|Eyes Wide Shut [VHS]
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It was inevitable that Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut would be the most misunderstood film of 1999. Kubrick died four months prior to its release, and there was no end to speculation how much he would have tinkered with the picture, changed it, "fixed" it. We'll never know. But even without the haunting enigma of the director's death--and its eerie echo/anticipation in the scene when Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) visits the deathbed of one of his patients--Eyes Wide Shut would have perplexed and polarized viewers and reviewers. After all, virtually every movie of Kubrick's post-U.S. career had; only 1964's Dr. Strangelove opened to something approaching consensus. Quite apart from the author's tinkering, Kubrick's movies themselves always seemed to change--partly because they changed us, changed the world and the ways we experienced and understood it. And we may expect Eyes Wide Shut to do the same. Unlike Kubrick himself, it has time.
So consider, as we settle in to live with this long, advisedly slow, mesmerizing film, how challenging and ambiguous its narrative strategy is. The source is an Arthur Schnitzler novella titled Traumnovelle (or "Dream Story"), and it's a moot question how much of Eyes Wide Shut itself is dream, from the blue shadows frosting the Harfords' bedroom to the backstage replica of New York's Greenwich Village that Kubrick built in England. Its major movement is an imaginative night-journey (even the daylight parts of it) taken by a man reeling from his wife's teasing confession of fantasized infidelity, and toward the end there is a token gesture of the couple waking to reality and, perhaps, a new, chastened maturity. Yet on some level--visually, psychologically, logically--every scene shimmers with unreality. Is everything in the movie a dream? And if so, who is dreaming it at any given moment, and why?
Don't settle for easy answers. Kubrick's ultimate odyssey beckons. And now the dream is yours. --Richard T. Jameson
- I'M A DOCTOR!
Totally agree with another reviewer that said Tom Cruise was miscast as a doctor - totally unbelievable. I thought both he and Nicole Kidman's acting in this film was laughable. And since when does a doctor go around flipping open his I.D. card like a cop? Over and over again, AND people complying with whatever he wants because "HE'S A DOCTOR!". And what was the point of Nicole Kidman's gratitious nudity? - enough already. That and her rant about her doctor husband squeezing patient's "titties" - just sickening. Maybe this film would have succeded with better acting . . ....more info
- great quality
beautiful clean transfer and great disc that shows the un-cut movie in its whole.
especially enjoyed the extras. ...more info
- Finally restored the way Kubrick first made it
While one of the slower films kubrick has made this is still a great film. The CG fig leaves covering the nude scenes have been removed. The fuss was over nothing. I have literally seen more nudity on bus ads. The film has a dreamy cyclical quality to it. It has grown on me and continues to give me food for thought as time goes on. This film is still way better than most films that get made. The orgy scene and the scenes that follow are as scary and thrilling as anythging I have ever seen. ...more info
- Good intentions? Poor execution.
The first time I saw Eyes Wide Shut, I focused on the revelation of the perversions of the rich and powerful. They have moved beyond morality. They believe they can get away with anything. Sadly, as we see the financial corruption in plain sight today in our banking and investment world, and their incestuous relationship with Washington -- which is bailing them out with trillions of taxpayer dollars -- it is clear that the oligarchy thinks it can screw the "little people" with impunity. In the sexual realm, there may be no difference, and the film depicts this. People are just pieces of meat, to be used for whatever whim these super-rich elites should desire. I suspect there is more truth to this aspect of Eyes Wide Shut than we would like to believe.
The second time I watched Eyes Wide Shut, I concentrated more on its theme of fidelity, jealousy, interactions within a marriage relationship, and of course the "adventure" Tom Cruise's character has as a result. What is the message here? There is something to be said for the safety and stability of home, though fantasies do intrude and can lead to danger, even destruction.
The concept of the film, to address these issues, was probably a reasonable goal. However, for all the labor expended on crafting this film, all the little details that the film buffs and movie historians will obsess over, all the craft involved in filming and editing, the movie is ultimately a flop.
The dialog is laughably bad at times. Cruise's and even Kidman's acting seems incredibly phony. The overall plot probably would have served as the framework for a good movie, had the script and the performances not been so awful. Even the erotic scenes are not titillating, because of the revolting and bizarre atmosphere in which they are contextualized.
Perhaps worst of all, the couple at the center of this story are not interesting people. Cruise does not in any way appear or act intelligent enough to make a credible physician in this role, not just because he's a pretty boy, but he simply doesn't have the bearing of a professional man. And why should we care about these people, seemingly sleepwalking through their pampered and conventional lives? Yes, the troubling things that the good doctor gets himself mixed up in give us a sense that he has confronted evil, and we do root for him on that basis. But at the end of the film, we almost do not care whether this couple stays together or breaks up.
