Hamlet (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
kids, let's put on a show. I'm tired of those silly musical reviews -
let's do Hamlet. Don't we have some costumes left over from when we
Wrong. Sorry kids, I know to be or not to be is the question, but in terms of making this movie, the correct answer was "not to be".
Where were all those critics who shit on Battlefield Earth when this came out?
|Well, I have to say that this is certainly the funniest version of Hamlet I've ever seen. I laughed out loud during this movie more than in There's Something About Mary. Ethan Hawke's Hamlet in this movie is actually funnier than Schwartzenegger's in "The Last Action Hero". Great stuff. I didn't realize Hamlet was such a funny, funny play.||
| I can
only hope that Ethan Hawke's Hamlet will be the harbinger of a zany
new 21st century look at that stodgy old fuddy-duddy, Shakespeare.
Spike Lee is already talking to Pauly Shore about doing Othello in
Blackface, with Chris Klein as the evil conniving Iago. Adam Sandler's
King Lear can't be far behind, nor Jason Biggs' MacBeth. Biggs
already has the Fargo hat from that other movie.
Announcer's voice: "Sylvester Stallone IS Prospero. 'Yo, Miranda-a-a-a-'"
Or, better still, why not a wacky claymation Hamlet, like Chicken Run? All of the violence at the end could involve splattering the clay, like Sluggo and Mr. Hand always did to Mr Bill. OOOOOOO0-nooooooooooooooooo!
Oh, hell, why stop there. Why not do Hamlet with household appliances? Hamlet's mom is a "motherboard", Hamlet is a modem who comes from the factory to find that his father, a Pentium Pro 200, has been replaced by his uncle, a Pentium 4, and he's now using his dad's old motherboard.
Imagine the concept they started with: take the director of that noted intellectual endeavor, Twister, and let him remake the most intellectual play in the English language, starring Ethan Hawke. Now that I think about it, I suppose that makes some sense. Hamlet himself is an excessively constricted self-important poseur, and Ethan certainly seems to have the basic credentials for the role.
And call me nutty, but I would have told the actors what the lines meant before they delivered them. That may have helped their readings. Well, except in the case of Bill Murray. He knew what the lines meant. It's just that he's Bill Murray.
They really made a mistake putting Schreiber in this film as Laertes. Hawke didn't seem too bad in comparison to Julia Stiles and Kyle Maclachlan and Bill Murray, but every time Schreiber showed up he performed with remarkable skill, and just plain showed how bad the rest of the cast stunk it up. Schreiber's scene at Ophelia's grave was remarkably real. (Actually, to be fair, I thought Sam Shepherd was OK as the ghost. He wasn't great with the language, but he really brought a credible presence to the role. And Diane Venora did an unusual spin on Gertrude, but it was interesting.)
Anyway, Shakespeare's melancholy Dane is now a melancholy New Yorker with a self-conscious Crispin-Glover-as-Andy-Warhol artiness, wearing a hat only slightly sillier than the one Frances McDormand wore in Fargo.
| I think some of
the ideas were clever. "Get thee to a nunnery" is a message
on a telephone answering machine. The ghost is seen on a security
camera. The play-within-a-play is actually a movie. Denmark is The
Denmark Corporation. Polonius spied on Hamlet by having Ophelia wear a
wire. "To be or not to be" is spoken in a Blockbuster Video.
Hamlet does fly in a Lear jet. A news announcer reads the final
lines off a teleprompter.
The sad thing: expect more crap like this. They are expecting a writer's strike, and Shakespeare is in the public domain.
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