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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Love Triumphant...And A Bit With A Dog..." - Shakespeare In Love on BLU RAY
In 2003 (and at considerable expense) I bought the 'Superbit' DVD of this wonderful film to get the best picture quality I could and it was far better than the standard DVD version (even though it didn't have the extras the standard DVD did). But this January 2011 BLU RAY reissue with its superlative picture quality AND nicely complimentary extras - trumps all previous...
Published on 27 Jan 2011 by Mark Barry

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spurious
Not as good as I expected......bit stupid and dream like. A made up experience nothing close to any historical fact.
Published 18 months ago by M. A. Beale


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Love Triumphant...And A Bit With A Dog..." - Shakespeare In Love on BLU RAY, 27 Jan 2011
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
In 2003 (and at considerable expense) I bought the 'Superbit' DVD of this wonderful film to get the best picture quality I could and it was far better than the standard DVD version (even though it didn't have the extras the standard DVD did). But this January 2011 BLU RAY reissue with its superlative picture quality AND nicely complimentary extras - trumps all previous formats. And at less than ten quid, it's reasonably priced too. But to the details first...

Originally released into cinemas in early 1999, "Shakespeare In Love" was nominated for a whopping 13 Academy Awards and went on to win 7 - Best Picture, Best Leading and Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Set Design, Costumes and Music. So many things came together on this film - the inspired casting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes as Viola De Lessops and William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Rush as the permanently living-on-the-edge theatre owner Philip Henslowe (his dialogue titles this review), Colin Firth as the dastardly and arrogant Lord Wessex (wittily refers to life in 1593 as "Dallas in frocks"), right down to the ordinary-people emotion of Imelda Staunton who is superb as Viola's nurse. In fact the entire ensemble cast (Tom Wilkinson, Martin Clunes, Rupert Everett, Jim Carter and Simon Callow) are all superlative and add hugely to its overall classy feel. There's John Madden's assured direction (he did "Mrs. Brown"), the beautifully evocative score by Steven Warbeck, the 17 fully reconstructed buildings and two theatres created by the Production teams and of course the movie's true ace-in-the-hole - the stunning screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman which successfully emulates the bard's genius while at the same time making him real and human to us. Back in late 2007 I posted a List in Listmania on Amazon UK called "25 Movie Dialogues You Must Hear Before You Die" - and number 6 is the scene where Paltrow talks of love to her nursemaid as she readies for bed ("...love that will overthrow mountains...come ruin or rapture...") - it's sensational stuff and in modern-day speak equal to the bard himself (no mean feat).

ASPECT/PICTURE QUALITY:
This Blu Ray's default setting is 2:35 aspect (puts borders on the top and bottom of the screen automatically), but I found taking it to full-screen on my Sony didn't distort or stretch the image too much - if at all. But the real deal here is the picture quality itself - which is never less than brilliant and at times truly beautiful. The most obvious and immediately noticeable thing is the costumes. There's a scene where the 'players' are finally staging "Romeo And Juliet" in front of a rapt audience at 'The Curtain' - it cuts to Colin Firth hanging from the rafters watching his new wife play Juliet and then cuts to Joseph Fiennes as Romeo on the stage opposite Paltrow - the colours in their clothes is just awesome. Even on the indoor scenes, the lighting is fabulous - little or no blocking - a hugely enjoyable experience.

Niggles - the extras are essentially the same as the DVD - the 20-minute 'Making Of' is particularly good and includes interviews with all the key people behind the camera and in front of it (as well as other actors already mentioned, Judy Dench and Ben Affleck are also included), but it's a shame there wasn't more dug out for this reissue - it deserved it. A minor point, but one worth making...

This BLU RAY reissue of "Shakespeare In Love" is a triumph - a romantic, funny and hugely uplifting film finally given a chance to shine - and with a gorgeous print.

In the words of the great man himself (from Sonnet 18):
"So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee..."

BLU RAY Credits:
VIDEO: Full 1080p High Definition Widescreen Transfer - 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
The "My Scenes" function allows the viewer to pinpoint a part of the movie you particularly like by pressing the Green button on your remote for the start and the Blue button to end it (only as it is playing). It will create a library of scenes for you to re-watch later...
AUDIO: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Italian, German, Spanish (Castellano) and Japanese DTS-HD 5.1
SUBTITLES: English SDH (Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing), French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Traditional Mandarin

BONUS Material:
* Making Of Documentary: "Shakespeare In Love And On Film"
* Feature Length Commentary by Director John Madden
* Feature Length Commentary by Cast And Crew
* Theatrical Trailer
* 21 TV Spots
* Academy Award Winning Costumes
* Deleted Scenes
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespearian Wit, 20 April 2000
By A Customer
Stoppard certainly knows what he's about: The plot is delightful and the references elegant, clever parodies if you spot them or inconspicuous parts of the plot if you don't. And the references are on all levels: to Shakespeares plays, his unknown life and the many theories that have been made about it, and his writer and actor collegues. Normally I'd hate "the person behind the genius-films" because they miss the point that it's precisely the work, not the person, that's interesting. However, this is not so much a film about Shakespeare as a story in its own right. There is no temptation to believe that "this is really how it was" and yet the information is so true to the period that even specialists need not be annoyed by uninformed inconsistencies. It's a cornucopia of Shakespearian wit!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for what it is., 28 Sep 2007
This review is from: Shakespeare In Love [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this movie not really expecting all that much from it I must admit, yes it had some big names (most notably in my opinion Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth) but apart from that it did seem to have little else that I would enjoy so I was most surprised with what it was. Yes the acting from some of them could have been better but it is still an amazing movie. It has the right mix of comedy ("Where's the dog?"), drama and romance... and that is without including the snippets of 'Romeo and Juliet' that are scattered throughout the piece and which i will also say are superbly used to add to the atmosphere.