The movie is pretty to look at, at times, with low-contrast naturally-lit interiors. The "orgy party" scenes are a bit more stark -- with the pseudo-cultic circle of people in robes and masks in their ceremonial rites. However, there is nothing mind-blowing like 2001 or the battle scenes in Full Metal Jacket.
It's hard to recommend this movie. For all its apparent intentions to tell a good story and comment on relationships and society, it feels to me like a dud. Perhaps like me, you will have to watch it twice to convince yourself of that, but frankly I think it would be a waste of time. ...more info
- Very pleased.
Initially I sat down to watch this as a labor of love for Kubrick. I was told by many credible opinions that it was anywhere from "okay" to "awful", with the occasional "not bad" thrown in. But when I sat down and watched it myself, I realized all over again that there is a reason so many people followed Kubrick through the years: he is a master of mood.
And that is one thing I got from the movie. The other thing I enjoyed was the interplay between Kidman and Cruise, with their awkward marital problem, and Cruise trying to cope with it. It's a film that seems to question the nature of man and his emotions/desires. A rewarding watch....more info
- Eyes Wide Shut (Unrated) - Blu-ray Info
Title: Eyes Wide Shut - Unrated
Version: U.S.A / Region A, B, C
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Running time: 2:39:01
Movie size: 31,77 GB
Disc size: 37,47 GB
Average video bit rate: 17.18 Mbps
LPCM 5.1 4608Kbps 48 Khz/16-bit English
DD AC3 5.1 448Kbps English / Japanese / French / Spanish / German / Italian
Number of chapters: 30
Subtitles: English SDH/HoH, English, Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish
#Featurette - The Last Movie - Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut
#Featurette - Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick
DGA - D.W. Griffith Acceptance Speech, 1998
#Interviews - Nicole Kidman (17m:45s) / Tom Cruise (08m:23s) / Steven Spielberg (07m:49s)
#US TV Trailer: Jealousy (34 seconds), Combo (34 seconds)
#Extras feature optional Japanese subtitles...more info
- Much meaning here
Please be forewarned that these are spoliers since I am interested in maybe speaking to some detractors about some positive aspects of this movie that people may have overlooked.
Remember towards the end when it was mentioned by Pollack's character that the infamous night was much deeper down the rabbit hole than Cruises character could fathom derived from his hitherto background and life experience, and that he had basically gotten in over his head? Specifically that there were elite dynastic family names associated with the mysterious event which, if divulged to him would keep him up at night in a bad way... That is to say there just might be people who engage in rituals and symbolic activities as part of some cult for lack of a better, more sophisticated word which to the average joe are incomprehensible and otherworldly and to be simply cast off as so much weird stuff done by "weird" people - since naturally to us 9-5'ers we are certainly compartmentalized and in a secluded world - just as they are in theirs and therefore we cannot relate to each other - ever. And their fluff and nonsense may empirically be judged as such - objectively to us logical observers - especially pragmatic, non-superstitious types it comes off as "pretentious" and meaningless behavior. Yet I think to these "sophistos" and "culturos", with their impecable lineages thrive and live off of theater of life and grandiosity and pomposity.. the important point is it means something to them! Even if for just a time until they grow weary and bored and move onto something else - somewhere else. For ask yourself, once you have all the wealth and authority (I prefer this semantically over power) and your mind is rotting bored out of your decayed skull as a result of having done it all, owned it all, seen it all, etc, your activities become ostensibly more bizarre and perverse as some might call it and you just might engage in behavior which is out of touch with the rest of society.
Is it not possible that those ultra wealthy few that live among us but could never be us and conversely would say the same to you, that they would not want to mingle with the unwashed masses? Yes those 99.99999999% of us that are mere plebeians and must work normal jobs and are far too busy and underpriveleged and poor (economically) and unconnected to indulge in such far out scenes of lost time, and lost profane ritual. This is the crux of the matter and why some have a problem with the movie - they cannot make sense of the orgy scene...and why in hell should they?
So do not second guess Kubrick as saying he had created so many masterpieces in his time yet somehow inexplicably his last movie would be worthless and without meaning and merit. I believe Kubrick
was shining a light here - remember he had lived and had seen and heard many things from his lofty vantage point and was trying to show the rest of us something that lays dark and forbidden behind ornate locked gates. A world, among many other worlds within this earth that goes unnoticed and unknown except to those who were born to know and the priviliged whom might intersect it.
