In Julie Taymors version of The Tempest, the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymors version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island its a tabula rasa no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.
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Wow this is one of those movies that I am completely baffled about thelow ranking on here. I agree with some of the critiques that the soundmixing could have been better but overall the film was gorgeous,overall well acted and very understandable for such a difficult play.Someone mentioned poor special effects...I thought they were wonderful.Clearly the big money goes to plenty of trite blockbusters leavinglittle for pieces of art and beauty such as this. But what they lackedin money they made up for in creativity....I absolutely loved therendition of the spirit Ariel. There was plenty of gorgeous sceneryboth real and mixed with CGI.Julie Taymor never disappoints me and this is no exception!
William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST is probably his last play, written in 1610-11, and as such it has some of the more eloquent passages of soliloquies of any of his works. In the original version the story is set on a remote island, 'where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using illusion and skilful manipulation. The eponymous tempest brings to the island Prospero's usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso, King of Naples. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's low nature, the redemption of Alonso, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.' Enter Julie Taymor and the imaginative play becomes even more so with her deft re-writing and direction and use of visual effects. In Taymor's versions 'the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.'Taymor and Shakespeare together make the important character of Ariel, Prospera's obedient sprite, a thing of magic: Ben Wishaw darts and floats and flies about apparently in the buff in a most ingenious fashion, delivering his lines in perfect Shakespearean cadence (his 'Full fathom five thy father lies... ' is exquisite). The transformation of Prospero to Prospera is magical with Helen Mirren once again proving that she is an incomparably fine actress (one great moment is her delivery of the lines 'Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.')THE TEMPEST is an odd assortment of magic, treachery, young love, silly comedy, and odd goings on, but filled with a cast such as Taymor has selected it jumps alive with passion and glee. Caliban is Djimon Hounsou, Miranda is Felicity Jones, The King of Naples is David Strathairn and his son Ferdinand is young Reeve Carney, Prospera's brother Antonio is Chris Cooper and his sidekick Sebastian is Alan Cumming, and the two actors assigned to the buffoon roles are Albert Molina and Russell brand. Gonzalo is Tim Conti. This tightened Tempest works well though one wonders how much of the opening scenes' shipwreck (due to Prospera's calling upon the tempest) adds to the overall story. Yet in Taymor's vision it all comes together beautifully. The sung portions of the play and the musical sore in general are from the intelligent pen of Elliot Goldenthal. Recommended! Grady Harp, September 11
Why in the world would they delay the DVD release until September? How long was in release, a month? Ok, so it's not exactly a box office smash, but obviously, Disney is not going to make any money by leaving it an the vault for most of the year.
This review is from: The Tempest (Amazon Instant Video) Bad. Truly awful. Miscast. Horrible and distracting music. Plenty of overacting. Difficult to understand dialog, not because it is Shakespeare but because of the noise that makes it hard to hear and some bad enunciation. Special effects that aren't that special. It is just one colossal mess.
When it comes to plays and theater, Julie Taymor is well-known in the circle. Having earned two Tony Awards for directing the stage musical of "The Lion King" and well-known for her costume design and puppetry for plays such as "The Tempest", "Oedipus Rex", "The Magic Flute" and was also the production consultant and designer for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" concert show.But when it comes to directing films, Taymor is best known for directing the 1999 film "Titus" and the 2007 film "Across the Universe".But in 2010, Taymor returned to her roots, her passion for Shakespeare and to create the film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play "The Tempest", considered to be the last play that Shakespeare had written alone. And many consider it to be a play that would incorporate themes from other Shakespearean plays such as romance, comedy, drama and other sources.The 2010 film is loosely based on "The Tempest" as the lead character Prospera (played by Helen Mirren, "Queen", "Excalibur", "Calendar Girls", "National Treasure") is played by a woman and not a man (who goes by the name of Prospero). And in the play, Prospero is the Duke of Milan but for this film, Prospera is the wife of the Duke.VIDEO:"The Tempest" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1). And the film looks absolutely beautiful. This film also reinforces my belief that nearly every film shot in Hawaii and released on Blu-ray looks magnificent in HD. The film and the lighting are fantastic. There is plenty of detail, colors are vibrant and dark when they need to be.But the cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh ("Bridget Jone's Diary", "The Piano", "Analyze This"), visual effects, costume and makeup design for the