08/23/2014  
Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD Aug 26The Twilight Zone: The Complete '80s Series on DVD Aug 26Trust Me on DVD Aug 26The Midnight Special Collector's Edition on DVD Sep 9Revelation Trail on DVD Aug 26Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD Aug 26Varsity Blood on DVD Aug 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

"Simpsons" Marathon Ratings Are Huge For FXX ...
Miley Cyrus is banned from performing in the Dominican ...
Mo'ne Davis strikes out six, allows three runs against ...
Billy Crystal will honor Robin Williams at the Emmy Awa...
Murder, revenge, lust and rampage take over 'Sin City' ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Macbeth (1971)

"Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers."
- Lady Macbeth (Francesca Annis)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: May 06, 2002

Stars: Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw
Other Stars: Terence Bayler, Nicholas Selby, John Stride, Stephan Chase
Director: Roman Polanski

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for (violence, gore, nudity)
Run Time: 02h:20m:05s
Release Date: May 07, 2002
UPC: 043396077805
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+B+B+ D+

DVD Review

William Shakespeare, had he lived 400 years later, would in all likelihood have had an outstanding career as a screenwriter. Combining a felicitious turn of phrase and timeless rhythm of language with a brutality and gusto that plays to the cheap seats, he also leavened his scripts with a healthy does of understanding of the human psyche. Roman Polanski here presents a properly blood-soaked rendition of one of the shortest of the Bard's plays, Macbeth.

Set in the Scotland of about 1000 years ago, the play features the thane Macbeth (Jon Finch), who is battling in the service of King Duncan (Nicholas Selby). When he runs across three witches who prophesy that Macbeth will hereafter be king of Scotland, Macbeth and his lady (Francesca Annis) decide to help fate along by murdering Duncan in his sleep. But uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, especially one got in such a fashion, and the circle of killing must grow ever more and more. This classic play of unfettered ambition also delights in the guilt that torments both Macbeth himself as well as his wife, who is the driving will behind his deeds.

Filmed shortly after the vicious knife murder of Polanski's wife Sharon Tate by the Manson Family, this picture seems to be an exorcism of sorts for the director. The picture runs free with gore, with much hacking and stabbing with knives, often in uncomfortable reenactment of the Tate murder. It is of course appropriate for this play, however, and the subject matter no doubt drew Polanski's attention for this reason. Since it was funded by Hugh Hefner, there was no doubt a nudity clause requiring a certain amount of bare flesh. However, Hef probably didn't count on the aged, obese and deformed coven of witches fulfilling that clause for him.

The cast is quite understated for the most part. Jon Finch plays Macbeth as sullen more than anything; he does get in some good moments just after Duncan's death and again right near the climax. Francesca Annis seems rather frail and feminine to make a proper Lady Macbeth, but she does add a bit of spunk at times. Terence Bayler's Macduff tends to stick out as far more animated than the rest of the cast, which helps to compensate for the very short screen time that he occupies.

Polanski adds a number interesting touches to the text. In a literal foreshadowing, the shadow of Duncan's crown falls over Lady Macbeth's face as she plots his slaughter. After Duncan's murder, the sounds of ordinary life—roosters and hogs included—continue unabated, underlining the frailty of human dominance. The sword battles are energetic (and include some hand-to-hand fighting in armor to boot) and quite entertaining. The effects, including decapitations, get the job done without looking desperately fake or phony. The settings are striking, most notably Castle Macbeth perched atop an outcropping like an enormous stone vulture.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The widescreen Todd-AO picture is presented in anamorphic manner, even though the keepcase neglects to mention this point. For the most part, this looks fabulous, with excellent and sharp detail, bright and vivid colors (set against the foggy greys of Scotland) and fine solid blacks with plenty of shadow detail. Unfortunately, the first five minutes or so look absolutely terrible. Covered with dirt, damage and scratches (including a green scratch on the right side that lasts for several minutes), the opening sets one up for a hideous viewing experience. Thankfully, it gets light-years better, but one must wonder at why Columbia would start this picture off with such a thud.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono English track sounds quite good. There is hardly any audible hiss or noise, and there is plenty of detailed sound. The swordfights have a clanging presence that sounds wonderful. The music by The Third Ear Band is rather atonal and not to my tastes at all, but it comes through fine, without significant distortion.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sense and Sensibility
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extras are a pair of 1.85:1 nonanamorphic trailers. The first is a hissy and rather beaten-up trailer for the principal film; the other is a very pretty one for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. One wonders at exactly who at CTHE thought this was an appropriate pairing...."If you liked the gorefest that is Macbeth, you'll love the twisted swordplay and extreme violence of bloodthirsty Jane Austen's senses-shattering epic!" Yep, I can see it now. The chaptering is the usual 28 stops from Columbia.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

A bloody rendition of The Scottish Play, with some good choreography and visual interest. The transfer is quite good, except for a shabby first few minutes, but little is to be had in the way of extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, celebrity, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, movie, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, music, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, comedy, box office, movies, teenage mutant ninja turtles, guardians of the galaxy, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966, horror, tiburon ca, mara buxbaum, susan schneider, robin williams, hazelden addiction treatment center, aladdin, happy feet, robots, fern gully., 2014 teen choice awards, sarah hyland, tyler posey, ansel elgort, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, kylie jenner, drama, basketball, san antonio spurs, kari gallegos-doering, colorado state, greg popovich, the big bang theory, kaley cuoco, haircut, johnny galecki, jim parsons, ruam sweeting, documentary, victoria beckham, south africa, mothers2mothers, 600 items, auction

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact