Tag: Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ Is Overrated

There’s a certain phenomenon I’ve observed within our species, and it’s the general acceptance that some works of art are just unquestionably masterpieces. A couple weeks ago I wrote an article called ‘Tolkien is Overrated’, and The Lord of the Rings is by far one of the worst offenders, perhaps a close second to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kanewhich, for those of you unaware, opens with over ten minutes of narration before anybody even says a word, yet it’s regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, despite blatantly ignoring the first rule in creative writing: show don’t tell.

From Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are just certain works of art that we assume are masterpieces because everyone else says so, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of them, which I not only find to be a poor adaptation of the novel written by Stephen King, but is also a dismally told story.

Image via Firewireblog

In the book, Jack Torrence is a decent man who provides and cares for his wife and child. He’s a recovering alcoholic, yes, who in the past has abused his family during his drunken rampages, but he’s still, by and large, a decent man, just one who had to overcome his own personal demons. In the movie, however, right from the get-go, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrence as a psychotic maniac.

Even before he reaches the Overlook he already has a permanent sneer on his face, and once he does reach the hotel, it takes hardly any time at all before he starts writing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over on his typewriter (which I’ve come to realize people attribute to this film, but is actually a proverb that has existed since the seventeenth century). Jack Torrence has no character arc in the film, he’s merely a vehicle to take the audience to the climactic final scene in the hedge maze.

 

 

Speaking of which, in the film it’s ambiguous as to what’s even causing Jack Torrence to go insane. It’s implied that it’s the ghosts that are influencing his mind, sure, but why do they want him to kill his wife and child? Just because they’re evil? In the book, the ghosts want Danny Torrence to be killed within the walls of the Overlook so they could inherit his shining ability, which is so powerful that they’d be able to take solid form and, effectively, come back to life.

In the movie, Stanley Kubrick uses the ghosts as nothing more than an excuse to show some spooky imagery. Ooh, an elevator full of blood! How scary!

Then we have Wendy Torrence, who is reduced to nothing more than – in the words of Stephen King himself – a “screaming dishrag”. She’s an incompetent damsel in distress who does nothing more than flee from her psychotic husband and gawk at ghosts. Her character as a competent mother who would do anything to protect her son has been reduced to a wailing, bumbling buffoon serving no other function than to be the victim to the Overlook hotel.

Even Danny’s character, who is also far more competent in the book, even going so far as to stand up to his father by the end, is reduced to the stock creepy kid we’ve seen in every horror movie since then, wagging his little finger as he mumbles “Redrum” in a voice that sounds like it should be coming from a cartoon frog.

 

 

To make a long article short, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining isn’t about a man’s descent into madness, nor is it even really about a family’s struggles with an alcoholic father, but rather architecture. With his sweeping shots patrolling the stylized corridors of the Overlook hotel, I’ll freely admit that The Shining is quite aesthetically pleasing, but in terms of a well told story? It’s subpar, at best.

featured image via Women.com

Celebrating Forty-Three Years of ‘The Shining’

The midlife crisis is real. If you see The Shining buying a motorcycle, dyeing its hair or visiting a hotel in Colorado and turning on its family, go easy, it turns 43 today. Stephen King’s infamous novel, that spawned a modern cinematic classic, was published 43 years ago on January 28th 1977. King’s psychological horror had sold over a million copies as of 2012 with doubtless many more sold since. 

 

Image via ifc center

The Shining is one of King’s best-known (and loved) novels, penned after King and his wife spent some time in Boulder in a supposedly haunted hotel room. They stayed in room 217, which avid readers may recognize from the novel. The story follows Jack, Wendy and their son, Danny. Jack and his family take up residence in The Outlook Hotel during its off-season, so that he can focus on writing a novel. Danny has a sort of sixth sense that allows the hotel and its ghosts to communicate with and through him. They soon find that The Outlook Hotel has no intention of letting them leave.

