Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Haahnster's Top 5 Kubrick Films

5. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

I actually like this entire film. But, of course, the R. Lee Ermey "Gunnery Sgt. Hartman" character pushes this into the Top 5. Oh, how I enjoy an impressive tapestry of curse words! I'm such an adolescent at heart.

4. Paths of Glory (1957)

This is a brilliant anti-war film, set in WWI, and shot in black & white. If you've never seen it, by all means seek it out. Kirk Douglas stars as an idealistic French officer. It's tightly crafted, both in storyline and technique (camera work, editing, etc.). I don't see how you could be disappointed. Go out and get it!

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Yeah, I know. This one should be at least one spot higher, and probably at #1. That's why this is MY blog. The comments are where you tell me how wrong I am. Yes, this is an absolute masterpiece of filmmaking. The special effects were light years ahead of their time. (Note to George Lucas: I love ya, but outer space is a vacuum, hence the silence...) I could easily see this at the top spot, which is why Kubrick is on the very short list of my favorite directors.

2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Yep. I did it. I put this one above 2001. So, f*ckin' sue me. I probably watched this 50 times in high school, not sure when it really started to sink in that I was loving it for the wrong reasons. Anyway, I know the "ultra-violence" turns many off to this film. But, I'm not overly squeamish, and I think there are some pretty lofty concepts being explored in this orgy of violence.

1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

This movie is beginning-to-end excellence. Peter Sellers is wonderful, not once or twice, but in THREE roles! Apologies to George C. Scott if he felt tricked into it, but Kubrick's decision to use his over-the-top takes was fantastic, in my opinion. This is dark comedy at its finest, and a black & white delight.

Yes, I know. I agonized about leaving The Shining (1980) out of the Top 5. I'm charged with making that type of tough call. And, I'm just the guy to do it. Also, Eyes Wide Shut (1999)? Loved it. Couldn't put in the Top 5, though. Spartacus (1960) and Lolita (1962)? I've never seen 'em. Shameful on my part. Although, having read (and enjoyed) Lolita, I'm not sure I'd want to see it in live action. Barry Lyndon (1975)? It dragged on a bit for me. My least favorite of Kubrick's films, which is not the same as calling it "bad." Fear and Desire (1953), Killer's Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956)...never seen 'em, although it's my understanding that Paths of Glory is generally regarded as Kubrick's first "important" work, if you trust others to make those calls (which I try not to)...


Blogger Beth said...

I'm with you on your #1. I've never seen Eyes Wide Shut. I just don't see Tom Cruise (hate the Cruise!) as a sexual being, so I didn't think I'd find the movie believable. But you recommend it, huh?

6:37 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Dale said...

Tasty choices Haahnster. I have no fear of Clockwork being rated above 2001. I've never seen Paths of Glory so I hang my head in shame. Loved your other choices apart from the Eyes Wide Shut. It dragged way too much for me although who doesn't love an orgy scene now and then?

6:41 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

Beth: Eyes Wide Shut has a lot of visually interesting shots, and I had a constant sense that there was something even more awful lurking underneath the surface or around the next corner. I didn't bring much Tom Cruise "baggage" with me, either way. I can't say how that would affect it for you.

Dale: My reply to Beth notwithstanding, I haven't watched EWS in 3+ years. I think I remember "loving" it. But, on the other hand, it was in no way threatening to overtake either The Shining or Full Metal Jacket. Now, get your butt out and rent Paths of Glory!!!

7:41 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Full Metal Jacket is an amazing movie. This guy must have been twisted......

Never even heard of Paths of Glory. I'll try to find that and check it out.

2001 was so cool and disturbing somehow. I loved it.

I saw Clockwork Orange when I was 14 with a double feature along with Deliverance after me and some buds had ingested some mushrooms (not the kind on pizza) and smoked several bowls full of herbal essence - truly disturbing with the spiders crawling on the screen (that may have been my adolescent psychosis). I have never seen either of those movies again but they are both stuck in my head.

And I am in perfect agreement with your assesment of Dr. Strangelove. Wow, what a tour de force in cinema. Most people didn't get it - I think Peter Sellers and Stanley both suffered from that - most people just didn't get IT.

Good Post.

9:14 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Paths to Glory & Dr. Strangeglove I can't remember which was my first, but my love was Dr. Strangeglove. That was when I knew I had a twisted sense of humour.

10:22 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger KLee said...

"You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

Anything with Peter Sellers in multiple roles is genius.

10:26 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Beth said...

I first saw 2001 at the drive-ins. My parents were there to see the movie, and we kids were asleep in the back. I woke up to the fetus on the screen ... scared me to death.

10:28 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger mat said...

I have only seen "the Shining" and "Full Metal Jacket" I actually just found FMJ at the used shop on Sat for $4 and got reaquainted with it. Great flick! The Shining on the other hand was not. Nickelson was sooo over the top. The book was terrifying. The movie was kind of lame.

6:01 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Dale said...

I'll definitely put Paths of Glory on my list Haahnster. I remember elements of EWS that I liked and of course it looked great, I just didn't overall enjoy it. Wasn't Leelee Sobieski in it too, there was some creepiness going on there.

8:10 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

I tried to explain to a friend of mine that "The Killing" was merely good, not great. He went off on me (albeit, politely) because he was that hardcore a Kubrick fan.

My feeling was that the script was okay, though I love a heist gone wrong story. There was none of the revolutionary camerawork, it was pretty decent. Edited fine, it was just that Stanley was still learning.

I haven't seen "Paths," but I did see that "Outer Limits" that was a tribute to it with Kirk and the son that wasn't as good as Michael at acting. He OD'd a few years after that.

"Full Metal Jacket" is all anyone needs to know about shooting a film and getting the best performances ever out of a cast. With the exception of Ermey and D'onofrio, none of the cast has come close to what the performances they did in that film.

2:52 AM, August 05, 2006  

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