Maybe the convergence of "MK ultra" (look it up, it is declassified CIA record now) and illuminati are referenced ever so obliquely through the much more mundane story of a couple working through some shaky moments in their relationship. Brilliant! ...more info
- A movie about power
I feel that too much emphasis is placed on the Cruise and Kidman characters. Their fears, desires, or any other emotions are really irrelevent to me. They are cartoonish exagerations of the 21st century couple. Does anyone really act that way? Would any sane person tell their spouse they would walk out on their life together for a one night stand? I don't think so. Then what is the point, why are we following these two people around as they behave as if they are in dream state, in a trance, or out of their minds? The Venetian masked orgy is the key. The movie tells us that parallel to our self medicated, dreamy, fretful, nuerotic, world, there is a world of power, harsh reality, and knowledge. Sometimes we sitcom characters brush against this other world, with no good result. Bill stumbled upont this other world and was crushed. A hand of unmeasurable power and cruelty struck him down and held him immobile as one might a small dog. The effect was sobering, but also short lived. Bill, and we, will always cower and crawfish, walking backwards in homage away from the hideous strength, slipping back into our silly worlds of imagined infidelity, drugs, Christmans shopping, and whatever our ideal of sex is. Eyes Wide Shut tells us that we are living a ridiculous, unnnatural existence, but perceive it as just the opposite. When we are exposed to the powers that have dealt us this hand, to those who see us as ants on the sidewalk to be crushed, we have no other defense but to delve deeper into the illusion to escape a reality we can not accept....more info
- What was kubrick thinking?
Tom Cruise is a horrible actor who wrecks whatever chance the movie had. This is also one on the most unerotic "erotic" movies I have seen. Stay way....more info
- Life is but a dream
Mispublicized as an especially steamy thriller by its studio, and sensationalized by the presence of its then married stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick's last film enjoyed the same controversy that had dogged all his releases since the early 1960s. Based on Arthur Schnitzler's fin-de-siecle "Traumnovelle," EYES WIDE SHUT is a languid and dreamlike puzzle picture about a married wealthy doctor who, wounded by his wife's thoughts of infidelity, explores sexually straying from her and finds himself caught up in a nightmare of conspiracy and surveillance. Whether or not Cruise's Dr. Bill Harford is awake or dreaming through most of the film is somewhat up for interpretation: he lives in an unreal Manhattan created almost entirely on the soundstages of London's Pinewood Studios (Kubrick was too afraid of flying to shoot on location), and in the conspiracy he uncovers, most of the upsetting women he encounters are tall redhaired amazons who all seem doubles of his own wife. As with all of Kubrick's films, EYES WIDE SHUT is primarily about the de-humanizing cruelty of the world to the film's protagonists. The murderous wealthy and powerful cabal Bill uncovers (which practices masked hierogamous sex rituals in a Long Island mansion) really is simply a dream figuration for the mortality that dogs him, despite his handsomeness, wealth, and position; Bill's final talk with his wife Alice in a toy store during Christmas shopping suggests that sex is all that's left to them to keep the Grim Reaper at bay.
The film is much more complex than my little summary can suggest, and since its densely allusive (as all Kubrick films are) it has acquired a substantial cult reputation. It's not one of his best films, but it's still quite good. Its weakest sequences are at the beginning, with a silver-haired Hungarian count who makes silly passes at Kidman's Alice at a holiday ball, and the much-talked about orgy that disappointed so many looking for something sexy (and instead purposefully shows ritualized sex acts drained of any eros whatsoever). Kidman surprised critics and audiences with her performance in this film, and she is genuinely quite exciting in all her scenes except for the misjudged drunk sequence at the ball, and Sydney Pollack as the rich Ziegler may be even better than she is, particularly in the scene close to the end of the film in his billiards room. As he did so often in the late 90s and the very early years of the 21st century, Tom Cruise seems cast in order for the smug fratboy type he played in the 80s to be shown to be broken and emasculated; he moves well and sometimes has genuinely fine instincts, but is not quite up to convincingly conveying anguish. Though its stiltedness is intentional, the dialogue by Fredric Raphael is the weakest part of the film....more info
- Excellent final film from Kubrick
"Eyes Wide Shut" is Kubrick's best film since "Barry Lyndon" and a fitting end to his remarkable career. All the Kubrick touches are there - the air of detachment, the tracking shots, the fisheye steadicam, the banal mixed with the bizarre, beautifully composed shots, excellent use of music, etc, etc.
The story concern a married couple played by (at the time) real-life married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman for whom married life has become a little boring and where both parties are looking for some excitement although they know they shouldn't. Things soon get out of hand.
Tom Cruise is brilliant and so are all the other performance with the glaring exception of Nicole Kidman who struggles in a difficult role.
Some interesting interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg are included on the DVD but nothing else.
