The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Running Time: 2 hrs 22 mins – Horror, Mystery

Starring:  Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall & Danny Lloyd  – Directed by Stanley Kubrick


Big JD (host)


Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrence, a man that hasn’t done much with his life except make mistakes.  Now that he has taken a new job overseeing a Hotel for a winter he feels that his life is turning around.  He also plans on beginning his writing career since there will be months of isolation.  His wife & son will be tagging along but, are they up for the long winter in a huge Hotel that has some “bad history”?  This thriller will have you thinking twice about being alone at night.  Maybe?


– I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya, I’m just gonna bash your brains in.-

I heard that this movie was ranked at the top of most everyone’s Halloween must watch movie Lists.  Also, with it being such a classic I needed to see what all the buzz was about.  There were scenes here & there I remember seeing as a kid.  You know, faking the “I’m thirsty” thing so you can go walk past the TV that Mom & Dad are watching so that you can catch a quick glance at what they are watching.  As for now, I guess I’m a bit more immune to scary things.  I don’t know.  I just didn’t find this movie scary or really thrilling at all.  It was a good movie, it just wasn’t what others said it was.  The soundtrack was the scariest and most thrilling cast member in the entire movie.  Kubrick doesn’t disappoint with his classic style.  Did you notice the use of Red throughout the movie symbolizing anger & later “murder”.  He also did a lot of Red/Blue combinations which mixes the anger & calm together giving you an uneasy feeling.  At other times he used a lot of earth tones when he wanted character development.  What a genius.  I didn’t care for his scene transitions though.  Yes this movie was made in 1980 and the transitions showed it.

Jack Nicholson was classic with his craziness and slight homicidal tendencies.  I really didn’t feel like he was a true killer until the very end though and even then I had my doubts.  He was just pulled into the madness and didn’t want to fail again.  Well, as his life would have it…  Jack-cicle.  If you take the whole ghost/haunting/telepath thing out of the story then you have just an abusive husband wanting to succeed in life.  Not too scary.  Shelley Duvall almost ruined the movie for me.  It was close.  I thought her overacting of the “terrified wife” was just too over the top.  I couldn’t accept the waving weapon as being a threat to anyone let alone the bad guy.  I was actually hoping that the pristine silver axe would end up touching the front of her skull with much authority.  It would have helped the movie.  Seriously.  Couldn’t Kubrick have casted anyone else to play opposite of Jack any better than her?  The kid was “ehh?” and my favorite was probably Scatman Crothers that played “Dick Halloran”.  He went out without a real purpose (besides providing an easy escape) and an axe in his chest.  I had wanted more from his character.  Actually I thought the whole “telepath”, “I see dead people” gift of both him & the kid was very underplayed and could have used more.  Seeing how the movie is titled “The Shining” which is defined by Dick as having telepathy.

The story was simple.  Too simple considering that it is coming from Stephen King.  I’m sure much was left out from the book.  Why?  Because it feels watered down.  Even though the movie was close to 2 ½ hours I felt that the whole story was shorted.  I also noticed some devices used that at the time weren’t cliché but now would be considered so.  1.  The use of twin dead girls. (short note:  They used older girls to film the bloody scene)  2.  The Hotel was built on an ancient Indian burial ground.  Yeah, now I know where everyone copied those from.  Have you noticed that Stephen King likes to write about “writer’s”?  Yup.  This is a bit different but still a writer.

There was a couple times where I had thought the Jack Torrance character had possibly inspired the Marvel comic book character “Wolverine”.  But then I found that Wolverine was created six years before this movie so, that wasn’t it.  So, I’m just going to say that I believe that this movie helped influence some of the artwork of that period of CB artists that drew Wolverine at that time.  It’s a stretch.  The ending had me questioning the lack of built up excitement.  It was lacking.  On the whole I didn’t really understand the overall plot.  So, he was always the caretaker?  He was from 1921?  Was he previously dead?  Was it just his ancestor?  Too many unanswered questions on that part of the movie but the thing is, after thinking about it for a bit, I no longer cared.  It was over and I needed to go get wasted on some fake bourbon from an imaginary bartender named Lloyd.

Comic Book Movie Bonus:  Jack Nicholson – Batman

Nudity Bonus:  Lia Beldam – Young Woman in Bath (1:13:04)(Full), Billie Gibson – Old Woman in Bath (Awfully horrid)(1:15:30)(Full)



-All work and no play makes Jack a Dullboy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy-

There is no other version of this movie, Actually there is if you count the one with Steven Weber that was a made for TV movie…(Which I don’t) This is a classic movie, Although I hear the book is far more superior.

For being an older movie it was done very well, Stanley Kubrick as a great talent in these styles of films one of my favorites is Full Metal Jacket (Hope we eventually review that movie) It was a sad day when he passed. Anyways he picked well for the cast, what gave me the chills through this movie was the weird awkward ambiance of the hotel and the creepily annoying wife (Shelly Duvall). Jack always plays a great creepy guy…I’ve never ever been disappointed with his acting abilities, everyone in the movie did a good job, even Scatman when he dies…of course besides explaining “The Shinning” what really was his point in all of this? Even the dead didn’t want him at the hotel, but the picture above his TV in his hotel room in Florida was interesting.

I loved how the movie ended..makes me want to read the book now to see what Hollywood took out. What I didn’t like about the movie is it was 2 and 1/2 hours long.  And how awkward Shelly’s character is ….
Classic and a Must-See


Willie Good-Cook

-Shining things shine-

This movie is a classic. Mostly everyone who has ever seen this movie can agree with that. The use of music throughout to build the suspense and keep the audience engaged was one of the best I have seen to date.  The director took what would have been boring scenes of the family doing daily activities and used sound to enhance them and make it seem like something important was going to happen at any time. This effect makes the viewers stay on the edge of their seats, never knowing when exactly something will happen.

The whole cast worked fairly well together. The cook kind of reminded me of some creepy pedophile. He seems so interested in that little kid. “Lets go get some ice cream together.”…creepy. This whole movie was fully of long scenes without much dialog. This works for and against the movie. It seems to drone on without much plot development at points…but at the same time it makes the movie better because the actors actually get to act instead of just spew out dialog that is meaningless.

As far as the acting and casting I felt that Jack Nicholson stole this movie. His eyebrows and dialogue are what makes this movie scary. The wife bothered the hell out of me. Was there really no attractive women left in Hollywood at this time? They had to pick the one with the biggest 2×4 teeth and huge bug eyes they could find. Was she sleeping with the director or something? There is no other explanation for why she was cast in this movie. I have never seen her in a movie since and I know why. The kid was also nothing special, but then again most kid actors aren’t.

-Suggestion- This movie is a great classic. Anyone with 2 hours on their hands will really enjoy this one.



For those of you who saw the movie, what did you think?


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