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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.04%
Worth A Look30.43%
Average: 23.19%
Pretty Bad: 20.29%
Total Crap: 13.04%

5 reviews, 39 user ratings

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Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999)
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by Chris Parry

"A little messy, but mostly great fun."
3 stars

You know the story. If you don't, do your damn homework! So the only question remaining is have the makers stayed true to the original Shakespeare masterpiece, or have they done a Ten Things I Hate About You and started the bard spinning in his grave? The answer is somewhere in the middle. This rework is modernised to a point, but in no means is it teen, or Hollywood, crap.

With a cast like Tucci, Pfeiffer, Kline, Marceau and Everett, how could you go wrong? Well, you could add Christian Bale, David Strathairn and Ally McBeal.

Just to stray off the topic for one second, let it be known that slimming disease candidate Calista Flockhart does go topless in this film. Let it also be known that this will provide no excitement to you unless you like looking at 12 year old boys. Back to the review.

Midsummer has undergone more shake-ups over the years than any other Shakespearian piece. Modernised, humourised (is that a word?), eroticised, plagiarised. But it's always been a piece that can be malformed and still be entertaining.

In this version, the characters are moved from Greece to Italy, from olden times to the late 19th century. But there's something about this film that takes it away from the usual modernisation crap we're forced to endure...

...the production design. This is a stage play, put on film. The sets are high school stuff, the characters on screen and off too fast to be able to get bored, and the subplots are as engaging as traditionally shown. The director is putting on a play for us, and it works. Resisting the urge to go big works well, especially with such a big cast. Wouldn't you pay ten bucks to go see Kline, Flockhart, Pfeiffer, Everett, Marceua and Tucci put on a stageplay? I'd be there opening night!

But the whole thing is let down by some ordinary, even lacklustre, performances by some of the lesser lights. Bale is not even worth further discussion, and if this is his level then I fear what might happen to American Psycho. His supporting 'lovers', are mostly awful (with the exception of Dominic West and some surprising work from Flockhart - though her McBeal mannerisms seap in a lot). Strathairn is really wooden, hopelessly lost in Shakespeare.

But there's so much going on that these down-sides are well hidden, and the end scene with Sam Rockwell emptying out his heart... Awesome. That guy, mark my words, he will one day win Oscars, and not just one.

If you don't want to endure the Godzilla-like empty hype of Star Wars, grab a ticket to this one instead. You won't have to fight for a seat, and you'll enjoy yourself.

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originally posted: 05/13/99 16:48:11
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User Comments

3/23/17 Lola Very good, Funny and Romantic. 5 stars
4/20/10 brian Now that the mindless children have spoken, let me just say that it's gorgeous. 4 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White You have to like Shakespeare to get thru it 3 stars
9/09/07 someone I loved Calista Flockhart as Helena she was ausom but the rest SUCKED!!! 2 stars
4/15/07 grenda larindi its was one of the best films i ever saw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/15/05 Fred it was very crap 1 stars
3/17/05 JLI This movie is fantastic! 5 stars
1/25/05 Cat Play was Great 4 stars
11/07/04 Stephen Now IT SUCKED 1 stars
9/05/04 DM Great play, bad movie 2 stars
6/15/04 R V Warden Could not enjoy it 2 stars
6/03/04 saman this movie sucked 1 stars
5/30/04 Erica cum on- calista flockhart was gud! 3 stars
4/03/04 Shitaki Mushrooms WHat tha shit was the movie about? Had no idea, cause it was fucked ^! 1 stars
3/30/04 Ashley Daily This movie had a wonderful fantasy air to it that we haven't seen in awhile! 4 stars
1/25/04 Elena BLEAH! GAR-BAHGE! Calista Flockhart ruined the entire, boring, defiling of Shakespeare film 1 stars
1/16/04 Gecko Fanfoot Kevin Kline is the bright spot in this turd. Michelle Pfeifer should get the death penalty 1 stars
5/19/03 salice it doesnt make sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
7/30/02 Pig Fucker Possibly the most underrated movie ever. Lots of magic (and fantastic acting) at work here 5 stars
7/25/02 Zargo nice 4 stars
3/16/02 joe this is the most fuckin shities book ever 1 stars
1/30/02 chester nabrasker good nudity 1 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden I Liked The Book, but Couldnt' Connect To This. 2 stars
5/08/01 Gracy Lionheart I loved Much Ado About Nothing and Taming Of The Shrew, but this didn't float my boat. 2 stars
6/25/00 Naushad Khanji Directors should not waste time translating dated 16th century plays. 2 stars
3/08/00 Kyle Broflovski My favorite Shakespeare play, aside from "Hamlet" 4 stars
12/22/99 Goodfellow A wondrous movie, bottomlessly mirthful and entertaining. A masterpiece 5 stars
8/18/99 Franco Ugazzi 5 stars
8/01/99 Blue sky I loved Kevin Kline as Bottom 5 stars
7/30/99 Thantalos beautifull castle setting, origninal dialog worked better than "R&J in LA gangs" 5 stars
7/10/99 Amanda A relatively good take on one of my favorites. The sets in the Faery Forest are exquisite. 4 stars
7/09/99 bridgette eh... good at times, boring at others. 3 stars
6/10/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! Great,solid acting......but lame........sorry shakespeariens! 2 stars
6/08/99 Lashan Lynn I liked it. I saw it with a girl, and it was and is a great DATE movie. Not great, but good 4 stars
6/07/99 jules fucking lame! 2 stars
5/28/99 Feral Completely forgettable yet enjoyable fluff with intermittently solid acting. 4 stars
5/28/99 pipeman I really enjoyed this film. It was beautifully done. MichelleP was only adequate though. 5 stars
5/17/99 Mr Showbiz Not for lack of talent, Hoffman's adaptation is joyless and uninspired. 3 stars
5/15/99 Bats Don't expect high-tech effects, just some solid acting from most of the cast. 4 stars
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  14-May-1999 (PG-13)


  20-May-1999 (M)

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