- Illuminati secret symbolism layed out for the public to see...
This movie is highly symbolic, loaded with symbolism about and secrets used by the global elite. Which is why most people find this film somewhat puzzling. Go to http://www.kentroversypapers.net/ for details about the meanings within. Classic Kubrick. Also see a review about the highly symbolic 2001 (about secrets of Alchemy) at: http://www.jayweidner.com/kubrick.htm...more info
- Tom Cruise did it again - -
- bombed, that is. Oh, as a kid fighter-pilot, semi-terrific. As a lawyer in a uniform, putrid. As a "doctor"? He was unbelievably bad, totally miscast. A fish out of water? No, worse. Much. Like some of those terrible movies we love to hate, I actually watched it again -- or, perhaps 17 minutes of it, until I wanted to watch Lassie re-runs or 'most anything..... so I did, "Inside the NFL" - - - fini....more info
- Eyes Wide Shut
I have purchased close to 40 BD discs and I have to say that Eyes Wide Shut is the first one that I regret double-dipping to get HD. The DVD version looks just as good on a very good DVD player. What a shame....more info
- Garbage. Bad acting. Dull filmography. Horrendous lighting. Kubrick's a loser.
I just watched this, and I don't know why. It was horrible. Cruise wasn't the only bad actor in this (Kidman did a good job of course), and he was BAD. The lighting is a constant red/blue warm/cold contrast that is more headache inducing than intriguing. Whoever was guiding the camera and setting shots was lackluster and just "got the job done." Kubrick, besides being a misogynistic f* with an adolescent appetite for his films' contents, really delivered nothing...and he took his time doing it.
This movie isn't bad because it wasn't sexy enough (I think it was sexy without need), nor because it was slow (I love slow, ponderous films), nor because there was no climax (same), it was because it was poorly directed and poorly written. The dialog is so often laughable. I was advised to see it as one of the creepiest films of all time. I never blinked. I felt like laughing at the attempts at creepiness though.
For people who want to point at the themes explored, it doesn't matter if a film brings themes up, it matters how it handles them. This did a poor, surface level job just in order that Kubrick could get his kicks out of using the F word and having nudity that isn't necessarily sexualized...oooo, how progressive!
I wasted my evening, don't waste yours....more info
- Mix up on title
Got mixed up on video. I was sent HD copy and it took 6 weeks to get here. In the meantime I had purchased another one from another merchant. The original merchant was outstanding in handling the mix up. I will use them again. ...more info
- A Personal Favorite
When one loves such a divisive and widely-knocked film as Eyes Wide Shut, it's inevitable that a puzzled friend will eventually beg the question: "Why? What do you like about it?"
And I honestly have no clear answer. Why, in fact, do I love this film so damn much? I don't know. All I know is that its dreamy, Christmastime haze suckers me in every time. All I know is that it's hard for me to hear Shostakovich's Waltz #2 on its own terms without feeling an immense surge of emotion. I don't cry, mind you, but I feel like I could.
I've never even been married. Hell, I've barely been in a serious, long-term relationship, for that matter. And no, I don't just like the film because of the copious nudity on display.
I like it because of its subtleties; the small, odd gestures and movements that each character makes. The things they say and the unique ways in which they say it. I adore the film's late-night, wintertime vibe, and its gorgeous colors and striking images. I like how the film can be read in seemingly endless ways. Only Kubrick could make a film that's interpreted as anything from an expose of the Illuminati to a psycho-sexual Freudian odyssey to some sort of sociological lampooning of Tom Cruise's shattered ego.
Most of all, I like how Kubrick went out with this one. Just a subtle, unassuming flick about a few days in the life of a rich doctor following some silly misunderstanding over the events of a Christmas party. No over-the-top violence or grand statements about the evolution of humanity, just a curious sexually charged Christmas Carol for the 90's.
And I wouldn't want it any other way....more info
Well, all the other sites mentions this movie as rated R.
Only Amazon says Unrated.
The one I bought is the box set and was rated R.
Can someone explain what is going on?
By the way I always liked his last movie.
But seems to me there is not much difference beteween this version and the other one that I already have....more info
- Not 2 versions of the movie
IF it is true and there really aren't 2 versions of the movie it is kind of false advertising. For the shear visuals and atmosphere this is one of his best. Perhaps by mentioning the packaging doesn't match the content there will be a revision to this. ...more info
- 'Forever' Is A Scary Word
I have to give this movie five stars because of the lovely Nicole Kidman. But she's not the only gorgeous girl in the movie and there are none of those acursed artificial breast implants either. Stanley Kubrick really gave us something to cherish as his final work.
