Showing posts with label William Shakespeare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Shakespeare. Show all posts

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Review: Vincent Price Does Killer Shakespeare in "THEATRE OF BLOOD"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 of 2022 (No. 1822) by Leroy Douresseaux

Theatre of Blood (1973)
Running time:  104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
DIRECTOR:  Douglas Hickox
WRITERS: Anthony Greville-Bell (based on an idea by Stanley Mann and John Kohn)
PRODUCERS:  John Kohn and Stanley Mann
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Wolfgang Suschitzky (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Malcolm Cooke
COMPOSER:  Michael J. Lewis

THRILLER/HORROR with elements of comedy

Starring:  Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Robert Coote, Michael Hordern. Robert Morley, Coral Browne, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Lowe, Dennis Price, Milo O'Shea, and Eric Sykes

Theatre of Blood is a 1973 British horror-thriller and dark comedy from director Douglas Hickox.  The film stars Vincent Price as a scorned Shakespearean actor who takes revenge on his critics using the plays of William Shakespeare as reference for his diabolical methods of murder.

Theatre of Blood opens with a murder.  “Theatre Critics Guild” member, George Maxwell (Michael Hordern), is repeatedly stabbed by a mob of homeless people turned murderers.  Maxwell and his fellow guild members recently humiliated Shakespearean actor, Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart (Vincent Price).  He was thought to have committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of the guild's headquarters.  Instead, Lionheart was rescued by the very vagrants and homeless people that hehas  recruited to his cause – revenge against the critics who failed to acclaim his genius.

Now, Lionheart has targeted the eight remaining members of the Theatre Critics Guild, designing their deaths using murder scenes from the plays of William Shakespeare.  The police are trying to discover the identity of the killers, and even after they do, they still can't seem to stop him.  Only one of his targets, critic Peregrine Devlin (Ian Hendry), seems smart enough to foil Lionheart.  However, Devlin has no idea just how obsessed and focused Lionheart is.

Vincent Price (1911–1993) was an American actor and a legendary movie star, in addition to being an author and art historian.  Price was and still is best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres.  Price appeared in more than 100 films, but he also performed on television, the stage, and on radio.

I am currently reading the wonderful comic book miniseries, Elvira Meets Vincent Price, which is written by David Avallone, drawn by Juan Samu, and published by Dynamite Entertainment.  The series will end shortly, and because I have enjoyed reading it so much, I decided to watch and review a Vincent Price movie.  The first Vincent Price movie that I can remember seeing was Theatre of Blood (known as Theater of Blood in the United States).  As I haven't seen it since that first time, I decided to watch it again.

I remember really liking this movie the first time I saw it, and I enjoyed it watching it again.  Theatre of Blood is both a horror-thriller and a dark comedy, something I did not get watching it as a youngster.  Truthfully, however, Theatre of Blood is a monster movie – a Vincent Price monster movie.

At first, I found myself enjoying Edward Lionheart's revenge and the games of death he plays with his enemies, the critics who would not give him the honor he believes he is due.  Then, I noticed that Lionheart's murderous crusade drags in an ever growing number of innocents and collateral damage.  At that point, I was forced to realize that the beguiling Lionheart is a deranged maniac and probably has been one for a long time.

After I accepted that Lionheart was neither hero nor anti-hero, but was instead a lunatic, I began to enjoy Price's not-quite-over the top performance, with its alternating layers of madness, subtlety, elegance, and maniacal glee.  By the time, I finished Theatre of Blood, I realized a few things.  One is that I need a regular dose of Vincent Price cinema in my life.  Another is that I will absolutely recommend this movie to you, dear readers.

8 of 10
A

Wednesday, March 2, 2022


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Comic Books, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for July 11, 2018

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

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BOOKS
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MAY182905    WARHAMMER WOLF KING PROSE NOVEL SC    $5.00
MAY188209    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE JEDI THE LAST HC    $14.95

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: "Just One of the Guys" Not Just Another Teen Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 3 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[A version of this review originally appeared on Patreon.]

Just One of the Guys (1985)
Running time:  90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR:  Lisa Gottlieb
WRITERS:  Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin; from a story by Dennis Feldman
PRODUCER:  Andrew Fogelson
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  John McPherson (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Tony Lombardo
COMPOSER:  Tom Scott

COMEDY/ROMANCE

Starring:  Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne, Toni Hudson, William Zabka, Leigh McCloskey, Sherilyn Fenn, Deborah Goodrich, Ayre Gross, Robert Fieldsteel, Stuart Charno, John Apicella, Kenneth Tigar, Richard Blake, and Tony Brock and Jay Davis

Just One of the Guys is a 1985 comedy and high school romance from director Lisa Gottlieb and writers Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin.  The film focuses on a popular and attractive high school student who disguises herself as a teen boy in order to win a high school journalism contest.

Just One of the Guys introduces high school student, Terry Griffith (Joyce Hyser), of Phoenix, Arizona.  She has it all:  the looks, the popularity, and a college boyfriend who is quite the hunk.  Terry is also an aspiring teenage journalist, but her male teachers at Edwina Pearl High School don't take her newspaper articles seriously, mostly because she is a girl.  In fact, her journalism teacher, Mr. Raymaker (Kenneth Tigar), has chosen articles written by two male students to be entered in a contest that will land one student a summer internship at the Sun-Tribune.

So Terry comes up with an idea that will help her write an article that will earn her respect and hopefully win that summer internship.  With the help of her horny, little brother, Buddy (Billy Jacoby), and her lovelorn best friend, Denise (Toni Hudson), Terry disguises herself as a teen boy and enrolls in rival Sturgis-Wilder High School.  As a student at this new high school, Terry is sure that she can write an article about high school boys as secretly observed by a girl undercover as a boy.  Her mission goes awry when she meets handsome nerd, Rick Morehouse (Clayton Rohner).  Rick becomes her pet project, as she tries to give him a makeover and get him a date to the prom.  But Terry starts to fall in love with Rick.

I pretty much ignored 1980s teen movies that revolve around high school romance, and I had never even heard of Just One of the Guys.  However, a few weeks ago, I found an article on the Yahoo Movies website (https://www.yahoo.com/movies/are-those-what-i-think-they-are-a-revealing-175211213.html) about the 1985 film.  It turns out that 2015 is the 30th anniversary of the film's initial release (specifically April 26, 1985).  Apparently, Just One of the Guys is fondly remembered and has fanbase and something of a cult-following.  In fact, the magazine Entertainment Weekly once included Just One of the Guys in its listing of the “50 Best High School Movies” (at #48).

After reading a few paragraphs of the Yahoo article, I decided to rent Just One of the Guys from Netflix.  I enjoyed the film so much that it once again reminded me that Netflix is essential to my life as a movie-lover.  I won't call it a great movie, but Just One of The Guys is quite good and shouldn't be lost to history.

Just One of the Guys is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, which also inspired the 2006 high school comedy, She's the Man.  You don't need to have seen Shakespeare's play in order to enjoy this film.  All you need is the ability to sympathize with Terry Griffith and to see things from her point of view.  As Terry, Joyce Hyser gives a natural performance that sells the absurdity of her role and this movie's conceit.  I found myself willingly suspending disbelief because Hyser made me believe in Terry, her motivations, her plan, and her character.  In the way that Dustin Hoffman made Tootsie worthy of the audience suspension of disbelief, Hyser makes us want to latch onto Terry and buy into the entire act.

I can see why Just One of the Guys has a devoted following after three decades, and is apparently still winning new fans.  It is not a sparkling high school idyll, cool and slick, like those 1980s John Hughes films.  The earthy Just One of the Guys mines comedy gold in the minefield of high school society and in the lives of high school age young people.  It does not romanticize high school, not when it can love the high school years while simultaneously skewering it.  No high school movie list is complete without the surprising Just One of the Guys.

7 of 10
B+

Saturday, November 14, 2015


The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Benedcit Cumberbatch as "Hamlet" in U.S. Cinemas for One Night Only

Academy Award® Nominee Benedict Cumberbatch Takes on the Title Role in William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ Screening in U.S. Cinemas for One Night This October

Fathom Events, National Theatre Live (NT Live) and BY Experience Present the Broadcast of this Classic Play from London in Select U.S. Cinemas on October 15 Only; Tickets on Sale Now

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fathom Events, in partnership with National Theatre Live and BY Experience, are pleased to present “NT Live: Hamlet” on October 15, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. local time. Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) takes on the title role of William Shakespeare’s great tragedy directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions. Captured live earlier the same day, the event will be broadcast from London’s Barbican Theatre to select U.S. cinemas.

    “It will be such a pleasure to see him playing the lead in ‘Hamlet’ in cinemas across the U.S.”

Tickets for “NT Live: Hamlet” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

“Benedict Cumberbatch is a phenomenally talented actor who displays tremendous diversity in every role that he takes,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “It will be such a pleasure to see him playing the lead in ‘Hamlet’ in cinemas across the U.S.”

For artwork/photos related to “NT Live: Hamlet,” visit the Fathom Events press site.


About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is the recognized leader in the alternative entertainment industry, offering a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events in movie theaters nationwide that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, the performing arts, major sporting events, music concerts, comedy series, Broadway shows, original programming featuring entertainment’s biggest stars, socially relevant documentaries with audience Q&A and much more. Fathom Events takes audiences behind-the-scenes and offers unique extras, creating the ultimate entertainment experience. It is owned by a consortium called AC JV, LLC., comprised of AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), the three largest movie theater circuits in the United States. In addition, Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live events to more than 775 locations in 171 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit www.fathomevents.com.

About SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS
Sonia Friedman Productions, founded in 2002, is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and on Broadway over the past few years. SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 140 new productions and has won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards, including a record-breaking 14 at the 2014 Olivier Awards (Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play, among others). Their recent West End and Broadway theatre productions and co-productions include: the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, Jez Butterworth's The River on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman, Sunny Afternoon, Shakespeare in Love, The Nether, Electra, King Charles III, Jerusalem, Ghosts, Mojo, Chimerica, Twelfth Night & Richard III and Old Times. In addition to SFP’s theatre projects Sonia is also Executive Producer, alongside Playground Entertainment, on the up-coming television adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, to be directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC. She is also a co-producer on the six-part mini-series adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for the BBC and Masterpiece co-produced with Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures.

About NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
Now celebrating its 6th year broadcasting live performances to cinema screens internationally, National Theatre Live has now been experienced by over 4 million people worldwide. The first season began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren. In addition to the record-breaking broadcast of The Audience starring Helen Mirren as The Queen (winner of two 2013 Olivier Awards, including the Best Actress award for Mirren), recent broadcasts have included the Manchester International Festival production of Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh in the title role, Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston, in the title role, the Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson and Skylight from the West End with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan. For more information, visit www.NTLive.com.

About BY Experience
BY Experience kicked off the digital revolution of live events to movie theaters and other locations globally with David Bowie’s 2003 Reality album launch and since then, over 22 million tickets have been sold worldwide for cinema events BY Experience has distributed globally. Current cinema series credits: Distribution Representative, The Met: Live in HD (Worldwide; since 2006), the U.K.’s National Theatre Live (Ex-UK; since 2009), Bolshoi Ballet (North America; since 2014), Stratford Festival HD (Ex-Canada, since 2014). Additionally, BY Experience has executive produced and/or distributed several diverse programs for cinema including numerous rock concerts, radio programs, fine art exhibits, and other special content events. BY Experience distributes to over 60 countries, to over 2,000 movie screens. www.byexperience.net.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

VIZ Media's "Requiem of the Rose King" Arrives March 10th, 2015

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES THE DARK FANTASY MANGA SERIES REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING

New Series By The Creator Of OTOMEN Set In Medieval England Is Based On Shakespeare’s Political Drama Richard III

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga (graphic novels) and anime in North America, delivers an engrossing new series from one of the most exciting voices in contemporary manga with the launch of REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING on March 10th, 2015.

Inspired by an early draft of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, one of literature’s most famous and polarizing political dramas, REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING was created by Aya Kanno, widely known for her previous manga series Blank Slate and OTOMEN (both published by VIZ Media). REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Future volumes of the continuing series are scheduled to be published domestically twice a year.

In the series, Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, is a tortured soul who believes he is damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil.

In the opening volume, set in medieval England during the age of the Wars of the Roses, a fierce battle rages between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Young Richard of the House of York is determined that his family will ascend the throne…but he’s hiding a secret that could destroy everything he desires.

“Aya Kanno’s unique take on the era of the Wars of the Roses, REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING, will resonate with her current fans and hopefully bring even more awareness to her lush, masterful work,” says Joel Enos, Editor. “Aya Kanno returns to a darker, gothic inspired aesthetic, reworking Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about poisonous Machiavellian ambition into a ruthless and beautiful new series. Her Richard is a cunning, flawed prince determined to secure the throne for his family!”

Aya Kanno is the creator of manga series including Soul Rescue, Blank Slate (published by VIZ Media), and the New York Times bestselling series, Otomen (published by VIZ Media), which was recognized as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens by the Young Adult Library Services Association.

For more information on REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING and other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Visually Splendid "The Merchant of Venice" is Soft on Story (Happy B'day, Shakespeare)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 93 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Merchant of Venice (2004)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.K., Italy, Luxembourg
Running time:  131 minutes (2 hours, 11 minutes)
MPAA – R for some nudity
DIRECTOR:  Michael Radford
WRITER:  Michael Radford (based upon the play by William Shakespeare)
PRODUCERS:  Cary Brokaw, Michael Lionello Cowan, Barry Navidi, Jason Piette,
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Benoît Delhomme
EDITOR:  Lucia Zucchetti
COMPOSER:  Jocelyn Pook
BAFTA Awards nominee

DRAMA with elements of romance

Starring:  Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Zuleikha Robinson, Kris Marshall, Charlie Cox, Heather Goldenhersh, and David Harewood

The subject of this movie review is The Merchant of Venice, a 2004 romantic drama from writer-director Michael Radford.  The film is based upon the comedy play, The Merchant of Venice, written by William Shakespeare around 1596.  Radford’s film adaptation is apparently the first full-length, theatrical, sound film version of The Merchant of Venice.  The Merchant of Venice the film is set in 16th century Venice and finds a merchant having to pay a gruesome price after he must default on a large loan he borrowed from a Jewish moneylender for a friend.

William Shakespeare is once again brought to the screen, this time in The Merchant of Venice, another film adaptation of his play about passion, justice, and anti-Semitism.  Set in late 16th century Venice, the story finds Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) lacking money to woo an heiress, Portia of Belmont (Lynn Collins), because his lavish lifestyle has left him deeply in debt.  So he turns to his merchant friend, Antonio (Jeremy Irons), for the money.  Antonio, however, has his cash tied up in ships and overseas trade, so he secures a loan of 3,000 ducats from Shylock (Al Pacino), a Jew.

