Monday, April 21, 2014

What If Shakespeare Wrote Movies Today? Part 2

Better Off Dead
"I pray thee, make haste o'er yonder! If perchance there be something in thy path, turn thee away!"
"In faith, I feel as if perchance I am consuming pills that doth make my mind go mad!"
The Goonies
"Goonies ne'er breathe 'die'!"
Shaun of the Dead
"Thou hast red upon thee."
"Perchance hath someone ask thee 'if  thou art a god' thou breathest 'yea!'"
"Thou doth slay me, short villain."
Tommy Boy
"Zounds, in sooth my ears bleed from thy fat butter making."
Billy Madison
"Yea, I did not contain my urine within my pantaloons! Resisting in such is new-fangled!"

Snakes on a Plane.
"I cannot endure these forsaken blasphemous serpents on this forsaken blasphemous flying vessel!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Romeo and Juliet (2013)

 Recently I saw the movie "Romeo and Juliet" the 2013 version. It was an awesome adaption if I may add! In all honesty, before it came out, I thought that it was going to be cheesy and another Shakespearean flop. It didn't have well-known actors playing the key parts, which is why it made me a bit hesitant.

I'm going to tell you what I though about it, give you my rating and let you decide if you want to put it on your list of movies to watch.

I'm actually glad that the movie was taking place in Shakespearean time. With this move it does show that it happened "a long long time ago in a [country] far far away". It also fits with the culture that was present during that era. Don't get me wrong, adapting an old story to fit with modern times would be perfect and relate-able to the new generation, but it's even better to introduce the younger minds to something old-school, because it may be "new" to them.

The cast was amazing! It had Hailee Steinfeld from the "True Grit" remake as Juliet and Paul Giamtti from "Cinderella Man" as Friar Laurence; it also had many others obviously, but needless to say very few of them I recognized from other films, but nevertheless their acting was perfect for this film.

I liked how it payed attention to detail. Meaning that it went along with the original Shakespeare play fairly well. In comparison to the 1996 adaption with Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo, the 2013 movie surprisingly surpassed it's memorable take in the 90's adaption.

In the 1996 version it briefly mentioned that Romeo was lovestruck by a girl named Rosaline, but we
never see her. The story is that Romeo is in love with Rosaline, but Rosaline didn't love him back. at the time Romeo was set on being with her despite what she thought of him. In the 2013 version Rosaline was given a bigger part, which is no surprise, because it happened in the original play. Plus it shows that Romeo was still fixed on Rosaline at the masquerade ball, but later his heart changed quickly once you locked eyes with Juliet. It was... how they say it... "love at first sight".
Another detail that I enjoyed was giving the character Paris a bigger role. In the 1996 version, you only see him and heard that he was going to marry Juliet, but that was it. The 90's movie only made you hate Paris because he smiled too much and looked like he was "high" on something. Which would make sense because he was dressed like a "space-man" at the masquerade ball.
The 2013 version showed him excited in wanting to marry Juliet without delay, but once he finds out that Juliet has "passed" he weeps because he feels that everybody that he has known and loved dies. It really paints a picture of what his past was like before meeting the Capulets, and you kind of feel bad for the guy. More importantly, Paris' role was expanded as he decides to guard Juliet's tomb; this didn't happen in the '96 movie, but it was in the play I assure you. Anyway, while he is there, Romeo happens to come by with the intent of dying in Juliet's arms. Paris and Romeo then duke it out while professing their love for Juliet. Romeo eventually kills Paris and leaves him life-less by the steps near the tomb. It was awesome by the way. The only minor detail that the movie left out was before Paris breathed his last breath, he asked if Romeo could lay his body near Juliet, which Romeo did. I guess I could see why the movie didn't incorporate that. I mean having a complete stranger, you just killed, buried with you and your wife? Awkward...
Lastly I loved how Friar Laurence was trying really hard to make this love with two hated houses work. He thought of everything perfectly, the only thing that ruined it was a messenger helping a sick child, thus delaying his attempt in delivering the letter to Romeo that Juliet is still alive. You had one job!
Overall the movie was great! I highly recommend it, it's a good family friendly movie plus it doesn't have any unwanted intimate scenes that was in the 1968 version.

I give it an 8/10 stars!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kill Shakespeare Comics

I recently read a comic series called "Kill Shakespeare". I would now like to give my opinion on this comic, I'll let you be the judge on whether you want to read it or not.
I enjoyed that it had all characters from the Shakespeare plays fit on one plain. I'm actually writing something about this, but it goes into more depth than the comic books does.
Adapting Shakespeare's work into a comic book series is an interesting move. I don't believe it's been done before, so I give it props on that.
Getting the idea straight from the movie "Kill Bill" for the title and story is also interesting. However, I would've chosen something else.
Now switching gears. I understand that the comics are "loosely" based on Shakespeare's works, but with what they've chosen to do with their story has made me think that they have successfully "Killed Shakespeare"!
 Here are some of the holes that I have found in the comics:
They mention that the main character, Hamlet, is part of a prophecy. It fails to explain who made the prophecy. You just have to assume that the prophecy has been there for years. Yeah, like that's gonna fly! I need details!

In the prophecy Hamlet is referred to as the "Shadow King". There is no mention of Hamlet being called that at all in his play. The only reference I could find was in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Puck AKA Robin Goodfellow, was the one who said it, but he was referring to Oberon, the fairy king AKA the "King of Shadows"(I might even write something about that).
Going back to Puck, they made him into a shape-shifting fairy/monster hybrid. I mean really... c'mon? That's not what he is, if you read closely, in the actual play, you find out that "Puck" isn't even his name, it's Robin Goodfellow, and even his name has a double meaning(I mentioned earlier in my blog "What the Puck!").
They made Lady Macbeth into a villain. First off, the Macbeth's weren't necessary villains, the witches were more of the villains in the play. They gave them both a "push" with their prophecy to fulfill their tragic fate.
They made Hamlet into a whinny socially awkward guy, especially in front of women? That's not Hamlet! Not cool! Yes Hamlet can be a bit rough around the edges, but he is power driven to avenge his father's death!
They have people that praise William Shakespeare as their "god", because he created them, but you find that Shakespeare didn't even want to have tragedies to happen in his play. Really!?! That kinda defeats the purpose of his plays! That's not Shakespeare! He loved his work, and darn it! So do I! These followers are called "Prodigals". I don't know why, they just are. I'm wondering if it is some Bible reference that the followers have to "return" to Shakespeare, their father/creator?

There were a number of other problems, but these were the ones that have made me cringe the most!

So if you're afraid of reading Shakespeare plays, and want to read something fast paced that resembles his work, then go on ahead and read it.

But If you've read or seen the majority of his plays and have even studied it. I can promise you this. You "Will" not like it! See what I did there? ;)