Plot: What’s it about?
I’ll be the first to admit that the late Stanley Kubrick was one of the finest filmmakers of our time, no doubt about that. His latest, and last, movie had so much hype surrounding it, it almost had to be something that we had not seen before to live up to it’s expectations. It wasn’t. Somewhere in the two year shoot, they lost something that was supposed to be called a plot. Nowhere in the two and a half hour movie could I try and keep up with what was going on, and that’s not good. Visually, it’s stunning and classic Kubrick, I’ll give him that, he can literally draw the audience into a movie, but making us care about the characters and the storyline, well…that’s where Eyes Wide Shut faltered. Other than it’s running time that was extremely long (and I don’t mind long movies, in fact I like them to be over 2 and a half hours), there was no need for it to be. It may just be me, but everyone in the movie was talking so damn slow! Imagine, if you will, a slinky (yes, that little metal thing that walks down stairs), fully extended it represents the entire movie. Metaphorically speaking, I just wanted to take both ends and shove them together to make the movie fit into a nice 100 minute presentation. No such luck.
The long and short of it is this. Tom Cruise, and this is a Tom Cruise movie, Nicole Kidman is in the film for the first 45 minutes and then seen maybe twice later on, is a doctor in mid town Manhattan. No specialist, just an M.D. His patients range from men who have knee troubles, to kids sick with a cold to beautiful, busty women who come in for their routine physicals. Nicole Kidman, plays a stretch, Cruise’s wife. She is an out of work art gallery owner, but is now more content to stay home and take care of her child. The whole story takes place over the course of a few days.
Cruise and his wife are at a party, they both get drunk, and while Cruise flirts with models (two of them, no less) Kidman gets dancing with some socialite. He runs into an old buddy of his from Medical school, who is now a piano player at different functions around town. They bump into each other the next day at his local gig, and Cruise is let in on a little secret. What is it, you ask? It seems that a group of people, who dress in cloaks and masks have nothing better to do than have orgies in the middle of nowhere, in a mansion no less. Cruise’s curiousity gets the best of him, and he somehow works his way into the party and can’t belive what he sees. The people immediately no he’s an intruder, and he spends his next day on the run. Well, using the word run would be overdoing it.
Like I said, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about these characters, I know it’s a Kubrick movie, I like Tom Cruise as an actor and seeing him in the same scene as Sydney Pollack (who directed Cruise in one of my favorite movies, The Firm) was something I liked seeing. The world will be forever lost without Stanley Kubrick’s work, I’m sure he would have produced a few more outstanding movies, this though—wasn’t one of them.
Video: How does it look?
As per Kubrick’s directions, this was presented in it’s full-frame ratio. A lot of movies lose a lot when they aren’t presented “correctly”, but the wasy Kubrick shoots his movies, it looks great. His tracking shots, use of the steadycam all do more to draw you into the movie, and the picture quality is suberb, even without the benefit of 16:9 enhancement.
Audio: How does it sound?
Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is used here and I hope you like the piano. He has a way of playing one note to try to increase tension, and it works…the first time, after that it’s annoying. Dialogue and surround effects sound natural, but the whole soundtrack isn’t anything that left me with a lasting impression.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Compared to the rest of the Kubrick Collection, this one stands out. It has interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Stephen Spielberg as well as two trailers. The interviews are interesting and shed a lot of light on who Stanley Kubrick actually was and the making of the movie in general. Cast and crew bios are also included. Don’t think that I don’t appreciate Kubrick’s work, Full Metal Jacket and The Shining are two of my favorite movies, this however did nothing for me.