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Coriolanus
BLU-RAY disk
Jun 12, 2012 By: J.A. Hamilton
Coriolanus order download
Director:
Ralph Fiennes

Actors:
Ralph Fiennes
Gerard Butler
Vanessa Redgrave

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A decorated soldier of Rome is persecuted by his own people and ostracised after fighting a war that gets out of hand politically. Unhappy with this turn of events, he reluctantly joins forces with his sworn enemy to bring the fight back to Rome SPARTACUS style.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This has been quite a year for William Shakespeare; first we had ANONYMOUS and now we have CORIOLANUS, two very different plays/films. The latter is Shakespeare's last political play which is now translated into film for the very first time. This war based tragedy follows the rise and fall of Rome's great war hero, Caius Martius Coriolanus, your typical righteous solider type who's so damn noble, arrogant and full pride that he can't imagine his own people turning on him. I'm pretty sure Julius Caesar had that same problem, and we all know what happened to him. I'm not against an old fashioned tragedy from time to time, but I'm not big on military ones so this one fell a little flat for me.

Don't get me wrong, the film itself is gritty, well shot (nice breakout directing job by Ralph Fiennes) and the cast give fantastic performances, I just don't dig war flicks, even if they are laced with violence and political intrigue. I do however, like the concept behind the plot, the idea that he's got to align himself with his greatest enemy to destroy the place he'd have given his life for. Gerard Butler's a man made for action, no question there, but I'm still amazed at the fact that despite his commanding performance in 300, all he's really been given as action titles are pretty much GAMER (and underrated gem) and LAW ABIDING CITIZEN which doesn't really count. He's great here, you can feel the energy between him and Ralph Fiennes, whose also brilliant, especially considering he's directing the damn thing as well! The initial battle where Fiennes and his men go after Butler is a page right out of BATTLEFIELD 3 (a badass shooter game that came out last year). Bullets are flying, people are getting picked off left and right, it's pandemonium but in an exciting way, especially when Fiennes catches up to Butler. The fight scenes were well shot, well acted and well executed.

CORIOLANUS has it's pros, but it's still not without cons. I'm not big on war flicks true, so in order to not be bias I don't count that against the film. However, as anyone who went and saw ROMEO AND JULIET in theaters (the Leo one) will tell you, getting around the Elizabethan dialogue does take a distinct type of patience. I'm not sure which I'd rather have, that, or subtitles, though I'd prefer neither. That said, not using Elizabethan dialogue would devoid the film of any Shakespearian influence making the whole thing a moot point anyway, so I at least see why they did it that way. I'm also not all for his mother's character (played by the always awesome Vanessa Redgrave) and how easily she's willing to turn on her son (Et tu, mama!?), and then there's the payoff (or lack thereof) for our main character which also sucks major ballsack. But then again, they don't call it a Shakespearian tragedy for nothing.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Director Ralph Fiennes is a true gentleman and purist when it comes to film. He loves directing almost as much as he loves acting and it shows. I for one can't wait to see the first big budget property he tackles.

The Making of Coriolanus: Like the commentary, this making of segment focuses upon Fiennes and his love of both the source material and his craft. He must have been really anxious to see HARRY POTTER end so he could point his wand at other projects.

Previews: There's a couple trailers as well as a DVD Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
When I hear Rome, I think SPARTACUS or GLADIATOR...I don't think of machine guns or Shakespeare. I'm not a hater when it comes to a good story or play, but these up to date renditions of Shakespeare's plays just aren't the same thing. C'mon Hollywood, I read enough Shakespeare in school, don't make me watch the damn things two or three times a year too!
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3:30PM on 06/15/2012
Don't get me wrong I respect you opinion Hamilton and have enjoyed your columns but why did you review this movie if you did not like Shakespearean dialogue or war movies? I mean I can understand if your the only reviewer but it just bothers me that you review a genre that you just don't like.
Don't get me wrong I respect you opinion Hamilton and have enjoyed your columns but why did you review this movie if you did not like Shakespearean dialogue or war movies? I mean I can understand if your the only reviewer but it just bothers me that you review a genre that you just don't like.
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