Eyes Wide Suck

Well thought I would break the IMHO cherry and ask a question about Eyes Wide Shut.

Here is my opinion:

That huge sucking sound is the world viewing audience being fleeced out of their money. Mine along with them.

I rented this dog last night and watched for two and one half hours and at the end of it I didn’t have a clue as to what the late Stanley Kubrick was trying to tell me. And it certainly wasn’t worth $4.00 to watch Nicole Kidman say fuck over and over.


Color me dumb I guess.

Anyone want to help me out on this? And remember I have already called myself dumb.

but it’ll be on DTV soon. I take it that you don’t recomend it?

Right with you there aha (hoo-ha whatever) That movie is seriously the hugest piece of nothing trash that I have seen in a long long time. At least content yourself with the fact that you only saw it on video. I had to pay £8 to enjoy the excrement from the (un)comfort of a cinema seat.

That movie ruled.

It was beautifully constructed, every piece fit into the whole, the characters were fully fleshed and superb. Just because you aren’t willing to put the effort into understanding it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad movie.

Sigh. I’m surrounded by philistines.

‘Sigh’ is right.

It’s just that kind of, “you aren’t sophisticated enough to understand how great this movie is” attitude that’s even more offensive than the movie itself.

A few of Kubrick’s old Hollywood buddies are circulating the same sort of message in various magazines.

That movie was tedious. The long, drawn-out pauses in the tepid dialogue - I’m sure it was an attempt to make things more surreal and dream-like. It ended up just being boring.

I’m not going to say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen or anything. But it’s not a masterpiece, and it’s pushing it to say it’s even good.

Excuse me, I did not say that they weren’t sophisticated enough to understand it, I said that they weren’t putting in enough effort.

Kindly read the actual posts I make, I find your implications rather insulting.

If someone said that they read, say, Heart of Darkness, or Crime and Punishment over a weekend, and thought that it was tedious, or poorly written, what would you tell them? Sometimes you actually have to put effort into something rather than just lying back passively and letting the moving pictures entertain you.

I thought it was alright…but then again i’m wierd.

The movie made no sense at all, but I got to see Nicole Kidman naked, and other than the fact she has small nipples, I think it was worth the money. Too bad Cruise and her can’t have kids, because I think if she dropped a kid or too her breasts would be perfect.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent movie viewer. I also am that rare breed: a woman who appreciates movies that most women can’t stand. I was quite excited to see the previews of Eyes Wide Shut, and finally went to see it in the theatre with my husband, his friend (who I consider to be one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met), and his significant other.

All four of us had been quite psyched for this movie. However, 2.5 hours later, we felt screwed. The movie SUCKED. The plot was weak and not fully explored, the cinimatography was not up to Kubrick’s standards, and the most fascinating parts of the movie were cut short in favor of long spaces with NOTHING happening.

We discussed this at length, and are prepared to accept anyone of the following statements as to our disappointment in the movie:

  1. The movie was actually good, but our expectations had been raised too high and/or misled by the previews.
  2. The movie was originally good, but had been edited (badly) by someone other than Kubrick due to his death.
  3. The movie stunk.
  4. The movie was an incredible piece of artistry worthy of a great filmmaker, and we are just too ignorant to understand it.

NOTE: I will ONLY accept the last item with FULL EXPLANATION! Prove to me that I’m a Philistine with no taste and that this movie truly was a superb end to a great career. If we’re actually going to have an intelligent discussion about this movie, let’s not cast our votes as “this movie sucked” or “you’re just dumb” … support your views with the kind of articulate debate I’ve come to expect from Dopers. I’m listening…

On the issue of the plot you’re going to have to be more explicit, are you referring to the “secret society of sex fiends” bit of the plot, or the represented breakdown and rebuilding of the marriage between the two characters, or the coming realization of the underlying darkness to their existence?

The cinematography I found to be excellent, but since I’m really not qualified to judge it-essentially I don’t have the right vocabulary- I’m not going to.

Now we get to the last bit, which I find interesting. As far as I could tell the most interesting parts were where exactly nothing was happening. The use of lighting and color in this movie, more than any other thing, was the most interesting bit of the movie. The way the society functions were lit, the comparisons between the cold blue outside and the warm golden interiors of the houses, the dark hustle of the streets, all of these were incredibly important in the story. The true story in Eyes Wide Shut was the story of the colors interacting. Dr Hartford’s perceptions of the world - his naive morality demonstrated by the black and white imagination sequences, the bright gaudy lights shown against a background of shadow, the alternation between the blues and golds during the scene of their first argument, these were the most interesting bits of the movie. If you don’t pay attention to these the entire movie just becomes a rather fanciful episode of Melrose’s Place.

