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Titus [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305962987
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,160 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
There are two ways of dealing with "Lesser Shakespeare". That is to say, there are two ways of dealing with the less famous, arguably less good, Shakespeare plays.
One is to produce it apologetically. To essentially say "Hi. Yeah. This is a Shakespeare play. It's not very good, but it's Shakespeare, so it must have *some* value, right? Sorry if you don't like it. We don't much, either".
The other is to embrace the play for all it's worth and try to squeeze every last drop out of what it has to offer. And such, it would seem, is the ethic of Julie Taymor.
Visually, "Titus" is superb and the casting is practically perfect. To rattle off a whole host of celebrities: Anthony Hopkins gives a world-weary battle-hardened eloquence to the title role, Jessica Lange is energetic and wonderfully evil as Tamora, Lennix plays Aaron with vigour and enthusiasm, Angus MacFadyen portrays Lucius superbly as the noble young soldier, Alan Cumming plays Saturninus with all the camp insanity befitting the part, Laura Fraser plays the part of Lavinia with exact distress and emotion the part needs and, in doing so, proves that she can actually act (which came as something of a surprise), James Frain does well as Bassianus, and Colm Feore, frequently overlooked in reviews, is superb as the noble brother of Titus, Marcus.
Sadly, Demetrius and particularly Chiron, played by Matthew Rhys and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers respectively, are less good. Rhys-Meyers seems to have only a vague impression of what his lines actually mean, and thus his interpretation of the part is not great.
The text is fairly heavily abridged, but so few people are familiar with the original text that Taymor easily gets away with it.
On the whole though, this is a really quite spectacular movie.
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Format: DVD
Despite taking all the liberties you can imagine with Shakespeares text this is an eye popping extravaganza of a movie.Mixing ancient and modern settings it coveys decadence and bleakness with real panache.It is violent and gory and somehow conveys the essence of the play .Hopkins is exellent...totally at home with the role.Lange and Cummings are miscast but it doesnt really matter.This is for fans of bloody revenge tragedy who dont mind it full on.
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Format: VHS Tape
TITUS ANDRONICUS is perhaps the least regarded of Shakespeare's plays, and there are several reasons. Written early in his career, it shows little of the brilliant language we associate with Shakespeare's work; moreover, the plot is extremely derivative and so extravagant as to be virtually unbelievable, owing a great deal to both Roman "closet drama" and the "revenge tragedy" popular at the start of Shakespeare's career. At best, most critics regard it as developmental; at worst, a virtually unperformable mishmash of spurting blood and grotesque comedy.
The plot is notoriously bloody. Titus Andronicus has returned to Rome after successfully subduing the Goths, and he brings with him Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and her three sons as prisoners. Upon his arrival, and in spite of Tamora's pleas for mercy, he sacrifices Tamora's oldest son--but when Tamora's charms cause the newly crowned emperor Saturnius to crown her as empress, Tamora and her Moorish lover Aaron plot to destroy Andronicus for his refusal to show mercy to her oldest son. And the revenge they wreck is horrific indeed, as is the revenge Andronicus seeks against them in return. Before the story ends, we've seen rape, limbs lopped off, tongues plucked out, and two heads baked in a pie.
Given the outrageous nature of the story and the very loosely constructed plot and script, it shouldn't be a surprise that director Julie Taymor's film is not entirely successful. What IS surprising is that TITUS is as successful as it is. Coming from a remarkably strong theatrical background, Taymor follows suit with the script, giving it the most extravagant visual and highly theatrical style her limited budget will allow. When it works, it works extremely well; when it fails, which is fairly often, it is at least visually interesting.
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Format: DVD
So bizzare it makes Luhrman's R+J look tame, this is a fantastic adaptation of one of the bards lesser known plays. The most striking thing is the presentation, with dramatic (and utterly unbelievable) melding of old and new high-lighting the barbarity and decadence of the Roman setting. None of the famous gore is done away with, and the lines remain absolutely killer. Hopkins plays to type, but thats no bad thing. Often overlooked by critics, 'Titus Andronicus' translates as well here as any other Shakespeare adaptation.
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Format: DVD
This isn't a great movie, but it certainly is a unique and gorgeous one. Titus is Julie Taymore's version of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, a tragedy with no heroes, no lessons, no values, but with great style, and with more than enough blood, murder, revenge, rapes, beheadings and mutilations. Taymore, who was the talent behind the style of The Lion King on Broadway, has set the story in a strange intersection of ancient Rome and fascist Italy, where spears and helmets coexist with motorcycles and armored cars, where there are newspapers, radio, aqueducts, marching legions and Thirties' debauchery.

Titus Andronicus (Anthony Hopkins) has returned to Rome after great victories against the Goths. He has lost many sons in the battles but brings back treasure and his captives, Tamora, Queen of the Goths (Jessica Lange), and her three sons. He has the eldest slain, dismembered and burnt as an offering to the gods. Tamora, implacable, swears her vengeance on Titus. Saturninus (Alan Cumming), who has claimed the imperial throne, sees Titus as a threat. Saturninus is self-indulgent, cruel and sly. He takes Tamora as his queen and sets in motion his own betrayals. Off to the side is Aaron the Moor (Harry Lennix), a man with his own need to bring down everyone and who, for his own purposes, allies himself for a time with Tamora. And there is Titus himself, full of pride and righteousness, who endures tragedy that leads to the death of most of his remaining sons, the rape and mutilation of his daughter and his disgrace. He achieves a terrible vengeance on them all.

The movie is hugely melodramatic and overstated, and that adds to its fascination. Taymore has given it a wild, odd, lush, eccentric look that carries it over the top and back again.
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