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 Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)

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PostSubject: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:12 am

I'm not sure this really is a spin-off or a crossover, but for cryin' out loud, it's got Tennant and Patrick Stewart, no, wait, Sir Patrick Stewart in it. Surely that makes it fair game for discussion. Hopefully I won't insult anyone's intelligence by assuming that not everyone is truly familiar with Hamlet beyond the Cliff Notes; so many commonly-used phrases came from this play (though they've been subjected to some major paraphrasing down through the centuries), but not many people realize that. If you're not familiar with Hamlet... trust me, there are few better TV or movie versions to start with than this.

This aired on BBC2 the day after Christmas, and is a very nicely staged version of the stage production that Tennant and Stewart were repeatedly selling out about a year ago. It still features things like monologues delivered directly to the audience (i.e. looking right down the barrel of the camera), but there are also some very interesting ways in which this is handled later on that spices things up visually.

It's a modernized-but-not-too-much version of Hamlet too; with things like firearms and film cameras, it's kind of a mid-20th-century Hamlet. It's brilliantly directed - a huge amount of thought went into transferring this from the stage to the screen, without sacrificing the story or the language in the process. The dialogue all remains the same.

Tennant is great, and utilizes much the same accent as he does for the Doctor, but be warned, he's definitely not playing the Doctor. He's playing a man who gradually becomes more and more unglued as the story progresses. If you're not familiar with the source material, here's a spoiler: Hamlet gets increasingly bloodthirsty. He kills. He's obsessive to the point of mania by the time the story's climax arrives. If you can't handle Tennant playing the part of someone really unpleasant, this isn't for you.

And Patrick Stewart is also as far from his familiar sci-fi character as you can get. He has a bit of a dual role, but his primary role is conniving and scheming to the point of being scary. Actually, strike that, both of his characters are pretty scary.

I highly recommend this for fans of either actor, but be ready for a real treat in the acting-versatility department: Hamlet is, when you get down to it, an ahead-of-its-time treatment of mental illness and obsession. The two Big Names do not play nice men in this story, certainly nothing like the characters we've come to associate them with. It's truly a story where no one wins in the end - Butch & Sundance and Blake's 7, eat your heart out.

Hamlet will be airing later this year on PBS in the US, not sure exactly when.
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greenk9
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:40 pm

I can't wait for it to air- it will be under the heading for masterpiece contemporary which of course he is the host. I have not found a date yet- jsut looked it up. If you have not seen contemporary, it is really, really good. If you love tennant in hamlet, you should get on itunes, much ado about nothing- a really good audio play he is in to download.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:38 pm

I tried to watch it. I really did. I gave it my best shot. I lasted 17 minutes. Not my cup of tea AT ALL. I really wanted to watch it and say I've sat through an entire Shakespeare story, but it was just too.... boring. Hope everyone else likes it, though! Looked like a top notch production.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:16 pm

rdks I used to feel that way about shakespeare until I got older. It is hard to sink in at first, but I remember in English lit a few few years back (ahem) that we had to memorize a few shakespeare bits- and thru repeated readings- I started to get it and understand the power of his writing. I think I can watch this in parts rather than sit thru the whole deal...apparently david had to memorize 3,000 lines of hamlet...I can't even remember my social security number- but that is partly because I'm brain damaged from too much chocolate.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:18 am

greenk9 wrote:
rdks I used to feel that way about shakespeare until I got older.

I'm the same age as you Laughing

I've tried Shakespeare before many times, just can't get into him. Reading books makes me sleep faster than a hammer to the head so I've never read anything of his, since high school when I faked it.

greenk9 wrote:
apparently david had to memorize 3,000 lines of hamlet

Exactly why I wanted to try and watch it. The production looked amazing. The lighting, editing, sets, everything was top notch. Add to that Patrick Stewart and David Tennant!

I'll keep my copy of it and try again in a few years. We're the same age but I'm still very childish, at least according to my wife. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:28 am

rdks wrote:
Reading books makes me sleep faster than a hammer to the head so

Scratches RDKS's name off the list of the Target Books Appreciation Society, study and gives Maxwell Edison a call Sleep
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:23 pm

I saw it and I loved it! I'm almost ashamed at how unfamiliar with Hamlet and Shakespeare in general that I am, but David Tennant, Patrick Stewart and the whole cast were wonderful to watch! I haven't had time to watch it again, but I'm pretty sure I will...and study up on my Shakespeare too!
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greenk9
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:11 pm

Seeing Hamlet makes me wan to go back to the uk for a visit...ah one day. Oh and if you guys ever can- go to stratford upon avon- it is a great place to see shakespeare's birthplace. It is such a beautiful town and the scenery is to die for...the funniest thing when I was there is that they sold shakespeare's head on a cookie- I told the gift shop vendor that I bet shakespeare would be rolling in his grave if he saw that..and he gave me that classic sheepish grin.

rdks-what makes me go to sleep is reading computer manuals...reading up on adobe indesign and it is better than nyquil for sleep deprivation.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:44 pm

I'm really looking forward to this! I actually just watched Kenneth Brannagh's version not too long ago. It's such a great story when done properly. I find this version to be intriguing from what I've read about it so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:46 pm

i only have pbs, so when anyone finds out the date it will be on, please post it. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:34 pm

My R2 DVD should be coming any day now (it seemed to have been shipped a few days prior to its release date). Have no idea when it's gonna air here in the States.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:41 am

greenk9 wrote:
rdks-what makes me go to sleep is reading computer manuals...reading up on adobe indesign and it is better than nyquil for sleep deprivation.

Oh, I can imagine! I did Adobe Premiere. Found it much easier to order the Total Training DVDs than read the manuals.

Hoosier Whovian wrote:
Scratches RDKS's name off the list of the Target Books Appreciation Society, study and gives Maxwell Edison a call Sleep

Actually, the last book I read was a few months ago and it was the Target novel of The Ice Warriors. Target-sized books are all I can handle.

Although I am still on a mission to finish The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I have all the books in one big giant one and I never finished it. Started it about 100 times, but just can't finish it! Furthest I made it was the end of the 4th book. Might try again soon, as I've got some extended time off coming up. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:22 pm

PBS has announced "Hamlet" will air April 28.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:52 pm

thanks for info!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:31 am

For anyone who may have missed it on PBS...DVD and Blu-ray release is May 4.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:46 am

The 2nd Doctor Roberts wrote:
For anyone who may have missed it on PBS...DVD and Blu-ray release is May 4.

Sweet! I am buying it!
~
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PostSubject: Re: Hamlet (2009 BBC/Royal Shakespeare Co. TV adaptation)   Today at 10:42 am

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