film is fantastic. In fact, possibly the most impressive part of the film is when Prospera calls upon Ariel in his darkest form. Excellent scene! Dryburgh has a lot to work with in terms of capturing the look and feel of the island on camera and there are plenty of breathtaking scenes.I detected no banding, no edge enhancement, no softness. Picture quality is fantastic!AUDIO & SUBTITLES:"The Tempest" is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. The back cover mentions English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, but it appears to be an error possibly meant for the DVD version. But audio-wise, the lossless audio is fantastic. There is quite a bit of action throughout the film from various weather elements, the opening scene alone with the chaos in the seas definitely utilizes the center, front, surround channels and LFE. The overall ambiance is also well captured in the film and if anything, the lossless audio is nothing short of spectacular.The dialogue is crystal clear and for the most part, audiophiles will find the lossless soundtrack to be quite immersive.Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.SPECIAL FEATURES:"The Tempest" comes with the following special features: Audio Commentary - Featuring in-depth commentary by Julie Taymor. Julie is very passionate about Shakespeare and she goes into details of the location, the cast and various scenes. Shakespeare Experts Audio Commentary - I found this audio commentary to be a welcome addition to the Blu-ray release as experts Virginia Mason Vaughan (a Professor of English at Clark University) and Jonathan Bate (A Shakespeare Professor at England's University of Warwick) discuss the differences between the play and the film adaptation. The two do not engage in any lambasting towards the film but for those that want to know about the key differences, will surely enjoy this commentary. Raising the Tempest - (1:06:06) A making-of "The Tempest" but also gives you an idea of the location of the film, the cast's state of mind while working on the film and also comparisons of the play and film and more. Julie & Cast: Inside the L.A. Rehearsals - (13:34) A featurette in which Julie Taymore along with Russell Brand, Alfred Molina and Djimon Hounsou at a stage rehearsal from back in 2008. Russel Brand Rehearsal Riff - (4:32) Julie Taymor interview Trinculo (Brand). Music Video - (3:22) Featuring a the music video for "Mistress Mine" by actor Reeve Carney.EXTRAS:"The Tempest" comes with a slipcover case.JUDGMENT CALL:I really wanted to love"The Tempest" and I know how passionate filmmaker Julie Taymor was when she created it. And to reaffirm that passion, I listened to the audio commentary, the featurette on the making of this film. And how she wanted to bring technology and theater together as one.But the problem is, while visually the film was visceral and gorgeous, the story was not.And the biggest culprit was the pacing of the film. The film starts off rather dark, we learn what sacrifices Prospera had gone through to keep she and her daughter safe from intruders. How she took control of the island and made Caliban, a slave. And the dynamic between mother and daughter, Prospera and Ariel, Miranda and Ferdinand, I did like.But the pacing takes a 90 degree turn as the film's comedy diverts you from a more serious/darker tone to ridiculousness as the film begins to focus on Trinculo and Stephano with Caliban. To put it bluntly, when you start watching Russell Brand trounce into the film, in modern day garb and discovering Calaban, "The Tempest" resembles less of a Shakespearan film and almost becomes more of something we would see from Happy Madison or Judd Apatow-produced films.Is it funny, yes...but it is so out of place and in many ways, it became more of an experimental, jarring part of the film that really takes you out of the actual story. Yes, we know that Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban would be plotting against Prospera but perhaps the three were focused on too much.The other story featured Kin Alonzo, Antonio, Sebastian and I felt that while the play shows the conflict between Antonio and Prospero quite well, I felt the necessary bridge to show Antonio's betrayal of Prospera was not well tied together in the film.But what I did enjoy about the film was relationship between Prospera and Miranda and you have to give credit to the performance of Helen Mirren who did a wonderful job. Julie Taymor was correct in the fact that a woman can play the role of the lead protagonist and the casting of Mirren was terrific.As mentioned earlier, the visual effects, cinematography, costume design and makeup were fantastic in this film and to incorporate an experimental and artistic direction for the film can be applauded, it's just that I felt there were scenes, moments that were missing or just out of place.While the Blu-ray release of "The Tempest" will surely be enjoyed by fans, there is no doubt that this film looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray and the special features are also lengthy, enlightening and entertaining. But as far as the film itself, for a visceral film that screams beauty and darkness, unfortunately its disjointed storyline doesn't match the vibrancy of the film's beautiful aesthetics.
This review is from: Tempest (DVD) DREADFUL/LAZY version of this difficult Shakespeare play.Plummer can not help here - and i remain a fan.a shameful waste of time and cash for you and I -- at least we did not have to pay more to see this live in San Diego.DO NOT BUY - read instead!Sadly there remains not a single decent version of this great work.
