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Murder by Death - A friend recommended this but I gave up on it after about five minutes due to a) really horrible yellow-face that was destined to continue, and b) something I've just dubbed "hammer humour": comedy as a series of staccato one-liners, most of which miss their mark and hit your thumb instead.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - I really liked David Strathairn as Theseus but the highlight was Calista Flockhart playing a Helena as deranged as Ophelia: it's quite awesome.

Alas, everything aside from the main four characters is dead boring. The director keeps dragging out scenes that do nothing but show off how many extras, props, and make-up artists he could afford. (He's particularly fond of bikes, though admittedly Demetrius getting a flat tire explains why he can't outrun Helena.) And then for some reason he tries to make the play all about Bottom, starting with Bottom fleeing from his scolding wife, then ramping up his pathos in wanting a meaty role and the tension of whether their play will be a success, and finally lingering on Bottom trying wistfully to remember the details of his 'dream' night with Titania.

Lingering doesn't work in a Midsummer Night's Dream. Do you know why it includes four distinct plots? It's because not a single one of them is worth anything by itself as a story. So you've got to run them all one past the other pell-mell in such a rush that the audience doesn't have time to notice this.

Also, when Puck says
If we shadows have offended
Think but this and all is mended
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear
the viewer shouldn't be giggling at the thought that while Oberon and Titania were making up she actually did fall asleep.

On the plus side, it does give some fodder to my old vague idea of writing a story about the downsides of love potions.

Date: 2010-01-27 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] green-knight.livejournal.com
"hammer humour": comedy as a series of staccato one-liners, most of which miss their mark and hit your thumb instead.

I *so* want to retweet this. Err, you'd better tweet it first. This is *such* a useful phrase and explains my feelings completely.

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