By EW Staff
June 22, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Stanley Kubrick Collection

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  • Movie

Just two years after the first Kubrick DVD set was released in the wake of the great director’s death, a new, more inclusive collection is set to replace it. One’s first reaction might be to ask, what is Warner trying to pull with another set so soon? After viewing it, the question becomes, what did they think they were doing with the first collection?

What’s the different this time around? Start with a crisp, new wide-screen version of ”Lolita” and the recently released ”Dr. Strangelove” special edition — then feast your eyes and ears on the digitally remastered versons of ”2001: A Space Odyssey,” ”A Clockwork Orange,” ”Barry Lyndon,” ”The Shining,” and ”Full Metal Jacket.” It’s ”Barry Lyndon” that most gloriously gains through restoration: From its stunning pastoral backdrops to its gorgously candlelit salon scenes, Kubrick’s 18th-century tragedy of manners once again looks like the most beautifully photographed movie ever made.

The new set also includes ”Eyes Wide Shut,” which didn’t need any digital cleanup since its initial DVD release last year. But it doesn’t offer any other new features, and that’s a shame. This would have been the perfect occasion to restore those orgy scenes that were digitally masked for the film’s U.S. theatrical release.

Like their predecessors, these new discs suffer from a general shortage of extras, but there’s a bonanza of bonus material on the collection’s ninth disc, ”Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures,” a first-rate doc assembed by longtime Kubrick producer Jan Harlan. It’s enough of a kick just to finally glimpse footage of this famously private filmmaker. Add the insights of colleagues and collaborators — including Martine Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, and Malcolm McDowell — and you get a rounded protrait of Kubrick as an uncompromising artist, occasional ogre, and loving family man.

Available only as part of the set, the documentary alone is enough to make Kubrick buffs sorry they plunked down good money for that hastily compiled 1999 collection. It’d be nice if those unlucky customers could at least get trade-in value on their lemons, but failing that, my advice is to bite the bullet and buy the new set, too. You will definitely feel like you’ve been had — but you’ll have a Kubrick collection worth keeping.

Stanley Kubrick Collection

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  • Movie
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