Kubrick Makes a Killing on Blu-ray

It’s been a great summer for Stanley Kubrick coming to Blu-ray: First the stunning Barry Lyndon (despite the outcry over its aspect ratio of 1.78:1 as opposed to 1.66:1) and the fascinating Lolita from Warner Home Ent., followed by the bravura Paths of Glory and this week’s seminal The Killing (with Killer’s Kiss as a bonus, from Criterion). The expected upgrade in HD allows us to more fully enjoy and appreciate Kubrick’s visual and narrative achievements, contrasting beauty with decadence with florid camera moves and dynamic compositions.

Indeed, his protagonists are frustrated creative types unable to control the world or communicate with others: Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden), the know-it-all who’s planned the perfect racetrack heist in The Killing, in which time and space seamlessly overlap, but is ultimately undone by fate and human foible in a noir for the ages; Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas), the idealistic officer and former lawyer in Paths of Glory, who can’t defeat the corrupt military high command he’s pitted against, but is left with a glimmer of hope for a better future; Humbert Humbert (James Mason), the novelist obsessed with possessing Lolita (Sue Lyon) as an object but incapable of love; and Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal), the idealistic and ultimately disillusioned ne’er-do-well trapped in 18th century opulence yet ruled by a ruthlessness that destroys everything he loves.

Ultimately, we’re left with a sense of mourning about lost opportunities, but what journeys along the way.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Home Entertainment, Movies

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