This review is from: The Tempest [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) Let me say right off: I am a total Bardolator. I teach Shakespeare, I am obsessed with Shakespeare, I have read and seen all the plays, and my love affair with the Bard began with seeing a live performance of The Tempest in 1975. It was pure magic. I also love movies, and I believe that in the 21st century, filmed versions of Shakespeare's plays are probably the best way to reach the widest audience. The sneers and sniffs of snobs aside, I am convinved that if Will were alive today, he'd be writing movie screenplays (or even television), NOT stage plays, which today are aimed at a narrow, elite, theatre-going audience.As a literature professor who has been teaching The Tempest for a decade now, I have always been singularly bemused by the lack of a filmed version that really captures the magical spirit of the play. The old TV Richard Burton show is well-acted but silly, the BBC version has great actors but terrible, flat production values, Prospero's Books is brilliant but incomprehensible to all but those who know the play intimately, Derek Jarman's version is terribly dated and, despite being a good "film," just doesn't work as The Tempest, in my opinion. The other, "scholastic" releases are plagued by poor production and/or undistinguished acting. And I won't even bother with "adaptations" of the plot, such as Forbidden Planet or Cassavettes's Tempest.Until this version, the only truly excellent version of The Tempest was the HBO animated one, but at 25 minutes, not much of Shakespeare's story remained intact.Just last week I had the great pleasure of seeing Julie Taymor's The Tempest in London. It was absolutely amazing. The magic was there! The acting, for the most part, was brilliant. The script contained enough of the actual play's language that the minor tweakings to make it easier for contemporary audiences did not bother me a bit. The visuals were absolutely stunning. The movie was a joy from start to finish. I can't wait to see it again--repeatedly--to savor all the special moments over and again. My only regret is that my students will be unable to see it this year due to the late release date.[REVISION NOTE: This year's students had the opportunity to see this version, and they overwhelmingly LOVED it. It brought the play to life for them. At last, I no longer have to convince them that The Tempest really IS a great play! 01/19/12]If you love Shakespeare, and if you enjoy movie adaptations of the plays, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!
It's the same old story: A young mother with the unusual name of Prospera who has a four-year-old child is cheated of her inheritance when her husband dies and her greedy brother forces her to leave, penniless, into the rough world. She grows strong, self-reliant and determined. As she thinks about her fate, sulphurous resentment bubbles even as she bends her new life to her will. Yet she raises her daughter gently and with love. Then after 12 years, Prospera learns that those responsible for her disinheritance unknowingly have wandered close.Will Prospera find only stale and bitter crackers upon which to munch as the days pass and she considers a hearty broth of vengeance...or will she learn...hmmm, what exactly?Will her daughter, Miranda, all of 16, beautiful and innocent and who has never seen a man, become pregnant by the handsome young fellow she soon will meet?And will this story, like many a well-known Hollywood potboiler starring the likes of Claudette Colbert and Lana Turner, end with self-sacrifice, with murder, or with...?Folks, this isn't Fanny Hurst. It's William Shakespeare. In Shakespeare's words The Tempest isn't just a tale of vengeful comeuppance. It's a marvelously written story of humanity and the gaining of wisdom. It is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. In my much younger days I loved Richard III and Henry V. Then I fell for Macbeth, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In my increasingly feeble old age, it's The Tempest for me. Can any grownup not hear or read "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep" and sigh? In Julie Taymor's hands The Tempest becomes spectacle, and about as shallow as a plate. There's little quiet time or reflection when it comes to Taymor. Her movie of Titus was great fun because of her excesses and originality of vision. Titus the play is grotesque with all those beheadings, betrayals, rapes and bombast. The meals alone will make you regurgitate. Taymor's film matched the play with its bedeviling, wonderful visuals and clever updating.Here with The Tempest we have some fine actors who know how to speak the speech. Helen Mirren as Prospera dominates the movie just as Prospero does. She can hate and roar and fulminate powerfully. She can also be tender, introspective and tentative. She is utterly believable. Just as importantly, Mirren is understandable. She makes Shakespeare's verse clear. She is, unfortunately, enclouded in Traymor's vision and effects. (If you'd like to see a very young Mirren deal with Shakespeare, try to find a copy of Peter Hall's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968). Mirren at 23 plays Hermia. She's lithe, sexy and could speak Shakespeare clearly even then.)Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books was a moving set of lush, eccentric dreams, all floating on John Gielgud's mellow voice. We could understand him, too. Greenaway wanted dreams and he succeeded in blending together his vision with Shakespeare's play. Greenaway and Gielgud place us in a lush, odd world, but regret, humanity and wisdom is there.Taymore's Tempest, in my view, lacks a soul. At least she has Mirren. As A. O. Scott wrote in the New York Times, "Messing around with Shakespeare is the bedeviling vice of directors. Saving him from their excesses is the great and noble duty of actors."
