William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet [Music Edition] [DVD] [1996]

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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (21 out of 21)

Special Features


  • Music machine feature
  • 3 audio commentaries with director Baz Luhrman, co-composer Craig Armstrong and co-composer Marius De Vries
  • Romeo + Juliet: The Music
  • The London Music Mix featurette
  • Journey of the Song featurettes - "Young Hearts Run Free," "Everybody's Free," and temp music

Synopsis


William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred toward violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs. Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the goings-on of his Montague cousins, but after he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a Capulet at the end of one very wild party, the enmity between the two clans becomes the root of his angst. He relies heavily -- and with serious consequences -- on his rebel gender-bender of a friend, Mercutio (Harold Perrineau Jr.), and Father (not Friar) Lawrence (Pete Postlethwaite) for protection and support. Romeo is, of course, exiled, and it looks like Juliet will be forced into an arranged marriage with the bland Paris (Paul Rudd). It ends, as Romeo and Juliet must, when Romeo hears a tragic piece of misinformation and brings his suicide wish to what was meant to be Juliet 's temporary tomb. This time, though, the turf and the weapon of choice have taken a turn toward the surreal. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo DiCaprio - Romeo
  • Claire Danes
    Claire Danes - Juliet
  • John Leguizamo
    John Leguizamo - Tybalt
  • Harold Perrineau, Jr.
    Harold Perrineau, Jr. - Mercutio
  • Pete Postlethwaite
    Pete Postlethwaite - Father Laurence



Overall customer rating

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 21 reviews

100%of customers would recommend this to a friend
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Oh Romeo, What a Horrible Scene you're In!

    Posted
    Galadrielle

    The 1990's setting of Romeo and Juliet, complete with car chases and Juliet appearing, in one scene, in jeans and a T-shirt, enhances Shakespeare's play by helping make Romeo and Juliet believable to a modern audience, and I certainly enjoyed the cars and the modern costumes. In fact, I doubt very much how anything written by Shakespeare or starring Leonardo di Caprio could possibly go wrong! After having seen many versions of Romeo and Juliet, di Caprio is by far the strongest and the best. His brooding melancholy, yet fierce and strong, Romeo is very much like a good predecessor to what I consider his greatest role to date - Howard Hughes in The Aviator! Claire Daines is a spunky and spirited Juliet, and this is why I can understand why Romeo falls for her. Pete Postlethwaite is a very logical and sensitive Friar Lawrence, and overall, the acting is completely superb. An added touch is the Capulet ball being a masquerade, with Juliet dressed as an angel. When Romeo calls her an angel, we see an angel! A big problem with the movie occurs when Romeo winds up in Mantua, which looks like it is in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the Mojave desert. It is not the Prince (who just wants to get rid of him after he kills Tybalt) and not Lord Montague (who knows he must be punished), but his trusted priest Friar Lawrence, who cares for everybody, and who only wants good - who sends him there in the first place. I doubt very much that Friar Lawrence would send anyone to such a miserable desolate wasteland that is depicted in the movie! The only reason why Romeo hates Mantua is that Juliet is not there! I think a more beautiful setting, comparable to Verona but different, would have made for a much better Mantua. Likewise, I found Romeo's servant Balthasar's ugly car equally distracting and out of place. If Balthasar (Jesse Bradford) works for the wealthy Montagues, then certainly he must make enough to have a decent car, instead of the heap he and Romeo drive towards the end of the movie! In fact, we must remember that Shakespeare's original play is about two Italian rich kids. It is a pity that this movie was not set in Italy, with its villas, its countryside, and yes, its famous Italian cars. Lastly, one crucial scene is omitted that is present in other movies. When Juliet tries to take her own life after waking up and finding Romeo dead, there is always a priest who rushes in and tries, unsuccessfully, to save her life by trying to talk her into letting him take her to a convent where she may spend the rest of her days as a nun (and being happy by helping others, for that is what good nuns do). In this version, she is denied any hope, any fighting chance at a good life because there is nobody there to talk some sense into her before she chooses death. Despite these problems, I still give this movie four stars because it is so well-acted, and because the time at which it is set makes perfect sense to me. The Special Edition is worth the extra money because we are given some excellent commentary by both di Caprio and Daines that deepen our appreciation of Romeo and Juliet. I believe this version is essential to any Shakespeare collection.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A decent modernization

    Posted
    irishpink86

    I say that this is a decent modernization of a Shakespeare work, which is actually a compliment as I have yet to see a great one and probably not a good one. As far as modernizations go this certainly works better than most so if you enjoy the story and still haven't seen it for some reason check it out. I doubt you'll be disappointed, and if you're really certain you will be, then that just makes it all the more likely that it will surpass your expectations

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Modern Shakespeare'

    Posted
    DJjimmyb
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a must have for your bluray collection. The movie is spoken in Shakespeare's language, it might start a little bit weird, it is not a typical movie, its more of a play, keeps you intrigued, When i say modern does not necessary mean realistic, its more of a fantasy world, example, instead of swords back in Shakespeare's era, Guns are used. The love story is keeps you hooked, and the action keeps u entertained.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    10 years old already?

    Posted
    LaDiosa

    Man, its hard to believe that this masterpiece has already been around for 10 years. A wonderful version of a great classic. William Shakespear may have written the dialogs but the director brought them to life and to a medium that modern day youth can understand. Brilliant!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Best actors ever

    Posted
    chenis1

    THIS MOVIE WAS EXCELLENT, IT REALLY BROUGHT YOU THERE LIKE IF U WERE IN THE MOVIE, AND OFCOURSE THE SACRAFICE THAT ROMEO AND JULIET DID, IT MAKE YOU CRY!!! I CRIED. LEONARDO DICAPRIO REALLY KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, HE IS A GOOD ACTOR.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    fantastic movie

    Posted
    shortness

    The movie was great, and the music is fantastic! It is a great modern version of the story, and the score made all the difference in truly feeling the emotions that the director was trying to get across.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The music is fantastic

    Posted
    redderr
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    The transfer is good but should be better. The musical score and acting is fantastic. I loved it when it came out and love it more at home and in my collection on blu-ray!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fresh take on a classic story, visually BEAUTIFUL.

    Posted
    LAblahblah
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a classic tale we all know and love, but this is a refreshing take on it. Shakespeare never looked so good. Gorgeous cinema. Wonderfully acted.

    I would recommend this to a friend




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