The movie sucked.

It pains me to say it. I’m a huge Kubrick fan, 2001 is my favorite movie, and it seems really ungrateful to complain about a movie featuring a nude Nicole Kidman … but … the movie sucked.

One big problem is that the movie was totally out of touch with the times. I’m sure when the original novella appeared in the 20s, it was really hot stuff, but what wowed 'em them doesn’t cut the mustard today.

  1. The movie’s premise – that a respectable young married man can’t accept that his wife has sexual thoughts about other men – seems pretty musty when you transfer it from 1920s Vienna to 1990s NYC.

  2. In an era when graphic depictions of every form of possible perversion are just a video rental or mouse click away, the orgy scene couldn’t help seem a bit tame and, well, cheesy. (This is the best the decadent rich can do?)

  3. After umpteen seasons of THE X FILES, the whole secret society angle comes off as just another cliche.

Add to that the leaden pace, Kubrick’s trademark cold touch, and an unspectacular performance from Cruise, and you have the worst movie of Kubrick’s career.

(There was more to the movie, to be sure, such as the question of what was really going on, but the movie’s not good enough to spend your precious time digging into.)

Um, thoughts so strong that his wife would leave him and their child even if she knew it was only for one night of sex with this man? Yes I think that would be a bit disturbing.

Let me try and get this straight. Your complaint is that the movie isn’t pornographic enough? Uh huh. I’d just like to ask what sort of viewing experience you were after when you went to see this movie? Did it involve having your hat in your lap?

Um, so the X files’s creation of a secret organisation designed to perpetuate ignorance of an alien race’s attempts to colonize the earth is somehow the same as a bunch of rich guys getting together to have sex? Look, this sort of idea has been around since De Sade, and probably earlier - it’s a tool he’s using, it’s not necessarily supposed to be a breathtakingly original idea. You were expecting, perhaps, to be shocked by something in this movie?

If nothing else the previous movies that Kubrick has made, and the controversy this movie has stirred up are enough reasons to “waste your precious time” trying to figure out whats going on. Just because something isn’t immediately accessible to you doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

Initial Entry:

“Let me try and get this straight. Your complaint is that the movie isn’t pornographic enough?”

No. My complaint is that a sequence that Kubrick obviously intended to be disturbing and provocative came off as an outtake from a Zalman King direct-to-video production.

“Look, this sort of idea has been around since De Sade, and probably earlier - it’s a tool he’s using, it’s not necessarily supposed to be a breathtakingly original idea. You were expecting, perhaps, to be shocked by something in this movie?”

Yes, because Kubrick so desperately wanted people to be shocked.

“If nothing else the previous movies that Kubrick has made, and the controversy this movie has stirred up are enough reasons to “waste your precious time” trying to figure out whats going on. Just because something isn’t immediately accessible to you doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

I guess you misunderstood my post. I wasn’t saying that I hadn’t tried to figure out what was going on. I had and I did. I was just telling others on the board that it wasn’t worth their time to watch a labored Jungian parable that would have worked much better in its original time and setting. (IMHO, of course.)

Can you provide any evidence that he intended that sequence to be disturbing?

Again, I have to ask for some evidence that this was intended to be shocking. I seriously doubt that Kubrick was so out of touch with current day standards that he couldn’t have come up with something better. (And remember that if you’re watching the edited-by-the-MPAA that almost anything even remotely shocking has been covered up anyway)

I can identify, and this is from only one viewing, three separate plots, all of them intertwined through each other. I seriously doubt that this is intended to be a simply fable.

In this forum at the very least, this goes without saying.

Okay, first of all let me say that I basically agree with everything that Wumpus is saying, and so I will try not to respond to things that he/she has already covered. The one specific aspect that you commented to me on, the plot, I will delve into a little bit …

First of all, as I say, it is ill-defined. If you choose to define it as “the breakdown and rebuilding of the marriage” (the secret society really takes up such a small amount of screen time that it seems unlikely as the topic) then I would have liked to see more exploration of that. As I recall, Tom Cruise is upset that his wife thought of being unfaithful (more on that later), takes off for a night, then comes back … the only thing mentioned about all of this is in the last scene of the movie, where they decide they should fuck.

