Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (9)
| DVD (1)
Branagh's fifth foray into celluloid Shakespeare brings us this rather stodgy version of the Bard's wise comedy of old Japan.
Fun retelling, but longer than teens will like it.
Energetic and entertaining, but it's like a long episode of an over-talky, out-of-control soap opera.
It's not an unsuccessful adaptation. But it rarely catches fire as one of Shakespeare's most popular plays should.
Kenneth Branagh directs this pedestrian spin on the Shakespearean comedy that proves stubbornly resistant to his boisterous brand of all-star panto.
Kenneth Branagh gamely continues to put Shakespeare on film, and audiences continue to ignore them.
Kenneth Branagh is in danger of becoming the next Kenneth Branagh, in a career of serial self-replication as our last unstoppable screen Shakespearean.
Branagh's direction is fluent, surefooted, a little broad sometimes; his ingenious Japanese staging recreates the wrestling match as a wacky sumo contest. It's elegant and Howard is very good.
Faced with As You Like It, one of the Bard's more tiresome plays, Branagh's direction loses conviction and his storytelling lacks the engaging enthusiasm of his previous Shakespeares.
Smart casting and stand-out performances don't compensate for the twee source play and an over-ambitious screenplay from Branagh.
Unremarkable take on the Bard's cross-dressing comedy, ostentatiously relocated to 19th-century Japan though wholly shot in the Home Counties.
With the director setting such a leisurely pace, the seventh step into total inertia takes hold well before the curtain drops.
For an overview of the play and some decent performances this is fine but isn't up to the standards of Branagh's 'Hamlet' or 'Much Ado' (I haven't seen 'Henry V' or 'Love's Labours'). His concept of setting it in a Japanese culture doesn't really work , especially since there are so few actual japanese actors. Also the dramatic beginning, although interesting as a scene setter, is far too drataic and doesn't work in what should essentially be a comedy. The actors all do very well with their parts and make sense of the script (there is little actual verse in the play so it isn't a difficult one to follow) but you can't help wishing that such a good cast were given a more substantial Shakespeare play to perform. Interestingly the epilogue is cleverly done and is better than most of the rest of the film. If only Branagh had pursued this style rather than the other.
The awful confusion of Shakespeare's novel itself is a confusion, imagine a movie about it...
Here's one that snuck completely under my radar, probably because it was apparently made-for-HBO (which I don't have) and not released theatrically. I like Branagh, and I like Kline, but Bryce Dallas Howard in the lead? I'll pass... right?
Well, I gave it a shot. Kenneth Branagh has successfully returned to the lighter side of Shakespeare for the first time since 1993's Much Ado About Nothing (Love's Labour's Lost is better left overlooked). He again shifts the setting, this time to 19th century Japan. An odd choice, but it kind of works.. once you get used to it. The acting across the board is top-notch, and unlike some other Shakespeare adaptations, they all sound completely natural reciting the dialogue.
I do have problem with them expecting us to believe the other characters actually thinks she is a man (when all she's done is change her clothes), but I guess that's just one of those things you have to overlook and suspend disbelief.
As for Bryce, she could not have been more perfect in the role. She is undeniably charming, handles the part masterfully, and is by far the best thing about the film. Maybe it's time to overlook her history of bad Shyamalan films and watch where her promising talent takes her.
[font=Century Gothic]"As You Like It" starts with a palace coup resulting in the Duke(Brian Blessed) being deposed by his own brother(Blessed again), along with nearly all of his family. The new duke keeps his niece, Rosalind(Bryce Dallas Howard), around to keep his daughter, Celia(Romola Garai), company. To keep themselves busy, the cousins watch a wrestling match where Rosalind and the victorious wrestler, Orlando(David Oyelowo), develop a mutual infatuation. But Rosalind soon becomes too popular for her own good and is exiled, too. Celia decides to leave with her cousin since they cannot easily be parted, bringing the fool(Alfred Molina) along for laughs...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Based on the William Shakespeare play, "As You Like It" proves the old adage that any movie with Brian Blessed in dual roles cannot be entirely bad. In fact, there is a most formidable cast that also includes Janet McTeer, Kevin Kline and Adrian Lester. But director Kenneth Branagh does not exploit the unique setting of tariff ports in 19th century Japan(actually every other possible setting for Shakespeare has already been used) to its full advantage.(Hopefully, he was not just inspired by the early wrestling scene...) Still, this is a gorgeously photographed and entertaining movie about love trumping material possessions every time. But love can be a possession like every other object. And remember that falling in love is the easy part. [/font]
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