KUBRICK COLLECTION, THE: DVD
Each masterpiece in this digitally restored and remastered 8-disc box set represents a Stanley Kubrick film as extreme in subject matter as it is distinct from the other. Paedophilia in Lolita; tradition in Barry Lyndon; the universe in 2001; justice in A Clockwork Orange; horror in The Shining; the military mind-set in Full Metal Jacket; and love in Eyes Wide Shut.
Kubrick was a filmmaker who changed cinema as we know it, and a man who
demanded much from his audience, more from his casts and crews, and always delivered in
his own unique way.
While each film included is a momentous work of art, perhaps this collection is an
imperfect collector’s item. It noticeably lacks the chaos of nuclear war in Dr
Strangelove, the carnage of Paths of Glory, the savagery of Spartacus, and the
possibilities of Artificial Intelligence in A.I. (certain to be released to DVD soon).
Furthermore, there are no widescreen formats and few extra features. The Shining has a
making-of documentary filmed and narrated by Kubrick’s daughter Vivian, while Eyes
Wide Shut contains interviews with Cruise and Kidman (who speak separately with dewy-eyed
adulation for the master), and Steven Spielberg, who admits “nobody shot a better
movie than Kubrick - in history.”
Yet the consolation to what’s lacking in the set is the eighth disc. A 137-minute
documentary called A Life in Pictures, the biopic is narrated by Tom Cruise, who puts his
finger on the pulse of Kubrick’s career by saying “Stanley Kubrick always
remained silent, whether he was being applauded - or dammed”. Spanning Kubrick’s
career from the photograph that brought him to notoriety at age 14 to his unexpected death
three days after completing Eyes Wide Shut, it takes a chronological look at
Kubrick’s films, his rise as a filmmaker, his bucking the system, and his unique
visual style. Along the way are opinionated interviews with family members, casts and
crews he’s worked with, and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and
Woody Allen. A Life in Pictures doesn’t really uncover any new information about the
legendary filmmaker, and it’s all pretty endearing stuff despite critical hints (from
newspaper clippings) of him being demanding, obsessive, tyrannical, and even mad.
So the last word, it seems, should go to Jack Nicholson, who says it best: “I know
everyone thinks Kubrick is the man,” Nicholson smiles. “I always thought that
underrates him.” Not exactly a perfect set from a perfect filmmaker, yet still one
for the library.
Shannon J. Harvey
Published November 29, 2001
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A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
EYES WIDE SHUT
A LIFE IN PICTURES
THE STANLEY KUBRICK COLLECTION (x 8)
Lolita, Barry Lyndon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal
Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: September 3, 2001
Digitally remastered transfer; Digitally remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 sound; The Shining:
Making-of documentary narrated by Kubrick’s daughter Vivian.
Eyes Wide Shut: Interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg.
Theatrical trailers; Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures: 137-minute documentary on
Kubrick’s career, narrated by Tom Cruise with interviews by Steven Spielberg, Woody
Allen, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Malcolm MacDowell and others.