Okay. First of all, very little of the movie actually focuses on these events. I remember several other sub-plots which were more developed and more interesting, but had absolutely nothing to do with this (or one another). Secondly, nothing that happens throughout these events is well-motivated or explained AT ALL. I’m not saying it should be ground into meatloaf for the masses, but even compared to 2001 (Kubrick’s other confusing/controversial movie) this one is scattered. Why does Tom Cruise come back? would be my first question, and Why do they not discuss his leaving/returning? Not that I need this all spelled out, but that would help in the plot development department!! (I also wouldn’t class, “Hey, we should fuck,” as rebuilding a marriage.)

I realize I’ve already blathered on for quite awhile, but I do want to touch on the subject of Nicole Kidman’s “unfaithfullness”. As a woman, I firmly hold the view that she would not have cheated on her husband … it’s easy to say “I would have made this choice if it was presented to me”, but you never REALLY KNOW until you do have the choice … which she never did. Plus, she is trying to get a reaction out of her husband, and thus is prone to exaggerate.

Initial Entry:

What a chicken shit way to disagree with someone!

Just because I don’t agree with your positive review of the movie I am too lazy to understand how really great it was… right? That’s the way I read it. I am remembering that we are not in the pit so here is my counterpoint.

I have seen all of Kubricks films…all of them. For the most part they are all classic ground breaking works of art. I expected no less from this film. However I should have taken the hint that it was not up to snuff when it made it’s way from the big screen to dish network PPV in less than a year but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. As it turned out* I * personally was disappointed.

Do you think this film will be remembered in film history like 2001, A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket? I think I can empatically say no it won’t.

I realize that Kubrick liked to put his movies together in parts to make up a whole and that he used symbolism…believe it or not. But he failed miserably on this one.

And so that leaves us with the actors. Do you really find Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman so interesting that you can sit and look at them for two and one half hours act out (poorly I might add) a script so disjointed and vague?

Yours is the second opinion of EWS that I have read about the colors and the symbolism of black and white vs. color sequences. So fucking what? That has been done done done.

So let me say, without insulting you personally that I thought this movie sucked a donkey dick. A droner taking up space in cinematic history. If you liked it then swell. Don’t try and force it up my nose by insinuating that I am too lazy to understand it.

Initial Entry, perhaps you wouldn’t have found my first post insulting, if you had taken the time and effort to really dig into it, to understand and appreciate its underlying richness and myriad of intertwining complexities at work within it.

For example, the way the colors interplay. The uncompromising blackness of the letters in the post’s words against the unchanging slate background. And isn’t life really all just shades of gray? The unspoken allegory is sheer mastery.

When, like a philistine, you don’t take the time to appreciate my first entry’s full brilliance, it probably just comes off like another inane Milo post. Don’t blame the post or the post’s director, I.E. – the fault is yours.

Uh huh. Now how could I have possibly gotten the impression that you didn’t understand this movie…hmmm…

Oh Yeah! It was that bit in the OP where you said you didn’t understand it.

If for nothing else, it will be remembered for the controversy it stirred up.

And yet again I ask for examples of things he tried to do but failed. I provided examples of things that I believe he attempted to do and succeeded, surely you can provide some sort of evidence to support your position.

Well, Nicole Kidman maybe…wait, no.
And yet somehow I was captivated for the entire 2 and a half hours.

Hey, there are people moving about on the screen! That has been done done done. Whats your point? I never said he did all sorts of new avant-garde shit, I said it was a good, well constructed movie.

And if you claim to not understand it then don’t take offense when people tell you that you don’t understand it. I would, by the way, prefer to think of you as lazy for not understanding it - something that is reasonable, not everyone feels like putting the effort into something to understand it- than to think of you as simply to oblivious to get it at all. Would you perhaps prefer me to think differently?


My quote above was an effort to illicit some kind of intelligent explanation as to why this movie was so bad, instead I got this:

Head nodding then bumping the keyboard…snort! what? oh look a novel! And psuedo intellectual in nature! yawn Oh yeah the colors…yes you were saying?

Well pardon me, I thought you were actually asking some sort of question or opening some sort of topic up for discussion. I didn’t realize that what you wanted was mindless affirmation. I apologize for making such a stupid mistake.

And it’s so bad because Kubrick blows goats. That better?