On the Edge
Next to this cult classic, The Shining (November 21) is more of an excursion into mainstream moviemaking, but on its own terms it is more potent than any horror movie. Who but Kubrick could have realized the crazed manic potential of Jack Nicholson or so perfectly exploited the trope of evil twin kids? The Shining showed Kubrick knew not just how to make a supremely entertaining thriller out of a schlocky Steven King novel but to have immense fun in doing so.
In Full Metal Jacket (November 28), Kubrick returns for the first time to a previously visited genre-the war movie (1957's Paths of Glory was a WW1 drama). But since this film is about Vietnam, it isn't just a standard war-is-hell turn. It more grippingly and horrifyingly depicts the guts of a grunt's life than Platoon.
Eyes Wide Shut (December 5) is a descent into the underworld of sexual extremism that mines the dark recesses of grand conspiracy theory in a manner that would make Dan Brown flee in horror. Not everyone's cup of tea, but as always with Kubrick, it's served hot and undiluted.
The series should have ended there, yet it inexplicably continues December 12 with a film Kubrick co-wrote that passed on to Stephen Spielberg after his death, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. It's a Spielberg film, not a Kubrick film, and that's an entirely different animal.
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