Throughout the movie you are invited numerous times to experience the characters feelings and even I managed to feel sorry for 'Romeo' and 'Juliet' (aka. Shakespeare and Viola). My main problem with the movie is Queen Victoria (superbly acted by Dench) whose disposition seems to alter a bit too much.

I would most definitely recommend this movie to those people who can ignore the acting and just get swept up in the passion of the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bard of Avon calling......., 19 Dec 2008
By 
JohnHoppy (Jonzac, France) - See all my reviews
Avon Bard Joe Fiennes gets hots for Ethel the Pirate's daughter, who is a girl playing a boy playing a girl - sort of Julian Clary in drag. She (Paltrow) however, whilst idolizing Master Shakespeare, is betrothed to big-shot baccy-owner and general bad odour Colin Firth, to be whisked off to the New World - Milton Keynes. Bard uses girl as his muse - the next line was deleted - and Geoffrey Rush gets his toasted shoes back before Queen Judi rumbles the lot of `em and sends girl packing to Virginia. She should have taken the train because the ship sinks. Love's labours lost. But all's well that ends well: how? - it's a mystery. Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard's clever plotline must have looked like a plate of spaghetti, brilliantly trapping little tell-tale Shakespeare-isms in the dialogue; Stephen Warbeck's music lifts the hairs on your neck and draws the lovers together. Master Rush goes off to find Aphrodite Baggett who does it behind the Dog and Crumpet. Best film of the 90s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding class, 25 Jun 2008
This film will change your whole perspective on love. It has the ability to move you to both laughter and tears, and that reason alone places it in my top five of all time.

The acting is superb, as is the set design, choreography, script and costume. This film is packed with talent in the actors; Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow are brilliant throughout. But I love it when a film has not so big characters, yet the actors who play them make them their own and really make the most of it. Examples in this film would include Martin Clunes, Simon Callow, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth and above all Judi Dench.

I could rant on all day about the beauty of the script and the way in which Shakespeare is so characterised.

A film to see much sooner than your dying day.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The show must...........Go on!, 18 Jun 2007
What can you say about this film that hasn't already been said? Nothing, its absolutely brilliant, I noticed that someone gave it one star previously. Idiot. You do not have to have an intimate knowledge of The Bard to enjoy this film, a modicum of intelligence is useful but really anyone could & should enjoy this film. Its funny, witty, beautifully written & the acting is superb throughout, especially Tom Wilkinson who to be fair is brilliant in anything he is in anyway. Its also incredibly uplifting & the final scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow walking across the beach to the words of Twelth Night whilst Stephen Warbeck's incredible score grows ever louder in the background, never fail to inspire & move me to tears. A wondrous, wondrous film!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "For she shall be my heroine ... for all time., 12 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. M. M. Waller "Maximus" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is my favourite film for many reasons. Firstly, it reminds us that creative genius is not just about some hallowed deity who must always be detached from the human experience. He/she must live, love, feel pain and loss just like the rest of us, just as every artist must borrow, steal and hustle to find his inspiration in this world. Stoppard's Shakespeare is a universal manifestation of the creative spirit. The genius of this film is to make the humanisation of a man we know so very little about into a living, breathing, multi dimensional creation. This Shakespeare is one of us and as he struggles with his latest play, "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's daughter," we see him take some constructive criticism from a smug Marlowe in a seedy tavern and complain about the collapse of his "proud tower" to a back street psychiatrist played by Anthony Cher ... Christ, he almost sounds like me. And in the end, which is the real cherry on top of this already magnificent cake ... Stoppard shows us the transformative power of love as an idea that can live forever ... When Shakespeare turns his pain of losing Gywneth into art, we're close to the same idea Wagner had when he wrote Tristan and Isolde, an opera born out of the torment of Wagner himself loving a married woman he could not be with. Instead, Wagner consummated their love through his art and fashioned a masterpiece from it. And so, from one masterpiece to another, Shakespeare in Love is another transformative experience. What starts out as a bawdy knockabout comedy turns into a poetic treatise on the transcendent idea of love and art. Not bad for a british film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A note for US customers, 9 April 2011
By 
MisterHowie "misterhowie" (Falls Church, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This title is region free, as I've confirmed on two BluRay players (a crappy, cheap Magnavox and a Sony). Since it's not available as a direct, Region A release, this might be a good option for those who are tired of waiting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and very clever., 27 Jun 2012
By 
Susan E. Bennett (The North [UK]) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very funny but also very clever version of how Shakespeare might have come to write Romeo and Juliet. Captures the mood of the times and is a very enjoyable watch. item arrived super quick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UK Version Plays in US on PS3, 6 April 2011
It is not my intention to specifically review this U.K. Blu Ray release of "Shakespeare in Love". Instead, I wanted to alert any potential buyers of this European release that it plays FLAWLESSLY at 1080p/24 on the standard Sony PS3 at my home in the USA. Additionally, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio codec and subtitles are rock solid. The image is more accurate than on the recent Canadian (Alliance) 1080i transfer which also contains a 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track. Enjoy!
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