The movie starts out (and remains) strange and it has a sort of ghost like quality which is set around Christmas time. It touches on both the positive and negative aspects of sexually related issues and contains a lot of symbolism.
Alice has a few glasses of champagne at some rich guy's party which puts her more or less out of her mind and she starts talking in a trance like state and dancing with this guy who looks like Count Dracula.
Alice gets stoned and tells Dr. Bill about a fantasy she had about making out with this guy who she instantly fell in love with at first sight. I don't think this ever really happened but Dr. Bill thinks it may have and he starts visualizing these wonderful (but not to him) scenes in his mind. This is what causes him to start looking for love in all the wrong places as he also wants to experience that instantaneous and magical attraction.
I sort of relate personally to the Dr. Bill character (Cruise) although this may only be my imagination. Still I don't think think people would disagree that the movie contains some sort of hidden and secret message.
Dr. Bill and his wife Alice sometimes think about doing the wrong things but ultimately they are not truly evil people as most people aren't.
However Dr. Bill injects himself into a situation where the people are truly evil. To me this represents satanism.
In the movie Dr. Bill becomes a threat to that satanic cult because of what he knows about them. But in real life they rather become the threat when people are stupid enough to get involved with them and open that Pandora's box of evil. There comes a point where the box cannot be closed and Dr. Bill comes close to reaching that point.
There's a very important scene where Dr. Bill revists the castle where the 'party' happened and they hand him a horrible letter. People shouldn't write evil things in letters it's very dangerous.
Interestingly one of the people at the 'party' was wearing a mask that looks like the sun. The sun has been up there burning for a long time.
The evil spirits will first attack in the dream state which is exactly what happens to Alice.
Eventually Dr. Bill's reckless act threatens to destroy everyone that he holds dear in this world. This is not just fiction. It can happen.
Interestingly Cruise and Nicole were married when this movie was made I think. Sometimes a movie can mirror what's happening with the actors in real life.
Cruise joined the Church Of Scientology.
There's this old movie called 'The Wasp Woman' where this lady is somehow turned into a wasp. I heard somehow this really happened to the lady who played the part in the movie.
Black Widow DVD
The Beast (La b¨ºte)
Images in a Convent
The Others (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
The Shining [Blu-ray]...more info
- The Reason Zero Stars Should Be Invented!
I've seen this movie twice by mistake! I saw it once in 1999 when it came out then I saw it again this year, ten years later because I'd forgotten just how awful it really is. This movie is a bigger dog than Cujo! It's a shame that Stanley Kubrick's legacy was last remembered with this mess. No disrespect to the dead but I have to ask, "What was he thinking????"
The film has no plot but only a long, long patch of boring, draggy, unrelated scenes strummed together! Did I mention boring?
The scenery was draggy and pointless. Also I gotta give a big thumbs down for the filmmakers hyping this up as some big sex film. Please! I've seen more erotica on PBS' Masterpiece Theater! It's obvious that sex-talk was a ploy in '99 to get folks to watch. Even back then it wasn't shocking so today you won't even notice the so-called erotica!
It was way too long and for WHAT? If you're gonna make a long movie do the audience a favor and make sure it's good! Sitting through this was like being tied to the electric chair!
The acting is amazingly horrible! I didn't expect much from the non-acting Tom Cruise. The man's as overrated as Britney Spears! But I was shocked at Nicole Kidman's terrible performance. Kidman's one of the most amazing actresses of our time! It's clear to see that the only reason she took part in this mess is because Cruise was in it too. He seemed to spend most of his career begging Kidman to co-star in his films because he could tell they were duds to begin with. Maybe you could pick a hit in the 80's Tom but have been sinking fast in the last twenty years!
If you haven't seen this movie yet, you don't want to NOW. Run, save yourself! Showgirls is better than this! EWS is HORRIBLE! It has the right title though. You watch this and your eyes will definitely be wide shut because you'll be sleep!
Eyes Wide Shut is a piece of long, boring, terrible, horrible, trash!
This is the reason Amazon needs to invent zero stars for ratings!
