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Eyes Wide Shut: Review Wanted

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Eyes Wide Shut: Review Wanted

Old 02-19-00, 03:29 PM
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I heard it sucked. Let me know. I have a Reel $10 trivia coming up.
Old 02-19-00, 06:19 PM
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I don't think this is the kind of film someone else can tell you if you'll like. I saw it five times and loved it (my favorite film of 99). Other people found it boring and pretentious. If you like Kubrick and weren't bored by 2001 I suggest getting it. If not I'd rent it first.

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Old 02-19-00, 06:45 PM
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The most disappointing movie of 1999.

The main problem this movie had, in my opinion, was the complete lack of believability in the principal character Dr. Wm. Harford (Tom Cruise). Another problem with the movie was the fact that it was overly long.

It's certainly one of Kubrick's lesser efforts. It is unfortunate he had to bow out on this movie.

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Old 02-19-00, 08:01 PM
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I agree with Barrese. This is one that you'll have to see for yourself. I'm a big kubrick fan so I enjoyed it.
Old 02-20-00, 02:44 AM
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There's simply no way to tell you what to think about this movie. When I went to see it I heard everything from "that was the greatest film I have ever seen" to "I just wasted 2 1/2 hours of my life."

I'm somewhere in the middle, but being a nearly lifelong Kubrickophile I think that like his others, it takes time to really understand. I thought it was great and it stayed in my mind longer than any other 1999 film. Therefore it was my favorite of last year and one of my favorites of recent times.
Old 02-20-00, 11:36 AM
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Personally I HATED it. I haven't been more dissappointed in a movie in years (not even TPM). I thought it was boring, slow and ponderous. And that SCORE, ouch. It sounded like a cat was walking across a piano keyboard--very irritating. Still, there are people here who love it; I think because they love Kubrick and can't bring themselves to admit that EWS is a bad, bad flick. I would definately rent this title before you buy.
Anyway, here is the pre-release review of the DVD from DVD File. http://www.dvdfile.com/software/revi...eswideshut.htm
Old 02-20-00, 02:03 PM
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Great movie. Not Kubrick's best, but a very good Kubrick movie. Although, the Austin Powers digitally altering they do in the USA version is annoying.

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Old 02-21-00, 11:51 PM
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I don't think it's the best Kubrick movie but I think it's definitely up there among his many greats. This should have been nominated over the Green Mile and especially the Sixth Sense (sheesh!)...not to mention others that were shut out of Best Picture such as Magnolia and Being John Malkovich even though I haven't seen the latter. The Academy disappoints me every year
Old 02-22-00, 09:19 AM
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EWS should have been nominated??? For what, most hype? Please. I even enjoyed it but I'm not ready to nominate it for anything, especially with so many other good films last year. Although, you are right that it was a crime to ignore Being John Malkovich. Definitally rent this one first to see if it's for you. I'll probably buy it cause I'd like to see it again and if I'm going to cough $4.99 up to Blockbuster I might as well use a triva coupon and buy the damn thing for the same price.
Old 02-22-00, 10:14 AM
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I thought it sucked, and I love Kubrick and most of his other films. I agree with the dislike of the terrible score "PLINK..........PLINK....." and the overly slow pace (at least the slow pace of 2001 allows the viewer to reflect, ponder and appreciate, this didn't IMO, it just seemed pretentious). The worst part of it for me was the lead characters: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. I think they are both soooooooooooo overrated.

Then again, it is one of those movies that appeals to individual tastes, my wife liked it, I just thought it was a big, steamy pile of hype.

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Old 02-22-00, 01:25 PM
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Most hype? I guess you were living in a box considering all the hype that surrounded TPM. And I said that it should have been nominated over Green Mile and 6th Sense..not that it should have been nominated..there's a difference. If I were allowed to pick the nominations then I probably would not have included this but I think it's better than some of the films that did get nods.
Old 02-22-00, 01:47 PM
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EWS is a rental quality movie. It's a buy for Kubrick Kompletists!

