Tag Archive: Stanley Kubrick

Go Find My Tinfoil Hat!

Room 237 (2013)


Most movie fans are familiar with the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name; and many consider it to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time.  What you may not know is that there is a small percentage of the population who believe that this movie is more than just a movie, and is filled with a much deeper message.  There are nine different theories explored in this documentary, and they are as diverse as the enthusiasts who present them.  Some of the theories presented are out there… like, way out there; and all are based in visual clues, some of which only appear for a few seconds in one scene. Here are some examples:

Throughout the Overlook Hotel there are pictures of Indians, so therefore this movie is about the plight of the Native Americans.

There is a prominent maze in this movie, which doesn’t appear in the book, so this must be Kubrick’s homage to the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

There are several scenes with people walking, writing or speaking backwards, so that can only mean that you have to watch the movie backwards.  This leads to a new interpretation of the movie.

Danny is wearing an Apollo 11 sweater at one point, so this can only mean that this is Kubrick’s way to tell the world that he filmed the faked moon landing.

Finally, the number 42 seems to be pretty predominant throughout the film. According to one person, this refers to 1942, the years the Nazis began the holocaust. So… there is that too.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I love The Shining. Love it.  There is all sorts of symbolism in this thing, and I’m sure there are still things that I have not picked up on yet.  But personally, I can’t come up with a single running theme in this movie, as there is just too much crazy going on.  I know Stanley Kubrick was a certified genius, so I’m sure this movie is about something, and there are probably specific reasons he diverged from King’s book, but I can’t quite nail them down.  I guess that is the sign of a good movie, in that it keeps you thinking about it, even thirty years after its release.  As a documentary goes, this is by far the best out there, but if you like The Shining, Room 237 will hold your attention and make to want to watch the source material again!  And as far as the theories, based on that fact that I am writing this, I can’t really judge other peoples opinions. Alex Rates This Movie 6/10

Tim’s Thoughts: The Shining is an iconic film, obviously, and there is a ton of bizarre imagery throughout the entire film, and yes, Kubrick was such a control freak that it’s hard to take any of it as coincidence. That being said, this film, while entertaining gives too much credence to too many theories. It’s more interesting to focus on one or two. Instead we range from a few credible ideas, all the way to the most ridiculous theories you can imagine. The director undercuts the entire film with one line that I will paraphrase: It doesn’t matter if Kubrick meant for this movie to mean anything, people are going to attach their own ideas, and meanings. To me that instantly cheapens all of the ideas for what this movie could possibly stand for. With that rationale I could insist that this is Kubrick’s elaborate and desperate attempt to get his wife to make him 42 ice cream sandwiches. After all, 42 is predominately featured, and Halloran did offer Danny ice cream. It’s that silly. All of those gripes aside, I enjoyed most of this, and I think that fans of Kubrick, or the Shining should check it out. Just be ready to sift through the nutjobs.  Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

room237 door

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.


The Shining (1980)

Here is what you need to know about this film – story by Steven King, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson. Bam! That’s it, that is gold.  A novelist/fired teacher/ drunk bastard named Jack takes a job as the winter caretaker of the isolated  Overlook Hotel. In the interview, Jack is told by the manager, that the previous caretaker – Grady, chopped his family into bits and  then blew his brains out. Not seeing how that pertains to him, Jack brings his wife Wendy and his oddball kid Danny. This creepy kid has a power known as “The Shining” that shows him thing that have happened in the past, or will happen in the future. Danny meets Hallorann – the cook on the first day at the Overlook, he also has this “Shining” and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237. As the days go by, Danny has visions of previous guests and employees who died at the hotel years before. Jack starts driving into insanity, talking to ghosts and trying to bone a few of them before they turn into monsters. As he is becoming more and more aggressive, Danny and Wendy get convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing, Grady did, and attempt to flee, but Jack has other plans for them.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I can practically hear Tim’s boner right now.  He is gay for all things Kubrick and I’m sure it will take you the rest of the day to read his thoughts, so I will keep mine brief.  Although this movie is slow in a few parts, it is absolute story-telling perfection.  Jack’s slow demise into bat-shit-craziness is pulled off so well that the fact that someone tried to remake this movie (and think they could do it better) completely pisses me off to this day.  The small cast pulls everything together and makes for a great movie.  On a side note: I sometimes close my eyes when Scatman Corothers is talking and pretend that Hong Kong Phooey is in this movie, which makes it that much better!  Alex Rates This Movie 10/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I will behave myself, YES we know this movie can be slow, but if you watch it, take in the pacing and the ambiance, you are in for a treat. It takes a while to get to some of the super crazy stuff that you see in all the movie posters, but don’t watch this just waiting for the next scare. Go into this as if you are having someone tell you a story, I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you think about what makes a strong independent movie, that doesn’t rely on cheap scares, but the actual storytelling, then you will be so rewarded (and disturbed) for you patience. Also if you are going to watch this, do not do so with a large group, all it takes is one person cracking jokes to kill the mood. There are plenty of other movies that NEED that joker, this isn’t one of them. So pop some corn and enjoy some masterful storytelling. Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

“I don’t want to hurt you.  I just want to bash your brains in.  Bash ’em… right the fuck in.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue