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  • The Tempest [Blu-ray] [2010] [US Import]
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The Tempest [Blu-ray] [2010] [US Import]


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Product details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand, Jude Akuwudike
  • Directors: Julie Taymor
  • Writers: Julie Taymor, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Anthony Buckner, Beaux Carson, Deborah Y. Lau, Greg Strasburg, Jason K. Lau
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Touchstone / Disney
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Sept. 2011
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5H5JM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,220 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Stark colors and textures dominate The Tempest, a cinematic adaptation of the classic play by William Shakespeare, directed by acclaimed theater maverick Julie Taymor (whose other films include Titus and Frida). The ever-magnificent Helen Mirren (The Queen, Red) plays the usually male role of the magician Prospera, the duchess of Milan, who was exiled to an island with her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones), where she has two magical servants: the mercurial spirit Ariel (Ben Whishaw, Bright Star) and the sullen, lumpen Caliban (Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond). Prospera conjures up the storm of the title and brings ashore a ship full of her former peers, including the king of Naples (David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck), the king's son Ferdinand (Reeve Carney), and Prospera's brother (Chris Cooper, Adaptation), who usurped her position in Milan. Treachery, regret, and romance follow. The Tempest has the weaknesses of the original play; there's much talk of rebellion but nothing really happens--Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love, Caliban gets drunk with a couple of clownish shipwrecked men (Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2, and Russell Brand, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and Ariel bewitches and bedazzles the king and his retinue… all of which comes to a tidy and too easy conclusion. Taymor whips up plenty of visual razzle-dazzle, some of which is lovely and some of which is trying too hard. But the strength of The Tempest is some gorgeous poetry, and Mirren handles that language with impeccable clarity and power. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MissMarj on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic version of the Tempest. The whole cast are excellent (yes you doubters, even Russell Brand!) and it looks amazing. Helen Mirren is perfect as Prospera, and the switching of that character's gender to female does give an interesting new twist on the relationship with Miranda. I very much enjoyed both the audio commentaries as well - one by the director for those that are interested in the film making process and one with a couple of Shakespeare buffs for those that are interested in the play.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Smith on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD because I had to study the play for part of my OU Shakespeare module and, not having seen the play before, was unsure what to expect. I was entranced and have watched it several times. Helen Mirren as Prospera and Ben Wishaw as Ariel are both superb and the CGI use for Ariel adds another dimension to the play. I was unsure of seeing Russel Brand in Shakespeare but he is also wonderful. For anyone wanting to see a fresh rendering of The Tempest I urge you to buy this DVD.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Pearson on 20 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A different take on this play with the superb Helen Mirren as Prospera (a female Prospero). Startling special effects do not distract from the play, and even Russell Brand (of whom I am usually no fan at all !!) turns in a good comic performance teamed with Alfred Molina.
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107 of 116 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Bloom on 18 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
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 tend to be 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.

This past spring 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.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A. Salter on 30 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oooops ...... looks like we are going to get very diverse views here, take your pick I guess. Do understand the previous review to a degree, I'm not usually taken with Shakespeare being mucked around with too much and The Tempest is my favourite Shakespeare, but found this production both refreshing and entertaining - even with Russell Brand in it - well done Julie Taymor. Found Helen Mirren cast as Prospera (Prospero) a very clever move, nice take, got my attention anyway - honestly was a bit sceptical about this but it really worked well, she was magnificent. Loved the CGI effects for Ariel, liked Caliban lots, great setting.Well worth a watch if you can just accept something a bit different, a nice entertaining interpretation on Shakespeare's lovely fantasy! I keep coming back here waiting for the dvd as I really want to see it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
Internet Rule #63: For every male character there is a female version. No exceptions.

Technically, Shakespeare predates the Internet. But in the case of Julie Taymor's dark, swirling adaptation of "The Tempest," this rule applies -- the legendary wizard Prospero becomes Prospera, played by the peerless Helen Mirren. The gender-flip does give the character a subtle feminist quality, but the story actually remains mostly unchanged -- and definitely supported by a solid cast, a bleak island, and some lovely special effects.

Many years ago, the Duchess of Milan Prospera (Mirren) was left the care of the city by her late husband. But her treacherous brother Antonio (Chris Cooper) accuses her of witchcraft, and exiles her and her daughter Miranda to sea.

Now Prospera dwells on a remote island with the teenaged Miranda (Felicity Jones), as well as the rebellious slave Caliban (Djimon Hounsou) and the ethereal Ariel (Ben Whishaw). When she discovers that Antonio and his similarly treacherous friends are nearby on a sailing ship, Prospera summons a storm that causes the ship to crash on the island, and has Ariel guide them all there.

Like a puppet-master, Prospera arranges events as she wants -- she sends Ariel to haunt the men who betrayed her, allows Caliban to get up to wacky hijinks with a pair of drunken idiots (Alfred Molina, Russell Brand), and even pretends to treat the young prince Ferdinand (Reeve Carney) badly while secretly matchmaking him with Miranda. In the end, everything will be as she desired.

Gender-flipping Prospero apparently wasn't for some kind of feminist point -- it was simply that director Julie Taymor couldn't think of a male actor she wanted in the role. The only Prospero she could think of was Helen Mirren.
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