Sometimes one can only laugh overbearingly at the user comments here.You can rest assured that those who rate this movie poorly do not knowa good film adaptation of Shakespeare when they see one.It is not an entirely perfect movie. I can mention a number of thingsthat might have been done a bit better. Ferdinand, although supposed tobe delicate, should also be more forceful than he was here. Iappreciate that Taymor based his appearance on the famous Millaispainting, but I thought he came across as slightly too dainty andeffeminate. Oh well, for someone who dreams of a quiet life, I supposeit's all right.Although Tom Conti's Gonzalo and Alfred Molina's Stefano were good, Ialso felt the rest of the characters - even Prospera - lacked a certainpassion (Brand was okay as Trinculo, but not quite as charismatic as Iwould have liked). Miranda was almost as good as we have any right toexpect, but the only real stand-out character who displayed properpassion was Caliban. Most definitely the most successful version of thecharacter I have seen yet. Much the same goes for Ariel, who was veryclose to how I've always imagined him.I could mention other occasional shortcomings - textual cuts, a speechthat did not have maximum effect, a comical scene that wasn't all thatcomical, etc. - but the fact of the matter is that this adaptation wasa thing of beauty. Being a stage designer for opera productions, Taymorunderstands how to create a simultaneously modern and poeticenvironment stuffed with stylish imagery. I loved the sounds effectsand the visual effects equally, and have long yearned to see such aversion of The Tempest. So this makes me very happy.Several scenes represented thoughtful ideas about interpretation, justlike a good production should. A new detail it alerted me to was whenProspera says of Caliban towards the end, "this thing of darkness, Iacknowledge mine". I have always thought that this line meant thatProspero acknowledged Caliban as being a part of him; somethingintegral to him. But in this production, we have a situation whereseveral characters try to explain who they are, and Prospera's wordsmay simply identify Caliban as one of her subjects with no furthermeaning. Taymor latterly has Caliban leave Prospera's cell (much likeLucius left for the sunset with Aaron's child in Titus), which suggestsa different and intriguing reading of the scene. After all, Prospera isreturning to Milan, so what can happen to Caliban other than that hereceives his freedom? Neat, methinks!With its several shortcomings, one could argue that the film deservesan 7 rating rather than a 8, but what pushed it towards a 9 for me wasthe incredible beauty of the sung version of the epilogue during theend credits. It was even done in a voice that could be mistaken forHelen Mirren's, which I thought was a splendid touch.All in all, a splendid and satisfying if imperfect adaptation that Iknow I will watch often on DVD. It is the best version of the play yetmade.8 stars out of 10.
Shakespeare could not draw flies on a battlefield of rotting corps on a hot summer night in August. Crowds only go to Shakespeare's plays when they are free. The storied Delacort Theater, Central Park, NYC, NY would be empty if there was an admission price to pay. This festival is populated by pompous asses who don't have a dime, putting on airs of expertise regarding the legend, William Shakespeare.Wanted to see The Tempest but figured it will be out on DVD in a month, so why spend the money on a flick that has no subtitles-right? That is why I skipped it even though the arty/farty theater/cinema that was showing The Tempest was in walking distance from my apartment on the trendy Upper West Side of Manhattan.Consider myself the holder of the largest collection of William Shakespeare on audio cassette, DVD, VCD and CDs in the world, more than Amazon, more than the NY Public Library, more than the Folger Library and more than Oxford or Cambridge.There is no interest in William Shakespeare whatsoever. That is why no mainstream theater will show his work. I'l have to wait to see The Tempest on DVD in September. Damn.
