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The Shining (1980)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Authors Garrett Brown and John Baxter Rating:8.1/10 (16 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by mdl on December 22nd, 2007:Find all reviews by mdl
This is an excellent commentary track from the inventor of the Steady-cam, Garrett Brown, along with author John Baxter, who supplements Brown's technical and anecdotal information with some analytical views of the movie.

Brown mixes technical information about the film with insight into the Kubrick moviemaking process. Very entertaining.

Baxter is bit less informative, giving some insight into the meaning of the story. Most of his information was fairly obvious, but there was some good stuff mixed in as well.

There is probably a 70/30 split of time between Brown and Baxter. An overall excellent commentary track.
Reviewed by reidca on June 4th, 2008:Find all reviews by reidca
I've decided I'm not a big fan of scholar commentaries. For the most part they are such dreary speakers. John Baxter is a perfect example. Most of his information is repetitive (from the documentaries), obvious and presented in a dull manner. Garrett Brown on the other hand (who sounds like James Cameron) is much more interesting, talking about the nuts and bolts of the production and is quite screen specific, talking about lenses, lighting, sets and camera rigs. His discussions of Kubrick as a filmmaker who approached film from an almost scientific point of view are interesting and readily apparent when watching the film. A perfect example of how a commentary can really enhance your appreciation of a film.
Reviewed by Agressor on September 26th, 2015:Find all reviews by Agressor
Solid commentary from two contributors coming from distinctively different directions.

Brown, who benefits from having been on set with Kubrick, have much of interest to convey, and not just from his role as a steadycam operator, but he regales us with all manner of stories from the set since he was present during basically the entire shooting period.

baxter also has some meaty insights to convey, stemming from his vast knowledge of Kubrick and his films. It's amusing hearing about some of Kubricks quirks, like his mad 100+ takes of certain scenes, though that particular fact does get repeated an unnecessary amount of times. Apart from that his commentary is disciplined and informative, though suffering somewhat from his ear-straining voice not being to enjoyable to endure.
Reviewed by Therealmrspock on January 5th, 2017:Find all reviews by Therealmrspock
Garrett Brown and John Baxter deliver a good to very good commentary, with some neat observations, such as saying that Kubrick was some sort of a "medieval artists living in his own ivory castle", polishing his work until he was completely satisfied with it. Brown was on the set of filming, and recounts a few famous anecdotes: for instance, the scene with Scatman Crothers had 148 takes, until the actor broke down and asked: "What do you want from me, Stanley?!". However, Brown was not always on set since he recounts how the filming took so long that he had to return to the US to film "Rocky 2", and a replacement was using the steadicam until he returned. Actually, the filming took so long that the UK studio had to delay other productions, such as "Reds" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

My major stumbling point with this one is that they only talk about the technical aspects of the film, and almost never try to address what does all this symbolism - and the story itself - actually mean. The "Apollo" sweater Danny is wearing, Jack's encounter with Grady in the bathroom, the Indian can behind Jack in the freezer room... they don't mention them at all. I found this a bit of a letdown. At best, they only mention it is a movie about family problems and issues, but they stop there, since they did not want to give any kind of a deeper analysis. I hoped for their interpretation of the events, but sadly, I was disappointed. 7/10