Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Hamlet

posted by rkumar
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Some sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs:Wine
Violence/Scariness:Characters killed with guns and poison
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:2000

This is a dreadful movie. Shakespeare is multi-facted enough to stand up to almost every possible kind of interpretation and adaptation. Almost. This version, using much of the original language but set in modern-day New York, is so poorly produced and directed that there would be serious doubt that the cast speaks English if it were not made up of such well- known and accomplished actors. So we have to blame the director since most of the time, it sounds as though they are repeating nonsense syllables that they have memorized. Diane Venora as Gertrude and Liev Shreiber as Laertes are the only ones who have moments of connection to the material. What we get from the others instead is tricks of juxtaposition, Elizabethan language amidst 21st century technology.

Remember the “to be or not to be” speech? Ethan Hawke, who wears an idiotic knitted ski cap through much of the movie and mopes around like a teenager who has been grounded, recites that speech while walking through the aisles at Blockbuster. He leaves the “get thee to a nunnery” speech for Ophelia on her answering machine. Polonius (Bill Murray) soliloquizes to a security camera. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report back to Gertrude and Claudius by speakerphone and Hamlet lets them know he’s coming home by fax. And the play “to catch the conscience of the king” is a video Hamlet screens for his horrified family.

Teen fans of the performers who want to see this movie should go. Even in a monotone, the language and story are worthwhile, and it may inspire them to look at one of the better versions (especially those starring Mel Gibson and Laurence Olivier) on video. Families whose teenagers see this movie should talk about how to respond to injustice, the importance of communication, and how different performers and different times lead to different interpretations of the classics.

Families who enjoy this movie should see some of the other filmed versions, including the ones with Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branaugh, and Laurence Olivier.



Previous Posts

Little Orphan Annie: From Comic Strip to Radio, Broadway, Television, and Two Movies
The spunky little girl with the curly red hair and a dog named Sandy began as Little Orphan Annie in 1924, created by Harold Gray.  Her pluck, self-sufficiency, and resilience cau

posted 8:00:48am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

A Trailer for A Movie You'll Never See: Moonquake Lake with Mila Kunis and Rihanna
"Moonquake Lake" has a lot of star power behind it -- "LEGO Movie" directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord and stars Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rihanna. And it looks....intriguing, some sort of "Twilight"-style supernatural teen romance. It just isn't real. "Moonquake Lake" is a movie with

posted 3:54:43pm Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

New Additions to the National Film Registry: 2014
The Library of Congress has announced this year's additions to the National Film Registry. 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant titles are added each year, under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes

posted 12:34:12pm Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Black Reel Awards Nominations 2014
One of the great pleasures of this time of year is voting for so many of my favorite filmmakers as a part of the Black Reel Awards. Thanks, as ever, to Tim Gordon for allowing me to participate. I think it is fair to say we had more and better choices this year than we ever have before. Here are

posted 9:14:29am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

A Hannukah Version of "Shake it Off!"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NoHp2Rq8sMI?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:41am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.