Resolutions 2014: The Shining

shining 2

If there’s anything I’ve learned from Resolutions 2014, it’s this: MovieRob is a film resolution machine!!! Not only is he on his FIFTH resolution for my blog (he’s already done The Third Man, Double Indemnity, A Clockwork Orange, and Gone With the Wind), but he seems to have begun a campaign to cross all his must-watch films off his list! You should go see all the reviews he’s been doing on his blog. It’s great. Anyway, now he’s got another one checked off his list. Here’s his take on The Shining!

The wonderful Cara has let me once again do a Resolutions 2014 review. I think this series was a HUGE success (especially for me) and I can’t wait to see what new series she has planned after this one.

Thanks Cara!!!


Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.” – Dick Hallorann

Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Feb 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A family who volunteered to watch an abandoned hotel over the winter find out that they get more than they bargained for when the father starts to lose his mind.

My Take on it – Since I am not a fan of films from the horror genre, I steered clear away from this one for years.

Ironically, I have always immensely enjoyed reading Stephen King novels, but mostly have stuck to the non-horror and the supernatural ones.

I have heard for years how amazing this movie is and I must say that I just don’t get what everyone thinks is so extraordinary about this one.

I like the premise here, but I just don’t think the story is done well enough. Is this a movie about a man’s slow descent into insanity or is it about a family terrorized by supernatural occurrences in an abandoned hotel?

It is completely unclear.

It is no secret that Stephen King himself despised this movie and ended up making his own version in 1997 which doesn’t leave out many parts of the original novel especially the blatant supernatural elements so essential to the story.

There are too many things left unexplained in this movie that can either leave the viewer with a ton of “food for thought” afterwards or leave the viewer totally baffled as to why many things happened.

I fall into that latter category.

Director Stanley Kubrick is known for his perfectionism and for his tendency for not explaining his movies to the viewers and I think in this case it once again is to his detriment (as I also thought happened with A Clockwork Orange (1971), which he made a decade earlier).

Jack Nicholson is always great as a crazy man and does a good job of it here again.

I think if this movie would have stuck to the original story written by Stephen King it would have been much better.

I don’t regret seeing this, but I also don’t have any intention of seeing it ever again.

Bottom Line – I think I would have enjoyed this more had Kubrick left in the supernatural elements used by King in the book. Nicholson is great as a man slowly losing his mind here, but the story is lacking IMHO.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

Rob, if this series had a mascot, you would be it. You have completely taken the idea of Resolutions 2014 to heart, and I love that. Thank you so much for your many fantastic posts! As for my next series…jeepers. I feel like I have to come up with something amazing now! I’ll mull it over and keep you posted! A couple more resolutions are coming at you soon, but tomorrow…tomorrow will be something very special–the likes of which you have never seen from me before. Prepare yourself, my friends. Mwahahahaha… 😉

41 thoughts on “Resolutions 2014: The Shining

  1. Here’s some notes I made about this post:

    1) Good job everyone involved!!

    2) I saw The Shining when I was a kid and those two girls scared me so bad I couldn’t watch this again until sometime last year –

    3) You said “Jeepers” – my week has been fulfilled

    4) This makes up for the ASSHOLE weather here today


  2. If you are not a horror fan I can understand your disdain for this movie. I myself love trying to interpret it. I like the fact that we don’t know if it is Jack’s own mental breakdown or real ghosts that is causing all of these problems. I will say that the book is way better then Kubrick’s version, but his version is way better then the TV version that King wrote. I wrote a review comparing all three versions.(using my real name)

    • cool article. appreciate the explanations, but it just strengthens my resolve in thinking that this is not the best version of it and that I should go and read the book (books are usually much better than their movie adaptations anyway)

    • We know it’s not in Jack’s mind because the boy and Dick predict what is happening. The boy also sees images just like his stepfather, so that tells you right away it’s not in Jack’s mind. Just like the book, the hotel is haunted. I don’t see why you guys are not getting this. There is no question it’s not in his mind because it also happened before. How could Jack see what has happened in the past unless something is showing it to him? I don’t get where you guys are confused about it being in his mind. It’s not and the movie never suggests it. Watch it again folks. You are missing the whole point of the film. The Hotel can’t talk, so it communicates through images and signs. I think that is pretty clear in the film.

