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Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Married themselves at the time of production, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play married couple William and Alice in this, the final film from celebrated director Stanley Kubrick. One night, returning home from a party, Alice confesses that she still has fantasies about a sailor she once knew. William is shocked and jealous, and when he is later called away on business, he finds it impossible to return home, embarking instead on a journey into an illicit underworld of prostitution and sexual debauchery.
Visually beautiful, Kubrick's last completed film Eyes Wide Shut blends the sinister, the sensual and the clinical in a combination that is rather too personal and idiosyncratic to be entirely successful as the final statement about gender and sexuality he intended it to be. Adapted by Frederick Raphael from the Dream Story of Freud's friend Schnitzler, it shows a young successful couple confront the dangers that lurk beyond monogamy; Nicole Kidman's Alice does little more than fantasise, flirt and dream, but even this causes guilt and pain. Doctor Bill (Tom Cruise) does rather more--he visits a whore, crashes an orgy and continues to ask questions when warned off; if no disaster ensues, and it is possible that two people die as a result, it is only luck that averts it. Much of the best of what is here is to be found in the occasional moments of stillness--Cruise walking through a morgue--or wild comedy--Cruise's attempt to hire a costume in the middle of the night interrupts major shenanigans at the fancy-dress shop. Cruise and Kidman do what they can with material that never means as much as it aspires to and the stand-out performance is Sydney Pollack's, as a worldly wise client.
On the DVD: The DVD is presented in a lavish Dolby Sound that makes the most of the obsessive Ligeti piano piece and Shostakovich waltz that dominate the score and in the 1.33:1 ratio that was Kubrick's considered choice. It has subtitles in English, Arabic, Bulgarian and Rumanian, two TV spots and informative interviews with Kidman and Cruise, as well as with Stephen Spielberg to whom Kubrick had talked at length about his artistic intentions. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kidman and Cruise are perfect foils for each other in this tempestuous racy sensual and shocking last movie by Stanley Kubrick.Published 1 month ago by Michael St. Aldwyn
How to add something to the vast collection of writings on this picture? Well, by way of recommendation to anyone wondering, the advice is, "Don't hesitate ! Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. J. A. Brough
Loved this exploration of marriage, monogomy and sexual expression.Published 3 months ago by A. Lucas
Its a great film, plenty of intrigue , in no way was it an obvious plot, some nudity in it, but nothing for the ladies, which is a shame as there was opportunity for some, sorry... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Daniel James Selwood