Hamlet Blu-Ray Review And Giveaway

David Tennant and Patrick Stewart star in a Hamlet production with a modernized look and feel, and if not for the fact that the praise had already come in like a landslide for the stage interpretation, this filmed effort would probably be getting a lot more attention.

While a variety of other productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company have made their way to DVD, they are often very directly filming of the stage entity itself, and while there is not exactly a full film made out of this one, it is filmed on location.

Though Stewart won the Olivier award for his portrayal of Claudius, it’s David Tennant that not only shines through with an amazing performance, but brings the character to a new era. It may be that he brings fans from Doctor Who, but it’s something much more than that. Delivering from (and obviously to) a new generation, Tennant may be saying the same words, but his style and approach are a different beast than traditional norms.

Almost a form of analysis and interpretation built into the act, Tennant is somehow talking about Hamlet using the play’s own words. However good the stuffy English teacher may be (“stuffy” in the “by definition” sense), there is something different going on when the cool kid suddenly says, “No, really. This is good stuff. Here, check this out,” and that’s what Tennant manages.

In fact, Stewart pulls off something similar, but not nearly to the same degree. He is also exceptional in his role, and quite deserving of the award and any amount of praise, but he is clearly a bit more “old school” in his vision of the role.

There is good reason that the stage version was met with nearly unprecedented excitement and acclaim, and it all comes through wonderfully here. You may need to let the production value slide to a certain degree, but not nearly as much as you might expect.

As powerful, contemporary, and relevant as anything you could watch today, The Bard, quite simply, has rarely been this good.

Bonus Features –

Both the Blu-Ray and standard DVD release have only a commentary track as bonus. By Gregory Doran, Sebastian Grant, and Chris Seager, the track is actually quite good, but really focuses only the making of, and then spends a lot of the time on translating from stage to film. Surprisingly entertaining, it’s still less than what is probably hoped for by those who became instant fans.

Starring: David Tennant (Doctor Who), Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Oliver Ford Davis(Waking the Deadi), Penny Downie, Mariah Gale

Own it on Blu-Ray and DVD today!


Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

Must Read

Ford v Ferrari Releases New Trailer And Poster

On first glance, with no information beyond the title and perhaps the poster, you might imagine that Matt Damon and Christian Bale...

Good Boys Review – Movies For Those Who Have To Sneak In Return?

It's some time since I was forced to question the intended audience of a film... well, when looked at in relation to...

Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood Montage Poster Kicks Up Film’s Nostalgia

Tarantino is nothing if not a certain form of slave to film nostalgia, but in his upcoming effort, Once Upon a Time...


The Heart Guy TV Review (aka ‘Doctor Doctor’)

Fans of Doc Martin have a new favorite show to check out, and everyone else has a charming dramedy filled with quirky characters to fall in love with.

Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce Review – Bravo

Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce is one of those rare shows that makes you get creative in order to figure out what potential you can say it might have, and that lives up to that potential. It's fun without having to stretch for its funny moments, and it leaves you to reflect on why its achingly real at times, instead of shoving "drama" in your face at every turn.

Mr. Mercedes Review – King Adaptation Is Brilliant But Drags

Mr. Mercedes is a certain sort of triumph, but it isn't going to be for everyone. It's a great character study, and you'll wish you could binge it, but you'll also want to fast-forward.