Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jason previews a Shakespearean duel

A more detailed post will be coming soon. But I'm disappearing next week (even out rang of the interwebs), when a cinematic Shakespeare duel throws down.

Anyway, if you're like me you've been giggling at the trailers for "Hamlet 2" and humming "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" in your head. I really hope this movie is good. It comes out in limited release tomorrow and wider on Labor Day weekend.

But next Tuesday the really really independent Shakespeare movie comes out (on DVD)--"Never Say Macbeth" which was made for less that 1% of the budget of "Hamlet 2" (and that's billed as an independent film). The only reason I know about this is because one of the producers kindly contacted me and sent me a DVD screener. I watched it (actually a couple of months ago) during a family reunion. Because it was months ago I don't remember it well enough to give a detailed review (I'll watch it again after seeing "Hamlet 2" and give a more detailed comparison). Here's what I do remember--science guy travels across the country stalking his actress girlfriend. He accidentally gets a part in a production of the Scottish play, and then even worse he goes against all theater superstition and actually says the name of the play--Macbeth. Well, that unleashes ghosts of actors who were performing when the theater burnt down ages ago. Wacky hijinx ensue.

I remember we (I and my family) generally enjoyed it. The low budget does show, but it's still impressive for what they spent, and it was funny. Personally, I was more interested in the ghosts than in the love story (and the fact that three different ghost productions are going on is a good source of humor). As long as you can read around low production values (I.e., you're a film festival veteran) it's reasonably good family friendly fun. As I said, a more detailed review will come after I see "Hamlet 2" and rewatch "Never Say Macbeth".

I do have to mention a problem with the audio on my screener disk. Ummm...yeah, that's it, there was a problem with the audio on my screener disk. Sometimes the dialogue was too loud, sometimes we could barely hear it over the soundtrack. It wasn't bad enough that we missed what was happening, but it was distracting. However, I've been assured that this is only a problem with the screener, and the DVDs from the distributor should be fine. If any of my loyal readers buy or rent this, let me know if the audio is good.

And finally, I also want to give a little shout out to an even more independent Shakespeare movie, "Green Eggs and Hamlet". Why would I bring a 13 year old video into this duel? Simply put, yours truly has a cameo as a member of angry mob shouting "Laertes should be our sire! That is what we now desire!" So see, I'm a Shakespearean actor, too (and a scientist, and I didn't have to stalk a girl across the country to be both).

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