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Old 02-22-00, 04:29 PM
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I've noticed a lot of people are asking for reviews in this forum lately, but rather than asking if a particular DVD is good (picture quality, extras, etc.) they are asking if the film itself is decent. Why ask such a question here?

The Internet Movie Database lists 146 reviews for Eyes Wide Shut (plus an additional 43 reviews posted on newsgroups). Wouldn't that be a better resource, with more detailed reviews?

Just curious...

And, DVDBOY, please don't think that I'm singling you out or anything. I don't have a problem with your question, I'm just wondering why so many of these questions are popping up lately (this one, Random Hearts, Double Jeopardy) when there are so many reviews available on the net.
Old 02-22-00, 06:31 PM
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Yeah, I'm not really sure why anyone would ask NOW if a movie is any good. If it sucked when it came out in the theater, it's still going to suck on video (although I have noticed a certain degree of backpedaling on Double Jeopardy).

But maybe DVDBOY trusts the reviewers here over the more anonymous reviewers on the net.

Anyway, since you asked, I'm of the classicman/decker/ccoolidge camp. In other words, I was very disappointed. Kubrick has been hit and miss in my book (Dr. Strangelove = good; 2001 = bad), but this was just an exercise in tedium. The score was atrocious, Kidman's acting was horrible (Cruise's performance wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything to write home about either), the "suspenseful" parts were laughable and the entire premise was ludicrous (ok in a movie like A Clockwork Orange, but not ok in a movie like this).

Having said that, I thought the film had a few interesting IDEAS about fidelity, trust and guilt, but they were so ineptly dealt with that they couldn't hope to redeem the film itself. And the ideas are probably nothing you haven't already come across in a conversation with a friend, girlfriend, etc.

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Old 03-11-00, 04:42 PM
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i rented this film last night. got to admit that i was interested most of the time but the movie has one of the worst endings that i can remember! it was also overlong as everyone has mentioned. interesting premise but the delivery is way off. the picture is beautiful & the sound nothing special. the only extras, the trailers & the interviews are boring & unnecessary & just as well have been left off. all i kept thinking was what it could have been & was left with what it was.
Old 03-13-00, 12:41 PM
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Like most Kubrick films Eyes Wide Shut takes several viewings to truly appreciate. As Speilberg mentions in his interview on this DVD, he didn't like 'The Shining' the first time he saw it, now it's one of his favorite films of all times. Most Kubrick films lack critical acclaim when then first open, then many years later they are treasured.

As far as the DVD:

1) The transfer is excellent, almost too good. The grain in the film is all but gone. However, the included Theatrical Trailer more closely resembles the grain structure and color rendition that was seen in theaters.

2) Has something been taken out? In theaters the reflection of a Boom mic. Operator could be seen in the Chrome of Ziegler's shower during the bathroom scene of the party. This was interesting considering Kubrick had impeccable craftmanship (although I'm sure he noticed). However in the DVD version it's gone (CGI perhaps?).

3) The rear projection used in some of the New York scenes with Cruise are more obvious due to the transfer rate from film to video (DVD).

4) The interviews are interesting, however they are rushed. Kidman was interviewed for less than twenty minutes and this leads to overall poor editing. However any info into Kubrick is much appreciated, and Cruise, Kidman, and Speilberg's interviews are all worth watching.

This DVD is a must have not for the features, but to be able to watch and study a film by a master filmmaker over and over. Eyes Wide Shut gives up it's secrets slowly, but it's worth the watch.
Old 03-13-00, 12:53 PM
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Emmett, I guess our digital-happy friends at Warner felt the need to remove the crewmember's reflection for us. I'm sure this was per the director's wishes. Does Warner Brothers have a room full of digital effects people that are just looking for things to do?
Old 03-14-00, 06:32 PM
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Wow--It looks like the "be nice to fellow DVD Talkers" post a few days back really worked. I posted this same topic the day before EWS was released and was immediately flamed by some a-hole for posted in the "Review" forum and not doing a search first (which I did do- I was looking for reviews in addition to the official site review). It's nice to see the change in atmosphere.
Old 03-14-00, 11:31 PM
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I noticed in the scene with Sally (the prostitute's roommate) when she and Bill (TC) are talking in the kitchen, there was a rainbow-like reflection in the lower left portion of the screen. It was while he was still standing up. I believe that it had something to do with the camerawork. Perhaps someone else can take a look and comment more on what's there.

