McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Adele announces first tour since 2011 for album "25" ...
Kathie Lee Gifford's Family Reveals Her Late Husband Fr...
American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...

Microsoft Store

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

Image Entertainment presents
Edward II (1992)

"Curse me, depose me. Do the worst you can."
- King Edward II (Steven Waddington)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 14, 2005

Stars: Steven Waddington, Andrew Tiernan, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry
Other Stars: Kevin Collins, Jerome Flynn, John Lynch, Dudley Sutton, Annie Lennox, Jody Graber
Director: Derek Jarman

Manufacturer: Deluxe
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, sexuality, and some language
Run Time: 01h:30m:19s
Release Date: June 14, 2005
UPC: 014381125726
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-A-B+ C

DVD Review

King Edward II is generally considered to be one of the most ineffectual and unpopular kings ever to grace the throne of England. That reputation in no small part derives from the 16th-century history play written by Christopher Marlowe, which maligns the king and his love for Piers Gaveston. This modern-dress adaptation by innovative director Derek Jarman rehabilitates Edward to some extent, shifting the cloak of villainy elsewhere.

After the death of his father, Edward I, a highly popular conqueror and strong leader, Edward II (Steven Waddington) summons his lover Piers Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan) back from exile to England. Showering gifts, titles, and favors upon Gaveston, Edward earns the outrage of the peerage, clergy, and military, the latter led by Mortimer (Nigel Terry). Queen Isabelle (Tilda Swinton), rebuffed by Edward, engineers the return of Gaveston so that he may be murdered more easily. Civil war ensues, with King Edward vacillating between bloody revenge and weepy melancholy.

Jarman was not one to stand on niceties, and this adaptation pulls few punches. The violence is often as brutal as one is likely to see short of Japanese pornography; particularly notable are the torture of the Bishop of Winchester (Dudley Sutton) for his part in exiling Gaveston, and Mortimer strangling Spencer (John Lynch) with his bare hands. Sexuality also is in the forefront, with many scenes including men having sex in the background.

Sexuality is Jarman's main concern here, seeing Edward's torment as literal gay-bashing by the Establishment and the bourgeoisie; Edward becomes a martyr to gay rights at the hands of the church and the army. There are a few issues with this, since Marlowe's text makes much of Gaveston's low birth and the issues seem to be more of class than sexuality. Furthermore, Mortimer, ringleader of the rebellious barons and a military man, is himself homosexual as presented by Jarman (though he simply may be considering Mortimer a hypocritical closet queen). But certainly Marlowe's subtext has been read for many years to be a complaint about Edward's sexual preferences, and thus Jarman's comments, inconsistent as they may be, have a certain validity when juxtaposed against the text.

Waddington is acceptable as Edward, though he seems so inoffensive that one wonders why he excites such resentment, or inspires the initial love from the queen that turns to hatred. Tiernan makes for a gleefully wicked Gaveston, who enjoys all the perks and even more his opportunities for revenge. The most depth comes with Swinton's portrayal of Queen Isabelle, with complicated feelings and difficult (if not opaque) motives that may not be clear to her herself. Jody Graber makes a memorable impression as Prince Edward, the future Edward III, becoming deeply warped by the violent depravities going on around him. The concluding sequence holds a devastating bit of irony that gives at least some comfort too late to those sympathetic to Edward. Annie Lennox contributes an onscreen performance of Cole Porter's Every Time We Say Goodbye midway through, which while not exactly in Marlowe's original, fits the presentation rather well.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The widescreen anamorphic image looks quite fine. This is a very dark film, often beautifully lit, and this comes across very well, as does the rough texture on the walls that echoes the decay of the royal line. Color is vivid, as is fine detail. The only damage is mild speckling that's generally easy to disregard.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Both 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks are present. The 5.1 is preferable, with a broader soundstage and better presence. During the Stonewall riots sequences as gay rights protesters are mowed down by police, there's excellent immediacy that brings the riots into your living room.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:10m:17s

Extras Review: In addition to a full-screen trailer, the disc provides a 24m:44s presentation by star Tilda Swinton to the memory of Jarman, read at the 2002 Edinburgh Film Festival. It's an intensely personal address that is quite far ranging, with heavy criticism of the British film industry (though a surprising fondness and respect for Powell and Pressburger). She reads a bit too fast and the audio is marginal, but it's a moving tribute to the artist. She doesn't, however, make specific reference to this film.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

An intriguing adaptation of Marlowe, heavy on the sex and violence, with a very nice transfer.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


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


Microsoft Store


music, adele, 25, tour europe, spotify, apple music, pandora music inc., television, frank gifford, nfl hall of famer, sportscaster, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, kathy lee gifford, american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, hello, 19, 21, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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