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By TheophileEscargot (Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:35:03 PM EST) Theatre, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Theatre: "Hamlet". Watching: "Machete", "Secret of Kells". Links.

Saw Hamlet at the National. Liked it a lot. Didn't feel too long, though it was three and a half hours with an interval.

The play seemed to get a lot more laughs than usual. Reminded me of a theory I read recently that Hamlet was much more of a comedy than it's usually played. He compared it to Young Frankenstein, half-mocking and half-exploiting the corny conventions of the previous generation of drama. There's obviously some element of that in the play-within-a-play, but this guy reckoned the speeches of Hamlet himself are deliberately overdone, and his indecision a mockery of the agonized dithering of earlier heroes.

Rory Kinnear made a pretty decent Hamlet, pretty brisk and playful in the mad scenes, better than the furniture-chewing Jude Law I saw last.

Production was in modern dress, some nice touches like having some of the speeches addresses to videocamera, but thought it undermined the stuff about Ophelia's chastity to have her so modern-seeming.

Overall, pretty good, worth seeing. The Travelex tickets are only £10 so it's about the same price as a movie.

Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Whingers, reviews.

Update [2010-11-30 18:38:17 by TheophileEscargot]:
Rory Kinnear has just won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for best actor for the role. Hmm, should have been more effusive I suppose.

What I'm Watching
Also saw Machete at the cinema. Robert Rodriguez expanded the Grindhouse original trailer to feature length.

The result is a pretty good movie: fast-moving, cheesy fun. Had a couple of minor quibbles: thought the ending broke down a little bit by going over-the-top, and the CGI looks a bit odd with the dirty film stock. Overall though, good, tasteless entertainment.

Lots of violence and nudity as you'd expect. RT. Interesting how similar it was to Hamlet. An unsympathetic protagonist seeking revenge for the death of a loved one, played sometimes straight, sometimes as a spoof of an older genre, ending with an blade fight with the antagonist, whose own treachery ironically leads to some of the deaths.

What I'm Watching 2
Saw animated feature The Secret of Kells on DVD. Lovely animation about an incident in the creation of the illuminated manuscript the Book of Kells, with an intricate, flowing animation style inspired by the Book itself. Great character design from the stiff Abbot to the menacing Northmen. The plot is slight but it does the job. Well worth seeing.

What I'm Not Reading
Not sure why, but haven't been reading much in the last couple of weeks. Got a bit fed up with Paolo Bacigalupi's "Ship Breaker" a few chapter's in, but haven't felt like anything else either.

Socioeconomics. Laffer Curve for footballers: max-revenue tax rate is 80%. Praying mantis not always a man-eater.

Video. Police Squad. TRONified Modern Times, Aliens. more. N-scale trains, more. Complete 46-minute Krapp's Last Tape. Defenestration compilation. Nicholas Cage loses his shit. Aurora Borealis timelapse.

Articles. Vigilante Native American. Year in the life of a foster parent.

Politics. Wintervalmyth is back: ConDems saying "we've slashed council budgets, but cut Xmas lights and we'll set the Mail on you?" Spectator apologizes for Melanie Phillips smear.

Random. 24 types of Libertarian. The 9 Circles of Scientific Hell.

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They just fucked... with the wrong Dane | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 04:59:17 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby

Machete: by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:03:18 PM EST
I was disappointed by the lack of genuine celebrity nudity. I wanted to see LiLo's baps in motion.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (4.00 / 2) #4 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:15:00 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby

[ Parent ]
Secret of Kells by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:04:10 PM EST
Is available on an iPhone comic reading app called Comix, first issue free. One of my favourite iPhone apps yet.

Glad Machete is good, might go and see it this week. I don't mind the CGI/dodgy film stock thing - all part of the general stupidity :)

It's political correctness gone mad!

A much maligned genre I feel by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #5 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:27:39 PM EST
Sometimes you don't want literary prize winning  dialogue, arty camera angles, and clever cinematic devices.  Not that I've anything against them, mind.

Sometimes you want a steak done to perfection in a garlic herb sauce, other times a greasy sausage inna bun hits the spot.  Poor acting, excessive explosions, pointless nudity, just get the beers and popcorn in and park your mind in neutral for 90 minutes or so.

[ Parent ]
Oh definitely by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #6 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:34:30 PM EST
I'm a big fan of trashy fun :)

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Likewise! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 06:56:27 PM EST
If I want challenging films, I'll watch them, and do.

But sometimes, you want that rubbish OTT zero culture film, which is usually panned by the critics who're looking at it as art, not entertainment.

Tarantino's early stuff had the media elite in a spin though; awful OTT interspersed with cinematic "approved" goodness.

[ Parent ]
Did you give up on / never bother with by darkbrown (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Nov 30, 2010 at 04:49:06 AM EST
Robert Jordan? I don't remember seeing you (or anyone else) review the second part of the final trilogy, and it's been out nearly a month.

I read the first couple of Wheel of Time books by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Nov 30, 2010 at 01:39:31 PM EST
About when they came out, then just thought, crap: this is just going to keep going for ages isn't it...
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I liked Secret of Kells by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Nov 30, 2010 at 07:52:38 AM EST
I thought Tasha Robinson had an take:

This isn’t a typical, predictable hero’s journey; the protagonist isn’t going to magically defeat the bad guys, win the girl, and live happily ever after, and the antagonist is more an idea to be faced than a literal creature to be fought. Viewers going in with Disney-esque expectations are likely to be baffled by the seemingly tragic ending, the mysterious monster, and the spirit-girl who comes and goes at will, and doesn’t turn up at the last minute to save the day.

Iambic Web Certified

They just fucked... with the wrong Dane | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback