ROMEO & JULIET
Review by Chastity Campbell
Starring: Ann Hasson, Christopher Neame, David Robb, Clive
Director: Joan Kemp-Welch
Video: 1.33:1 Standard FullScreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Features: See Review
Length: 186 Minutes
Release Date: June 28, 2005
Chastity’s Cliff Notes: the Shakespeare version!
Romeo & Juliet opening
Two households, both alike in dignity (They are both stinking rich!)
In Fair Verona, where we lay our
scene, (They live in Verona, two miles west of Beverly Hills!)
From ancient grudge break to new
mutiny, (See, these two families don’t get along, and it’s because
of something that happened a long time ago!)
Where civil blood makes civil hands
unclean. (When someone from one rich family kills someone from the
other rich family, it’s not good for the hands!)
Ah, Shakespeare! I thought I would never be able to
understand his writings. Then a few
years ago, Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio took a spin in Shakespeare land, and I
finally caught a clue. Don’t ask
me why, but it took two modern people speaking his language for me to get it.
Sure, I understood what the premise of Romeo &
Juliet was. However, my
comprehension of his text was on the same level as say, a toddler eating sand.
Uhm, now that I have thoroughly embarrassed myself, on with the review...
Romeo & Juliet is a timeless tale that has been
performed on a stage, as a musical, on the big screen, and now it is available
to the masses thanks to A&E on DVD.
I have to say that this interpretation of Shakespeare’s
legendary story, is both moving, and inspiring. No matter the format, the story is still the same each time
it arrives. We have two families,
the Montagues, and Capulets. The
families are at war with each other, for reasons that are never shared with the
Their children, handsome Romeo, and the fair Juliet, are
caught in the middle of their families' hatred of each other, and their endless
love for one another. It’s a
beautiful love story, with a desperate and tragic ending.
I was truly impressed with the beautiful sets and colorful
costumes that accompany this incarnation of Romeo & Juliet.
This interpretation of Shakespeare’s work has definitely benefited by a
transfer to DVD!
Ann Hasson is
absolutely beautiful. She was able
to take the part of Juliet and make it fresh and new for me, which is something
that I didn’t think was possible. The
youthful exuberance of her Romeo, played by Christopher Neame dramatically
enhanced my enjoyment of this version of Romeo & Juliet.
Both actors, along
with their supporting cast, brought passion and life to a story that has to some
degree been overused. I
realize this version was produced back in 1976, but for me it’s fresh and new
Romeo O Romeo,
wherefore art thou Romeo…He hopped the DVD train toots, so all aboard, and get
ready to enjoy!
With a little bit of forgiveness and some patience I found
myself quite pleased with this DVD presentation of Romeo & Juliet.
Obviously not filmed with the digital age in mind, this print has stood up remarkably well. The 1.33:1 Standard FullScreen formatting worked in favor of this presentation. There was some dirt and graininess visible, but otherwise a fairly clean print, with nice colors.
Audio quality is subjective, depending on the type of
system you have, and how well you’ve cleaned your ears out prior to pushing
the play button.
I’m happy to say Romeo & Juliet never sounded
better. The audio levels remained
constant throughout, with little to no dropouts.
The mix was nice, and who doesn’t love classical
music…well, okay, not everyone does, but they should!
Alas, Romeo & Juliet’s extra features are less
There is an entertaining featurette titled, Romeo &
Juliet – A Family Feud.