This is not quite a new film, but I was finally able to catch it and now feel obligated to try to express my amazement. This latest big screen version of the Tempest was adapted and directed by Julie Taymor, and may well be the greatest incarnation ever filmed.Helen Mirren as Prospera is positively spellbounding. She is quickly becoming my favorite actress ever (after also catching her insightfully erotic performance as Ayn Rand elsewhere), and I sincerely doubt Shakespeare himself would have found any objection to her interpretation of Prospero. Or really, to this interpretation of his final work in general.Very stylishly shot with special effects that call to mind some of the most imaginative music videos ever produced, Taymor's film is starkly true to the plot and characters of the original play, with adjustments to the dialogue being pleasantly few and inconsequential. Every single freeze frame shot could easily be a conversation-inducing desktop wallpaper, to say the utmost least. Incredibly beautiful in scenery, make-up and costume design, all merge with effects and dynamic camera POVs to create just the right unearthly feel necessary for a totally complete immersion experience. The lyrical words beat a dreamlike rhythm, with the somewhat Gothic and hallucinatory imagery lulling the viewer into a state of introspective grace. This is not art-haus, this is high art.The wondrous cast includes Djimon Hounsou as Caliban in a performance that reminds you why he really is one of the most underrated actors working today. Also good were Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, and Alfred Molina, with Russell Brand providing energetic comedic relief in the form of Trinculo the jester- by leagues his singular greatest role to date.Why this movie did not receive more attention is a crime of the highest order, the fact of which is singlehandedly compelling me to return to reviewing the occasional film. This is a glorious work, not quite as profound as its source material though far more enjoyable a ride than any previous effort. And I would love if Taymor would set her sights on doing the same for King Lear...maybe starring Donald Sutherland in the title role?Regardless, this is highly recommended. A truly wonderful experience overall.
Prospera, once the Duke of Milan and sorceress now reigns over a faraway island, living there with her daughter, Miranda. After 12 years of being abandoned she has an opportunity for revenge. However the ships may bring more than she planned on.It is impossible to have lived in the cinematic world and not come across any the other productions by Julie Taymor. With each of her productions she does not copy but enhances the originals in a unique way. In this case we have quite a few deviations. However as long as you are aware of the original play you can appreciate the deviations. Prospero is replaced by Prospera (Helen Mirren) one of the greatest actresses of our time. Julie's approach is different but does not go off the deep end and re-create a whole new story; as the story is just enhanced by dynamic technology and cinematic capabilities not available in earlier productions. And naturally a mother daughter story will have some different outlook than a father daughter story. The only drawback is the curt runtime forcing some reduction in dialog and addition of references.Added plusses of course first include Helen Mirren. Also the location (various untraded locations in Hawaii) is perfect. The underwater or through water scenes gave an ethereal feel.
I was bored to death for the 1st 45 minutes. Had to cut it off. Sorry, I started watching it with good intentions because I normally like these sort of films, but absolutely not!
With a stellar cast that includes the indomitable Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alfred Molina and others how could this film be so bad? Director Julie Taymor ("Across the Universe", "Frida") changes the exiled duke (Prospero) to a duchess (Prospera) but that really isn't the issue. Helen Mirren can play anything including a dude. The problem is that the film is truly incoherent. I guess if you were schooled in Shakespeare you would have a pretty good idea of what is going on but for those of us who've read but "Romeo and Juliet", it might be a struggle.Prospera (Mirren) being a sorceress in addition to her day job was convicted of witchcraft and sent to a remote island along with her young daughter. The story really begins years later when she summons a "tempest," i.e. a violent storm which sinks her brother's ship. He had usurped her as an accomplice to her banishment. All aboard survive and "walk" to shore. Prospera is aided by a nude flying fairy (Ben Whishaw) who appears to be a neutered young man. He can pretty much make anything happen and does at Prospera's command. Prospera's daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones, so good in "Like Crazy") has now grown into a woman and wouldn't you know, the King (Strathairn) who was also on the ship, has a cute son about Miranda's age. That hook-up goes as you would expect. The prince (Reeve Carney), seemingly out of nowhere, even breaks into song for the young Miranda. I don't think this was supposed to be a musical. The rest of the cast includes Djimon Hounsou as Prospera's defiant slave and Russell Brand as some vagabond companion of Molina's character. That trio just roams the island.The Blu ray 2.35:1 transfer looks excellent. The sound is in DTS-HD Master Audio but I will suggest you turn on the subtitles for the opening scene of the storm. I couldn't understand a word as the other speakers overwhelmed the center channel. After the storm all was well. This is not a good movie. Skip it.
