Stanley Kubrick Collection: 2001: A Space Odyssey / Full Metal Jacket / The Shining / Lolita/Barry Lyndon / A Clockwork Orange / Eyes Wide Shut / Dr Strangelove [DVD]
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This nine-disc box set contains:
2001: A Space Odyssey
Full Metal Jacket
Eyes Wide Shut
Plus documentary disc: "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" narrated by Tom Cruise
This superb nine-disc Stanley Kubrick Box Set contains all the late director's work from 1962's Lolita to Kubrick's final film, the highly controversial Eyes Wide Shut (1999). There's also the excellent and highly informative two-hour documentary: Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures, narrated (a little drably) by Tom Cruise. It isn't exactly a warts-and-all portrait of Stan the Man, which is not surprising, really, given that it's directed and produced by Kubrick's brother-in-law Jan Harlan, and that Kubrick's widow Christine was closely involved in the making of it. But it does give a detailed and revealing portrait of a brilliant, demanding and often infuriating man, airing rare footage that goes right back to his earliest years as a brash youngster in the Bronx, already playing to camera with a frightening degree of self-awareness.
Six of the eight movies (all but Dr Strangelove and Eyes Wide Shut) have been digitally restored and remastered, and almost all (barring Strangelove again and Lolita) now boast Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo sound remixes. For some bizarre reason, Kubrick insisted on mono sound for the 1999 set, which he approved shortly before his death. Visually the improvement over the often grainy, scratchy prints previously on offer--The Shining (1980) was notoriously messy--is immense. All the features are presented in their original ratios, which in the case of Strangelove means the changing ratios in which it was originally shot, and for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) the full glorious 2.21:1 expanse of the Cinerama screen.
So what don't you get? Essentially, the early Kubrick--the work of the young, hungry director before he moved to England and started to gather all the controlling strings into his own hand: most notably the tough, taut thriller The Killing (1956) and the icily furious war film Paths of Glory (1957). Too bad Warners couldn't have negotiated the rights for those too. But what we have here is the culminating phase of Kubrick's filmmaking career--the final 27 years of one of the great masters of cinema.
On the DVDs: Besides the visual and sonic improvements mentioned above, each of the eight features includes the original theatrical trailer and multiple-language subtitles. The DVD of Dr Strangelove also gives us filmographies of the principal players, plus theatrical posters and a photo gallery, while Eyes Wide Shut includes interviews (taped after Kubrick's death) with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg, plus a couple of 30-second TV spots. And with The Shining we get a fascinating 34-minute documentary made by Kubrick's then 17-year-old daughter Vivian, plus--just to add a further layer--Vivian's present-day voice-over commentary on her film. --Philip Kemp
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Top Customer Reviews
This set includes all his movies from Lolita onwards plus a bonus disc with a superb documentary which does exactly what it should do: make you want to rush off and watch the films again!
There are only two flaws in this set. One is the lack of extras. True, The Making of The Shining is superb, but where is the Arthur C. Clarke press conference included on the previous region 1 release of 2001? The other flaw is that the final three films (The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut) are presented in full screen at the request of Kubrick himself. However, this might not be so bad if we presume that the 35mm frames were opened up, in which case you can just view these films on a widescreen TV with the top and bottom of the image cut off and still get the true widescreen picture.
All in all, Kubrick was not exactly prolific, with only 12 films to his name but, as we all know, it's not size that matters!
Gone but never to be forgotten. SK R.I.P.!
Everybody knows all about 2001 : A Space Odyssey, and it is the central film in Kubrick's output. It is also one of the most obtuse and ambiguous films Hollywood has ever made and improves with repeated viewing. The lush and beautiful Lolita and the manic Dr. Strangelove predate 2001 and have survived the test of time fairly well, although Kubrick himself is upstaged by Peter Sellers in Strangelove.
A Clockwork Orange has aged badly but remains powerful and vitriolic. Barry Lyndon, savaged on release by critics, now looks achingly beautiful and unlike any other film ever made; in many ways the narrative takes second place to the visuals. The Shining (my personal favourite) builds tension through mundanity, and is so cleverly lit you find yourself watching the hotel rather than the stars, with an understated grand finale that fits the film perfectly. The first half of Full Metal Jacket (the boot camp section) is as important a film as has been made about war, although the second half suffers from being filmed in the UK instead of Vietnam. Eyes Wide Shut, again mauled by the critics, will be due it's reappraisal shortly and is still better than 99% of Hollywood's output over the last decade.Read more ›
However docked 1 star becuse of the strange descision to exclude work before 1962 so no Sparticus or The Killing - two of his best films. Presumably we will have to wait for volume 2 for these?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Seems to all be there and probably works as I see no damage but the box was tatty and there are finger prints all over the discs, which will need to be cleaned properly.Published 23 months ago by Michael L
I am little disappointed to see that the "Stanley Kubrick - A Life In Pictures" disc container is broken. Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2014 by Asser Nygaard
Having already seen them all on the cinema screen, I bought this boxed set to ensure that my children had the opportunity to see these wonderful films before they left home. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2013 by Christopher Thorpe
Masterclass in film-making with this fine set. Many hours of enjoyment. The costumes and settings are endlessly incredible across many of these films. What a genius!Published on 8 April 2013 by Suzy Geeson
Stanley Kubrick Collection [DVD]
In the 11 years since Stanley Kubricks death, it has become clear the profound influence he and his films have had on audiences... Read more
kubrick was a cinematic genius and this collection from early 1960's to his death covers 8 fims and two thirds of his output. Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2001