Musings & Thoughts for Thursday, March 4, 2021, or: Look What Amazon Prime Left at My Doorstep!

A look at my Billy shelf. (Photo by the author)

Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon on Thursday, March 4, 2021, and it’s a nice late winter day here in New Hometown, Florida. Currently, the temperature is 73˚F (23˚C) under sunny skies, but with the wind blowing from the north-northwest at 7 MPH (12 KM/H) and humidity at 50%, the feels-like temperature is 72˚F (22˚C). Today we can expect partly sunny skies and a high of 75˚F (24˚C). Tonight, skies will be clear, and the low will be 50˚F (10˚C).

Today I received the first half of my birthday present from me to me one day before my 58th birthday. My  order of The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films arrived half-an-hour ago and is already in its niche on the IKEA Billy bookshelf I originally bought in late 2015 for my former house in Miami. It’s a coffee-table format paperback edition of the 2008 book by J.W. Rinzler and Laurent Bouzerau about – natch – the making of the first four Indiana Jones films.

(C) 2008 Del Rey Books

I would have preferred the hardcover edition as it would be more durable than the softcover one, but that version is out of print, and whatever copies are available at Amazon cost – ready? – $300 or more. I love the Indiana Jones franchise and I’ll definitely order the 4K UHD box set of the films even though I have the four existing Spielberg-directed entries in DVD and Blu-ray. And if I had a bank account the size of Bill Gates’ or Jeff Bezos’, I would have forked those $300 for the hardcover.

Alas, I do not have a bank account that large, so I’ll just settle for the paperback. I’ll just have to be extra careful when I read it and make sure its cover doesn’t get dog-eared.

(C) 2019 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

As for the second half of the birthday present to myself….

Well, my 4K UHD/Blu-ray/Digital Code edition of The Shining is now in Erlanger, Kentucky; it shipped out from Eagan, Minnesota around 2 AM and arrived in the Bluegrass State close to noon. It should arrive at my corner of Florida tomorrow – hopefully before 8 PM Eastern.

To be honest, I’m not sure why I picked Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining as my 33rd  4K Blu-ray title, besides the promise I made to myself to get 4K discs of films or TV series I don’t already own on 1080p hi-def Blu-rays (BDs). I have made certain exceptions to that, of course; I have all of the Star Wars films on at least two disc formats (and some of the pre-2017 films in three). I will also have, as noted earlier, the Indiana Jones films in 4K, plus I already have Back to the Future and the first four Jurassic Park films in at least two disc formats.

But since I have so little storage space left for new Blu-rays, I have to be imaginative and get 4K sets of films I don’t have already. And because I’ve never owned The Shining in any format (not even VHS), I figured that Kubrick’s loose adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 “haunted hotel” novel would fit the bill.

I’m not a huge fan of this movie; I read the book about a year before the movie came out, so when I saw the TV commercials and saw how just plumb loco Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance in The Shining, I was not enthused. I also was turned off by Kubrick’s choice to cast Shelley Duvall as Jack’s wife Wendy. Duvall’s a wonderful performer, but she does not look or act anything like King’s creation, who the author describes as the “ex-cheerleader who has never had any hardships because of her looks and self-confidence.”

Kubrick’s Wendy is 180 degrees in the opposite direction. She’s intelligent, caring, and loyal to Jack and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd), but she looks fragile and scared throughout the entire film, not just after Jack Nicholson’s character loses his marbles, so to speak.

So, yeah, I’m surprised that I chose this as part of my 4K collection, even though it lacks a lot of the subtexts of the novel and changes how the two main adults – Jack and Wendy – of the story are portrayed. I’ll just have to watch it as a Stanley Kubrick film and not an adaptation of a Stephen King novel.

That’s all the news I have to share for the moment, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t check into any haunted hotels.  

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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