This blog is an archive of my old reviews and posts. Find me on twitter @phoenixanew for my latest thoughts on media as they happen.
I pretty much agree with you on both versions of the Shining. Kubrick's is a masterful horror piece, but cold in terms of the character drama (which I say as someone who defends most of his other films from the "cold" charge). King/Mick's ups the drama, but draws it out too much, and Mick's heavy-handedness not only slips it into cheese too often but mutes the bite of the horror. Which isn't to say I dislike it. It's actually my preferred version, though I fully admit its got its flaws.Great job on both reviews. :)
I don't know if I expressed it well enough in the midst of my critical view of this one, but I do like it a lot. Once I finished watching it the first time, I immediately started it back up again with the commentary track on, and that's not something I can do unless I really enjoy what I just watched. I just wish it was a bit scarier.
I wish I didn't, but I dislike the miniseries pretty intensely. I'm just not a fan of the way Mick Garris directs, I guess.What really wrecks it for me, though, is that I think the kid playing Danny is simply awful. That is, obviously, an incredibly difficult role to cast. (Kubrick's approach to it, by the way, seems to have been to change the character a bit so that the kid playing the role really didn't have to do much acting. If so, I think it was a wise choice.) But I think they needed to have kept looking a little while longer.I rewatched "The Stand" earlier this year, and found a lot more to enjoy about it than I remembered. Maybe that'll happen with Mick Garris's version of "The Shining" whenever I rewatch it!
I just rewatched the mini-series, and stand by my earlier remarks. Garris is a competent director, but also quite clumsy, and it slips into the cheese level of an average episode of Goosebumps from time to time. That said, he does a great job with the characters and I really dig the main cast. I think the problem with Weber when he's in psycho mode isn't so much that he's playing it wrong, as they don't ever let him shut up. The keep having him talk and talk and talk, and most of it is awkward zingers and taglines. The script as a whole runs on way too long, and could easily have been shaved down to fill two nights instead of a bloated three. As for the kid playing Danny, I think the main issue is that he is kind of goofy looking (adorable, but looks and sounds like a cartoon gerbil), but looking beyond that, he actually gives a pretty good performance for someone so young.