This review is from: The Tempest (DVD) Saw part of this one on TV, and had to get the movie! Helen Mirren is amazing and a delight to watch! Interesting interpretation of traditionally male role in this Shakespearean tale. Special effects clever, and occasionally jarring to me, but they all fit well into the whole. Well worth the price and worthy of your time!
Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus) sets her sights on the Bard's finalmasterpiece, recasting Prospero as Prospera (Hellen Mirren) and lettingthe magic and romance loose in this very different take on The Tempest.First, what works? Hellen Mirren does, rather unsurprisingly, and theart direction of photography are consistent with the vision of thewoman who gave us Titus back in 1999. Kudos as well to theever-watchable David Strathairn and Djimon Hounsou.What annoys? Now we enter very subjective ground. This beautiful,deceptively simple play is turned into an amped up to the max, loud andfrantic film. The electric guitar whines are painfully out of place,and Russell Brand, never guilty of subtlety on a good day, will makeyou claw your own eardrums out. It's almost as if Taymor had forgottenwe were right there with her cast, right behind the camera, instead ofsitting 50ft back in a packed theater.This has proved an incredibly divisive film, and I feel split rightdown the middle on it. I admire Titus, in my mind one of the bestShakespeare adaptations in history, but whereas Taymor's turbochargedvisuals and loud, often trashy use of sound and effects served as aperfect illustration for Shakesepare's bonkers gore-fest, it diminishesthe more mature, heartfelt qualities of this play. The Tempest is agreat playwright's swan song, the work of an aging, mature artist. Whywould you give us an overly loud, ADD-afflicted MTV version? Ultimately, this frustrating missed opportunity makes you wonder, didTaymor have her Shakespeare mixed up all along. Rather than give us"the stuff that dreams are made of", she serves us "a tale, told by anidiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".
This review is from: The Tempest (DVD) I waited for this movie to come to Richmond, Va. I didn't, much to my dismay & disappointment. I invited both my daughters, who hadn't read or seen this movie, in any form, to watch it with me. A spectacular, stunning display of wonder unfolded before our eyes. Even the proper use of the English language was not a barrier for my daughters, to understand this play of the master, Shakespeare. The music was otherworldly, transporting the spirit, as the story came alive, weaving its magic before our eyes. For me, this will be the role of a lifetime for Helen Mirren. She brought to life the gifted sorceress. Her acting was bold and powerful, and at the right moments, soft & tender. Her magical spirit Uriel was played to perfection by Ben Whishaw. See this movie! You won't be disappointed, but be struck by its beauty and power, to lift your spirit also to soar.
I'll begin by saying that anything directed by Julie Taymor is automatically going to be more creative and provocative than most of the films being produced.Taymor's striking style-- extravagant sets and costumes, anachronistic contrasts between story and setting, a preference for in-camera effects rather than CGI--has been ebbing bit by bit, which is quite unfortunate. Her version of Shakespeare's Titus is perfect, and her biopic of Frida Kahlo is gorgeous and heart-achingly acted.Now we have the screen version of The Tempest, which Taymor has directed on stage to great praise in the past. The choice to make Prospero female, and casting Helen Mirren in the role, is intriguing. Mirren's performance lacks power, unfortunately, but it's still HELEN FREAKING MIRREN as Prospero.This is the pattern in Taymore's Tempest: wildly talented people who are not at their best. Alan Cumming, Alfred Molina, etc., simply not at their best. Perhaps there were behind the scenes issues with the producers.For another matter, the cast includes Russell Brand, who may be fitting for gross-out frat-boy comedies, but Shakespeare? I'd rather watch ice melt. He plays one of the clown roles opposite Alfred Molina (who was stunning in Frida), and the pair are terribly mismatched in every way. Once Djimon Honsou's (well-played) Caliban is added, the three mostly just goof off rather than actually create comic relief.The love story between Miranda and the Prince is incidental, but isn't it usually?And there's so much CGI that it turns into a video game by the end.Is it "bad"? Heck no. I'd watch it again. But I probably wouldn't purchase it. It's just not great, and I am quite disappointed to see lackluster work from a director I've adored until recently.
This review is from: The Tempest (DVD) My granddaughter watched this to complete an English requirement at school. She tells me this is a wonderful DVD and both her sisters and her mother are into watching and rewatching The Tempest. The next time they come over they are bringing it to me to watch too. This was a very appreciated gift indeed.
This review is from: The Tempest (DVD) Excellent movie, it was welll worth the wait to get it for Christmas. I am very glad to have it in my collection.