- Minds Wide Open
I saw this movie in a theater, when it was premiered years ago. I found it haunting, dreamlike, and outside the normal realm of moviemaking. Most people did not like the movie then and I would assume most would not like it now. Its a movie that polarizes. I recently had the chance to view it again. Mesmerizing is the best way I can describe it. It pulls you into a dreamlike world and leaves you with many unanswered questions. The most chilling, riveting scene obviously is the "party". But what really gets to me in this scene is the deliberate striking of the piano keys especially the occasional but intentional off-key notes. It exudes forbodding and mortal anxiety. It is the quintessential cult scene. Kubrick created a movie that has aged well. Highly reccommended, but surely not for everyone....more info
- Dazzlingly rich and clever
To enjoy this movie it helps to have an interest in Psychoanalytic concepts: the imperious erotic drive, dreams, fantasy, seduction, guilt, erotic curiosity, the distortion of reality by wish and fear, and the fascinating challenge of figuring out the mystery of what exactly happened to you and why. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this movie. The movie's title seems to refer to the power of the sensual and visual experiences of your mind's eyes. ...more info
- Unrated Two-Disc Special Edition
I think the Amazon product picture for this DVD is wrong. The Amazon product page shows exactly the same picture as the United States censored version (Eyes Wide Shut (2-disc Special Edition)). I've uploaded images of the DVD box I actually received (click "See customer images")....more info
- Influential filmmaker's final film...
1999 was a pretty big year for movies. From the groundbreaking effects of the "Matrix" to the phenomenon that was the "Sixth Sense" to the "Phantom Menace", the first Star Wars film in 16 years, it was quite an eventful year. In addition to that there was "Eyes Wide Shut", the latest film by influential director Stanley Kubrick, his first in 12 years and would end up being his final film. It of course got massive hype: from the fact he was finally making something new, to the star power of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to its long shoot (400 days), excitement was huge and it can be fair to say disappointment was bigger. It's a fine film sure but it might not be everyone's idea of Kubrick's last hurrah.
Bill and Alice Harford are a married couple of 9 years with a 7 year old daughter, Helena. Attending a party at a friend's place, the 2 of them separate and start to flirt with partygoers looking for a more intimate setting. They both decline and the next day, Alice reveals a truth: a one night stand she desperately wanted to have happen a year earlier that she didn't act on. This sends Bill on a journey through the streets of New York and exploring that possibility of being with someone that's not his wife but what he discovers is potentially more dangerous than just infidelity.
The advertising made you believe that you were getting into some completely raunchy and X-rated with sex scenes and nudity running rampant. Turns out most of the nudity isn't played in scenes of sexual nature but just natural part of life and one's body. As for the sex, well, it looks explicity but you've probably seen worse. With this much press and speculation, you can practically see the audience's eyes giving a sense of shock; "that's it?" on their minds once the film's over. It's a slow, deliberately paced film with many characters chatting to each other with nary a mind-warping "Star Child" sequence or a hyper-edited sex scene to the William Tell Overture. This makes it more dreamlike but people might find it boring.
With a star like Cruise in the lead role, some might find it distracting. He's gotten to that "superstar" level of acting where people see him less as an actor and more like a celebrity who just so happens to be an actor. While there is moments that seem "Cruise-y" in the film, it happens to be one of his more layered characters, along with Frank Mackey from "Magnolia". But it's Kidman who probably has the more interesting role to play since by the end of the film, you still can't get a handle on just what exactly this characters wants and whether what she says is the real thing. But this is the Bill show as we spend more time with him than Alice which is kind of a shame.
Although it may not have that must-have status that a lot of Kubrick films have, don't think that it's a bad film because of it. It may not please everyone but it's at least a fine film on its own and a strange but fitting end to a long career....more info
- Good News, Kubrick and HD Fans
Kubrick's final effort is also his greatest masterpiece: a humane and expressionistic fable, endlessly complex and guardedly optimistic.
A few notes about the HD DVD of "Eyes Wide Shut:"
This is the unrated version of the film, meaning it does not have those CGI figures added to the orgy scenes to obscure the simulated sex. (The CGI figures were added in order to secure a U.S. theatrical release rating of "R," without Kubrick's input; their only purpose was censorship. This unrated version, which was released theatrically in Europe but until now has not been available in the U.S., restores those shots to the way Kubrick filmed them.)
The HD disc contains all of the special features which appear on the 16x9 standard-definition DVD in the new boxed set, and they are interesting enough. The aspect-ratio of the HD DVD is 16x9, which is a vast improvement over the old 3x4 DVD, as 16x9 is much closer to the theatrical aspect-ratio for which the film's shots were composed. The High-Definition film transfer is beautiful, pristine, the images luminous and rich. For a film as beautifully photographed as this, in which the texture of the image conveys essential, visceral meaning, the difference between High-Definition and Standard Def might make the difference between fully receiving the film and not.
If you've gone HD and are thinking of buying this to replace your old standard-def 3x4 DVD, by all means do so. Short of a new 35mm print of the unrated version, this HD disc -- displayed on a big 1080 set in a dark room, uninterrupted -- is how this challenging and ultimately thrilling film should be seen, and seen again....more info
- DISAPPOINTING -- LIKE A HALF-REMEMBERED DREAM
Kubrick's final film is a sad elegy to a gifted, eccentric filmmaker. The finished film as finally released seems a compendium of too much tinkering and no clear vision. Potent ideas, symbols, images and sequences never come tegether in a satisfying way. Much more a vanity production and experimental film from a man who enjoyed the process more than the final product. Maybe it was a way to hold on to his mortality? Or maybe it's what the movie is really about. The ultimate taboo is death itself. And erotic conflict is the stuff of life.
