.
The other sub-plot is that of a world where the rich use and discard people who are of lesser importance. Bill is constantly buying people off, paying for services that are either not rendered, or over-paying for everything - the Taxi Driver, the Prostitute. This is probably something to do with the fact that wealth brings with it guilt, and by constantly 'forking out', he's trying to address the balance and pay off his middle or upper-class sense of guilt. With Wealth comes the knowledge everyone has a price.
To its logical extension, the people behind the debauched mansion sequence actually appear to gang-rape and drug a woman to death. Bill only survives because they do not want to kill him. Yet. If any of it is real.
So "Eyes Wide Shut". Not by any means an easy movie to love. But a great one. Like any Kubrick movie, it takes many repeated viewings and years of enjoyment to begin to unravel all the riches it has to reveal. A satisfying end to a career.
And hence the title Eyes Wide Shut is a deceptively shallow name for a film. But what does the phrase mean? In full knowledge of the darker side of human nature, in full awareness of the corruption at the heart of man (the use of money to buy anything, the corruption of power, the emptiness of sex which is a mere simulation of love), Bill / Alice choose to ignore the facts they are fully aware of, and try to live an ignorant life. In ignorance lies bliss. But it has a price. The couple no longer are innocent - the purity of their love has been broken. Alice's final suggestion is that the couple shag. Not make love. But sex, like base animals, like creatures who can no longer connect spiritually anymore. But do not yet know that all they are doing now is decieving themselves in an imitation. An imitation of what their love used to be.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood masterpiece,
Many critics of this movie complain that it never truly makes a point. After my first viewing, I didn't quite know what to think, other than I had just seen a visual masterpiece where a brilliant filmmaker squeezed every last drop of acting out of several incredibly talented actors. Nicole Kidman proves that she is certainly one of the best around, and Tom Cruise didn't miss once in his portrayal of Dr. Bill. I've seen many negative reviews about Tom Cruise's acting, but I think they are really complaints about Dr. Bill, who often has less depth than a kiddie pool as he alternates between pitiful, dense, and occassionally unlikeable, which is perhaps not what people expected or wanted from Dr. Bill or Cruise. The Dr. Bill you see on screen is entirely necessary to making you believe that he could consciously make so many pathetic choices, one after another, before beginning to realize his own ineptitude, which makes it impossible for me to swallow that any portion of his portrayal was not completely deliberate.
After several subsequent viewings, it became clear to me that this movie is much like life itself: vague, ambiguous, and chock full of important messages buried within an often confusing barrage of distraction. It would be fairly boring (and perhaps even sensory overload) if this movie had the equivalent of blinking neon signs explaining every important message, and the subdued manner of relaying them suits the movie, and its director, perfectly. Kubrick wonderfully balances startling revelation with seemingly intentional wandering that allows the viewer to ponder what they've just witnessed, and the messages are so skillfully woven in the space between that it's no surprise many people don't recognize them.
It would be impossible to spell out many of these messages without completely dissecting the movie and taking away the wonder of discovery you will feel when you see them for yourself. It's also highly likely that you will find others I did not.
It is basically a story about a man who smugly believes that he has life figured out and under control, progressive to a point and seemingly perfect. When that shimmering illusion is torn away by a mind-numbing revelation from his wife, his perfect world spirals out of control. His need to get back at her puts him in a series of bizarre and increasingly dangerous situations until he becomes lost in a world where he doesn't understand anything, bumbling through choice after choice in an attempt to return to his flawed life, which doesn't seem all that bad after all.
If you are not a person who can watch movies more than once, then this movie is not for you, but if you have the time and the inclination, it is well worth it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one can agree what it is really about,
By A Customer
The fact that no critic or viewer can really pin point what this film is actually about speaks volumes for the genius of the man. It is more of an experience that a narative certainly. There is enough visual sumptuousness and tension in the performaces to last many a viewing. Kubrick certainly gives you your moneys worth.
Like Full Metal Jacket before it (as well as 2001), there is no real point to the narative. It is not that it is nebulous in terms of it's linear structure or plot detail, its more that you just never really know how you are supposed to react. This in itself is deeply unsettling. Tom Cruise in the dress hire shop in total confusion as to the mad events that are going on around him is typical of how the viewer can feel. Do I laugh, cry, agree, disagree ?
Full Metal Jacket was able to convey the horrors of war, the brutality of the individual and many other contradictions, without ever pretending that there was anything but the flimsiest plot. Eyes Wide Shut touches enough nerves about all manner issues without ever bothering to pretend that they form a part of the whole. Drugs, Sexual perversion, HIV, transvestism, infidelity, violence, death and all manner of other things come and without ever leaving the viewer thinking that they are being assualted by the issues, or being asked to take a stance.
I can understand why some may find it infuriating, pointless, or just plain dull, simply because it is just so different to just about anything else you would ever see in mainstream cinema.
Okay, it's not his best work, but it acheives levels of greatness that most other directors can only dream of. He may not ever have acheived the hights of Clockwork Orange and 2001 again, but there again who else has in the last 30 years either?
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing in its emotional complexity,
I don't think it's possible to truly explain Eyes Wide Shut to anyone who hasn't seen it. For some, it will be too darn weird, far too lengthy, and too abstract and open-ended to be enjoyable. Others, however, will find themselves as fascinated as I was while watching this extraordinary film, especially after it transforms itself into something totally unexpected about midway through. There is a sort of surreal atmosphere around everything that happens here, although I must say I sensed no dreamlike qualities to any parts of it. I really didn't know what to expect going in - besides a bunch of nudity and the whole erotic Cruise-Kidman relationship - but that was a good thing (especially since the movie isn't really about those things). Eyes Wide Shut is so unusual that it's probably better for the viewer to go in with no expectations whatsoever.
I came to this film for Nicole Kidman, just as many probably came to it for Cruise. It's really a Tom Cruise feature, I have to say, with Kidman scoring a lot less screen time than I expected. Now, I love Nicole Kidman, and I was mesmerized by this entire movie, but I don't think this was one of Kidman's better performances. Maybe it's just the fact that racy language coming out of her mouth just doesn't sit right with me, but I was definitely uncomfortable watching Kidman work her way through the more emotional scenes (which seemed a little overdramatic). Cruise, for his part, is great, and the whole supporting cast (including Leelee Sobieski in a small but scintillating role) is excellent.
Bill and Alice Harford have a complex relationship. Following a strange party which finds them each flirting with other people, Alice starts a discussion that ends with her recounting her fantasies about another man. Bill, who sits there with a blank look on his face throughout the uncomfortable scene, then gets called away to the home of a patient who has just died. As you might expect, images of his wife with another man just keep running through his mind, and the unexpected advances of his dead patient's daughter sort of tip his precarious grip on reality a little too close to the edge. Opportunity begins to become temptation, and he moves ever closer to infidelity. Just when you think you have the movie figured out, though, it runs off like the Road Runner escaping the grasping hands of Wile E. Coyote. Bill finds his way to an exclusive, secretive party of costumed men and women doing things that are far removed from the morality of the everyday world. The whole scene is just amazingly surreal and weird - yet certainly exciting and stimulating. The things Bill witnesses at this party set the stage for the rest of the film. This is as much as I want to say about the plot, but I must emphasize just how multi-layered the story is. It's a brilliantly complicated film that touches all sorts of emotional buttons.