 

 

Like many of King’s novels, some of the scariest moments are inherently human. The ghosts of The Outlook Hotel are not as much of a threat as the skeletons in our own closets and King explores this idea throughout. King has said that he used Jack and Danny’s relationship as a way to explore his own feelings of anger towards his children. In The Companion to Stephen King, he admits:

Sometimes you confess. You always hide what you’re confessing to. That’s one of the reasons why you make up the story. When I wrote The Shining, for instance, the protagonist of The Shining is a man who has broken his son’s arm, who has a history of child beating, who is beaten himself. And as a young father with two children, I was horrified by my occasional feelings of real antagonism toward my children. Won’t you ever stop? Won’t you ever go to bed? And time has given me the idea that probably there are a lot of young fathers and young mothers both who feel very angry, who have angry feelings toward their children.

 

image via amazon

The book was adapted to the now classic 1980 film of the same name. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, it has been immortalized as one of the best horror films ever made. Despite this success, Stephen King has not always been a fan of the adaptation and was against a prequel story. That said, he then wrote Doctor Sleep, the film version of which was released just last year.

It may not just be our nightmares that The Shining is haunting as it could be taking to the stage very soon. With Simon Stephens at the helm, Jack is getting a new lease of (after)life. A stage adaption would be very fitting since all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

 

To celebrate the forty-third year of The Shining, consider staying at The Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the Outlook. The film version changed the haunted room to 237 at the hotel’s request as they worried that featuring room 217 would dissuade guests from staying there. No matter which one you stay in, you’re sure to get all of the spooky vibes that King immortalized in the 447 pages of his novel.

featured image via metro


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Adaptations Round-Up! 10 Adaptations Coming out This Year!

Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!

 

 

It Chapter 2

 

It: Chapter 2

Image Via Vanity Fair

 

A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.

Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!

 

 

Joker

 

Joker

Image Via Variety

 

An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.

Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?

 

 

We’ll find out this October 4th.

 

 

Nancy Drew

 

Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.

This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96bZFzpdLmY

 

 

Looking for Alaska

 

The Fault in Our Stars broke our hearts, and now John Green is at it again. Or has he already broken our hearts beyond repair? The Fault in Our Stars was Green’s sixth novel and Looking for Alaska was his first novel, but for all of you who haven’t read the book, you’re in for something special.

Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.

We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.

 

 

HBO’s Watchmen

 

Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.

What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.

What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yKq1PRvPJQ

 

Doctor Sleep

 

Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?

The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.

 

 

 

The Good Liar

 

Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.

After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.

 

 

Cats

 

First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.

Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.

 

 

His Dark Materials

 

Image via Amazon

 

This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.

Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).

If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”

 

The Witcher

 

The Witcher is known as a great video game series, but did you know it started out a book series? In fact the saga is based on a series written by Andrzej Sapkowski that started in 1992 with Sword of Destiny. The last book in the series, Season of Storms came out in 2013.

The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?

Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via HITC

12 Steamy Literary Couples That Should Totally Happen

Once upon a time, we reported that Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, had attended the opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and joined AOL’s In The Know for a game of ‘Fact or Fanfiction?’ and, in the standout moment from the Q and A, Tom Felton was asked: What did he think of Draco’s relationship to Harry Potter?

 

Hmmm?

Image Via Redbubble

 

Now anyone with even a passing glance to the franchise would see Draco and Harry a simple rivalry, a tale for the ages, but Tom Felton said, I’m quoting AOL here, “Harry was constantly crushing on Draco…He just couldn’t hide it.”

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Draco and Harry do definitely have some tension going on.
  2. (Image Below)

 

Draco vs Harry

Image Via Youtube

 

Case closed!

With this in mind we’ve decided to give you, dear readers, twelve literary couples that happened in an alternative universe. Taking twenty-four characters from all across literature, from different book series to classic standalone novels (copyright be damned!), we’ve compiled these characters into eleven distinct (and surely steamy) relationships that would have totally worked out…for the characters, at least. Trust us, we’re chemists here.