  3. Nice review Rob. This movie’s pretty freakin’ terrifying and never stops to scare me whenever I give it a look. Doesn’t matter where I am or what time of the day it is, this movie gives me the chills and practically ruins whatever I was going to do next with my day.

    • If I found a movie that I liked so much it scared the crap out of me and ruined my day afterwards, i doubt I would keep watching it.

      Why do you torture yourself like that? (I’m asking this seriously because I can’t understand the concept)

      Found a comedy instead that will uplift you day 🙂

  4. I watched this film about… I don’t know, 50 times(?). Love every minute of it. I think Kubrick left the interpretation open for non-believers in the paranormal (probably himself included) to go with a rational explaination – Jack just went psycho. With King’s novel, you have to except that their are ghosts and they can influence the living.

  5. Hooray! Someone else who doesn’t think The Shining is as fantastic as most people do.
    I re-watched it recently to see if my opinion had changed from when I first saw it so long ago when it was first released. I did enjoy it but was just as frustrated with the inexplicability of “the visions”. I still found it visually exciting and yes, Jack Nicholson was doing what he does best but it just didn’t hang together properly.

  6. The Hotel is haunted, this is not in his mind. He is possessed by the man who murdered in the Hotel before! I have no freakin idea why you would not get this from this version. You need to watch it again. It it so blatantly clear. This movie is nothing short of genius. The remake sucked! It had no artistic integrity and followed the book like a blue print. Kubrick gave his interpretation of the book and it’s a lot more like the book than we all think. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I think you were not paying attention or something. Or maybe you were expecting something different, so you didn’t pay attention enough. I don’t mean to sound rude, but when someone criticizes absolute genius, thats when I get a little peeved. Write any review you want, but to say this movie wasn’t clear is just crazy. You need to watch it again. It is pure genius how Kubrick uses images and sound, instead of excessive dialogue to tell a story about a Hotel that is haunted. The Hotel can’t speak, so being the genius Kubrick is, he made it speak, but not with words, but with images. That’s what makes this movie so amazing. His interpretation of Stephen King’s novel is better than the novel itself, for one sole reason, the Hotel has a voice. If you can’t see or hear that voice, then maybe you are not ready for Kubrick’s genius. Anyway, some of the best out there have had to go back and watch a Kubrick film again because they just didn’t get it. I think this goes for you also, because “The Shining” is brilliant and I have seen it more than 20 times in my life and I never get sick of it. Again, I’m sorry to sound harsh, but someone has to defend this man’s work. I can’t let a review like this stand without an honest retort.

    • Hmm. I can tell you’re just a little bit passionate about this one, huh? Lol. Personally, I love The Shining, but let’s be real: not everyone is going to understand and/or appreciate every film, and that’s okay! Rob–an intelligent, open-minded film lover–didn’t enjoy this, and I completely understand why. It’s a bizarre film for many reasons, and because of that plenty of people don’t love it. Differing opinions are welcome, my friend, but let’s take care not put anyone down in the process of expressing those opinions. This is a happy place. 🙂

      • Sorry, I was just giving my honest opinion and apologized for sounding harsh. I won’t post here again. Obviously my honest opinion needs to more cordial on these sites, so I won’t post because why write at all if you can’t be honest?

        • …You can give your opinion without being rude. I feel like that’s not too much to ask. Everyone else on here manages that just fine. But hey–just MY honest opinion. 😉

      • Did not feel I was rude at all but that’s how I post, so I won’t post here again. I am just passionate about films. Did not mean to be rude and still don’t think I was. I just think people are a little over sensitive these days because I showed some of my friends this post and they think it’s ridiculous that you guys feel I am being rude.

        • We’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this. Perhaps you didn’t mean for them to, but some of your posts on this blog rubbed people the wrong way. Just be careful how you post on other blogs in the future.

        • I will be very, very, extremely careful in the future. Thank you for making me realize how harsh and rude I can be. Sorry I rubbed you guys the wrong way. Wow!

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