Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Never Say Macbeth|
Actors: Gregory G. Giles, Alexander Enberg, Mark Deklin, Mercedes Martinez, Joe Tyler Gold
Director: C.J. Prouty
Studio: Vanguard Cinema Release Date: 08/26/2008
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Seriously - one of the worst films of ALL TIME!!!
Caithness | Chicago area | 02/19/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"OK. I got snookered.
I am I HS theatre teacher, and I received an unsolicited ad for this film through my school email. We do a Shakespeare every other year, so I regularly have a unit on the Bard in my advanced acting class. Reading all the "rave reviews" at their website - and being sympathetic to the plight of independent film producers - I broke down a bought a copy. (Actually, I bought it through Amazon which was cheaper than on the film's dedicated website....) I thought it might be instructive or at least a bit of "fun" for my class.
Hmmm.... Worst mistake of my life: A. buying stock in Chrysler, or B. buying this film. (gotta think about that one....)
This was without a doubt the most amateurish "professional" film I've seen in decades. Bar none. How it got made is a mystery to me - no doubt there are some maxed out credit cards and former friends and relatives who are now screening their phone calls.
Let's forget for a moment that the script is dreadful: full of clichés, wooden dialogue and contrived contrivances! (I actually could go to town on the lumberingly inept script - but as bad as it was, it wasn't the worst aspect of the production. There are millions of bad scripts out there. Serendipity or tenacity got this one produced. We'll spare Mr. Gold the drubbing he deserves. I'm limited to 1K words.)
Let's also forget the less than stellar production values: better production design, properties, makeup artists, lighting, etc. can be purchased when the $$$ is there. It obviously wasn't.
I prefer to focus on the Acting/Directing. As a failed actor myself, I never review the "quality" of an actor's performance. Sure, some actors are more talented than others, but a good director can get a decent performance out of almost ANY actor. So let's assume that the cast as a whole is at the very least capable - if not even outright talented. Then the utter atrociousness of these performances is entirely the fault of the incipient "director", Christopher J. Prouty (please God - for the sake of his future career, let that be a pseudonym).
To be kind, I'll assume Mr. Prouty has risen to his lofty position from the "other" side of the camera. I've seen far weaker "tech" in other indie films. But he has no idea how to handle an actor. It's difficult enough to get believable performances in a naturalistic small cast film. But in this bit of labored schtick? Prouty wouldn't know a farce if it bit him on the arse! Of all comedic forms, it's the hardest to pull off - and harder on film than on stage. FAIL!
Let me immediately shoot down the weak excuse: "But, they were playing bad actors!" How can we tell the difference when there's no truth in "either" performance? No doubt, each actor was left to his or her own devices to develop these "thespians" - and they certainly brought a cornucopia to the table. But Prouty obviously never worked to trim and polish those performances - to fit them together. What we get is a ratatouille of clashing flavors: bitter, sweet, savory and dry at the same time. Those characters didn't belong in the same world together, let alone the same room. Underplayed, overplayed, arch, naturalistic, puerile, campy, and just plain "wrong" - what could have been an endearing look at a kooky bunch of insecure but genuine theater-folk turned into a melee of actors trying to "out-outlandish" each other. And all that can be said of Mr. Gold's leading performance is "crawl before running". He was not quite yet equal to the task at hand.
(Dear Lord, save me from the excruciating urge to quote Hamlet's advice to the players. Prouty should have it tattooed on the inside of his eyelids.)
There were a few moments in the film that were engaging - but very few. As bad as it was, I began to wonder why I even kept watching. Then it hit me. Viewing this debacle was rather like watching a particularly untalented community theatre actor struggle through material that is way over his head. Favoring the underdog as I do, I keep hoping for a miracle to happen. But, of course, it never did.
On the plus side: The ghostly special effects were surprisingly not too bad. (When compared with the dismal script and acting.) Really, if the film had been made a decade or two earlier we might even have called them "good". Certainly the advent of computer technology has made those heretofore "too costly" effects a bit more accessible to the low budget indie. While Prouty has no idea what to do with an actor, at least he knows how to use his equipment.
I have an old VHS copy of "Plan 9 From Outer Space". This DVD is going on the shelf right next to it. I've never purposely collected dreadfully bad films. But now, with two of them, I guess I've started."
Campy and loveable
Emily E. Coalson | Alhambra, CA | 02/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this film is campy - but in a delightful way. When I watched this film with my students for the first time (I, too, teach high school theatre), they laughed and joked at the cheesy bits, but rioted when I forgot to show the last 7 minutes. They loved it!
This film has more heart than many Hollywood and Indie films out there, and as it blends so well with much of my curriculum (theatre superstitions, Shakespeare, etc), I will continue to watch it every year until the dvd wears out. My students watch Noises Off after their first play, and this one after their second - as a treat, and as a nod to their new understanding of backstage etiquette.
I highly recommend it, especially for those who love fun films, despite less-than-stellar production values."
Cute! Fun! Inspiring
Kara L. Severson | Chicago, IL | 03/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A friend suggested I see this film and I groaned, weary of any small-budget film. I'm an actor who worked in Chicago and L.A. and, thus, have had the misfortune of sitting through many bad movies in my effort to be a good friend or at least a supportive peer.
But it's rare for someone to suggest a small-budget film to me that doesn't involve showing up to a screening or giving a favour in any way, so--- So I put it on my Netflix list to avoid any feelings of *arrrrgh I want my money back!*
But this was a really nice surprise! The story is cute and not that far from reality - yes, even the ghosts. Kinda. I spent 6 months working with a classical rep company in LA who call a Masonic temple home. We had many creepy ghostly moments there! Of course, the boyfriend-following-his-ambitious-girlfriend-to-Hollywood story is sadly very common in L.A. too. As is the opportunistic nature of some of these characters. And the surprise reveal about one of the characters near the end made me laugh.
I was really impressed with the special effects given this is a small budget film!
The story, again, too cute. The characters lovable- and I've met all of them in my years acting.
I've now watched it twice and still smile and giggle through it. Very very cute film!
Why 4 vs. 5 stars? I reserve 5 for Scorsese, Almodóvar, Bergman, Coen - top level direction and resources. So- 4 from me is pretty darn good!"
Or, 2 stars if you're not into, and knowlegable of, live the
S. Berner | Cocoa, Fl USA | 09/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the oldest, and least logical, of theater superstitions is that you're never supposed to utter the name of "the Scottish play" backstage as it will bring bad luck. This is the saga of a hapless young man who does just that and the luck (bad AND good) that befalls him. As a dramedy it leaves some (o.k. many) things to be desired. A coherent or even reasonably believable plot (and NO, I'm not talking about the ghosts. I'm fine with them)for one. However, as a view of life backstage in a small theater company, it couldn't be much better. If you love theater, this flick is for you. If not... not."