THE SHINING: Opening with spectacular aerial shots of a beautiful, mountainous landscape, Stanley Kubrick's horror classic THE SHINING, based on Stephen King's best-selling novel, sucks the viewer into his frightening tale with quiet, relaxing visuals--but the ominous soundtrack warns that all is not right at the gorgeous Overlook Hotel. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson at his eyebrow-raising best), a Vermont schoolteacher, accepts a job as the winter caretaker of the glorious early-20th-century resort that operates only in warm weather because the snowy roads deny access in the colder months. Jack brings his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), with him, as well as his young son, Danny (Danny Lloyd)--who brings with him a little boy named Tony who lives in his mouth. As the Torrances settle in for the long, lonely months ahead, strange, unexplainable things start occurring in the hotel--and in every scene Jack seems to be growing a little more evil and dangerous....
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY: A four-million-year-old black monolith is discovered on the moon, and the government (while hiding the situation from the public) sends a team of scientists on a fact-finding mission. Eighteen months later, another team is sent to Jupiter in a ship controlled by the perfect HAL 9000 computer to further investigate the giant object--but on this trip something goes terribly wrong.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is a masterpiece of filmmaking. Director and (with Arthur C. Clarke) co-screenwriter Stanley Kubrick has created a visual and aural spectacle that stands as one of the greatest achievements ever put on celluloid. The film begins with the "Dawn of Man" segment, about the evolution of apes, and then ventures into the future, taking a look at what the world might be like in the first year of the 21st century. Kubrick's film is a triumph of technological storytelling, with stunning sets and a brilliant, overwhelming soundtrack. Long dialogue-free scenes sparkle with indelible images backed by powerful orchestral music, culminating in an unforgettable, inscrutable tale of birth and rebirth, human evolution and artificial intelligence, the past and the future.
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: From its opening shot of Malcolm McDowell staring with evil intent directly into the camera (which pulls back to reveal him drinking a glass of milk), Stanley Kubrick's brilliant CLOCKWORK ORANGE announces itself as a completely new kind of viewing experience. Banned in Britain for decades, the film, set in an unidentified future, overwhelms the senses with its almost comic depictions of rape and violence set to an upbeat classical and pop music score; its magnificent, colorful, futuristic set designs; and its utter determination to shock, frighten, and thoroughly entertain its audience. Kubrick based his chilling masterpiece on Anthony Burgess's culture-shaking novel about a young man, growing into adulthood, who has a bit of a problem with authority figures. (Interestingly, Burgess's stunning piece of fiction contains 21 chapters, but Kubrick ends his film after chapter 20.) When Alex (a career-defining performance by McDowell) and his droogs go out for a little bit of the old ultraviolence, he is caught and forced to undergo controversial treatment that will make it impossible for him to commit violent acts--but has severe side effects. Kubrick's film purposely confuses crime and punishment, cause and effect, hero and villain, irony and satire, filled with oxymoron and paradox, taking on science, politics, societal mores, education, sexual awakening, and parental responsibility all in a new language (both verbal and visual) that would change the cinema forever. No one who has seen it has ever been able to hear "Singin' in the Rain" or Ludwig van again in quite the same way.
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