THIS JOURNAL DOCUMENTS MY INTAKE OF ONE BOOK, ZINE, CD OR DVD A DAY. RATINGS ARE: ***** = Godhead, **** = Great, *** = Good, ** = Fair, * = Why Bother?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scotland, Pa. (****)

Scotland, Pa.
directed by Billy Morrisette, 2001, 104 minutes
based on William Shakespeare's play Macbeth
Cast: James LeGros (Joe "Mac" McBeth), Maura Tierney (Pat McBeth), Christopher Walken (Lt. McDuff), Kevin Corrigan (Anthony "Banko" Banconi), James Rebhorn (Norm Duncan)
Tagline: "What if the McBeths were alive in '75?"

After watching the modern restaurant setting used for Macbeth in the BBC TV series Shakespeare Retold, I remembered hearing about this similar (in food industry setting only!) film and decided to check it out from the library. I'm glad I did (and thanks for the tip, Dave Cawley!).

This dark comedy has a stellar cast, with Maura Tierney getting my personal accolades as one of the all-time great Lady Macbeths. This is a definite cult movie and well-worth seeing and what makes it so effective is not just the fast-food diner setting and the tongue-in-cheek performances (especially Christopher Walken as a vegetarian cop) but the '70s era in which the director places the setting. This means we get "rock blocks' on the radio and a retro soundtrack that boasts lots of Bad Company, as well as Three Dog Night, Marshall Tucker Band and even First Class' Brit powerpop gem "Beach Baby" - the latter featuring legendary bubblegum vocalist Tony Burrows (of White Plains' "My Baby Loves Love," The Pipkins' "Gimme Dat Ding," and Brotherhood of Man's "United We Stand" fame). Really, really clever.



Joe "Mac" McBeth trying to shove a hamburger down vegetarian cop Christopher Walken's mouth in their fight scene.

The three witches being reimagined as stoner hippies: Amy Smart, Timothy "Speed" Levitch and Andy Dick.

The Duncan boys being recast - Donald (Geoff Dunsworth) as a long-haired heavy metal rebel party-er and Malcolm (Thomas Guiry) as a closet homosexual football player who likes to listen to showtunes.

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