I try to avoid product reviews of any kind on this blog, because I think it's obnoxious and stupid when blogs other than Engadget or Daddytypes comment on things to buy. You shouldn't normally trust my opinion anyway, at least not while I'm under such heavy sedation. But something I've been waiting for for a decade is finally available, and the world needs to know.
It's Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet on DVD.
Despite my infantile love for movies with big explosions, butts getting kicked, or cheesy production values, I also enjoy heady explorations of internal struggles for vengeance and sanity, set against a backdrop of castle intrigue with oedipal overtones, particularly if spoken in iambic pentameter. (See also: Strange Brew)
When I parked my ass at the Lagoon Theater for four hours of the Bard back in 1996, I expected a good show. Branagh rocked the house with Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, and Dead Again remains one of the best movies no one saw. Plus, I'd taken an entire class just on Hamlet in college, so you could say I had some familiarity with the play.
As I would soon be reminded by George Lucas, lofty expectations tend to result in disappointment.
Not this time. I was blown away. It ruled.
And for some reason Warner Brothers--the same company that managed to get Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and Kangaroo Jack out on DVD lickity-split--have been dragging their feet releasing it. Something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Maybe they were too busy prepping for Oscar season.
The wait is over. I'm psyched to fire up Excalibur and bathe in the warm glow of madness and revenge, sex and love, politics and treachery, and ghosts, both real and figurative. After all, to thine own self be true!*
* Ok, that last quote doesn't exactly make a ton of sense in context, but I wanted to end on a quote, and neither "frailty, thy name is woman" nor "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio" seemed to fit the bill. So sue me.