I should not have stayed up late to watch Alias after the movies we rented last night, but it was so damn good that I can forgive them the last dozen or so crappy episodes. Good ol’ Jack, killing people and reviving them just so he can kill them again. That’s badass.
Kill Bill 1 was so exaggerated that I was laughing through most of it. You just can’t take a film seriously when fountains of blood erupt from dozens of severed limbs. Once Upon a Time in Mexico was only slightly less silly, but featured both Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp in tight black clothing, so at least I had something fun to look at.
The Ethan Hawke (sorry, the director escapes me) Hamlet was pretty blah, but it did get me thinking about the play again—I spent a semester in college studying the play and its film versions—and I remembered that I’d (someday) like to do a retelling from Ophelia’s point of view. I can’t decide if I’d like her to be truly crazy or just faking. I’ve always preferred the interpretation that Hamlet is faking madness to smoke out his uncle, but it’s harder to spin Ophelia as anything other than depressed and suicidal. I was hoping that Julia Stiles would do something interesting with the role, but she seemed a bit lost. Everyone else did too, except maybe Sam Shepherd as the ghost, so I can well imagine that the script and the direction were lacking. There was one interesting scene where she considered drowning herself in a swimming pool long before things went really sour. I like the idea that Ophelia had problems before Hamlet came along and worked her over. All in all, though, Hamlet doesn’t lend itself to a modern setting as well as Romeo and Juliet did—for one thing, Ophelia’s flower scene makes even less sense than ever—and it’s hard to like this version at all when we have the Zeffirelli (better known as the Mel Gibson) to admire. It falls even flatter than Kenneth Branagh’s bizarre, madcap attempt.
I’m catching up on my movie rentals, in case you couldn’t tell. Next up: O, featuring Julia Stiles in yet another modernized Shakespeare remake. This one’s gotten good reviews, unlike that awful Hamlet.