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Movie Renter's Guide Number 153 - December, 2007 - Part I

ARTICLE INDEX


"The Shining"  (Blu-ray/HD DVD)

The ShiningSynopsis
A man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining". The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotels ghost's. After being convinced by a waiter's ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is "The Shining".

Specifications

    • Warner Bros.
      1980, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 24 min
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • 1080p
    • English PCM 5.1 (BD)
    • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (HD)
    • English/French/Spanish DD 5.1
    • Directed by Stanely Kubrick
    • Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Strong

Commentary

Probably one of my favorite horror films of all time and one of my personal faves from director Stanley Kubrick. Really, who hasn't seen this movie yet? I was overjoyed when Warner announced this one as part of the Kubrick set, but I'm still anxiously awaiting the rest of his greats. Fans will find little to be disappointed in here.

Technical

Both the HD DVD and Blu-ray look identical here, and this is by far the best I've seen this film look yet. I was really impressed with the color balance of this transfer, something I usually find lacking in previous versions. There is a small amount of print wear, but for the most part this is a spectacular source print with little in the way of noise or variance. Contrast is good, but color is better. Detail is consistently solid throughout, especially fine detail, and depth of image is amazing. Some of the flyover shots are as good as the more recent nature documentaries that are so popular.

Some very slight differences in audio on this release. The HD DVD's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack isn't quite as airy as the Blu-ray PCM version, but it is splitting hairs. The score is just as haunting here as ever, but I liked the sense of openness the PCM track provided. Dialogue is a tad bright at times, and the noise floor does creep in a bit more than I like, but these are probably production issues more than anything. Kubrick's films tend to be a front heavy, but this one has some nice atmosphere in the surround channels, especially from the score.

Extras

Great extras for this release. You get a feature commentary, a great documentary on the making of the film, production features and the trailer.