Slowly, my Kubrick-film-feast is going to an end... Having watched all sixteen feature and short films of the late director, I feel full of knowledge and enlightenment. That doesn't mean I loved or even liked all of his films - but we'll dive further into that matter when I write my big, grand Kubrick Post with a capital P. All you're going to get for now is three short reviews of my last three Kubrick-adventures, one that disappointed me and two that are officially on the list of my favorite Kubrick-opuses.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb(1964)
„THE COMPUTERS THAT TAKE THE SITUATION BEYOND HUMAN INTERVENTION HAVE ONLY BECOME MORE CAPABLE. BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID.“
The one that disappointed me. Dr. Strangelove should've been the right comedy for me, it really had all the requirements - politics, satire, craziness, quirkyness... But it ended up being just a tad too... don't know whether people are going to kill me for these words but... slapstick? Yeah, I mean, I laughed or at least smiled a lot of times - my favorite scenes where the calls to Dimitri, hilarious - but really? A weird doctor who has to keep his hand from performing the Heil-sign? Really? I don't know whether I'm being hyper-sensitive as a German, but I don't think that kind of humor is really funny. The German professor in Lolita was kinda funny, but this one, I mean not even the accent was realistic.Also, the last scene with the bomb detonating was not funny either - I know it was just meant to be ironic, the way the guy clutches the bomb etc., and the prologue shots of atomic bombs were of course critical and satirical ones (a segment I liked) but I just didn't like the shot of the officer jumping out of the plane. Dr. Strangelove is a movie that just didn't really work for me. But I should be getting used to that, considering my WTF-THAT-KINDA-COOL-BUT-STILL-NOT-REALLY-SPECIAL-BEN-AFFLECK-FILM(loved his looks in this one)-WON-A-GOLDEN-GLOBE-FOR-BEST-MOTION-PICTURE-DRAMA!!!!????-reaction just a few minutes ago.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
„FULL METAL JACKET IS RUTHLESS, COMIC, HORRIFIC, AND AFFECTING IN EQUAL MEASURE.“
There's really not much to ad to that quote. War films are definitely not one of my favorite genres (I know I said that about sci-fi too about a year ago), but Full Metal Jacket is a full exception. Whether it's the first half with its soldier training - a lot of screaming-at-each-other going on here - or the second half in the actual Vietnam war, the film is suspenseful, repulsive and philosophic at all times. Kubrick really got better and better at mixing incomparable style (three words: Paint It, Black) and engaging observation and analysis of the human psyche, which makes out a huge part of what makes him one of my favorite directors. Reading about Kubrick's worry about the advanced release of Platoon when news about Full Metal Jacket leaked is like a joke for me, someone who didn't live at that time. I haven't seen Platoon yet, but however good it may be, it won't be able to change the greatness of this one.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)