********SPOILERS*********************88

Perhaps this was intentional by Kubrick as Bill was just about to get to the end of the rainbow with the roommate until she disclosed the bad news. Also, "end of the rainbow" is mentioned by the 2 models at the first party when Bill asks them where they were taking him. The costume shop he goes to is named "Rainbow". There are Xmas trees in many scenes which have a rainbow like quality. And the last thing Bill does is turn out the lights on their Xmas tree before finding the mask on the pillow and confessing everything.

BTW, I loved the music and chant that accompanyied that ritual-like ceremony before the orgy.

[This message has been edited by thgord (edited March 14, 2000).]
Old 03-14-00, 11:37 PM
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I watched this film twice on consecutive days and really enjoyed it. Like probably everyone else, I was intrigued by the costumed "party".

I have a question, during the ritual chanting after Bill (Tom Cruise) gets there, there are two people (male and female) that look down at Bill from above. Then Bill catches and acknowledges their stares. It was not the woman who warned Bill as she had a different costume. The film never reveals who they are. I've surmised that the male might have been Victor (Sydney Pollack) as we know that he was at that party. But there wouldn't have been any way that he would've known that it was actually Bill because of his disguise.

Also, how does the hooker (Amanda) that warns Bill that he is in great danger identify him with his disguise on?

Does anyone have any ideas about this?

[This message has been edited by thgord (edited March 14, 2000).]
Old 08-22-00, 02:38 PM
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Since I heard bad things about this film I decided to watch it on 'ff'. This way I could stop at the interesting parts. Anyhow, I didn't stop very much. Since then I've had it playing twice while surfing the web. Kind of half-ass watching / listening.

This will be one movie not making it to my dvd racks!!!!!

...enough said!

Jonathan

I did love the ending......you know where Nicole told Tom they needed to "F**k".

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Old 08-22-00, 02:43 PM
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Eyes Wide Shut is one of the few discs that I have ever purchased sight-unseen and the only one that I have strongly regretted. I have greatly enjoyed many of Kubrick's previous efforts but this one was, IMHO, drivel.

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Old 08-22-00, 06:13 PM
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Well, let me start by saying that I love Kubrick, and Eyes Wide Shut is one of my favorites. I also have noticed that almost every Kubrick film released starting with 2001 recieved mixed reviews upon release, and only years later were they recognized as incredible films. I think the same will hold true with Eyes Wide Shut. I personally liked the pace, as it allowed for the slow accumulation of events to finally come crashing down on Hartford in the end. This film is at least worth a rent, it was one of my favorite films of 1999. And for anyone interested, there is a book out now which contains the screenplay plus the novel which the movie was based on, entitled Dream Story. Dream Story is a pretty interesting read, if only to compare to the film.

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Old 08-22-00, 06:43 PM
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From www.jmreview.web.com


“Boring.” “Long.” “Stupid.” “Pretentious.” “Pointless.” “Horrible.” “Bad acting.” “Frankenstein music.” “Disappointing.” “Dumb ending.” “The worst film I’ve ever seen.” “Pure crap.” These are just some of the reactions I’ve heard to Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut. Almost no one, not even Kubrick devotees, likes this film. It did poorly at the box office as moviegoers passed the word to their friends. The critics had mixed reactions. The Academy did not acknowledge it with a single Oscar nomination. In other words, Eyes Wide Shut will eventually be seen as the brilliant film that it is. A masterpiece of precision, Eyes Wide Shut is certainly the best film of 1999 and one of Kubrick’s best.