 

 

12-Bella and Count Dracula

 

Bella

Image Via Twilight Saga Wiki – Fandom

 

No more sparkling vampires, now Twilight‘s Bella Swan is getting an upgrade. Let’s face it: There’s a reason Bram Stoker called this novel Dracula and not Harker. Dracula’s got style, he’s got nice clothes, he’s not charm oozing from everyone pore.

 

Gary Oldman as Dracula Count

Image Via Pinterest

 

Heck, if Bella says “No, I’m married” then I’m asking Dracula out to get a nice love bite.

 

11-Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

 

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

Image Via Pinterest

 

Far before Twitter decided to give us the #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend fan campaign, we had the comic books. See Bucky died, Steve Rogers became a Commie smasher, and then the Commie smasher was retconned, and then the real Steve Rogers was thawed out from the ice.

 

Steve Rogers thoughts about Bucky Barnes

Image Via The Mary Sue

 

But Bucky remained dead, and Steve was inconsolable in his grief over his best friend and partner in crime throughout the decades of Captain America comics. In fact, it was one of the most foremost elements of his character

Fans looked at this and took the small hop and believed that Steve’s profound sense of loss than met the eye

The only people who stay dead in comics are Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben.

So Bucky came back. In fact, he came back as the Winter Soldier in a comic book called The Winter Soldier, and ever since then we’ve been clamoring for Steve and Bucky to get a little closer.

They’re perfect for each other. The two buddies have been with each other since the beginning and will continue to stay together “until the end of the line”. They’re both “men out of time” from 1930s Brooklyn and are war buddies with great rapport who totally get along. They have so much in common.

At least go on a date and see if there’s anything there.

 

Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky.

 

10-Ahab and Captain Hook

 

Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook

Image Via Express.co.uk

 

We have Peter Pan‘s Captain Hook, and this man has been through a lot. Yes, he’s trying to track down and kill Peter Pan like he’s an animal, but Peter Pan is an animal! This boy cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile. Wicked, evil, and savage beyond belief.

 

Captain Ahab

Gregory ‘The Man with the Pecks’ Peck as Captain Ahab / Image Via The Guardian

 

Then we have Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab who, like James Hook, wants to track down an animal whose savaged ships of all sorts.

But would they be searching for these monsters if they had, you know, found each other? Could their killer eyes turn into ones of passion and love if they only looked into each other’s eyes?

We here at Bookstr call out in a resounding, ‘YES!’

 

9-Boo Radley and Miss Havisham

 

Miss Havisham

Image Via Telegraph

 

Charles Dickens’ gave us Great Expectations, which us the tragic story of Miss. Havisham. Left at the altar as a young lady, she has preserved her house as it was on her wedding day and lived there ever since, shut away from the world. She has a heart of gold, but no one has treated it well.

 

Boo Radley

Look at those sultry eyes/Image Via Pinterest

 

Harper Lee gave us To Kill A Mocking Bird, which introduced the world to Boo Radley. Our Boo has lived in a house since he was a child, hidden from the world, but he has a heart of gold, giving young Scout a jacket on a cold autumn day.

If these two shut-ins have closed their doors to the world, would they open their doors for each other? Boo Radley most certainly wouldn’t leave Miss. Havisham at the altar, and Miss. Havisham wouldn’t let our precious Boo feel unwelcomed.

 

8-White Witch and Sauron

 

C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien

Image Via CNN

 

Now this pairing might not be great for the world at large, but they would be great for each other. Both live in fantasy world, the authors who created them were in real life great friends, and both crave ultimately power.

While both skilled in the powers of magic, it wouldn’t take magic to get these two working side by side.

 

White Witch

Image Via Denver Post

 

Imagine it: the White Witch would kill all the lions and the hero in the land, freezing them in ice just in time…

 

Sauron

Lord of the Rings Wiki – Fandom

 

…for Sauron to get to swinging his mace around

Talk about a power couple. The White Witch might even slip the One Ring of Power on Sauron’s little finger….

