Reviewed by Colin Jacobson

Title: The New Stanley Kubrick Collection (2001)
Studio Line: Warner Bros.

Eight classic films from director Stanley Kubrick, plus "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" (2001, 140 min.), a compelling documentary narrated by Tom Cruise and made by four longtime Kubrick collaborators as a labor of love. Produced with the Kubrick family's co-operation, the film presents a revealing portrait of Kubrick at work and with his family. Among those paying tribute are Steven Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Malcolm MacDowell, Arthur C. Clarke, and Douglas Trumbull.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Various
DVD: 9-Disc boxed set, $199.82, street date 6/12/01. See individual title below.
Supplements: "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" documentary, available only as part of the boxed set.
Purchase: The New Stanley Kubrick Collection

The New Stanley Kubrick Collection: Digitally Restored and Remastered

LOLITA (1962): "A piece that should endure repeated viewings and remain thought-provoking and fascinating. The DVD's picture and sound quality seemed very good, and both marked definite improvements from the 1999 release." Starring James Mason, Shelley Winters.

DR. STRANGELOVE (1964): "Frankly, I don’t think the movie deserves its reputation, but it can be funny and entertaining. The DVD features picture and sound that seemed identical to prior releases, but it adds some solid extras." Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968): "While I continue to maintain mixed feelings about the movie itself, I can’t argue with its enduring legacy and the high level at which it was executed. The new DVD offers simply terrific picture plus very fine sound; only the supplements are a disappointment." Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971): "After 30 years, it remains an amazing and powerful film. The DVD offers tremendous improvements over the ugly and shrill old release, as both picture and sound are quite strong." Starring Malcom McDowell.

BARRY LYNDON (1975): "Generally interesting and well-executed if mildly uncompelling at times. The picture and sound on this new DVD are absolutely terrific and substantially improve upon the original release." Starring Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson.

THE SHINING (1980): "Despite some nostalgic fondness for The Shining, it currently does not stand as one of my favorite Kubrick films. The DVD provides very strong picture and sound plus an absolutely fascinating documentary." Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall.

FULL METAL JACKET (1987): "A decent flick, albeit one with little point or flair to distinguish it from others in its genre. The DVD completely trounces the original release with its vastly superior picture and sound." Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood.

EYES WIDE SHUT (1999): "Eyes Wide Shut finished out Kubrick's career on a relatively low note. The DVD provides strong picture and very good sound plus some minor but decent extras." Starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman.

STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES (2001): "A reasonably complete and often compelling look at the great director. It provided comments from a remarkable array of participants, and it added a lot of solid, rarely-seen footage."

Reviews are also available for the previous boxed set: Lolita;

Also see

KILLER'S KISS (1955): "I thought it seemed bland and unremarkable, terms the rarely describe the work of Stanley Kubrick. The DVD presents the movie in a rather weak way, with fairly acceptable image but very poor sound and extras." Starring Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith.

THE KILLING (1956): "The Killing provides a pretty provocative experience, ultimately, but not one without flaws. The DVD's picture and sound are good for such an old movie, but the lack of supplements is a disappointment." Starring Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray.

PATHS OF GLORY (1957): "One of the most provocative and stimulating of Kubrick's films. The DVD offers decent picture but almost completely fails in sound and supplements." Starring Kirk Douglas.

SPARTACUS: Criterion Collection (1960): "Criterion have produced another solid package with their DVD release of Spartacus. The movie itself was erratic and occasionally wearying, but it offers quite a few solid moments." Starring Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons. Also available is the Universal Home Video version.

Biography: Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999)

(Courtesy of The Authorized Stanley Kubrick Web Site.)

The son of a physician, Kubrick was born in New York City on July 26, 1928.

When he was just 16 and in high school, Kubrick shot a photograph of a news vendor the day after President Franklin D. Roosevelt died and submitted it to Look magazine. Look printed the photo and soon hired him as a freelance photographer.

After creating a photo essay on boxing for Look, Kubrick used his savings to make a 16-minute documentary film, Day of the Fight, in 1950.

Later, and after making two further documentaries, Flying Padre and The Seafarers, Kubrick persuaded family members to invest money in a short feature film about a fictitious war called Fear and Desire. He managed to get the film shown in a few art-house theaters in New York, and quickly began making a name for himself.

Probably one of the first true independent filmmakers, Kubrick followed up with two low-budget crime thrillers, Killer’s Kiss and The Killing, then made his first major studio film, the powerful antiwar movie Paths of Glory, starring Kirk Douglas, in 1957.

He went on to receive Best Director Academy Award® nominations for Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon. Each of those films also earned Kubrick Best Screenplay nominations, as did Full Metal Jacket.

In addition, Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon received Best Picture nominations.

Kubrick’s only Oscar® came for the special effects in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In 1997, he received the D.W. Griffith Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Directors Guild of America.

That same year Kubrick began shooting Eyes Wide Shut, returning to filmmaking after a ten-year absence. He died in his sleep on March 7, 1999, soon after turning in his final cut of the film.

Released in July 1999, Eyes Wide Shut was the first Kubrick film to open at number one at the box office and became one of his biggest hits, earning acclaim for stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

(To learn more on the life of Stanley Kubrick, visit Yahoo!: Stanley Kubrick Directory.)

Equipment: Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.
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