In Venice, Jews cannot own property, and they are forced to live in a “geto” (a walled-off section of the city), having only limited access to the city.  Antonio has publicly abused Shylock and other Jews for the practice of usury – money lending.  Spiteful and bitter, Shylock is glad to have Antonio in his debt.  In order to secure the money he wants to give Bassanio, Antonio promises that if he defaults on the loan, he’ll pay Shylock with a pound of flesh – literally.

Bassanio leaves with his friend Gratanio (Kris Marshall) to woo his love, but finds that Portia and her lady-in-waiting, Nerissa (Heather Goldenhersh), have been entertaining other suitors.  Like them, Bassanio must engage in a game of chance (blindly choosing which of three caskets holds the prize that earns Portia’s hand).  However, Jessica (Zuleikha Robinson), Shylock’s daughter, elopes with Bassanio’s friend, Lorenzo (Charlie Cox), and takes a large amount of her father’s personal wealth with her.  Wounded to his very soul, Shylock focuses on Antonio’s debt to him, and when Antonio does default on the loan, Shylock demands his pound of flesh.

I’ve never seen a previous film version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (such as the 1973 version starring Laurence Olivier), and I’m only familiar with the text in passing, having never read the entire work.  Thus, I can only judge this film on its contents or merits.  Michael Radford’s version is a somber narrative with occasional explosions of passionate arguments about prejudice, bigotry, and discriminations, and only a few moments of genuinely harmonious scenes of romantic love.  Despite a diverse range of elegant and sumptuous costumes (for which costume designer Sammy Sheldon earned a 2005 BAFTA Award nomination), evocative sets, and stunning locales set on sunny isles (Venice, Italy), Radford’s film is marred by mumbled dialogue, dour characters, and an air of mean-spiritedness that permeates even the most pleasant moments.

The performances are adequate for transforming Shakespeare to the screen, but only Pacino gives a memorable performance as the righteous and wronged Shylock.  If you, dear reader, need to cheat for an English lit class, Cliff Notes would be better than this.  The film merits as a visual treat, but limps as a narrative.

5 of 10
C+

Saturday, May 06, 2006

NOTES:
2005 BAFTA Awards:  1 nomination: “Best Costume Design” (Sammy Sheldon)

Updated:  Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: "High School Musical" is a Feel-Good Classic (Happy B'day, Vanessa Hudgens)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 116 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

High School Musical (2006) – TV movie
Running time:  98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
TV-G
DIRECTOR:  Kenny Ortega
WRITER:  Peter Barsocchini
PRODUCERS:  Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush (executive producers) and Don Schain
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Gordon C. Lonsdale (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Seth Flaum
COMPOSER:  David Lawrence

MUSICAL with elements of comedy, drama, romance, and sports

Starring:  Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson, Alyson Reed, Chris Warren, Jr., Olesya Rulin, and Socorro Herrera

When it debuted on the Disney Channel on January 20, 2006, High School Musical was just another “Disney Channel Original Movie” …to some.  To others, especially the so-called “‘tween” audience (usually described as 10 to12-years old), the telefilm was something special.  It was a smash hit in its time slot when just under eight million viewers tuned in to watch the premier, and the numerous repeat broadcasts since then also remain highly watched.  The High School Musical soundtrack album has been certified quadruple platinum, and the various DVD releases have also sold almost 8 million copies.  So what’s it all about?

High School Musical (HSM) is a twist on Romeo & Juliet and a kind of 21st century take on the hugely successful 1978 film, Grease (itself adapted from a Broadway musical).  HSM is set in Albuquerque, New Mexico and takes place mostly on the campus of East High School, home of the Wildcats.  Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the basketball team’s star player, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), a brainiac and the new girl in school, fall in puppy love.  They also end up auditioning for the school winter musical, performing a duet that earns them a call back.

However, Troy and Gabriella find themselves at odds with their family and friends who think that the two should “stick to what they know.”  For Troy, that means devotion to the Wildcats basketball team and the upcoming championship game against West Side High.  Troy feels the most heat from Coach Jack Bolton (Bart Johnson), who is also Troy’s father, and Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu), Troy’s best friend who is devoted to basketball.  For Gabriella, her friends in the Science Club, especially Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman), think that Gabriella should focus on the upcoming Scholastic Decathlon.

Meanwhile, the school’s reigning musical duo, fraternal twins, Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her brother, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel, who has a strong, beautiful singing voice), don’t want anyone competing with them for the leads in the winter musical.  Also, Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed), the school’s drama teacher, isn’t sure she wants a basketball player in her musical, especially Troy because Ms. Darbus and Coach Bolton are often at odds.

Despite that, Troy and Gabrielle get together with fellow student Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin), a pianist and the winter musical’s composer, and practice their singing.  When Troy’s teammates and Gabriella’s fellow science clubbers learn that the duo is serious about the musical, they conspire to break them apart, but will they end up wishing they’d kept Troy and Gabriella together.

Simply put, I’m a fan of this hugely fun and highly entertaining movie.  I don’t really know why it works.  Perhaps, it’s Disney magic.  I’m not being silly.  Shortly into the film, after two strangers, Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, come together and start singing in harmony as if it were always meant to be, one has to believe only Disney can get away with this.  Just feel the magic and charm of this flick and go with it.

The songs are really good, and some of them are just good enough to move the narrative forward or flesh out a plot point, character, or mood.  The acting is credible if not often very good, but when the cast sings or when a song becomes an elaborate song and dance number, the move becomes even more fun.  Maybe, part of its appeal is that many wish their high schools were like East Side High, but since we can’t have that, we can dream.  High School Musical is that happy dream.

7 of 10
B+

NOTES:
2006 Primetime Emmy Awards:  2 wins: “Outstanding Children’s Program” (Bill Borden, Barry Rosenbush, and Don Schain) and “Outstanding Choreography” (Kenny Ortega, Charles Klapow, and Bonnie Story); 4 nominations: “Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special” (casting by Jason La Padura and Natalie Hart), “Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special” (Kenny Ortega), “Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics” (Ray Cham, Greg Cham, and Drew Seeley for the song: "Get'cha Head In The Game"), and “Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics” (Jamie Houston-writer and producer for the song "Breaking Free")

2007 Image Awards:  2 nominations: “Outstanding Children's Program” and “Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program - Series or Special” (Corbin Bleu)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Updated:  Saturday, December 14, 2013

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: Fine Actors Kick "Coriolanus" Up a Notch

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 51 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Coriolanus (2011)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.K.
Running time: 123 minutes (2 hours, 3 minutes)
MPAA – R for some bloody violence
DIRECTOR: Ralph Fiennes
WRITER: John Logan (based on the play Coriolanus by William Shakespeare)
PRODUCERS: Ralph Fiennes, John Logan, Gabrielle Tana, Julia Taylor-Stanley, and Colin Vaines
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Barry Ackroyd
EDITOR: Nicolas Gaster
COMPOSER: Ilan Eshkeri
BAFTA nominee

DRAMA/WAR

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, John Cani, Paul Jesson, James Nesbitt, Dragan Micanovic, and Harry Fenn

The subject of this movie review is Coriolanus, a 2011 military drama starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler. The film is based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus, which was based on the story of a legendary Roman general. The film is Fiennes’ directorial debut and is the story of a banished Roman hero who joins Rome’s enemy to take his revenge on the city.

Coriolanus is set in “a place calling itself Rome” (but the movie was filmed in Serbia). General Caius Martius (Ralph Fiennes) leads the forces of Rome to victory against Volsces and the leader of its forces, Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler). Martius should be the hero of Rome, beloved by all, but the citizens of Rome are hungry. He may be a great soldier, but Martius despises the people for whom he supposedly fights. Martius is elected as a consul to the Roman Senate, but his inflexible self-belief and extreme views present an opportunity for his enemies. Before long, Martius finds that some of his friends have turned to enemies, but some of his enemies may become his friends.

Throughout my schooling, teachers told me that Shakespeare’s work was timeless, and Coriolanus certainly has contemporary parallels. Caius Martius’ story is a familiar one. He is the proud warrior who saves the state, but who is despised by the citizenry and politicians. The politicians wish to exploit him and have little or no use for him otherwise. Those politicians also loath that he fought when they did not – either because they could not or chose not to.

As a director, Fiennes makes smart choices, including having the accomplished John Logan as his screenwriter. He also surrounds himself with a strong supporting cast; Brian Cox as Menenius and Venessa Redgrave as Volumnia (Martius’ mother) are just plain great. Fiennes’ inexperience as a director, however, shows in some scenes, especially those that make up the first hour of the film. This first half of Coriolanus drifts and the use of Shakespeare’s dialogue seems out of place in the film’s modern Eastern European setting.

The second half of the film is strong and passionate, and that’s where Fiennes’ talents show. He knows great performances and first-rate acting, and he gets that from his cast. Fiennes lets Gerard Butler do what he does best – smolder. Coriolanus is not the best film adaptation of Shakespeare, but the good acting and the subject matter make it one worth watching in these times.

6 of 10
B

NOTES:
2012 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer” (Ralph Fiennes-director)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: "Shakespeare in Love" is Always a Delight (Happy B'day, Gwyneth Paltrow)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 215 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Running time: 122 minutes (2 hours, 2 minutes)
MPAA – R for sexuality
DIRECTOR: John Madden
WRITERS: Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
PRODUCERS: Donna Gigliotti, Marc Norman, David Parfitt, Harvey Weinstein, and Edward Zwick
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Richard Greatrex
EDITOR: David Gamble
Academy Award winner

ROMANCE/COMEDY/DRAMA

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench, Martin Clunes, Simon Callow, Imelda Staunton, Nicholas Le Prevost, and Joe Roberts with Rupert Everett

When Gwyneth Paltrow won the Oscar for “Best Actress in a Leading role” at the 1999 Oscar ceremonies, few were surprised. When the picture in which she starred, Shakespeare in Love, won the “Best Picture” Oscar, jaws around the world dropped; after all, the film to beat was Steven Spielberg’s oh-so-important, Saving Private Ryan. Well, Shakespeare in Love did beat it. Years later, I still would pick Ryan over Shakespeare, but Shakespeare in Love is a much better movie going experience. The film also won Oscars for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judi Dench), “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration,” “Best Costume Design,” “Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score,” and “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.”

