Video Picks Archive

December 1, 1999
This Week's Video Picks
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This week my picks are A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999 - ) and Pinocchio (1940 - ).

The first film is the latest screen adaptation of Shakespeare's most popular comedy. Oberon (Rupert Everett), the Fairy King (no pun intended) enlists Puck (Stanley Tucci) in bringing young lovers together. Director Michael Hoffman has updated the story to the late 19th century, and cast it with big stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Calista Flockhart, and many others. Kline stands out as Bottom, the simple weaver who yearns to be a thespian. The classic play finds a new life, and its lusty intentions have been better realized.

Even though Bottom turns into a donkey, most of us learned what happens when you become an ass from the second film. At this time, Disney is selling several of their classic animated features, including Pinocchio, on video. For the first time, these films are available on DVD. This film is certainly worth the purchase. Many critics, myself included, acknowledge it as the best film Disney ever made. It is based on the classic book by Collodi about a wooden puppet that comes to life, and strives to become a real boy. The highlight of the film is the beginning, when Cliff Edwards (as Jiminy Cricket) sings "When You Wish Upon a Star", which is undoubtedly the best song ever written for a film, animated or not.


For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)
Pinocchio (1940)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) -- VHS
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) -- DVD
A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play by William Shakespeare -- Hardcover
A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play by William Shakespeare -- Paperback
A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play by William Shakespeare -- Audio Cassette (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare)
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
Pinocchio (1940) -- VHS
Pinocchio (1940) -- DVD
Pinocchio, a novel by Carlo Collodi -- Hardcover
Pinocchio, a novel by Carlo Collodi -- Paperback
Pinocchio, a novel by Carlo Collodi -- Audio Cassette (read by Bill Pullman)


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Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan