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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POP ART MEETS ULTRA VIOLENCE in a gleeful amoral attack on good taste.
Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is much. much, better than the book. He guts the story of Burgess' phony moralising and turns it into a flat out visually exciting bawdy farce. What Kubrick did to Alex and his droogs is worth noting. In the book they dress in black and Alex wears an Elvis mask, they are supposed to represent a lost Englishness; Americanised by popular...
Published on 7 Jan. 2012 by Nelson Viper

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
The film cuts Anthony Burgess' last chapter from the book. To some this isn't a big deal, but if you have read the book you will understand that it changes the entire meaning of the film!

I won't put any spoilers in, but I will say I am disappointed they cut the last chapter. So please go read the book first.
Published 5 months ago by MR

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POP ART MEETS ULTRA VIOLENCE in a gleeful amoral attack on good taste., 7 Jan. 2012
Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is much. much, better than the book. He guts the story of Burgess' phony moralising and turns it into a flat out visually exciting bawdy farce. What Kubrick did to Alex and his droogs is worth noting. In the book they dress in black and Alex wears an Elvis mask, they are supposed to represent a lost Englishness; Americanised by popular culture and speaking in pigeon Russian because of the influence of socialism. Alex's love of Beethoven represents the possibility that a civilised heart resides in a thug and the conversations with the prison Chaplin are about Alex finding answer to his behaviour before he accepts a treatment that will rob him of choice and individuality. Kubrick depicts Alex and his droogs as English archetypes, dressed in cricket whites, mummers play masks and full of bullish, aggressive energy. Though they speak in the same odd way as the droogs of the novel, they don't seem robbed of a language. The nadsat of the film is a playful extension of English. Alex's love of Beethoven, in the film, is his internal soundtrack: a violent, chaotic, bombastic reflection of who he is and the spur for what he does. The biggest difference between Kubrick's film and Burgess' book, is that one is the vision of an American looking at aspects of England and Englishness in the 1970s, it's football hooligans, gangs and its dandyism. Whilst the other is the prurient sound of someone tutting about the working-classes, the influence of rock and roll, TV and the possibility that do-gooders may be bigger fascists than traditionalists. I also suspect that Kubrick cast Northern English actors as his droogs as a both a tribute to and sly poke at Burgess, a way of saying "come Anthony, admit it, you love this stuff, you want to be Alex, he is you".

Part of what makes the film version of A clockwork Orange troubling is that it's a celebration of how good it feels to be liberated from morality and the excitement the freedom to be bad generates. The moral figures in this film are all grotesques, creepy like the youth worker, weak like the dad, drunk like the Chaplin and twee repressed vengeful loons like the author. Alex on the other hand has charm, energy and boundless enthusiasm. He is cinema's truest, purest, Anti Hero and most importantly he gets away with it.
Has A clockwork Orange dated? Well it's a silly argument. No one with a brain would look at a renaissance painting and think it sucks, because doublet and hose are soooo 15Th Century. All art is of it's time. The point of A Clockwork Orange is that its visual style, and energy and most importantly the way it deals with its themes are no longer routes that modern films can take. Not a single shot is wasted, you could take random stills from it and just about every single one would be iconic . It's Pop Art at its finest. An all out assault on good taste, a celebration of ugly beauty and a dead eyed moral vacuum. And it is as funny, energetic and as charismatic as it's hero.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mesmerising, 3 May 2010
Mr. James West "Nebulous" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is for the bluray.

This film could so easily fall victim to its own hype because of its history, the reaction to its unveiling, the oscars, the was it banned or just withdrawn? - but it manages to rise above that and stand as a monument to its era, with a message on crime and punishment, that still has something to say to us today. Despite coming out in 1971 it somehow screams 'sixties' to me.

I've never seen this film before. As a teenager I read the book, at least twice. Even then I was part enthralled, part repelled; by the casual violence, the state intervention and the end result. So I recently bought the bluray and my reaction was pretty much the same. The film has a mesmeric quality about it. The 'ultraviolence,' the exclusive language, the use of music and the strange clothes. It was very carefully choreographed, particularly in the fighting and rape scenes, which for me at least gave a detached view, almost like watching a musical. The scenes in the milk bar were very much stranger than anything I managed to imagine from the book. If you haven't seen it you are definitely missing an experience you wont forget quickly.

Picture Quality was pretty good for a film of this age. Colours were good, particularly flesh tones, and the contrast was very good with the white clothes and strong coloured interiors. Some of the household interiors were quite psychedelic. Grain is evident much of the time, but for me at least it didn't detract from enjoyment of the film. It seemed to lend it an authentic feel.

Audio quality was good - there is an uncompressed pcm 5.1 track as well as a dolby digital 5.1 one. Sound is biased towards the front and dialogue is clear and distinct throughout. The music is also quite mesmerising. I don't think 'singing in the rain' will ever sound quite the same again.

So overall well worth watching if you have a strong enough stomach. It is strange, violent and stylised - but as a key milestone in the history of film viewing it was well overdue for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifically hypnotising, 2 Sept. 2013
`A Clockwork Orange' was famously `banned' by its director, Stanley Kubrick soon after its release. This gave it an instant `cult' appeal as many wanted to know why a film-maker should go to such unusual lengths with his own work.

It some ways, it's easy to see why it was taken out of general circulation. It is horribly violent. Its central character offers absolutely nothing in the way of likability. He's a violent robber, rapist, gang-member and murderer. And, perhaps worst of all, he never seems that bothered by his own actions - simply enjoying them as you would any hobby.

Some may say it's hard to root for such a vile `hero' yet we do. Despite his numerous evil traits, he's also entertaining, charming and a most memorable leading man. Therefore, we may hate him, we may also be desperate for him to receive some retribution, yet we find ourselves wanting to find out what becomes of him. This - in many ways - is down to Malcolm McDowell's excellent acting, but Kubrick's direction is also key to making this such a work of art.

The film is weird and timeless, much of it looking like the seventies has been transported a hundred years into the future. Everything from the language to the hairstyles says `science fiction.' It really does create a weird and creepy atmosphere.

You don't have to like A Clockwork Orange, you just have to appreciate that it is a work of `art' and, like all great art, is subject to controversy. Many hate it and I can understand why. The overall violence of the film does leave a bitter taste in your mouth. If you're considering watching it, you may need a strong stomach. However, if you can put aside the nastiness of it all, you'll find a weirdly entertaining film of which you've probably never seen anything like it before.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Malenky Bit Horrorshow!, 14 July 2011
Ms. L. J. Braisby "leigh" (Doncaster, South Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
Alex and his 3 Droogs are no strangers to a bit of the old Ultra Violence. In actual fact, their the ones that pretty much wrote the gospel on it. Alex and the Droogs go around doing basically whatever they want; and what they want is chaos. Battering people, raping women, beating rival gangs and generally being a volatile nuisance, until an incident with Alex beating a woman to death and then being betrayed by his fellow Droogs lands him in Prison for 14 years. Alex feels he's seen the error of his ways after 2 years in Prison, and volunteers to have an extreme form of therapy that's only in its fetal stages. The therapy entails Alex being tied down with his eyes pried open, whilst having to watch videos of similar Ultra-Violence, and injections which are meant to reverse Alex's attitude and behavior, making him extremely distressed and even sick when faced with the very things he used to revel in. Will the therapy change Alex? What has happened to the Droogs in this time? And, most importantly, what will be the public attitude towards Alex's release? You'll have to watch to find out, O My Brothers...
This is the first time I've watched Clockwork Orange as I got it as a gift, and it's definitely not going to be the last! The film quality is unflawed, and the movie has a contemporary feel for its time. Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is oddly a very likeable character, even after everything he's done, you can't help but hope things work out for him. It's extremely well acted and I think the story line is timeless, and I can't wait to read the book!
The 2 Disc edition comes with Extras such as a Channel 4 Documentary on Clockwork Orange, a feature about Malcolm McDowell, as well as another feature about the film, and a few more! Highly recommended if you're looking for something unique and stand apart. Essential viewing!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing film, 7 July 2011
I'm 18 and i love movies, i only just watched this the other day, because i'm a big fan of Full Metal Jacket and The Shining. And wow. This is what cinema is about, the first 20 minutes are mesmerizing you just sit there and watch iconic image after iconic image. People still go on about how the movie is sick(obviously people who have never seen the movie and just believe the films past bad reputation). But they couldn't be more wrong, although some of the violence is mesmerizing to look at, Kubrick clearly wasn't just turning violence into fun, there is a deeper message, which you should be able to figure out for yourself when you watch the movie. Anyway, the directing is obviously amazing, just some incredible shots. The acting is great on all counts, of course the standout is Malcolm McDowell who gives the performance of a lifetime and it is something that will be remembered forever. He actually made me feel sorry for Alex, who is one sick individual, and i actually started rooting for him to get cured of what the government had done to him. It really shows you what a joke the Oscars are when you consider this movie and his performance got no recognition from the academy. I don't know what else to say, if you love cinema then you need to see this movie at some point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 16 July 2005
Paul Johnson - See all my reviews
Kubrick is a director who hit the heights in so many genres that it's hard to imagine anyone else ever managing to surpass him. From comedy (Dr. Strangelove) to horror (The Shining) everything is done with a style that was his own and just makes the films compelling.
A Clockwork Orange represents Kubrick at the absolute top of his skills with some wonderful acting, especially from McDowell, supporting that.
A Clockwork Orange is about the adventures of a youth called Alex and initially his gang of 'droogs' until he ends up in prison and the film looks at what happens to him following that. The language used is brilliant (lifted straight out of the book) and represented Burgess'idea of what youthspeak would be like at the time.
It is worth noting that there is some extreme violence featured and you should expect to be shocked in places (watching a woman getting raped is never going to be easy) and indeed spawned copycat attacks at the films release leading to Kubrick having it pulled from UK cinemas. Following his death however it was re-released which allows any serious film fan to enjoy this masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banned but not forgotten, 23 July 2009
After reading Anthony Burgess' seminal novel on which this film was based, I was keen to see how the master craftsman Stanley Kubrick and his leading man Malcolm McDowell would interpret the admittedly difficult `nadsat' language that Burgess created for his anti-hero, a mixture of Russian and contemporary English with some cockney slang and olde English thrown in.

The film has a much more British feel than I imagined, with Malcolm McDowell in the archetypal anarchist role he perfected in the seminal `If...' - as self-appointed leader of the savage droogs, a group of youths addicted to `ultra-violence' in a dystopian future where McDowell's Alex and his gang terrorize their neighbourhood, savagely beating drunks, raping women and getting high on `moloko', a milk-based drug that is served in the droogs' favourite bar.

When Alex's domineering ways become too much even for his gang, they sell him out to the police and he is subsequently jailed, where in an attempt to gain his freedom he agrees to be the guinea pig for a new treatment known as 'The Ludovico Technique', aimed at reforming violent criminals through what is basically a form of aversion therapy.

Stanley Kubrick's film, made in 1971, has become notorious for being withdrawn from distribution in the UK due to threats against Kubrick's life from undisclosed sources. Only fairly recently, after the year 2000, has the ban on the film being shown in public been lifted. With it's graphic rape scenes, and no holds barred violence, you can see why the early 1970s morality made the film highly controversial. Like many previously banned movies though, the film now seems far less shocking although it still requires a strong disposition to see the droogs inflicting violence and torture on their helpless victims. The rape scenes were amended from the Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel - the two girls Alex takes home and forces to have sex with him are older and seem more willing than in the novel where they are basically young girls.

Kubrick incorporates a fair bit of phallic imagery into the film that has nothing to do with Burgess' original story. One scene rather bizarrely sees a woman beaten to death with a giant ceramic penis, whilst the droogs' codpieces are like something out of Blackadder and definitely serve to lighten the tone of the film.

It is easy to see why the source novel's creator and Kubrick fell out, with Burgess initially supporting the adaptation before Kubrick left the author to defend and take responsibility for the film's supposed 'glorification of violence'. The maverick director took a satirical and shocking piece of dystopian fiction and added his own distinctive style to create what is ultimately a genuinely original and daring piece of cinema.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are..., 31 Aug. 2009
It only occurred to me very recently that I should watch A Clockwork Orange and after watching it I can only say that I am sorry that I waited so long to see it. I have always been very curious about the film as the fact that it was withdrawn from the UK built up so much mystery around it.

It is quite a difficult film to watch as the expectation you have leaves you with a feeling that you are going to be let down. However, thankfully this wasn't the case for me as I was quite mesmerised by what I can only call a true work of art. Unfortunately I have not read the book so I can't compare it to the film. This is a film that operates on many levels and explores a lot of ideas. I think the film is primarily concerned with ideas surrounding volition, control, violence (sexual and non sexual), fantasy and psychopathy.

The plot follows Alex a sociopath who ends up being a kind of antihero by the latter stages of the film. Alex is a character who as the famous tagline for the film states has made rape, Beethoven and violence his hobbies. I can't help wondering if this isn't reference to Adolf Hitler who was well known for his love of classical music (Wagner). The opening scene is nothing short of stunning. There then follows equally impressive scenes of ultra stylish yet very disturbing violence. The plot moves from a point where Alex is in complete control to one where he is vulnerable and he finally becomes a victim not a perpetrator of violence. I think that the thing that is most worrying about the film is that the moral order is not restored by the end. Although Alex suffers a bit this is not because he is genuinely guilty for his offences it is only due to the behavioural psychology treatment he receives which causes him to feel pain. The story offers much to the viewer to consider, my attention certainly didn't wander and you may be surprised to find quite a few humorous scenes.

I can't fault the performances of any of the cast members. The performances are totally convincing and affecting even if the droogs (Alex's gang) look a little old to be teenagers and the presence of Warren Clarke is slightly amusing as I couldn't help picturing him in the BBC TV police drama he stars in, Dalziel and Pascoe.

As mentioned before the film opens brilliantly. There really isn't to my mind a single unmemorable scene in the film. The production is wonderful, the colour lavish and every scene makes you feel as though you are there, a guilty spectator.

The script is very powerful. This is because of the use of what I believe is a sort of secret language that the writer of A Clockwork Orange, Burgess, devised called Nadsat.

The soundtrack is key in the movie as it ties into the plot and ironically it does get you interested in classical music, something which in the film Alex tells two minor characters is extremely important as it is so gorgeous.

This film has much to say about British society and it is sad that it had to be withdrawn for so long. It is a haunting and brave film that preys on the mind of the viewer. This is a necessary addition to any movie lover's film collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and thought provoking, 27 Dec. 2011
BobM (South East England) - See all my reviews
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I watched this when it first came out in the early 70's at the cinema before it was banned in the UK.
Very hard hitting back then, especially the sexual assault sequence.
To this day, it is still upsetting, as are other "ultra violent" sequences in the first half of the film before it moves in a different direction to feature Alex's incarceration in prison and rehabilitation.
Shame the movie is not true to the novel at the end. I think it would have worked far better.
The second disc in the "special" edition DVD has some interesting additional material, including a black and white documentary of a school for deaf children in Margate from the early 60's (or late 50's) which is an eye-opener.
McDowell took himself off to the US of A soon after this film, doubtless as a tax exile, and has become pretty much "Americanised" with a "real American" family and friends. Oh well, doesn't detract from his acting in this epic and ground breaking movie.
Worryingly, the violence and disregard of youth towards Government and authority rings increasingly true of certain sections of British society today in late 2011.
That I find scarier than anything portrayed by these characters.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I prefer to watch other kind of films, but ..., 22 Sept. 2005
"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence". Strange beginning for a movie, don't you think?. Disregarding that, that's the way in which this movie starts, and more or less what you can expect from the rest of "A Clockwork Orange".
This film tells the story of Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell), a teenager that has his own gang, and that does all kind of despicable things, from robbery and battery to rape, all without remorse of any kind. This band of outlaws has its own slang ("nadsat", a mixture of English and Russian) and dress code, and only one law: violence. Due to a fall out with the rest of the gang, Alex is caught by the police after commiting murder, and condemned to spend 14 years in jail.
Looking for a way to get out of jail early, Alex volunteers for a ground-breaking experiment, that supposedly transforms criminals into law-abiding citizens. He is chosen, and "conditioned" against violence, the end result being that he feels nauseous merely by the idea of committing a violent or sexual act. A secondary effect is that he now hates the music he had always loved, Beethoven's 9th symphony.
As a consequence of all this, Alex gets an early release from jail, and is thrown into the world without any kind of defense mechanism. The truth is, he has to be a model citizen because he doesn't have any other option. In a way, Alex is like a machine (a "clockwork orange"), because his actions are preordained. But how will the world treat this new Alex?. And do his actions have any kind of merit, if they aren't inspired on free will?. You can answer one of those two questions quite easily if you watch "A Clockwork Orange". The other involves a conclusion you will have to reach for yourself after watching the movie and reflecting on it for a while.
A word of caution is in order, though. "A Clockwork Orange" includes many explicit sex scenes, lots of violence, and parts that will make you recoil in disgust. If you think I'm exaggerating, take into account that even nowadays this movie is not for sale to persons under age 18, and that when it was first released in 1971 it received an "X" rating.
Finally, I want to point out that this movie is based on a book of the same name written by Anthony Burgess, that significantly differs from the film, especially in what regards to the ending. Furthermore, I think it is worthwhile to highlight the fact that Burgess didn't like his own book too much, and absolutely hated Stanley Kubrick's filmic version of it. Unfortunately for him, the movie helped to promote the book, and "A Clockwork Orange" has becomed Burgess' most well-known work.
All in all, and as a conclusion, I think this film is worth watching, and I recommend you to do so if you believe you can stomach the violent parts in order to eventually understand the message beneath them. I prefer to watch other kind of films, but I understand that this is a classic, and that as such it should be watched at least once.
Belen Alcat
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