Eyes Wide Shut is a movie for film lovers, not a movie for the masses, and I can understand why most people would not like it. Based on the advertising campaign (supervised by Kubrick himself), you’d think Eyes Wide Shut is the ultimate, racy sex picture from the great Stanley Kubrick. Instead, audiences weren’t shocked or aroused by the sex, and they didn’t understand the film, let alone its theme. Therefore, they labeled it a long, boring, pointless movie about a rich couple having a fight. First, William and Alice Harford (played by real life married couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise) are not rich. Successful and financially comfortable yes, but far from rich. This is one of the many tensions they experience in the film. While, like F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the Harfords associate with the rich, they are not among them, as William is their discrete doctor. Second, the Harford’s “fight” is about more than mere jealousy. It’s about issues that no couple wants to think about, which might be why some people refused to open their minds, as the thoughts are just too painful. Finally, the nearly three hour running time actually goes by quickly, and the movie is far from boring and pointless, keeping you glued to the screen until the very end.

The craftsmanship of Eyes Wide Shut is unparalleled. Kubrick regarded it as his finest film, and I can see why. The entire film looks and plays like a Kafkaesque dream. In fact, the screenplay by Kubrick and Frederic Raphael was based on the 1926 Arthur Schnitzler novel Traumnovelle (Dream Novel). The sets, lighting, and cinematography of Eyes Wide Shut are all superb. (Pay attention to the use of red and blue and Christmas lights.) The acting is terrific all around, and in no way “bad,” “laughable,” or “wooden,” as it has been called. While Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman aren’t the best actors working in Hollywood, Eyes Wide Shut presents them in very challenging roles that they pull of admirably. There is a lot of subtlety in their performances. The use of Shostakovich’s Second Waltz from his Jazz Suite No. 2 for Promenade Orchestra is ingenious with its unsettling, perverted sound serving as the main theme for the Eyes Wide Shut. Jocelyn Pook’s incidental music is appropriate, and her piano jabs throughout the film are very effective. There has been much talk and thought on various mysteries in the film, mostly revolving around who characters are. No definitive answer to these is present, but perhaps it is best this way.

Unfortunately, Warner Brothers decided to present the American theatrical release of Eyes Wide Shut on home video, and so we are deprived of a minute of footage that Kubrick retained for the overseas release, and we must endure some badly executed digital alteration of the Kafkaesque orgy. While not a huge loss, it is, nevertheless, a loss, as we cannot see all of what Kubrick intended. Considering the likely audience for Eyes Wide Shut, this was a mistake. At Kubrick’s request, the film is presented on DVD in 4:3 aspect ratio. The fully saturated colors are magnificent, having a 1990’s look but with a 1940’s feel (think of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, but brighter and more distinct). There is a lot of grain in the indoor scenes, but movie was intentionally shot this way, so it’s no fault of the transfer. Sound quality is equally faithful, with dialog and foley effects sounding superb and the music sounding faithful to the recordings. Eyes Wide Shut is not a reference disc, but it is extremely faithful to Kubrick’s intentions and does an excellent job of drawing you into the dream he creates. The only extras are movie and TV trailers and three fairly personal and emotional interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg that are definitely worth seeing.

While not a plotdriven film and not particularly revolutionary in its subject matter, Eyes Wide Shut is fascinating for its many thematic levels, fine performances, excellent production values, and the way it will keep you analyzing it viewing after viewing. The telling of the story is in no way sentimental, a Kubrick trademark, so you must form your own opinions, and the ending is in no way a let down (how else could it end?). Like most of Kubrick’s films, Eyes Wide Shut must be seen multiple times to appreciate how great it really is, and even then you’ll never know everything. However, rent it first to see if it’s for you.

Content: *****
Audio: *****
Video: *****
Extras: ***
Old 08-23-00, 05:22 AM
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Thank you for just about the most well-written review that I've read on this site.

I enjoyed the movie also, although I never could have expressed what I liked about it as well as you. Kudos!

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