Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2011


The Tempest"The Tempest" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton



This modern retelling of William Shakespeare's final masterpiece is an exciting, mystical and magical fantasy with Helen Mirren as the sorceress Prospera. Exiled to a magical island, she conjures up a storm that shipwrecks her enemies and then unleashes her powers for revenge. Directed by the visionary Julie Taymor The Tempest, with its innovative twist, is a supernatural dramedy filled with Shakespearean villains, lovers and fools that will leave you spellbound.


  • Touchstone Pictures
  • 2011, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 50 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
  • Starring Helen Mirren, Russell Brand , Alfred Molina
  • Directed by Julie Taymor
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: No


With some first class acting, this story is wonderfully transferred from stage to screen, with the advantage of using some modern digital effects that helped propel the storyline. It helps if you have “done” Shakespeare before, but a novice can sit through this and enjoy the acting and gorgeous picture quality of this flick. The script contained enough of the actual play's language that the minor tweakings to make it easier for contemporary audiences did not bother me a bit. Mirren continues to impress me with her acting range. Forbidden Planet was a sci-fi flick based on this story, but this work holds up well in its original story line here. Though not for everyone, if you like the works of the Bard, this adaptation is a wonder to behold


This production demonstrates a wonderful color palette and the textures of the costumes really benefit from the stunning HD transfer. I especially liked the make-up effects on Calaban, a mixture of paint and flaky dried mud that exhibited exquisite details. The special effects blended well with the overall story and enhanced, rather than distracted, the telling of the tale. The sound effects were very good and put you into the story as well. The music was at times modern and then old, but was well mixed and helped maintain the comedic and/or drama aspects on the screen. The surrounds and sub were often engaged during the entire show. Dialog was clear, as it should be. Overall, a feast for the ears and eyes.


There are some interesting supplements: Los Angeles Rehearsal -- Features Julie Taymor, Dijmon Hounsou, Russell Brand & Alfred Molina, Raising The Tempest -- Julie Taymor Documentary About The Making Of The Movie, -Julie Taymor Audio Commentary, Annotated Shakespeare -- View The Tempest With Audio Commentary By Renowned Shakespeare Experts Virginia Vaughan & Jonathan Bate, -"O Mistress Mine" Music Video and Russell Brand Rehearsal Riff.