Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Titus text / film review; 2000AD review



Second hand bookstores are full of surprises
Like the Arden Shakespeare's version of Titus
Andronicus, which I found near the Printworks,
As far as shops go, believe me, I've seen worse,
But I've seen much better when it comes to guide books,
I was pretty let down whilst reading Titus
I had a flip through, and I thought, wait, what's this?
All this description but no synopsis?!
No character profiles to set the scene,
No chapters investigating the play's main themes?
Even the scenes are void of summaries
Leaving me feeling annoyed at what's in front of me
Most of the meaning would have been lost on me,
Were each page not with a comprehensive glossary
To Arden's credit, the level of detail
Gone into explaining Shakespeare's most feared tale
May do more than just raise an eyebrow,
To some of the meanings I was just like, wow!
And all of the footnotes were on the same page,
So I didn't have to page-flip, which would take days
Shakespeare did more than just penning the verse
It seems he also invented the words!
Before the play's official composure,
There was no record of the word 'closure,'
At least in the sense, if you can comprehend,
Of a problem that now has come to an end.
If you really want to understand
A Shakespeare play, without it getting out of hand
Skip the Arden text, believe me you'd best know
You're better off sticking with York or Letts Notes.

To figure the play out, I thought I'd drop in
On the '99 film starring Anthony Hopkins
As if the play wasn't weird enough,
It starts with a modern-day kid in a huff,
Out of control, smashing up his kitchen
When- SMASH- a horde of ancient Romans blitz in,
They travel back in time to a Roman amphitheatre,
And there, the film begins to adhere to
The original structure of the Shakespeare play
But at the same time, and in a weird way
Partly nineteen-fifties d├ęcor
With Cadillacs and jazz and a Roman emperor
And hectic violence that's harsh and disturbin'
The set design makes me think of Baz Luhrmann
The time period gives a metafiction feel
And the whole attempt is messily surreal
What was the point of the kid from modern day?
What was the director trying to say?
And who can deny that Shakespeare's shittest play
would inspire, and I'm sorry, for this I've got to say,
The worst film on Anthony Hopkins' CV?
I'm surprised I didn't turn off the TV!
Despite the murders, you no what's most distressin'?
The kid doesn't even get back to the present!
I don't care if it's based on Shakespeare,
'The film is shite' is the message you can take here.

Still on lit but with a change of direction:
Please refresh with a little inspection,
Oldham Comic Con took place in May,
And I decided to show my face on the day
I found a free comic almost straight away
Placed near the entrance of Oldham Library.
I thought I might make a purchase maybe,
But I didn't have to with this 2000AD!
I was a fan of the Judge Dredd movie
(The '95 version, so go ahead, sue me)
But I've never actually read the comic
So this week in the sun I sat out and got on it
I'm not a huge fan of the comic book form
But what surprised me, what was different to the norm
Is that comic stories are faster paced
And can be told succinctly in the frames that have been placed
So rather than a written tale taking ages,
A whole narrative unfolds in 6 pages.
2000AD can celebrate 40
Years of blending fine artwork and story.

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