In the end, Eyes Wide Shut is a movie about relationships, particularly marriage, with infidelity and jealousy standing as the touchstones of Kubrick's elaborate exploration of the most intense and vulnerable of emotions. People wear all sorts of emotional masks, they indulge in fantasies and sometimes give in to temptation, and Eyes Wide Shut plays extremely well on these themes. Kubrick really weaves all sorts of disparate elements together in the most mesmerizing of ways. I can certainly understand why some people just don't like the movie at all, though. Daring, complex, surreal, intellectual, visionary motion pictures usually divide critics and viewers, inspiring either love or hate. I can barely begin to do the movie justice here, but I personally feel that this is a brilliant motion picture that will garner more and more critical acclaim over time.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic film,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eyes Wide Shut (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
I saw this movie when it first came out back in the late 1990's and certain very poignant scenes stuck in my memory forever more, so when I saw it on Amazon I just bought it and I'm so glad I did. It was even better second time around as it's one of those tales that requires a second viewing to fully understand the nuances of the plot and the acting. I never thought I'd say that a film starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman could be a classic but here, with the direction of Stabley Kubrick and a script of sheer brilliance, it works! I do have a few complaints about it (not least Kidman's overacting when she tries to play a drunk) but overall this is class. Say what you like about Tom Cruise but he really is an extrordinarily good actor and here he excels himself as a man lost and on a sado-sexual journey after his wife reveals that all was not as it seemed in their marriage. Buy it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-Ray] [Region Free],
This review is from: Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I just want to make some comments on this Blu-Ray release. I purchased this Blu-Ray recently and was very disappointed with the standard of the transfer and the issue with the ratio of the picture (some loss of the image at the top and bottom). If you already have the DVD of this film do not buy the Blu-Ray because you will see very little difference to the visual or audio quality to that of the DVD. I find this astounding as this film is a Stanley Krubrick film and there is no doubt only the very best filming and audio equipment was used in its production so there are no excuses as to why the Blu-Ray has a DVD quality about it. I am not an expert on the processes involved in producing DVD/Blu-Ray digital files but this Blu-Ray looks to me simply as a upscale of the original DVD file rather than a re-scan at a higher resolution of the original print....
The film itself I give 4 stars (A flawed Masterpiece that is visually stunning, highlighting Stanley Krubrick's mastery of film).
The Blu-Ray transfer I give 1 Star.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruise's best performance to date,
CONTAINS SPOILERS I remember reading such mixed reviews of this movie when it was released that I never bothered to go and see it. Having watched the DVD I was really very impressed. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married when this was filmed, over a three year period. It was by all accounts an exhausting film to make with Stanley Kubrick demanding up to fifty re-takes of some scenes. Tom Cruise plays good looking, charismatic and successful Doctor Bill and Kidman plays his wife, Alice. I did find Kidman's performance over the top on occasion. There is a party scene where she is dancing with an Eastern European older man and her breathy Marilyn Monroe voice did become a little grating. Throughout the film I didn't really get a feel for Alice's character at all, she seems to be constantly changing, cruel, loving, ditzy, maternal. I am sure this was deliberate of Kubrick's part. Tom Cruise is superb. Unsettled by his wife's admission that she has lusted after another man, Dr Bill embarks on a reckless sexual journey. A musician friend tells Bill about some strange gatherings that he had been hired to play at. The musician doesn't know what goes on at these events as he has to wear a blindfold but he has caught an intriguing glimpse of the proceedings. Bill is fascinated and bluffs his way into one of these gatherings. What turns out to be a bit of fun for him soon turns into a frightening, surreal nightmare and there is a real sense of menace in the air. He has obviously stumbled on something very sinister and what has happened to his piano-playing friend? It seems that everybody he encounters is involved in some sort of seedy underworld. There is a particularly creepy scene when he returns a fancy dress outfit to a costume shop and the grinning owner offers his teenage daughter to Cruise's character. What did the daughter mean when she said "you should wear a cloak lined with ermine"? The film seems full of hidden meanings. Dr Bill then narrowly misses contracting HIV after a meeting with a hooker. I particularly enjoyed the scenes when Dr Bill is walking the New York streets alone and frightened. Dr Bill is aptly named as he seems to be constantly opening his wallet and handing over large amounts of money, often to get his own way, he can't buy himself out of this mess though.
There is lots of sex in this film but not between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Kubrick seems to have made a deliberate choice to dress Kidman very frumpily and her underwear would be more appropriate to a child, plain white vest and pants, no doubt a contrast against the glamorous, naked, masked amazons who appear at the party scene. The only part of the film which I didn't like was the ending. I just felt that Kidman's character seemed too relaxed given the continuing danger facing her family. Alice had just learned that Dr Bill's "adventure" may have cost two innocent people their lives yet she insists they should be "grateful" that their marriage has survived. The DVD includes interviews with Cruise and Kidman and it is clear that they were both devasted to learn of Kubrick's death shortly after filming ended. I have even read some conspiracy theories that he was murdered by the Illiminati for revealing too much about their occult rituals, a little far fetched maybe but having watched this film, I wouldn't want to upset any of America's elite secret societies.
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Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick (Blu-ray)