What’s the story that captured the hearts and imaginations of moviegoers, film critics, and award givers? It’s 1593, and young playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is a mess. He’s out of ideas, suffering writer’s block, entangled in too many romantic or lustful intrigues, living far way from his wife and children, and he’s out of money. As he struggles to finish his new play, a comedy with the awkward title, Romeo and Ethel the Sea Pirate’s Daughter, he accidentally discovers his muse in a new actor, Thomas Kent (Gwyneth Paltrow). When Kent runs away from his admiring stare, Will Shakespeare chases after him and discovers that Kent is a she, Viola de Lesseps (Ms. Paltrow), the daughter of a wealthy commoner. It’s love at first sight for the both of them, but Viola’s father (Nicholas Le Prevost) has promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to a penniless nobleman, Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).

However, the engagement doesn’t temper their love and they carry on a clandestine affair that leads to the stage. Will gives the part of Romeo to Viola, but her gender remains a secret to him, while the other actors and the backers of the newly renamed Romeo and Juliet believe their Romeo is played by Thomas Kent. (In Elizabethan England, women are not allowed on stage, boys and young men with high voices play the parts of women.) Soon Will and Viola’s affair and secret will be painfully revealed to the world and to her angry husband-to-be.

Shakespeare in Love is light and frothy, but quite entertaining; it is very likely a delight to those familiar with William Shakespeare and his plays. However, the film gives Will such a contemporary spin that even the least informed about Shakespeare may very well like this. Now, for those without a clue, they will have to rely on the filmmaking and storytelling. As a romance, the film often works like a romance novel, or at best, historical fiction: lots of heat, lots of hot lovemaking, and a bit too much overwrought dialogue that too many times comes close to being pure purple prose.

The acting by the leads Ms. Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes is good, but not great. Fiennes’s performance ranges from overdone and pretentious to flamboyant and yearning. Seriously, Ms. Paltrow’s performance is hardly award-winning material, but that’s never stopped Oscar. Still, there’s something about the two of them that makes this work. It’s that intangible element or chemistry that takes everything shoddy or overdone about this film and makes it such a tasty confection, that you’ll come back again and again, even if you keep thinking that there seems to be an awful lot of air packed into this movie ice cream.

There are some very good performances: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Geoffrey Rush, and Simon Firth. The music is quite good, sweet and pleasant to the ear. The production values give the viewer the sense that they have been transported to somewhere else, another world if not another time. Then again, that intangible something may be director John Madden who brought the ingredients together and made a dessert that deserves encore performances.

7 of 10
A-

NOTES:
1999 Academy Awards: 7 wins: “Best Picture” (David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, and Marc Norman), “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Gwyneth Paltrow), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Judi Dench), “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” (Martin Childs and Jill Quertier), “Best Costume Design” (Sandy Powell), “Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score” (Stephen Warbeck) and “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard); 6 nominations: “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” (Geoffrey Rush), “Best Cinematography” (Richard Greatrex), “Best Director” (John Madden), “Best Film Editing” (David Gamble), “Best Makeup” (Lisa Westcott and Veronica McAleer), and “Best Sound” (Robin O'Donoghue, Dominic Lester, and Peter Glossop)

1999 BAFTA Awards: 3 wins: “Best Film” (David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, and Marc Norman), “Best Editing” (David Gamble), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Judi Dench); 12 nominations: “Asquith Award for Film Music” (Stephen Warbeck), “Best Cinematography” (Richard Greatrex), “Best Costume Design” (Sandy Powell), “Best Make Up/Hair” (Lisa Westcott), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role” (Joseph Fiennes), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Geoffrey Rush), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Tom Wilkinson), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Gwyneth Paltrow), “Best Production Design” (Martin Childs), “Best Screenplay – Original” (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard), “Best Sound” (Peter Glossop, John Downer, Robin O'Donoghue, and Dominic Lester), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (John Madden)

1999 Golden Globes: 3 wins: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical,” “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical” (Gwyneth Paltrow), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard); 3 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (John Madden), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Geoffrey Rush), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Judi Dench)

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Cute "Gnomeo & Juliet" Charms All Ages

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 44 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Running time: 84 min (1 hour, 24 minutes)
MPAA – G
DIRECTOR: Kelly Asbury
WRITERS: Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, Steve Hamilton Shaw, and Kelly Asbury; from a story by Rob Sprackling, John R. Smith, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, and Steve Hamilton Shaw and from an original screenplay by Rob Sprackling and John R. Smith (based upon the play by William Shakespeare)
PRODUCERS: Baker Bloodworth, David Furnish, and Steve Hamilton Shaw
EDITOR: Catherine Apple
COMPOSERS: Chris Bacon and James Newton Howard
SONGS: Elton John and Bernie Taupin

ANIMATION/COMEDY/ACTION/ROMANCE

Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne, Stephen Merchant, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, and Hulk Hogan

Gnomeo & Juliet is a computer-animated film released earlier this year. A family film, it retells William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet using garden gnomes that walk and talk. Recordings of Elton John songs like “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” and “Your Song,” are the soundtrack to this classic love story with a twist.

Mrs. Montague (Julie Walters), with her blue house, and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson), with his red house, are next door neighbors and enemies. When they leave their homes, the objects in their backyard come to life. The Montague backyard is filled with blue garden gnomes, while the Capulet backyard has red garden gnomes, and like their masters, the blue and red garden gnomes are mortal enemies. They are constantly fighting or engaging in dangerous games like lawnmower races. The blues are led by Lady Blueberry (Maggie Smith) and the reds by Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine).

The garden gnome feud takes a complicated turn when Gnomeo (James McAvoy), son of Lady Blueberry, and Juliet (Emily Blunt), daughter of Redbrick, meet and begin a romance. When a lawnmower race goes horribly awry, Gnomeo is on the run and Juliet is confined to a fountain. Will their love prevail or will Gnomeo and Juliet come to the same tragic end as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?

There is not much to say about Gnomeo & Juliet. It’s cute, often heartwarming, and surprisingly (at least to me) fun to watch. A movie doesn’t really have to be good to be entertaining, and while Gnomeo & Juliet isn’t by any means great, it has a few moments that you might find just delightful to watch. Exceptional animated films have great supporting characters, but this one doesn’t, although there are good ones that the film underutilizes (like Nanette the garden frog and Shroom the silent mushroom).

The Elton John songs, some of which are turned into instrumental melodies or interludes, are a mixed bag. The duets, with Lady Gaga on “Hello, Hello” and with Nelly Furtado on “Crocodile Rock,” are disappointing, especially the Gaga joint, which sounds like a symphony of warring cats. The film, however, makes good use of the classic songs.

That aside, Gnomeo & Juliet will delight its intended audience – children, but many adults are in for a surprise. They will find this wacky take on Romeo and Juliet sometimes witty and often charming.

6 of 10
B

Saturday, May 28, 2011

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Kenneth Branagh Makes Much Magic in "Much Ado About Nothing"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 127 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Running time: 110 minutes (1 hour, 50 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh
WRITER: Kenneth Branagh (adapted for the screen from Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare)
PRODUCERS: Stephen Evan, David Parfitt, and Branagh
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger Lanser
EDITOR: Andrew Marcus
BAFTA nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama, music, and musical

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson, and Denzel Washington, Richard Briers, Kate Beckinsale, Brian Blessed, Imelda Staunton, Jimmy Yuill, Phyllida Law, Richard Clifford, and Gerard Horan

Kenneth Branagh earned two Oscar-nominations (acting and directing) for his 1989 film, Henry V, a screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s stage drama. Branagh brought the Bard back to the screen for a second time under his direction with the 1993 film, Much Ado About Nothing, which received a 1993 Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical (and an Independent Spirit Award nom for “Best Feature”).

A high-spirited tale of love, mistaken identity, and bawdy humor, Much Ado About Nothing is set in Messina (Sicily), where hot-bloodied youth, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), is engaged to marry a beautiful young woman named Hero (Kate Beckinsale). Claudio is so anxious to wed that his best friend, Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), devises some mischief to distract Claudio. Don Pedro concocts a romantic trap for Hero’s cousin, the sharp-tongued Beatrice (Emma Thompson, Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Female Lead”) and the man she most loves to hate, Benedick (Kenneth Branagh). However, amusement turns to horror, scandal, and tragedy by the hand of Don Pedro’s rakish brother, Don John (Keanu Reeves), who schemes to destroy the engagement and marriage of Claudio and Hero. Can the chance intervention of the local law, Dogberry (Michael Keaton), restore the love and laughter to this circle of friends?

It’s almost hard to believe, but Much Ado About Nothing manages to be ravishing entertainment, engaging brain food, and a finely crafted costume drama in only 102 minutes of screen time. It’s a sexy, joyous romp filmed with delightful rudeness, playful sexual innuendo, and the sun-drenched charm of its shooting location (Chianti, Toscana, Central Italy). It takes an attentive ear (and more patience than many moviegoers are willing to give) to hear every Shakespearean word and turn of a phrase, but the cast’s exuberant delivery of the Bard’s masterful language is… well, masterful.

If the good acting weren’t enough (Branagh and Emma Thompson actually outshine the rest of this talented cast of movie stars and fine character actors), this exuberant production is filled with lively songs, musical numbers, and a soaring life-giving score. If you like Shakespeare on the big screen, this is a gift for you. If you never believed that Shakespeare could be so funny and sexy, Branagh and his cohorts will convert you into a true believer.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
1994 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Costume Design” (Phyllis Dalton)

1993 Cannes Film Festival: 1 nomination: “Palme d'Or” (Kenneth Branagh)

1994 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical”

1994 Razzie Award: 1 nomination: “Worst Supporting Actor” (Keanu Reeves)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Julie Taymor's "The Tempest" on DVD September 2011



THE TEMPEST
 
From the visionary Director Julie Taymor (Frida) comes a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s masterpiece in the visually stunning and innovative feature film THE TEMPEST. Available nationwide on Blu-ray™, DVD, Movie Download, and On-Demand on September 13, 2011.

