With the 1957 release of Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick confirmed his early promise and joined the ranks of world-class filmmakers. The age of the auteur had arrived, and Kubrick was a prime candidate for inclusion in ... more »the pantheon of directors later canonized by critic Andrew Sarris in his influential book The American Cinema. Ironically, this was also the period during which Kubrick left his native soil for permanent residence in England, and from that point forward, the Kubrick mystique inflated to legendary proportions. But if Kubrick was no longer bringing himself to the world, he was certainly bringing the world to his films. From the comfort of his rural England estate and locations never far from London, Kubrick would command cinematic odysseys to isolated Colorado (in The Shining), battle-ravaged Vietnam (Full Metal Jacket), upscale New York City (Eyes Wide Shut), and, of course, Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite (in 2001: A Space Odyssey). Released on VHS and DVD just prior to the July 1999 theatrical release of Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut, The Stanley Kubrick Collection includes all seven of Kubrick's films from Lolita to Full Metal Jacket--a quarter-century of brilliant, challenging cinema. Authorized by Kubrick prior to his sudden death in March of 1999, the boxed set represents a cooperative effort among the Warner, Columbia, and MGM labels (with Killer's Kiss, The Killing, and Paths of Glory released simultaneously by MGM). All films retain the superior digital mastering of their earlier releases on laserdisc and DVD, and although purists have complained that The Shining and Full Metal Jacket have been released in full-screen format only, this was in compliance with Kubrick's wishes and both films do not suffer unduly from full-screen formatting. The diversity of Kubrick's work is truly astonishing, even though the director's technical precision and steely perspective on humanity may strike uninitiated viewers as cold and even misanthropic. From the rich, black comedy of Lolita to the bleak heart of darkness explored in Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick's films almost always received mixed (and sometimes scathingly negative) reviews upon their release, only to benefit from glowing reassessment as they grew entrenched in the public consciousness. Here, in all their glory, are the collected films of a genuine master, ripe for study and appreciation for many years to come. --Jeff Shannon« less
3/5 Rating - The Shining - Classic Jack Nicholson terror. A must see for horror fans!
Why is everyone complaining?
Amazon.customer | 04/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recently bought this box set and I cant quite understand all the criticism it has received here. I have fairly good TV with s-video and a barely one month old dvd player. After reading the reviews here I was afraid to put these movies into my player, from fear that it may explode or something! I have watched all of the videos, some of which while viewing I asked my girlfriend, "whats so terrible about this?" She couldnt figure it out either! The picture is a hundred times better than VHS. Keep in mind that only Full Metal Jacket was filmed in the 80's...of course the rest are not going to be up to the standards of today's films. Kubrick films never were good money makers (unfortunately) so of course youre not going to see WB shelling out money for THX re-masters. Another thing people complained about was sound. Kubrick only filmed one movie (eyes wide shut) in stereo. 2001 and Spartacus were re-mastered for stereo years later. He wanted the movies in mono, why cant people understand that? Just because you own a $3000 sound system , that doesnt necissarily mean that we should alter a director's vision just so you can here a few extra bullets and music. I would not want these films in anything BUT mono. Anyone familiar with the remixing of the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album into stereo is witness to how awful the results of stereo remixing can be. Unless you have HDTV or some space age technology that can expose flaws in anything, dont be afraid to buy this set. I am not disappointed at all. And come on folks, the transfer on Barry Lyndon isnt THAT bad (you really think this movie that bombed in the US will ever get a THX remaster? No way...though it may deserve it, it all comes down to $). Only complaint with the set is that Dr. Strangelove is advertised on the back of the box as a multi-aspect widescreen edition, when in fact it is pan and scan. If that bothers you, buy them seperate, but they are not as horrible as everyone says...and I am a VERY fussy viewer and life long Kubrick fan."
A Lot of Whining as usual from the DVD group
Michael G. Haynes | Waterford, MI USA | 10/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally bought this collection after some wariness from reading all these posts. Then I did some research about the films on the IMDB. The films that people are complaining about as being Pan & Scan are nothing of the sort. The original negative ratio of the films is 1.37:1 which is APPROXIMATELY the same as the aspect ratio of your TV set. The films were matted on the top and bottom slightly to give a theatrical ratio of 1.66:1 . For home release these films were left open matted which may be full screen but it is hardly pan & scan. I think these films look rather good, a couple of specks here and there through the Shining but hardly anything distracting...no problem with the sound being mono...that's how they were filmed, that's how kubrick wanted them. It's interesting how viewers who want to see the movie the way the director intended it are always so eager to modify that vision when it suits them.All in all a great set for a tremendous kubrick fan. Some more extras would have been nice but for $69.00 shipped, I'm hardly complaining;)"
Was Kubrick the Greatest Director?
David Murphy | Norman, Oklahoma USA | 12/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, here's your chance to find out. First off, you have to deal with the fact that these DVD's are as good a presentation as you're ever going to get. Most of his films were released in Mono, and many in matted formats, which means that when they're presented on TV, you don't get the black bars at the top and bottom. Complaints about this last bit are meaningless, as 2001 was his only film released in scope, and the ones that would really need it -- Lolita and Barry Lyndon included -- are released in widescreen. Kubrick deliberately shot The Shining and Full Metal Jacket in 1:1.37 for masking in the theatres and because he couldn't have forseen the letterboxing craze we're currently in. Many directors chose to release films not in widescreen because of this (read any one of the biographies for this info). So, what you're left with are seven of the greatest films ever made, and released on DVD for a relatively cheap price. How can you pass this up? Kubrick's view of the universe is dark, totally Hegellian, and sometimes too depressing for the average viewer. But, those who venture into the unknown presented within his films are rewarded with a series of brilliant images that resonate symbolically in ways very few directors could ever hope to achieve. Renoir, Welles, Kurosawa, Ozu, Tarkovsky -- these are the acknowledged masters. Add Kubrick to the pantheon. Nothing will ever equal the experience of seeing 2001 in a theatre, but this is as close as you'll get -- and it is in widescreen and 5.1 Dolby."
Great movies, can't help being a bit disappointed
David Murphy | 10/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I popped the first movie, Full Metal Jacket, into the DVD player, I'm sure the look of pure horror that came over my face was quite terrible for my wife who had just bought me the set for my birthday. I love the movies, but I just couldn't understand why I was getting pan/scan on a DVD. The "this movie has been reformatted to fit your screen" message almost brought me to my knees. Still, I love having these movies on DVD, and it appears this format is the only option they'll appear in, barring permission from the Kubrick estate. I recommend the set, but please brace yourself."