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A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

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  • 57 weeks
    Area Man Not Dead, Just a Lazy Bastard

    Okay, I feel I should say that no, I am in fact, not dead.

    Sorry to disappointed.

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    4 comments · 362 views
  • 163 weeks
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    Its been tugging at me, but I've been seriously considering of reinventing my account.

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    7 comments · 1,159 views
  • 172 weeks
    Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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    9 comments · 899 views
  • 187 weeks
    Happy 2017

    2016 wasn't that bad, now stop complaining and move on.

    1 comments · 853 views
  • 188 weeks
    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas, everyone :)

    2 comments · 608 views

Review: Eyes Wide Shut (1999) · 1:13am Aug 23rd, 2015

Eyes Wide Shut was Stanley Kubrick's final film, and in many ways, his most complex and disturbing, being a disturbingly voyeuristic psychological study of infidelity and human sexuality and marriage.

Its interesting to note that, in many ways, marriage is a topic that Kubrick had touched upon indirectly in several of his past films. The marriage of convenience in Barry Lyndon; the marriage marred by abuse in The Shining; and the marriage as a way to hide the illicit, like Lolita. But really, before this film, those marriages were kept on the sidelines, usually as a way to examine the main character's interactions with other people. From Barry Lyndon's seduction then abandonment of his wife of convenience, to Jack Torrence's demonically influenced abuse to Humbert Humbert's use of marriage in order to fuel his lust for Lolita, the marriage often was shown to be steadily destroyed by the man. In Eyes Wide Shut, the marriage survives, but it is interesting to note that it is the woman who instigates its near destruction, in her pot-aided confession to having erotic desires for a naval officer she'd seen while on vacation. This confession of spiritual infidelity sets the husband's mind into an increasingly paranoid downward spiral, with he himself very nearly allowing himself to be swallowed by his lusts, which become disturbingly real and tangible for him, in contrast to his wife's strictly imagined fantasies.

This increasingly disturbing aura is enhanced by Kubrick's direction, once more having the camera act as a borderline all knowing observer, tracking and watching the characters constantly. In many ways, the camera becomes the audience, and Kubrick makes us increasingly uncomfortable not only with how much we do see, but by the very idea of seeing it in the first place. It almost seems like Kubrick is holding a mirror to our own society's obsession with causal sex and adultery, and then showing the full scale of its debauchery, and its consequences, via a ritualistic orgy that plays more like a demonic ceremony then anything resembling an enjoyable experience. In fact, whenever we do see sex, Kubrick makes it as disconcerting and uncomfortable as possible, infusing it with the aura of a horror film, and completely demolishing any eroticism it might have.

In the case of the acting, both Cruise and Kidman (who were married at the time) are in top form, with Cruise giving one of his best performances, a surprisingly subdued and tightly coiled performance. Kidman also is remarkably subtle, yet powerful in her scenes, as the film's focus is strongly on Cruise here. The rest of the cast also is in top form, all giving performances that help create the disturbingly dreamlike aura of the film. Special shout out to Sydney Pollack, who only has two scenes, but makes them count.

Another interesting aspect is how the screenplay, which, given the subject manner, has frequent use of the F word as both an expletive and its original context, is still able to make every use of the word a shock. It's almost always said in a way that helps make it feel dirty and wrong, either as a description of emotional anguish, or as a callous demeaning of a human being into a mere object. I found that interesting.

I must say though that I don't expect to be seeing this film again any time soon. Due to its rather disturbing subject matter, coupled with its determination to make the audience feel disturbed at what they most crave in film (casual sex), it made me very uncomfortable, which one can easily argue is the whole point. Kubrick seemed to want to be confrontational, and want the audience to feel the sense of disturbing shame that Cruise's character feels throughout the film. By making it so explicit and disturbing, he forces the audience to look at the debauchery, and then realize how wrong it is.

Of course, that means I probably won't see this film more then the one time.

But even so, I must give it 5 stars.

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