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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2010
Baz Luhrman's amazing adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" gains so much, and loses nothing in the digital transfer for bluray. Vibrant colours, amazing picture quality and terrific sound options, hours of extra features, and so great to see Leo before be became so well known in films like The Departed and Inception although his acting prowess is certainly obvious here.
Run, don't walk, to add this one to your collection!
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on 11 September 2005
Bringing Shakespeare into the current day is always a risky business, at its best it can lend new and modern insights and reach out to a generation that might otherwise remain estranged; at worst it grates and jars. This film manages to do both in equal measure. The film is certainly not for the purist, the original script seems largely optional both in terms of which bits are used and the order in which the lines appear. It is ironic that the films most captivating scenes - the drug trip and the electrifying ending particularly spring to mind - are the ones with which greatest liberties have been taken. Baz Luhrmann seems to have come up with a Shakespearean film in which the bits that are Shakespeare's aren't good and the bits that are good aren't Shakespeare's, which must be something of a first.
The direction generally does not match that of Zefirelli's 1968 classic, and nor does the casting. DiCaprio may guarantee bums on seats but he looks at sea in several scenes and Claire Danes, though competent throughout, seems to lack the sexual chemistry needed to ignite the play in whatever format it appears. The other cast members vary between competent (Brian Dennehy as Papa Montague; Dash Mihok as Benvolio) and cringingly bad - Harold Perrineau taking the homosexual undertones of Mercutio's psyche to levels more camp than the Rocky Horror Picture Show; Mirian Margoyles Spanish accent requiring protective waterproof clothing for her fellow cast members. The one exception is Pete Postlethwaite who, despite having half his part chopped out to facilitate the all-new ending, is a riveting Friar Lawrence; take away all his lines and he would still steal every scene.
This film will never escape its tag of "dumbed-down" Shaespeare, nor does it deserve to: it is. The subtlety and slow burn of the inevitable slide into passion-fuelled tragedy is sacrificed for the wham-bam of the gangster movie and the assumption of the 40-second attention span. This is Hollywood -Shakespeare, done by Americans for Americans, it still is a rollicking good story but, if you really want transatlantic Shakespeare at its best, go see West Side Story.
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on 25 January 2012
I got this for my Grandaughter, we spent a lovely evening watching it, I felt it helped a young child begin to experience Shakespear in a way that she could relate to it.
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on 27 May 2005
Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom) brought Shakespeare to a new generation in this surprise smash hit, a dizzying, electrifying and visceral translation of Romeo and Juliet. There is of course nothing particularly new about contemporising Shakespeare but it is the total and utter success of linking urban gang culture and pop iconography to every level of Shakespeare's timeless tragedy of love and intolerance that makes it such an unforgettable experience. His respect to Shakespeare's script and clever use of Elizabethan language is present in every scene. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes exude chemistry and depths of performance with DiCaprio in particular proving himself much more than the latest Hollywood heartthrob. Though not extensive, the extras are insightful and well produced. One of the most talked about films of the nineties, Baz Luhrmann has succeeded in making Romeo and Juliet controversial, shocking and deeply clever, which is of course exactly what the great bard intended.
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on 5 October 2013
Grandaughter is studying this at school and requested the one with the delightful Leo in it ... preferred the original myself .......... Arrived quickly as always.
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on 30 March 2013
This product was excellent excellent even though though it was used it was still excellent.Romeo poisons himself and juliet shoots herself in the head at the end.
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on 18 February 2016
Quick delivery, would recommend.
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on 17 May 2016
Wonderful modern interpretation.
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on 18 February 2010
This DVD was a better buy over the other Baz R&J cover as it has a special feature that compares the script to the movie. Good to use if you're in a classroom.
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on 9 February 2009
Not my cup of tea, prefer the book. My Grandaughter needed this for GCSE English. took time in arriving but did the job and at half the price of the shops.
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