 

 

7-Pinocchio and Voldemort

 

Pinocchio

Image Via Entertainment.ie

 

Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio grows every time he lies, and he’s made of wood, so lie a few times and cut off the excess, and Voldemort doesn’t have to be called He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose.

 

Voldemort

Image Via Harry Potter Wiki – Fandom

 

Yes, Voldemort is a racist and a tyrant who thirsts for power more than a camel thirsts for water, but Pinocchio isn’t the pinnacle of innocence. After all, there’s a reason he’s cursed to have his nose grows every time he lies.

Plus, if he and Voldemort got together, Pinocchio can use his nose for…

 

6-Ariel and Jaws

 

The Little Mermaid

Image Via The South African

 

Prince Eric isn’t a good fit for Hans Christie Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. He has legs, Ariel is half-fish, and if she gets together with him then she has to abandon her family. That’s a bad move, Ariel.

 

Jaws

Aw, he’s holding him / Image Via Pinterest

 

But if she wants to take a walk on the wild side and still remain in the ocean, she can always go with the shark from Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Call him what you will (I call him Bruce, but others have called him Jaws or Sharkie or even Craig), but he knows his way around the wide ocean and can show Ariel a whole new world under the sea.

Ah, they always say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but at least these two fish found each other. Maybe that’ll be the new plot for the new Disney remake!

 

5-Mrs Robinson and Oedipus

 

Mrs. Robinson

Image Via CharacTour

 

Mrs. Robinson from Charles Webb’s 1963 novella The Graduate is trapped in a loveless marriage. She’s only married to her husband because she got pregnant and needed to avoid a scandal, and thus she hooks up with young Benjamin Braddock. But Benjamin is only into her because he’s bored. He doesn’t love her.

 

Image Via Study.com

 

Oedipus from the seminal play Oedipus Rex has a thing for older women. Yes, he didn’t know he was married to his mom, but she was still older than him. So maybe we can avoid the whole I-gotta-pluck-out-my-eyes thing and just have Oedipus meet up and see where things go with Mrs. Robinson. She’s old enough to be his mom, and that should be enough for dear old Ed.

 

4-Paul Bunyun and Jack Torrence

 

Paul Bunyan

Image Via NEA

 

Straight from American folklore is the biggest and the best lumberjack in the business: Paul Bunyan.

 

Jack Torrance

Handsome! / Image Via Salon

 

Straight from the mind of Stephen King is Jack Torrence. Now Mr. King was quite unhappy with the changes Stanley Kubrick made in his film adaptation, so we’ll have a chance to mend things here.

In the book Jack Torrence has a roque mallet, so maybe Paul can give him his iconic ax. Plus, since Paul’s ax might be a bit big for Jack, he can buy one here and, once Jack has his iconic ax, well…

 

Beautiful friendship

Image Via Giphy

Or maybe something more…

 

 

3-Katniss and The Chershire Cat

 

The Cheshire Cat

Image Via DeviantArt

 

This goes beyond the fact that ‘Katniss’ kind of, sort of, sounds like ‘cat’ and the Cheshire Cat is, well, a cat.

 

Katniss Everdeen

Image Via Scoopnest

 

For one, Katniss from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games never really loved Peta. Two, Cheshire Cat from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland knows his way around the block and would have helped her big time before, during, and after those pesky Hunger Games.

Plus, the Cheshire Cat is funny, and you know what they say….

 

what do you see in that guy?

Image Via Pinterest

 

 

2-Christine and Pennywise

 

Chirstine

Image Via Amreading

 

An evil car

 

Pennywise

Image Via OC Celebrity Marketing

 

..and an evil clown, what could be better? We already know Pennywise has a thing for cars…

 

Image Via Collider

 

So maybe it’s time for Christine to rev Pennywise’s engine.

 

1-The Grinch and Cat in the Hat

 

These two iconic characters from the Dr. Seuss universe are meant for each other.

 

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat

Image Via Amazon

 

Their first meet up might not have gone well….

 

 

A Match Made in Heaven

Image Via DeviantArt

 

…but we all know it’s a much made in heaven.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via 9Gag