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Romeo + Juliet
BLU-RAY disk
11.04.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Romeo + Juliet order download
Director:
Baz Luhrmann

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Claire Danes
John Leguizamo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Romeo of Montague and Juliet of Capulet, the star-crossed lovers who were enemies by blood yet bound to one another through a forbidden love that costs them both their lives. William Shakespeare’s tragic love story is known and cherished by all as one of the greatest stories ever told, and this just happens to be the “in the now” version of the tale that took things to a whole new level.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I’m sure that by now nearly everyone on the planet has at the very least heard of Romeo and Juliet if not seen one of the many incarnations of this play. I’m not really a Shakespeare fan and absolutely loathed most of the stories we had to read in Junior High and High School. I think nearly every guy enjoyed seeing Juliet’s awesome rack in the original film (I know I did) but other than that, I didn’t care much for it. This film promised to bring something new and cool to the table though and I remember going into it with high hopes (and a hot date). I have some reservations of course, but all in all, this flick is good times.

I guess I’ll start with the bad, and there’s really only one thing that got on my nerves here, the dialogue. I not sure what the universal opinion on this was but I personally wished they’d have talked normal instead of the way they did. I still giggle when I hear Brian Dennehy say, “Fetch me my long sword,” as he reaches for his shotgun but other than that, it becomes a little tedious. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE was probably my favourite incarnation of this tale and not just because they talked normally. There was a perfect blend of romance, action and comedy while bringing something new to overall story (and how could you not laugh your ass off at Shakespeare’s original title for the play: Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter). Priceless.

I’ve always been a Leo fan and absolutely love him as Romeo. The ballroom scene was magnificent and both Leo and Claire Dane’s costumes perfect (could’ve done without seeing Mercutio in drag). My favourite character performance was from John Liguizamo as Tybalt the Prince of Cats. His quickened intro with the guns was all kinds of badass and everything he brought to the character was perfect down to the letter. The battle scenes were well done and cleverly incorporated with style and flare. Regardless of how corny everyone sounds, I loved that they all took their roles one hundred percent seriously.

ROMEO + JULIET never looked sexier or as over-the-top as it does here. This isn’t my favourite version (I’d have to go with SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE on the romance side but ROMEO MUST DIE on the action side) but once you get beyond the dialogue this film is a true feast for the eyes and looks phenomenal on Blu-ray. And no matter how many times you’ve seen this story told, this is the only version that had Romeo dropping acid before he meets Juliet (awesome) and for all you tug on the heartstring types, this version’s ending is without a doubt the most powerful as Romeo actually sees that Juliet isn’t dead, probably THE scene that will forever make this film a gem.
THE EXTRAS
“Shaking up Shakespeare”: While watching the film icons will appear on the bottom of the screen allowing access to behind-the-scenes bonus material for you to enjoy and add to the overall experience. Standard stuff but fun as always.

Commentary: Director Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Donald M. McAlpine and Craig Pearce give us an interesting commentary as they all try to make rhyme or reason of Shakespeare’s genius while sharing how and why they decided to tweak it.

From the Bazmark Vault: Here we get some raw material from the cutting room that features Romeo and Juliet’s first kiss, stuff from Romeo’s beach scene, outside the Church as well as some uncut rehearsal footage.

Romeo + Juliet: The Music: This is pretty much a mini-documentary on the film’s score and a look at how much work went into making it perfect. I found the score fantastic but I had no idea how picky they were when putting it together.

Galleries: There are a couple different photo galleries (which should have been combined into one) to sift through as well as an interview gallery that focuses primarily on Leo, Danes and Leguizamo. I wish these interviews were recent but sadly they’re from back in the day.

Previews: There’s a lone theatrical trailer for the feature.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Romeo and Juliet are easily the most likable characters in the most empathetic of situations and I’m sure it’s for this reason people cherish this story as much as they do. I wouldn’t say this is a “must own” title but it is one you can watch every year or two so now’s as good a time as any to buy it if you don’t own it.
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6:37PM on 11/09/2010
I also adore this film......one of the few "chick" flicks I love and that ending always gets me.
I also adore this film......one of the few "chick" flicks I love and that ending always gets me.
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2:49AM on 11/05/2010
I love this movie! Glad to know the BR is worth it.
I love this movie! Glad to know the BR is worth it.
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