Reviews and Problems with Romeo & Juliet (1996)
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Romeo and Juliet Blu-ray Review
8 February 2014
Summary: An old Twilight Zone episode called "The Bard", the last of that series' relatively short-lived hour long outings, posited what would happen if William Shakespeare were to be magically conjured up from his grave to write for television. Rod Serling's typically trenchant sense of humor runs rampant through the episode as that seemingly eternal conflict of Art versus Commerce rears its ugly head, and Commerce gives Art the walloping that studio executives (and unctuous...
Excerpt: As evidenced by everything from Julie Taymor's Titus to Baz Luhrmann's virtuoso Romeo + Juliet , Shakespearean updates often express a sense of zeitgeist-y obligation, a tonal and stylistic responsibility to maximally engage with the (preferably youthful) populace. It's surprising, then, that this umpteenth iteration of the Bard's ultimate tragedy doesn't kowtow to the swoony disciples of Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen, but instead plays it utterly straight.
Excerpt: Romeo and Juliet experienced a weird post-modern revival in the late 90s, in the form of Baz Luhrmann's wild and lavish adaptation as well as Shakespeare in Love , which used the hoary old story as the backdrop for a new, slightly less tragic romance. As a teenager of the late 90s I automatically pity the teens these days who didn't learn Romeo & Juliet that way, but I swear it's not just 90s nostalgia that had me squirming and yawning all the way through this new...
Excerpt: Shakespeare movies don’t get more unremarkable than Romeo & Juliet , an adaptation of the English language’s most-butchered love story produced and financed by glass-jewelry manufacturer Swarovski. Directed by Carlo Carlei— whose last theatrical release was the 1995 “Matthew Modine is reincarnated as a dog” movie Fluke —the adaptation is a hodge-podge of bad clichés from Shakespeare movies and sappy romantic imagery.
Summary: Note: The review copy I sent was either defective or was badly authored. The main menu never fully appeared, it instead flickered for a moment and then went to a blank screen, something that "looped" over and over again, back and forth. Therefore there is no screencap of the menu. I was only able to access the film by timing pressing the "enter" button for the split second the menu appeared on screen.
Summary: It may seem downright peculiar that with source material as well known as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , and a composer as lauded and famous as Sergey Prokofiev, that Prokofiev's ballet version of the timeless drama of starcrossed lovers took almost 30 years from its creation to fully penetrate Western consciousness. Prokofiev wrote his expressive score in 1935 with librettist Sergey Radlov.
Summary: William Shakespeare's classic romance has been made into a musical ( West Side Story ), an animation ( Gnomeo and Juliet ) and MTV (Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet ), among other things, so it's hard to know where's left for it to go onscreen. More Adapted by Downton Abbey 's Julian Fellowes, and set among Italy's sun-dappled – but strangely empty – palazzos, Carlo Carlei's traditional take seems to be aimed at teachers planning an end of term 'treat' for bored tweenage...