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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 1999 >> Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
September 1999
IMDB Name:
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Baz Luhrmann
drama, romance
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for scenes of contemporary violence and some sensuality.

Vibrant Adaptation

It seems awkward these days to go back in time in dialogue while keeping the setting firmly rooted in a fantasy present. The set design is magnificent throughout, including spiffy cars. The clever device of using guns as "Swords" was also fun. All of these gimmicks combined with a fairly active editing style would make any story worth watching. Add in fresh acting talent like Clair Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, and it's hard to lose. The trimming of the language is done well, so it's never too hard to understand what's going on. Of course, I know my way around West Side Story pretty well, so it would be more surprising if I was really confused.

DVD Comments

I had to laugh when I went into the "Extra Features" menu. The folks who put the disc together apparently don't have a strong grasp on the concept of plurality, because only one thing, the trailer, was there. The disc's menus are artfully done and quite beautiful. Unfortunately the music behind the animations doesn't loop well. The scene selection menus are more interesting because the scenes are represented by stills while everything around them moves, a neat reversal of the frequently-used full-motion previews. Unfortunately, every screen of scenes uses the same music, which restarts with every move. The same thing happens in the language selection menu. Making a new selection restarts the music and animation, but gives no indication which audio and subtitle languages are active.

See the IMDB information on Romeo + Juliet's DVD.

Other Opinions

Copyright 1999-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.