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Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom) takes a shot at reinventing Shakespeare's story of star-crossed lovers as a visual pastiche inspired by MTV imagery, Hong Kong action-picture clichés, and Luhrmann's own taste for deliberate, gaudy excess. The result is explosive chaos, both in terms of bullets and visual sensibility, which some may find impossible to stick with for more than a few minutes. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes play the leads, though not with much distinction, while Pete Postlethwaite makes a huge impression as this movie's version of Friar Laurence. The film is successful in spots, but overall its fever-dream game plan is difficult to ride out.--Tom Keogh
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Movies, Drama, William Shakespeare, Leonardo Cicaprio

Details

CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Pete Postlethwaite, John Leguizamo
DirectorBaz Luhrmann
Genre:  Romance
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Screen WriterBaz Luhrmann, William Shakespeare, Craig Pearce
Studio:  20th Century Fox
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review by . May 02, 2011
We had started watching this in my English class, but we had never gotten around to finishing it, so I thought I might as well take advantage of illness and finish it. In retrospect, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with a modern setting but Elizabethan dialogue was a bad idea. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, and the dialogue certainly is beautiful, but if I were to go back in time and advise Baz Luhrmann about this movie, I would tell him to either keep the Elizabethan setting …
Quick Tip by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ignore DiCaprio and it is a brilliant film, unfortunately he speaks roughly a third of the lines .... it's chocolate mousse fouled up by having a third of it made with jello-pudding. Watch it with the finger on the mute button for when he talks.
review by . March 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Updating or modernizing a masterpiece is always a daunting task. Who remembers, for example, Mozart's re-orchestration of Handel's "Messiah"? For whatever reason, many people seem to think that re-writing or re-staging or re-plotting the Bard should be encouraged -- even in the most bizarre of directions. There have been some successes: "West Side Story" is a brilliant work of art. "The Lion King" is essentially "Hamlet" with a happy ending. (I'll let others decide if this was a good idea or not.)    …
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