The movie is fragmented and sometimese even compelling. But the spell it promises is never realized. It is mainly interesting as a biographical footnote to a great filmmaker's strange epitaph. Cruise is intense but out of his element. Kidman is incredibly present in all her scenes. She's an amazing talent.
But, for me, the real question is why did this story so interest Kubrick? Perhaps nothing but the opportunity of making another film and the illusion that he would last as long as it's never finished -- even in the minds of an audience! After all, for an artist, to be creative is to feel fully alive. Now it's the audiences responsibility to finish the creative process and bring closure to Kubrick's art. But in the final cut, that only makes for a bad movie.
Note: Early WB publicity promised both the American and uncensored European versions of the film as well as commentaries (one by Sydney Pollack). These promised elements are not on the 2 disc retail version now available. What happened?...more info
- Not Kubrick's Best.. but
Still a bit of a let down after all the anticipation of Kubrick's last film. That said, the transfer is an improvement over the standard DVD, and widescreen, and yes, unrated. I had an import unrated version and it was really a matter of digitally putting 2 dark figures in cloaks in front of some of the more graphic sex scenes. Not that I'm not glad to have the unrated version. This was the way it was shot. The image itself suffers from the way it was shot. A lot of it looks kinda blurry with gauze in front of the lens. The extras are good and it's nice to have the best quality version out there on my shelf....more info
- Wide Open.
YES, the Blu-Ray version IS the unrated version with silhouettes removed from the party/orgy scene.
YES, it is in widescreen 1.85 format, HOWEVER... you should note that Kubrick did indeed intend a full frame viewing experience. As I understand, he framed it for 4:3 but protected the 1.85 frame for theatrical viewing. You should note that in the widescreen version, you are actually losing some image on the top and bottom of the frame. The 4:3 full frame version is the actual full negative. But to my disappointment...
NO, there is no option to choose one or the other. 1.85 is the only version on this BD.
This movie took a lot of growing on me. I watched the film theatrically when it was released and did not like it at all. Since then, in subsequent viewings, I have come to appreciate the movie more and the tremendous amount of thought that went into it.
For a moment, put aside the stories you hear about hundreds of takes on one scene and all the months it took to shoot this film. What Kubrick put into it was probably an OD of conceptualism for most of us. Sometimes that can come across as pretentious and unnecessary, but with every viewing something new arises. If you overanalyze and look for the seemingly most miniscule details, you will be surprised at how much you find and how much of it is 100% relevant.
Many have condemned this film as total garbage. I can't stand Tom Cruise at all and quite honestly he sucks in this film just about as much as he does in any other... but Kubrick makes up for Cruise's shortcomings in many different ways. Perhaps Cruise's lack of talent even adds to the film in some way. In any case, I think it's a great film... not quite a masterpiece like some film geeks might attest to, but definitely worth a few looks. ...more info
- Some Movies Go On Forever
"Eyes Wide Shut," Stanley Kubrick's last major effort before his death, is beautifully photographed, well-mounted, but for long stretches very tedious, turgid, and overwrought. It's an adult fairy tale with a great deal of nudity. The mansion scenes with their sexual excesses by masked participants are staged in a grand rococo manner, but they seem like part of some moviemaking exercise.
Tom Cruise as usual is very intense, but this movie seen on a wide screen with many close-ups of him reveal that his acting talent and emotional range are severely limited. The moviegoer must live with Cruise for close to three hours which for a viewer can be an eternity. As movie time passes, he gets tiresome, a by-product of his mediocre acting. I think another actor with more depth could have sustained our interest. His then-wife Nicole Kidman is sublimated because his is the larger role.
Almost every woman who crosses his path tries to hit on him. For a successful Manhattan physician how could he be so na?ve, dense, and unworldly? His apartment is very spacious and elaborate, but it is nothing compared to Sydney Pollack's elaborate palace.
The scene in which Nicole is dancing with a lothario making a pass at her is endless. Every scene in the movie seems interminable.
The movie seems to skirt between a dream-like existence, a fantasy world and gritty reality at street level. Towards the end it's almost a murder mystery with Cruise playing the detective.
- Another Kidman Laughfest
I won't go into the plot or major themes of this film, as other reviewers have done an adequate job of it. I truly believe actors make or break a movie. As such, this film could have been very good, but suffers deplorably from a lack of quality acting. Tom Cruise is not a favorite of mine, but does a passable job as the manic
spouse of a woman who shares her thoughts of infidelity.