Film Synopsis:
This modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s final masterpiece is an exciting, mystical and magical fantasy with Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (Best Actress, The Queen, 2006) leading a star-studded cast including Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek) and Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). Exiled to a magical island, the sorceress Prospera (Mirren) conjures up a storm that shipwrecks her enemies, and then unleashes her powers for revenge. Directed by Julie Taymor (Frida) — and complete with exclusive bonus features — The Tempest, with its innovative twist, is a supernatural dramedy filled with Shakespearean villains, lovers and fools that will leave you spellbound.

U.S. Release Date:
September 13, 2011
(Direct Prebook July 19, 2011/ Distributor Prebook August 2, 2011)

Rating: PG 13 - for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images
Feature Run Time: Approximately 110-minutes
Release Format: Blu-ray™, DVD, Movie Download & On-Demand
Suggested Retail Price: 1-Disc Blu-ray = $39.99 U.S.
1-Disc DVD = $29.99 U.S.
Movie Download High Definition = $39.99 U.S.
Movie Download Standard Definition = $29.99 U.S.
On-Demand = for pricing, please contact your television provider or favorite digital retailer

Bonus Features:
Audio Commentary with Director Julie Taymor Russell Brand Rehearsal Riff
O MISTRESS MINE Reeve Carney Music Video
And more!

Talent:
Helen Mirren (The Debt, State of Play, The Queen)
Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek; Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Prince of Persia, An Education)
Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond)
Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife,” It’s Complicated)
Chris Cooper (Remember Me, The Kingdom)
David Straitharn (The Bourne Ultimatum)

Director/Writer:
Julie Taymor (Frida, Broadway’s The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark)
Producers:
Julie Taymor (Frida, Broadway’s The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) and Ronald Bozeman (Confessions of a Shopaholic)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: "She's the Man" Only Thinks its Clever

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 197 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

She’s the Man (2006)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sexual material
DIRECTOR: Andy Fickman
WRITERS: Karen McCullahand Kirsten Smith and Ewan Leslie; from a story by Ewan Leslie (Inspired by Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare)
PRODUCERS: Ewan Leslie, Jack Leslie, and Lauren Shuler Donner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg Gardiner
EDITOR: Michael Jablow

COMEDY/ROMANCE/SPORT

Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, David Grass, Julie Haggerty, Robert Hoffman, Jonathan Sadowski, Alex Breckenridge, Amanda Crew, Jessica Lucas, James Kirk

When her school discontinues the girl’s soccer team, Viola Johnson (Amanda Bynes) is determined to prove that she can make it on a boy’s team, especially after her boyfriend, soccer stud Justin (Robert Hoffman), mocks her. When her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) skips town to play with his band in London, Viola disguises herself as Sebastian and heads to his boarding school, Illyria Prep. There, Viola hopes that she can make the boy’s soccer team if her disguise convinces everyone at Illyria that she is indeed Sebastian. The Illyria boy’s soccer team is set to play her real school, Cornwall, in two weeks, and Viola would love to beat them and reveal to Justin that he lost to a team with a female player.

There are, however, complications galore. Viola falls in love with her handsome roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum), the captain of the Illyria team, and Duke certainly believes Sebastian is who he says he is because Duke doesn’t see through Viola in drag. Channing, however, is in love with Olivia (Laura Ramsey), but Olivia is in love with Sebastian who is really Viola in drag. As the day of the big game between Illyria and Cornwall approaches, the real Sebastian returns to school, and Viola in drag starts finding life a drag.

A work that is inspired by William Shakespeare can be anything from an adaptation that is derivative to a work that merely borrows a few ideas. It’s been so long since I’ve read Twelfth Night, but I remember enough to recognize what the 2006 high school romantic comedy, She’s the Man borrows. Shakespeare aside, She’s the Man is a slightly above average youth comedy. It has its moments – most of them derived from the lies and confusion brought about by mistaken identity and impersonation. There are some decent, if not good characters. It’s not that this film is not well directed so much as it is badly written. The writers may have borrowed from Shakespeare, but there’s not enough left of the Bard to make this a winning script. The narrative is too long, and the writers prop it on mishaps and identity-based gags rather than on good characters.

Since her days of romping on Nickelodeon, I’ve thought Amanda Bynes had the making of a fine comic actress. She is growing into one, and she takes this flimsy material and makes it worthy, though flawed. Channing Tatum (as Duke) is not a good actor, but he’s handsome and the camera mugs on him the way it does another acting challenged, but great movie star, Keanu Reeves. Tatum does his best to mimic the posturing, posing, and attitude of a modern young, urban black teen. There’s enough kink in his hair and enough tinge in his complexion to almost convince that he has… soul?

5 of 10
C+

Friday, September 15, 2006

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