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Macbeth


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Macbeth + Great Performances: Macbeth + Macbeth / McKellen, Dench (Thames Shakespeare Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Sweet, Lachy Hulme
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SIWH0U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,780 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

With his fourth film Australian director Geoffrey Wright attempts to contemporize a Shakespeare classic. Featuring Elizabethan dialogue in the midst of an urban and violent modern-day setting MACBETH stars Sam Worthington as the title character.System Requirements:Running Time: 110 mins. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 013137217494 Manufacturer No: DV14174

Customer Reviews

It just seems awkward.
Cookie Crawford
Like Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Wright sets MacBeth in modern day Australia among Mafia-type gangsters.
moat
It was sick, twisted, and poorly done.
M. Burdette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Valderrama on October 2, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have taught this play 3xs a day for 15 years. It is no exaggeration to say that I consider it perfect. It contains Shakespeare's concisest expression of his insight into ambition, greed, remorse, emasculation, inevitability,and self-deception. The title character really does know better but he cannot help himself. Unlike many of the Bard's other great plays, this one achieves much of its tremendous power through its focus and economy, which brings me to Worthington's version. Naturally I went to see it in the theater, not knowing what to expect. I was blown away. For years I had pondered writing a contemporary version of the Scottish play but this movie beat me to it. I think everything about it works really well. My only criticism is that the famous "Tomorrow" speech is relegated to the end of the movie and it is shortened. This is the only choice I did not appreciate. Otherwise, this version may attract converts to what I think is the greatest play ever written. Finally, I am clear about one thing: this is a movie of a play. I don't expect the same things on the screen that I do in the theater.
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Format: DVD
It is refreshing to rest assured that Shakespeare remains a viable writer and no matter how his plays are manipulated or 'updated' or altered or interpreted, his majesty of the English language remains intact and the impact of his ideas and words sustain even the most bizarre reconsiderations. Such, for this viewer, is the case of MACBETH as condensed for the screen by writer/actress Victoria Hill and directed with intensity and sensitivity of communication by Geoffrey Wright. The result may seem to be a bloody mad feud suggesting a majority of the teen driven films of today, but consider the source: imagining Shakespeare's MACBETH without the gore would mean the meat had been removed.

Transferred from Scotland to Melbourne, Australia, the well-known fight for kingship among the Scots is transposed to be the turf struggle for supremacy in the underworld gangland of Melbourne. The script and the direction make this transposition work, using the original dialog from the play, placing it in the voices and bodies of an all-Australian cast, to the point that the allegiance of the actors as to place is far less important than the telling of a powerful tale of ambition. Sam Worthington makes an enigmatic yet strong Macbeth, well paired by Victoria Hill as his conniving and ultimately mad wife Lady Macbeth: the two form a chemistry that serves the original intent of the author well. The many characters who rise and fall in the wake of the ambition of Macbeth tend to blend a bit because of the condensation of the script, but Gary Sweet as the doomed Duncan, Steve Batoni as Banquo, and Lachy Hulme as Macduff are particularly fine. The three witches whose predictions drive the play here become nude seductresses and are well interpreted by Miranda Nation, Chloe Armstrong, and Kate Bell.
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91 of 107 people found the following review helpful By English teacher on May 2, 2008
Format: DVD
I bought this thinking that I could show it to my high school students--maybe a new twist on the text. However, not only was it poorly done, it was completely inappropriate for high school students. It seemed as if every time Lady Macbeth spoke, she needed to do a line of cocaine. In addition, Macbeth receives the witches' prophecies while having an orgy with them. So ridiculous. It was overacted and had tons of gratuitous violence. Yes, Macbeth is a violent play, but did they need to make the murder of Lady MacDuff sexually gratifying to her murderer? It just seemed way too over the top.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By hessa on July 15, 2008
Format: DVD
I am an English teacher, and I have always found Macbeth a tough sell with high school students. This modern take on the classic is the only film version available that appeals to a younger generation, and it uses the original text fairly effectively (albeit with many cuts). Think of this as the Macbeth equivalent of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, but without Luhrmann's visual sense of humor.

Yes, this Macbeth has its drawbacks, namely gratuitous nudity and an inexplicable orgy with Macbeth and the witches (I skip over these parts with my students). Overall, though, this film captures the violence of the play in a more contemporary context and, through visual cues, actually provides plausible motivations for the characters (e.g. Lady Macbeth is a suicidal drug user after the death of a son). Worth a look, but not for purists.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cookie Crawford on November 2, 2009
Format: DVD
WARNING

******************* THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ****************

I like "Macbeth" the best of Shakespeare's plays, partially because at least I can understand it. I'm college educated but not an academic, and unfortunately, with Shakespeare I usually only get about half of what's being said. (I'm sorry; I'm not so up on my 17th Century allusions.) But the play "Macbeth" is swift, clear, comparatively short, and the piece's themes are within grasp. Also, if properly done, its scary...which is involving.

I like when Shakespeare's plays are transported into non-traditional settings...THAT WORK. Moving this particular play to a modern-day, drug cartel environment -- as this version does -- doesn't quite snap into place, however.

The main problem with this adaptation is its actors, all of who, I am sure, have been or will be effective in other roles. But if this play is about Macbeth, then it seems to me you should have a very strong personality playing that role. Sam Worthington is handsome-ish, which is always nice, but seems too placid and withdrawn. Even if this king needs prodding from his wife to seize the day, he's still supposed to be a hungry and driven type. Worthington is neither of those things. The characterization of Lady M laid out here doesn't serve Victoria Hill any better. First she's shown weeping at her dead son's grave, which is an interesting touch...but then how does that merge with her later (famous) claim that she's sooner dash that baby's brains out than break a promise to her husband? There is simply no dynamic between this couple that conveys a deep partnership or shared destiny. Or even a mutual, morbid greed.
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