I found Kidman's performance (as so often is the case with this highly overrated actress) substandard, to say the least. Gratuitous shots of her boney, barenaked assets (no less than three of them in the first third of the film with no context whatsoever) does not qualify as fine acting. The nauseatingly phony delivery she gives as a drunken party reveler at the beginning of the film sets the pace for the rest of the movie, in which she makes a miserable (and somewhat laughable) attempt at getting stoned in one scene and offers a pathetically false display of artificial emotion after relating a bad dream to her "husband" in another.
Other directors besides Kubrick have capitalized on Kidman's latent narcissism and tendency toward exhibitionism in order to mask the artificial quality of her acting. Cold Mountain and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus are two recent examples that come to mind. Time and time again, Ms. Kidman makes acting choices that showcase her alleged physical "beauty" rather than reveal her true skill as a convincing and reliable actor. Eyes Wide Shut is no exception. Actresses such as Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, and Cate Blanchett are exceptional not only because their physical beauty resonates on film when they portray "ordinary" women, but because they are willing to manipulate and transcend traditional images of beauty in order to explore other facets of female experience. Not ironically, Kidman finally received her prized golden statue when she dared to portray someone other than a shadow of her own superficial self in The Hours.
Personally, I found the subject matter of the film and the scenes involving the sex rituals to be provocative. Hence, two stars for a film that suffers from bad casting and unfilfilled potential but explores interesting
questions related to communication, trust, and fidelity among committed partners....more info
- Only understood with a mind wide shut...
I make it a point to watch this movie at least once or twice a year; for it is one of those films that touches you differently each and every time you entertain it. Once I feel that I have my mind made up it is completely trampled and my perception of events is altered as my mind tries to re-contemplate everything I just witnessed. That is the beauty within `Eyes Wide Shut'; a film so tragically misunderstood that many have labeled it pointless and even trashy without fully comprehending all that the film really stands for.
The film almost feels lost within itself as it shifts from scene to scene; moment to moment, and in the final thrusts of the films focus we see an explanation (or is it) starting to form before our eyes, but what is so beautiful about the films construction is that that particular explanation (or any explanation for that matter) is completely contradicted the next time we watch the film. There are no easy answers to the questions raised while watching this masterpiece and that makes for some of the most intriguing titillating post-viewing conversation. Kubrick's visual styling is incomparable and his approach to the rabid subject at hand; his frankness and blunt rashness; elevates the material and builds a pristine foundation for the films more startling sequences.
The film opens with high society couple Bill and Alice attending a party. Separated from one another we find Alice drinking her detachment away and dancing too close with a stranger while Bill weaves his way through the large mansion to make his services available to those in need, one such individual being his good friend Victor. This scene perfectly mirrors the characters development and their emotional connection to one another and to us as the audience. Both Alice and Bill are in a sense playing variations of themselves, locking away their true identities for the sake of those around them. They are not necessarily faking it or posing as someone else but more or less playing up the parts of them that others want to notice.
As the film progresses we witness Bill's emersion into a dark underworld that he is drawn to out of a perverse curiosity yet repelled from because of his desirable innocence. As he filters through his own feelings with regards his marriage and his life he tickles the keys of his own tendencies and this leads to some startling discoveries; discoveries within himself and those around him.
`Eyes Wide Shut' is unfairly recognized for its fearless depictions of immorality; sequences that have proven to be the backbone of ones distaste or admiration of the film. I say unfairly because those scenes are a small instrument used by Kubrick to paint a much larger picture. If one only sees the film for the savage imagery then they have missed the final impact of the films true nature.
Face it; we may never fully `get' this film, but to claim it nothing more than a perversion is simplifying it far too much, maybe in an attempt to justify our own misunderstandings.
Kubrick was aided by some fantastic performances by the entire cast, most notably the two stars Cruise and Kidman. Tom Cruise brilliantly captures his characters attraction to a world he doesn't quite understand. Nicole has the most complex character in the film and she tackles her performance with real bravo. Her understanding of what makes her character tick (and those priceless closing words "We have something very important to do...") adds so many layers to the films interpretation. Sydney Pollack also delivers a very controlled and memorable performance and deserves attention for all that he serves with such little screen time.
In the end `Eyes Wide Shut' is not a film for everyone, but it should be. Yes, it is graphic and it is shocking but it is all done in a tasteful (although it may not seem so) manner that carries the film to all kinds of levels of brilliance. As time passes the film continues to beam like a beacon for all other films to take notice of something far beyond their reach....more info